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Federal government wrongful payouts: Fiscal responsibility over-paid billions

Congressional investigators each year estimate the total payments issued from federal agencies for people who are in need. These consist of tax credits, medical treatments and unemployment.

Fiscal responsibility over-paid billions
Heidi van der Westhuizen / Getty Images

In the news yesterday, representatives say that the amount of money that has been issued is estimated to be $100 billion a year for the past five years. The Washington Post reports many of those payments have been unnecessary as well as unwarranted.

People who have been collecting unemployment payments actually are working on or off the books. Medicare treatments are in question. Many of the tests, appointments and treatments can’t be substantiated and may be totally unnecessary.

The improper payments that were issued include over-payments, underpayments, payments made to individuals who didn’t have the proper identifying documents as well as submitting payments to the wrong people. Currently the over-payments are in the range of $97 billion and underpayments are close to $9 billion.

Whether it is an actual mistake, a clerical error or fraud on the part of some individuals the total amount that has been issued improperly is just staggering. Medicare and its various health insurance programs seems to be the worst with a total of $50 billion in improper payments sent forth.

Many of the payments issued regarding tax credits are supposed to help people to prevent poverty. Over $60 billion have been issued improperly to individuals due to false claims, wrong information on documents, coding errors and when filing status are misreported and others claim children they don’t have to obtain additional credits and larger returns.

A serious look needs to be taken when processing credits and payments to individuals and they should only be given to those in need. Action should be taken against those who are taking advantage of the federal programs that are meant to help the American people.

It is a shame that some people are taking advantage of these mix-ups while others are struggling to get by or deemed ineligible when they really fit the requirements of the programs that are available to all.