Recently, the results of a 10-year study related to the payment of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits was released to the public. This study was conducted by the Social Security Administration’s inspector general, which essentially functions as a federal government watchdog. According to the study’s findings, the Social Security Administration has overpaid SSDI benefits by approximately $17 billion over the past ten years.
This news is staggering. And unfortunately, it may spell trouble for the SSA at a time when it needs all the legislative and public support it can muster. As we have previously discussed, the SSDI program is at risk of being underfunded unless relatively swift action is taken by Congress. However, if lawmakers and the public fixate on the overpayment scandal, the real needs of SSDI recipients could potentially be lost in the shuffle.
The overpayments were generally handed out to individuals who earned more money than the qualifying ceiling allows. Additionally, many individuals continued to receive benefits even though they were no longer legally disabled. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney if you believe that you no longer qualify for your benefits due to either lack of disability or an “excess” of income. Your case may come under heightened scrutiny in the wake of this scandal, depending on how the SSA and lawmakers respond to it.
If you have any questions at all, please speak up. The recent report indicates that nearly half of all SSDI recipients in the last decade were overpaid, so chances are that you may be among them.
Source: Boston Herald, “Report: Social Security overpaid disability benefits by $17B,” Associated Press, June 5, 2015