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Social Security Administration announces new measures to deal with overpayments

The Social Security Administration limits clawbacks to 10% of your benefit check instead of 100%. (iStock)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is limiting the cancellation of benefit overpayments to 10% of benefit checks instead of 100%, following criticism for strict repayment plans that have left some beneficiaries in poverty.

Social Security Secretary Martin O’Malley stated in a statement The agency said it would end the “coercive practice of stealing 100% of overpaid recipients’ monthly social security benefits” if they do not comply with requests for repayment. Additionally, the Social Security Administration will extend repayment plans from a 36-month limit to 60 months, giving recipients an additional two years of repayment deferral.

change will occur later report As of the end of 2023, some Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will see their benefits suspended or receive up to $3,200 per individual and up to $3,000 per couple as a result of the COVID-19 stimulus package. It showed that he had been assessed as an overpayment worth $6,400. However, these payments made between April 2020 and July 2021 were supposed to be independent of Social Security benefits.

“For 88 years, the hard-working employees of the Social Security Administration have worked to make sure the right people get paid the right amount at the right time,” O’Malley said. “And the authorities have done this with a high degree of accuracy for large beneficiaries. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes mistakenly pay beneficiaries more than they should.” You may end up paying an overpayment.”

“If this occurs, we require Congress to make every effort to recover overpaid benefits,” O’Malley continued. “But doing so while ignoring the larger purpose of the program is a challenge, as illustrated by the stories of people who have lost their homes or found themselves in dire financial hardship when their benefits were abruptly cut off as they tried to rebuild their lives. , which can result in significant injustice to individuals.”

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The review of overpayments also includes other changes.

SSA also plans to restructure its guidance and procedures to shift the burden of proof away from claimants when determining whether there is evidence that they were at fault for overpayments.

The agency also wants to make it easier for people to apply for forgiveness if they believe they are not at fault or are unable to pay. To qualify, Social Security recipients only need to provide a verbal summary of their income, resources, and expenses, but recipients of the means-tested SSI program do not need to submit even this summary. there is no.

The changes are part of a review announced last year after the SSA faced parliamentary scrutiny over the amount of overpayments. The SSA pays out $1.4 trillion in benefits to more than 71 million people annually, and in most cases is paid appropriately. However, in 0.5% of cases, beneficiaries may receive an overpayment of Social Security benefits. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program overpayments, this number rises to 8%. The agency is required by law to adjust benefits and collect debts.

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Keep more perks in these states

Increase in the number of social security recipients You may pay tax on your benefits For the first time this tax season, according to the Senior Citizens Alliance (TSCL).

In fact, 23% of survey participants who have received Social Security for three years or more said they paid their first tax in the 2023 tax season. In 2023, he will see an 8.7% increase in his COLA, so this percentage is likely to increase this tax season.

If your income exceeds $25,000, your Social Security benefits are taxed. This fixed threshold has not been adjusted for inflation since the tax went into effect in 1984. Up to 85% of your Social Security benefits can be taxed if your income exceeds a certain threshold.

However, according to recent AARP, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming have no income tax. This means that Social Security retirement benefits are not taxed at the state level. report.

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