Cheri Bustos

From the office of:

Cheri Bustos

From: The Honorable Cheri Bustos
Sent By:
Date: 11/20/2013

Stop Improper Payments to the Deceased

Current Sponsors (14): Bustos, Gibson, Murphy (FL), Enyart, Quigley, Ribble, Fortenberry, Cooper, Carney, Owens, Welch, Kelly (IL), Kuster, Braley
Dear Colleague,
Each year, federal payments are erroneously made to individuals who are deceased, and should obviously no longer be eligible under program rules. This issue was recently highlighted in a Washington Post article. Improving the collection of information on deceased beneficiaries has the potential to save the government hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars.
Examples of past improper payments for deceased individuals include:
· A total of $601 million in improper payments were made from 2006 to 2010 to federal retirees later found to have already died;
· More than $1 billion in farm program payments to farmers who were dead for more than three years; and
· Medicare prescription drug plans were paid approximately $3.6 million for drugs provided to 1500 dead beneficiaries.
Improper payments are largely caused by inadequate sharing among federal agencies of death data managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSA maintains the Death Master File (DMF), which contains the most complete information on who has died. However, most federal agencies rely on a slimmed down, incomplete version of the DMF.

The Improper Payments Agency Cooperation Enhancement (IPACE) Act would take several steps to improve the information that is available to federal agencies including:
· Improving the Death Master File;
· Requiring use of death data to curb improper payments;
· Allowing federal agencies access to the complete Death Master File database; and
· Ensuring that federal agencies managing retirement programs share best practices.
Please join us in supporting this common-sense legislation to improve the collection of information, cut down on fraud, and save the government money.
If you would like to cosponsor the IPACEAct, or if you would like more information, please contact with Rep. Cheri Bustos or with Rep. Chris Gibson.

_________________________ ________________________
Cheri Bustos Chris Gibson
Member of Congress Member of Congress