Durbin asks Social Security Administration to waive potential penalties
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) signed a letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Attorney General Loretta Lynch last week, urging the officials not to penalize same-sex benefits recipients for overpayments the SSA made incorrectly.
“We are concerned to hear that, for some time after the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision, SSA continued to issue benefits to Supplemental Security Income recipients in same-sex marriages as though these individuals were single, and that for some SSI recipients, SSA is still doing so,” the letter said. “SSA should not penalize people who are poor, elderly or disabled because SSA continued issuing benefits to these married individuals as though they were single. According to SSA’s statute and regulations, SSA shall avoid penalizing an individual for overpayment if the individual is without fault and if recovery of the overpayment would be against equity and good conscience.”
Durbin and his colleagues asked the SSA to issue repayment waivers to anyone affected by this lapse because the error was made by the agency, not the couples receiving the benefits.