Social Security Has Paid Millions of Dollars to 1,760 Dead People Since 2008

Friday, September 09, 2011
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has spent tens of millions of dollars paying beneficiaries after they’ve died, some for as long as decades.
An audit by the agency’s inspector general found that since 2008 $40.3 million was paid to more than 6,000 individuals who were reported to be deceased. In most cases, the people were actually still alive, but in about 1,760 cases the recipients were most definitely dead.
One person told CNNMoney that he notified officials four years ago about his mother’s death. And yet she continues to receive her monthly checks.
Another Social Security recipient, who died in April 1990 and whose death was recorded by SSA the following month, kept getting checks that eventually totaled $210,000.
The audit also determined that SSA paid about $7.3 million to 11,912 people who weren’t even eligible for Social Security and overpaid about $313 million to 89,300 beneficiaries.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Reports Reveals Millions in Social Security Benefits Paid to Dead People (by Dana Liebelson, Project on Government Oversight)
Payments to Individuals Whose Numident Record Contains a Death Entry (Social Security Administration, Inspector General) (pdf)


George 7 years ago
At least this article provides that people are trying to Social Security aware of the over sight. Did you know that Hillary Clinton has spent more money than this of tax payers money each year since being appointed by Obama. Imagine a foreign country getting 10 MILLION in aid and never having to feel guilty of never paying it back.
anonymouse 8 years ago
here is another story on this site which is quasi-sensational until you do the math and gain a little perspective -- which is what the article writer should have done for his readers. what's up with that? (the previous story concerned us petroleum exports, which dwindle to irrelevancy when compared to oil imports -- despite the writer's effort to hype the export of 3 million barrels a month as meaningful.) here you have an agency, the ssa, which dispenses about $700 billion per year; an error rate of one-half of one percent would mean waste amounting to some $4 billion per year -- but the actual amount of error is far far less than that, evidently on the order of a few million dollars a year according to this story. remarkable! -- especially when one considers the efficiency of the ssa in dispensing the funds (administrative costs are a fraction of one percent, compare that to an hmo or the pentagon). ... so what's this story about then? another salvo in the goldman-sachs/neo-con war on social security?

Leave a comment