I’ve been getting quite a few questions lately asking if the Social Security Administration conducts surveillance. No it doesn’t! Those who ask this question are perhaps misunderstanding the application process undertaken in order to be awarded benefits under SSDI criteria.
The SSA is very different from private insurance. Claims submitted to the social security administration are reviewed in a 4-step tiered process to determine if the applicant meets regulations (listings) in the law.
The only job SSA has when an application is received is to make a determination as to whether the applicant meets the listings. In other words, contrary to private insurance, the SSA is not deliberately undertaking any action to deprive individuals of benefits they are entitled to under the law.
Private insurers take any and all actions to attempt to deny or terminate claims that should be paid to make a profit at the expense of the insured. The SSA uses a system of reviews to determine if the applicant meets the qualifications written in the law. There is no “bad faith” intent or effort to refuse SSDI benefits if the applicant meets the criteria identified in the listings.
There is no profit associated with the social security system, in fact quite the opposite. It is a well-known fact social security has been operating in the red for some years. Fortunately, SSDI determination does not attempt to “make a profit” and therefore surveillance would not be something the American people would do, even if it could afford to do it.