"I'm elated," said Congressman Rogers. "I asked the Commissioner to reverse course and she called this morning to tell me she is lifting the suspensions. We are all determined to bring fraud to a rapid conclusion and if it exists, it needs to be handled appropriately. But, this is the American way; you are innocent until you are proven guilty. Now our people will be able to pay bills and purchase the everyday items they need while they await the hearing they deserve."
The Social Security Administration's suspensions coincide with a federal fraud investigation involving a Floyd County attorney and several physicians in the region. The agency sent out letters last week notifying 900 people that their disability benefits were being suspended immediately, while another 600 people learned their supplemental security income (SSI) would continue until their eligibility is re-examined.
During the meeting, Commissioner Colvin confirmed the agency is also extending the 10-day window to submit medical records to 30 days.
"Our people are in dire straights. Hundreds of folks have called my office over the last week, worried about their only source of income being cut off without notice," said Rogers. "I shared their stories with the Commissioner and she assured me that the agency is going to beef up efforts to expedite these cases."
Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit http://halrogers.house.gov/ or follow Rogers on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/RepHalRogers or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/CongressmanHalRogers.
Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Carolyn W. Colvin has decided to reinstate disability payments to individuals whose benefits were recently suspended because Social Security’s Inspector General determined there was reason to believe fraudulent medical evidence was supplied by several doctors in certain cases including Bradley Adkins, Ph.D., Srinivas Ammisetty, M.D., Frederic Huffnagle, M.D., or David P. Herr, D.O. In each case, Eric C. Conn or another individual from his law firm acted as the attorney representative. Benefits in these cases were suspended because the agency must redetermine these cases.
Under the Social Security Act, the agency must redetermine an individual’s disability case when there is reason to believe fraud or similar fault was involved in that individual’s application for benefits. The law requires Social Security to disregard any evidence from one of the medical providers identified above when the information was submitted by representative Eric C. Conn or other representatives associated with Mr. Conn’s law office.
Although the Acting Commissioner has decided to reinstate benefits, these beneficiaries must provide sufficient evidence to establish they meet the strict statutory definition of disability dating back to the original decision on their application for Social Security disability benefits.
We remain fully committed to our responsibility to ensure that the public funds entrusted to us are properly expended, and take every measure to fight waste, fraud, and abuse in Social Security programs.
Social Security has established a special toll-free phone number for affected beneficiaries to obtain additional information. That number is 1-866-397-4238, and will be staffed 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time Monday-Friday.