Dead people are stealing your tax dollars | Mic Check

Your money is at risk The fraud amounts to more than a million of your tax dollars You’re being robbed Thousands of dollars of your money lost The money was spent by the wrong people And who exactly is taking your hard earned cash? An audit finds millions in state benefits paid out to dead people to dead people dead people The dead are back and they want our tax dollars When it comes to collecting benefits like Social Security and food stamps, the dead are making a killing 1,164 cases where dead people got benefits $2.4 million dollars worth The state Department of Public Welfare kept putting money on food stamp cards of those who died — some more than 30 years ago Right now, the federal government is failing miserably at keeping track of who is actually on Earth to still collect benefits The Social Security Administration has spent over half a billion dollars over the last 30 years on people who have already died Can you imagine how many billions of dollars are given away to dead people each and every year? And these errors aren’t limited to Social Security Some dead people are still getting food assistance Over a four-year period, the DCFS paid $1.3 million to those nearly 4,000 people who had already died In the past, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program paid nearly $4 million to help with 11,000 dead people’s electric bills, dead farmers have received up to $36 million for things like crop insurance and disaster aid, and in 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services doled out $23 million to more than 17,000 dead people How do these death deceptions happen? Well it involves the Grim Reaper of federal lists called the death master file It contains the Social Security numbers of 84 million Americans who’ve died And when the Social Security Administration — the group responsible for maintaining the list — isn’t sending dead people money, they’re busy declaring living dead How many of you have been declared dead by the federal government? All it takes is someone to input on the computer the wrong numbers and it just makes a big difference These Living Dead can have trouble with everything from accessing their bank accounts to purchasing a car But it’s not just government error: Some people fraudulently use a dead person’s information to gain access to benefits, and it can take a while before anyone catches on These benefits continued flowing for nine months If someone lives with a beneficiary and knows they died, it’s that person’s responsibility to report it And it’s not just shady significant others looking to benefit from their deceased loved ones And then there’s the man who recently opened bank accounts for two people: one who was born in 1869, the other in 1893 Thankfully the government is working to stop improper payments to deceased people That’s why they introduced the aptly named “Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act,” which also aims “to reduce the number of living people mistakenly listed as dead by the federal government” It requires the Social Security Administration to set up a process to improve the data it collects and share death information with more federal agencies They say the only things certain in life are death and taxes, but sometimes not even death can stop taxes on the living or something I need to go find out if I’m dead This is your Mic Check

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