A new report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) reveals that the Social Security Administration paid about $1,111,000 to deceased or likely deceased beneficiaries.
The purpose of the report titled “Payments Deposited into Bank Accounts After Beneficiaries are Deceased,” was to check the SSA’s “procedures for recovering payments improperly deposited into Title II beneficiaries’ bank accounts after their deaths.”
As a result of these findings, the OIG recommended that the SSA “obtain verifications of death, terminate benefits and recover payments after death."
“SSA did not effectively recover direct deposit payments to bank accounts after beneficiaries’ deaths because the Agency did not always determine when suspended beneficiaries had died. We concluded that 58 of the 59 beneficiaries we reviewed had died or were likely deceased.
“We estimate that SSA improperly paid about $1,111,000 to the 58 deceased or likely deceased beneficiaries. While SSA recovered about $35,000 paid after the deaths of the six beneficiaries it terminated, the Agency did not attempt to recover payments from the other beneficiaries.
“SSA uses direct deposit to make more than 98 percent of payments for Title II beneficiaries. While beneficiaries are not entitled to benefit payments for the month of death and later, direct deposit of benefits does not automatically stop when beneficiaries die. SSA must terminate or suspend the benefits to stop the monthly payments," the report stated.