If the American public knew what was going on in our system, half would be outraged and the other half would apply for benefits.
– Marilyn Zahm, one of the 1,500 disability judges operating in the U.S.
I’ve known about the “disability” scam for many years now, but I had never read a report that details the racket until I checked out the following from CBS’ 60 Minutes. As usual, the real money being made in the whole scheme is not centered around the people collecting the checks, but rather attorneys, doctors and even judges who grease the wheels of the $135 billion “disability-industrial-complex.”
For example, in the economically depressed border area of Kentucky and West Virginia we find 10%-15% of the population on disability, or three times the national average. The regional disability racket is essentially run by attorney Eric Conn, who’s clients for disability enjoy a 100% success rate thanks to Mr. Conn’s relationship with doctors and a local judge named David Daugherty.
Here are just a couple of examples of how Mr. Conn uses his advertising budget:
Senator Tom Coburn explains to CBS’ 60 Minutes that:
Coburn says the report — to be released tomorrow — will show that Conn collected more than $13 million in legal fees from the federal government over the past six years and that he paid five doctors roughly $2 million to regularly sign off on bogus medical forms that had been manufactured and filled out ahead of time by Conn’s staff.
Just another scam from a scam economy. More from 60 minutes:
The hearing involves the Federal Disability Insurance Program, which could become the first government benefits program to run out of money. When it began back in the 1950s it was envisioned as a small program to assist people who were unable to work because of illness or injury.
Today, it serves nearly 12 million people — up 20 percent in the last six years — and has a budget of $135 billion. That’s more than the government spent last year on the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and the Labor Department combined. It’s been called a “secret welfare system” with it’s own “disability industrial complex,” a system ravaged by waste and fraud. A lot of people want to know what’s going on. Especially Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
Tom Coburn: Go read the statute. If there’s any job in the economy you can perform, you are not eligible for disability. That’s pretty clear. So, where’d all those disabled people come from?
The Social Security Administration, which runs the disability program says the explosive surge is due to aging baby boomers and the lingering effects of a bad economy. But Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Subcommittee for Investigations — who’s also a physician — says it’s more complicated than that. Last year, his staff randomly selected hundreds of disability files and found that 25 percent of them should never have been approved — another 20 percent, he said, were highly questionable.
Sen. Coburn says disability payments are now propping up the economy in some of the poorest regions in the country. Which is why he sent his investigators to the border area of Kentucky and West Virginia.
More than a quarter of a million people in this area are on disability — 10 to 15 percent of the population — about three times the national average. Jennifer Griffith and Sarah Carver processed disability claims at the Social Security regional office in Huntington, West Virginia.
Full article and link to segment here.
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