Fraud Prevention Efforts in the Social Security Administration (SSA)
At the request of House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) the SSA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a report on the agency’s efforts to detect and prevent fraud.
The report is more or less a compilation of data from the OIG’s past reports on the same topics and covers all levels of the disability determination process. In the section on appeals, the report covers SSA oversight of Administrative Law Judges (ALJ), especially those with very high allowance rates. The report found that the SSA’s quality control efforts designed to root out these so-called ‘outlier’ judges have paid off, citing a significant decrease in the number of ALJs with allowance rates over 85% in the years between 2006-2013.
The report also features a section on claimant representatives. It notes that due to the nature of the agency’s existing infrastructure, the SSA only tracks claimant representatives that it pays directly, so the many claimant representatives who do not receive payment from the SSA go largely untracked.
In that vein, the report suggests that a more comprehensive claimant representative tracking system could go a long way toward helping the SSA detect and prevent fraud. It also describes the SSA’s past failure to screen claimant representatives properly as well as the agency’s new initiative – as of this year – to develop a more inclusive tracking system as a means of fraud prevention.