Govt Paid $600M to Dead People

Your government at work!
Sam Hananel reports for the AP, Sept 23, 2011, that the federal government has doled out more than $600 million in benefit payments to dead people over the past five years.
The payments are meant for retired or disabled federal workers, but sometimes the checks keep going out even after the former employees pass away and the deaths are not reported, according to the report this week from the Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general, Patrick McFarland.
In one case, the son of a beneficiary continued receiving payments for 37 years after his father’s death in 1971. The payments – totaling more than $515,000 – were only discovered when the son died in 2008.
The government has been aware of the problem since a 2005 inspector general’s report revealed defects in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. Yet the improper payments have continued, despite more than a half dozen attempts to develop a system that can figure out which beneficiaries are still alive and which are dead, the report said. “It is time to stop, once and for all, this waste of taxpayer money,” it said.

Fire this man! - OPM Director John Berry

Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said Friday that the agency has already adopted 10 of the inspector general’s 14 recommendations for stopping the improper payments. “Though we have implemented many positive reforms, I remain deeply committed to keeping this a top priority….” [BLAH BLAH BLAH] Berry said in a written statement.
Berry said the agency is attempting to recoup its losses, including $113 million currently in collection. There are about 2.5 million federal workers who receive over $60 billion in benefit payments from the program each year. The improper payments represent less than two tenths of one percent of the program, Berry said.
Federal officials have tried matching the fund’s computer records with the Social Security Administration’s death records, checking tax records and improving the timeliness of death reporting. OPM has also sampled its records of all recipients over 90 years old to confirm whether they are still alive. In 2009, there were more than 125,000 recipients identified as over 90 and about 3,400 over 100 years old.
Both the Obama administration and Congress have made it a higher priority to crack down on improper government payments. [BLAH BLAH BLAH] Last year, government investigators found that more than 89,000 stimulus payments of $250 each from the massive economic recovery package went to people who were either dead or in prison.
What I want to know is this:
For FIVE years, the feral gubmint has known it’s sending benefits checks to dead people but hasn’t done anything about it. How come the IRS, though, is so efficient and pro-active at prying money from my bank account?
H/t beloved fellow Tina.

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Only in government could one be so incompetent and not lose their job. This is just disgusting…


Just another day in the life of a bureaucrat in Washington, District of Criminals (DC)


sure incompetence…. and how many of these dead people also vote democratic?????


LOL – No wonder so many dead people vote for dems. 😉

Robert Buckley

The simple solution is as follows: (a) Every 6 months a check instead of direct deposit is issued and can only be cashed if the individual has an ID and goes to a bank. (b) If the check goes uncashed, it is assumed that the individual is no longer living and a letter is computer generated stipulating that if the individual does not cash the check, then future checks will stop. (c) For those infirmed, a power of attorney can be issued and this individual can bank for the infirmed retiree placing the check into the retirees account. For those… Read more »