Social Security Fraud

May 17, 2017

The Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing recently on antifraud efforts at Social Security. The hearing was more notable for what didn’t happen than what happened. There was no new announcement of some fraud ring preying upon Social Security. I’m not sure how much longer Republicans will try to milk the Conn case but they don’t have a new case to talk about.

The agency witness talked about anti-fraud computer systems that Social Security has installed. Apparently, a fair amount of money and time has gone into this. However, the agency witness didn’t have anything to say in his written remarks about fraud that had been uncovered using these systems. Maybe it’s too early to expect results from these systems, maybe Social Security hasn’t tried hard enough to make the systems work or perhaps organized fraud at Social Security is actually quite uncommon. I suspect that the  Republican leadership of the Subcommittee would like for Social Security to uncover lots of organized fraud since that would be in keeping with their political and social beliefs, however, I believe that they are going to be disappointed. If there is anything organized, it’s probably quite small and more likely involves Social Security employees than members of the public.


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