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Prisoners Receive Millions in Social Security Disability Payouts

Posted on Nov 30, 2013

A recent sampling of disability recipients in jail done by the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration found that approximately 25 percent of people continued to receive Social Security disability payouts were behind bars.

The report that detailed the wrongful payouts made by the Social Security Administration is titled “Special Disability Workload Payments Made to Incarcerated Beneficiaries.” In this report, the Office of the Inspector General advises the government to do something to recoup the wrongful payouts and overpayments to prisoners.

Details found in the report show that the Social Security Administration issued wrongful payments to beneficiaries while they were behind bars. In the 100 sample cases reviewed by the Inspector General’s office, only 75 percent of the disability recipients had their payments suspended while they were incarcerated. This left 25 percent of prisoners receiving disability benefit payments.

Based on the sample, the report extrapolated that approximately $1 million was overpaid to 440 beneficiaries. The breakdown shows that approximately 317 prisoners received disability benefit payments that totaled $879,000. Another 123 prisoners were paid $143,000 in spite of the Social Security Administration taking away their benefits. More than $1 million wrongful payments were distributed.

In addition to recommending that payments be recouped, the Inspector General also recommended that the Social Security Administration take action to review the accuracy of all of the payments to the 1,661 individuals with a criminal history in the system.

As Massachusetts Social Security disability attorneys, we support the recommendations of the Inspector General’s office based on this report.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law