Jan 16, 2015

Broadcast E-Mail On Disability Fraud

A Message To All SSA and DDS Employees

Subject:  Fraud Prevention and You

Date:  January 15, 2015

The Department of Justice in Puerto Rico today announced the indictment of 40 individuals, including a medical provider, on charges relating to SSA disability fraud.  These indictments demonstrate the effectiveness of our numerous fraud detection and prevention initiatives, which rely heavily on the continued vigilance of our SSA and DDS employees.  SSA employees identified and reported this potential fraud to our Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and provided analysis to OIG during the investigation.  The success of the investigation and the resulting indictments can be directly attributed to the ongoing partnership and collaboration among SSA, the DDSs, OIG, and the Department of Justice .

Preserving the public’s trust in our programs and reducing improper payments is a critical element of our work.  As you know, one of the key elements of our strategic plan is to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse.  We take pride in our efforts to reduce improper payments as we aggressively seek to ensure that only those entitled to benefits receive them.

We have undertaken a number of measures recently to combat fraud and abuse in the disability program, including:

  • The establishment of the Office of Anti-Fraud Programs to lead our anti-fraud efforts;
  • The re-establishment of our National Anti-Fraud Committee;
  • A significant increase in the number of Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR) we complete;
  • A significant expansion in the number of Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) Units, as well as increasing our staff in many existing Units;
  • Anti-fraud training for all SSA and DDS employees;
  • The establishment of robust data analytics capacity to enhance fraud detection;
  • The establishment of three Fraud Prevention Units made up of expert disability examiners who review and act on potential fraud cases; and
  • An increase in the number of our attorneys who serve as Special Assistant United States Attorneys dedicated to prosecuting Social Security fraud.

Our first line of defense is each of you!  I cannot over-emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious or questionable facts that come to your attention in the course of your daily work.  As individuals become more adept at discovering ways to try to defraud SSA, we must be even more vigilant and attentive to details that may suggest fraud, including those that we may not ordinarily consider. 
The following is information about identifying and reporting suspected fraud that you may find helpful.

  • POMS GN 004100ff [this section of POMS must not be available to the public since the link doesn't work] provides additional information on fraud awareness and reporting. 

  • The electronic 8551 (e8551) is used by SSA and the DDSs to report allegations directly to OIG.  A link to the e8551 can be found at:  Reporting Fraud e8551 [again, the form must not be available to the public]. 
  • For the public, we have set up a special Puerto Rico CDI Hotline to report Program fraud in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • For all other public reporting, the OIG fraud Hotline: 1-800-269-0271 is available (10 AM to 4 PM EST).
  • For additional public reporting options, please refer to http://oig.ssa.gov/. 
I want to reassure you that SSA is fully committed to working with our Federal and State partners to ensure that we vigorously pursue prosecution of individuals or groups who attempt to defraud our programs.  I want to thank each of you for the work you perform to support our mission and remind you that, if you see something suspicious or questionable, please do not keep it to yourself.  Report it!

Pete Spencer
National Anti-Fraud Committee

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