KHQ CIA: Disabilities Fraud - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ CIA: Disabilities Fraud

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Do you suspect someone of committing fraud against Social Security?  The SSA OIG Fraud Hotline takes reports of alleged fraud, waste, and abuse. Do you suspect someone of committing fraud against Social Security? The SSA OIG Fraud Hotline takes reports of alleged fraud, waste, and abuse.
KHQ.com -

The Social Security Disabilities program is meant to be a lifeline for the severely disabled. A recent Government study found that new applications are on the rise as the US population ages. With more applications there is a growing concern that con-artists will see it as an easy way to make money.

We asked our friends on Facebook: How big of a problem do you think disabilities fraud is in the United States? Over 150 people replied.

Facebook friend Lorri Moreno-Geisinger said, "Yes, my neighbor. 100% physically disabled and pounding fence posts with a steel post driver, using a swing hoe to cut weeds, building a deck...you get the picture."

We met with Attorney Thomas Doran. He has been practicing disabilities law in Washington State for over 35 years. He says fraud isn’t as prolific as some may think.

“We would not think them to be disabled but in fact they have already proven their disability and have objective medical evidence that shows that this person may be able to build a fence ... but can't leave his back yard because of anxiety disorders for instance,” Doran said.

Others on Facebook had issues with the system.

Our Facebook friend John Fred Cyboron said, "I have a reverse problem. My son has epilepsy to the point that he can't keep a job, and has been denied disability three times. Guess he has the wrong surname."

Attorney Doran says the system can be very cumbersome, stressful, and a difficult process.

"The system is designed to avoid people getting on disability unless they are disabled. You have to be off for 12 months and then if you get denied, then you have to wait another 16 to 18 months before you get a hearing. So you are off work for 30 months before you even get a chance to get a check.”

Facebook friend Karen Henley said, "I have noticed that most of you think a disability is a physical issue. There are people who have mental issues such as PTSD (like soldiers returning from war), severe anxiety issues, severe manic depressive episodes, liver failure, heart conditions, etc. that are still disabilities. Just because you can't SEE a disability DOESN'T MEAN IT DOESN'T EXIST."

Attorney Doran said that is the hardest perception to fight.

“Many times people's abilities are evident on an occasional basis and they have to work on a relatively continuous basis to be deemed not eligible for disability,” said Doran.

Do you suspect someone of committing fraud against Social Security? The SSA OIG Fraud Hotline takes reports of alleged fraud, waste, and abuse.

http://oig.ssa.gov/report-fraud-waste-or-abuse/fraud-waste-and-abuse

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