Social Security

Office of Rep. Rogers

Congressman Hal Rogers says a suspension of federal disability benefits for 900 recipients in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia is being lifted.

The Somerset Republican says he urged Social Security Administration officials this week to lift the suspension, saying the benefit payments were a matter of "life and death" for residents in the region. The Social Security Administration has said it is in the process of “redetermining” benefits for 1,500 people represented by a Kentucky attorney who was under investigation for suspected fraud.

Benefits were recently suspended for 900 of those people before Rogers intervened.

Rogers, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a conference call Thursday that the disability recipients were "innocent bystanders" to the alleged fraud conspiracy.

The nation’s leading organization for seniors will use this year's Fancy Farm picnic to launch a nationwide tour to help voters be better informed about Social Security and Medicare.

The charges stem from an investigation by the new Cooperative Disability Investigations Unit , which was created last September. The Corbin, Kentucky Social Security Administration Office reported suspected fraud during a continuing disability review. Authorities say the defendants were involved in a scheme to cash a Supplemental Security Income check issued to Eric Partain, after he died.

Officials with the U-S  Treasury Department are trying to alert people who receive paper checks for Social Security benefits that they must switch to electronic payment by March first of 2013. Walt Henderson, the Director of the E-F-T Strategy Division of the U-S Treasury's Financial Management Service, says about fifteen percent of the recipients in Kentucky still receive paper checks and will need to make the change.