Audit Shows Social Security Administration Paid Out More Than 40 Million To Dead People

There are always claims about how The Social Security Administration is going to run out of money for the younger generations. This is the sort of mismanagement that could explain it.

“The Office of the Inspector General (IG) at the Social Security Administration (SSA) has released a March 2019 internal audit that sought to determine whether the SSA has been doling out benefits to dead people in Maryland and Michigan. The answer, as it turns out, is a resounding “yes.” Overall, the IG found that the SSA had paid out nearly $42 million to about 500 dead people.

The SSA identified 160 individuals who had possibly died, with 57 from Michigan from 1971 through 2010 and 103 from Maryland from 1979 through 2015. Around $16.9 million in payments were issued to 145 individuals who reportedly died in these states. The remaining 15 were alive.

There was an instance where a woman received payments for a person who died in 2000 and used it for personal benefit. She pleaded guilty for theft and was required to pay nearly $170,000 back to SSA. Another person also received Social Security benefits that was posted under the deceased person’s record since 1997. The beneficiary had died in 1974.”

The extent of the problem does seem to be diminishing.

In the 2009 audit, investigators found about 6,000 people who were still being paid despite some evidence they’d died. By 2013 that number was down to less than 2,500.”

But some of the cases are extreme, with benefits still being paid out more than 17 years after Social Security first recorded them as dead.

In one specific case detailed in the audit, a man died in September 2010 and two months later Social Security verified and recorded his date of death on his file. But it didn’t correct its payment system, so he kept receiving checks.

He was flagged in a 2013 “Death Alert” by Social Security, but even that still didn’t stop payments.

All told, he was paid more than $133,000 before the inspector general’s review finally stopped payments in May 2017. The case was referred for a criminal investigation into who was collecting the money.”

Talk about the mishandling of funds…

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