There is no question that the social security system in this country is broken, and former President Barack Obama let the problem get worse in his eight years in office. Republicans have been trying to repair it for years—and with Trump in the White House—they’re finally making some progress.
According to a recent audit, the Social Security Administration dished out more than $1 billion in benefits to people that don’t even have social security numbers. In the past decade, more than 22,426 representatives who should not be receiving social security at all were paid.
“Unless it takes corrective action, we estimate SSA will pay about $182.5 million in benefits, annually, to representative payees who do not have an SSN or paper application supporting their selection,” the inspector general said in a statement.
That’s not even the worst of it. According to the inspector general, the SSA paid $853.1 million since 2004 to representative payees that had been terminated by the agency. The agency never bothered to update the system.
Of course, the SSA is standing behind their actions, saying, “Representative payees play a significant role in many beneficiaries’ lives. We have approximately 5.7 million representative payees managing annual benefits for approximately 8 million beneficiaries. When appointing representative payees, we adhere to guidance in the Social Security Act.”
“Specific to this audit, the Act permits us to appoint, in certain circumstances, an undocumented alien, or applicant who resides outside the United States without a Social Security number to serve as a payee,” the SSA continued. “Specifically, the Act states we should verify a person’s SSN (or employer identification number) in our investigation of the payee applicant. However, the Act does not state that the applicant must have an SSN to serve as a payee.”
What do you think? Is this system clearly failing?