According to my halfassed research, the oldest person in the world is Jeraleen Talley. She’s 115 years old, and her hobbies include sleeping, eating hog’s head cheese, and not dying.
And, as the defender of the title “World’s Oldest Person,” she’s the reigning champ in the world’s longest-running death sport. Keeping her title is a lot like being Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie The Running Man but with less running and more napping and eating hog’s head cheese.
According to 2010 Census Bureau data, Jeraleen is one of only about 53,000 Americans over age 100. However, according to the Social Security database, there are 6.5 million Americans over age 112 with active social security files, “… a few thousand having birth dates from before the Civil War.”
Obviously almost all of the people associated with these active files are dead, and their files should be included in what the Social Security Administration calls its “Death Master File” which, within the SSA, is referred to as the DMF. To the kids on Tinder, DMF also stands for dumb motherfucker. Seems appropriate.
And all these active dead guy files are a problem because fraud.
Let’s say your Nana dies, and you’re a signer on her account because she couldn’t drive and was incapable of pushing her walker all the way to the bank. But after her ashes are on the mantle, you notice her Social Security check keeps coming, and you keep depositing it because you’re an unethical, unpatriotic son of a bitch.
Apparently this happens a lot.
When the inspector general initiated its review, SSA was issuing payments to 266 of those number holders. However, in only 13 cases was it likely the beneficiary was actually age 112 or older.
Even if no one is actually stealing cash benefits, there are other fraudulent uses for these dead-but-active Social Security numbers.
They can be used for other improper activities, such as filing for benefits from other Federal agencies or States, opening bank accounts, or applying for jobs. … From 2008 through 2011, the SSA received more than 4,000 E-Verify inquiries about number holders born before June 16, 1901.
And it’s really easy to find dead people’s Social Security numbers. Just get a 14-day free trial at Ancestry.com and with a little determination, you can find this:
Now relax. I know this comes from the Social Security Death Index which is probably another name for the DMF. But if I can find a dead guy’s SSN in less than 10 minutes, then I’m sure any DMF with a little more time and motivation can find the SSN for a dead guy who’s not on the DMF.
And it’s unquestionable that Adolph Melancon was the best part of this post.