As the government promotes cost saving measures and increased tax revenues while trying to create jobs and stabilize the economy, there is a good chunk of it going out the window as nearly half of those who have received social security benefits in the last decade were overpaid according to a government watchdog group.
The overages on payments totaled nearly $17,000,000,000. The government was able to retrieve almost half of that through measures that in themselves cost money. Meanwhile, the trust fund that distributes to beneficiaries is due to run out of money next year if measures aren’t taken to fill it back up. If those measures are not taken, benefits will be automatically cut.
“Overpayments are bad for everyone — they are bad for the beneficiary and they are bad for the taxpayer,” said Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security. “With the disability program going broke next year, it is especially troubling that Social Security is failing to protect precious taxpayer dollars.”
This report is being loosely denied by the Social Security Administration itself as they claim to be highly accurate with their distributions.
“Social Security provides services to over 48 million retirement and survivors beneficiaries and about 15 million disability beneficiaries,” Social Security spokesman Mark Hinkle said in an email. “The agency will issue nearly $1 trillion in payments this year. For fiscal year 2013 — the last year for which we have complete data — approximately 99.8 percent of all Social Security payments were free of overpayment, and nearly 99.9 percent were free of underpayment.”
Given overall loss of nearly $10 billion, it’s hard to find a silver lining, but leave it to the administration to try to spin one out.