The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about Social Security benefits being payed to people without Social Security numbers. What? Having a Social Security number means that you have had money taken out of your paycheck to pay into Social Security. Not having a Social Security number is an indication that you have not paid money into the system. What brand of insanity is this?
The article reports:
The Social Security Administration paid $1 billion in benefits to individuals who did not have a Social Security Number (SSN), according to a new audit.
The agency’s inspector general found errors in the government’s documentation for representative payees, otherwise known as individuals who receive retirement or disability payments on behalf of another person who is incapable of managing the benefits themselves.
The audit released Friday found thousands of cases where there was no SSN on file.
Over the last decade, the agency paid $1 billion to 22,426 representative payees who “did not have an SSN, and SSA had not followed its policy to retain the paper application.”
“Furthermore, unless it takes corrective action, we estimate SSA will pay about $182.5 million in benefits, annually, to representative payees who do not have an SSN or paper application supporting their selection,” the inspector general said.
The inspector general also found the agency paid $853.1 million in benefits since 2004 to individuals who had been terminated as representative payees by the agency.
Social Security has enough trouble paying its bills without paying people who never paid into Social Security.
The article includes the government’s defense of the practice of paying benefits to people without Social Security numbers:
The government defended the issuance of benefits to noncitizens and persons without an SSN.
“Representative payees play a significant role in many beneficiaries’ lives,” the SSA said. “We have approximately 5.7 million representative payees managing annual benefits for approximately 8 million beneficiaries. When appointing representative payees, we adhere to guidance in the Social Security Act (the Act).”
“Specific to this audit, the Act permits us to appoint, in certain circumstances, an undocumented alien, or applicant who resides outside the United States without a Social Security number (SSN) to serve as payee,” the agency said. “Specifically, the Act states we should verify a person’s SSN (or employer identification number) in our investigation of the payee applicant. However, the Act does not state that the applicant must have an SSN to serve as a payee.”
The “absence of an SSN is not a criterion preventing an individual from serving as payee,” the agency added.
First of all–the term ‘undocumented alien’ is a politically correct term for ‘illegal alien.’ Why in the world are we giving money to people who broke our laws to come here?
This is simply more of the swamp in Washington that needs to be drained.