Wednesday, 22 Feb 2017 09:54 AM
Over a 10-year period, the Social Security Administration (SSA) paid out $1 billion in benefits to individuals with no social security number, according to an Inspector General’s audit.
The agency’s IG found 22,426 representative payees — a proxy for folks who can’t manage the benefits themselves — who did not have a social security number.
“Furthermore, unless it takes corrective action, we estimate SSA will pay about $182.5 million in benefits, annually, to representative payees who do not have a SSN or paper application supporting their selection,” the inspector general wrote.
On top of that, the IG audit found that SSA paid out another $853 million to terminated representative payees.
The SSA defended its practice of paying out to representative payees without a social security number.
“The (Social Security) Act permits us to appoint, in certain circumstances, an undocumented alien, or applicant who resides outside the United States without a Social Security number (SSN) to serve as payee,” the agency told The Washington Free Beacon.
“Specifically, the Act states we should verify a person’s SSN (or employer identification number) in our investigation of the payee applicant. However, the Act does not state that the applicant must have a SSN to serve as a payee,” the agency said.
The SSA told the Free Beacon that it switched to a new representative payee software last year and that transferring of information “may have resulted in applications showing as terminated or not selected,” the agency said.
Original News Source can be reach here at NewsMax