There’s been a lot of talk about Social Security as predictions and budget plans come out. For one, Social Security Administration Chief Actuary Stephen Goss claimed that the program will be able to provide full benefits to eligible recipients in the next 17 years. That’s five years longer than the fund’s solvency last year.
The increase is linked to a drop in Disability Insurance (DI) applications, which occurred after a growth caused by the economic downturn in 2008. There was a peak in applications in 2010, when the number reached 2 million compared to the 1.5 million recorded in 2007. However, the number of people applying for Disability Insurance has been declining since 2013 and the current rate is lower than the number recorded in 2007. Read more from this blog: http://bit.ly/2wkPYiv
Filing for social security disability is already tough in itself. With the new policies implemented by the Social Security agency recently, it’s only bound to get tougher, especially for those seeking approval for their disabilities insurance applications.
The New Policy
Just this spring, the agency announced that they will now be implementing additional safeguards to the eligibility process, specifically for the purpose of fighting fraud, as well as streamlining the application process. Among the more controversial facets of this new policy is the removal of the special consideration usually given to a patient’s long-time doctor.
The consideration came in the form of acknowledging and giving merit to the long-term relationship between patient and doctor. Under the new policy, however, the history of the patient-doctor relationship is practically dismissed and merely put in the same category or level as to that of, say, a one-time medical consultant for the patient. In order for the doctor’s history with the patient to be recognized, therefore, they now bear the burden of giving proof that their findings and opinions on the diagnosis of the patient do matter, and should, in fact, be the primary reference instead of the third-party doctor that will be provided. Read more from this blog: http://bit.ly/2vlJAXt
Recently, the Social Security Administration has reportedly taken some steps to both identify and assess various fraud risks when it comes to its disability programs. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the administration had managed to gather information on fraud risks during the past year, but the method had not been systematic. Moreover, the significance, likelihood and impact of all the risks identified was also not assessed. With this, hospitals and healthcare providers need to anticipate possible changes in eligibility requirements.
Fraud in Disability Has Been Going On for Some Time
During the fiscal year 2015, the payments from both Social Security Income and Disability Insurance programs amounted to approximately $200 billion. Currently, the extent of fraud across both programs are unknown.
However, several high-profile cases have made it clear that a number of individuals have managed to obtain millions of dollars in benefits fraudulently. In fact, more than 70 individuals had pled guilty to participating in a social security disability eligibility conspiracy to obtain at least $14 million in fraudulent benefits back in 2014. This is exactly why the GAO was asked to review the Social Security Administration’s fraud risk management.
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