While conducting our audit of Supplemental Security Income Recipients with Automated Teller Machine Withdrawals Outside the United States, we identified bank statements that contained deposit amounts that appeared to exceed the allowable income/resource limits. The sample we used consisted of SSI recipients born outside the United States. We selected our sample from this population because a Government Accountability Office report noted that recipients born outside the United States accounted for at least 87 percent of the overpayments because the recipient was outside the United States for more than 30 days (and the previous audit objective was to identify overpayments caused by these violations).
We conducted additional analysis of the bank statements from the same random sample of 250 foreign-born SSI recipients selected for our audit. Although place of birth was not relevant to the current audit, using the same records represented a considerable cost savings. Because we had to subpoena records, we only obtained information from one bank for this review. However, we chose the most commonly used bank for SSI recipients with direct deposit.
The objective of this audit was to evaluate the feasibility of using bank data to identify SSI recipients with overpayments.