WASHINGTON — By its own estimate, the government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them — tax credits to families that didn’t qualify, unemployment benefits to people who had jobs and medical payments for treatments that might not have been necessary.
Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher.
The Obama administration has reduced the amount of improper payments since they peaked in 2010. Still, estimates from federal agencies show that some are wasting big money at a time when Congress is squeezing agency budgets and looking to save more.
Here’s a closer look at how much money was wasted across different programs:
The Department of Health and Human Services wins the award for largest dollar amount:
Overall, the Medicare-Fee-For-Service program accounted for more than a third of all improper payments:
But the Earned Income Tax Credit actually had the highest improper payment rate: