Perhaps you have been notified that there is a CDI (Cooperative Disability Investigation) pending regarding your claim for disability. As Social Security disability lawyers, we always remind our clients as that if you are disabled, you have nothing to hide. A CDI report can actually bolster your claim. For example, if you are observed limping into your house or using a cane to walk, your reported back pain gains credibility. On the other hand, if you have exaggerated your symptom to an Administrative Law Judge, you might have some explaining to do after your CDI is completed. Why? Because CDIs are conducted to prevent Social Security Disability Claim fraud.
What is CDI?
CDI is a joint initiative involving the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), state Disability Determination Services (DDS), and State and local law enforcement agencies. The primary goal of a CDI is to uncover Social Security Disability claim fraud.
The process typically begins with a referral from the DDS or SSA to the CDI Unit. Fraud referrals also come from SSA’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, private citizens, anonymous sources, and other law enforcement agencies. Social Security Disability fraud can involve malingering, filing multiple applications, concealing work or other activities, and exaggerating or lying about disabilities.
The CDI Unit Team Leader screens the referral. If it accepts the case, the Team Leader will work with the state or local law enforcement members of the team to investigate the allegation by interviewing the applicant and third parties and/or conducting surveillance of the applicant.
Upon completion of the investigation, a report is sent to DDS, where DDS staff serves as the ultimate decision-making entity in determining whether a person is eligible to receive a monthly disability benefit payment. If the claimant is already receiving benefits, DDS and/or SSA will determine whether the person’s benefits should be continued or terminated. In some cases, there is a possibility of criminal prosecution or the imposition of civil monetary penalties or administrative sanctions.
It is important to notify your attorney if you receive notice of an investigation for Social Security Disability fraud. Also, you should feel free to ask your attorney questions regarding CDI and how it may impact your Social Security Disability claim. As stated above, a CDI is not necessarily hurtful to your claim as long as you were honest in filling out your Social Security paperwork and testifying at your hearing.
Contact Us About Your Disability Claim
If you have any questions about a Social Security claim, contact a disability attorney at any of our offices across Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Call (618) 266-4038 or submit the Contact Form on our website for a free consultation.