Thursday, June 16, 2011

SSI overpayments totaled $6.5 billion in 2009

Govt. paid $125 billion to those who did not qualify during 2009

Washington – According to Social Security's Inspector General, about 10% of payments made under the administration's Social Supplemental Income program were improper during 2009.

Of $6.5 billion paid to those who were not qualified for the program, about $4 billion went to those who applied for supplemental income for the very poor, said Patrick P. O'Carrol, Jr., in testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Oversight Committee.

“By any standard, the scope of these problems is considerable,” said Chairman Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La.

The rate of error in the retirement and disability programs were much smaller, according to the Inspector General.

Mr. O'Carroll estimated that improper payments made to fraudulent claimants or paid simply in error totaled $125 billion throughout the government in 2010 – up from $110 billion in 2009 - during which time the Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor made more payments in error than the Social Security Administration.

Part of an investigation ordered by President Barack Obama, the inquiry points out that “Regardless of whether a payment occurs because of simple error or outright fraud, improper payments harm Social Security programs in the long term, jeopardizing benefits for those who may need them in the future. They also cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year,” said Rep. Boustany.

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