An audit of the Social Security Administration (SSA) disclosed some startling and infuriating news: The SSA has paid huge sums of benefits to people who do not qualify for benefits at all. How large are these sums? Over $1 billion!
The audit, led by the SSA’s inspector general, discovered massive errors in records kept for representative payees. Representative payees are individuals receiving payments for disability or retirement on behalf of other individuals incapable of managing their own benefits.
Due to tremendous documentation errors, the SSA over the past decade paid out over $1 billion to a total of 22,426 representative payees lacking a social security number (SSN). Through internal SSA policies and procedures, the agency is required to retain paper applications of such individuals for receipt of benefits. Far too often the agency failed to do so.
But it doesn’t end there. Change is needed, as soon as possible, before untold millions more get paid out to individuals who should not.
According to the inspector general, “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.”
In addition, the audit revealed that, since 2004, $853.1 million was paid via SSA benefits to folks who the agency had already been terminated as representative payees!
Social security has been deeply flawed for years. It needs a tremendous overhaul to remain viable for Americans in the long run. If things continue as is, social security will run out of funds this century. Millions who have worked hard and paid into the system will receive nothing back when they retire or are no longer able to work due to the misfortune of legitimate disability.
Many have tried to introduce reforms over the years, but liberal legislators have repeatedly stonewalled efforts at changes. Many people have fraudulently gamed the system, as has been conclusively shown by the most recent inspector general audit. President Trump has vowed to keep social security viable, but he cannot do it alone.