More than 100 retired police officers, firefighters and correctional officers are being charged with Social Security disability fraud for allegedly faking the extent of their disabilities to unlawfully obtain disability benefits. Many of those accused of scamming the system say their troubles, including psychiatric problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), began after the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
The people accused of the Social Security disability scam include a broad range of officers in New York City:
- 72 police officers
- 8 firefighters
- 5 corrections officers
A Nassau County Police Department officer has also been indicted, according to Fox News. While many of the officers had legitimate disabilities, it is alleged that they exaggerated the extent of their physical injuries and PTSD to qualify for federal Social Security disability insurance, which only provides benefits for workers who are completely unable to work. It is alleged that four men coached the retirees on how to obtain disability benefits and took a large cut of the benefits awarded. These men include two retired New York police officers, a former FBI agent and a Nassau County assistant prosecutor.
More than half of the disability insurance recipients claimed PTSD resulting from the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These claims alone totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the allegations are true, that’s money that should have gone to those first responders and others who were seriously harmed in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack, including the men and women now suffering from PTSD, depression, anxiety and other severe psychiatric disabilities.
If you or a loved one sustained disabling mental or physical injuries associated with the September 11 terrorist acts and need assistance with a claim under Social Security disability insurance or the Zadroga Act’s reopened Victim Compensation Fund, contact knowledgeable attorneys in New York City.