More than $850 million in taxpayer dollars went to 117,000 individuals earning cash benefit payments from both disability and unemployment in fiscal year 2010, according to a study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office released this week.
Some individuals have received more than $62,000 from both benefits in a year, according to the GAO study.
There isn’t a federal law in place that authorizes an elimination of disability and unemployment benefits, so the Social Security Administration and Department of Labor haven’t been looking, according to the GAO.
Putting in place a measure to reduce the overlap “could offer substantial savings,” according to the study.
The 117,000 who have overlapping benefits make up more than $281 billion in disability payments and $575 in unemployment.
The GAO recommends the Department of Labor work with the Social Security Administration to hunt down overlapping payments and see if “cost savings or other benefits might be achieved by reducing or eliminating overlapping DI and UI cash benefit payments,” according to the statement.