LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today launched the Arkansas Cooperative Disability Investigations Program, or CDI, to fight Social Security disability fraud across the state. CDI is a joint effort among federal and state agencies to effectively pool resources for the purpose of preventing fraud in the disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and in related programs.
Rutledge was joined by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, State Sen. Missy Irvin and Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General Special Agent-in-Charge Robert Feldt at the announcement.
“Arkansas ranks in the top five among states with the highest number of Social Security Disability beneficiaries,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Fraud hurts Arkansans in need and we have to stop those who are cheating and scamming the system. When I took office, I made a commitment to protect consumers. Stopping disability fraud protects all Arkansans.”
“I applaud Attorney General Rutledge and her commitment to fighting disability fraud in Arkansas,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “It is critical that we can ensure the integrity of the Social Security programs. As a result of this state and federal partnership, Arkansas can protect this important program and combat fraud. I look forward to creating greater efficiencies through this statewide initiative and better serving beneficiaries of the Social Security Disability program in Arkansas.”
“Social Security Disability is a critically important program for the disabled and needs to be preserved for those who truly deserve it,” said State Sen. Missy Irvin. “The program is estimated to have a deficiency in funds to claimants as soon as 2016. With Arkansas having the 5th highest percentage of its population in the nation on Social Security, we must take steps now to secure the future of this program for those who truly need it, eliminate those who are abusing it and be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.”
“In our continuing effort to stamp out waste, fraud, and abuse within Social Security programs, the Office of the Inspector General is pleased to partner with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office on the Cooperative Disability Investigation Unit in Little Rock,” said Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General Special Agent-in-Charge Robert Feldt.
Arkansas Cooperative Disability Investigations Program Background
- The Cooperative Disability Investigations Program, or CDI, is a joint effort among federal and state agencies to effectively pool resources for the purpose of preventing fraud in the disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and in related programs.
- The mission is to investigate questionable statements and activities of claimants, medical providers and other third parties to obtain evidence of material fact sufficient to resolve questions of potential fraud in disability programs.
- The Arkansas CDI will be run jointly by the SSA Dallas Regional Office, the SSA Office of the Inspector General, the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office and the Arkansas Disability Determination for SSA.
- CDI benefits SSA and taxpayers by improving the integrity of Social Security’s programs, promoting the solvency of the Social Security Trust Funds and by helping public assistance programs reduce fraud, waste and abuse.
- Since its inception in Fiscal Year 1998, existing CDI Units in other states have contributed to $3.1 billion in projected savings to SSA’s disability programs and $1.9 billion in projected savings to non-SSA programs – including state-funded programs such as Medicaid.
- SSA will pay for the Arkansas CDI participant salaries, benefits and vehicles.
- The Arkansas CDI Unit will be located in the Little Rock, Arkansas, Federal Building.
- The Arkansas CDI Unit will consist of these individuals:
- One SSA Inspector General, Special Agent/Team Leader
- One SSA CDI Program Specialist
- One Arkansas Disability Determination for SSA Specialist
- Two Arkansas Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Special Agents (law enforcement)
- One Arkansas Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Investigative Assistant
- The Unit will work to evaluate and investigate suspicious claims, identify lawyers, doctors or other third parties who facilitate fraud, identify areas susceptible to fraud and provide investigative findings that help SSA and state personnel make accurate and timely claims decisions.
- The Unit’s findings may also result in criminal or civil prosecution, civil monetary penalties of up to $5,000 for each false statement made and SSA administrative sanctions, including benefit withholding.
- The Program currently consists of 28 Units covering 24 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico – nine of those units have Attorneys General as a participating agency.