The Social Security Administration is making major changes amid backlash to its heavy-handed efforts to claw back billions in overpayments from beneficiaries including those with disabilities.

Social Security Commissioner Martin O’Malley said this week that the agency will give people more time to pay back money that they mistakenly received and will make it easier to request that debts be waived.

“Despite our best efforts, we sometimes get it wrong and pay beneficiaries more than they are due, creating an overpayment,” O’Malley said. “When that happens, Congress requires that we make every effort to recover those overpaid benefits. But doing so without regard to the larger purpose of the program can result in grave injustices to individuals.”

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The changes at Social Security come after an investigation by KFF Health News and Cox Media Group television stations detailed numerous cases where the agency demanded that beneficiaries, including those with developmental disabilities, repay money that they shouldn’t have received, sometimes in as little as 30 days.

Most overpayments involve the Supplemental Security Income program and they can be the result of a mistake made by the Social Security Administration or due to failures on the part of beneficiaries to comply with the agency’s complex requirements, the investigation found. In some cases, the overpayments go unnoticed for years ballooning to tens of thousands of dollars before Social Security seeks repayment from beneficiaries, many of whom are just scraping by to begin with.

Starting next week, Social Security will halt its practice of withholding 100% of a person’s monthly benefits if they fail to respond to a demand for repayment, instead capping such withholding at 10%, O’Malley said. The agency will also update its guidance and procedures to shift the burden of proof away from beneficiaries in determining whether they were at fault for the overpayment.

Meanwhile, O’Malley said Social Security recently adjusted its policy to approve repayment plans of up to 60 months, two years longer than before. And, the agency plans to make it “much easier” for beneficiaries to request a waiver of repayment in cases where they believe they were not at fault or do not have the ability to repay the money.

More broadly, O’Malley, who took the reins at Social Security in December, said he’s working to prevent overpayments from occurring.

“We have also embarked upon a deep dive into the extent of the overpayment problem at Social Security, the root causes of these administrative errors, and the steps we can take as an agency to address these individual injustices,” O’Malley said.

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