290 Of 300 Workers Apply For Disability, See Same Doctor

A criminal investigation into disability benefits in Puerto Rico highlights several concerns that we have posted about in the past. First is the issue of disparities between Social Security offices. The approval rates vary widely throughout the United States, and some articles have delved into the disparities between local offices. New York City residents, for example, have multiple options of where to file for disability benefits, and they usually avoid particular offices known for unusually high rejection rates. On the other hand, there is the West Virginia office, which came to light for one of its judges approving nearly 100 percent of disability applicants.

Puerto Rico has developed a similar reputation for being perhaps too applicant friendly. Last year, Social Security Administration (“SSA”) offices on the island approved nearly two-thirds of initial applicants, a much higher rate than most offices. In fact, nine of the top ten zip codes in the US for Social Security Disability beneficiaries come from Puerto Rico.

The investigation into one particular office came about when a pharmaceutical plant closed down, and all of its employees lost their jobs. 290 of the 300 employees applied for disability benefits, and perhaps not coincidentally, they all went to the same doctor for their disability diagnosis. The SSA’s inspector general is investigating the potential fraud in this case.

The investigation stems from the same Wall Street Journal article that uncovered the troubles at the West Virginia office. The article looked at approval rates all over the country. It is good to hear the SSA being responsive to allegations of fraud. It often lacks the resources to carry out investigations, but more efforts to do so would be a step in the right direction, as that would free up money to provide better financial support to disabled workers truly in need.


    I didn't think there was a caring professional considerate attorney firm on the planet, but Troutman & Troutman proved me wrong. From the receptionist to the legal assistance to the attorney and more they were exceptional people.

    - Robert S.

    They did a fantastic job getting everything gathered up and getting the trial done as quickly as possible. Anytime I had a question they were patient and help me understand what was going on. Especially Christy and Charlie were great.

    - Michael M.

    Steve Troutman was able to get my short-term and long-term disability for me. Then Erin another lawyer for their firm got my Social security disability for me. Great people.

    - Billy S.

    Mr. Troutman walked me through the entire process. Heather was available each time I called, answered all my crazy questions, and helped me fill out forms along the way. I was never treated like I was wasting time.

    - Julia C.

    Erin and Keith were fabulous! They were compassionate, helpful, and very responsive! They made the process very smooth and painless every step of the way.

    - Valerie W.

We Are Here to Help 

Free & Confidential Consultations
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.