A new audit has revealed the Social Security Administration has paid nearly $1 billion in Social Security payments to individuals without a valid Social Security number.
Auditors found massive problems with the agency’s handling of so-called “representative payees.”
Over the last decade, the agency paid $1 billion to 22,426 representative payees who “did not have an SSN, and SSA had not followed its policy to retain the paper application.”
“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 an SSN or paper application supporting their selection,” the inspector general said.
The inspector general also found the agency paid $853.1 million in benefits since 2004 to individuals who had been terminated as representative payees by the agency.
The inspector general said the errors occurred because the agency did not keep paper applications supporting an individual’s case to receive benefits on behalf of another and did not update its system if their status was terminated.
Illegal aliens are believed to be responsible for a huge percentage of the misallocated funds.
Government benefits are also going to illegal aliens through the representative payee system. 17 percent of representative payees in the sample did not have an SSN recorded because they were undocumented noncitizens, the inspector general said.
Illegal aliens without SSNs are allowed to receive benefits from the government when acting as representatives for their minor children.
The Social Security Administration bureaucracy defended their practice of forking over millions to illegal aliens as entirely within the law.
“Specific to this audit, the 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 said. “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 an SSN to serve as a payee.”
The “absence of an SSN is not a criterion preventing an individual from serving as payee,” the agency added.
Good to know that Social Security benefits can be taken even if you don’t have a SSN of your own.
The internal audit which revealed the massive fraud is here.
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