According to an audit conducted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Social Security Administration (SSA) made 16.8 billion in disability overpayments in the last decade.

The OIG based its findings of $16.8 billion overpayments on a sample of more than 1,500 Americans who received benefits since 2003, discovering more than half were overpaid. Recipients were found to include people who were no longer disbaled or who earned too much to qualify for the program, as well as those deceased or in prison. And, it’s cited that close to half of the 9 million who received disability payments had been overpaid. The agency attempted to recoup about $8.1 billion, but it took years for the money to be returned, according to the OIG.

Chuck Grassley said, “Every dollar that goes to overpayments doesn’t help someone in need. Given the present financial situation of the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund, the program cannot sustain billions of dollars lost to waste.”

The audit also cites, “Our review of 1,532 beneficiaries in current pay status as of October 2003 found that over a 10-year period (from October 2003 through February 2014), SSA assessed overpayments for 44.5 percent of sampled beneficiaries.”

There was an instance where a man continued to receive disability benefits under his father’s Social Security number while he was working and hiding his income; he was convicted of fraud in 2005, and ordered by the judge to repay nearly $18,000.


Social Security disability has paid out more in benefits than it has collected in payroll taxes every year for the past decade or so. The future of the agency appears to be waning. So, this is just another complicating issue for the group.

Social Security spokesman Mark Hinkles elaborates in an email.”Social Security provides services to over 48 million retirement and survivors beneficiaries and about 15 million disability beneficiaries.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.”

There’s no efficient oversight group seeking out fraudulence and scammers to ensure proper distribution of resources.