We have an entitlement problem in this nation.
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We have a lot of retirees, and we're quickly running out of money to pay them. This issue is close to many of our viewers hearts: you e-mail us all the time pointing out this is your money and you want it back when the time comes.
But until we reform the process that may not happen, especially if this story becomes the norm! The Social Security administration made $6.5 billion in overpayments in 2009, meaning some people received payments they were not entitled to while others received more than they should have!
And Social Security also made nearly $1.5 billion in underpayments-- raising the total amount of improper payments to $8 billion! Dont forget, that's taxpayer dollars!
It's not just the Social Security trust fund you and I pay into every month-- half of this is from the supplemental income program--for the very poor and it's where most of the errors are found.
To qualify for this program, beneficiaries must be 65 or older, blind or disabled and have very limited resources. Not counting their homes or vehicles, couples can own a maximum of three thousand dollars in assets - including cash, stock, and secondary property or vehicles.
In 2009 - of the $48 billion the supplemental security income program doled out , $4.8 billion were improper payments! That's 10%!
The rest of Social Security paid out $600 billion in retirement, survivor and disability payments in 2009 and more than $3 billion were not right!
I wish I could say this is the only aspect of the federal government with these kinds of mistakes, but more than $125 billion of your money was improperly spent last year.
And the problem is getting worse: that number was $110 billion in 2009.
Taxpayers are fed up with people trying to change Social Security, but this is a perfect example of why something needs to be done. Waste and fraud are just some of the reasons the program is going bust in 2036; we just have too many retirees and soon fewer payroll taxes to fund the program.
We need to have entitlement reform now, before there's nothing left to fix.