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Friday, March 28, 2008

Overpayment of Death Benefits: Its Impact to Future Beneficiaries

Social Security Death Benefits greatly reduce the financial burden of the families of the deceased worker. It somehow lessens the thought of having lost a member of a family. It is as if he didn’t die as he/she continues to support the family through the benefits the deceased family receives.

But news on overpayment of death benefits, while advantageous to some who had received more, are bad news to some who are yet to benefit from it.

As I can clearly recall, when George W. Bush's second term begins, no item on his plan is more controversial than Social Security privatization. He claims that the current Social Security program is "in crisis" and is unsustainable. I’m wondering if this supposed news on overpayment one of the reasons for the proposed privatization of Social Security. Or could have been because it has been politicized? I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine.

What I know is that even before this news on overpayment; Social Security has always been faced with various problems and criticisms. One notable criticism is that Social Security is likened to a Ponzi scheme wherein current workers pay the bills of current retirees. It was constructed as a “pay-as-you-go plan”.

Social Security has been a great help not only for the family of the deceased but of disabled and retirees. Throughout these years, it has been the refuge of thousands of people for financial assistance.

Benefits under the system like death benefits are precious to its beneficiaries. The government should do everything it can to protect and ensure its availability.