Oct 29, 2013

More On Social Security Overpayments

     Another CNN Money piece on Social Security overpayments:
The Social Security Administration is overpaying big sums of money to disability beneficiaries -- and lawyers, consumer advocates and watchdogs say the agency's own missteps are to blame.
Long after notifying Social Security that they have either started working again or earn too much income to qualify for benefits, some disability recipients continue to receive payments for months or even years. It's not until a notice from Social Security shows up that they discover they now owe tens of thousands of dollars to the agency due to these overpayments.  ...
The Government Accountability Office [GAO], which oversees the Social Security Administration, says that budget constraints and huge backlogs of people applying for disability have delayed the reviews of income information that alert the agency to remove beneficiaries who no longer qualify. As a result, the Social Security Administration has made $1.3 billion in overpayments in just two years, according to a recent GAO audit....
We think that they need to devote more resources to this," said Steve Lord, director of forensic audits and investigative services at the GAO. "Right now getting people off the [disability] rolls is secondary -- they have to balance their resources between getting people off the rolls and getting people on the rolls." 

While the Social Security Administration said its accuracy rate is nearly perfect, it acknowledges that funding has been an issue. The agency said it has lost more than 11,000 employees since 2011. At the same time, its workload has been increasing as baby boomers near retirement and enter "their disability prone years," a spokeswoman said.
"[O]ur administrative budget has been significantly reduced, resulting in three straight years of funding levels nearly a billion dollars below the President's budget requests," a spokeswoman said. "We have had to prioritize our workloads given our limited budget and resources."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too few staff, overly complex rules, misplaced priorities, political correctness, vulnerability to 'interest groups' (and individuals), to few resources dedicated to investigation, emphasis on 'intake' and clearance over quality. . . The list could go on. . . . :-(