A Few Notes on Child Support and Employer Wage Reporting
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has suggested that the SSA could save tens of millions annually (1) if parents who file for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for their children were legally required to file for child support as a condition of eligibility, and (2) if the SSI rolls were regularly cross referenced with state child support data in order to root out unreported child support payments that would affect SSI distributions.
According to the OIG’s estimates, if 100,000 more individuals per year received child support payments, the SSA could save some $151.2 million annually. The OIG recommended that such legislation be seriously considered.
In another report, the OIG looked at 100 employers with the most suspended wage items (instances where employer-reported data such as employee names and Social Security numbers did not match the SSA’s wage data) from 2007-2009 and found that the employers’ false reporting amounted to $15.7 billion in suspended wages.
According to the OIG’s report, the employer-perpetrated fraud (and the SSA’s inability to fight it) was largely due to those employers’ not using Social Security Number Verification Service and E-Verify, as well as to the fact that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) did not consistently punish employers who knowingly provided falsified wage reports.
The OIG recommended that the SSA, the IRS, and the Department of Homeland Security work closely to coordinate joint efforts to combat such abuse in the future.