The article reports:
This week’s Golden Horseshoe goes to the Social Security Administration, which paid an estimated $79 million to the deceased in just three states over a 10-year period, according to a final audit report by the agency’s Office of Inspector General.
“We estimate SSA issued approximately $79 million in payments after death to 1,127 beneficiaries and four representative payees who died in Alabama, Georgia, or Illinois between January 1978 and December 2018,” the report found.
The watchdog identified an additional 53,486 deceased non-beneficiaries in those states whose death information was not in the SSA’s Numerical Identification System.
Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It includes examples of payments made to people who have been dead for years.
The article notes:
“In October and November of 2020, we referred to SSA all identified beneficiaries and representative payees who may have received improper payments after death,” the IG reported. “Identifying and correcting these discrepancies will prevent approximately $14 million in additional improper payments after death over a 12-month period.”
The audit was conducted from April to November 2020. As of April 2021, the SSA terminated payments to 832 deceased beneficiaries and four deceased representative payees.
The agency has initiated the recovery of $35 million in improper payments it sent out, the IG reported.
The SSA established the Electronic Death Registration for states to electronically submit death reports to the agency to prevent payments after death. Once states submit through the EDR, if the deceased data matches the agency’s records, then SSA posts the information to its Numident file and terminates payments. SSA also receives death information from other sources aside from EDR, including family members and funeral directors.
It is time for the government to stop wasting taxpayers’ money. If the people who work for the government cannot do a better job of keeping track of who is receiving payments, they should either get a new computer system or new employees. No private company would tolerate that kind of wasteful spending.