Aug 4, 2015

Waiver Disparities

     It's not unusual for a Social Security recipient to become overpaid. Often this happens because of a mistake made by the Social Security Administration. Overpaid claimants who were not at fault AND who don't have the funds to repay can ask for waiver of the overpayment. Also, if the claimant asks, overpayments under $1,000 are waived almost automatically for the sake of administrative convenience, although the field offices aren't supposed to volunteer this information to claimants. Social Security's Office of Inspector General (OIG) has done a study of field office action on overpayment waiver requests. It turns out that a high percentage of waiver requests are granted but that there are major disparities between field offices. See the charts below. I'd hazard a guess that some offices are volunteering information about administrative waivers. Is that really a wrong thing to do? Why should this be hush-hush?


Anonymous said...

I think it has to do with the office culture. Some offices just don't like to waive overpayments and others lean in the other direction. Since SSI waivers over $2000 require a supervisor's approval, if you have a supervisor who doesn't like to waive overpayments this will reduce waivers too.

Anonymous said...

Any overpayment is a cost to tax payers. Most times it is the fault of the claimant and should be paid back. To take advantage of a system that is already in jeopardy is criminal. Look at teh number of cessations where the claimant decides to continue to receive benefits and then does not go to Consultative Exams when shceduled and tries to drag out the process as long as possible to continue to recieve benefits.

Anonymous said...

Administrative waivers still require the same proof: without fault and inability to repay. Although it's required, anything under $1000 can be waived without any additional assistance. Also, if SSI is the only source of income, inability to repay is established because they get a "needs based benefit". That's not the case to Social Security Benefits.