According to a report from the agency's inspector general, Social Security has overpaid disability benefits recipients by $17 billion over the last decade. The discovery has added fuel to the debate lawmakers are already having concerning the program's future.
As The Chicago Tribune reports , the ten-year investigation found that Social Security has continually paid benefits to those who made too much money to qualify for disability. Payments were also regularly issued to those who were no longer disabled, were in prison, or had died. The study also claimed that Social Security was able to recover about $8.1 billion of the accidentally issued money, but that the recouping process can take years to complete.
The new report has already inspired more criticism from Republicans, who want the Social Security Disability system dismantled. "Every dollar that goes to overpayments doesn't help someone in need," Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa told the press. "Given the present financial situation of the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund, the program cannot sustain billions of dollars lost to waste."
The Fight Over SSD's Future
This newest report does not help the Democrats' battle to dispel the prevalent opinion that the Social Security Disability program is full of waste and fraud. Mark Hinkle, a spokesman for the agency, released numbers he felt defended SSD's accuracy following the overpayment report: in 2014, 99.8% of all Social Security payments were free of overpayment and almost 99.9% were free of underpayment.
It is unclear if those numbers will be enough to bolster the fight to replenish SSD before it is projected need massive cuts in 2016. If nothing is done, experts say an automatic 19% reduction in benefits will be triggered for the estimated 11 million SSD beneficiaries currently receiving relief.
If you are looking to apply or appeal for Social Security Disability benefits, then now, more than ever, it is important to seek trusted guidance in the submission process. Even with the program under such scrutiny, our trusted Dallas SSD attorneys can help you receive the relief you both need and deserve.
Give yourself the best chance at receiving Social Security Disability benefits as swiftly as possible. Contact us at Coats & Todd today.