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Disability Fraud Crackdown

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News March 2014

Social Security is cracking down on disability fraud in 2014. In 2012, 11 million citizens collected $140 billion in Social Security disability benefits, a rate that may cause the agency to run out of money by 2016.

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In an attempt to slow spending, the agency is rewriting job descriptions of officials so they may tighten the reins on judges who award an alarmingly high number of disability benefits cases.

Social Security seeks to do this by updating two of the systems currently used to determine who receives  benefits and who does not. The first is a dictionary used by vocational experts to determine whether a person can do a job in his or her area. The dictionary hasn’t been updated since 1991 and will now include jobs created during the recent technology boom.

The second is a grid that factors age, education and disability. However it has not been updated for years, so by now most lawyers have figured out how to abuse this system.

Efforts to eliminate fraud will also include lowering the caseload each judge takes on so more care can be taken to evaluate each case, proposing a new rule that prevents law firms from withholding any information related to a disability application and investigating doctors and lawyers who may be cheating the system.

 

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Disability Fraud Crackdown

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