WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Orrin Hatch are seeking details from the Social Security Administration and the Justice Department on Social Security benefits given to suspected ex-Nazis. It’s unclear why the federal government allowed millions of dollars to flow to these individuals, including those who have left the country. Record-keeping discrepancies have exacerbated uncertainty and confusion over U.S. government practice and policy on allowing ex-Nazis to retain their Social Security benefits.
“We have introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to close the Social Security loophole in order to prevent this practice in the future and hope that it will become law soon,” Grassley and Hatch wrote in letters to each agency. “However, there remain questions about DOJ’s actions and what will be done in current cases if the law is not passed before they are resolved.”
Grassley and Hatch asked for statistics in areas including the total number of Nazi suspects who received Social Security benefits after leaving the United States, how many suspected Nazis currently receive Social Security benefits and live outside the country, information on the potential outcome of certain identified cases, and details of interaction between the Social Security Administration and the Justice Department on the issue.
Hatch is the sponsor and Grassley is an original cosponsor of bipartisan, bicameral legislation to terminate Social Security benefits for Nazi persecutors who receive them because of a loophole in current law. The practice appeared to be little-known in recent years until an Associated Press report exposed the practice, leading to scrutiny from Congress and public outcry.
The Grassley-Hatch letter to Social Security Administration Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin is available here. The Grassley-Hatch letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. is available here.