Thanks to the settlement decision of a court case that was resolved in January this year up to two million Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries who were recorded as having had overpayments now won’t have to pay the money back.

The decision determined that anyone who had an overpayment during the official National Emergency Period, which ran from March 2020 to April 2023, can use the circumstances of the pandemic as a reason as to why the overpayment was incurred and can expect a waiver if that reason is deemed to be valid.

The edict from SSA on the matter cites a few examples of situations that they should consider when determining if a waiver should be granted. Those include cases where you couldn’t get to the SSA office, or you couldn’t get out to mail anything; you or your family members were seriously ill from Covid; or you had to stay home because of government-related rules at that time. Whatever the case, if you feel your overpayment had Covid-related causes you should record them in your waiver request and let the SSA workers determine if it’s a sufficiently good cause.

It would also appear from the new ruling that any overpayments incurred from March 2020 to September 2020, when SSA was effectively closed down, will be waived without the need for a request. SSA are also obliged to look into any cases where you paid off the overpayment for that period, and they may well have to repay you that money.

Don’t expect this all to happen straight away; such is the magnitude of the task in hand for the agency, they’ve given themselves until June 2025 to get things sorted out.