As the nation's largest cash assistance program for the poor, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program SSI provided $33 billion in benefits to 6.8 million aged, blind, and disabled persons last year. In 2001, the outstanding SSI debt and newly detected overpayments totaled $4.7 billion. To deter and detect overpayments, the agency obtained legislative authority to use additional tools to verify recipients financial eligibility for benefits, enhanced its processes for monitoring and holding staff accountable for completing assigned SSI workloads, and improved its use of automation to strengthen its overpayment detection capabilities. However, because a number of initiatives are still in the planning or early implementation stages, it is too soon to assess their ultimate impact on SSI payment accuracy. In addition to improving its overpayment deterrence and detection capabilities, SSA has made recovery of overpaid benefits a high priority.
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