Speak Out: GAO Report: Social Security Doesn't Know Who's Dead

Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Sat, Dec 28, 2013, at 9:20 PM:

The federal government of the USA is completely ignorant and incompetent, as is anyone who would defend or make excuses for it, or the beauracrats and politicians that run it.

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The Social Security Administration doesn't verify all its death reports, a new government report says, leading to problems when it comes to paying survivors' benefits.

"SSA's methods for processing death reports may result in inaccurate, incomplete or untimely information for users of its death data," says the Government Accountability Office in its report.

"Consequently, this could lead to improper payments if benefit-paying agencies rely on this data."

The SSA is responsible for cross-matching data on dead people, so that federal agencies can avoid paying out benefits to people who are no longer alive, reports The Washington Times, and so that they can pay accurate benefits for surviving family members.

The agency also maintains a "Death Master File" that is available to the public, but the data may not be entirely accurate, the GAO report indicates.

Auditors said SSA verifies death reports from several places, including state records, families, funeral directors, the post office, banks, and other places it considers accurate.

"Because SSA does not verify death reports from sources it considers most accurate, the agency risks having erroneous information in its death data, such as including living individuals or not including deceased individuals," the GAO report said.

The SSA is also inconsistent in how it shares its data, the auditors revealed. Some agencies share with the SSA, but it does not always share back.

The GAO recommended that SSA develop better plans for verifying death reports and sharing them with other government agencies.

"Only with more accurate and complete data can these agencies reduce the risk of paying deceased beneficiaries," auditors said. "However, because SSA has never analyzed the risk posed by errors or processes that could result in errors, it is not fully aware of steps that would be needed to address them."

The government pays out billions in improper death benefits, according to the Office of Management and Budget. In fiscal year 2012 alone, agencies paid out $108 billion in improper payments, including millions of dollars a year in subsidies to dead farmers after the Agriculture Department did not verify where the money was going, the GAO said.

NEWSMAX

Replies (14)

  • I bet this all started on Jan 20, 2009

    -- Posted by left turn on Sat, Dec 28, 2013, at 10:54 PM
  • blah.blah.blah

    -- Posted by survivalist on Sun, Dec 29, 2013, at 12:34 AM
  • I bet this all started on Jan 20, 2009

    -- Posted by left turn on Sat, Dec 28, 2013, at 10:54 PM

    Lefty,

    Don't be so hard on your poor boy. If I had to guess, I would say that it has probably been going on with Social Security, since day one.

    This little ditty from the article goes to show that the Obama Administration has not stopped it. Since he promised a new wind would be blowing through Washington and we would have a transparent government, it appears from the following statement that he has not cleaned up the mess in the Social Security agency yet.

    From the article....

    In fiscal year 2012 alone, agencies paid out $108 billion in improper payments, including millions of dollars a year in subsidies to dead farmers after the Agriculture Department did not verify where the money was going, the GAO said.

    -- Posted by Have_Wheels_Will_Travel on Sun, Dec 29, 2013, at 12:50 AM
  • Dead farmers are on the hook for taxes and those subsidies are probably from the final filing.

    I wouldn't put much store in one government agency saying another is wasting taxpayer monies.

    I'm sure there are people that try to keep grandma's SS check coming but it's hard for me to fathom that much overall.

    -- Posted by Old John on Sun, Dec 29, 2013, at 1:31 AM
  • Don't surprise me when you have no accountability in government this happens.

    -- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Sun, Dec 29, 2013, at 11:59 AM
  • The saga continues:

    $274 Million paid to dead federal retirees since 2011.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/30/OPM-274-Million-Paid-to-Dead-...

    -- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Mon, Dec 30, 2013, at 7:23 PM
  • Being dead is an absolute, I would think. People aren't just "partly" or "mostly" dead. They're dead or they're not.

    That's an absolute...an absolute truth.

    Think about that. Absolute truths cannot be changed or manipulated to suit someone's purpose. So they have to be ignored, hidden, concealed, obfuscated.

    Beware of anyone who doesn't think there are absolute truths.

    -- Posted by Givemeliberty on Wed, Jan 1, 2014, at 12:26 AM
  • People can't resist that free money GMF.

    -- Posted by We Regret To Inform U on Wed, Jan 1, 2014, at 9:19 AM
  • More government incompetence.

    FOOD STAMP PROGRAM OVERPAYS $2 BILLION IN 2013, $2.7 BILLION IN 2012.

    The federal government's food stamp program mistakenly overpaid recipients $2.1 billion-- out of its $74.6 billion budget-- in 2013, according to the Department of Agriculture annual report.

    The government also underpaid food stamp recipients to the tune of $500 million because of mistakes by case workers or the clients themselves.

    All in all, $2.6 billion of the food stamp program was misspent, according to Breitbart.

    By its own criteria, the Department of Agricultural wrongly spent $6.2 billion from its various programs including the National School Lunch Program ($1.8 billion), School Breakfast Program ($831 million), Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Program Fund ($566 million), and Women, Infants, and Children food program ($198 million).

    The USDA describes an improper payment as occurring "when a participating household is certified for too many or too few benefits compared to the level for which they are eligible. This can result from incomplete or inaccurate reporting of income and/or assets by participants at the time of certification and from changes subsequent to certification, or errors in determining eligibility or benefits by caseworkers."

    The New York Times estimated that "more than $3 billion is lost to trafficking, fraud and overpayments" in annual food stamp expenditures.

    Kevin Concannon, the USDA under secretary in-charge of the food stamp program said, abuse represents a small percentage of the program.

    "But I don't tolerate it, and I worry about it because I don't want the American public to unfairly paint the millions of people who play by the rules," he told the Times.

    The Agricultural Department obtained over 600 indictments for fraud last year.

    Food stamp overpayments in 2013 were slightly less than the $2.7 billion erroneously spent in 2012, Breitbart reported.

    -- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Wed, Jan 1, 2014, at 3:47 PM
  • If we spend 3 billion to make sure 2.6 billion isn't wasted, are we really better off?

    -- Posted by miccheck on Wed, Jan 1, 2014, at 4:15 PM

    Yes. One is always better off in the long run doing what is right.

    -- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Wed, Jan 1, 2014, at 4:56 PM
  • 1. Fixes the problem for the future so the $1 no longer needs to be spent.

    2. Allowing wrongs only to save money sets bad precident.

    -- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Wed, Jan 1, 2014, at 5:24 PM
  • How do we know it is going to cost a $1 to save $0.90 is accurate, other than someone said so. Is there some official information on that?

    -- Posted by Have_Wheels_Will_Travel on Wed, Jan 1, 2014, at 5:29 PM
  • The federal government needs to get out of the welfare business.

    If alms for the poor is to be a government duty, let it be a state government duty administered by county governments.

    Why do I say that? Because local politicians are more accountable than a big federal agency where no one knows who does what.

    -- Posted by Old John on Wed, Jan 1, 2014, at 11:37 PM
  • The federal government needs to get out of the welfare business.

    If alms for the poor is to be a government duty, let it be a state government duty administered by county governments.

    Why do I say that? Because local politicians are more accountable than a big federal agency where no one knows who does what.

    -- Posted by Old John on Wed, Jan 1, 2014, at 11:40 PM

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