Social Security Administration disbursed $125.2 million in benefits to deceased beneficiaries

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This week’s Golden Horseshoe goes to the Social Security Administration, which paid $125.2 million to more than 2,500 deceased beneficiaries because agency employees failed to add death dates to its records, according to a final audit report by the agency’s Office of Inspector General.

The internal watchdog performed the audit to determine if the SSA was checking its files of deceased against death records maintained by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“We identified 3,084 current beneficiaries whose personally identifiable information matched that of a deceased individual in the CMS death data,” the IG report states.

The OIG provided SSA the beneficiaries’ death information in February 2020. As of July 2021, SSA staff had “terminated payments to 2,679 beneficiaries and determined it had issued $125.2 million in payments after the beneficiaries’ deaths,” the auditors reported. “Identification and correction of these discrepancies prevented $33.9 million in additional improper payments over a 12-month period.” …

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