An audit of the Social Security Administration shows some 6.5 million people on the agency's rolls are 112 or older, raising the ire of Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson.
The SSA’s inspector general says that in all these cases the dates of death have not been registered in the main electronic file, called Numident, while thousands of dead people are having their identity stolen by illegal immigrants to apply for jobs, according to CNS News.
The audit by the Inspector General
released this month revealed that the agency does not have the technical ability to record death information on “numberholders” who exceed "maximum reasonable life expectancies," including people who were born before the Civil War.
"We obtained Numident data that identified approximately 6.5 million numberholders born before June 16, 1901 who did not have a date of death on their record," the report says.
The inspector general says that the numbers given to long-dead people were used fraudulently to open bank accounts and that thousands of those numbers were also used by illegal immigrants to obtain work, according to CNS.
“It is incredible that the Social Security Administration in 2015 does not have the technical sophistication to ensure that people they know to be deceased are actually noted as dead,” said Sen. Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican. “Tens of thousands of these numbers are currently being used to report wages to the Social Security Administration and to the IRS.
“People are fraudulently, but successfully, applying for jobs and benefits with these numbers. Making sure Social Security cleans up its death master file to prevent future errors and fraud is a good government reform we can all agree to.”
Calling it “a major problem,” Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, the Homeland Security Committee's ranking Democrat, said that the scandal exposes Americans to identity theft and is throwing taxpayers’ money down the drain.
"It is simply unacceptable that our nation’s database of Social Security numbers of supposedly living people includes more than six and a half million people who are older than 112 years of age, with a few thousand having birth dates from before the Civil War,” said Carper.
“Preventing agency errors by keeping track of who has died is a relatively simple problem that the government should pursue as a high priority."
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