NY railroad’s disability payouts plunge after fraud revealed
NEW YORK (AP) — Federal disability payments for Long Island Rail Road employees are way down since widespread disability fraud was uncovered a decade ago.
Newsday reports that the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board granted disability benefits to 29 LIRR retirees last year. That’s an 86 percent drop from 2007, when 229 LIRR retirees received federal disability benefits.
A 2008 New York Times investigation found that almost every career employee at the railroad was collecting disability payments after retiring early. The government subsequently prosecuted more than two dozen former LIRR workers along with doctors and a retirement board employee.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan estimated that improper LIRR disability payouts could have topped more than $1 billion.
The railroad carries commuters between Manhattan and Long Island. It reported 89.2 million riders last year.
Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com