Controls over “Special Payment Amount” Overpayments for Title II Beneficiaries
Office Affiliation: The Office of Audit
Audit Report Number: A-09-13-23098
The objective of our report is to determine whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) properly identified and controlled overpayments recorded as 'special payment amounts" (SPA) on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR).
An overpayment is the total amount a beneficiary received for any period that exceeded the total amount SSA should have paid. After SSA makes an overpayment determination, the overpaid amount is a debt owed to the Government. In some instances, SSA temporarily records an overpayment as an SPA on the MBR until an SSA employee validates the overpayment.
If SSA employees determine the SPA is an overpayment, they should remove it from the MBR and record it in SSA’s Recovery of Overpayments, Accounting and Reporting (ROAR) system. SSA’s automated system generates an alert when it establishes an SPA overpayment on the MBR. SSA employees must review and resolve these alerts. SSA also conducts an annual clean-up project to ensure SSA employees remove SPA overpayments from the MBR and establish them in ROAR.
For our current review, we identified 23,645 beneficiaries with SPA overpayments totaling about $115.3 million.