United States Congressman Sam Johnson, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, recently held a hearing on Social Security fraud in Puerto Rico. More specifically, the hearing was on a scheme to defraud the Social Security Disability Insurance program out of millions of dollars using an ex-Social Security employee and a couple of rogue doctors.
Sean Ferritor, The Seniors Coalition’s Executive Director, was in attendance and was appalled at the brazen level of deceit and criminal activities aimed at senior citizens and the disabled. “I was really surprised at the level of this scheme, as were the members of the Subcommittee on Social Security,” Ferritor states. “One disgruntled employee and a couple of dishonest doctors is all it takes to bilk the Social Security Administration out of millions of dollars, millions that should be going to senior citizens who have spent a lifetime paying into Social Security, and who depend on that money to survive”, Ferritor continued.
Witnesses for the hearing included The Honorable Patrick O’Carroll, Jr., Inspector General, Social Security Administration, as well as Ms. Beatrice Disman, Regional Commissioner, New York Region Social Security Administration.
Confounded Congressmen continually quizzed the witnesses on how this stolen money would be refunded and what methods would be used to make sure that taxpayer funds would be recouped by the Social Security Administration.
Patrick O’Carroll and Beatrice Disman continually dodged questions on exactly how much money was fraudulently obtained and how that money would be retrieved. When asked point blank what methods they would use to secure the stolen funds, Ms. Disman simply responded, “We will request that it be returned.” Obviously this answer did not go over well with the members of the subcommittee.
The Seniors Coalition continues to work closely with our contacts on Congressman Johnson’s Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, who tell TSC that the final report on this issue will be out in late January.
“I applaud the work that Chairman Johnson and his Committee are doing to try and fix the Social Security System,” Ferritor continued. “The Seniors Coalition has been working for 25 years now towards the same goal, and our members are counting on us to deliver.”
-- February 11, 2014