Social Security IG says 6.5 million people claim to be 112 or older

The inspector general for the Social Security Administration has found that 6.5 million active Social Security cards belong to people claiming to be 112 years old or older.

Worldwide, the number of people currently living to be 112 stands at 35.

Clearly, most of those people are dead, and relatives never bothered to tell Social Security about it.  But a significant number of those claiming to be 112 years old are thought to be stealing the identity of dead people.

Washington Post:

The Social Security Administration’s inspector general said in a report on Monday that the questionable identification numbers put the government at risk of fraud and waste.

The review found that one individual opened bank accounts using Social Security numbers for individuals born in 1869 and 1893.

The official database of active Social Security numbers showed that both beneficiaries were alive, meaning they would be older than 145 and 121 years, respectively.

Auditors also discovered that nearly 67,000 Social Security numbers in recent years were used to report wages for people other than the cardholders. The workers reported about $3 billion in earnings between 2006 and 2011.

The report faulted the Social Security Administration for poorly managing data on “numberholders who exceeded maximum reasonable life expectancies and were likely deceased.”

Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)and Tom Carper (D-Del.), who head the Senate committee that oversees the Social Security Administration, said in a joint statement on Monday that the agency needs to clean up its files to prevent fraud.

“It is incredible that the Social Security Administration in 2015 does not have the technical sophistication to ensure that people they know to be deceased are actually noted as dead,” Johnson said. “This problem has serious consequences.”

Among the issues that auditors found, nearly 3,900 Social Security numbers were run through the U.S. government’s E-Verify system for people more than a century old between 2008 and 2011.

Excuse me as I wipe the spittle off my monitor.

The jaw-dropping response from SSA administrators to the idea that they clean up their records to include people who have died?  We don't have the time or resources, they say:

Auditors proposed that the Social Security Administration take action to correct its death records, but the agency disagreed, saying it doesn’t want to divert resources away from efforts to improve payment accuracy with benefits.

“The recommendations would create a significant manual and labor-intensive workload and provide no benefit to the administration of our programs,” Social Security management said in a response to the review.

The likelihood that tens of thousands of people are using Social Security numbers that aren't theirs, thus gaining benefits fraudulently, should be a wake-up call to SSA to get their act together and cut into this massive waste of taxpayer money.  Surely billions of dollars are going down the black hole of identity theft – a $2-billion business among illegal aliens alone.

But SSA apparently doesn't believe it's in the business of safeguarding the public purse.  Reason enough for Congress to step in and force them to do their jobs.