RSDI and SSI Recovery Efforts

We have a robust debt collection program to recover all types of overpayments. We collected $3.363 billion in Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit overpayments in fiscal year (FY) 2015. To recover overpayments, we use internal debt collection techniques (i.e., payment withholding and billing/follow-up), as well as the external collection techniques authorized by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 for RSDI debts and the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 for SSI debts. The following table lists some examples of our external collection techniques.

Cumulative Programmatic Debt Recovery Methods Through FY 2015
(dollars in billions)
Recovery Method Inception Description OASDI SSI TOTAL
TOP 1992 TOP allows us to collect delinquent debt by tax refund offset, administrative offset, and Federal Salary Offset. We collected $346.9 million in FY 2015 through this initiative. $1.669 $1.063 $2.732
Credit Bureau Reporting* 1998 We report delinquent debts owed by former OASDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients to credit bureaus. Credit bureau reporting contributed to the recovery of $79.8 million in FY 2015. $0.551 $0.385 $0.937
Cross Program Recovery 2002 Cross program recovery collects OASDI overpayments from monthly SSI payments and underpayments, and SSI overpayments from monthly OASDI benefit payments and underpayments. We collected $148.5 million** though cross program recovery in FY 2015. $0.227 $0.985 $1.212
NED 2005 NED is an automated system used to control recovery activity for debtors who are not entitled to benefits (e.g., representative payees who receive payments after the death of a beneficiary). We used NED to recover $3.5 million in FY 2015. $0.036 N/A $0.036***
AWG 2005 AWG allows us to recover delinquent OASDI and SSI overpayments by ordering a debtor’s employer to garnish up to 15 percent of the debtor's private-sector disposable pay. We collected $15.1 million through this process in FY 2015. $0.137 $0.027 $0.164
Automatic Netting SSI 2002 This program automatically nets SSI overpayments against SSI underpayments. Using this program, we “netted” $123.4 million in FY 2015. N/A $1.483 $1.483
Total     $2.033 $3.558 $5.591


* Credit bureau reporting is a subset of TOP collections.
**The cross program recovery total for FY 2015 includes all cross program recoveries; however, the cumulative cross program recovery totals include only those totals we can track since inception.
***NED is a subset of TOP and AWG collections.