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Social Security Makes $1.3 Billion In Overpayments

Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 10:30 AM
Thousands of Americans are receiving billions of dollars in benefits that they're not eligible for, a new study finds. One recipient, a physician, raked in $90,000 in overpayments over three years, even though he had earnings of as much as $22,000 per month during the five-month waiting period.

While the 36,000 people the GAO determined to have received overpayments represents less than 1% of all disability insurance recipients, the watchdog said the true number of improper payments could be higher. Only the Social Security Administration can determine precise numbers by conducting detailed investigations into specific cases.

Social Security makes $1.3 billion in overpayments - Sep. 13, 2013

A billion here, a billion there....
6
ShorebreakShorebreak2,371 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 12,641
1. Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 9:54 PM
Actually, even more shocking is the explosive growth of SS disabilty:

"Since 2003, there's been a 29% jump in Americans with little or no work experience getting disability payments, according to the Social Security Administration. Over the same time, there's been a 44% increase in disability claims by people formerly in the workplace.

The federal government spent nearly $250 billion in 2011 paying more than 23 million Americans some type of disability claim. That's about 7% of the overall population, and 16% of the workforce."
4
loulou521 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,239
2. Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 6:18 PM
Absolutely right lou. If one can't get a job perhaps it's easier to qualify for SS disability.
3
ShorebreakShorebreak2,371 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 12,641
3. Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 7:18 PM
"Absolutely right lou. If one can't get a job perhaps it's easier to qualify for SS disability."

 You know  I try to  read all of your posts because I know you usually know what you are posting about but on this subject you do not!  It is in no way easier to qualify for SS disability.  These people are put through excruciating months and years of paperwork and end up having to get lawyers just to get beyond the first "denial".  They spend months in tears just "waiting" and waiting to see if they will get a hearing and then have to Appeal.  They live in pain daily and would love to be well enough to hold down a job but the many medications they have to take make it impossible.  IF they get approved, they are doomed to live the rest of their lives with a pitance of a monthly payment and can never again have the nice things the rest of us take for granted.  THEY are NOT receiving YOUR tax dollars.  SSDI is NOT welfare.  They get these benefits according to how many years they worked and how much was taken out of their checks in case this ever happened to them.  Just like you and I get social security at a certain age from what was taken out of our paychecks, this is how SS disability works. 

I have never known anyone on disability who wants to live this type of life.  I have spend a lot of my time giving consolation and compassion to these people so they can adjust to the torment of their new lives.  I cannot accept that anyone would make it seem like this is "easy" for them.   These are wonderful, loving people who happened to get a bad blow in their lives and would be so grateful to be well enough to go to work every day and earn a salary that would allow them to live the life they hoped they could.  I am sure there are some who try to fake it because they think it is easy.  After a ton of boxes of documents to fill out, hearings, and lawyers and judges to talk to, they get rid of the fakers real quick!  Only those who really are disabled and have someone like myself to help them with boxes of documents usually can make it to the hearing.  The fakers give up quickly, I assure you. 

I apologize if my post seems rude but I know you, as my fellow poster, are a kind person, and if you truly understood SS disability, you would not have posted such a remark.   I, am legally disabled myself but I have never applied for disability  because the work I have done in my life for others, I do not get paid for.  One must have enough work credits to get SSDI.  Otherwise you end up on welfare SSI.  I am sure there are many like myself who do not qualify. 
3
paoli2paoli21,142 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 5,093
4. Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 8:04 PM
My sister had lung cancer from working for a company that had offices with asbestos. She worked for 6 scientists at a pharmaceutical company and typed and proof read the gov reports. Not sure if that is where the cancer came from and she said it didn't matter cuz she was going to die anyway and didn't want to know. My husband received a broken neck that could not be fixed and a severe head injury among other injuries from a drunk driver who was on cocaine. He already was up for manufacture and delivery on counts of over 650 grams and one over 50 grams. It is an automatic 20 year prison sentence. The driver received one year in the county jail. You think that 18 years on disability when you are in the prime of your life is what people want? You think my sister wanted to die of this horrible disease? 

It is easy to think that people are just filling out these papers to go on disability and not have to work. Have you even read what you have to have to be on disability? You have to be declared disabled by a doctor and then sometimes they send you to other doctors to get another opinion and take more X-Rays, more exams etc. It is a very disgraceful experience to go through. Then you read articles where people think you bilk the system. Until you walk in the shoes of others do not make assumptions. 
4
AllyAlly778 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,266
5. Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 9:37 PM
I am just quoting the statistics. It is undeniable that millions more people are applying and qualifying for SS disabilty than ever before. Also, the single largest SS disabilty category is mental illness. The numbers in this category have skyrocketed. In effect, you are being paid not to work, and the only way these payments stop is death or you reach retirement age. Many experts think the system is being gamed by many, although that doesn't mean there are people who aren't truly qualified. BTW, the money in the SS disabilty fund runs out in 2016.
1
loulou521 posts since
Aug 3, 2010
Rep Points: 3,239
6. Monday, September 16, 2013 - 7:49 AM
Lou:  "BTW, the money in the SS disabilty fund runs out in 2016."

