Waste Of The Day: Social Security Overpaid $26.3 Billion, Asks Retirees For Money Back

average american wages inflation
"Money Currency Photo" by Andrew Pons is marked with CC0 1.0.

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearWire

The Social Security Administration has made billions in overpayments in recent years, with the total balance standing at $26.3 billion at the end of fiscal year 2021, according to an Inspector General’s report. Now, the SSA is sending bills to retirees in an effort to recoup their overpayments.

The report found at the end of fiscal year 2021, the SSA had recovered $4.7 billion in overpayments, but still had $21.6 billion in unrecovered overpayments.

While the administration maintains that these figures are not as bad as they sound, given the over $1 trillion in benefits payments it distributes annually, the inspector general found that 73,000 overpayments costing $368 million resulted from a lack of effective controls over benefit-computation accuracy.

Now, the SSA is on a mission to reclaim the overpayments. KFF Health News recently reported , “The SSA is trying to reclaim billions of dollars from many of the nation’s poorest and most vulnerable — payments it sent them but now says they never should have received.”

Related: Waste Of The Day: Federal Agencies Spent $3.3 Billion On Office Furniture While Employees Worked From Home

Rebecca Vallas, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation think tank, told KFF, “Overpayments push already struggling beneficiaries even deeper into poverty and hardship, which is directly counterproductive to the goals” of safety-net programs.

The SSA is also not being transparent about its overpayments, denying a Freedom of Information Act request for documentation of every overpayment notice it has sent over several years.

These overpayments have cost taxpayers billions and wreak havoc on retirees who receive collection notices for funds they have already spent through no fault of their own. The SSA needs to be held accountable and quickly stop overpaying.

Read Next: CBO Projects Social Security Funds to be Exhausted by 2033 Without Changes

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

RealClearWire features the latest op-eds from political insiders and nationally known voices about the most important topics of the... More about RealClearWire

Mentioned in this article::