$1.4 Billion in COVID-Relief Payments Sent to Dead People by Internal Revenue Service
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.
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.
The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.