FEDweek

IG Calls for Better Coordination between VA, SSA on Records

While the VA shares death record information on veterans with the SSA monthly, that agency continues to pay benefits to some of them improperly, an audit has found.

A IG review found that the SSA was continuing to pay benefits to nearly 4,000 persons listed as dead in VA’s records. Auditors randomly sampled 100 of them and found that 11 are alive, 19 were confirmed dead, and that readily available records were inconclusive as to the rest.

In addition, auditors referred to IG’s office of investigations nearly 300 cases of potential continued payments to beneficiaries reported as deceased, including several dating back decades.

The IG noted that it had made similar findings in a 2006 report. It said management agreed with its recommendations to review the roughly 4,000 discrepancies and to “work with VA to ensure subsequent data exchanges include comprehensive death information.”