9 Investigates team receives prestigious award for Social Security overpayments investigation

The 9 Investigates team has been honored with a prestigious national award for our investigative stories that exposed how Social Security overpayments cost millions of Americans their monthly benefits.

At an annual awards ceremony held in Boston Wednesday evening, The Harvard Kennedy School honored our reporting along with our sister stations and the non-profit KFF Health News with a Goldsmith Awards Special Citation.

It recognizes journalism that examines how government works, including how and why it can fail, and how those problems can be solved.

We exposed how the Social Security Administration has been overpaying billions of dollars each year to vulnerable Americans, then demanding they pay the money back years later, even when it was the government’s mistake.

We found that more than $2 million people each year are hit with overpayments, and the agency often lowers or stops their monthly checks to recover the debts.

Our reporting led to a congressional hearing and tougher oversight. And the Social Security Administration recently announced significant changes to limit clawbacks. The agency also restored benefits for several of the people we featured in our stories.

VIDEO: Social Security commissioner has new plan for benefit overpayments