Millions of dollars out the window with zero accountability and the total ineptness you would expect from big government. This article will blow your mind. One sentence stood out to me:
“Another audit found that SSA paid $3 million to 14 dead Californians who had died in the 1980s.”
The Social Security Administration (SSA) paid individuals acting as representatives for disabled beneficiaries nearly $50 million even though they were dead.
An audit from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is just the latest example of the SSA’s inability to figure out who on their rolls is still alive.
The audit focused on “representative payees,” or a person who manages another’s finances due to mental or physical limitations. The OIG found that many payees acting on behalf of disability beneficiaries had died.
“SSA did not ensure new representative payees were selected when current payees died,” the OIG said. “Based on our sample results, we estimated 2,548 deceased payees received approximately $46.8 million in [Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance] OASDI benefits and [Supplemental Security Income] SSI payments.”
The total amount estimated to be “managed by deceased payees” was $46,886,205.
The majority of payments were made to dead payees who controlled payments to OASDI recipients, which receive an average $1,182.24 per month.
The OIG based its results on a sample of 200 representative payees, finding that 109 were deceased. The average total benefit payment to deceased payees was $15,762. Many received payments more than 2 years after their death.
The SSA is more likely to continue payments to dead payees than to cut them off, according to the OIG estimates. A total of 2,548 deceased payees received payments, while only 2,014 payees were not issued benefit funds after their death.
Though the OIG said a majority of payments to the dead did not show signs of fraud, the report highlights continuing problems with the SSA’s record keeping methods.
Of the 2,014 dead payees who did not receive funds after their death, 1,715 remained on the SSA’s Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) or Supplemental Security Records (SSR) databases. “Incorrect Social Security numbers (SSN) in SSA’s files compromises SSA’s computer matching efforts,” the OIG said.
The agency has massive amounts of incorrect SSNs on file. Earlier this year the OIG reported that the SSA has 6.5 million Social Security Numbers for 112-year-olds on file, allowing for “thousands of instances of potential identity theft.” There are only roughly 35 people aged 112 years or older living worldwide.
SSA has a habit of paying the dead. The OIG identified that the agency paid at least 740 dead people $17.1 million in benefits between 2013 and 2015, although benefit payments to the dead is likely much higher. Another audit found that SSA paid $3 million to 14 dead Californians who had died in the 1980s.
Read more: WFB