A check of Social Security data finds that the city of Buffalo has been paying health insurance premiums for more dead employees that auditors had initially estimated.
Auditors said last week that the city had paid more than $2 million in premiums for 152 dead employees. On Tuesday, officials said that number had grown to 170 after the city paid $4,500 to access the Social Security Death Index, which allows employers to identify deceased workers.
Buffalo auditors used the index to compare its data with city payroll information and found that premiums were paid to an additional 18 dead employees.
Officials say steps are being taken to try to recover some or all of the payments.
Most of the deceased individuals died in the past three fiscal years.