Social Security Ramps Up Disability Overpayment Efforts
The Social Security Administration (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. During the 2022 fiscal year, the agency clawed back $4.7 billion of overpayments, while another $21.6 billion remained outstanding, according to a report by SSA’s inspector general. One consequence is a costly collection effort for the government and a potentially devastating ordeal for the beneficiary. “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. The Social Security Administration declined an interview request from KFF Health News and Cox Media Group and would field questions only submitted by email.