The Social Security Administration (SSA) overpaid individuals a total of $371.5 million in disability benefits from fiscal year 2009 through fiscal 2013, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
These overpayments are cause for concern, as the Social Security’s Disability Insurance Trust Fund is expected to go broke by 2016, according to SSA’s 2015 annual report.
“During a time of growing concern about the solvency of the DI trust fund, it is important for SSA to take every opportunity to help improve the financial status of the program,” the GAO said. The report examined how these concurrent Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) payments affect Disability Insurance (DI) overpayments.
The GAO found that SSA did not detect concurrent FECA payments for about 1,040 individuals during at least one month from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2014.
To test SSA’s internal controls, GAO randomly selected 20 beneficiaries for review. In all 20 cases, SSA’s controls failed to detect and prevent overpayments. In seven of the cases, SSA did not detect overpayments for more than a decade, and each of these individuals received $100,000 in overpaid benefits.