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Johnson Statement on Social Security Disability Insurance Fraud in New York

January 08, 2014

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) made the following statement in response to the Social Security Disability Insurance fraud in New York City. The investigation resulted in the indictment and arrest of some 102 Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries and four facilitators — two recruiters, an attorney and a disability consultant — allegedly involved in the scheme.

“Scandal after scandal proves the Social Security Administration is failing to protect precious taxpayer dollars and the public’s confidence in this vital program. It was just six months ago when we learned of the unprecedented and rampant disability fraud in Puerto Rico, which came on the heels of troubling reports about the handling of disability cases in West Virginia. What’s especially disheartening about this latest scandal is that 80 percent of the alleged criminals involved are former New York police officers and firefighters as well as a former F.B.I. agent. These are people we trust and who take oaths to protect us and our country. The bottom line is that this fraud hurts those who are truly deserving of disability benefits. I commend the employees of the Social Security Administration, the Office of Inspector General, the New York County District Attorney’s Office and the New York Police Department for bringing this fraud to light.

“At a time when the Disability Insurance program will be unable to pay full benefits beginning in 2016, my number one priority is to make sure we keep this program strong for those who truly need it and protect hard-earned taxpayer dollars. This should be Social Security’s number one priority as well. The Subcommittee will soon have a hearing to learn more about this investigation and the actions Social Security is taking in response. Americans want, need and deserve no less.”

In the last two years the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security has held 11 hearings on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, including hearings on disability fraud.