NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

$1 billion in Taxpayer Money Goes to the Deceased

November 1, 2010

About $1 billion in taxpayer money goes to 250,000 deceased individuals, according to a review of reports by the Government Accountability Office, inspectors general and Congress itself.  How, might you ask?  According to Sen. Tom Coburn's, R-Okla., office:

  • The Social Security Administration sent $18 million in stimulus funds to 71,688 dead people and $40.3 million in questionable benefit payments to 1,760 dead people.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services sent 11,000 dead people $3.9 million in assistance to pay heating and cooling costs.
  • The Department of Agriculture sent $1.1 billion in farming subsidies to deceased farmers.

But that's not all, says the Washington Examiner:

  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development overseeing local agencies knowingly distributed $15.2 million in housing subsidies to 3,995 households with at least one deceased person.
  • Medicaid paid over $700,000 in claims for prescriptions for controlled substances written for over 1,800 deceased patients and prescriptions for controlled substances written by 1,200 deceased doctors.
  • Medicare paid as much as $92 million in claims for medical supplies prescribed by dead doctors and $8.2 million for medical supplies prescribed for dead patients.

Source: J.P. Freire, "Happy Halloween!  $1 billion in Taxpayer Money Goes to the Undead!" Washington Examiner, October 29, 2010.


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