A newly-formed investigative unit created to combat disability fraud will include two North Carolina state agencies along with two partner agencies from the federal government.
The N.C.-based Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) Program will be operated and staffed by the United States Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, the SSA’s regional office in Atlanta, Georgia, the N.C. Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division and the North Carolina Disability Determination Services Division (NCDDS), which is a part of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS).
A memorandum of understanding agreement was signed on Sept. 11 by Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, SSA Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Kevin Huse, SSA Regional Commissioner Rose Mary Buehler and Division Director of NCDDS Jacqueline Russell.
“CDI investigations make a significant impact on the integrity of Social Security’s disability programs and provide critical evidence for those making disability determinations,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General, Social Security Administration. “This invaluable investigative work has saved close to $7 billion and serves as a deterrent to those who seek to fraudulently receive or retain benefits. We welcome the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division as they join us in this important endeavor.”
CDI’s primary mission will be to uncover illegal acts by investigating statements and activities that raise suspicion of disability fraud by claimants, medical providers, interpreters or other service providers.
“This much needed and specialized unit and partnership is another way we are fighting fraud on all fronts,” Commissioner Causey said. “It will bring together highly trained and experienced experts from multiple relevant agencies during a time when fighting fraud is essential to protect consumers. DOI is proud to be a major part of it.”
The CDI Unit will be based in Raleigh, and consist of six officials, including three from DOI, one each from the SSA OIG, SSA, and NCDDS.
“I am grateful for the teamwork that prevents fraud in disability programs in North Carolina,” said Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “In the past, these teams saved taxpayers more than $10 million in Medicaid savings. Their work is critical in getting money and resources to the people who need them the most in North Carolina.”
About DOI’s Criminal Investigations Division
The NC Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID) is the nation’s oldest and one of the most respected state insurance department fraud units in the country. Founded in 1945, the Division is charged with conducting criminal investigations and supporting prosecution of individuals and entities committing insurance-related crimes throughout North Carolina and across the country.
The investigative personnel are sworn law enforcement officers having statewide jurisdiction. The Special Agents are fully authorized to carry firearms, make arrests, conduct searches and present cases at all levels of prosecution. The Special Agents work in close cooperation with the insurance industry, state and federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.