Social Security Report Calls for Increased Attention to the Death Master File

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 6, 2013

“Today, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Financial and Contracting Oversight Subcommittee Chairwoman Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Ranking Member Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) highlighted a report detailing troublesome yet preventable errors in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) master database of deceased individuals. The SSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report, Title XVI Deceased Recipients Who Do Not Have Death Information on the Numident, found that over 180,000 deceased individuals had not been added to the Death Master File, the comprehensive database of individuals maintained by SSA, even though these same individuals had been reported as deceased to the SSA Supplemental Security Records. Errors of this type put at risk to waste and fraud billions of dollars in federal and state beneficiary expenditures each year. As part of its oversight on federal financial management, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee will hold a hearing on improper payments, including those made to deceased individuals, this Wednesday, May 8 at 10 AM.”

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