Gov’t @ Work: A lesson in cost-benefit analysis.

The Inspector General for the Social Security Administration released a report on the SSA’s track record for detecting and collecting overpayments – amounts paid to people in excess of what they’re entitled to receive.

Here’s the good news …

“Generally, SSA attempts to collect overpayments regardless of the amount.”



Here’s the bad news …


“In many cases, the value of the overpayment is less than what SSA spends to collect it.”

Specifically, the IG concluded:

“The SSA spent over $323 million to collect low-dollar overpayments in FYs 2008 through 2013 … SSA collected approximately $109.4 million of the low-dollar overpayments … so, SSA spent over $213.6 million more than it collected.”


To make matters worse, the IG says that the collection costs are understated:

“The average cost to collect an SSI overpayment does not represent the cost of collecting the overpayment when multiple actions are required. This results in an understatement of the average cost to collect an SSI overpayment.”

Double ouch.

I know, this is small potatoes.

But, it’s an on-point example of gov’t efficiency …



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One Response to “Gov’t @ Work: A lesson in cost-benefit analysis.”

  1. John Milnes Baker Says:

    Does this come as a surprise to anyone who takes note of what goes on in our bloated federal government? John Milnes Baker

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