CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey office’s disability fraud partnership has achieved more than $8.1 million in total savings during its first two years of operation.
According to the AG's office, the partnership generated more than $5.6 million in projected savings for state and federal governments during calendar year 2017. That more than doubled savings generated by the partnership in 2016.
“The return on this partnership has been remarkable, and I look forward to even more savings this year,” Morrisey said. “Rooting out fraud and waste will remain a top priority for my office and should be a major concern for government in general.”
The 2017 year-end tally included a final quarter savings of more than $602,800.
The Cooperative Disability Investigations Unit, a partnership with the Social Security Administration, investigates suspicious or questionable disability claims. It investigates beneficiaries, claimants and any third party who facilitates fraud.
The unit’s findings help disability examiners make informed decisions and ensure payment accuracy, while also equipping state and federal prosecutors with the facts needed to secure a conviction. This, in turn, generates significant savings for taxpayers.
CDI Units help resolve questions of potential fraud, in many instances, before benefits are ever paid. The Attorney General’s Office joined the program in December 2015, making it a first-of-its-kind unit for the Mountain State.
The West Virginia unit joins two investigators and an analyst from the Attorney General’s office with representatives from SSA, its Office of the Inspector General and the state’s Disability Determination Section.
Nationally, the CDI program is one of the most successful anti-fraud initiatives with regard to federal disability programs. It operates 40 units covering 34 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Morrisey's office also has asked the Legislature to transfer West Virginia’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit from the state Department of Health and Human Resources to his office. In fact, 43 of 50 units nationwide are housed within the state attorney general’s office.
Such a move would fix deficiencies in West Virginia’s existing unit and yield greater efficiency and effectiveness to the benefit of the taxpayer.