Former NYPD Officers Accused of Faking Mental Illness to Get Social Security Benefits
By Kiratiana Freelon on August 9, 2010 12:34pm
By Jennifer Glickel
MANHATTAN — As many as two dozen retired NYPD officers have come under investigation for purportedly faking mental illness to boost their Social Security checks, while simultaneously denying any mental issues in their applications for gun permits, the New York Post reported.
The alleged scam sparked a corruption investigation that is also probing the officers’ lawyers and psychiatrists, the Post reported.
The officers came under scrutiny after an unrelated corruption investigation revealed that one lawyer was representing multiple NYPD retirees who were filling Social Security claims, the Post reported. Many of the officers represented by the same lawyer were already receiving tax-free disability pensions for injuries sustained on the job, sources told the Post.
Officers who can prove they have a psychological issue, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, are eligible for thousands of additional dollars in benefits, according to the Post.
Investigators compared the list of former NYPD officers claiming to have mental health issues with the list of those who had been given gun permits — for which the applicant must swear not to be taking drugs for psychological issues — and found up to two dozen officers whose names appeared on both lists, the Post wrote.
One of the retirees has already been convicted of fraud-related charges and will face jail time, the Post said.
It is unclear how many further arrests are expected, the Post reported.