Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stimulus Money for the Dead

I am printing this article in it's entirety because I wouldn't be suprised if some of the links for this story start disappearing eventually.
72,000 stimulus payments went to dead people

WASHINGTON — More than 89,000 stimulus payments of $250 each went to people who were either dead or in prison, a government investigator says in a new report.

The payments, which were part of last year's massive economic recovery package, were meant to increase consumer spending to help stimulate the economy.

But about $18 million went to nearly 72,000 people who were dead, according to the report by the Social Security Administration's inspector general. The report estimates that a little more than half of those payments were returned.

An additional $4.3 million went to more than 17,000 prison inmates, the report said. Most of the inmates, it turns out, were eligible to get the payments because they were newly incarcerated and had been receiving Social Security before they were locked up.

In all, the $250 payments were sent to about 52 million people who receive either Social Security or Supplemental Security Income, at a cost of about $13 billion. Other federal retirees also received the payments, but they were not part of the inspector general's review.

Social Security spokesman Mark Lassiter said, "Inaccurate payments are unacceptable. Social Security's Recovery Act payments were 99.8 percent accurate and we quickly collected the majority of the inaccurate payments. Each year we make payments to a small number of deceased recipients usually because we have not yet received reports of their deaths."

The inspector general for the Social Security Administration has been performing an audit to make sure no checks went to ineligible recipients. The latest report was dated Sept. 24 but was just recently posted to the agency's website.

People were eligible for payments if they were getting benefits during any one of the three months before the law was passed in February 2009.

Dead people were ineligible to get the payments. But, the report said, there is no provision in the law to recover payments incorrectly sent to dead people.

"Based on the failure of the SSA to properly check its records, and Congress' failure to fully think through the provisions needed to govern these payments, SSA lost $22.3 million in American tax dollars," said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. "These findings are yet another example of congressional stupidity and a lack of accountability."

The Social Security Administration said that despite tight deadlines, workers accurately processed more than 99.8 percent of the 52 million stimulus payments.

"We worked with Treasury, developed new processes, and began issuing (payments) about 30 days earlier than the legislatively mandated deadline," the agency said in a written response included in the inspector general's report. "This was a major accomplishment for our agency."

The inspector general's report said that if similar payments are authorized in the future, prison inmates should be ineligible and the government should be able to recover payments made to dead people.

The Social Security Administration agreed with the recommendations.

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Online:

Inspector general report: http://www.ssa.gov/oig/ADOBEPDF/A-09-10-11017.pdf

7 comments:

  1. Annemarie Romig AshcraftOctober 7, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    Oh I don't know about that, remember the "Uptick" (SP?) scandal in summer 2008 when Cox let all those stocks get seriously undersold, which led to the financial institutions "needing" to get bailed out. Something has been terribly wrong for a long time, Obama is just the puppet of a sinister puppeteer.

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  2. Isn't it obvious ?? The Adminstration seriously lacks. . . BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS!!!!

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  3. Hey, they needed to pay off all those people who voted for them.

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  4. Oooooh! Nasty Tim and Sotarr The Great (heh).
    Accurate though. Gotta pay off all those zombies and the stupid crooks they were caught) that are their base. All their base are belong to them.

    Yeah, those are the guys I want controlling MY healthcare/retirement/everything. So efficient and all.

    basset

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  5. Tim...that thought occurred to me as well.

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  6. Basset..it's a good thing I know you're a sarcastic bastard. Otherwise I'd suggest we might want to see if you're running a fever, after that crack about efficiency. *grin*

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  7. Sotar...so you're saying we have a bunch of.....zombies in charge? Oh in that case..time for everyone to break out their weapon of choice along with ammo galore and kill em all before the disease spreads.

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