Cheri Bustos

From the office of:

Cheri Bustos

Sending Office: Honorable Cheri Bustos
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Cosponsors: Gianforte, Cooper, Meadows, Kuster, Gallagher, Rice, Cisneros, Krishnamoorthi,
Buck, Schrader, Cole, Mooney, Budd

Dear Colleague,

Please join us in cosponsoring H.R. 2543, the Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased Individuals Act,
a bill to improve the collection of information, cut down on fraud, and save the government money.

Improper payments are a longstanding problem across the federal government with GAO reporting estimates of more than $141 billion in improper payment in fiscal year 2017 alone.  One source of improper payments comes from ongoing payments to deceased individuals.
According to GAO Reports:

  • 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 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 1,500 dead beneficiaries.

Unfortunately, only a small number of federal agencies have access to the Social Security Administration’s most complete database of those that have recently died, and most federal agencies rely on a slimmed down, incomplete, and less timely version of the
death information for program integrity purposes. Further, most agency Inspectors General lack access to the complete death information.

This legislation would take a number of common-sense steps to fix those problems and, in return, curb hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, in improper payments to people who are ineligible for federal benefits because they are dead. In addition,
the Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased Individuals Act would take several steps to improve the information that is available to federal agencies by:

  • Allowing federal agencies access to the complete Death Database;

  • Requiring use of death data to curb improper payments; and

  • Establishing procedures to ensure more accurate death data.

If you would like to cosponsor the Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased Individuals Act or if you would like more information, please contact Liam Steadman in Representative Bustos’ office at



Cheri Bustos                                                                                                       

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Government, Social Security

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