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(95,589 posts)
Thu Mar 21, 2024, 04:07 PM Mar 21

Social Security program failed to properly notify people of huge fines, report finds [View all]

Source: Washington Post

The Social Security Administration’s internal watchdog office failed to properly notify some poor and disabled Americans before levying huge fines on them, an investigation by an independent watchdog agency found.
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The two-year probe into a little-known anti-fraud program discovered particularly stark due process violations starting in 2018, with investigators finding no evidence that the government ever sent written notice to some of those hit with massive penalties, which at times reached more than $100,000. Even when the inspector general’s office, which runs the program, did send notification letters in previous years, investigators found it often failed to properly serve people with notice of the proposed fines.

The findings raise “significant legal questions about the validity of penalties” on low-income people “who are potentially subject to having their future Social Security and disability benefits withheld,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote, summarizing his findings in a report issued this month to Congress and Social Security Commissioner Martin O’Malley.

Horowitz took the unusual step of urging the Social Security Administration to review every penalty the government has issued under the Civil Monetary Penalty program since 1995, to notify claimants who were fined and to take “corrective action.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/03/21/social-security-ennis-cigie-report-fines/
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