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Desperate for help, Social Security Disability recipients bend rules

Social Security disability fraud continues to be an issue for the Social Security Administration (SSA), especially as the economy struggles, making it difficult for some individuals to make ends meet.

 

Some disability benefits recipients continue to collect benefits even though they have recovered, for example if they are no longer suffering from a temporary permanent disability.  Other benefit recipients use their disability benefits to supplement income they bring in, income that is over the limit allowed and that they do not report to the SSA, as required by law.

 

However, given the massive backlog of new disability benefits applications and the backlog of denied case appeals, the SSA has difficulty following up on fraud allegations.  In addition, some reports estimate that if the SSA had the time and resources to follow up on disability benefit recipients who are up for a medical review, they could save $10 to $11 billion.

 

Savings of that magnitude could be achieved if all individuals who no longer need disability benefits stopped receiving them, and if SSA were able to recover money paid in excess to those individuals.

 

When individuals cheat the SSDI system to take disability benefits that they don’t deserve, they are, in a way, stealing from individuals who are genuinely disabled and depend on disability benefits to survive.

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