The Social Security Administration (SSA) gave $3 million in benefits to deceased people in California whose Social Security numbers were used by identity thieves, according to a new audit by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
The agency continued to distribute payments to beneficiaries who died in the 1980s, according to the audit released Thursday.
“OI [Office of Investigations] and SSA confirmed that SSA issued approximately $3 million in improper payments to 14 beneficiaries who died in California during the 1980s,” the report said. “SSA terminated payments in each of these cases and quantified improper payments issue after the numberholders’ deaths.”
In one case, the widow of a disabled man received his benefits for 28 years following his death in 1985. The widow received $231,687 in payments until November 2013. The agency will not pursue criminal charges due to the widow’s “advanced age.”