Seniors Getting Shocking Bills Has Put More Pressure on Social Security!


CybersecdnThe Social Security Administration is under more pressure to fix its problem with overpayments because millions of seniors now have big bills because of the agency’s mistakes.

A group of politicians asked the SSA to fix the system that leaves many seniors with debts of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. In a letter, Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow (Michigan) said that the overspending problems are making things very hard for seniors who don’t know how they will ever pay back their debts.

“We have heard from numerous Michiganders regarding the impact unexpected overpayments that were sent by the SSA have caused on some of the most vulnerable beneficiaries of Social Security, who often include the elderly, disabled, retirees, and many who struggle to get by on limited income and resources,” the letter says.

In their letter, Peters and Stabenow asked the SSA to fix the problems with overpayments and come up with a way to keep mistakes like this from happening again.

“Overpayments can pose incredibly difficult hardships on beneficiaries who’ve committed no wrongdoing and are now responsible for repaying improper payments,” the senators said. “Because of their devastating impact, it is critical for the agency to improve its processes and controls to reduce the number of overpayments for beneficiaries who rely on these critical benefits.”

13 On Your Side reported that seniors, disabled people, and people on fixed incomes have said they were overpaid anywhere from $37,000 to $100,000 or more. The seniors who were overpaid by the SSA will have to pay back the money or lose their benefits until the amount is made up for. This happens once the SSA sees its mistake.

More than $11 billion was paid out in overpayments for Social Security in 2022. Recently, the number of these mistakes has been going up. Thirteen On Your Side says that every year, more than 2 million Americans get paid too much.

Seniors getting shocking bills
Overpayments often happen over several years, and by the time the mistake is found, the amount owed has grown to a point where it can’t be repaid.

The SSA said in a statement last year, “What happens to each person is different, and the agency handles overpayments on a case-by-case basis.” “For example, someone can appeal if they don’t agree that they were overpaid or think the amount is wrong.” If they think they shouldn’t have to pay back the money, they can ask the service not to collect the overpayment. You have an unlimited amount of time to submit a release.

True Tamplin, founder of Finance Strategists, said that the senators’ message might put the SSA under enough pressure to do a better job of stopping more overpayment charges from happening.

“The letter from U.S. senators should add pressure on the SSA to tackle the overpayment issue,” Tamplin said to Newsweek. “It shows that there’s political will to address the problem and that it’s on the radar of those who can push for changes.”

Michael Ryan, the founder of and an expert on money matters, says that overpayments can happen for several reasons, such as when the SSA got your benefits wrong or when a user didn’t report a change in income or residence promptly.

Ryan told Newsweek, “If you owe more than you owe, the first thing you should do is not freak out.” “While the amounts can seem daunting, there are options to resolve the debt or establish affordable repayment plans.”

He also said that most SSA bills can be forgiven if you set up a payment plan that works with your budget. The SSA will sometimes forgive your debt if you weren’t at fault and it would be too hard for you to pay it back.

“Submitting debt waiver requests quickly is critical,” he said. Bankruptcy is the last resort for people who can’t handle their SSA bills, but Ryan said there are ways to keep your situation from getting to that point.

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“The best way to avoid SSA overpayments is through monitoring of your status as a beneficiary,” he said. If you check your earnings records once a year to make sure they are correct and report any changes right away in your children or income, you can usually avoid any overpayment problems.

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