SSA deals with many overpayments due to beneficiaries not reporting when they work over SGA. Often these beneficiaries claim that they did not know it was his or her responsibility to report their earnings. They assume that SSA automatically knew about their work or that it was the employer’s job to report.
Technology can help avoid these overpayments. Most states now have laws that require the use of the E-verify program. This program already interfaces with SSA’s PCOM program. An option needs to be added to E-verify so that when an employer inputs a query for a SSN beneficiary a notice and SSA-821 (Work Activity Report) is automatically sent to the beneficiary. The notice should specify work-reporting responsibilities. This would require no additional human interaction and will reduce this type of overpayment.
This helps meet the President’s mandate of using “every tool available to identify and subsequently reclaim the funds associated with improper payments.” We would be following Commissioner Asture’s pledge to “protect taxpayer dollars by minimizing improper payments.”