WASHINGTON (AP) — The Social Security Administration made $6.5 billion in overpayments to people not entitled to receive them in 2009, including $4 billion under a supplemental income program for the very poor, a government investigator said Tuesday.

In all, about 10 percent of the payments made under the agency's Supplemental Security Income program were improper, said Patrick P. O'Carroll Jr., the Social Security inspector general.

Error rates were much smaller for retirement, survivor and disability benefits, which make up the overwhelming majority of Social Security payments, O'Carroll told a congressional panel.

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