Massachusetts Gives $18M in Benefits to Dead People

Massachusetts Gives $18M in Benefits to Dead People

A Massachusetts state audit has found at least 1,164 dead people received millions in public benefits in recent years and the state has given out $18 million in benefits to people who were deceased or using the Social Security number of a dead person. 

The auditor found that some “recipients began receiving benefits for the first time after their deaths” and “a majority of dead welfare recipients that were checked were still receiving benefits.”

As Fox News notes, the audit “covered cash, food stamps, and other benefits intended for low-income families, and found millions of dollars in irregular benefits and an urgent need for improved anti-fraud security”:

In 1,164 cases, deceased recipients continued to receive a total of $2.39 million in benefits up to 27 months after they had been reported dead. The state Department of Transitional Assistance also paid out at least $368,000 benefits to 178 guardians who claimed deceased persons as dependents, and $164,000 to 40 individuals being claimed by more than one guardian.

The audit also found “suspicious” transactions on electronic benefit cards “amounting to $15 million, including almost $5 million in which all food benefits had been withdrawn at once,” and five regional offices “could not provide documentation for more than 30,000 EBT cards.”