According to a report released by a government watchdog, the Social Security Administration has spent close to $38 million in benefits to hundreds of dead veterans. The report also stated that the Department of Veterans Affairs is to be partially blamed for the inaccurate death records.
The findings from the report were released late last week by the inspector general for the Social Security Administration. The report stated that the SSA has continued to pay people the VA listed as dead. While in some crazy instances, the VA had listed people as dead who were still alive. The SSA reported that to the inspectors that the VA had on several occasions failed to share with them, their monthly reports of the names of some veterans who had died.
In case these issues that are arising between these two agencies are not resolved soon, the inspectors estimated that the SSA will be paying out more than $7 million to dead people come 2018. The office further gave a financial estimate of around $37.7 million made in payments by the Social Security which have been paid to 746 people who had already died. This was even worrying since it was unclear how long this has been going on.
A VA spokesman responded on Tuesday, saying that it was crucial to appreciate that most of the records given by the VA to the SSA in the year 2016 were indeed accurate.
Last year the Inspector General's Office was given 17 million death records by the VA, the office counter checked the records against the Social Security Administration's database. They found that there existed about 3,925 cases of people receiving Social Security payments even though they had been listed as deceased. The estimation of the amount related to improper payments was entirely based on a sample of 100 of those cases.
These issues have dated back to more than 10 years. In 2006 SSA released a similar report that showed that payments were being sent to veterans who had been listed by the VA listed as dead. And by 2006 payments totaling to $11.7 million in payments had been made.
The Social Security Administration in a response to the report decided to go through the 3,925 cases which the inspectors had uncovered of the people who had been receiving payments even though they had been listed by the VA listed as dead.