In one case, I had to issue a $50,000 overpayment notice to a claimant from Tennessee despite his having followed all the rules about submitting workers' compensation settlement information. The abrupt and substantial debt placed on him was a terrible burden, yet I had no choice but to do my job. It was disheartening to think that his life — already difficult due to physical disability and economic limitations — was further damaged because of SSA's incompetence. As one may suspect, many of these overpayments are not repaid. Either the recipient goes into hiding and cannot be found, or their inability to pay results in Social Security writing off the debt. Money that would otherwise go to applicants in need of financial assistance is never recovered.