The Trump administration’s anti-fraud program, known as the Civil Monetary Penalty Program, unfairly levied fines against the poor and elderly. Without providing due process for the beneficiaries, staff attorneys for the program were directed to assess fines more than the double the amount of the original payment made in error. Attorneys who objected to the program were fired or demoted.
The program launched investigations into over-payments made to disabilty and retiree beneficiaries. All of the beneficiaries belonged to a lower socio-economic class. Many of these beneficiaries were fined outlandish amounts that ran into the thousands of dollars and far exceeded the original overpayment. The program has recently come under increased scrutiny and criticism, and the Social Security Commissioner has directed the Social Security Inspector General to suspend the program.
It is believed that under the Trump administration’s anti fraud program, approximately 100 beneficiaries were levied fines. Many of the fines were levied without due process and without enough evidence against these beneficiaries. One woman, who had received about $30,000 in benefits wrongfully, was fined $132,000. The Social Security Inspector General’s office was aware that many of these beneficiaries would find themselves unable to challenge these fines in court. Now, an investigation into these fines is on and hopefully, justice will be done to these victims.