The Social Security Administration made $37 million worth of benefit payments to dead veterans, according to a new audit.

The inspector general for the agency reported more retirement and disability payments could be made to deceased individuals if action is not taken to correct the government’s death record system.

Payments to roughly 750 dead people resulted in millions of taxpayer dollars wasted, including one instance where an individual continued to receive benefits 26 years after his death.

“SSA issued payments to 3,925 beneficiaries who had dates of death in VA’s records,” the inspector general said. “Our audit results indicated that at least 11 percent of these beneficiaries were alive, and death information in VA’s records was erroneous. However, our audit results also indicated that at least 19 percent of these beneficiaries were deceased, and death information in VA’s records was accurate.”

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