The amount of a recipient's SSI payment is based on many factors, including marital status. For example, when one individual receives SSI payments, the spouse's income is deemed available to meet the recipient's needs. Such income may reduce of eliminate the individual's SSI payments. Generally, SSA relies on SSI recipients to voluntarily report any changes in their marital status or living arrangements.
Based on an OIG sample, we estimate that about 900 SSI recipients were overpaid approximately $8.2 million because they did not report their marriages to SSA. By stopping these improper payments, the Agency could save an estimated $3.4 million over the next 12 months.