The Nation : U.S. Overpays $2 Billion

The Social Security Administration is owed nearly $2 billion by beneficiaries, survivors and dependents who received checks to which they were not entitled, Congress' General Accounting Office reported. The debt, as of September, 1984, was eight times the amount owed Social Security in fiscal 1978, and represented 1.4 million cases of overpayment. In fiscal 1982, Social Security's retirement and disability trust funds spent or lost $288 million because of overpayments--$140 million in lost investment income, $124 million in administrative costs and $24 million written off as bad debts, the GAO said.

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