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Social Security asks for more enforcement funding

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Officials from the Social Security Administration (SSA) are asking Congress to make the enforcement funding the agency actually gets match the amount authorized.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 authorized about $1.2 billion in annual SSA “program integrity” spending, but, for the past two years, Congress has provided only about $1 billion in enforcement program cash each year, according to Carolyn Colvin, the acting SSA commissioner.

Existing enforcement efforts, including reviews of the cases of people getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, have held Social Security fraud to relatively low levels, but increasing actual funding to the level authorized would help SSA replace many of the 11,000 employees it has lost since 2011.

The added spending should bring in revenue, because every dollar spent on continuing disability reviews brings in an average of $9 in program savings, Colvin said Thursday at a House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee hearing.

“We have a backlog of 1.3 million CDRs due to budgetary shortfalls,” Colvin said.

Private disability insurers take an interest in the SSDI program because many coordinate the benefits they pay with SSDI benefits or consider SSDI eligibility determinations when assessing claims.

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