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Participant Information

Understanding SSA Notices, Appeals, and Waivers

As a POD participant, you may receive a notice from SSA that explains certain actions taken on your benefit payments. The four main types of notices that you may receive are:

  1. Monthly benefit adjustment. Notices are sent from SSA to POD participants whenever a monthly benefit payment differs from the amount the participant received the previous month.
  2. End of Year Reconciliation (EOYR). SSA runs an automated End of Year Reconciliation (EOYR) process, typically in August for the year prior to the current year. EOYR notices are generated for participants whenever the annual reconciliation of earnings show that too much or too little were paid in benefits for the prior year.
  3. Benefit Rate Increase. SSA runs a Benefit Rate Increase (BRI) process late in the calendar year any year in which there is a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for all Social Security programs. SSA sends notices to participants whenever a monthly benefit payment amount is adjusted due to the BRI.
  4. Termination. SSA sends notices to POD participants if they are exiting POD early due to the outcome of a medical CDR finding that they are no longer disabled or if they are in the “New POD Rules Group 2” and their benefits are fully offset for 12 consecutive months due to work.

Overpayments and underpayments will be identified in the Monthly Benefit Adjustment or EOYR notices sent to participants.

If you receive a notice from SSA, your POD work incentives counselor can explain what the notice means and the next steps available to you.

As a POD participant, you may submit a reconsideration request to formally appeal an SSA decision. For example, if you claimed $1,000 in Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWEs) for March 2018 but SSA only approves $850, you may wish to appeal SSA‘s decision.

There are two types of reconsideration requests under POD:

  • Reconsiderations of Monthly Decisions
  • Reconsiderations of End of Year Reconciliation (EOYR) Decisions

Depending on when the SSA decision was made and when you wish to file the appeal, your POD work incentives counselor can help you file the appropriate reconsideration request.

If SSA determines that you have been issued an overpayment (i.e., paid too much in benefits) and you agree with SSA’s decision, you must repay the overpaid amount owed to SSA. SSA may withhold your benefits checks until the overpayment amount is paid back to SSA.

If the overpayment amount is more than you are able to pay back all at once, you have two options:

  • File a waiver request if you need to request relief from the amount you owe SSA; or
  • File a repayment plan request if you cannot afford your “ordinary and necessary living expense” if SSA withholds your entire SSDI check until your overpayment has been recouped.

You need to file waiver requests and repayment plan requests with your local SSA field office. Your POD work incentives counselor can help you with this process.

If you disagree with SSA’s decision on a reconsideration or waiver request, the next step in the appeals process is to request a hearing with an administrative law judge. You should contact your local SSA field office to schedule a hearing request. Your POD work incentives counselor can help you with this process.