The Social Security Administration released Thursday an interim final rule streamlining the waiver process for certain overpayment debts some beneficiaries may have incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SSA will accept comments on the rule until Oct. 26.
As it stands now, if an individual is overpaid by the SSA, they can request a waiver to appeal the repayment. The Social Security actuary estimates roughly $238 million in debt owed will be waived.
Under SSA’s new rule, which comes in response to COVID-19, the SSA will apply a streamlined waiver process for Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Special Veterans Benefits overpayments incurred between March 1 and Sept. 30, 2020.
“In March, the SSA took unprecedented measures to protect beneficiaries’ income and healthcare coverage during the pandemic by not taking certain actions. This choice caused individuals to be overpaid, through no fault of their own,” according to a statement from House Ways and Means ranking member Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and other lawmakers on Thursday.
“This decision is the right call, and we applaud Commissioner Saul’s move to streamline the process to have this debt waived for taxpayers,” added Brady, along with Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Leader Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., and Social Security Subcommittee Republican Leader Tom Reed, R-N.Y.