Government Accountability Office in a scathing report released in March, says that Federal Agencies reported improper payment estimates for the fiscal year 2019 totaled about $175 billion, based on improper payment estimates reported by federal programs, an increase from the fiscal year 2018 total of $151 billion.
“Improper payments” are payments that should not have been made or that were made in incorrect amounts.
Of the $175 billion, about $121 billion (approximately 69 percent) was concentrated in three program areas: (1) Medicaid, (2) Medicare, and (3) Earned Income Tax Credit. About $74.6 billion (approximately 42.7 percent) of the government-wide estimate was reported as monetary loss, an amount that should not have been paid and in theory should or could be recovered.
Click image below to read full report (GAO-20-344):