Column Defends SSDI Against Criticisms Over Fraud

In an open letter to The Hill, Katy Ness, the chairperson of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and senior vice president for Government Relations at Easter Seals, defended the Social Security Administration (SSA) over claims that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) fraud is rampant.

Ness also brought up the alleged New York City police and firefighters SSDI scheme, which we have been blogging about recently.

“As a long-time advocate for people with disabilities, I applaud the close scrutiny of these extremely troubling allegations by the Social Security Administration, New York City law enforcement, and the House of Representatives,” Ness wrote. “Few things make me angrier than disability fraud, which jeopardizes the economic security of the millions of play-by-the rules Americans with disabilities. Any abuse of vital programs like Social Security Disability Insurance MUST be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Ness cited an article that claimed that fraud is estimated to constitute less than 1 percent of the SSDI program’s outlays. She also writes about how people must have earned work credits in order to receive benefits.

“Workers must have paid into the Social Security system for long enough to be covered in case of disability. Additionally, an applicant must provide extensive medical evidence of a severe disability, illness or injury. The disability standard is so strict that fewer than four in ten applicants are approved for disability benefits, even after all stages of appeal,” Ness wrote.

We applaud anyone who takes a stand against the narrative that SSDI is some type of “get rich” scheme. The SSA uses two different tests to determine benefit eligibility including the “Duration of Work Test” and the “Recent Work Test”, which take into account how long you have worked as well as how recently in order to determine whether you qualify for disability benefits.

If you have questions about an SSDI application, we suggest you visit our Social Security FAQ page. Do not hesitate to contact our Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers for a free consultation. You may also reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050.

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

Troutman Touts: In 2012, the average age of an SSDI beneficiary was 53.


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