Yes, since 2009 the Social Security Administration (SSA) has paid more than $30 million to 1,542 people that are currently listed in its system as being deceased. The SSA also has 879 people who have been listed as deceased, but upon verification appear to be alive and well. In one instance, a person was sent monthly payment for almost 20 years after the date of death.
Those in the whistleblower community are always stepping forward and looking for ways to prevent fraud – especially for our social security system, which has long been in need of reform in order to continue offering benefits to future generations. In response to this, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has conducted an audit of the SSA's records and reporting system. The OIG recommended major changes to the reporting system or the SSA would continue to lose another $15 million over the next several months.
In an effort to prevent fraud and a waste of benefit money, the SSA recently implemented the Death Alert Tracking System. The system is designed to identify possible fraud, and then send field officers to conduct a follow up investigation. It remains to be seen how effective this new system will be, but any step taken to prevent fraud – including whistleblower claims – is a good sign for the social security system as a whole.
For more information about whistleblower cases and how Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. may be of assistance, contact a Washington, D.C. whistleblower attorney from our legal team for a