Payments to Individuals Whose Numident Record Contained a Death Entry

Date: 
Friday, June 21, 2013
Report Number: 
A-06-12-11291
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) matches States’ death records against SSA payment records to identify and prevent erroneous payments after death. In addition, SSA matches death records from other Federal, State, and local public assistance agencies.

SSA uses its Death Alert, Control, and Update System to receive and process death information, terminate payments when a beneficiary dies, and produce a national record of death information, known as the Death Master File. During Calendar Year 2011, SSA terminated benefit payments to more than 2.1 million deceased individuals.

In May 2012, we identified 2,475 numberholders who received about $2.4 million in monthly Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income payments although the Numident indicated they had died in January 2012 or earlier. Our review focused on the appropriateness of continued payments to these individuals.

Our objective was to determine the appropriateness of benefits paid to individuals whose Numident record contained a date of death.