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Seniors & Social Security Recipients Still Facing Financial Turmoil As Molinaro Keeps Pressure On Social Security Administration To Fix Mistakes

Washington, DC – After U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (NY-19) launched an effort last year to stop the Social Security Administration (SSA) from aggressively prosecuting seniors and other Social Security recipients, today he called the SSA out for putting this issue on the backburner.

The SSA has made billions of dollars in overpayments to seniors and other Social Security recipients. When the SSA discovers an overpayment, they send notices to recipients demanding the money back. In September 2023, Rep. Molinaro wrote a letter to the SSA, urging them to stop this practice, after hearing from seniors and other Social Security recipients in New York’s 19th Congressional District who have received these notices. This includes an individual with cerebral palsy who has received over $100,000 in overpayments, and now is being forced to pay it all back.

Since then, no formal action has been taken to fix these issues. In a follow up letter, Rep. Molinaro called out the SSA for putting this urgent issue on the backburner. 

Rep. Molinaro said, “This is an issue that can't be placed on the backburner. The lives of seniors and other Social Security recipients are being torn apart because they’re facing massive, unexpected bills – with no clear way to pay it back.  Instead of targeting these people for mistakes made by the Social Security Administration, the agency needs to act now to fix the issue. I’m not going to stop demanding solutions until the systems are fixed."

The full text of the letter can be found here:

Dear Acting Commissioner Kijakazi:

As you know, I wrote to your agency in September concerning the issue of improper payments to Social Security beneficiaries. Your agency assured my office that you were aware of the issue and were putting together a team to review overpayment policies. However, I never received a formal letter response. I write again to you with urgency as the problem of overpayments from your agency persists, causing significant financial uncertainty for beneficiaries who are suddenly, unbeknownst to them, asked to repay considerable amounts of money.

I have heard from many of my constituents about instances in which they are being told to repay tens of thousands of dollars in improper payments. Unbelievably, this includes an individual with cerebral palsy facing a $100,000 repayment obligation, according to your agency. Individuals nationwide continue to express deep concerns and disbelief upon discovering substantial debts owed to the Social Security Administration (SSA), ranging from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I understand the SSA is working on an inter-agency review of The Payroll Information Exchange (PIE) to help administer monthly benefits efficiently and accurately. However, the PIE has still not been finalized.

It is imperative that your agency undertakes the necessary improvements to modernize its systems to prevent improper payments to beneficiaries. Timely resolution of the overpayment issue will finally put an end to the significant financial burden so many of my constituents in Upstate New York and across the country are facing.

Please provide an estimated timeline on finalizing the PIE, as well as further clarification on the comprehensive steps your agency is taking to prevent overpayments.