SSI May Have Overpaid $380 Million To Beneficiaries
Social Security may have overpaid in excess of $380 million to some 77,000 people receiving Supplemental Security Income, according to a government audit.
A review from the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General estimates that the agency failed to conduct so-called redeterminations for about 1.1 million beneficiaries for longer than 10 years due to budget issues.
As a result, the audit found that many people getting SSI — which serves those with disabilities — may have received benefits they shouldn’t have qualified for.
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Social Security is supposed to regularly conduct redeterminations to check for changes in non-medical qualifications for SSI, including recipients’ income, resources and living arrangements.
These evaluations are expected to occur annually in cases where changes are likely or once every six years otherwise, the inspector general’s report said.
For the investigation, the inspector general’s office sent questionnaires to a random sampling of beneficiaries whose cases had not been reviewed in at least 10 years and conducted searches to identify information about circumstances that might have changed a person’s eligibility.
Investigators found cases of overpayments due to unreported income and resources, in-kind support and other factors.
As a result of the inspector general’s report, Social Security’s Office of Quality Review is now planning a similar evaluation of 400 beneficiaries who have not had redeterminations in at least 10 years. In addition, the agency said it will explore using a system of mailed questionnaires to help more efficiently evaluate people who have not had a redetermination in six years.
Overall, SSI paid out $51.4 billion in benefits to 8.2 million people in fiscal year 2017, according to the report. During the same period, 2.6 million redeterminations were completed.
The Social Security Administration said they expect to complete 2.9 million redeterminations during this fiscal year.