Social Security’s Overpayment Problem to get Congressional Attention -

The much-publicized effort by the Social Security Administration to recover more than $26 billion in payments mistakenly made to beneficiaries will be subjected to a hearing by the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee this week, according to a post. Before the “clawback” push gained prominence in recent weeks, nearly $5 billion had been recovered, leaving $21 billion yet to be taken back from recipients. The GoBankingRates post notes that many of the recipients are elderly, poor, or disabled, adding to the gravity of this situation and ambiguities regarding the disposition of the alleged overpayments.

The Social Security Subcommittee schedule for this week shows a session titled “Social Security Subcommittee Hearing on Protecting Beneficiaries from the Harm of Improper Payments” planned for Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at 2:00 PM in the Sam Johnson Room, 2020 Rayburn House Office Building. Rep. Mike Carey (R-Ohio), the No. 2 Republican on a House panel that oversees Social Security, expressed this sentiment in advance of the hearing, “The general sense from members is we do have a problem, we’ve got to address it, we’ve got to fix it.” To be sure, the matter is somewhat of a dichotomy, given Social Security’s already precarious financial position. The hearing will likely focus on the reasons why the overpayments happened, as well as how oversight failed to flag the problem before reaching the $26 billion level.

Overpayments can result from a variety of situations, including misunderstanding of the rules associated with Social Security’s confusing earnings tests for claimants drawing benefits before full retirement age, simple errors in the calculation of benefit amounts, or confusion on pensions from employment in jobs not covered by Social Security. In any event, seniors receiving demand letters are advised to seek a full explanation of the circumstances associated with the overpayment and, if they are not in agreement with the explanation, file a “Request for Reconsideration” with SSA.

More to come on this issue, certainly. In the meantime. check out the GoBankingRates post here.

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