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At long last, mainstream media is giving play to widespread disability fraud running rampant in the US.
Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes reports on the alarming state of the federal disability program, which has exploded in size in the last six years and could become the first federal benefits program to run out of money.
Link if video does not play: "Disability USA"
The video is about 14 minutes long. Kroft interviews senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Kroft also attempts to interview a couple of law firms that make the most off of putting people on disability for a fee.
One firm has a perfect track record, where every disability case was approved.
Coburn selected cases at random and found 25% of the cases were fraudulent and another 20% were "highly questionable".
The "system is being gamed pretty big right now", said Coburn. "You need look no further than disability lawyers trolling for new clients."
The 60 Minute report names the firms, and they are under investigation. None of them would talk to 60 Minutes, citing legal advice.
Earlier this year, a senior member of Coburn's staff asked where I got the data for a chart I posted. I had an easy answer: "FRED - the St. Louis Fed website".
A Senate hearing on disability is scheduled this week. Interestingly, with the government shutdown, there may be no government stenographer to record the event.
I am a fan of Senator Coburn. He is one of the few level-headed pragmatists in D.C.
Disability Fraud Recap
- States Have an Incentive to Promote (Not Stop) Disability Fraud; So How Much Fraud Is There?
- Unwilling to Work; 25% in Hale County AL Collect Disability, 14 Million Nationwide; A Simple Solution
- Want to Get on the Disability Gravy Train? There's an App For That!
- 2.2 Million Go On Disability Since Mid-2010; Fraud Explains Falling Unemployment Rate; Will Higher Disability Taxes Fix the Problem?
- Disability Fraud Holds Down Unemployment Rate; Jobless Disability Claims Hit Record $200B in January
I have been discussing disability fraud for at least four years. The subject has finally made prime time. Please play the video and read the first couple links. They are a real eye opener.
Originally posted at Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis
© Mike "Mish" Shedlock
Investment Advisor Representative