Less Than One Percent Of SSDI Recipients Wrongfully Received Benefits

Last week, the Washington Post reported that the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued about $1.3 billion in potentially faulty disability payments to people who held jobs while claiming they were unable to work between December 2010 and January 2013. But are they right about these SSDI recipients?

It should be noted that the figures represent less than one percent of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit payments paid during the period. The Government Accountability Office estimated that 36,000 people improperly received benefits.

“During a time of growing concerns about the solvency of the [disability insurance] trust fund, it is important that SSA take every opportunity to ensure that only eligible beneficiaries receive payments under this program,” the report said.

Sen. Tom Coburn R-Okla., a ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, said in a statement that the information “demonstrates just how little importance the Social Security Administration places on policing its disability rolls.”

To get disability payments, a person must have paid into the system through taxes and have earned work credits. As the Post reported, they must also document that they earned no more than $1,000 per month for five months, a requirement meant to ensure that their disabilities are long-term.

According to the Post, Democrats expressed concerns, but said that lawmakers need to provide adequate funding to the SSA in order to combat improper payments. “It would be shortsighted for Congress to reduce the funding needed to conduct that type of oversight to strengthen federal disability programs,” Sen. Carl Levin D-Mich. said, according to the Post.

The Social Security system is not perfect. We would be the first to admit that one percent of people receiving improper benefits is not acceptable. However, as Sen. Levin mentioned, the solution may be to strengthen the program from within, beginning with oversight. Any discussion of “reform”, a buzzword for reductions and funding cuts, would be misguided and hurt people who need benefits the most—the disabled, who are unable to work.

If you suffer from a disability that leaves you unable to work, we suggest contacting a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney to see if you may be eligible for SSDI benefits. We offer free evaluations of your case, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404. Contact us today.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers


    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.