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Disability readily approved by Railroad Retirement Board

A investigation by Walt Bogdanich and Nicholas Phillips of The New York Times found that the federal Railroad Retirement Board has not held a formal meeting in over two years.  The board oversees the retirement and disability benefits for railroad workers.  "Operating out of public view, with little scrutiny from Congress and even from its former inspector general, the retirement board has become the agency that cannot say no, last year approving virtually every single disability application it received — almost 98 percent. It did not matter where rail employees lived or where they worked."  The Times investigation found the board is riddled with problems, including a flawed process in identifying the validity of disability claims. The program's current inspector general, Martin J. Dickman, has made several proposals to improve the board's operations, but all have been rebuffed.

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