Aug 23, 2017

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True ...

     From the Detroit Free Press:
Here's some sorry news this summer: There's no secret cash stash out there to pay your utility bills or your old outstanding debts with the state.
Consumers are getting swept into some scams across the country that promise a way to use special bank routing numbers supposedly from the U.S. government to cover their bills. 
One website notes: "Pay all bills now with your no-longer secret Social Security Trust Account." ...
By re-examining the account numbers being used to pay bills, staff members noticed that individuals had been trying to pay old state debts by using routing numbers from two U.S. Department of Treasury bureaus — the financial management service and the bureau of public debt. ... 
Leix said the strategy seems to be one promoted by tax protest groups and others. ...
"It just won't work," Leix said. "It's just not a valid method of payment for any outstanding debt."  ...
People are being told that your Social Security number is all that you need to unlock payment from a “corporate account” that was established by the government in your name. ...

Aug 22, 2017

I'm Not Joking

     Social Security is in the pilot phase of developing DeDoop, a program that is supposed to remove duplicative medical records from the electronic files of Social Security disability claimants.

Aug 21, 2017

ODAR Workload And Performance Summary

     This was obtained from the Social Security Administration by the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives (NOSSCR) and published in its newsletter, which is not available online.
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Aug 20, 2017

Be Careful What You Ask For

     I heard recently from an attorney who requested some medical records on his client from a hospital. The hospital sent the attorney a good deal more than he requested but it was all on his client. It came to 12,000 pages. If we didn't have regulations requiring that EVERTHING be submitted, the attorney would have culled out the records than hadn't been requested, records that weren't material to the determination of disability such as nurses notes, medication records, endless lab tests, etc, but he can't do that now. He's submitting the whole thing.

Aug 19, 2017

The Most Common Social Security Fraud

     From a report by Social Security's Office of Inspector General (OIG):
In May 2012, the Social Security Administration (SSA) introduced my Social Security — an Internet services portal that allows individuals to create a personal online account to access their own information. In January 2013, the Agency enhanced my Social Security to allow individuals to change their direct deposit bank information. Shortly after SSA made this change, the Agency and the Office of the Inspector General began receiving fraud allegations related to unauthorized direct deposit changes....
Based on our random samples, we estimated that $10.9 million in benefit payments for about 7,200 beneficiaries was misdirected in CYs [Calendar Years] 2014 through 2016. ...
We also estimated SSA prevented about $14.1 million in benefits from being misrouted from about 11,900 beneficiaries whose direct deposit bank account was changed without their authorization.
Comparing our analysis of the CY 2014 through 2016 data the Agency provided to our prior review of CY 2013 data showed that the amount of benefits misdirected through my Social Security decreased. Also, we made recommendations to SSA related to verifying the identities of my Social Security users in our September 2016 report. As a result, we are not making any additional recommendations for corrective action at this time. ...

Aug 18, 2017

The Evil OHO

     Social Security's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) will soon change its name to the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO). People will pronounce OHO as Oh-Ho. However, that is the same pronunciation as the Spanish word for eye, ojo. A friend who knows a good deal about these things tells me that the Spanish word ojo also has the connotation of evil eye in Mexican and Central American culture. There are many legal immigrants in the United States from Mexico and Central America who take the concept of the evil eye seriously. We'd better not confuse them by casually referring to Oh-Ho.

Aug 17, 2017

Hard Time

     From the Lexington, KY Herald Leader:
A Pikeville psychologist tried to hang himself after he was convicted of conspiring with disability attorney Eric C. Conn to defraud the Social Security Administration of millions of dollars, according to a court record.
A federal prosecutor cited the unsuccessful suicide attempt in arguing that Alfred Bradley Adkins should not be released on bond pending sentencing.
U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves turned down Adkins’ request to be released. ...
Adkins was charged with signing false mental-impairment evaluations for Conn to use in claims.
A jury convicted Adkins on June 12 of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and making a false statement in a record submitted to Social Security.
Reeves ordered Adkins taken into custody after the verdict.
About an hour later, the U.S. Marshals Service notified Reeves that Adkins had tried to hang himself in a holding cell at the federal courthouse in Lexington, according to a court document. The document didn’t provide any additional details.
Reeves said in an order that although Adkins’ attempt was unsuccessful, it “refutes his claims of stability and the assertions that Adkins is not a danger to himself or to others, or that he would not flee if given the opportunity.” ...
Adkins faces up to 65 years in prison, according to a motion by Dustin M. Davis, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. ...

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Read more here: faces up to 65 years in prison, according to a motion by Dustin M. Davis, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

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