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  • As regular readers of SS&Y are aware, the Social Security Administration administers 2 trust funds. The Old Age Survivors Insurance (OAS’) fund pays retirement benefits. The Disability Insurance fund (DI) pays disability benefits. When Congress passed and President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act in November of 2015 to reallocate current contributions between the OASI…

    7+ months ago
  • The Social Security Administration has announced there will be no Cost of Living Adjustment in 2016 for the nearly 65 million Americans drawing Social Security disability, retirement or SSI benefits.  This is because there was no inflation between the third quarter of 2014 and 2015 as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage…

    2+ years ago

News

  • Spring-Summer 2015 Newsletter SSDI Insolvency Looms We’ve known it’s been coming for some time and now it’s on our doorstep. Unless Congress acts the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund (DI Trust Fund) will become insolvent late next year and unable to pay full benefits any longer. Millions of Americans who rely on their disability checks for most, if not all,…

    2+ years ago
  • Fall 2014 Newsletter OBAMACARE UPDATE On October 1st it will have been a year since enrollment began in the Affordable Care Act national health insurance program known as Obamacare. The difficulties in the early weeks and months have been well documented. But where are we a year later… Read the Newsletter in PDF format.   Read the Newsletter in PDF…

    2+ years ago

How Nazis Got Paid Social Security

Last year, the public learned that the Social Security Administration was paying accused and convicted Nazi war criminals benefits. A quick, unanimous law cut the practice off, but now reports are in. All together, Nazis received over $20 million in social security benefits. How is this possible?

Nazi persecutors received Social Security benefits until 2015A Social Security Administration watchdog organization recently published a shocking report: Nazi persecutors had received over $20 million in social security benefits since 1962. All together, 133 convicted and alleged Nazi war criminals were paid. The government cut off benefits to the four still living this year when the No Social Security for Nazis Act went in to affect. This new law responded to an October 2014 Associated Press (AP) report, disclosing a loophole in social security law that let Nazis to leave the country and still receive benefits.

After the war, many Nazi soldiers relocated to the U.S. The United States did not begin investigating these immigrants until 1979, when the Department of Justice (DOJ) established the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). By that time many of them had become United States citizens. The OSI had a practice of offering suspected Nazis a choice: voluntarily leave the country, or be deported. To sweeten the deal and avoid the lengthy deportation proceedings, the Office of Special Investigations let those choosing voluntary deportation to continue to receive social security benefits. According to the Inspector General:

“According to DOJ, the government could not bar the beneficiary’s departure. Because of his departure, the immigration court did not retain jurisdiction, and DOJ had no legal basis to seek the beneficiary’s deportation. The beneficiary’s citizenship was subsequently revoked.”

By leaving voluntarily, these Nazi persecutors avoided being officially deported, which would have cut off their social security benefits. According to James Hergen, an assistant legal adviser at the State Department from 1982 until 2007:

“It was not upfront, it was not transparent, it was not a legitimate process… This was not the way America should behave. We should not be dumping our refuse, for lack of a better word, on friendly states.”

Those nations objected and the practice of “Nazi-dumping” stopped, but the law regarding social security payments never changed. The loophole allowed 133 people to receive social security benefits until their deaths, or until the No Social Security for Nazis Act cut them off earlier this year. According to reports, only $15,658 of that was because of errors by the Social Security Administration. The rest was properly paid under U.S. law.

Whether the U.S. will be able to recover any of this money remains to be seen. But in the midst of a debate over how to fund a Social Security shortfall, this report does little to improve public confidence in the system.

William Crawforth is a Michigan Social Security Lawyer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He helps older and disabled adults get the benefits they need to make ends meet. If you or someone you know needs help filing or appealing a decision for Social Security benefits, contact William Crawforth today for a free consultation.

Call today if you have questions about the Michigan Social Security Disability Attorney and Lawyer Services provided by William Crawforth.

To schedule an appointment call 800-864-1244 or fill out the contact form at the top of this page.

  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association
  • National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives

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