WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Thomas Zimmer — Some US citizens fraudulently hide the deaths of family members in order to continue receiving their Social Security retirement payments, experts told Sputnik.
“Some people attempt to commit fraud by concealing the death of a family member receiving Social Security benefits,” US Social Security Administration (SSA) Public Affairs Specialist William Jarrett said on Friday.
Jarrett explained that in such cases, the violators do not report the death of a family member to anybody, including their state or local authorities or the Social Security Administration.
US Department of Justice Public Affairs Specialist Peter Carr told Sputnik that US law enforcement agencies are teaming up with the Social Security Administration to pursue those who are exploiting the system.
“Various US Attorney’s Offices partner with the Social Security Administration to investigate and prosecute the posthumous fraud of Social Security benefits,” Carr said.
SSA detects these fraud cases by investigating people receiving benefits who are at least 90 years old and have been using senior healthcare benefits cards for three or more years, Carr explained.
A recent Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General report showed 6.5 million Americans that have active Social Security numbers and exceed 112 years of age are likely deceased.
On Thursday, US Senators including Ron Johnson and Tom Carper introduced the Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act that aims to save hundreds of millions of dollars in Social Security payments to US citizens who have already been deceased.