Duplicate Welfare Payments in New York Jurisdictions

HRD-78-133: Published: Jun 21, 1978. Publicly Released: Jun 21, 1978.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Data from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program rolls in New York City were compared with data from Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties using social security number (SSN) as the sole identifier.

Computer comparisons were made of these jurisdictions' rolls to determine whether individuals received duplicate payments and, if so, whether the duplicate payments were received from more than one jurisdiction. A number of AFDC recipients' SSN's appeared on more than one jurisdiction's rolls or more than once on the same roll; however, the jurisdictions identified only a limited number of recipients who were receiving duplicate payments. Many recipients' case files had missing or incorrect SSN's; a number of the matches occurred because of incorrect SSN's. There was no standard format for storing recipient information in the agencies' data files.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare should take action to resolve the controversy concerning whether dependent children are required by the Social Security Act to have social security numbers and direct that the Commissioner of the Social Security take steps to ensure that states obtain SSN's for all adult applicants and recipients. He should also direct the Inspector General to determine the magnitude of missing and incorrect SSN's and their effect on the results of matching efforts and direct the Commissioner to determine the need for and feasibility of standardizing recipient data among jurisdictions.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Feb 8, 2018

Nov 9, 2017

Sep 6, 2017

Jul 14, 2017

Jul 13, 2017

May 17, 2017

Apr 26, 2017

Feb 6, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here