New Bill May Help Fight Disability Fraud
On February 26, 2014, the House Committee on Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee convened to discuss ways of preventing Social Security disability fraud.
The hearing included several panels featuring a variety of witnesses from the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Unum Group, and the National Academy of Public Administration, among others, who testified to the problem of disability fraud and spoke about current and in-development fraud prevention efforts by the SSA.
The centerpiece of the hearing, however, was Ranking Committee Member Xavier Becerra’s (D-CA) H.R. 4090, “The Social Security Fraud and Error Prevention Act of 2014.” The bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation. What follow are some of the highlights.
H.R. 4090 would eliminate the need for yearly appropriation and instead provide the SSA with the ongoing funding it needs to perform the essential functions required to combat fraud, such as conducting continuing disability reviews (CDRs), of which there’s now a backlog of 1.3 million cases, making Supplemental Security Income (SSI) redeterminations, and expanding and establishing Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) units to cover all U.S. states and territories by October of 2017.
The bill would also require detailed fraud prevention progress reporting by the SSA to Congress, make conspiracy to commit Social Security fraud a felony, and disqualify all medical evidence provided by suspended practitioners or those who have been penalized for Medicare or Social Security fraud, barring an override by the SSA’s Commissioner.