U.S. Social Security Makes Announcement On Overpayments

Social Security announces four key updates to address inadequate payments

Author: US Social Security Administration
Published: 2024/03/21
Post type: Announcement, Notification
Content: SummaryMajor – Related Posts

Synopsis: The Commissioner of Social Security announced that he is taking steps to immediately address the overpayment issues that SSA clients and the agency have experienced. Social Security launched a comprehensive review in October 2023 of the agency’s overpayment policies and procedures to systematically address payment accuracy. The agency will continue to examine programmatic policy and make regulatory and subregulatory changes to improve the overpayment process.

Main summary

Social Security Commissioner Martin O’Malley has announced that he is taking four vital steps to immediately address the overpayment issues that customers and the agency have experienced. Commissioner O’Malley testified before the US Senate Special Committee on Aging and the US Senate Finance Committee (excerpt):

“For 88 years, the hardworking employees of the Social Security Administration have strived to pay the right amount, to the right person, at the right time. And the agency has done so with a high degree of precision on a massive scale of beneficiaries, but despite our best efforts, we sometimes make mistakes and pay beneficiaries more than their fair share, resulting in an overpayment.

When that happens, Congress requires that we make every effort to recover those overpaid benefits. But doing so without taking into account the broader purpose of the program can result in serious injustices for people, as we see in the stories of people who lose their homes or find themselves in dire financial straits when they suddenly see their income cut off. benefits to recover decades. – Former beneficiaries with overpayments or disabilities who try to work and see their efforts rewarded with large overpayments. Innocent people can be seriously injured. And these injustices impact our shared sense of fairness and good conscience as Americans.

We are continually improving how we serve the millions of people who depend on our programs, although we have room for improvement, as media reports revealed last fall. We have also embarked on a deep dive into the scope of the problem of overpayments in Social Security, the root causes of these administrative errors, and the steps we can take as an agency to address these individual injustices.

Our deeper understanding of the complexities of this issue has led us to the following course of action:

  • Starting next Monday, March 25, we will end the harsh practice of defaulting to intercepting 100 percent of an overpaid beneficiary’s monthly Social Security benefit if they do not respond to our demand for reimbursement. Going forward, we will now use a much more reasonable default withholding rate of 10 percent of monthly benefits, similar to the current rate in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
  • We will rethink our guidelines and procedures so that the burden of proof shifts from the claimant to determine whether there is any evidence that the claimant was at fault in causing the overpayment.
  • For the vast majority of beneficiaries who request to develop a payment plan, we recently changed our policy to approve payment plans of up to 60 months. To qualify, Social Security beneficiaries would only need to provide a verbal summary of their income, resources, and expenses, and means-tested SSI beneficiaries would not need to provide even this summary. This change extended this easier payment option by two additional years (from 36 to 60 months).
  • And finally, we will make it much easier for beneficiaries who have overpaid to request a payment waiver, should they believe they were through no fault of their own and/or do not have the ability to pay.

Implementing these policy changes (with appropriate education and training among agency people, policies, and systems) is an important but complex change. And we are undertaking that change with urgency, diligence and speed.

“I look forward to working with Members to discuss ideas that could address the root causes of overpayments.”

Social Security launched a comprehensive review in October 2023 of the agency’s overpayment policies and procedures to systematically address payment accuracy. These changes are a direct result of the ongoing review. Additionally, the agency recently announced that it is working to reduce wage-related improper payments by using its legal authority to establish information exchanges with payroll data providers that will significantly reduce the number of improper payments, once implemented. The agency will continue to examine programmatic policy and make regulatory and subregulatory changes to improve the overpayment process. More details on these updates will be shared as they become available.

Attribution/Source(s):

This quality-reviewed publication from our US Social Security section was selected for circulation by the editors of Disabled World because of its likely interest to our readers in the disability community. Although content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length, the article “US Social Security makes announcement about overpayments” was originally written by the US Social Security Administration and submitted for publication on 03/21/2024. If you need further information or clarification, you may contact the U.S. Social Security Administration at ssa.gov website. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

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Cite this page (APA): US Social Security Administration (2024, March 21). US Social Security makes an announcement about overpayments. Disabled world. Retrieved March 22, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/social-security/usa/overpaids.php

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