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I have received a letter from the Social Security Administration, and I have met with an agent at a Social Security office. 1/3 of my pension seems very high, and returning 3 years of that would be over $11,000.

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The reason they are doing this is the key factor. They must have decided they made a mistake in granting the pension, but you need to figure out the reasons. If you don't think it's fair, you can contact an attorney who specializes in Social Security issues - there should be several in your phone book. You may need to schedule an appointment, but it could be worth your while.
Good luck,
Carol
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Why would that do that? What was the reason.....?
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Carol is spot-on.
You really need to get an attorney who does SSA issues.

Dealing with the feds have very tight & specific timeframes. It's not especially complicated BUT how it's done has to be interlocked and most laypeople need someone - like an attorney who does SSA disability applications - who does this often to do it properly. One day over and you're toast.

Are you getting another pension? Or did your spouse get a pension? That usually is what triggers a change of your SS. This can take a while if the pension is not federal civilservice or a railroad retirement (these dovetail into the federal system, so SSA knows about these automatically) or the pension was being paid into your spouse's account or name.

My first thought is that the other pension was from a job in which SS was not paid into. Because of this, there is something called the "Government Pension Offset". So eventually when that pension surfaces in the system, your SS will need to be reduce to offset the other pension that did NOT pay into the SSA system. It can go back years. There is a whole complicated formula in how SSA figures out the amount - it will drive you crazy to do this on your own.

You probably can't get around it BUT you probably can get it reduced so that it stretches out over a longer period of time so you aren't in poverty. This is what the attorney can do for you. Hard to do on your own. Good luck.
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