Sneak Preview: Payment Errors Found in Neb. Disability Programs

February 26, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services plans to take steps to recoup overpayments made from 2011 to 2013 to individuals in the Assistance to the Aged, Blind and Disabled and the State Disability programs, as well as review the programs’ quality control procedures to improve their integrity.

The AABD program provides financial aid and medical assistance to low-income individuals who are age 65 and older, or who are age 64 and younger and are blind or disabled. To be eligible for AABD benefits, an individual or married couple must have monthly income and resources less than the program’s need and payment standards.

The State Disability Program provides medical assistance coverage and monthly maintenance payments to persons who meet the Social Security program requirements for short-term disability or blindness. SDP provides assistance to individuals with disabilities lasting between six and 12 months, and if the disability lasts more than 12 months, the individual may be eligible for AABD.

During a recent audit of the programs, the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts found that DHHS continued to make cash payments to some individuals even after learning that they were not medically disabled. In a review of 25 clients, the Nebraska APA determined that seven clients received assistance in violation of state laws and regulations. These cases accounted for $11,762 in overpayments in 2012 and $2,154 in overpayments in 2013.

In addition, of 30 SDP clients tested, APA found that 13 received medical and cash assistance payments that did not comply with state laws and regulations. APA’s review concluded that DHHS made $484,036 in medical assistance payment errors and $6,956 in cash assistance payment errors in 2012, along with $7,034 in overpayments in 2011 and $2,596 overpayments in 2013.

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