I-TEAM: Ohio congressman presses Social Security Administration on overpayment numbers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress held a hearing on Social Security overpayments Wednesday, directly following reporting by News Center 7′s I-Team on billions of dollars the agency is trying to take back from people who count on that money.

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Congressman Mike Carey (R-OH), the second-ranking Republican on the House Subcommittee on Social Security, was the first member of Congress to call for a hearing following the I-Team’s reporting on the overpayments.

We told Carey in an interview last month that the I-Team has been working for more than a year to ask the Social Security Administration (SSA) how many families have been hit with an overpayment notice, but the agency refuses to tell us. He said then that he’d ask that question in a hearing.

“Now these are people – they were living by the rules. They thought they were doing everything fine and all of a sudden, they get this letter saying they have an overpayment. You can understand how concerning that would be,” Carey said at Wednesday’s hearing.

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He followed up with that line of questioning Wednesday afternoon.

“One of the things I was asked by our local media, and I think it’s something we need to get to the bottom of, is how many people have been impacted? Do we have a number of how many people have been impacted by these overpayments, Dr. [Kilolo] Kijakazi?” Carey asked.

Kijakazi, the acting commissioner of the SSA, said they do know the number, but was unable to provide it at the hearing.

“We do and I looked at that before I came and I’m sorry, I’m not thinking of the number right now,” Kijakazi said. “But I can provide that.”

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Carey, whose district includes parts of Miami, Clark, and Shelby counties, followed up and asked, “If we don’t know how many people are receiving it, how many people are receiving overpayment notices in a year?”

“So for the number of beneficiaries for (Fiscal Year) 2022, 1,028,389. For (Fiscal Year) 2023, 989,312,” she said.

Since our investigations, done in collaboration with our Cox Media Group sister stations and KFF Health News, we’ve heard from dozens of people in the Miami Valley and more than 200 people across the country saying they got an overpayment notice.

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