WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan this week joined her colleagues in re-introducing bipartisan legislation that would help save millions of federal dollars by curbing erroneous payments to deceased individuals. The bipartisan Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act would give all federal agencies access to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) death records – which represent the most complete federal databases of the deceased – and require that federal agencies make appropriate use of the death data to curb improper payments.
Currently, only a small number of federal agencies have access to the SSA’s official death database, which means most agencies have to rely on an incomplete and less up-to-date version of death information. In addition, most Inspectors General lack access to the complete death information. As a result, many federal agencies make erroneous payments to people who are actually deceased.
“It is wasteful, and frankly ridiculous, that the federal government sends millions of taxpayer dollars to deceased people every year,” Senator Hassan said. “The federal government has the data to fix this problem, and this bipartisan bill will help make sure that happens."?
The bipartisan bill was led by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and John Kennedy (R-LA). Bipartisan legislation has also been in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.).