GAO: Federal Government Sent $1.4 Billion in Relief Checks to Dead People
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
The Government Accountability Office report on how the federal government has spent more than $2.6 trillion in emergency relief in response to the coronavirus found that $1.4 billion in individual payments was sent to dead people.
“As of April 30,” investigators wrote, “almost 1.1 million payments totaling nearly $1.4 billion had gone to decedents.
The GAO noted the government had problems delivering individual relief checks, making both fraud and payments to the dead possible. The GAO said the IRS should “consider cost-effective options for notifying ineligible recipients how to return payments.”
Part of the reason why dead people got checks is that the IRS has access to the Social Security list of death records, but the Treasury and other agencies do not.
The IRS posted an announcement on its website saying “payments made to dead or incarcerated individuals should be returned,” but beyond that, “the IRS does not have plans to take additional steps toward recouping the payments, the GAO said.”
Image Credit: By Joshua Doubek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons