The US Social Security Administration (SSA) has determined that some $42 million was paid to about 500 deceased individuals in three states through Fiscal Year 2019, according to audit documents released by the Office of the Inspector General in March.
The administration identified 160 people it had paid who had possibly died: 57 from Michigan (from 1971 through 2010) and 103 from Maryland (from 1979 through 2015). About $16.9 million was paid to 145 of those 160, who turned out to actually be dead. According to US laws, when a Social Security beneficiary dies, the payments stop. However, in these cases, they did not.
Things turned out to be much worse in Texas, where $25 million was given to 336 people and 18 representative payees (people who legally represent the beneficiaries) who died prior to or during 2016.
SSA conducted Michigan and Maryland's audits in Baltimore between November 2017 and January 2018, while Texas' report was done between February 2018 and January 2019 in Dallas, the Daily Caller report says.
According to a Forbes report, 6 million active Social Security numbers belong to people aged 112 and older, while there are only 40 people in the world aged 112 and over. The report says Social Security recipients were overpaid by a total of $10 billion in 2018 alone.
Since 2004, 20 large federal agencies have admitted to paying out $1.2 trillion in improper payments. Last year, these improper payments totaled $140 billion, Forbes says.