Before you answer, let me feed you a couple of hints.
According to a government report:
In September 2013, a New York resident, believed to be the world’s oldest living man, died at age 112.
According to the Gerontology Research Group, as of October 2013, only 35 known living individuals worldwide had reached age 112.
You’re thinking a pretty low number, right?
Well, let me rephrase the question: How many Americans does the Social Security Administration think are over 112?
The answer may surprise you …
Answer: 6.5 million.
The SSA Inspector General just finished a study with the following objective:
“To determine whether the Social Security Administration had controls in place to annotate death information on the Numident records of numberholders who exceeded maximum reasonable life expectancies.”
English translation: How many Americans over 112 does the SSA system think are still alive.
The mere fact that the IG had to do a study to resolve the question has gotta make you scratch your head, right?
The IG’s conclusion:
“We obtained Numident data that identified approximately 6.5 million numberholders born before June 16, 1901 who did not have a date of death on their record.”
English translation: those old coots – or their unscrupulous surviving friends and family — may still be getting checks.
No wonder Social Security’s Trust Fund is getting drained.
In fairness to the SSA, relatively few 112 year olds are getting checks.
But, that number should be zero, right?
The IG also found that : “For Tax Years 2006 through 2011, SSA received reports that individuals using 66,920 SSNs of folks over 112 had approximately $3.1 billion in wages, tips, and self-employment income.”
Hmmm … they were still virile enough to be gainfully employed.
Or, maybe somebody is using their SSA number.
Here’s my real concern …
In these days of Predictive Analytics – you know, Moneyball and Algo trading on Wall Street – you think that it might have dawned on the government brainiacs to kick-out the names of the 6.5 million life-span record-setters.
If they can’t screen their files based on simple, obvious criteria like that, is it any surprise that fraud is a massive problem with all government administeedr systems.
Talk about taking candy from babies …