Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Never Thought I'd See The Day...

Union employees perpetrate massive fraud. They get caught when the Doctor involved in a massive disability scam testifies that, yes, it was a scam. What happens to the employees is pretty shocking...

NY Rail Retirees in Disability Scam Lose Benefits
Nearly 600 retirees of a major New York commuter railroad are losing their disability benefits in the wake of a widespread scandal that has cost hundreds of millions of dollars and seen at least one physician sent to prison, a federal official said Tuesday.
The decision to cut off the benefits was made last week at a U.S. Railroad Retirement Board meeting in Chicago, said Martin Dickman, inspector general for the board. The action follows last month's sentencing of a physician who admitted inventing "narratives" to justify claims for hundreds of corrupt Long Island Rail Road workers trying to retire on disability for more than a decade.
Apparently folks got suspicious when one of the "permanently disabled" workers participated in a 400 mile bicycle race. Go figure. A review of the cases, particularly those seen by a certain doctor, revealed numerous cases where sudden, miraculous recoveries were shown only after the disability claim was received and the person in question retired on a disability pension.

These types of cases are particularly galling, as they not only defraud the honest people in the system, but they also make it that much harder for legitimate cases of on-the-job disability to proceed. When there is a massive, concerted effort to defraud the system, one so pervasive and all-encompassing, legitimate cases of disability are naturally going to suffer as a result. Each new case is going to be scrutinized to the nth degree; every person coming forward is going to be suspect.

All because unscrupulous people had no qualms about gaming the system, and the system provided too few checks against fraud.

When Dad G. was running an active private investigation business, he received a number of fradulent workman's compensation cases. In many cases, a short stakeout would yield sufficient evidence to dispute the claim of disability - including one person who was out on a back claim who was allegedly bed-ridden with pain. Dad's partner caught this person at Logan Airport carrying not one but two large suitcases and walking at a brisk clip.

Now, getting caught's not the surprising part here. What's surprising is that they actually lost their pensions. What I wonder, though, is that while they're certain to lose the disability pension - after all, it's been proven that the disability was faulty - will they now have to go back to work? Wouldn't it be a kick in the teeth if hundreds of fraudsters suddenly showed back up on the job tomorrow? Even better, what about the folks hired to replace those out on disability? Will they be furloughed to make room for those returning employees?

I'd like to think that the fradulent disability claiming employees would be summarily terminated; however knowing that they're lifelong union employees makes it unlikely. I suspect they'll find their way back into the work force, where a sizable number will either pull future scams when they think folks have forgotten, or they'll garner actual on-the-job injuries to go back on disability. It's unfortunate that there appears to be no prosecution for fraud - although at least the doctor who falsified the disability claims is seeing the inside of a cell...

If folks put the same amount of energy into their jobs as they did trying to get out of them...

That is all.

13 comments:

Armed Texan said...

Considering what they did is criminal, I wouldn't mind seeing them go back to work...on Sheriff Joe Arpaio's chain gang.

Bubblehead Les. said...

What sucks is that they only lost their Disability Benefits. They still get to keep their regular Retirement Checks.

Kinda like a Convicted/Jailed Politician.

billf said...

The last line is money!If all people,spent as much time working,as trying to not work,we wouldn't be a third world country !!
Billf

Brad_in_MA said...

Jay,

There was a case here in Boston that involved a firefighter with a severely limiting back injury. He stated he couldn't work because of too much debilitating pain. He was later found to be competing in a body-building competition. Not sure what ever came of the case.

- Brad

NotClauswitz said...

I hope they have to go back to work since the fraud they depended upon to support them is gone. There's a lot of older Americans behind the counter saying, "Would you like fries with that?"

8Notch said...

Nah, willing to bet money they will just take a cut in benefits and nothing will happen. They certainly won't go to work. They will just go back to whatever pay rate they would have gotten otherwise. I remember hearing a news blurb a couple of years ago about that particular rail line, and that something like 90% of that years retirements were disability. What a'happened was they had 30 years of service but hadn't turned 60 years old. If you can find a medical reason to retire (and who can't find SOMETHING, after 30 years on the railroad), you can retire at full rate now rather than waiting till your birthday. The management has always gone along because they don't want grumpy short-timers around. The guys under them don't mind them going because it's a bump in seniority. Also, railroad retirement is self-funded, we don't pay into social security. At least to my understanding (I'm still a long way away), disability doesn't really affect your retirement pension, it is just a medical reason for taking it sooner than otherwise. It's a shortcut, not extra money.

Will Brown said...

You can bet the house that there are union reps all over the place telling every one of these people to file a claim that they were defrauded by this convicted criminal MD.

Particularly in light of what 8Notch said above.

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if the libs had put 10% of the effort into investigating (and fixing) medical fraud etc that they did in foisting obamacare on us we would ALL have been better off.....

OTM MCPO sends - and I won't even get into my travails with the disability system.

Glenn B said...

I have a hope that they go to jail.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...The doctor goes to jail and the people perpetrating the fraud don't even face prosecution? That reeks.

It tells me the doctor needs a better union!

The people BROUGHT the fraud to the doctor. Yes, he should have made sure they really were disabled, but that is actually pretty tough. If he was actually complicit in the fraud, making money apart from his fees to see them, then he is certainly guilty. But the cases would never existed without the patients walking through the door, knowing that they were not disabled!

Where were the independent medical examiners? They are the ones that are supposed to determine that these type of claims don't go forward.

Parasites come in all shapes!

tjbbpgobIII said...

I used to know several people on SS Disability for bad backs and other ailements who could dance all night long.

TOTWTYTR said...

First comes the denial of the disability. Then comes the felony charge of insurance fraud.

I would expect that they'll all be terminated and the union will have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more trying to get those overturned.

Andie said...

This is something that was part of my training as a comp specialist. Two best stories:

1. Guy out on a back claim was caught on camera by an SIU guy dragging a moose out of the woods during hunting season. Side note: that was the first year the Dept of Fisheries & Wildlife allowed us to review the database for applications for moose hunting as a cross-reference for fraud deterrence (let's hear it for inter-agency cooperation!).

2. Guy out on--wait for it!--a back claim was filmed, from the SIU office (investigator only had to turn around from his desk), lugging bundles of shingles up a ladder on a restoration project in the center of the city. Even when confronted with the video, he tried to deny it was him. He's in jail, has to pay back all of the disability paid out, AND all associated court costs. Oh, he was union in the job where he claimed his injury.

You just can't fix stupid.