By BARBARA JENSEN

Executive Director

Senior Center of Finney County

What should you do if Social Security pays you too much? This may seem like a strange question as most people worry about not having enough money. Yet, if you receive monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, an overpayment can occur for many reasons, including work or another benefit that requires a reduction in your payment. Check out this advice from Dan Hung, Social Security district manager from Manhattan.

If Social Security does pay you too much, you will receive an overpayment notice in the mail. The notice will explain why you were overpaid, your repayment options and your appeal and waiver rights. You should read the notice carefully.

If you agree with the overpayment decision, you have options for repaying it. Social Security can withhold your overpayment from your monthly benefit payments or withhold a portion until the money is paid back. If you no longer receive benefits, you can send a check to Social Security for the entire amount or set up a plan to pay back the amount in monthly installments.

If you have not been receiving benefits, and you do not pay the amount back, Social Security can recover the overpayment from your federal income tax refund, from your wages if you are working, or from future SSI or Social Security benefits. If you do not make an effort to repay the amount due, Social Security may report the delinquency to credit bureaus.

If you believe that the overpayment decision is wrong and you should not have to repay it, you have the right to appeal the decision or request a waiver of recovery.

If you believe you were not overpaid or the amount of the overpayment is wrong, you can file an appeal within 60 days of receiving the overpayment notice.

If you agree that the overpayment is correct, but you believe it was not your fault and paying it back would cause you financial hardship or be unfair, then you can request a waiver of recovery.

Whether you submit an appeal or waiver request, all recovery would be suspended until a formal decision is sent to you.

It also is important to know that Social Security will not take action to begin collecting on an overpayment without first notifying you and giving you the chance to appeal the decision. It's also good to know that no matter how long it takes to pay back an overpayment, Social Security never charges interest on the money owed.

Updating list

The Senior Center is in the process of updating our list of persons age 55 and older in Finney County. Are you new to the community and want to be counted? Give us a call at 272-3620. Have you changed your address in the past year or two? Give us a call. Do you want to receive our bi-monthly newsletter featuring activities at the Senior Center? Give us a call. We are here to help you.

What happened to the flu shots?

Generally, the Senior Center will host a Health Fair in October in cooperation with St. Catherine Hospital and Finney County Health Department. The traditional flu vaccine was available as well as a variety of lab procedures. This year, the Health Fair did not take place as the flu vaccine was not available or in very short supply.

Finney County Health Department has a small quantity of traditional flu vaccine available. This is not to be confused with the H1N1 vaccine which also is available. There is a $22 cost for the traditional flu vaccine. If you have Medicare, it should cover this cost. The H1N1 is provided at no cost.

If you need to obtain either vaccination, you can walk in at the Finney County Health Department, 919 Zerr Road, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Fridays. You can get both vaccinations at the same time. Be aware, if you are running a fever or have had a fever within the past 24 hours, you will need to wait to obtain your shots.

Scheduled activities

Thursday: TOPS Club meets at 8:30 a.m. The art class meets at 10 a.m. Ambassador Singers meet at 1 p.m.

Friday: Line dancing begins at 8:30 a.m. STEPS exercises are at 10 a.m. The health nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be available from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge is played at 12:45 p.m.

Saturday: The pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday: Duplicate Bridge Club meets at 2 p.m.

Monday: Stretching exercises are at 8:30 a.m. STEPS starts at 10 a.m. The Humdinger Band will practice at 12:30 p.m. The UpBeats will practice at 3 p.m. Double pinochle is played at 12:45 p.m. The Transit Committee will meet at 2 p.m. in the Transit Building. Monday is the deadline to order Prairie Land Food boxes.

Tuesday: Pitch is played at 12:45 p.m. The Finney County Senior Citizens Association Board will meet at 2 p.m., followed by the Finney County Committee on Aging at 3:30 p.m. Open Pool is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Jan. 20: Line dancing starts at 8:30 a.m. STEPS begins at 10 a.m. Kansas Legal Services will have an attorney available beginning at 10 a.m. Call 272-3620 for an appointment. Finney County Public Library will have a representative in the building at 11 a.m. with a wide range of books, tapes and movies available for rent. Completely Unraveled meets at 1 p.m. The dance will feature "The Blue Notes" ($4 per person recommended donation). Bring finger food for the break.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Baked ham, sweet potatoes, winter veggies with cheese sauce, pudding, wheat bread.

Friday: Salisbury steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, pears and carrots, lime gelatin, wheat roll.

Monday: Chicken tetrazzini, sweet potatoes, green beans, citrus fruit, wheat roll.

Tuesday: Chuckwagon steak, potato wedge, tossed salad, apple crisp, wheat roll.

Jan. 20: Ham and beans or beef stew, corn bread, peaches, brownies.