According to the United States Social Security website, the Social Security Administration (SSA) funds two of the biggest beneficiary programs, the Social Security Disability Insurance program and the Supplement Security Income program. Though in reality, it is taxpayers who are funding these programs.
A recent report shows that 44.5 percent of Social Security Disability beneficiaries were overpaid at some point over a ten year period, costing taxpayers an estimated $38 billion. The SSA has only been able to recover half of this, leaving billions of taxpayer dollars never to be seen again. The report points to instances where individuals whose benefits terminated- either because they were deceased, their medical condition improved, or they no longer met eligibility requirements- were still receiving benefits from the SSA.
On average, it took the SSA 8.1 months to identify the overpayment. Doubts over the abilities of the SSA have recently become a focus after a consistent five year deficit along with careless and negligent behaviors of the beneficiary programs.
As if this is not enough of a concern, the status of the Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund is quickly dwindling. If the overpaying of beneficiaries continues, the DI trust fund will face at least a $267 billion shortfall and the trust fund will be run dry in two short years.
Efforts to keep the DI trust fund on its feet would mean increasing DI payroll taxes by at least 17 percent, leaving taxpayers even more accountable. Another solution would be to decrease essential funds to beneficiaries by 20 percent. By decreasing funds, the average benefit would be below the federal poverty level and benefiting households would see, on average, a $218 reduction in monthly benefits.
It is time for Congress to make necessary adjustments to the Social Security Administration before time runs out and the well runs dry. American taxpayers had have enough of the SSA’s negligence and must call for Congress to make amends to these taxpayer backed programs.