Family admits to faking mental illness to steal Social Security benefits

Stacy Cloyd, spokeswoman for New Jersey-based nonprofit National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, said that government oversight of the program has strengthened and that fewer than 4 in 10 benefit applications are approved after all stages of appeal.

The program has endured deep spending cuts at a time when more people are seeking benefits, she added.

“This sort of thing [fraud] is very rare compared to the number of people who receive disability payments,” she said. “I think the real travesty is the long waits people have to endure to get a determination.”

More than a million people are on the waiting list, Cloyd said, and about 8,000 people died last year while awaiting a hearing.

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