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March 29, 2024Advocacy Matters

Social Security Implements Reforms to Addresses Overpayment Issues

Social Security Implements Reforms to Addresses Overpayment Issues

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender

Tuesday, May 26, 2024

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Social Security Implements Reforms to Addresses Overpayment Issues

In response to increasing concerns over overpayment issues within the social security system, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a series of reforms aimed at improving accuracy and efficiency in benefit distribution. Some reforms started to be implemented as soon as this past Monday, March 25.

Overpayments occur when individuals receive more benefits than they are entitled to, often due to errors in reporting income, changes in living arrangements, or misinformation gathered by the Social Security Administration.  These overpayments can result in financial hardship for the beneficiaries and strain the integrity of the social security program.

One of the key reforms being implemented by the SSA is to end the heavy-handed practice of withholding 100 percent of the overpayment from the beneficiary’s monthly check. Moving forward, SSA will now withhold only 10 percent of monthly benefits to fix an overpayment.

SSA is making it easier for beneficiaries to request a waiver of repayment if they believe they were not at fault or cannot repay.

Additionally, SSA is rolling out improved communication strategies to educate beneficiaries on their reporting responsibilities and the consequences of failing to report changes accurately.  SSA hopes to empower individuals to take an active role in preventing overpayments.

Finally, SSA is streamlining its internal process to expedite the resolution of overpayment cases.  By implementing more efficient workflows, and leveraging automation, the administration aims to reduce the time and resources required to address overpayment issues.

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The changes were announced during a hearing in front of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging and Committee on Finance.  By taking proactive steps to address overpayment issues, the SSA is demonstrating its commitment to ensure the long-term sustainability and effectiveness of the social security program.  The steps taken by the new Commissioner of SSA, Martin O’Malley, signal a positive step towards enhancing the integrity and efficiency of the system.

Visit www.disabilityrightspa.org to read more about these changes and to communicate directly with Commissioner O’Malley on these changes.

Links

SSA Press Release

https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/releases/2024/?utm_content=pressrelease&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery#3-2024-3

Learn About Overpayments

https://blog.ssa.gov/learn-about-overpayments-and-our-process/

Contact SSA

https://secure.ssa.gov/emailus/