Major Causes of Improper Payments

The table below indicates the major causes of improper payments (overpayments and underpayments) in FY 2012 for the SSI program using OMB’s three categories of error:

Major Causes of SSI Improper Payments in FY 2012
  % of Improper Payments Major Types of Errors
Verification and Local Administration Errors 59%Detection of unreported financial accounts and wages
Authentication and Medical Necessity Errors 27% Existence or changes to living arrangements and In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM)
Administrative and Documentation Errors 14%Incorrect computations, misapplication of an income or resource exclusion, and wrong month of change

The following tables indicate the major causes of SSI overpayments and underpayments,
for FYs 2008 - 2012, as determined by our payment accuracy reviews:

Major Causes of SSI Overpayments FY 2008 – FY 2012
Financial Accounts The applicant or beneficiary (or his or her parent or spouse) has financial accounts that exceed the allowable resource limits ($2,000 individual/$3,000 couple) that may result in periods of SSI program ineligibility.
Wages The beneficiary (or his or her parent or spouse) has actual wages that exceed the wage amount used to calculate payment.
Other Real Property Undisclosed non-home real property is a growing cause of improper overpayments in the SSI program. SSI ineligibility may result if the beneficiary is the owner of real property other than his or her principal place of residence. 
Major Causes of SSI Underpayments FY 2008 – FY 2012
Living Arrangements We paid the beneficiary as if he or she was "living in the household of another" when he or she was living in his or her own household for SSI purposes and, therefore, the beneficiary is due a higher payment amount.
In-Kind Support and Maintenance ISM is unearned income received in the form of food or shelter.  The error results when the beneficiary's amount of ISM is less than the amount used to calculate payment.
Wages The beneficiary (or his or her parent or spouse) has actual wages that are less than the wage amount used to calculate payment.