Meet The Disability-Industrial-Complex: Up To 45% On Disability Insurance Are Frauds

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

If the American public knew what was going on in our system, half would be outraged and the other half would apply for benefits.

- Marilyn Zahm, one of the 1,500 disability judges operating in the U.S.

I’ve known about the “disability” scam for many years now, but I had never read a report that details the racket until I checked out the following from CBS’ 60 Minutes. As usual, the real money being made in the whole scheme is not centered around the people collecting the checks, but rather attorneys, doctors and even judges who grease the wheels of the $135 billion “disability-industrial-complex.”

For example, in the economically depressed border area of Kentucky and West Virginia we find 10%-15% of the population on disability, or three times the national average. The regional disability racket is essentially run by attorney Eric Conn, who’s clients for disability enjoy a 100% success rate thanks to Mr. Conn’s relationship with doctors and a local judge named David Daugherty.

Here are just a couple of examples of how Mr. Conn uses his advertising budget:

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 11.11.20 AM

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 11.09.41 AM


Senator Tom Coburn explains to CBS’ 60 Minutes that:

Coburn says the report — to be released tomorrow — will show that Conn collected more than $13 million in legal fees from the federal government over the past six years and that he paid five doctors roughly $2 million to regularly sign off on bogus medical forms that had been manufactured and filled out ahead of time by Conn’s staff.

Just another scam from a scam economy. More from 60 minutes:

The hearing involves the Federal Disability Insurance Program, which could become the first government benefits program to run out of money. When it began back in the 1950s it was envisioned as a small program to assist people who were unable to work because of illness or injury.


Today, it serves nearly 12 million people — up 20 percent in the last six years — and has a budget of $135 billion. That’s more than the government spent last year on the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and the Labor Department combined. It’s been called a “secret welfare system” with it’s own “disability industrial complex,” a system ravaged by waste and fraud. A lot of people want to know what’s going on. Especially Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.


Tom Coburn: Go read the statute. If there’s any job in the economy you can perform, you are not eligible for disability. That’s pretty clear. So, where’d all those disabled people come from?


The Social Security Administration, which runs the disability program says the explosive surge is due to aging baby boomers and the lingering effects of a bad economy. But Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Subcommittee for Investigations — who’s also a physician — says it’s more complicated than that. Last year, his staff randomly selected hundreds of disability files and found that 25 percent of them should never have been approved — another 20 percent, he said, were highly questionable.


Sen. Coburn says disability payments are now propping up the economy in some of the poorest regions in the country. Which is why he sent his investigators to the border area of Kentucky and West Virginia.


More than a quarter of a million people in this area are on disability — 10 to 15 percent of the population — about three times the national average. Jennifer Griffith and Sarah Carver processed disability claims at the Social Security regional office in Huntington, West Virginia.

Full Segment here:




Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
g'kar's picture

More oinkers feeding at the trough.

TeamDepends's picture

So half would screw the other half over for a wheelchair.  Don't like them odds.

NoDebt's picture

It's only a 45% fraud rate.  No problem until it hits 51%.  So we're cool.  We're cool.

Anusocracy's picture

I thought all the ones that couldn't work were employed by the government.

Midas's picture

Suddenly that ginormous letter carrier driving across the front lawn is starting to look above average.  After all, she did assume a two point stance, if only for a short while.

dannyboy's picture

Eric C Conn. Not even The Onion could have made a better name.

Zero Point's picture

E C Conn

Easy Con

If this ain't the Onion, I've simply gone mad, and I'm currently under sedation somewhere, mumbling and thumping my head on a wall.

zhandax's picture

Anyone watch to the end?  "Go now to what will happen to the SS Disability program if we don't fix it...Sponsored by Phizer".  Wonder who 60 minutes gets their money from?

lewy14's picture

OMG I'm just now realizing there's been massive disability fraud in this recovery said no honest person ever

Question: are Krieger and ZH unwitting pawns in this narrative, or willing accomplices?

Here's the thing. Dig through the links and you'll find this is a CBS 60 Minutes hit piece. 

Who's pushing the investigation? Tom Coburn. Anti tea party. Establishment Republican. Personally likes Obama.

Who's the senator from Kentucky? Rand Paul. One of the two heretic troublemakers. 

What do you think the people who advance this story would like to see? Maybe massive Federal prosecution and harrasment of Paul's constituents, eh? And who is this going to help, exactly? 

Good thing there's no horrible fraud perpetrated in the blue states. I was worred there for a minute.

ronaldawg's picture

So hillbilly people are engaged in massive disability fraud?  Please say it ain't so.

Poor hillbilly people have been doing this since the 1960s.  The only problem is that they let it get this big.

This will cause a rollback of SSI payments for disability for everyone.  Eventually it will not be profitable for the lawyers and the claims will dry up.

The Gooch's picture

Look into Binder and Binder's .gov milk profit margin.

Rhinestone cowpoke is raking it in.


Billy Sol Estes's picture

You have enough to worry about, like my Fedora in our commercials.

macholatte's picture


What do you think the people who advance this story would like to see?


