Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
Government in action! An audit of Social Security has discovered that the agency paid $1.7 million to dead federal workers.
An audit released by the agency’s inspector general Monday revealed that the Social Security Administration had not crosschecked beneficiaries’ deaths with the Office of Personnel Management, which manages federal employees. Missing just 35 deaths cost taxpayers $1.7 million.
“OPM’s annuitant file contained deaths that were not recorded in SSA’s systems,” the inspector general said. “SSA paid $1.7 million in [Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance] OASDI benefits to 35 deceased beneficiaries. The average payment after death was $49,156 for an average of 84 months. …Additionally, we estimate SSA would have continued paying these beneficiaries approximately $258,000 over the next year had the deaths not been identified,” the inspector general said. Another six deceased individuals received $56,695 after their benefits were terminated by the agency.
The response by Social Security? The agency called the $1.7 million payments to dead government workers an “extremely small number.”