Supplemental Security Income Recipients with Excess Unstated Income

Date: 
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Report Number: 
A-07-12-11206
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

Because of the program’s means-based nature, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment amounts can fluctuate monthly. The Social Security Administration (SSA) relies on recipients to self-report changes in circumstances that may affect SSI eligibility and/or payment amounts. However, some SSI recipients fail to report these changes to retain their SSI payments. This issue has been a cause of SSI overpayments since the program’s inception.

Unstated income is income that is not reported or otherwise known to SSA but is determined to exist because an individual’s living expenses exceed income from known sources. The amount of unstated income to be charged is the difference between stated or known monthly income and monthly living expenses.

According to SSA policy, when there is information on file that creates questions as to how living expenses are being met, SSA staff is to determine whether there is unstated income by comparing usual monthly living expenses with total monthly income. However, if there is no reason to suspect that unstated income exists, no further development or documentation is required.

The objective of this report is to identify SSI recipients who may have been receiving improper benefit payments because of unstated income.