A group of doctors and local disability consultants squeezed millions out of taxpayers by diagnosing virtually every transit worker who walked through their door as disabled.
The near-universal disability record of transit workers would seem to make the job hard to fill, but apparently, the very low accident and injury rate among Long Island Railroad workers makes the railroad an attractive employer. Nonetheless, more than 90% of LIRR employees manage to qualify for disability payments upon retirement. This is a statistic of interest to federal investigators and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Investigating agents raided the Westbury, NY LIRR offices last week, and have discovered that a number of doctors and consultants appeared to have been running a benefits mill. The New York Times reports that one LIRR board member involved with disability payments retired, only to open a consulting business focused on how to get retirees disability status.
The LIRR stated that it was working to resolve any potential abuses by creating an ethics program and an internal review panel to prevent benefits abuse. That should fix everything.
Cuomo will be holding hearings on the matter this morning at SUNY Old Westbury.