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Following Ways and Means Leaders’ Urging, Social Security Administration Offers Partial Relief to Seniors and People with Disabilities

August 27, 2020
Press Release
Larson, Neal, and Davis note progress, but call for additional, much-needed policy changes to protect vulnerable Americans

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (D-CT), and Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) released the following statement after the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced changes to its waiver request process for certain individuals overpaid through no fault of their own during the pandemic, and the resumption of check reductions for overpaid individuals:

“In the midst of an ongoing pandemic and recession, we are glad that the Social Security Administration is making it easier for seniors and people with disabilities to request waivers for repaying benefits the agency unintentionally overpaid during the COVID-19 crisis. However, this does not go far enough, and we reiterate our earlier call for SSA to waive this debt automatically, without putting the onus on beneficiaries to navigate the federal bureaucracy to secure relief.

“We strongly oppose the agency’s plan to resume its practice of reducing overpaid beneficiaries’ checks after August 31. Cutting individuals’ benefits at this time of extreme difficulty will be particularly harmful for beneficiaries living in or near poverty. SSA should reverse this ill-timed decision.

“To adequately support vulnerable beneficiaries, Congress should pass the Fairness for Seniors and People with Disabilities During COVID-19 Act, which protects seniors, surviving spouses, children, and people with severe disabilities who rely on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to survive.”

The lawmakers’ August 17 letter to Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul regarding overpayment relief can be viewed HERE.

More information on H.R. 7830, the Fairness for Seniors and People with Disabilities During COVID-19 Act, is available HERE.