The Inspector General of the Social Security Administration recently released and audit report entitled “Economic Recovery Payments – Catch-Up Payments” that found that SSA properly identified and certified the eligibility of almost 100 percent of people who received one-time $250 payments during a second round of payouts of the Recovery-funded benefit. However, the audit also found that SSA inadvertently issued double payments to some individuals, totaling just over $248,000, which the IG recommended the SSA should recover.
The initial round of one-time payments went to 52 million recipients eligible for SSA benefits when the Recovery Act went into effect in February 2009. But 620,000 people became eligible after that date also received the $250 payments, referred to as “catch-up payments.” The SSA Inspector General reviewed the catch-up payments, which went out between May 2009 and December 2010.
In 99.8 percent of cases, the SSA properly certified the eligibility of the recipients, but 1,008 individuals were found to have received more than one payment. The IG recommended ways to strengthen SSA’s certification process and also advised SSA to recover the $248,227 in improper payments. SSA agreed with both recommendations.