The Social Security Act provides monthly benefits to retired and/or disabled workers and their families. Disabled beneficiaries may be simultaneously entitled to disability and retirement benefits when they attain age 62. Generally, the higher benefits are payable; however, disabled beneficiaries may elect retirement benefits even when the disability benefits are higher.
Reduce Improper Payments and Increase Overpayment Recoveries
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients are responsible for reporting any information that may affect their eligibility or payment amount.
Generally, the more income an SSI recipient has, the lower his/her payment will be. Furthermore, an individual who has too much income in a particular month is not eligible for SSI in that month.
On April 13, 2012, a U.S. District Court judge in New York issued a nation-wide class action court order in Clark v. Astrue (Clark).
A Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) payment is a type of workers’ compensation payment administered by the Department of Labor (DOL). When a beneficiary receives both Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and FECA payments, SSA must reduce the DI benefits for the beneficiary and his/her family to ensure the combined DI benefits and FECA amounts do not exceed the higher of 80 percent of the beneficiary’s average current earnings or the total family benefit.
Section 1611(f) of the Social Security Act states that, with limited exceptions, no individual shall be considered eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for any month throughout which the individual is outside the United States.
Because Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must evaluate recipients’ income and resources each month to determine payment eligibility and amounts. Recipients’ failure to report changes in financial circumstances timely can result in incorrect payments.
An overpayment is the total amount an individual received for any period that exceeded the total amount the individual should have been paid for that period. With a few exceptions, overpaid individuals are responsible for repaying the overpayments. SSA uses different methods to recover overpayments, such as benefit adjustment, the Treasury Offset Program, and Administrative Wage Garnishment.
Non-Entitled Debtors (NED) is a person or entity that owes a debt to SSA but may not be entitled to Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments. Examples include deceased beneficiaries’ representative payees (individual or organizational); persons who owe a court-ordered penalty or restitution; attorneys and non-attorneys who received excess fees; or persons who fraudulently or erroneously obtained benefits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) may waive recovery of an overpayment if the person is without fault, and recovery would either defeat the purpose of the Social Security Act or be against equity and good conscience. A waiver is a permanent write-off of the overpayment, and SSA cannot subsequently collect the waived amount by any means. Generally, the overpaid person must request a waiver.
When SSA receives a report that a beneficiary or recipient has died, it records the date of death on the Master Beneficiary (MBR) or Supplemental Security Record (SSR) and terminates benefits. In addition, SSA’s Death Alert, Control, and Update System (DACUS) receives, processes, and records death information on SSA’s Numident. SSA uses death information from the Numident to create a record of death information called the Death Master File (DMF), which is available to Federal agencies and the public.