Social Security testing reforms to prevent abuse

    The Social Security Administration is changing its benefits screening process in the hopes of avoiding a repeat of last year’s case where authorities say a woman locked mentally disabled people in a squalid basement and cashed their checks for years.
    Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey said the administration is launching a three- to- six-month pilot project Monday in Philadelphia that changes how it screens people applying to be “representative payees” for those with disabilities.

    That’s how investigators say the suspects in the Philadelphia basement case bilked their captives of their benefits.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that during the pilot program, the administration will test the effectiveness of employees to screen for offenders in 12 criminal categories, including human trafficking, sex offenses, fraud, theft, abuse, forgery and homicide.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal