Last month it was revealed that the Social Security Administration overpaid approximately $5.4 billion in benefits to disabled workers in 2009; this week the United States Government Accountability Office indicated that the agency is having a difficult time recovering much of the money it overpaid in 2009, 2010, and in previous years.
The report found the following: “While the agency collected, or recovered, $839 million in overpayments in fiscal year 2010, monies still owed by beneficiaries grew by $225 million that same year, and cumulative DI overpayment debt reached $5.4 billion.”
These overpayments are most often the result of the agency not having timely information about beneficiaries’ earnings. Many people who have returned to work may no longer qualify for disability payments but fail to report their income and continue receiving monthly checks.
In an article out this week, The Center for Public Integrity says that the SSA doesn’t have a solid enough system for monitoring changes in beneficiaries’ incomes, instead relying on an annual report from the Internal Revenue Service.
“We use many tools to assist us in collecting overpayments—benefit withholding, repayment arrangements, and external collection agencies,” an SSA official wrote in response to the report. “We pursue other options to prevent overpayments from occurring … We are also pursuing legislative changes.”
Do you think the SSA needs to do a better job keeping tabs on the changing incomes of its beneficiaries?
If you need help with your Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.