Why didn't they pick on California or Illinois or NY?

                  Good job looking under the sheets. 

CheapBastard's picture

What was Eric's 800 number?

I think I seriously twisted my neck bones and lower back reading this article and can't get up for years...maybe forever....and the pain in my left foot is unbearable...not to mention seeing double b/c of this article....

Imminent Crucible's picture

Get me that number, too, CheapBastard. I read your comment and laughed so hard that I dislocated my duodenum. I don't think I'll ever be able to work again, and since I'm supposed to be at work right now, it's a work-related injury.

drunkenlout's picture

"Why didn't they pick on California or Illinois or NY?"

That's actually a good question.  The answer is that SSDI doesn't pay enough to live in IL, CA, or NY.  But in impoverished Appalachia, it's sufficient.  Of course, there are impoverished areas of the wealthy states where it does pay enough, and we have fraudsters there.

I hurl and need a blood pressure check when amublatory, car-driving SSDI recipients tell me they're too proud to be on welfare.


MachoMan's picture

In the states where it's too expensive for disability to pay for the cost of living, then "disabled" folks just work for the government proper...  aside from the fact that you can probably catch a significant number of the "disabled" working cash jobs.

Jethro's picture

Hey, I don't much care for Coburn either. When he was going to go along with further gun control measures, I called his office and excoriated his staffer. Coburn is a political animal through and through. But, almost all of those assholes in DC are.  

Anybody that challenges the status quo are routinely called terrorists. DC started the histrionics against the vets with DHS, then on to most everybody else that couldn't loosely be defined as a socialist.  I have some bad news for DC. Keep calling conservatives "terrorists", and you'll create that nightmare.

AmericanFUPAcabra's picture

Pretty sure that is the idea... Once the legal definition fits most of the populace its game on for those cumbags. They want us to drop the hat first

DaddyO's picture

THis is a highly probable scenario!

Just looking for an excuse to deploy the brownshirt army and the accompanying jackboot.


Hobbleknee's picture

I think it's a broader issue than that.  They pick on red states because it's trendy, but the real issue is that the government is broke, so now they're going to quit paying out on all their promises, supported by ludicrous claims that half the claims are fake.

Next they'll tell us there's no such thing as PTSD and after that, they'll raise the retirement age to 75.

OldPhart's picture

"after that, they'll raise the retirement age to 75." um, they've already done that.

Lost My Shorts's picture

Funny how any mention of dark-skinned people committing fraud sends the ZH crowd into a righteous frenzy.  But if it's white people committing fraud (challenging your basic Fox-News narrative about the country) then you start questioning the motives of the source.

Serenity Now's picture

Your comment is BS.  First of all, there is NEVER any mention of blacks committing fraud in the MSM.  Second, we talk about white people committing fraud all the time....bankers, real estate, politicians, etc.  

Lost My Shorts's picture

Just go to google news and search on the phrases "welfare fraus" (1400 results), "disability fraud" (4,400 results), "food stamp fraud" (1,200 results).  Fraud is heavily covered in the media, and you can be sure lots of those cases involve blacks and browns.  Here is one:

Do you think the WSJ is not main-stream enough?  Just another easy example of how you live in a "NEVER" land of your own invention, not the real world

There is a basic narrative on the Fox News right:  takers = black & tan.  When some evidence contradicts that narrative, you don't want to hear it, and question the motives of the source.

Gold Eyed Cat's picture

OMG LMS you are so freeking right!  The whole country is so fucking racist! 

If only we could prove we weren't racists by voting for a kinda black president that has no qualifications at all, to rule us like Stalin.  Also, you know what would rock?  If the USDOJ attorney general was also black and totally enforced the laws in the entire country based soley on his desire to ignore crimes commited by "his people" while ruthlessly persecuting any white people that think laws are for everyone! 

Oh!  And then we could all be totally full of ourselves and arbitrarily accuse FOX News and people on websites like ZH of being racist haters!  And if anyone tries to deny they are racists, we could use Google and do random internet searches, use copy AND paste, and be like, "There you fucking racist!  See!  There are the LINKS of all your racism!  Go slit your racist wrists and bleed out on the floor!"


Seriously LMS shut the fuck up.  The country is in deep deep stinking shit and you want to make a big issue about what color to call it?  What a joke.

SN got it right.  Most people who post here are brutally aware of what the problems are, who is responsible and why they are motivated to continue doing it.  Only a fucking moron would try to make the point that white people are mean, and black and tan people are getting picked on.



Lost My Shorts's picture

Such a well-resoned retort makes me feel humble.  How can I measure up?  But what the hell.

Going back to the post that I replied to ... If Rand Paul is not a flaming hypocrite (who knows), he would be secretly glad for the 60 Minutes report.  He would want the fraud ended, but obviously it's politically awkward for him to take the lead.  So he would be glad outsiders forced the issue, so it can be resolved but his hands stay clean.  Still, the poster was quite sure this was a conspiricay against Rand Paul.  How to explain that?  Two possibilities I can think of:

1) Rand Paul is a flaming hypocrite, and to him and many of you, this is just a tribal conflict, and it's OK if your tribe steals but make a big fuss if the other tribe does.

