Alexandria, VA.- Our Generation highlights a new forthcoming bust of SSDI recipients who reportedly received benefits fraudulently. This bust demonstrates needed reforms to the program. According to a Wall Street Journal news report, “Federal and local investigators plan to arrest 106 people Tuesday as part of one of the largest Social Security disability fraud busts in U.S. history, a person familiar with the arrests said, alleging that a number of former New York fire department and police officials improperly obtained benefits by cheating the application process.”
In 2013 Our Generation launched the Reform SSDI Now campaign to provide citizens with information to understand this federal disability insurance crisis and given citizens the tools to demand action and real reform from policy makers—including compelling reports on this crucial issue and an online action center to contact members of Congress and information on how to report fraud in the SSDI system.
“Social Security Disability Insurance was created in the 1950s to provide assistance to Americans who are unable to work due to physical or mental disabilities. Unfortunately, an estimated 11 million Americans now collect disability benefits, and this well-intentioned program has ballooned into a $135 billion bureaucracy rife with waste, fraud and abuse,” said MacMillin Slobodien, Executive Director of Our Generation. “This new bust shows the federal government’s inability to police the current system and as a result, countless Americans are scamming SSDI by collecting taxpayer-funded disability benefits improperly. This fraud and abuse harms taxpayers and threatens to deprive the truly disabled as SSDI faces the threat of future insolvency.”
Our Generation has proposed reforms to the program that would tighten eligibility requirements and focus resources on the most disabled individuals, coupled with incentives to employers to keep disabled individuals working and therefore out of the program. Our Generation had proposed the following reforms:
- Tighten eligibility requirements and conduct Continuing Disability Reviews of existing beneficiaries to reassess their disability status;
- Include greater oversight power for the Social Security Administration by administrative law judges who make SSDI decisions;
- Add “experience rating” for disability payroll taxes so employers who can keep individuals with disabilities on the job will be rewarded with lower taxes, while those who shift workers onto SSDI will pay more;
- Require employers to carry private disability insurance to cover benefits for a short period until Social Security SSDI takes over.