Dead Farmers Receiving Millions of Dollars In Subsidies

The General Accountability Office released a report that shows millions of dollars in subsidies have been paid out to dead farmers.  From 2008 to 2012, $10.6 million was paid out to farmers who had been dead for a year or more.  The payments were made by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a division of the US Department of Agriculture.  Another division of the USDA, the Risk Management Agency also paid out $22 million to over 3,400 policyholders who had been dead for two years or more.

The GAO faults the two agencies for failing to properly conduct routine checks which are supposedly required to maintain payment status.  The report stated:

“Until and unless NRCS and RMA develop and implement procedures to have their payment or subsidy data records matched against SSA’s complete death master file, either through coordination with FSA or on their own, these agencies cannot know if they are providing payments to, or subsidies on behalf of, deceased individuals; how often they are providing such payments or subsidies; or in what amounts.”

Believe it or not, the $32.6 million payments to dead farmers are considered to be a noticeable improvement.  According to the GAO, $1.1 billion was paid out to 172,801 dead farmers from 1999 to 2005.

In response to the GAO report, the USDA said that it has now signed an agreement for them to receive the Social Security Administrations death master file on a regular basis.  They will then comply with the mandate to make routine checks with the death file and update their records.

Dead people vote and now they receive government subsidies.  Evidently they can take it with them when they die.