2) The poster has a deep psychological dependence on the "black and tan = taker" narrative, and when presented with solid contrary evidence, he immediately maneuvers to question, downplay, diminish, and make it go away.

Color is very important, never mind if you don't understand that.  Everyone here thinks they are the smart ones, who see the truth, not the sheeple.  But a third of the people here are the worst type of sheeple, totally fallen for the divide and conquer race strategy worked by the elites.  As long as the population is thoroughly divided on color lines, no challenge to the elites is possible and you are all wasting your time.  Please note that I didn't raise the race issue.  The guy did to whom I was replying.  I was just pointing out what a mistake that is.  Sorry if I am a sour note in your echo chamber.

Your beliefs about who gets prosecuted in America are nonsense.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to count heads in jail and notice what color they are.  Blacks and browns are prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated at a much higher rate.  Not to say they don't deserve it, but how can you even say such a ridiculous thing as that only whites are prosecuted?  How can you tell me to stfu when your worldview is based on such absurd denial of reality?

Gold Eyed Cat's picture

I'm not reading that.  It smells of bull shit.  :p

yrbmegr's picture

One-third of black men in this country go to jail at some point in their lives.  It is extremely absurd to believe that is entirely due to black culture or black society, if that is even a thing.

superflex's picture

Turtle Man is the other Senator from Kentucky.  Is he also on Senator Coburn's hit list?

Nice try.


Flagit's picture

well, sort of. im an expert here.

i spent close to 2 years living with someone that had a plan. he wanted to travel and stay in hotels, gamble in casinos, eat every meal in a restaurant. and the .gov was going to pay for it. its easy. he had a friend that draws disability for being a retard. its much easier to give the underachieving, crybaby retards money every month rather than scoop them off the street. it just ends up being spent anyway, so it really benefits the economy. much like snap, or link.

now, the first retard, lets call him collin, is a true retard. cant order a pizza without assistance or hold a job doing anything other than driving a cab. they are just that desperate for help. he actually needs/deserves the disability payments. otherwise, he just causing people problems.

now, the second retard, lets call him alex. alex found out that if he could just fool a doctor a few times, he could get disability payments and fund his perma-vacation. just to keep it short, he got it. but something started to change almost immediately. after talking to these doctors, and psychs, they helped him come to the conclusion...he actually needed them. they were right about everything that was wrong with him. now he gulps a handful of different pills every day, refuses to accept any form of responsibility, and prances around acting like hes on summer break.

what he didnt realize till later is that the piddly amount they do pay you, $400 and change/mo, isnt nearly enough to bop across the country at will. gulping these pills have shredded his ability to function. after about 15 minutes of conversation, you come to the conclusion that this dude is completely delusional, in denial, and a complete and total danger to the republic when you get 10 of them together, all trying to talk over each other in a fight to see who the bigger tard is. you just have to see it to believe it.

so, with that in mind, i would say that the 45% they are refering to, is just like, right on target.

OH, wheel chair. its not just physical dis. the mental dis is the real money maker.

Secede Or Die's picture

Yeah, but..........He still get's his check, right?..............OK then.

Hobbleknee's picture

" it just ends up being spent anyway, so it really benefits the economy. much like snap, or link."

broken-window fallacy

TideFighter's picture

Origin of the defininition "Conn Job"

prains's picture

this is what you get when you suck donkey balls for decades, a mean case of WTF, gotta love capitalism gone totally fucking insane.....with no membrane

CH1's picture

Correction: Statism gone totally insane.

Capitalism doesn't include stealing money from one group of people and giving it to another.

j0nx's picture

Small potato racket compared to the wall street hucksters. Let's concentrate on wall street first and then we can crack down on hillbillys collecting $300 a month in disability. Keep your eye on the ball people.

Obese-Redneck's picture

Nope, get these fuckers off the teat.

Buck Johnson's picture

It's called everybody out for themselves, pure and simple.  In a nation where the leaders are corrupt or partially corrupt, you can expect it to roll down hill to the lower rungs of society.

Long-John-Silver's picture

There would be no Middle Class without Social Security Disability.

drooley's picture

But.. Obama said "The US is not a deadbeat nation"

darteaus's picture

He says a lot of things that are only true if you squint, tilt your head and use your imagination.

RafterManFMJ's picture

This article has made me depressed. Say... that gives me an idea..!

gbresnahan's picture

As the cliche goes, if you can't beat 'em join 'em.

Anusocracy's picture

If they're disabled you should be able to chase them down and beat them.

odatruf's picture

some of those scooters are pretty quick. And with the N2O package plus hole shot gearing modification...

toady's picture

Me too. I'm calling that dudes 800 number NOW!

Disenchanted's picture

Does being butthurt by Ben qualify as a disability?

DaddyO's picture

Yes, one that's almost impossible to recover from.