Social Security Administration

Suspend SSI Benefits When Wages Not Reported

SSI beneficiaires are currently required to report their gross wages for a given month within the first 6 days of the next month in order to ensure correct payment amounts in the following month. However, most SSI recipients and parents of receipients do not follow through with their reporting responsibilities and continue to receive the maximum benefits for many months. It is not until the following tax year that Social Security notices the discrepancies in the wages reported and the actual amounts earned. This often causes overpayments in the thousands of dollars for each SSI recipient or child. Many beneficiaries/parents do not report their wages every month because they know they can continue to receive the full monthly benefit amount every month and only have to pay back a maximum of 10% of the monthly benefit amount. In most cases, the overpayment is never collected from the claimant (even after their record has terminated). When a claimant does not report their wages within the alotted 6 day period at the beginning of every month, their benefits should be suspended until they report their wages. This would elimate incorrect payments in the billions of dollars every year (Approx. $2.6 billion). Here is the math behind the numbers. There are currently 5.3 million SSI only recipients (this does not include those who receive both Social Security and SSI, i.e. another 2.7 million). If each recipient has a minimum of $500 in overpayments (which is a conservative figure for many overpayment amounts), the total amount of overpayments for all of these recipients would be $2,649,500,000 (Keep in mind that this doesn't include the hours paid for employees to work these overpayments nor the overpayments for those who receive Social Security and SSI).

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Idea No. 3908