Report Summary
Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General

July 2010

Follow-up:  The Social Security Administration’s Controls over the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Overpayment Waiver Approval Process


To determine whether Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) waiver approval decisions for overpayments exceeding $500 were in accordance with the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) policies and procedures.


In February 2006 report, we concluded that SSA did not always comply with its waiver approval policies and procedures for overpayments exceeding $500.  In addition, we found that waiver approvals for overpayments exceeding $2,000 lacked appropriate documentation to support the approval decisions.  We reported SSA needed to ensure adherence to its policies and procedures to prevent the improper waiver of OASDI overpayments.  SSA agreed with the actions we recommended.

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Our Findings

Many OASDI waiver approval decisions for overpayments exceeding $500 were in accordance with SSA’s policies and procedures.  In addition, SSA made efforts to improve staff compliance with OASDI waiver policies and procedures.  However, we found SSA had waived some overpayments that did not appear to be in accordance with the Agency’s policies and procedures.  Of the 200 sample cases, we were able to review supporting documentation for 57 waiver approval decisions.  Of these 57 decisions, 32 complied with SSA’s policies and procedures, but 25 did not.  Specifically, of the 200 sample cases coded as approved waivers, we found

Our Recommendation

We recommended SSA remind employees of the proper procedures to follow when processing waivers, including (1) properly documenting all waiver requests and approval decisions; and (2) obtaining the required secondary peer review and sign-off for waiver approvals greater than $2,000.

SSA agreed with the recommendations.