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Overpayment Outrage

Overpayment Outrage

KFF Health News / Cox Media Group Investigation

Social Security has been overpaying billions of dollars to people, many on disability – then demanding the money back, even if the government made mistakes, an investigation by KFF Health News and Cox Media Group revealed. The reporting has triggered harsh criticism in Congress and led to an investigation by the agency.

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“Overpayment Outrage” is a collaboration between KFF Health News and Cox Media Group TV stations

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Justina Worrell’s aunt and caregiver Addie Arnold, who took her in when she was orphaned as a child, said neither of them has $60,175.90 to repay the government. (WHIO-TV, Dayton)

Video Gallery

Hundreds of thousands of families are facing unexpected bills from government (WSB-TV, Atlanta)

Local families told they owe thousands they don’t have after Social Security overpayments (WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh)

Social Security Administration clawing back $21 billion in overpayments (KIRO-TV, Seattle)

Hundreds of thousands of people face overpayment claims from Social Security (WFTV, Orlando)

‘We have to get this right!’ Lawmakers demand action in Congressional hearing over SSA overpayments (WSB-TV, Atlanta)

I-TEAM: Senators demand answers from Social Security for clawbacks tied to Covid relief (WHIO-TV, Dayton)

Lawmakers demand answers from SSA after Channel 2/KFF Health News investigation (WSB-TV, Atlanta)

Social Security reviewing overpayment policies, procedures following Action News Jax investigation (WJAX-TV, Jacksonville)

I-TEAM: Some say they’ve lost Social Security benefits because of stimulus checks (WHIO-TV, Dayton)

Some say they’ve lost Social Security benefits because of stimulus checks (WSOC-TV, Charlotte)

Families say they lost Social Security benefits due to agency erroneously counting COVID-19 checks (WFXT-TV, Boston)

People say COVID-19 stimulus caused social security overpayments, even though that money was exempt (WFTV-TV, Orlando)



David Hilzenrath
Jodie Fleischer, Cox Media Group
Samantha Manning, Cox Media Group
Justin Gray, WSB-TV, Atlanta
John Bedell, WHIO-TV, Dayton
Shannon Butler, WFTV-TV, Orlando
Amy Hudak, WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh
Jesse Jones, KIRO-TV, Seattle
Ted Daniel, WFXT-TV, Boston
Madison Carter, WSOC-TV, Charlotte
Ben Becker, WJAX-TV, Jacksonville
Alyssa Raymond, WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh


John Hillkirk
Kelly Johnson
Jodie Fleischer, Cox Media Group

Web Producers

Eric Harkleroad
Alessandra Bergamin
Lynne Shallcross
Oona Tempest
Lydia Zuraw

TV Producers

Leah Dunn, WSB-TV, Atlanta
Christine Swartz, WFXT-TV, Boston
Laura Beggs, WSOC-TV, Charlotte
Shawn Lanier, WHIO-TV, Dayton
Maria Tomasch, WJAX-TV, Jacksonville
Christopher Heath, WFTV-TV, Orlando
Cyndy McGrath, WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh
Anna Rodzinski, KIRO-TV, Seattle
Josh Wade, Cox Media Group
Jon Sonnheim, Cox Media Group

Copy Editors

Terry Byrne
Gabe Brison-Trezise