The General Accounting Office (GAO) says a random sampling of USDA’s program rolls matched up with the Social Security Administration master list of deceased individuals found from 2008 through 2012; 6,336 people got $36.6 million in conservation program payments, crop insurance subsidies or disaster assistance more than a year after they died.
The GAO report says the Risk Management Agency paid $22 million to an estimated 3,434 individuals one or two years after their death. The Natural Resources Conservation Service paid $10.6 million to 1,103 deceased individuals and the Farm Service Agency doled-out $3.3 million to 1,799 people after their death.
USDA recently received approval to use Social Security death records and FSA has adopted procedures to check with Social Security on a quarterly basis. Meanwhile the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency have no procedures to make sure their payments are proper.
In a letter to the GAO, USDA stated it “”generally agrees with the report’s findings.”