The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program issued an estimated $1.1 million in improper payments to recipients who lived outside the United States, according to an audit by the Social Security Administration Inspector General (IG).
The audit found that there were 1,196 recipients who received payments in their bank accounts outside of the United States. The majority of those, 1,171, went to banks in Puerto Rico, while 25 went to foreign banks by way of international direct deposit. Those included banks in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Poland, India, Canada, and Hungary.
The audit found that 246 of those payments worth $1.1 million received outside the United States were improper.
Federal law prohibits disability benefits being paid to individuals outside of the United States.
“With limited exceptions, no individual shall be considered eligible for SSI payments for any month throughout which the individual is outside the United States,” the report states. SSI recipients are allowed to receive payments established in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
When a beneficiary receives a payment outside of the United States, the agency’s systems generate an alert to notify a field office that the beneficiary person is ineligible. The audit found that the agency’s personnel did not respond to these alerts in a timely manner, which allowed improper payments to be made.
If you were wondering about the "stupidity, duplication, waste, and fraud" Senator Coburn mentioned yesterday, here's a great example. It's also another reason a Convention of States is so necessary. By proposing constitutional amendments that impose fiscal restraints on Congress, the people -- acting through their states -- can force the federal government to be more responsible with our money.