It doesn’t happen very often, but every now and again a claimant will ask me if the Social Security Administration conducts surveillance to use against the claimant in processing continuing disability review (“CDR”) claims. Up until this weekend I would have said, “No. Although possible, I have never heard of Social Security conducting an investigation and using surveillance video against claimants.” However, that is all about to change.Effective November 23, 2012, the Social Security Administration issued Transmittal No. 09, 11/2012, “Procedures for Special Cases and Handling” in Subchapter 25 of Chapter 330 (Disability Hearing Unit Procedures) in the PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM (POMS).The long and short is that Social Security may start using video surveillance against claimants in CDR hearings. The Office of Disability Programs states it added this section to provide guidance on processing continuing disability review (CDR) Disability Hearing Unit (DHU) cases with a Cooperative Disability Investigations Unit (CDIU) report of investigation (ROI) in file. Its guidance focuses on the identification, treatment, and resolution of issues with using a CDIU ROI in the CDR decision. These reports contain sensitive law enforcement material and may be used in the claims adjudication process. POMS DI 33025 TN 09 provides an explanation of consideration of the CDIU ROI in the Disability Hearing Officer (DHO) decision.

A Cooperative Disability Investigations Unit Report of Investigation (CDIU ROI) may include video surveillance in addition to copies of school and/or employment records. Most of an ROI will be a report of third party interviews by highly skilled interviewers. The hearing officer will consider the reports, weighed with the totality of the evidence, to evaluate and determine whether, and the extent to which other evidence supports the reports. The ROI helps the adjudicator evaluate the credibility of a claimant’s statements: “Surveillance information in both video and narrative form can provide snapshots of a claimant’s observed functional ability. We consider this information with all the other evidence to reach conclusions about the claimant’s medical impairment(s) and, material to the determination of whether the claimant is disabled, if the claimant is able to work on a sustained basis.”

The newly-issued POMS even provides a sample sentence of how an investigative report may be used to deny a claim: “The record in this case contains a report of investigation by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General. According to the report, investigators observed you performing activities inconsistent with your alleged disability.”


Hello. You all are not the only one going thru this I don’t know what state you are in but some of your stories mirror mind. I have congested heart failure and cardio myopathy. For 3 years I have been hunted like a dog pertaining two my disability my licenses was stolen twice to extend the investigation and like you I had items stolen from my car and home. In addition I had poisonous fumes place inside my apt that ultimately killed one of my dogs and was on the verge of killing me. When I moved into my grandmothers home video cameras where place outside her home and the local cable company allowed them to hook devices up to the home to see inside the house. The erratic driving was also an issue as I was chased and almost wreck multiple times by these investigators my story is long and detailed and after three years of requesting and trying to resolve this issue I finally have an upcoming hearing that I asked for. My advice to anyone out there is to not request a hearing, I believe this is what they use to justify torching citizens regarding disability. I was” deemed still medically disabled” but was force to go back to work during the three year period I loss my job because of all this and damn near did not finish school for my master degree dealing with the trauma of it all. To the attorney handling this page, I also ask the question how is this legal? Every time I sought out attorney my privilege of attorney clients privilege was evaded, so I never got an attorney to represent me in this upcoming hearing. For 3 years I consistently called ssa trying to resolve this issue and was flat out lied to being told ssa did not have the funds to pursue an investigation this long in fact I was told it is only between 90 to 120 days of investigation, so how did mine end up being a three year investigation that involved the fbi and the dea? Because false accusations where hurled against me and because the disability case was never closed it allowed the investigation to keep going. After 3 years no evidence has been presented that I have committed any crime so the other agencies have gone away and all I have now harassing me on a daily basis are these rogue investigators from ssa. I tried getting my story out to the news media repeatedly with no success. What is happening in our country is a nightmare and should be against the law. I will pray for you all who have posted that some day we have peace of mind and don’t lose our lives because our chronic conditions have been worse by these people when an registered nurse heard my story she said ssa was either waiting for me to die or trying to kill me. I was stunned but the realization that she was telling the truth hit me like a ton of bricks and severe depression has sat in because I know these people will get away with torturing me and my family. We have severely disabled people in my family in addition to me and they did not care about hurting them at all. God bless you both for telling your story.

