A report released recently alleges that the system used to create and organize records for the Social Security Disability program are antiquated and rely too heavily on hand written documents. According to an unidentified inspector general, the old records, coupled with the fact that they are not integrated for electronic screening, invites cases of fraud.
As Ohio residents may know, SSD is a governmental insurance program run to provide benefits to people who have an injury or illness that makes it difficult or impossible to work. There has been talk in recent years that the disability trust fund, which is separate from the fund for older, retired people, may become insolvent by 2016. The investigators who filed the previously mentioned report contend that for this reason, it is important that the Social Security Administration take their findings seriously.
The report also highlights what it claims are problems with SSA’s policies and rules that also need to be modernized. The inspectors allege that SSA doesn’t automatically cancel benefits that it believes have been over-payed, leading to further over-payments. For its part, SSA says that fraud is not widespread, and amounts to perhaps one percent per year. The report indicates that the inspectors believe that the one percent number is a misreading of the statistics.
The social security disability benefits program has come under increased scrutiny due to a few high profile cases of fraud discovered over the last few years. While there are always some people willing to game the system, the fact is that the SSD program is essential for thousands of Americans who have an inability to work due to a physical or psychological ailment. It is important for people who fall into this category to explore all their legal options, so as not to miss out on benefits to which they are entitled.
Source: The Washington Times “Social Security’s outdated records systems invite disability fraud: IG report,” Stephen Dinan, Sep. 14, 2014.