Modernization (or the lack of it) could be a reason why social security programs continue to be fraught with problems. Writer Stephen Dinan reports on this development that threatens to undermine the credibility of the system, for the Washington Times:
Social Security’s disability payments systems are so old and dependent on handwritten records that it makes it difficult to weed out fraud, an inspector general concluded in a major report last week that said the agency doesn’t appear to be taking the issue seriously.
Handwritten records can’t be screened electronically, which means the agency can’t easily spot doctors who are approving a large number of applications — a key indicator of potential fraud, investigators said.
Even when the agency does find overpayments, it doesn’t automatically cancel them, meaning the agency ends up knowingly paying erroneous claims, the inspector general said in its investigative report, released Friday.
If you’ve applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and there appears to be a discrepancy in the amount of compensation, it pays to have trusted Social Security lawyers like those at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law look into the matter.
Need for comprehensive investigation
Dinan notes that the report from the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector-General was formed out of stories that an administrative law judge plotted with a lawyer to clear a raft of bogus cases, and that former police officers and firefighters who had no disabilities were allegedly guided on how to file their SSDI claims. It may be possible that another person uses the name and details of the claimant to get his/her compensation. This would require comprehensive investigation to uncover the fraud.
Dinan says SSDI adjudicators were limited to looking at material in the case file. This would be a barrier if evidences of fraud, such as photos of fraudulent claimants engaging in extreme sports, were scattered over social media or the internet. Every piece of hard evidence detailing your disability must be compiled to bolster your claim, and may even work against fraudulent claimants.
The article reveals that the disability system largely depends on handwritten notes, which couldn’t be electronically screened to discover widespread scams. The agency also doesn’t support a system that cancels overpayments automatically once they’re discovered.
Even when documents are in order, it’s often hard to prove you were cheated out of your just benefits under the SSDI program. Though SSA officials insist there’s only a 1% chance of fraud in the agency, an expert Social Security attorney like Jan Dils will take on the challenge to prevent you from becoming a victim.
(Source: Social Security’s outdated records systems invite disability fraud: IG report, The Washington Times, 14 September 2014)