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Tags: ssa | social security | fraud

Social Security Should Step Up Fraud Detection

Michael Shannon By Thursday, 12 March 2015 11:03 AM Current | Bio | Archive

CNS News reports the Social Security Administration’s inspector general discovered the SSA database has 6.5 million people on the roll that are currently at least 112 years old.

This explains a number of modern day annoyances: Motorists who park in the right–turn–on–red lane, yet don’t turn on red or green. Shoppers that clog the Walmart express line while slowly extracting pennies from a snap–top coin purse.

Highway drivers that oscillate between 45 mph and 85 mph because a fear of winding up like the Flying Dutchman prevents them from using cruise control.

Not all these seniors are expecting you to ask about their grandchildren just because they put a bumper sticker on their car. Some are still working and paying into the system!

Many can be found loitering outside Home Depot — whistling at women and asking for work — should you want to drive by and congratulate them.

The inspector general explains: “During Calendar Years 2008 through 2011, SSA received 4,024 E-Verify inquiries using the SSNs of 3,873 numberholders born before June 16, 1901. These inquiries indicate individuals' attempts to use the SSNs to apply for work.”

I have a sneaking suspicion the elderly numbers that don’t belong to future Democrats probably belong to relatives of the dear departed who just can’t bear to cut the cord to Uncle Sam. That monthly check is like a message from Beyond and saves a trip to the cemetery or the Mylar balloon memorial.

Forging granny’s signature helps to keep her memory fresh.

Those of us who mistakenly thought you had to be alive to collect Social Security are wondering why Uncle Sam can’t flag the files of those born before Prohibition. My iPhone can send an alert when I get near a certain location. Ideally the SSA could get a notice anytime members of the immediate family of someone in excess of 100 years old approach a cemetery or crematorium.

Then an underworked Social Security bureaucrat could call and ask to speak to Mr. Methuselah and ask how his lumbago is getting along.

If that’s too complicated have an intern do a database search on every record born before 1920 and start investigating.

Even better, many states require seniors to visit the DMV in person to renew their driver’s license once they get past age 70. Cashing a check isn’t as complicated as operating a motor vehicle, and direct deposit is even easier, but still after age 85 — six years past expiration of average life expectancy — it would be a good idea for pee–paw to appear at the Social Security office in person to make sure he’s still fogging the mirror.

He could return to the office at three–year intervals or, if Granddad is one of those seniors who escapes from assisted living and runs down the road, he could wave as he moseys by.

Just so taxpayers have some form of proof–of–life before the next check goes out.

Shouldn’t at least one of the 60,000 employees in the agency be keeping track of checks paid to recipients whose family doctor is an archeologist? Is collecting your first Social Security check like becoming a member of Congress?

Once you’re in the club the benefits never expire?

Incentives for Social Security employees are all on the expenditure side. No one is going to be fired for sending checks to the last veteran of Gen. Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa. (Incidentally, Villa is one of the few Mexican illegals who crossed the U.S. border and then didn’t try to hide on our side.)

The more money that goes out each year simply proves what a pressing need there is for the Social Security Administration. Spending means job security. Under those circumstances a budget surplus is unthinkable if you’re a federal employee.

The bureaucrat that gets in real trouble is the one that denies a check to some geezer who claims to have served in the 4th Texas Infantry under Gen. Hood.

If he comes to work the next day only to find TV cameras with satellite uplinks in the parking lot and the family wheeling a gurney into the office to prove Cpl. Lazarus is still alive, there are going to be serious job security repercussions.

A solution is going to require outside intervention, possibly from Democrats. Sen. Tom Carper, D–Del., asserts, “Preventing agency errors by keeping track of who has died is a relatively simple problem that the government should pursue as a high priority."

Who knows? Once the government solves the problem of sending Social Security checks to the extra elderly, maybe it can turn its post–mortem attention toward the state of Illinois and look into the Chicago phenomenon of the voting dead.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

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Those of us who mistakenly thought you had to be alive to collect Social Security are wondering why Uncle Sam can’t flag the files of those born before Prohibition.
ssa, social security, fraud
Thursday, 12 March 2015 11:03 AM
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