Last year, the NY Times revealed that almost all Long Island Rail Road employees who applied for disability got it—for instance, in 2004, 97% of employees who retired after the age of 50, applied for and received disability and some of those "disabled" retired employees are out on golf courses, hitting the links. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo called it a "cottage industry" of fraud and the Railroad Retirement Board, which oversees claim approval, said it would use greater oversight. But it turns out that a staggeringly high number of LIRR employees are still getting approved for disability.

According to the NY Times, "In the six months since the changes were adopted, the agency approved 64 of the 66 occupational disability claims filed by retired L.I.R.R. workers, according audit by the Government Accountability Office that is to be released on Friday... The approval rate was roughly 97 percent, about the same level as before the new measures were enacted." GAO's director of disability issues Daniel Bertoni said, "Business as usual...The bar is somewhat lower than for other disability programs like the Social Security Administration."

The Times says that since 2000, over $250 million of federal money has been given to LIRR workers on disability.