On June 5, 2018, Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced H.R. 6006, the Social Security Integrity Act.

The purpose of the Act is to reduce the fraud and waste documented in a 2015 Audit Report by the Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The Office of the Inspector General released the report entitled “Numberholders Age 112 or Older Who Did Not Have a Death Entry on the Numident.” on March 4, 2015.

The report found that the SSA could not add death information to its Numident records for those who were likely deceased. The SSA discovered that it had records without death information for about 6.5 million people who were age 112 or older. It has since reduced this number to 5 million. In addition, while the SSA had added death dates to about 1.4 million non-beneficiaries’ payment records, they had not recorded the information on the Numident, the database on all who have applied for social security numbers. Similarly, the SSA had stopped payments and added death dates for over 400,000 beneficiaries’ payment records, but had not added the information to the Numident.   

The report also concluded Social Security numbers could have been used to commit identity fraud. For example, there were 66,920 social security numbers used where the employees’ names did not match the numberholders’ names. Further, from 2008 through 2011, employers made 4,042 E-Verify inquiries using 3,873 social security numbers whose numberholders were born before 1901.

Based on these findings, the Office of the Inspector General gave four recommendations. The first recommendation was to add the death information to the nearly 50,000 “Death Claim” Numident records without a death entry. The second recommendation was to add death dates from the Master Beneficiary Record to the Numident records of the 1.4 million non-beneficiaries. The third recommendation was to find out whether the SSA could correct the 5 million remaining records in the audit, and the final recommendation was to resolve discrepancies when, for example, multiple individuals appeared on the same Numident record.

Congressman Steve King’s bill would require the Commissioner of Social Security to implement these recommendations within three years of the bill’s enactment. In addition, the Commissioner would submit a report to Congress on the status of the implementation.

Americans for Tax Reform strongly supports the Social Security Integrity Act because it protects taxpayers and social security beneficiaries from fraud and waste.