By Mike Wolter, Attorney
As a disability attorney in Jefferson City, MO, I am aware that there have recently been reports, about ongoing fraud within the Social Security Disability system. A 60 Minutes report on the Disability system has especially caused many people to become concerned over the ability of the Social Security Administration to effectively determine disability and combat potential fraudulent claims for disability. The report that aired can be found here. Even more often I hear people complain about the “guy down the street” who got benefits and there is “nothing wrong with him.”
Social security has initiated many procedures to try to detect and eliminate fraudulent claims. For instance, the Cooperative Disability Investigations program is specifically designed to reduce improper disability payments. The CDI program estimated that their investigations resulted in 339.6 million in projected savings in 2012 alone. (http://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/blog/2012/10/cdi-preventing-social-security-disability-fraud). Social Security has also announced that they will be using new analytical tools to help them detect patterns of fraud and prevent such fraudulent claims from being processed. (http://gcn.com/articles/2014/04/22/ssa-fraud-detection.aspx).
As an attorney that works exclusively on Disability claims, I have often found that reports focus on the people who receive disability who maybe do not deserve it. However, it is rare that you ever hear a story about someone who should be receiving disability but are wrongfully denied their benefits. You hear stories about judges who just “rubber-stamp” approvals to everyone but you rarely hear about judges who approve only 10 to 15% of claims despite the national average being about 45%. In my experience, I believe that there are just as many people that are wrongly denied benefits as there are people that are wrongfully awarded benefits. It is important to remember that while there will always be people trying to “game the system” and receive benefits illegally, there are also many people that are denied benefits that rightfully deserve them.
If you have any questions for a Social Security disability attorney in Jefferson City, MO or any of our other 18 offices across Missouri, Kansas and Illinois please contact us for a free consultation.