Ask Larry

Why Is My Benefit Amount Going Down And What Can I Do To Appeal?

I have been collecting Social Security for 10 years. My husband has been collecting for 2 years. He just received word that his benefit amount is increasing by $20 a month and that mine is decreasing by $820 a month! Why and what can I do to appeal this?

Hi. I have no way of knowing why your benefit rate might be decreasing. If it's just a temporary change then it may be due to an overpayment, but if it's a permanent rate change then it would have to be something else. If you've received a written notice about the change then it should explain why your benefit is being reduced.

You can almost certainly appeal Social Security's decision, but some actions that Social Security performs are not considered initial determinations and thus cannot be appealed. I don't have enough information to know what's happening in your case.

The notice that you should receive if your benefit rate is changing should also explain what you'd need to do to appeal the decision. If it doesn't, then you should read the following Social Security publication: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10058.pdf. You'd basically need to complete and submit a form SS-561 (https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-561.pdf) to request a reconsideration, but if you were overpaid benefits then you'd also have additional options.

Best, Jerry

Category: 
Posted: 
Oct 17 2021 - 11:33am
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