SSDI Improper Payments Highlight Need for Reform

A new report by the Government Accountability Office has reported what most taxpayers already suspected, that the Social Security Disability Insurance Program is rife with waste fraud and abuse. The Huffington Post reported, “Social Security made $1.3 billion in potentially improper disability payments to people who had jobs when they were supposed to be unable to work, congressional investigators said in a report Friday. The Government Accountability Office estimated that 36,000 workers got improper payments from December 2010 to January 2013.”

According to the report the scale of the overpayements have grown over time. Overpayments have gone from $860 million in 2011 to $1.4 billion in 2010.

The report gave one example in which a person started to receive benefits in 2006. The day after the individual started to receive benefits he also started to work. The beneficiary did not report his earnings to the Social Security Administration. By December 2011 the Social Security Administration suspected an overpayment and suspended payment of his benefits. At this point the Social Security Administration had overpaid the individual $57,000. The individual applied for an was granted benefits in 2013 and will have $75 withheld from his benefits to recoup the overpayment. This will take 63 years of payments to recoup the overpayment.

This report highlights an urgent need for reforming the way SSDI benefits are awarded.

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