I received an overpayment and now owe the SSA money. How is this fair?

Published: August 25, 2022

Full question: (I am an American citizen) Is it fair that I paid into Social Security and obeyed the rules while working in the USA until I came to Portugal and began working here where I then paid into Social Security here and obeyed all the rules? My pension original pension from the states was only $860 and my foreign pension was $949. Because of the WEP my US pension was cut by 50%. Then due to overpayments that were made, now I have to pay back for the next 36 months and my US pension is now only $261 per month. How is this in any way fair when you obey all the rules and you get penalized for it? On top of all this, my wife is retired as a result of breast cancer treatments and unemployment prolonged unemployment. We still have a son living at home going to college and our monthly expenses are over $1400 per month.

Hi there,

We are sorry to hear about your situation and frustration.

Unfortunately, we are unable to say whether the Social Security rules are fair or not because it is out of our hands. All we are able to do is help clients strategically plan for their Social Security income. There are talks of new legislation on certain rules changes, but there is nothing concrete yet. Again, we are sorry to hear about your situation.

If you would like personalized advice you can work with an RSSA, a professional who can ensure you are getting all the money have earned and are entitled to.

Best of luck,

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