Legislators call for increased oversight amid Philly abuse case

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A group of Republicans are calling on the Government Accountability Office to improve oversight of the Social Security Administration disability programs, following reports of a horrific abuse case in Philadelphia where a payee for people with disabilities allegedly stole their benefits while the intended beneficiaries were trapped in her basement, according to an Associated Press article.

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In October, four people with disabilities were found in a Philadelphia basement, weak and malnourished. Law enforcement officials believe they were trapped in the basement for years.

With the aging of of the general population and the resulting increase in the need for the representative’s payees in the future, we would like your help in determining the effectiveness of Social Security’s representative payee program, along with your assessment of those in the local community who serves the payee needs of the aged and disabled, including the courts and volunteer organizations,” the legislators said in the letter, dated November 18 and signed by 14 Republicans in the House and Ways Committee.

About 5.6 million representative payees are currently managing about $61 billion annually for about 7.6 million beneficiaries through the Social Security disability benefits programs.