Social Security Disability scandal cost taxpayers $2.5 billion

by Suzanne Eovaldi
    
Throw-away track phones bought at a nearby dollar store.  Private investigator hired to trail working mom.  Massive document shredding days.  Bashing of hard drives.  Office Chaos. Wow. Is this the latest fiction novel on a crime themed best seller list?
    
No.  These are actual references in US House of Representatives hearings on the massive Social Security Disability Fraud Scandal.  Honest and dedicated federal employees, sickened and disgusted over the theft of money and services of US taxpayer dollars filed a whistleblower lawsuit to blow the lid off of a scandal that looks to bankrupt a federal agency founded for the sole purpose of giving truly disabled Americans the benefits they need. 

A Social Security Disability Office on the border of Kentucky and Huntington, W. Virginia, is at the center of federal investigations into the activities of SSD supervisors who turned over huge numbers of cases in order to boost their own bonuses. They set up shop with one attorney, an administrative law judge and several obliging doctors for several years. 

“I’m flabbergasted,” said Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), himself a physician, as he grilled witnesses for hours about the massive loss of taxpayer dollars.  “You abrogated your job as chief judge,” Senator Coburn told Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Charlie Andrus.  The alleged misdeeds of Judge David B. Daugherty were heard without his direct testimony because he fled the hearing room before proceedings began. And the attorney in question, Eric Conn, took the fifth on the advice of his own attorney. 

Most pitiful to watch was the testimony of four female witnesses who told the Governmental Affairs Committee about numerous incidences of retaliation by SSD managers, supervisors, and even Judge Andrus himself who admitted playing a role in video taping Senior Clerk Sarah Carver, one of the principles in the whistleblower lawsuit.  Still employed, Carver, along with master docket clerk Jennifer Griffith, blew wide open the skullduggery that transferred about 2.5 billion taxpayer dollars into the benefit entitlements of disability claimants who were merely numbers on “DB’s Monthly Lists.” Carver said, “You could see massive numbers of favorable decisions going out. . .massive amounts of numbers.”  She explained how the Conn-Daugherty scheme worked.  The administrative law judge selected, or forum shopped cases by accessing computer selection lists he logged into from Master Docket clerk Griffith’s only web file.  Each month, Attorney Conn’s office manager Jamie Slone, under the alleged direction of the attorney, made sure the ALJ received these lists for processing by this same judge who, according to testimony, spent as little as 10 minutes per claimant on pre-completed forms! 

Attorney Conn became the nation’s third highest paid disability lawyer and Daugherty approved an astounding 99.5% of cases, granting benefits to practically everyone who applied.  The national average for claimant approval is about 50%.  And what’s even worse is the cover up and complicity of the federal Social Security supervisors who allowed this travesty to continue for years!  Senator Coburn pointed out that this fund is scheduled to go bankrupt in 18 months, so honest American citizens who sincerely are disabled on the job won’t be receiving compensation!

What with the IRS scandal, the Bales disappearance for about two years from the EPA, this Social Security Disability fraud, and now the loss of countless millions of taxpayer dollars thanks to Obamacare, no one is being held accountable.  In fact, the EPA head even held a party for one supervisor who let that department’s dishonest use of services go on and on.

Is there anyone in the Obama administration’s senior tier who will fire anyone?

Sources:

CSPAN: House, week long hearings, Social Security Disability at hsgac.senate.gov website; 

 http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/10/07/social-security-judge-accused-of-running

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2 thoughts on “Social Security Disability scandal cost taxpayers $2.5 billion”

  1. Monday’s hearing and accompanying report were part of a series of investigations into problems with the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability programs, which could face a funding shortfall in less than two years. Daugherty’s massive caseload stood out as earlier committee reports discovered a nationwide problem: Pressure to reduce a years-long backup of applicants placed numbers above thorough evaluation. That atmosphere created a perfect storm in Huntington, W.Va., the congressional magnifying glass revealed. According to SSA employee and whistleblower Sarah Carver, a climate of “overt favoritism” continued for years.

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