Jan. 13—A Fresno elected official sounded the alarm on Thursday, saying an unknown number of people with legitimate disability claims filed with the state could be facing roadblocks from the
The EDD is working to stop a scheme involving suspected organized crime that filed false disability insurance claims and attempted to pass themselves off as doctors or other health providers to fraudulently collect on the claims, according to officials.
The EDD investigation has meant suspending accounts for 345,000 claims associated with suspicious activity, the agency said Thursday. The suspended account activity is connected to about 27,000 "suspicious medical provider registrants" associated with those claims.
The agency reported that while the majority of the activity was probably an effort at fraud, EDD was joining state regulators and medical provider organizations in the verification process so that any legitimate claims can be cleared.
"EDD should be able to know and understand that these are legitimate claims," he said. "They processed them before. They have records of these individuals. This is not anything new."
Patterson said his office has also tried to intervene for constituents but EDD will not accept help.
"EDD told me their hands are tied and there's no telling when I'm going to get my money," she said.
Graham said she has been able to return to work but she is owed more than
Patterson said Graham's case is not unusual.
"The reason that we want to bring this to the public's attention is that it's growing and it's expanding, and the solution is more wait, more heartache by people who are down to their last dollar," he said.
The scammers also try to impersonate government agencies in an effort to fool people into clicking fake links, EDD found.
The agency noted purported medical providers have to complete an identity verification using the
"These personalized requests for medical provider verification through
Eligible workers no longer able to work and who have lost pay due to illness, injury or pregnancy can apply for disability insurance benefits.
EDD last month reported evidence of fraud that included a recent increase in new online medical or health provider account EDD registrations and an increase in disability insurance claims.
EDD has been tackling other fraud involving the unemployment program that it manages.
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