We often discuss the considerable challenges people face when they are applying for disability benefits from Social Security. We note that many applications are initially denied for a variety of reasons, from incomplete medical records to typographical errors. It can be easy to feel like Social Security agents are looking for any reason to deny these benefits to people.
However, they weren’t all that careful when it came to at least $1.1 million being paid out to ineligible Supplemental Security Income recipients. A recent audit revealed that 246 payments totaling more than $1 million were improperly made to people outside the U.S.
While there are many complicated eligibility requirements to receive SSI, one of the more basic requirements is that a recipient must reside in the United States, though there are a few exceptions.
It is not reported whether people collecting benefits knew they were ineligible to receive SSI payments for moving outside of the U.S. or not, but SSA agents certainly should have known. Reports indicate that they are notified with an alert every time a payment is made outside the U.S. However, personnel evidently ignored these alerts quite often.
With funding as limited as it is, it can be quite upsetting to learn that people are wrongfully receiving payments through the very system that regularly denies them to people who are arguably eligible right here in Tennessee.
Unfortunately, this is just another example of what needs to be fixed in terms of the Social Security disability benefits system. If you have concerns about your eligibility for SSI or other disability benefits, it can be crucial to discuss them with an attorney who can help you navigate the process and work to avoid mistakes that could put your benefits in jeopardy.
Source: The Washington Free Beacon, “Disability Program Issued $1.1 Million in Benefits to Individuals Living Outside U.S.,” Ali Meyer, Oct. 21, 2015