Cooperative Effort among Government Agencies Prevents Disability Fraud
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2015
The Social Security Administration (SSA), its Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office today announced a new Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) Unit in Providence, Rhode Island. As part of the nationwide CDI Program, the Providence Unit will identify and prevent Social Security disability fraud throughout the State of Rhode Island.
CDI is one of Social Security’s most successful anti-fraud initiatives, contributing to the integrity of many Federal, State, and local assistance programs. CDI brings together personnel from SSA, its OIG, State Disability Determination Services (DDS), and local law enforcement agencies to analyze and investigate suspicious or questionable Social Security disability claims, and to help resolve questions of potential fraud, often before benefits are ever paid. CDI helps disability examiners make informed decisions, ensure payment accuracy, and generate significant taxpayer savings, not only for Social Security, but often for other Federal, State, and local programs.
“For nearly two decades, CDI has had tremendous success in identifying and preventing disability fraud and abuse,” said Social Security Inspector General Patrick P. O’Carroll, Jr. “We’re very pleased to partner with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office to expand our efforts to combat fraud and to ensure the integrity of Social Security’s disability programs for the citizens of Rhode Island.”
The Providence CDI Unit, which opened earlier this year, is investigating cases and has already contributed to $1.7 million in projected savings to Social Security’s programs, and $1.9 million in projected savings to related Federal and State programs. This unit is one of nine new CDI units that SSA and the OIG opened in fiscal year 2015, as part of an aggressive effort to root out disability fraud and preserve benefits for those who truly deserve them. The CDI program now consists of 37 units covering 31 States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.
“I’m excited to see the expansion of Social Security’s collaboration with the OIG in the area of disability fraud investigation and prevention,” said Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “I started the CDI Program in 1997. These successful units continue to play a critical role in preventing fraud and investigating would-be disability schemes.”
The Providence CDI Unit includes an OIG special agent, an SSA program expert, a State disability examiner from the Rhode Island Disability Determination Services, and investigators from the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office.
SSA and its OIG jointly established the CDI program in 1997. Since CDI was established, it has contributed to $3.3 billion in projected savings to Social Security’s programs, and $2.2 billion in projected savings to related Federal and State programs. For more information on the CDI program, please visit the OIG website.
Public citizens who would like to report suspected disability fraud should contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline at http://oig.ssa.gov/report; send U.S. Mail to P.O. Box 17768, Baltimore, MD, 21235; fax (410) 597-0118; or call (800) 269-0271 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.
For more information, please contact Tracy Lynge, OIG Communications Director, at (410) 965-2671.