Monday, January 30, 2023
Pandemic Response Accountability Committee: The PRAC identified $5.4 billion in potential identity fraud associated with 69,323 questionable and unverified SSNs used across disbursed COVID-19 EIDL and PPP applications -- that is, applications that successfully received a loan and/or grant. Eligibility for these disbursements could have been questioned further by SBA before the loan and/or grant had been disbursed if the COVID-19 EIDL and PPP loan programs required SBA -- or SBA otherwise had access to information necessary -- to verify the accuracy of SSNs and the associated information on borrower applications, such as the applicants' full names and dates of birth.9 SSA is a recognized source for this information for a variety of federal programs. However, the process to implement new SSN verification agreements among agencies and address legal questions regarding the permissibility of information-sharing can be lengthy.10 Consequently, the time required to establish these types of agreements creates delays and challenges in achieving effective program administration and oversight, particularly in an emergency. Having such information-sharing agreements in place before an emergency would ensure timely access to verification information and improve federal program integrity, protect taxpayer funds from improper payments and fraud, better ensure benefits are paid only to those who are truly eligible, and reduce the incidence of identity fraud in government programs, thereby helping protect victims of
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