Social Security Administration under investigation for overpayments

SEATTLE — From Social Security recipients in Seattle - to the hearings in the halls of Congress.

The issue of $21 billion in Social Security Administration overpayments being clawed back from beneficiaries, is still making headlines. Beneficiaries are largely not responsible for the improper payments, yet they bear the brunt of their overpayments.

Last night, 60 Minutes aired its report on the social security overpayments. It told the story of people like Steven and Becky Sword who received a letter saying they owed more than $51k and had to repay it in 30 days. The Swords, like others, are worried, they don’t have the means to pay back the administration.

“I don’t have the money. Unfortunately, I could not afford it. They will take me years to pay all of them back,” the Swords said.

KIRO TV along with CMG stations in eight cities, seven states, and KFF Health News broke the story in September revealing the devastating impact these overpayments have on recipients. Many of whom are poor, elderly, and disabled. In fact, legal experts told us even if the administration makes an error recipients still pay.

Following our reports, congressional hearings were held on Capitol Hill to get answers from agency leadership. And now we’re told a comprehensive investigation is underway.

That review could certainly help nearly a million families, like Seattle’s Alex Hubbard, who’s disabled and owes the agency more than 11k. Why? Because his mother says he took a job and went over the Supplemental Security Income asset limit of $2k. Linda is worried that her son will pay the ultimate price.

“There are a lot of families like me. Unfortunately, we can’t get the help, and we end up with our kids on the streets,” said Linda.