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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:03 PM   #1
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Talking Senate committee looks into Social Security Disability fraud

I have been watching some of the Senate hearings on Social Security Disability fraud that took place, I think, in West Virginia from at least the 2007 period up until the present. The witnesses I saw worked in the SSD office and the office of one lawyer. Very interesting!!! They named names of higher-ups in their offices, of judges, of lawyers, of doctors. Highly suggestive of malfeasance at the least and criminal activity most probably. I think there are going to be some people in that area who will find themselves in deep, deep trouble!

The hearing is continuing online as I write this, with a new panel of witnesses (but one of them took the fifth and was excused):

Senate Committee Looks at Social Security Disability Fraud | C-SPAN
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Unread 10-07-2013, 05:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Senate committee looks into Social Security Disability fraud

Pachyderm, this was also discussed last night on 60 minutes where they looked at West Virginia and Kentucky where there are many of the population that are on SSDI that should not be. They talked about a Lawyer named Conn, not sure of the spelling, who makes millions getting people on SSDI and even employs a doctor to help with what is needed. Binder and Binder is another big Law firm that makes a lot of money by doing this as well, you may have even seen their commercials.

It makes me wonder how many of these "fraudulent" people will also be lining up for "free health care in the Affordable Health Care/Obamacare".

It isn't fair to those people who "really do need the help" and it was not meant to be a safety net or Welfare when many of these people on it have not even paid into SS , it is not for when unemployment compensation runs out either. Not to mention that some of these people "collect and also work odd jobs or under the table too, so they "can" work".

Here is a link to read
http://www.wkyt.com/news/headlines/6...226724131.html

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Unread 10-07-2013, 06:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Senate committee looks into Social Security Disability fraud

Yes, the lawyer was Conn. I would be careful about claiming that things that happened in this case are the rule, though. This article

60 Minutes Report Denounced For Disability Misinformation | Blog | Media Matters for America

claims "the Government Accountability Office has repeatedly found that fraud accounts for approximately one percent of all disability payments."
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Unread 10-07-2013, 06:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Senate committee looks into Social Security Disability fraud

Pachyderm, I am not surprised because "most of the media" takes liberties and sensationalizes.

But there is that 1% figure again, hmmm. 1% can add up to a lot of people though, enough to investigate to make sure the "right people who really need help "get it".

It will be interesting to see what these hearings find.

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Unread 10-07-2013, 07:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Senate committee looks into Social Security Disability fraud

There was a time when 60 minutes was more objective, but that time has gone by the wayside. They felt they had to compete with sensationalist news magazines. Which is really too bad, had they stuck with their old format of investigative journalism they might have better ratings. They would be the only place a person could get a balanced news piece.

The myths pushed by 60 Minutes have been repeatedly debunked by experts. The report admitted that the vast majority of people applying for benefits are denied, but ignored the fact that the majority of appeals are also denied, and that award rates have actually fallen during the economic recession. In April, the Wall Street Journal called the claim that federal disability benefits were to blame for people leaving the labor force "exaggerated," explaining that disability was in fact the least common reason individuals left the workforce.
As the Center for Economic and Policy Research's Dean Baker noted, the report also "completely ignored all the comments from experts in the field ... pointing out that fraud is in fact not rampant in the disability program." Indeed, the Government Accountability Office has repeatedly found that fraud accounts for approximately one percent of all disability payments.
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Unread 10-07-2013, 09:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Senate committee looks into Social Security Disability fraud

Disability has become very broadly and liberally defined. I think it is sad in some cases because it prevents some (thinking of mental health issues) from the experiences that might help them push forward, succeed, achieve, try new things.

What worried me about the report I saw on 60 Minutes was that the fund is in danger.

About the allegations of fraud/misrepresentation, isn't it funny that the lawyers make the laws (politicians) and then the lawyers take advantage of every loophole and turn the law into a source of income.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 07:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Senate committee looks into Social Security Disability fraud

I just watched another part of this hearing on C-SPAN -- it was recorded on this Monday. Two or three senators were asking questions of an administrative judge. I have to say I was so impressed by this, although I suspect many would not have anything like the reaction I have. And in the process of watching I think I learned a lot about myself, and about some of the questioners.

The judge being questioned had clearly not performed his duties well. He had even been involved in actions that threatened some lower level employees. Yet this judge answered questions directly (as I saw it) and did not try to evade, or at least not to the extent that I expected. It must have been very hard on him to do so, and admit, as he did at least once, that he had not acted with integrity.

And I started to put myself in the judge's place. I began to see why someone would act in the way he did. What he did mostly was not to correct the probably-illegal actions of a subordinate judge. I could see myself avoiding dealing with this other judge's actions too. And I think I could see why I might do that. To be plain, fear. Fear that if I did something to upset this other judge's applecart I might be punished so severely that I could not stand it. Not, maybe, a realistic expectation for the actual situation, but something that would have been true in my own childhood -- making any kind of mistake, offending the "authority" could lead to such a punishment that it would overwhelm me. I could not manage the fear it would cause.

And something else. One of the senator questioners, Carl Levin, was at times openly outraged by the actions of the supervising judge who was being questioned. I take this as an indication that he did not want to observe that this man had been afraid. He did not want to cope with what had happened. Yet the witness took all this, without trying to evade, without looking away. He tried, as nearly as I could judge, to tell the truth even when it did not favor him. He must have realized how he had damaged some lower-level female workers, who were in fact sitting right behind him, and who had testified earlier. I doubt that they gave him much slack in their own minds, though I don't know that.

For me imagining myself in the place of the witness, Senator Levin's obvious dislike of me would have been quite frightening, and it would have taken a lot of effort not to dissociate in some fashion, to stay in the present somehow. This kind of interaction is not, in most cases, going to result in getting at truth. Assigning blame is what most people seem to need to do, and yet it actually deflects one from understanding. The judge who was the witness seemed to withstand the assault. I can't imagine it was easy for him. I wonder what will happen to him after these hearings. Will he be able to look directly at what he has done and derive some good from it? I don't see many people allowing him to do that, or having the insight to look at him and what he did with objectivity.

A lot of people sneer at the federal government. But what I saw today impressed me a great deal. Some senators have a great deal of integrity, and try to do their jobs as well as they possibly can. They care. And I do not put Senator Levin down either. I am trying to be able to just see clearly what happens in reality, and to understand it -- not take the easy way of assessing blame.

OK, you can go back to your regularly scheduled program now.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Senate committee looks into Social Security Disability fraud

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Attributed to Edmond Burke

It takes guts to stand up and bare all and admit the truth when it reveals your own flaws, I'm impressed too.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 06:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Senate committee looks into Social Security Disability fraud

Not sure this is exactly relevant to the preceding discussion, but I feel the need to rant. People here and elsewhere tend to complain about all the bad people who are "takers" and not "makers". It is a cardinal rule of modern therapy that if a therapist has a strong negative reaction to a patient, it is incumbent upon them to take a good look at themselves, to see why they are reacting that way. It can be something that the therapist can learn from.

If someone has such a negative reaction to what someone else is doing -- "taking" -- might it not be that they imagine themselves in the same situation of needing to "take" -- but find that thought unacceptable? That is why dividing people into "makers" and "takers" is so problematic -- it prevents one from being mindful about one's own emotions. I am not saying that having lots of "takers" is not a problem; it is just the strength of the reaction that might cause some to wonder. Problems can be dealt with, at least potentially, but if one considers them to be something overwhelming, the tendency is to blame someone else for them.
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Last edited by Christina86; 10-16-2013 at 07:16 PM.
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