The Social Security Administration usually sends a notification if it believes recipients have received an overpayment of benefits, and this notification includes instructions for appeal or repayment. Representatives are also available to help by phone through a nationwide toll-free number, which is 800-772-1213, as of 2015.
The SSA typically demands a full refund of overpaid benefits within 30 days of notification. One may apply for a reconsideration or waiver to reduce all or part of the amount owed. If a reduction is applied for within 10 days, any current benefit payments continue until the application is decided.
For the amount that must be repaid, beneficiaries receiving monthly checks who do not pay within 30 days are subject to having up to 10 percent of their total monthly income withheld. Those who are not currently receiving benefits may arrange a payment plan.