You are going to be hearing a lot about Social Security disability fraud in coming months. With the disability trust fund about to run out of money, Congress will find itself moving money from other programs into the disability fund to shore it up.
With their attention drawn to the disability programs, legislators will demand more accountability from Social Security administrators. Fraud against the program will be a focus.
A recent USA Today story about fraud was entitled Feds: 36,000 Get Improper Disability. The news article cited a GAO report showing that Social Security issued $1.3 billion in disability payments to people who had jobs from December, 2010 through January, 2013 and that Social Security is going to aggressively pursue recovery of these overpayments.
According to the news story Social Security has trouble tracking earnings during the five month waiting period applicable in SSDI claims. Claimant earnings did not reach the wage-earner’s record and Social Security issued payment for months where an approved claimant was not eligible.
While this USA Today story and others like it are sure to inflame the passions of those who are convinced that 80% of disability claims are fraudulent, the truth is a little less newsworthy. [Read more…]