Biden Administration Faces Lawmaker Scrutiny Over Social Security Overpayment Impacting Millions of Elderly and Disabled

 Biden Administration Faces Lawmaker Scrutiny Over Social Security Overpayment Impacting Millions of Elderly and Disabled

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A group of bipartisan lawmakers is voicing significant concerns over the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) unintentional overpayments to numerous older citizens, leading to unexpected demands for large repayments. This issue, reported by Conservative Brief on December 17, 2023, has led Ohio lawmakers, including Rep. Mike Carey, to seek explanations from Dr. Kilolo Kijakazi, the SSA’s acting commissioner.

Fox Business Network reports that several Ohio House members have written to Dr. Kijakazi, requesting details on the SSA’s efforts to reclaim these overpayments, especially since many recipients are not at fault. A majority of those affected are elderly or disabled individuals on fixed incomes, now facing the possibility of having their benefits reduced or suspended until the supposed debts are repaid.

Rep. Mike Carey expressed his frustration, highlighting that seniors and disabled citizens should not be penalized for errors made by the government. He referenced a letter from one of his constituents, which indicated that the SSA admitted to a benefit miscalculation in December 2021. The individual initially received increased monthly payments and a retroactive sum for the period since 2017. However, by August of the same year, the SSA corrected its mistake, resulting in a demand for over $7,500 in repayments within a 30-day deadline.

Lawmakers point out that annually, over one million Americans receive notifications about incorrect Social Security distributions. In November’s Congressional testimony, Acting Commissioner Kijakazi stated that 986,912 Americans received such notices in the 2023 fiscal year. However, a “60 Minutes” report on CBS, based on a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that this number is significantly higher, with over 2 million Americans annually informed about excessive Social Security payments.

These beneficiaries, which include retirees, disabled persons, and those dependent on Social Security as their primary income source, are often given just 30 days to return sums that can amount to thousands of dollars. Rep. Emilia Sykes, a key Democrat on the issue, emphasized that individuals who have correctly filed for benefits should not suffer due to the SSA’s mistakes. She pointed out the reliance of seniors on these payments for essential needs.

In response, SSA spokeswoman Nicole Tiggemann acknowledged to Fox Business the lack of precise data on how many of the 67 million Social Security recipients are impacted by overpayments, citing system limitations. The SSA is currently reviewing how to better communicate this issue to the agency, the public, and Congress.

The lawmakers insist on holding the SSA accountable for these errors, stressing the need to ensure accurate payments for all seniors and transparency in addressing this widespread issue affecting millions of vulnerable Americans.

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