Report Summary
Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General

August 2009

Follow‑up:  Controls over Recording Supplemental Security Income Overpayments


To ensure overpayments on closed Supplemental Security Income (SSI) records were brought forward to current records for recovery.


Failure to transfer an overpayment on a closed record to the current record results in a lost opportunity to recover the overpayment.

Our 2001 audit found that SSA’s internal controls did not ensure that all SSI overpayments on closed records were identified and pursued for collection from current payments. Based on our statistical sample, we estimated that, as of February 2000, $93.5 million in overpayments should have been transferred to 35,138 recipients’ current records.

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Our Findings

During our follow-up review, we found a significant decrease in the number of cases with overpayments not forwarded to the latest Supplemental Security Record (SSR), as compared to the number of cases found during our audit from 2001. More specifically, in the current audit, we identified a population of 3,705 SSI recipients versus 38,194 from the prior audit, which represents a decrease of around 90 percent.

Based on the results of our sample, we estimate that approximately $9.4 million in overpayments should have been transferred to 3,075 recipients’ current SSRs, as of June 2009. On average, the SSI recipients in our sample had about $3,050 in outstanding overpayments.

Our Recommendation

We recommended that SSA review the remaining cases we identified that meet the criteria for being moved forward and ensure these outstanding overpayments are transferred to new SSRs.

SSA agreed with the recommendation.