Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
SSP Payments Made to Deceased Individuals
(Issued: 01/09/2018)


Purpose

The objective of our examination was to determine the appropriateness of New York State Supplemental Program (SSP) Payments the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) made to recipients during the period October 2014 through March 2016.

Background

OTDA administers the New York State SSP, which provides a supplemental benefit to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients and other qualifying New York State residents.  To be eligible for SSP, individuals must be at least 65 years old, blind or disabled, and have limited resources and income.  We used data analytics to identify payments made to SSP recipients who were reported as deceased according to the VERIS Social Security Number Validation Services.  Deceased SSP recipients’ beneficiaries are not entitled to continued SSP payments.  OTDA obtains information about recipients’ deaths from a variety of sources including the Social Security Administration (SSA), caseworkers assigned to recipients from other OTDA supervised benefit programs, and recipients’ family members.  

Key Findings

OTDA processed 553 SSP payments totaling approximately $42,000 to 78 individuals who died from 1 to more than 16 years prior to their last SSP payment in the examination period.  Of the 553 payments, 380 were transacted, meaning the payment was either electronically deposited into the recipient’s bank account or the recipient’s check was negotiated.  The remaining 173 payments were either stopped, escheated or remain uncashed. 

Key Recommendations

  • Obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to determine whether the six recipients who OTDA claims are alive are indeed alive.
  • Recover any funds inappropriately paid to deceased recipients.
  • Establish methods to advise SSA of previously unreported deaths, and prevent SSP payments to deceased individuals.
  • Work with the Office of Unclaimed Funds (OUF) to recover any funds incorrectly reported to the OUF under the New York Abandoned Property Law.
  • Provide information to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s Division of the Treasury to stop uncashed checks to deceased individuals before checks are reported to the OUF.
 

For a complete copy of Report 2016-BSE7-01, click here

 


Division of Contracts and Expenditures
Bernard J. McHugh, Director of State Expenditures

Phone: (518) 474-4868 Email: stexpend@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Contracts and Expenditures
110 State Street, 10th Floor; Albany, NY 12236