Isn't that what they say about all the benefit programs?  I wonder when SS will run out?  Maybe there would not be so much mental illness in disability if these people could depend upon getting the money they put in.  Well guess we'll truly be a WELFARE state in 2016.  The disabled can't all become homeless.  What a mess our country has become!  Have to end this.  Must be time for all my anxiety meds.
2
paoli2paoli21,142 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 5,093
7. Monday, September 16, 2013 - 10:43 AM
Lou:  Why didn't you share the "rest of the story" about the disability program.  I did some research on it and it seems the program is in trouble and if they can't work it out in 2016 they "may" have to cut benefits by 20%.  They aren't going to end the program.   BTW, the reason the program is going bankrupt is not due to the disabled it is due to the stupid way our government runs it.  "They" are the ones causing it to become bankrupt.  As usual just like with Obamacare, they put it together without looking at the consequences of how they were running it.    So put the blame where it belongs.  Not on suffering people but on our government who make their suffering worse!
3
paoli2paoli21,142 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 5,093
8. Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 9:10 AM
Shorebreak and Lou are you aware that our disabled soldiers are on SS disability? Maybe that is a large part of the increase of the little or no work experience who are getting on disability. It is the young men who enlisted and came back with severe injuries who enlisted after Sept 11. REMEMBER THE GREAT SAYING MY MOM AND OTHERS HAVE SAID "FIGURES CAN LIE AND LIARS AND FIGURE." GET THE FOOTNOTES AND FACTS BEHIND COMMENTS. Also remember that they are so many workers that were born in the 40's  when the soldiers came home that are old now and after working physically for so many years their bodies are falling apart. So many of these workers were in the trades have had knee, ankle, shoulder, back, hip surgeries because of the wear and tear and injuries on their bodies and no longer can work. I also have a young nephew that is 6'6" and expended to move (not with machines) a 6 foot roll of paper by himself. He used his foot when he was having shoulder problems from pushing that roll of paper and he injured his toes and they had to amputate. His balance is affected with missing toes. People that work physically for many years just have issues that compounded themselves after many years. Being that this is the largest segment of people that have ever retired, the people that built the roads (national hwys), schools, the big housing boom after the wars, and in the 90's) of course there are going to be more people that are disabled. 
2
AllyAlly778 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,266
9. Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 11:04 AM
This paragraph is from a report written over 2 years ago on only the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Did not say how old the figures were. Not sure how long it takes soldiers to get disability. Not sure they would have a long wait. 

Bain is one of about 755,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Of that group, the VA says more than 181,000 are collecting disability benefits. Bain has had 10 surgeries rather than an amputation on one of his arms and has special electrodes in his hip to help with pain. He still cannot dress himself.
1
AllyAlly778 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,266
10. Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 11:28 AM
What paragraph are you referring to, Ally?  Do you have any info that shows the figures for how many disabled people are actually non-combats and how many are those who were disabled in service?  I think the service group might just be higher than the regular ones.  I think the latest figures for the VA group would be higher than 181,000 by now. 

Lou stated the single largest disability category is mental illness.  This could also include a lot of the Vets. 
2
paoli2paoli21,142 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 5,093
11. Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 11:47 AM
The paragraph is the second paragraph of my last post. It was about a soldier from the war. I am sure the figures would be higher and many more were added after 2010. This article did not break down amputees, head injuries etc. Maybe there is a chart somewhere on the types of injuries that the VA would have. This article only stated how many were are disability from the 2 wars only and from 2003 through 2010. 
2
AllyAlly778 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,266
12. Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 12:03 PM
 

From another article as told to the AP and written and posted on 5-27-2012.

A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related. That is more than double the estimate of 21 percent who filed such claims after the Gulf War in the early 1990s, top government officials told The Associated Press. Of those who have sought VA care:

_More than 1,600 of them lost a limb; many others lost fingers or toes.

_At least 156 are blind, and thousands of others have impaired vision.

_More than 177,000 have hearing loss, and more than 350,000 report tinnitus – noise or ringing in the ears.

_Thousands are disfigured, as many as 200 of them so badly that they may need face transplants. One-quarter of battlefield injuries requiring evacuation included wounds to the face or jaw, one study found.

Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans Filing For Disability Benefits At Historic Rate 
2
AllyAlly778 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,266
13. Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 1:23 PM
Ally, thank you so much for providing all the additional info concerning why so many are on disability today.

"Government officials and some veterans' advocates say that veterans who might have been able to work with certain disabilities may be more inclined to seek benefits now because they lost jobs or can't find any."This could be the same reason many civilians have had to restort to filing for SSDI.  It's not their fault our economy is in the pits and so is the job market.  They have to survive.  We give a fortune of our tax dollars to help countries which may not really be our friends and could be at War with us at any time.  I would much rather see help go to our own citizens than strangers who may attack us. 

Much appreciation for all the info you have provided in educating us about the reality of this subject.
2
paoli2paoli21,142 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 5,093
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