Social Security Overpaid $6.5 Billion in 2009

On Tuesday a government investigator told Congress that the Social Security Administration made $8 billion in improper payments in 2009—overpaying $6.5 billion and underpaying $1.5 billion to benefit recipients. The Associated Press reports that the largest chunk of these benefits—$4 billion—went to Supplemental Security Income recipients.

The agency’s Inspector General Patrick P. O’Caroll Jr., told Congress that about 10 percent of the payments made through the SSI program were incorrect. He attributes this largely to people who didn’t report all of their assets. He found far fewer errors in pay-outs to retirees and the disabled. In fact, the agency reports a 99.5 percent accuracy rate on its retirement and disability payments in 2009.

“By any standard, the scope of these problems is considerable,” said Rep. Charles Boustany, who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee. “Regardless of whether a payment occurs because of simple error or outright fraud, improper payments harm Social Security programs in the long term, jeopardizing benefits for those who may need them in the future. They also cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year.”

At a joint hearing held yesterday by the two Ways and Means subcommittees, SSA Deputy Commissioner Carolyn Colvin said that the agency pays nearly 60 million Americans and that it’s committed to protecting program dollars.

Read more.

Do you think you were one of the millions of people who either received too many benefits or not enough?

If you need help with your Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

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