GAO: Dead People Probably Receive Social Security Benefits

Image: GAO: Dead People Probably Receive Social Security Benefits

Wednesday, 08 May 2013 04:35 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Dead people are probably receiving Social Security benefits, thanks to problems with the government's tracking of dead people, the Government Accountability Office determined in a study.

The federal database, which has records of almost 100 million dead people with Social Security numbers, probably contains thousands of mistakes, the GAO said, according to The Hill newspaper.

The GAO found almost 1,300 records of people whose recorded age of death was between the unlikely ages of 111 and 129, and records of almost 1,800 people who received Social Security numbers before the government had put them into use. In addition, 130 people were counted as dead before they were born.

The mistakes were discussed at a congressional hearing Wednesday concerning improper government payments in several benefit programs. The Office of Management and Budget estimates that in 2012, improper federal payments registered almost $108 million.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, was none too happy about government benefits going to dead people.

"Making payments to people who are dead, it drives me crazy," he said in the hearing Wednesday, The Hill reports.

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