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Public employees are among those feeling the strain of overpayments

Overpayments from SSA – and the hardship that clawbacks inflict on vulnerable people – continue to garner public attention. Pittsburgh-based WPXI has been covering the problem of overpayments, and recently highlighted the effects on current and retired public employees:

We talked to Ron Bonasso, a retired postal worker who says at age 71, his Social Security checks stopped coming altogether and he’s now working two jobs just to make ends meet. Bonasso says the first letter from the Social Security Administration came in 2018.

“They said in the letter that, ‘we noticed you had a pension from the postal service and this pension, there’s a certain way it needs to be calculated,’” Bonasso recalls.

Bonasso says the SSA told him his payments would be reduced over the next couple of years to make up for this, but that’s not what happened.

“I started getting raises from them. I was getting $200, $300, $400. It got up to $509 after two years,” Bonasso tells 11 Investigates.

Then, he says another letter came in 2020.

“They said ‘So we overpaid you because you should have gotten less,’” Bonasso told us. “They said the same thing in 2018, but they didn’t do it!”

In August, Bonasso says his checks stopped coming altogether.

“I called them up. Two and a half hours on the phone to get through,” Bonasso said. “They said, ‘Well we suspended you,’ well thanks for telling me. Why would you cut someone off? That’s not America anymore.”

Read the full article at WPXI.com. It’s encouraging to see these stories come to light as we work to push SSA toward more reasonable, efficient, and claimant-centric policies.

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