There is a lot of noise these days about the federal deficit and many people are looking for ways to cut spending in Washington. The Social Security retirement and disability programs have come under scrutiny, especially the disability program which pays billions of dollars every year to about 17.9 million Americans.
Some lawmakers are so surprised by this number that they asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate. The GAO began by researching federal workers – and you might be surprised by what they found.
By comparing names on federal paychecks with those on federal disability payments, they found that 1,500 federal employees appeared to be receiving Social Security Disability while at the same time receiving a federal paycheck.
How can this happen? The Social Security Administration counts on disability benefit recipients to report when they are done receiving benefits. This makes it easy for recipients to commit fraud, as they can continue to receive money even after they get better.
The head of the Social Security Administration wasn’t impressed with the GAO’s work, and remarked that the agency is so backlogged that it is unlikely that they’ll be doing the required periodic reviews of disability benefits recipients any time soon.