Several lawmakers are calling for congressional hearings focused on the Social Security Administration (SSA), which was trying to recover nearly $22 billion in overpayments during fiscal year 2022.
The SSA regained $4.7 billion of its overpayments but ended the fiscal year with $21.6 billion still outstanding, according to a report by agency's inspector general.
"We need to have a hearing," Rep. Mike Carey, R-Ohio, a member of the House Subcommittee on Social Security, told WSB-TV.
"The general sense from members is ... we do have a problem, we've got to address it, we've got to fix it."
Carey reiterated his stance on social media.
"Too many seniors and disabled Americans on fixed incomes are having issues with the Social Security Administration because a mistake on the part of the federal government resulted in an overpayment. We're working to get answers as to why this keeps happening," Carey posted on social platform X.
Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, a member of the Committee on Aging, questioned how the agency ended the fiscal year with more than $20 billion outstanding.
"Is somebody going to be held accountable at the federal level for, you know, messing this up?" Scott said.
The SSA sent letters to recipients insisting they owe money due to the agency overpaying them, Newsweek reported Friday.
The outlet said the SSA was demanding that some recipients pay back vast sums — as much as $67,000 — with only 30 days' notice. Many of the individuals involved are vulnerable or have a disability.
One man said he became homeless after the SSA sent him a demand for $67,000, Newsweek said.
Rep. Marc Molinaro, R-N.Y., last month said the agency should stop trying to claw back overpayments and update its system to prevent future issues.
"The Social Security Administration screwed up, and now they're demanding that seniors pay for the administration's mistakes," Molinaro said in a statement.
"Social Security serves as the primary source of income for thousands of recipients in Upstate New York. Most victims will have no way of ever paying Social Security back. The Social Security Administration needs to stop aggressive prosecutions of seniors and focus on fixing their systems."
An SSA spokesperson previously told Newsweek that "less than 0.5 percent of Social Security payments are overpayments."
Social Security benefits are paid to people who have retired, people who are disabled. and the survivors of workers who have died.
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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