Social Security’s anti-fraud program handed out huge fines to elderly, disabled and poor: report

A Social Security anti-fraud program under the Trump administration imposed large fines on disabled and elderly people who received disability payments to which they were not entitled A Washington Post report.

The fines imposed on more than 100 poor, disabled and elderly people totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The program was overseen by Gail Ennis, inspector general of the Social Security Administration. Kilolo Kijakazi, the acting Social Security Commissioner, will launch a full investigation into Ennis’ oversight of the civil fines program The Washington Post reported on Monday.

Ennis declined an interview request, the Post reported, but wrote in a statement that her office “is not aware of any basis to support the statement that unprecedented fines have been imposed.”

Citing interviews, documents and affidavits before an administrative justice judge, the Post reported that the inspector general’s office failed to consider, among other things, “the recipients’ financial condition, their age, their intentions, and their level of remorse… Attorneys for the staff were expelled.” In addition to the fines, charge those affected twice the money they received in error.”

Two executives who had repeatedly spoken out about the charges to Ennis and her staff were “abruptly placed on administrative leave,” the Post said. One was fired, the other demoted.

In the Post article, the White House said it was aware of the coverage but had no immediate comment, and a spokesman for the Senate Finance Committee told the Post it was “evaluating a number of steps.” Social Security’s anti-fraud program handed out huge fines to elderly, disabled and poor: report

Brian Lowry

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