Today, Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced the establishment of a centralized fraud prevention unit in New York City to identify potential fraud and detect fraud trends that can be applied to disability cases nationwide. This unit consists of experienced disability examiners who are currently involved in the re-review of disability medical decisions resulting from recent indictments in Puerto Rico and New York City. Using their specialized experience, they will collaborate with Social Security systems personnel to help build data analytics to detect and prevent fraud at the earliest possible point in the disability decision-making process.
“Social Security strives to preserve the public’s trust in our programs and we have no tolerance for fraud. We are aggressive in our efforts to detect and prevent fraud,” said Acting Commissioner Colvin, noting that Social Security’s anti-fraud approach has resulted in a fraud incidence rate that is a fraction of one percent. “The employees in our anti-fraud unit will be our national experts, and we plan to compile data from their work to help us develop further analytical tools to find potential fraud.”
This first-of-its-kind unit will start with 20 disability examiners at the Addabbo Federal Building in Jamaica, New York. Based on the trends found in the Puerto Rico and New York cases, along with further analysis of doctors’ reports, the unit will use their findings to help create the systems and data analytics that Social Security will use for disability applications nationwide. As these systems develop and begin to identify new cases of potential fraud, the New York fraud prevention unit will analyze those cases to prevent fraud from happening before the agency makes a disability decision and authorizes payments.
Acting Commissioner Colvin added, “To those who would try to cheat us: We will find you; we will prosecute you; we will seek the maximum punishment allowable under the law; and we will fight to recover any money you’ve stolen from the American people.”