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Fraudsters prevent people with real needs from getting SSDI

Those of you who read our blog know how vital Social Security disability insurance payments are to many people in New York. They help cover medical expenses and living costs so that people who cannot work due to a disability can continue to thrive in society. 

Social Security disability benefits are not handed out to just anyone. A person must have medical evidence showing that they live with a condition that renders them unable to work in addition to other paperwork. Unfortunately, some people have found ways to take advantage of this system, making things much more difficult for people who truly need benefits. 

Yesterday, federal prosecutors announced that more than 70 people have been charged with playing a role in a massive Social Security disability fraud scheme. According to a report from the New York Times, 71 people were accused of making fraudulent medical claims in Puerto Rico. Apparently officials had been investigating the individuals involved for two years.

Officials first began to suspect something odd when an investigative report by the Wall Street Journal showed that an unusually large number of people in Puerto Rico were recipients of Social Security disability insurance. 

We have all heard about the financial troubles the Social Security Administration is currently faced with. It is unfortunate to see that people are taking advantage of a struggling program that exists to help people who truly need it. In the light of this fraud scheme, hopefully officials will find a way to ensure that disability benefits are only distributed to people who need them. 

Source: The New York Times, "70 Are Indicted in Puerto Rico in Social Security Fraud," Timothy Williams, Aug. 21, 2013

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