Grateful Dead – Gov't Paid $405,357 in Welfare to 30 Deceased People

By Elizabeth Harrington | October 18, 2012 | 12:41pm EDT

FILE - This Feb. 2005 file photo shows trays of printed social security checks, in Philadelphia, waiting to be mailed from the U.S. Treasury. (AP Photo/Bradley C. Bower, File)

( – The Social Security Administration (SSA) paid 30 dead people $405,357, according to the Inspector General’s (IG) most current review of the agency.
An IG Audit Report, released on Oct. 12, had the stated objective “to determine whether Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments should be terminated for recipients whose Medicare benefit records indicated they were deceased.”

“In March 2012, we narrowed the records to 52 individuals whose SSI payments continued even though their Medicare records were terminated due to death,” the report stated.
Of the 52 individuals, “30 were deceased, and SSI payments should have been terminated."
“SSA overpaid these deceased individuals $405,357 in SSI payments for an average of 23 months,” the report said.  On average, the deceased individuals were paid $13,511.90.
Among the remaining individuals, 21 were alive and one was being reviewed for possible fraud.
The 30 deceased persons all received SSI payments for at least 7 months, and one received payments for more than 3 years. The overpayments include all checks issued after the individual’s date of death, ranging from $570 to $31,370, according to the report.
The IG used a California woman who died in September 2010 as an example of the improper payments.  “SSA properly terminated the Medicare record,” the IG said, “however, SSI payments continued.”
“According to this individual’s son, his mother passed away in September 2010, and he contacted SSA to terminate her SSI payments; yet payments continued.”
The SSA has terminated 29 of the 30 cases as of September 14, 2012, and evaluated more than $346,000 of the estimated $405,357 in overpayments after death, according to the report.
“For the remaining case, we provided SSA information to correct the record and requested appropriate action be taken,” the report said.  “In addition, the Agency avoided paying approximately $214,303 over the next 12 months by discontinuing these incorrect payments.”
The IG achieved its findings by matching Medicare records from July 2011 against SSI records from October 2011.

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