Congress to hold hearing following Action News Jax investigation into Social Security overpayments

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax has learned that Congress will be holding a hearing to look into the Social Security Administration demanding people pay back money they were overpaid.

The move comes nearly a month after an Action News Jax and Kaiser Family Foundation Health News investigation showed how hundreds of thousands of families are getting demand letters from Social Security to repay benefit overpayments, even when it’s the government who made the mistake.


You are on the hook for the money. Social Security has maintained they are required by federal law to seek repayment.

In a news release from the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, it said that will hold a hearing next week to “better identify improper payments before they occur and provide beneficiaries with adequate notice when they occur.”

The government claims Jasmine Gonzalez owes $26,880.44. She told us it happened after she claimed her mother’s winning bingo prize because her mom didn’t have her Social Security card – 28 years ago. The prize was just under $1,500 dollars, but Gonzalez ended up paying a much bigger price.

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“I even went down to the Jacksonville courthouse to the federal courts, filed a petition on them, and they were so nasty towards me I didn’t care no more,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez is not alone. Action News Jax found other Jacksonville residents who received overpayment notices from the Social Security Administration (SSA). One was for $10,429 and another was for $12,054.

Last week, SSA said it would be reviewing its overpayment procedures and policies.

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The acting commissioner said a top leader reporting directly to her will lead this team reviewing overpayments.

She also points out in her news release that families can request a waiver and that current law allows SSA in some cases to waive repaying these overpayments.

The hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled for Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. So far, they have not released a list of witnesses expected to testify.

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