Report Summary
Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General

September 2009

Follow-up:  The Social Security Administration's Controls over the Title XVI Overpayment Waiver Process


To determine whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) corrected discrepancies identified in our October 2004 report, Social Security Administration’s Controls Over the Title XVI Overpayment Waiver Process.


The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides a minimum level of income for people who are age 65 or older or who are blind or disabled and who do not have sufficient resources to maintain a standard of living at the established Federal minimum income level.  On occasion, SSI payments may result in overpayments.  Under certain situations, SSA will grant an overpayment waiver.  The waiver relieves the individual from further liability for the overpayment. 

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Our Findings

SSA appears to have made little progress correcting the problems identified in our 2004 report.  SSA implemented a process to ensure waivers over $2,000 were approved by two SSA employees.  However, our review of a sample of approved waivers revealed the  following.

Based on our sample results, we estimate the amount of unsupported approved waiver decisions totaled approximately $56.2 million.  We further estimate that SSA could not provide complete case folders to support waiver decisions totaling approximately $20.1 million.

Our Recommendation

We recommended that SSA consider providing refresher training for staff involved in the waiver decision process to include instructions on developing fault, approving waivers only when development is complete, and documenting waiver decisions in accordance with established policy.

SSA agreed with our recommendation.