Insecure Social Security: House Oversight Committee Investigating Fraud And Waste In Social Security Program

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Fraud could be a major reason that the number of people enrolled in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has risen so dramatically over the past 10 years, according to two letters written by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The number of enrollees in the program grew by almost 60 percent between 2003 and 2012, from 5.58 million to 8.82 million people, the March 11 letter to acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration Carolyn Colvin says. This rate of growth is twice what the previous decade experienced.

The increase is likely not coming from people who actually need the care, the letter contends. Fraudulent enrollment and improper payments are pushing up the numbers.

The letter, signed by Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) and two subcommittee chairmen, points out “significant management problems that lead to misspending within the program.”

The letter says many ineligible people are receiving benefits citing a 2010 Government Accountability Office report. For example, some people receive SSDI before receiving a Commercial Drivers License, which requires a rigorous physical exam—indicating that they are not disabled. And some people simply lie about their income to receive the benefits, according to the chairmen.

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