by Lr April 5, 2019 at 07:31 AM

I am a disabled vet and it took 19 years to win my claim from sevice 40 years ago while in korea in 1978. now they want to discredit me in anyway possible so they can take me to court. they have broke into my home and stole many things and done damage as well and one day they killed a pet rabbit and threw her body back into the cage and in doing this 7 baby rabbits starved to death. these people are called motivation teams and they do not abide by any state or federal laws, they think they can do what ever they want with no legal action being filed , the local law inforcement will not even help and they will stop me from following them so they can get away. I have been harassed and my wife as well for a few years now and with her mental condition and my depression and messed up body we are getting made worse by their actions and life is not worth living if this is how a person is treated after serving his country, these people are destroying this country from within, something needs to be done. I ended up with some of their data and you would not like all the setups these people have done to get a case against someone and all of their actions in doing so are illegal and unconstitutional and they are hiding it from the courts, or so they think.

by mark March 20, 2019 at 12:08 PM

They put me under surveillance. I felt raped and like my rights were violated. I have PTSD and panic disorder and was awarded benefits in 2013. Upon review one of their Drs examined me. He LIED about everything, even indicating he palpitated my stomach and about a long scar I done have …5 minutes with someone and he says I am not disabled. Then I get a package from SSD that says they tailed me buying my pills and some groceries. I am disabled, not dead. To top it off I have several physical health issues to go with my psyche ones. I have been denied 3 times. My check is only about 780 a month. I am taking it to all the courts, but if in the end I am still denied you will read about me in the paper as dead because I will lose what little I have and I cannot work from spinal stenosis. I love how the creep who followed me knew my thoughts and racing heartbeat and back pain when he tailed me. This method should be illegal!!!!!

by JustMe2018 August 25, 2018 at 09:54 AM

Thought I’d chime in on this. Found you in an online search for the name of the SSA OIG division. My ex-wife is disabled, she has serious psychological problems. It’s what caused our divorce. She is not capable of caring for herself because of the paranoia associated with her illness so I built a small apartment like area in the walkout basement for her. When she has issues I help her get through them. Plus she can maintain a relationship with our daughter. Turns out there is a Police Force employed by the Social Security Administration that investigates these cases. She rarely leaves the house and I had been working with her to be able to go to the store but her paranoia, I thought, had gotten so bad she thought she was being followed all the time. I didn’t believe her until she refused to leave Wal-Mart parking lot one day she just sat on the bench out front. I had to go pick her up but instead when she described the vehicle and man inside that was following her and I saw him in the parking lot as I pulled in. The weirdest part was he caught my eye when I pulled in before she gave me his description. I had no reason to think anything but when I saw him he struck me as someone up to something and bigger than shit she described that person. I told her to go get in her car and drive home I would follow her home. As she left I’ll be damned he followed her but he should have paid attention to me because I was not at all happy about this turn of events and I had no idea he was law enforcement. I cut him off with my truck blocking his access to follow her any farther and was planning on doing a lot more but he backed up and took off through another parking lot. True law enforcement would have identified themselves, at least that’s what I thought. He made no such attempt instead he ran away like a criminal would. After that she would not go anywhere by herself. About a month later we get a knock on the door and low and behold 2 “officers” no uniforms were at the door wanting to “interview” her but it was more of an interrogation with me having to stop the one from being so ignorant demanding that she admit she’s not disabled and is faking her problems. At that point I kicked them out of the house. I called her attorney to tell them what had happened and they explained that is always a possibility but my concern was in the questioning they said they had been by the house 4 other times and no one answered the door so she must not have been home meaning her statement that she rarely leaves the house was false. Truth was her paranoia keeps her from answering the door when I’m at work. I just happened to be running late for work that day when they knocked. I think they were trying to catch her alone so they could manipulate her into saying what they wanted. They didn’t realize I hadn’t left yet. They admitted to having our house under surveillance for weeks and following us all the time. What a great thing to do to someone who suffers paranoid delusions but maybe they weren’t they actually were causing one of the problems she was having. She won her case but at great distress. The judge actually ruled against the investigators findings after I made my statement about their behavior. Their report was not as bad as I thought it was going to he but it was still negative. He was the one who ordered the investigation but was not prepared for how it was performed apparently. Since her attorney took the matter before him the day I called. This way he had heard about this prior to their report being turned in with the statements about them making an assumption of her not being home.

by Brad S. May 25, 2018 at 05:21 PM

I have been on disability since 2008 for three incurable illnesses.I received TWO long form review questions within 40 days and feel I’m being surveyed.Is it normal to receive TWO long review forms back to back?

by craig February 22, 2018 at 01:31 PM

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