Disability Fraud Unit saves $16.3M

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s disability fraud partnership started the year with a record-breaking quarter, generating more than $1.95 million in projected savings from January to March.

The three-month tally pushes the unit’s total savings to more than $16.3 million for state and federal governments since its inception in West Virginia, proving its increasing effectiveness in reducing Social Security disability fraud.

“This unit continues to prove its value again and again,” Morrisey said. “Rooting out fraud is crucial for the long-term solvency of the nation’s disability program. Every dollar saved is one that will benefit those who need it most.”

The Cooperative Disability Investigations Unit, a partnership with the Social Security Administration, investigates suspicious or questionable disability claims. It investigates beneficiaries, claimants and any third party who facilitate fraud.

The unit’s findings help disability examiners make informed decisions and ensure payment accuracy, while also equipping state and federal prosecutors with the facts needed to secure a conviction. This, in turn, generates significant savings for taxpayers.

CDI Units help resolve questions of potential fraud, in many instances, before benefits are ever paid. The Attorney General’s Office joined the program in December 2015, making it a first-of-its-kind unit for the Mountain State.

The West Virginia unit joins two investigators and an analyst from the Attorney General’s Office with representatives from SSA, its Office of the Inspector General and the state’s Disability Determination Section.

Nationally, the CDI program is one of the most successful anti-fraud initiatives with regard to federal disability programs. It operates 43 units covering 37 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

This fall, the Attorney General’s Office will begin its aggressive fight against Medicaid fraud when it assumes control over the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The move will save taxpayers significant monies, yield efficiency and effectiveness to the benefit of the taxpayer and join West Virginia with more than 40 other state attorneys general whose offices oversee their states’ Medicaid fraud units.

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s transfer is a credit to Senate Bill 318, which received the Governor’s signature and passed the Legislature with bipartisan support in the state Senate earlier this year.

Members of the public should report suspected disability fraud to the Social Security Fraud Hotline at https://oig.ssa.gov/report; send U.S. Mail to PO Box 17785, 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.

Submitted by the office of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.