Social Security Overpayment Errors Worth $11B Prompt Major Debt Worries For Millions Of Recipients – One America News Network

The logo of the US Social Security Administration is seen outside a Social Security building, November 5, 2020, in Burbank, California. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
1:51 PM – Friday, March 1, 2024

In a letter on Thursday, Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow asked the Social Security Administration (SSA) to take aggressive measures against its overpayment errors.


The senators noted that millions of recipients, especially the elderly and the disabled, could face financial hardship as a result of the overpayment issues, which can take years to identify. Overpaid recipients are typically expected to reimburse the cash.

“We have heard from numerous Michiganders regarding the impact unexpected overpayments that were sent by the SSA have caused on some of the most vulnerable beneficiaries of Social Security,” the senators stated. “Overpayments can pose incredibly difficult hardships on beneficiaries who’ve committed no wrongdoing and are now responsible for repaying improper payments. Because of their devastating impact, it is critical for the agency to improve its processes and controls to reduce the number of overpayments for beneficiaries who rely on these critical benefits.”

The senators claimed that the administration has acknowledged paying out at least $6 billion in overpayments every single year, with a record $11 billion in fiscal year 2022 alone.

Recipients may be responsible for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt due to the length of time it can take for errors to be discovered and inquired about.

The lawmakers asserted that although there are other potential causes of the errors, the SSA is usually responsible for the mistakes. A recipient’s benefits being calculated incorrectly or their neglecting to notify the office of a change in income are examples of errors.

It is advised that beneficiaries report issues right away if they observe any change in their payments.

There are several options for recipients handling the situation who are overpaid and find out that they owe the agency thousands of dollars. Filing for bankruptcy, establishing a repayment plan, or contesting the claim, were some of the options mentioned by the agency.

“Each person’s situation is unique, and the agency handles overpayments on a case-by-case basis,” the SSA said last year. “In particular, if a person doesn’t agree that they’ve been overpaid, or believes the amount is incorrect, they can appeal. If they believe they shouldn’t have to pay the money back, they can request that the agency waive collection of the overpayment. There’s no time limit for filing a waiver.”

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Brooke Mallory
Author: Brooke Mallory

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