That is up from negligible numbers a decade ago. The shift is part of a broader technology modernization drive at the SSA, but it also is an attempt to cope with rising demand for its services during a time of relentless cuts to its administrative budget by Congress.
Overview of Lump Sum and Monthly Social Security Death Benefits
At the same time, the demand for the SSA services from the public has been hitting record highs as the baby boom generation ages into retirement. But in an age of hacking and identity theft, moving Social Security online also increases risk - and it is difficult to imagine a hacking target more attractive than the SSA.
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The agency houses sensitive data on nearly every American - living and dead - including medical and financial records. The risks include not only theft of sensitive identity data, but also actual benefits. Nearly all Social Security benefits now are paid electronically, and thieves can redirect electronic payments to their own accounts. How significant is the risk of identity theft and fraud related to MySSA accounts?
The worry is that cyber thieves could claim accounts and file for benefits.
Internet Electronic Death Registration (I-EDR)
Starting last June, it beefed up the authentication methods required to create or access a MySSA account, including the addition of security codes sent by text or email. The OIG - which maintains a hotline for consumer complaints related to Social Security - also says it received more than 58, allegations of fraud related to MySSA accounts from February to February Those figures are small in the context of overall MySSA activity - but it will not seem small if it happens to you.
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And this level of hacking is worrisome in an era of increased cybertheft. Concerns have intensified in the wake of last year's Equifax Inc hack, which exposed the Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses of millions of Americans. For information on applying for the death benefit, click here. For more about Social Security, click here.
Social Security Death Index (SSDI) - Online Searching
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