Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Administrative Offset Affects SSDI

At the Driscoll Law Corporation, we specialize in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). We work hard to keep our clients, and potential clients, informed of anything that could impact their benefits or factors that could jeopardize access to vital resources. Most American adults have a cursory understanding of what it means to have funds garnished. The legal definition:

To garnish is to obtain a court order directing a party holding funds (such as a bank) or about to pay wages (such as an employer) to an alleged debtor to set that money aside until the court determines (decides) how much the debtor owes to the creditor. 

While many people have an understanding of garnished wages as it pertains to collecting late child support and alimony payments, there are in fact several other instances when funds are garnished. Some cases, involve what is known as an "administrative offset;" it is when the Department of Treasury through the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) or the Federal Tax Refund Offset Program, withhold a person’s funds or benefits to pay off debt.

Receiving An Administrative Offset Notice

administrative offset noticeAmericans with defaulted federal student loans, delinquent taxes, and back child support payments can be subject to Administrative Offset, KSDK reports. There is a relatively long list of income streams that are exempt from the Treasury Offset Program or Federal Tax Refund Offset Program, including Supplemental Security Income. However, those collecting Social Security Disability Insurance are not protected from Administrative Offset. Why the disparity? Because SSI is based on a person’s financial need, whereas SSDI is based on peoples’ work record.

Individuals who receive an offset notice have sixty days from the date of the notice (not when it's received) to object to the action, according to the article. If one’s defensive measures do not prove fruitful, be advised that offsets are limited to an amount that is no greater than 15% of your total benefits.

Anyone who receives an Administrative Offset Notice must act quickly to plead their case, especially if the notice is in error. Those who do in fact owe money, have the option to pay it off within the sixty-days, request a hardship reduction, or negotiate a payment plan.

California SSI and SSDI Attorney

Stephanie M. Driscoll is a Social Security disability attorney practicing in Southern California. Attorney Driscoll can help you work through the often-complicated process of applying for disability benefits. Please contact us today to learn more about how the Driscoll Law Corporation can help advocate for you or a loved one.