(Heritage) The 2014 omnibus bill contains an increase in funding for running the Social Security Administration (SSA). Maybe now they can stop paying Social Security benefits to dead people.

According to a December Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, SSA systems do not accurately note and confirm the deaths of beneficiaries, resulting in payments being made to dead people—sometimes for decades. The flawed system doesn’t just impact Social Security payments, either. Multiple other federal agencies that pay benefits—from federal pensions to payments to farmers and the disabled—rely on SSA’s flawed death data.

Raymond O’Dell made news this week when he was sentenced for collecting his dead mother’s Social Security benefits for 23 years. O’Dell collected $188,000 in benefits, while building a successful Taco Bell franchise. His accountant put his net worth at $4 million (including $431,000 in cash). This week, he was sentenced to pay back the benefits, along with a $20,000 fine, and will serve six months in prison.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.