Audit: Confined Sexual Predators Improperly Claimed Hundreds of Thousands In Social Security Benefits

social security
AP/Bradly C. Bower

The Social Security Administration improperly paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits to sexual predators involuntarily confined in Special Commitment Centers, according to a new audit from the agency’s Inspector General.

The audit of eight SCC facilities uncovered 18 sexual predators in four SCCs who had improperly been paid nearly $524,000 in Social Security benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income payments.

The findings come three years after another IG’s investigation found that 14 sexual predators at a Washington State SCC were able to receive more than $500,000 in SSA benefits.

Under federal law, the SSA is supposed to stop payments to “sexually dangerous persons” confined in institutions.

So how did this happen?

According to the audit, when these sexual predators where transferred from prison to an SSC they were successfully able to apply and receive benefits. Although they were not supposed to get on the SSA’s benefit rolls, there was no protocol to prevent enrollment.

“SSA’s Office of Data Exchange staff stated that SSA will contact SCCs that do not have a memorandum of understanding with SSA and encourage them to provide information about confined individuals in exchange for potential incentive payments,” the audit reads. “Staff further stated the Office of Data Exchange will work with regional prison coordinators to contact any SCCs not reporting on individuals confined in their facilities.”

The SSA has since suspended payments to the 18 sexual predators and assessed the overpayments, the audit reports.