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Payments to Individuals with Deaths Reported in California from 1980 to 1987

August 15, 2014

In August 2010, we investigated approximately 60 fraudulent retirement claims that were filed using SSA’s online application process. The investigation revealed that an individual and two accomplices used death information of individuals who died in California in the 1980s and filed retirement benefit claims using the deceased individuals’ personally identifiable information (PII).

This audit sought to determine the appropriateness of continued benefit payments to individuals who, according to California Department of Public Health (CDPH) vital statistics data files, died in California between January 1980 and December 1987.

To make this determination, we obtained CDPH data that identified the PII of approximately 1.2 million numberholders who died in California between 1980 and 1987, and we matched the data against SSA records.

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