Collaborative Effort Between Federal, State Agencies to Identify Fraud
September 28, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jonathan Lasher
Phone: (410) 965-2671
The Social Security Administration (SSA), the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) and the Office of the Attorney General announced today that a new Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) Office has been established in Lexington to help combat fraud in federal disability benefit programs.
“Since it began, the Cooperative Disability Investigations program has had great success in identifying and preventing fraud and abuse in federal disability programs, and seeking prosecutions when appropriate,” said Guy Fallen, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division, Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration (SSA). “We are pleased to partner with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Attorney General’s office to expand efforts to combat disability fraud in Kentucky, working toward the greater goal of ensuring the integrity of Social Security benefit programs.”
The mission of the CDI program is to obtain evidence of material fact sufficient to resolve questions of fraud in Social Security Administration disability programs. This supports the Agency’s strategic goal of ensuring the integrity of Social Security programs, with zero tolerance for fraud.
The CDI mission is accomplished by bringing together the combined skills and specialized knowledge of the Office of the Inspector General, SSA, CHFS Disability Determination Services, and State law enforcement personnel to combat and detect disability fraud. CDI Units investigate individual disability claims and identify lawyers, doctors, translators, or other third parties who facilitate disability fraud.
"Our tax dollars must be used wisely and efficiently, and that means we must be vigilant in rooting out fraudulent uses of government programs,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “This new investigative unit will allow more cooperative review among multiple agencies to discover and prevent abuses to the system, while protecting those vulnerable individuals who truly rely on these services."
“Combating fraud remains a top priority for my office,” Attorney General Conway said. “We’ve increased Medicaid fraud collections by 600 percent and recovered more than $200 million on behalf of Kentucky taxpayers. Working together with our state and federal partners, we can do even more to protect taxpayer dollars and put those who defraud the government behind bars.”
The results of these investigations are presented to Federal and State prosecutors for consideration of prosecution and to the State CHFS’ Disability Determination Services for their use in making timely and accurate disability determinations.
“This new office will allow the Cabinet and our federal partners to collaborate more closely on investigating potential cases of fraud in the disability program,” said CHFS Secretary Janie Miller. “Ensuring that we are vigilant for abuse in state and federal programs is an important part of our responsibility to taxpayers and also helps protect benefits for those vulnerable Kentuckians who legitimately need and qualify for public assistance.”
Disability Determination Services makes disability determinations for residents of Kentucky on behalf of the SSA. The program uses federal regulations to determine disability for both the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) programs. The program also includes the Medical Review Team that determines medical eligibility for the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program and Medicaid, using state regulations.
The CDI program was established in 1998 and is designed as a joint effort to allow federal and state agencies to pool resources for the purpose of preventing fraud in SSA’s disability programs, and related federal and state programs. The Lexington office is one of five new units being added in fiscal year 2011, bringing the total number of units across the country to 26. For more information on the CDI program, click here.
Members of the public who would like to report potential disability fraud should call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1 (800) 269-0271 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST or visit its website to report online at http://oig.ssa.gov/report-fraud-waste-or-abuse.
For more information, please contact Jonathan Lasher, OIG's Assistant Inspector General for External Relations, at (410) 965-2671.