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Social Security under fire

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Posted: 2 pm ET

The Social Security Administration has begun warning recipients that unless the debt ceiling is raised by Oct. 17, it might not be able to pay all benefits that are due after that date.

In consultation with the Treasury Department, Social Security is reportedly telling beneficiaries who ask: "Unlike a federal shutdown which has no impact on the payment of Social Security benefits, failure to raise the debt ceiling puts Social Security benefits at risk."

And on Monday, a Senate committee released a report accusing a retired West Virginia administrative law judge, David B. Daugherty, of colluding with a Kentucky attorney, Eric C. Conn, to approve more than 1,800 Social Security disability cases during a four-year period. The report alleges that Conn paid five doctors nearly $2 million to rubber-stamp the cases. Conn himself received more than $4.5 million in attorney fees directly from the Social Security Administration during that period.

Social Security has been investigating the case and placed Daugherty on administrative leave in 2011. He retired shortly thereafter. Conn is accused of shredding most of the evidence.

Nearly 11 million disabled workers, spouses and children get Social Security disability benefits today, up from 8.3 million in 2011 and just 1.4 million in 1970. The average monthly worker benefit is $1,130. Social Security has blamed the increase on the rising number of aging baby boomers who are too young to receive retirement benefits.

All of this adds up to a retirement planning fiasco. No matter how you think it should be accomplished, getting the nation's economy and financial systems back on solid footing has to be a priority. Part of that job includes adopting reforms that will insure that Social Security can continue to pay its obligations.

How would you get that job done?

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Fed Up
October 18, 2013 at 9:55 am

I am so sick of everything being blamed on the poor, sick, and seniors. It is the greedy rich who are our problem. They have all the power, they pay for all the lobbyists, who pay all the elected officials under the table. The elected officials can vote any benefit to themselves and no one can do anything about it. It is the rich and powerful who are the downfall of America. They control our food and energy and medical needs, which none of us can do without. And they are robbing us and poisoning us everyday. There was a time when the rich were loyal to their workers, and took care of them and their families. Now all they spend their money on is their yachts and mansions and fancy cars, and they have absolutely no conscience.

October 18, 2013 at 9:53 am

I agree with turbopossum also, however it is not even all the fraud that goes on it is when we allow children and people who have never worked to draw off of social security that is eating up the money. I am tired of hearing about the baby boomers which most are still out there working...

October 18, 2013 at 9:25 am

Keep your DIRTY hands off SS,stop flushing our country down the toilit.Start cutting benefits from the top, starting with the presdent,senitors,congressman,govenors and all other politicians.Cut FREE coffee,dougnuts,transportation,dinners,air fair,partys,boos,and other benifits we don't know about.Outlaw the lobbyest,

Richard Fregosi
October 18, 2013 at 9:05 am

I have paid in to SS for several years and it seems that if we start looking in to the people that is drawing this we will find that we pay out money for a false payment, we should look in to all of the ones that get money and make sure that this is legit payment. I think that some of this should be looked in to the departments that pay out this fund and check to see if some one is not doing the job that they are paid to do.

Aaron Perez
October 18, 2013 at 9:02 am

The low lifes and lazy are scamming Social Security. There was a person whom I worked with who said he fathered 33 kids in his life. All these "kids" now receive Social Security benefits because of his death. We, who have paid, are struggling to get what's owed us and there are those who don't work because they get benefits they didn't earn. Credit that to the crooked lawyers who twist the laws and lie for a fee.

October 18, 2013 at 8:57 am

Social security was never designed to be a disability system and the politicians set this up to buy votes. It was also not set up to be a medical benifit either, (medicare).

October 18, 2013 at 8:55 am

I agree with turbopossum, too many people using fraudulent Names,Injuries,etc. Check some of these using Social Security # and Addresses and Doctors...............

October 18, 2013 at 8:34 am

When the government dipped it's greedy little fingers in the trust funds for Social Security they should have been made to restore it with interest. People stealing from SS should not be allowed it. If those lawyers paid to have their clients get on SSD. It makes it harder for the ones that really need it.

October 18, 2013 at 8:28 am

Have the gov. put the money back it took from SS plus intrest. Where can they get the money, from the senators and congress money they have set aside for themselves for retirement, and not paying the taxes they owe.

October 18, 2013 at 8:26 am

Too many able bodies drawing disability = gold mine for the lazy. Many law firms exist for the purpose of getting people on disability. Every case needs to be reviewed periodically and fraud should be punished.