$1.4 Billion In COVID-19 Relief Payments Sent To Dead People By IRS

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Published February 17, 2021

By Adam Andrzejewski [OpenTheBooks via RealClearWire] –

Last June, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that Uncle Sam sent $1.4 billion in COVID relief funds to 1 million dead people. They’ve asked for it back, but dead people are notoriously bad about paying up. The federal government is equally bad about clawing it back.

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The year before COVID hit, dead people received $871.9 million in mistaken payments through Medicaid, Social Security, the federal pension system, and even through farm subsidies.

That figure was part of $175 billion in “improper payments” in FY2019. And that’s only the payments that the top 20 largest federal agencies admitted to – as detailed in our report at OpenTheBooks.com.

That’s about $15 billion per month, $500 million per day, and $1 million a minute to the wrong person, in the wrong amount, or for the wrong reason. The 16-year improper payments total: a whopping $2.3 trillion.

Of the $175 billion sent to the wrong (or the dead) folks: Uncle Sam recaptured only $21.1 billion, roughly 14 cents on every misspent dollar. Over five years, federal agencies clawed back only $104 billion of the $748 billion sent in error.

Our auditors suggest looking at Social Security’s list of six million Americans age 112+-years old. One estimate says that the headcount of Americans 110+-years only numbers between 60-70!

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The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

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