Stop The Presses: Federal Workers’ Disability Program Rife with Fraud

The Washington Examiner has a very informative three-part series about the rampant fraud in the disability program for federal employees. Here are some examples cited:

A postal worker who ran marathons found her race times improved after she began drawing federal disability checks for an alleged back injury.


Another disabled federal employee went scuba diving, skied in Switzerland and did flips on a trapeze. She spent part of her $193,000 in disability payments on a boat named “Free Ride” before she was caught.


A Justice Department lawyer collected $90,000 in annual disability checks after claiming the stress of his job kept him off the job. Apparently the cable TV show he began hosting while drawing disability pay wasn’t so stressful.

Blatant fraud isn’t the only problem. The program is structured so that it gives people a huge incentive to continue working until they are well past the retirement age, then leave due to “disability.” From Part 2 of the series:

Federal employees old enough to retire have no reason to do so. Most will collect 75 percent of their wages, tax free, for the rest of their lives on disability.

That’s about 26 percent more than they could make if they retire under their government pension plan, (emphasis mine) according to the Government Accountability Office.


There is no age or time limit. More than 10,000 federal employees drawing disability for on-the-job injuries are at least 71 years old, according to the Department of Labor, which runs the Federal Employees Compensation Act program. Six are older than 100, according to congressional research. …


“If you are motivated in such a way to take advantage of the system, you can come up with a way to get hurt as a federal worker and get 75 percent of your pay for the rest of your life, tax free, and keep your other benefits,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

This program costs the federal government $3 billion a year.

Gee, I can’t imagine why we’re $17 trillion in debt, can you? Has anyone heard from the Dear Reader on this issue, or is he voting present again?


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