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GAO Finds $1.29 Billion in Possible SSDI Fraud


Posted on Oct 08, 2013

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently conducted an investigation of the Social Security Disability Insurance program that uncovered $1.29 billion in fraud.

Reports show that the Social Security Administration (SSA) should have flagged as many as 36,000 SSDI recipients as fraudulent. Instead, the disability program missed these individuals with the tools they have in place to catch fraudulent recipients. The GAO determined that by just using a quarterly earnings statement, the SSA had the capability of catching the fraud.

The National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) is often used to enforce child support rules by tracing delinquent parents and comparing quarterly earnings reports. The GAO compared these reports found by the NDNH to the SSA lists to find SSDI recipients that exceeded the income-earning threshold. The results found 36,000 SSDI recipients not flagged in the system between July 2009 and September 2010.

These reports are alarming to SSDI recipients and our Boston Social Security Disability law firm, because they show that the wrong people are being approved, while the right people struggle to receive the disability income they need. This report comes only a few months after the SSA admitted to sending 1.3 beneficiaries checks without verifying their disability.

The SSA acknowledged that revising their enforcement policy could be costly. Even if they were able to limit the amount of fraud by fixing the system, the disability program is still set to deplete their funds in the coming years. When this happens, only 80 percent of beneficiaries may continue to receive the income they need.

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John L. Keefe
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