Payments to Individuals Incarcerated in Texas Department of Criminal Justice Facilities

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Report Number: 
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

We issued this report to identify individuals who improperly received payments while incarcerated in Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) facilities and determine why these individuals’ payments were not timely suspended/terminated.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives reports of incarceration from various sources. For example, Federal, State, and local correctional institutions electronically send inmate reports to either SSA’s Office of Central Operations or a field office. SSA matches prisoner information received through the Prisoner Update Processing System (PUPS) against its records. Once verified, SSA determines whether the prisoner is receiving Supplemental Security Income and/or Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance payments.

Working collaboratively with SSA staff in the Dallas Region, we obtained a Texas Department of Criminal Justice data file that identified the personally identifiable information of approximately 134,000 Social Security numberholders incarcerated in Texas correctional facilities as of August 31, 2014. We matched the data against SSA payment records to identify inmates who improperly received SSA payments while incarcerated.