The Social Security Administration made $1.3 billion in potentially improper disability payments to people who were believed to be employed when they were supposed to be unable to work, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Friday.
The Government Accountability Office estimated that the agency made the potential cash benefit overpayments to about 36,000 individuals from December 2010 to January 2013.
The numbers represent less than 1 percent of beneficiaries and less than 1 percent of disability payments made during the time frame. But GAO said the overpayments reveal weaknesses in Social Security’s procedures for policing the system.
The precise number of individuals who received improper disability payments and the exact amount of improper payments made to those recipients cannot be determined without detailed case investigations, according to the report.
The report comes as Social Security’s disability program faces a financial crisis. If Congress doesn’t act, the trust fund that supports the disability program will run out of money in 2016, according to projections by Social Security’s trustees. At that point, the system will collect only enough money in payroll taxes to pay 80 percent of benefits, triggering an automatic 20 percent cut in benefits.
Read more: FOX NEWS