Social Security, Unemployment & Other Benefit Overpayments & Bankruptcy

It's a common scenario: You receive Social Security, Unemployment or another government benefit — it's money you need and you spend it. Later, you receive a notice that you were, in fact, not entitled to that money, and you owe the government the amount you were overpaid.

For many people already facing financial hardship, it may be impossible to pay that money back. If you find yourself in this situation, the attorneys at Ledford, Wu & Borges, LLC can help you explore your options, including bankruptcy. We are experienced lawyers dedicated to helping you achieve your debt relief goals.

Is filing bankruptcy right for you? Contact a Chicago bankruptcy attorney by e-mail or call 312-574-3327 for a free consultation at any of our seven office locations. We can help you eliminate your debt.

Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyers

The good news about government benefit overpayment debt is that it generally can be discharged in bankruptcy. The main exception would be if there was fraud or intentional deceit involved. Timing is critical here. Usually, once the agency makes a determination of overpayment, they will begin an administrative process to determine if there was fraud involved. Filing for bankruptcy before that process completes makes it much more likely that the debt will be discharged in the bankruptcy.

Otherwise, as long as you qualify for bankruptcy, debts can be discharged from overpayments from the following government benefits:

  • Social Security Disability insurance
  • Supplemental security income
  • Unemployment insurance

It is important to remember that the program you receive assistance from may be able to recoup the overpayment from your ongoing benefit checks, so filing sooner is usually most beneficial.

Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop them from garnishing your wages, freezing your bank account and taking other creditor actions against you. Bankruptcy can also help you discharge or mange your other debts so that your financial burden is lessened significantly.

Contact Us Today

Contact our offices online or call 312-574-3327 to find out if filing for bankruptcy is right for you. Our experienced Illinois bankruptcy lawyers are ready to help.

Ledford, Wu & Borges, LLC has offices in Downtown Chicago, the South Side of Chicago, Homewood, North Riverside/Berwyn, the Northwest Side and the Southeast Side.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.