A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Teesside Crown Court will decide how much more the 63-year-old must hand back now that a pension has matured.
It was the same court where the ex-teacher and former prison officer was jailed with his wife Anne in 2008 for fraud.
A judge has previously ordered he should repay £679,073 but the divorced Darwin, now living in Seaton Carew and claiming benefits, has only been able to hand back £122.
Anne Darwin, now split from her husband, has repaid more than £500,000 under a separate Proceeds of Crime order.
John Darwin was reported missing in a canoe in the North Sea in March 2002.
His wife collected more than £500,000 in life insurance payouts while he hid in their home, leaving their two sons to believe he was dead.
In December 2007, Darwin walked into a London police station claiming he had amnesia, and was reunited with his sons who were stunned to hear he was alive.
His wife, who had fled with him to Panama, pretended to be shocked until a photograph emerged of them posing together after his supposed death.
She was later jailed for six and a half-years for fraud and money-laundering.