Social Security Overpaid Billions of Dollars and is Now Clawing it Back

Social Security Overpaid Billions of Dollars and is Now Clawing it Back

Category: Social Security

Clerical errors occur from time to time at any business but this one may take the cake. Social Security apparently overpaid over $26B and is now clawing it back. According to the administration, they have been successful in getting about $4.7B returned. 

Of course the major issue with these clawbacks is that many recipients of social security are on a very tight budget. They adjust their lifestyle to the amount they receive every month. Many of these folks probably assumed the payment increase was due to help with the massive inflation and cost of living the country has faced since 2021. To their horror, they have to now come up with hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to return to the government.

“We have an overpayment crisis on our hands,” said Rebecca Vallas, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation think tank. “Overpayments push already struggling beneficiaries even deeper into poverty and hardship, which is directly counterproductive to the goals” of safety-net programs.”

A man named Jack Smalligan, who works for the Urban Institute, says that millions of people have already received notices that they have been overpaid. He agrees that many of these people are on social security and disability and simply cannot afford to repay the money.

Complex Situation

Who exactly is to blame for these overpayments? The administration said that $265M of overpayments in 2022 were their fault. They blamed the remainder on several factors including people failing to report or the reporting of false information. 

The agency has publicly stated “We understand getting notice of an overpayment may be unsettling or unclear and we work with people to navigate the overpayment process.”. They also stated that because the agency issues over $1.2T in payments annually that “even small error rates add up to substantial improper payment amounts.”

According to the agency’s most recent annual financial report, overpayments accounted for more than 7% of that program’s expenditures in the fiscal year 2021.

Share This:

Recent Posts