A Social Security Administration Inspector General audit has discovered an astonishing fact: there are 6.5 million active social security numbers in existence for people aged 112 or over.
Senator Tom Carper, D-Del., the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, stated:
It is simply unacceptable that our nation’s database of Social Security numbers of supposedly living people includes more than six and a half million people who are older than 112 years of age, with a few thousand having birth dates from before the Civil War. Preventing agency errors by keeping track of who has died is a relatively simple problem that the government should pursue as a high priority.
The inspector general’s audit was dated March 4, 2015, and concluded that the SSA lacks necessary controls to annote death information of numberholders who exceed “maximum reasonable life expectancies.”
Some of the numbers were used to open fraudulent bank accounts, while thousands were used by illegal immigrants.
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According to the report, “during Calendar Years 2008 through 2011, SSA received 4,024 E-Verify inquiries using the SSNs of 3,873 numberholders born before June 16, 1901.”
Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, stated the following:
Tens of thousands of these numbers are currently being used to report wages to the Social Security Administration and to the IRS. People are fraudulently, but successfully, applying for jobs and benefits with these numbers. Making sure Social Security cleans up its death master file to prevent future errors and fraud is a good government reform we can all agree on.