Social Security Administration Failed to Record more than a Million Deaths
Friday, July 13, 2012
The “Death Master File” is once again causing troubles for the Social Security Administration (SSA).
A database listing Americans who have died since the 1960s, the Death Master File is used by the SSA and other federal agencies to determine when to stop paying out benefits to those no longer alive. The database also is used by businesses trying to authentic customers’ identification and prevent identity theft.
Previous investigations have found that SSA officials did not update the database in a timely manner. A new report from the agency’s inspector general uncovered similar concerns, only this time SSA was faulted for not properly recording the deaths of 1.2 million Americans.
As a result of this failure, numerous federal agencies, such as those dispensing farm subsidies and Medicare, continued to send out checks to people who were dead.
In some cases, SSA did manage to update its own records to prevent some of the deceased from continuing to receive Social Security checks. The IG report said that, in 2010, 681 deceased beneficiaries had earnings that were recorded one or more years after their deaths.
The Death Master File is now available as a free app for iPhones and Android phones.
To Learn More:
Social Security Administration Did Not Properly Record 1.2 Million Deaths, Auditors Find (by Lisa Rein, Washington Post)
Title II Deceased Beneficiaries Who Do Not Have Death Information on the Numident (Social Security Administration Inspector General) (pdf)
Social Security Has Paid Millions of Dollars to 1,760 Dead People Since 2008 (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Because Obama Administration Demanded Google Cooperate in Surveillance, Chinese Gained Access to Targets
- 85,000 Vets Treated for Sexual Abuse Injuries and Trauma in 2012
- U.S. Counter-Terrorism Apparatus is used to Quell Dissent among Americans
- Global Increase in Bigotry against Jews and Muslims
- Robots Seen as Filling Caregiver Vacuum for Aging Baby Boomers