Work-Related Overpayments Among Disability Beneficiaries
Retirement and Disability Research Consortium
Social Security Administration
Some federal disability beneficiaries who work—particularly those who work above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level set by the Social Security Administration (SSA)— might have their benefits suspended retroactively and, as a result, receive cash benefits that they are not owed. This is referred to as an overpayment. In this brief, we examine the prevalence of overpayments among recently employed beneficiaries, whether those who experience overpayments change their work activity in response, and whether awareness of key work incentive provisions in disability programs is associated with the likelihood of experiencing an overpayment. We found that overpayments are uncommon among all recently employed beneficiaries, and relatively few who experienced them say they changed their work activity in response. Awareness of key earnings-related provisions was not associated with the likelihood of experiencing an overpayment. However, among the group most at risk of an overpayment—those experiencing a benefit suspension— anticipation of the suspension was associated with a reduced risk of overpayment.
How do you apply evidence?
Take our quick four-question survey to help us curate evidence and insights that serve you.Take our survey