CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s disability fraud partnership generated more than $800,000 in savings during the most recent quarter, despite coronavirus shutdowns that impacted investigations throughout the state.
The partnership generated $812,072 in projected savings for state and federal governments from April 1 to June 30. That pushes its total savings to $23.06 million since its inception in West Virginia.
“Those who unlawfully take disability benefits jeopardize a critical safety net for those who need it most,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Our partnership with the Social Security Administration remains strong, and I commend each and every team member who continues to root out waste, fraud and abuse during these challenging times. Their dedication helps us preserve this program.”
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 parties 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. In turn, this 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 West Virginia.
The state’s 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 46 units covering 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, in addition to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands.
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.