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West Virginia Record

Saturday, May 30, 2020

AG's disability fraud unit saves almost $2 million in fist quarter of 2020

State AG

By Chris Dickerson | May 18, 2020

Morrisey

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s disability fraud partnership generated more than $1.8 million in savings in the first quarter of 2020.

The three-month tally pushes the unit’s total projected savings to more than $22.25 million for state and federal governments since its was created.

“We must change the culture of fraud and abuse,” Morrisey said. “No one should be allowed to cheat this crucial safety net, particularly when others have legitimate disability claims.”

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. 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 West Virginia AG's office joined the program in December 2015, making it a first-of-its-kind unit for the state. The West Virginia unit joins two investigators and an analyst from the AG'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. 

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