10 Examples of SSDI Fraud
Social Security Disability Insurance is meant to provide assistance to Americans who are unable to work due to physical or mental disabilities. Unfortunately, this well-intentioned program has ballooned into a $135 billion bureaucracy rife with waste, fraud and abuse.
All too often, the Social Security Administration fails to weed out legitimate disability claimants from those who are capable of working and are attempting to defraud the system by receiving regular income without having to get a job. As a result, countless Americans are scamming SSDI by collecting taxpayer-funded disability benefits improperly. The following are the 10 most outrageous examples of Social Security disability fraud uncovered in recent years.
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Social Security’s Disability Insurance (SSDI) program began modestly, but grew over time. When introduced in 1956, SSDI provided benefits only for permanently disabled workers over the age of 50 with a substantial work history. Over time, this program has grown dramatically, and today the fastest-rising cost for Social Security is not the retiring Baby Boomers but skyrocketing Disability Insurance benefits. In 1970, the Disability Insurance program could be financed with a payroll tax rate of only 0.8 percent of wages; today, the cost of SSDI has tripled relative to the 1970 level.
Drivers of SSDI Growth
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), a federal entitlement program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and signed into law in 1956, is growing far too fast. Despite its humble beginnings as an insurance plan for long-tenured workers with the misfortune of becoming disabled before retirement, SSDI has ballooned into a $135 billion behemoth threatening to collapse under its own weight, and to take a bite out of Medicare on the way down. Left unchecked, decades of loose standards and poor enforcement may soon culminate in thousands –if not millions – of deserving recipients being deprived their rightful benefits.
Compounding the crisis is the fact that the process of approving SSDI applicants, once run by SSA, has been foisted upon a system of appeals run by an overworked and under-regulated network of Administrative Law Judges (ALJs). In this system, a growing amount of applicants and their wellpracticed attorneys have come to treat initial approval or denial of benefits as merely the first stop on the way to an appeal, where the odds of success are higher. Worse, these lawyers face badly orchestrated incentives that can cost taxpayers dearly.
Download the Drivers of SSDI Growth Report by clicking here.