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Sunday, May 26, 2024

SSA warns beneficiaries that failing to return overpayments may lead to cut offs

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) is sending letters to seniors and low-income households warning them that if they don’t pay back overpayments of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or pensions, some of their benefits could be cut off.

SSA will reportedly cut off a portion of their welfare or pension each month until the overpayments are paid back.

social security benefits
SSA is warning monthly benefit recipients to repay overpayments.

 

SSA has been sending notices to millions of recipients since September of last year, asking them to repay overpaid benefits. But because the returns have been minimal, the agency seems to be sending warnings this year that payments could be cut off.

In the notice, the SSA is asking beneficiaries to repay overpayment within 30 days, with absent payment may result in reduced or cut-off monthly benefits.

The problem is that most of the recipients of the notices are retirees, people with disabilities, and low-income seniors who have limited ability to return the money, raising concerns that they could face financial hardship if their welfare or pension is cut off.

“To make repayment easier, SSA has instituted a payment system that allows people to repay as little as $10 per month for up to 60 months,” the agency said, adding that it may be waived based on financial circumstances if the overpayment is less than $1,000.

According to SSA financial reports, overpayments made through the end of September of last year, the end of fiscal year 2023, totaled $23 billion, including $21.6 billion in unrecovered overpayments. Half of the overpayments were made to retiree beneficiaries, with the remainder going to welfare recipients, which includes people with disabilities and low-income seniors. The report noted that SSA has been overpaying between $6 billion and $7 billion per year for the past several years.

BY NICOLE CHANG, HOONSIK WOO   [chang.nicole@koreadaily.com]

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