Millions Paid to Dead Farmers

Agriculture Department shells out subsidies to the deceased

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

The U.S. Agriculture Department has been shelling out millions to farmers who have been deceased for over a year.

The New York Times reports that each year millions of dollars in U.S. farm subsidies go to farmers who are already dead.

Due to the Agriculture Department’s mismanagement of information, subsidy money is still being doled out to people who have been dead for over a year.

An audit by the Government Accountability Office, a branch of Congress, found that the oversight was traceable to multiple sectors of the department.

More than $10 million was sent out to over 1,000 deceased farmers between the years of 2008 and 2012 by the National Resources Conservation Service. Another $22 million was paid out to over 3,400 farmers that had been dead for over two years. These funds were administered by the Risk Management Agency in the name of its crop assurance program.

The squandered funds came to light during a recent investigation on behalf of the new farm bill Congress is currently considering.

While the Agriculture Department acknowledges the errors, it disagrees with the accusation that it does not have sufficient stopgaps in place to detect these mistakes.  

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