SSA Pilot Program to Identify Criminals Expanding

The Social Security Administration is expanding a Philadelphia-area pilot program nationally to help bar criminals from controlling benefits on behalf of the disabled and elderly.

Under the pilot program, potential “representative payees” who collect disability benefits for those unable to handle their own finances were rejected if they had committed one of 12 crimes: human trafficking, false imprisonment, kidnapping, rape/sexual assault, first-degree homicide, robbery, fraud to obtain government assistance, fraud by scheme, theft of government funds/property, abuse/neglect, forgery and identity theft.

Social Security employees, however, don’t have access to the FBI’s criminal database because the agency is not considered law enforcement. Instead, employees must rely on public records and private, third-party databases, which can be incomplete and unreliable.

Although the Social Security Administration has deemed the pilot a success, agency screeners have flagged fewer than 1 percent (or 285) of the 34,850 applicants.

Full story here:
Social Security expands background checks – Morning Call