According to the Associated Press, the Social Security Administration is giving a tax respite again this year. That is, those individuals who owe on old debts to the Social Security Administration will not have their tax refunds seized to repay those debts.
The federal government, since 2008, has allowed for certain federal agencies, such as the SSA, to seize federal payments, like federal tax returns, to pay off citizens’ debts that are more than ten years old. Previously, these agencies were not allowed to seek repayment for debts older than ten years. For more information, the Washington Post first discussed this in a story last year.
Where does the government have the ability to go past this ten year statute of limitations? Surprisingly, it’s the elimination of the statute of limitations in the “Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.” The relevant federal statute now has no limitation on the period an “offset” may be initiated. To offset the debt, the head of the federal agency, prior to collection, must:
- Provide written notice to the debtor of the type and amount of the debt, the agency’s intention to claim the amount, and an explanation of the debtor’s rights;
- Provide an opportunity for the debtor to inspect and copy records from the specified agency; and
- Provide the debtor an opportunity to make a written agreement with the head of the agency regarding repayment of the debt.
According to AP, the acting Social Security Commissioner suspended collection of any of the debts last year, and the agency is doing so this year as well. AP states that SSA officials want to “explore possible changes.” However, just because the program has been suspended does not mean the debts will go away.
The Team here at McDivitt Law Firm specializes in social security disability. If you are struggling with a degenerative illness or serious injury and are no longer working, you may be entitled to social security disability. Contact us today so we may increase your success in obtaining benefits for social security.