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Disability fraud unit created in New York City

Early this month Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Carolyn W. Colvin, announced the Social Security Administration would be establishing a centralized fraud prevention group within New York City. The group consists of experienced disability examiners who will be tasked with identifying potential fraud and detecting fraud trends which can then be applied to cases throughout the United States.



The New York disability fraud unit will collaborate with SSA personnel across the country to “help build data analytics to detect and prevent fraud at the earliest possible point in the disability decision-making process.” This unit has been created on the heels of recent disability fraud indictments in Puerto Rico and New York City.

SSA Disability Fraud unit created to protect public’s trust of disability program


 

After more than 106 people were arrested in one of the biggest Social Security Disability fraud schemes in United States history, Acting Commissioner Colvin acknowledged more work needed to be done by the SSA to ensure the public trusts the disability system.

“Social Security strives to preserve the public’s trust in our programs and we have no tolerance for fraud.  We are aggressive in our efforts to detect and prevent fraud,” said Acting Commissioner Colvin.  “The employees in our anti-fraud unit will be our national experts, and we plan to compile data from their work to help us develop further analytical tools to find potential fraud.”

The new disability fraud unit is the first of its kind. It will employ up to twenty disability examiners who will work together in New York City. According to the SSA, they will begin their work “by reviewing trends found in the Puerto Rico and New York cases, along with further analysis of doctors’ reports, the unit will use their findings to help create the systems and data analytics that Social Security will use for disability applications nationwide.” The goal is to identify fraud before the SSA approves applicants and begins making payments to them.

SSA will find disability fraud applicants and recipients


 

The message from the SSA is clear: “To those who would try to cheat us: We will find you; we will prosecute you; we will seek the maximum punishment allowable under the law; and we will fight to recover any money you’ve stolen from the American people.”

What do you do if you suspect someone is receiving a fraudulent SSA payment? You can contact the SSA office at 1-800-269-0271, or visit http://oig.ssa.gov. If you visit the online webpage you can click on “Report Fraud, Waste, or Abuse.” All reports can be done anonymously.

What does it mean to be disabled?


 

You are not considered disabled by the SSA unless you have a severe health condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months and does not allow you to perform work. SSDI claimants must also have worked and paid sufficient taxes to be considered “insured” by the SSA. If you do not have a long-term condition or you are not 100% disabled, you will be denied SSDI benefits.
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