Social Security: How to fix payment errors

70 million Americans collect Social Security benefits, which means there will be the occasional mistake.

social security cards with cash representing payments

There are options available for those who feel they were shorted on their check.

Underpayment in Social Security

The Social Security Administration defines an underpayment in three different ways.

  • when the benefit amount wasn’t paid
  • if a correct payment is sent to some who has died and it was not negotiated
  • when a payment that was issued is returned or never received

$1,657 going out in 1 day

The rate of underpayment in 2019 was .05%.

If you feel you were underpaid, contact the SSA immediately by calling 800-772-1213.

To fix the issue in a timely fashion, contact the SSA quickly.


Divorced? You may get benefits

Overpayment in Social Security

In 2019, the rate for overpayment was .2%.

Normally the SSA will let you know and you will need to repay that money.

If you do not pay the debt, they can withhold your checks.

If this happens, there are options to repay the debt.


Get the maximum benefit worth $4,194

You can request that the SSA give you a lesser withholding amount each month.

The full withholding will begin 30 days following the notification of an overpayment.

If you receive SSI then the SSA will withhold 10% of the maximum benefit each month.

You can talk to the SSA about a lower amount if it isn’t affordable.

You may reach the SSA online about overpayments and underpayments.