Brilliant: 6.5 Million Social Security Numbers Exist for People Over the Age of 112

Sarah Jean Seman
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Posted: Mar 09, 2015 8:45 PM
Brilliant: 6.5 Million Social Security Numbers Exist for People Over the Age of 112

There are more than 6.5 million Americans over the age of 112, according to the Social Security Administration. If you are wondering about the accuracy of this count, you are not alone.

After a man attempted to open bank accounts using active Social Security Numbers from both 1869 and 1893, the Office of the Inspector General decided to audit the SSA. They found that as of Oct. 2013, only 35 known individuals over the age of 112 are still living worldwide.

The SSA’s Numerical Identification System (often shortened to Numident), contains all the Social Security Numbers tracing back to 1936 when they were first being issued. Apparently the SSA just hasn’t been reading the obituaries...for the last century [emphasis added]:

SSA did not establish controls to annotate death information on the Numident record of numberholders who exceeded maximum reasonable life expectancies and were likely deceased. At the time of our review, SSA’s Numident included approximately 6.5 million numberholders who were born before June 16, 1901 but who did not have death information on their record. SSA issued almost all the SSNs to process benefit claims filed by the numberholders or their family members before March 1972 and had previously input dates of death on more 1.8 million of these numberholders’ payment records but did not record the death entries on the Numident.

In addition, we identified thousands of instances of potential identity theft or other fraud involving these SSNs

Between the years 2006 and 2011, some 70,000 of these outdated SSNs were used to procure $3.1 billion in earnings. One specific SSN turned up 613 times on different wage reports, according to the IOG. 

The IOG recommended procedures for the SSA and requested it send back a "corrective action plan," within the next 60 days. 

This story seems almost too insane to be true, but sadly, it is just another ghastly example of Big Government gone amok.