Executive Director Sean Ferritor (at right) listens in as Chairman Johnson and Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin speak briefly after a hearing on Social Security Fraud in New York City.
The Seniors Coalition and Congress were shocked to learn of another, arguably more abhororent case of American's tax dollars being stolen by fraudulent disability claims. The most recent case involves former firefighters, policemen and even a former FBI employee. Sadly these thieves schemed the Social Security Administration (SSA) out of millions of dollars because they claimed their "disability" was caused as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Many had never even worked at Ground Zero.
"I am shocked to learn of yet another episode of Social Security fraud," reports Executive Director Sean Ferritor, "and it chills me to the bone to find out that these criminals preyed on the pride the American people feel for our first responders and the emotions of that tragic event."
Following this breaking news, The Seniors Coalition immediately accepted an invitation to attend a Congressional hearing on the matter. The hearing was called by U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security. The purpose of the hearing was two-fold; to investigate how this fraud could have occurred, and to hold the SSA accountable before Congress and the American people.
According to testimony of Patrick P. O'Carroll, Jr., Inspector General, Social Security Administration, approximately 106 individuals have been indicted, but the investigation is ongoing and there may be more possible suspects. Also testifying was Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration, who bureaucratically avoided all of Chairman Johnson's questions regarding accountability in the SSA. When pressed for a simple yes or no answer to address what procedural practices would be implemented to thwart similar cases in the future, Ms. Colvin simply responded, "If you're looking for a yes or no answer, I can't answer that."
To put it into perspective, SSA officials estimate that nearly $22 million dollars was fraudulently stolen from Social Security. "This is truly a sad day," exclaimed President and CEO Dr. Joseph Bridges, "when criminals find a way to steal tens of millions of dollars from every working American and every retired American who have all been paying into Social Security their entire working lives. I believe there must finally be accountability in the Social Security Administration, and The Seniors Coalition will not rest until those responsible for this mess are brought to justice."
-- March 27, 2014