State Insurance Fund

Detecting the Unreported Deaths of Extended Payment Recipients

The State Insurance Fund provides workers' compensation and disability benefit insurance coverage to various employees in New York State. When workers covered by the Fund die or are permanently disabled as a result of on-the-job injuries, the biweekly payments made by the Fund generally continue until the death of either the permanently disabled worker or the beneficiary of the deceased worker. During 1994, the Fund paid about $168 million to such extended payment recipients. We examined the procedures used by the Fund to detect the deaths of extended payment recipients and concluded that the procedures would be greatly improved if the Fund periodically used computer matching techniques to compare its record of extended payment recipients to the records of reported deaths maintained by other government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration. When we performed such a computer match for about 60 percent of the Fund's extended payment recipients, we identified 1,065 biweekly checks totaling $162,852 that had been sent to 48 individuals after they were dead, of which 627 of these checks totaling $100,260 had been cashed. One of the individuals receiving checks had been dead for nine years. We recommend that the Fund use computer matching techniques to identify such circumstances. We also encourage Fund officials to recover funds that were inappropriately received, and to refer such cases to law enforcement agencies.

For a complete copy of Report 95-S-86 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.