L.I.R.R. disability scandal

by Walter Olson on October 30, 2011

The abuse of disability claims by employees of the Long Island Rail Road, exposed by the New York Times’s Walt Bogdanich three years ago and noted in several items here at the time, has at last eventuated in indictments of eleven defendants, including doctors and “facilitators.” According to prosecutors, the bogus benefit claims could have exceeded $1 billion if paid out to completion. “The Times articles reported that virtually every career employee of the railroad was applying for and receiving disability payments, giving the Long Island Rail Road a disability rate three to four times that of the average railroad.” [NYT, NRO "Corner"]

{ 1 trackback }

PointOfLaw Forum
10.31.11 at 7:00 am

{ 7 comments }

1 Smart Dude 10.30.11 at 12:03 pm

Close to 100% of the retirees did this, beginning with the indicted Union President, who seemed to have set the whole thing up, then worked as a facilitator, charging $1000 per head for all other retirees.

Time to privatize the LIRR.

2 John Burgess 10.30.11 at 2:28 pm

Going after the facilitators is all well and good. But will the illicit beneficiaries be stripped of their benefits? Not just the fake disability, but their entire retirement packages is what I’d hope to see.

Theirs was not only a fraud upon the retirement system, but society at large. That should lead to exemplary punishment, IMO.

3 Samsam von Virginia 10.30.11 at 2:50 pm

So somebody thinks it’s reasonable that the average railroad has a disability rate of 33% ?!?! How does that work? Disability payments for paper cuts?

4 asdfasdf 10.31.11 at 7:27 am

This kind of thing is the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent annually on factitious or dubious disability claims. Most SSDI payments, for example, are for drug addiction and similar psychological disorders of recent vintage, and that’s just one program.

At the same time, the few people with actual severe disabilities typically receive support inadequate for their medical needs.

5 Anonymous Attorney 10.31.11 at 12:06 pm

asdfasdf is correct.

I would love to see some stats on how many SSDI recepients are getting benefits for dubious reasons. Does anyone know of a source on this?

Part of the problem is that the system assumes claims of disability or injury to be TRUE, and the word of all doctors to be HONEST. Who would lie about such a thing?

6 wacky 11.01.11 at 10:18 am

And some people think less “oversight” is what we need. Man has to be watched!!! They do wrong all the time. If not afraid of a higher power, then let them fear a something will catch them! Just because everyone does it, doesn’t make it OK. I think we need more media and journalist writing about these things.

7 Steve 11.04.11 at 5:12 pm

If the justice dept. was able to get these people , they would have gotten them in 2008 . Nothing happened then except for a pension mgr who got the charges reversed anyhow . These people work with lawyers and everything is within the limits of the law..just barely though . Can’t blame the FBI guys for getting mad at these loudmouths , but everything will quietly go away just like in 08….be talking to ya in 2014 I guess..

Comments on this entry are closed.