Inside a large building on the north side of Columbus is one of the most important offices in state government.
"We have about 600 employees now and we do over 212,000 claims for Ohioans with disabilities now for Social Security," said Erik Williamson, deputy director of the Division of Disability Determination with the Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC).
It’s in the smallest office, where a handful of workers check to see who's above board in their claims, that some of the most important work is being performed.
The RSC said it is leading the country in fraud detection, recovering $42 million in fraud cases just last year.
"I think the nuances that you have to aware of is that with the economy the way it is, there are people trying to scam not just this system, any type of entitlement system to try and figure out how to pay rent," said Kevin Miller, the agency's director.
"The trend right now seems to be following mental allegations where as it was at one time more often physical," said Tom Melfo, manager of the Division of Disability Determination. ...
[L]ast year $6.5 billion was paid out in disability benefits.
At this rate, the fund will be dried up by 2017.
One of the problems, the agency said, is the number of lawyers trying to get the benefits that have been denied approved.
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