Social Security paid 740 dead people at least $17.1 million

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) paid at least 740 dead people $17.1 million in benefits, according to an audit by the Office of Inspector General.

The audit released Wednesday, found that the federal agency did not try to recover direct deposit payments that went into deceased persons’ bank accounts, and that the number of benefit payments to the dead is likely much higher, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The OIG based its results on the bank records of 58 deceased individuals, finding that the SSA had put $1,111,000 into their accounts. The agency only was able to recover $35,000 and “did not attempt to recover payments from the other beneficiaries.” Family members or others can withdraw the funds if they have access to the dead individual’s account.

Expanding their results to the entire beneficiary population, the OIG determined that a low estimate for improper direct deposit payments to dead people amounts to $17,103,880.

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