The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) is apparently engaged in a massive financial scam, causing millions of American families great problems after the death of a loved one.
When a recipient of Social Security dies, Social Security is notified by the funeral home, hospital or family and gets a copy of the official Death Certificate. This notice causes payments for Social Security, Medicare and other benefits to stop.
For the past year, the SSA has been "accidentally mis-typing" the year of death on hundreds of people. The "error" changes the year of death to one year earlier. For example, if a person died on June 27, 2008, the SSA enters the date of death as June 27, 2007.
This "mistake" not only causes payments to cease, it also automatically causes all payments made by Social Security and Medicare during the previous year to be canceled. As such, Doctors, Hospitals, Pharmacies and Banks are all charged-back whatever payments they got on behalf of the deceased person for that prior year!
With Banks, this charge-back takes all the thousands that were "direct-deposited" by SSA into the bank accounts of senior citizens for a year. . . . . . which generally cleans out the account and puts it into negative balance just at the time when a grieving family has to pay the burial expenses for their dead loved one. Then, the family starts getting letters from Doctors, Hospitals and pharmacies demanding payment from the family of amounts charged-back by the government!
When this "mistake" happens, the family can file and "Appeal" with the U.S. Treasury Department, explaining the "mistake" and asking for the money back. The Treasury Department then DENIES the appeal.
After the denial, the only option remaining is for someone in the family to head to a nearby SSA office and try to work things out in person. Given that most people are working and cannot take off a whole day to go wait at Social Security, the government gets the benefit of "floating" hundreds of millions of dollars back into its accounts for months.
In some cases, if no family members bother to fight, the government simply keeps the money.
This appears to be a deliberate scam being perpetrated by the government to intentionally defraud families of money. According to folks at PNC Bank in New Jersey, "This is happening to a lot of people."
I am publishing this article to bring attention to the scam -- one which my family is presently fighting. If enough people find out what's going on, the government will be forced to stop the fraud they've been committing.