Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hill Announces 2nd Golden Fleece Winner

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) announced the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) as the second recipient of the newly reestablished Golden Fleece Award.

A recent SSA Office of Inspect General audit found that over a ten-year period, nearly four million beneficiaries of SSA disability programs were provided an estimated $16.8 billion in overpayments. Earlier this week Congressman Hill sent Carolyn Colvin, Acting Commissioner of the SSA, a letter congratulating her agency on “winning” the award.

The following is the full text of the letter:

I am writing to congratulate the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) for receiving the reestablished Golden Fleece Award!  The Golden Fleece Award, first implemented by Senator William Proxmire, highlights wasteful government spending by our Nation’s federal agencies.

An audit released by the Office of Inspector General this month found that over a ten year period, nearly 4 million beneficiaries of SSA disability programs were provided with an estimated $16.8 billion in overpayments. The audit notes that SSA assessed overpayments for nearly half of the 1,532 sampled beneficiaries. The reasons for overpayment included issuing payments following a death of the beneficiary, issuing payments to prisoners or fugitive felons, medical improvement of the beneficiary, or increased work activity of the beneficiary.

At a time when our Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is facing a significant funding shortfall, it is essential that we ensure these precious taxpayer funds are going to help eligible individuals who are truly in need of these benefits. Under current law, the SSDI trust fund will be depleted by 2016, resulting in a 20 percent cut to benefits. Of course, like you, I do not want to see a sudden reduction in these important SSDI benefits that many individuals with disabilities rely on. That is why it is so critical to ensure that these dollars are not wasted on those who are no longer disabled or have returned to work and are no longer eligible to receive these benefits

I am committed to eradicating this type of inefficient and ineffective spending and today’s Golden Fleece highlights the mismanagement of these essential taxpayer dollars. I invite your immediate attention to this issue, and please keep me apprised of your efforts at improvement.

Tags: U.S. Representative, French Hill, 2nd Golden Fleece Winner, Social Security Administration, Social Security Disability Insurance, SSDI, $16.Billion in overpayments To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

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