25 Oct What is Social Security Disability Fraud?
Getting your application for Social Security disability benefits approved can be a long, difficult, and frustrating process. While the Social Security Administration denies about three-quarters of SSD applications upon initial review, the majority of applicants that seek help from a disability lawyers are eventually approved. Sometimes, those seeking disability benefits are tempted to exaggerate or even falsify information to increase their chances of approval. Others that had to fight to receive disability compensation are hesitant to report information that may put their benefits in jeopardy, such as an improved medical condition or supplementary income. The Social Security Administration has strict rules and consequences for SSD fraud and abuse. Learn more about what constitutes Social Security disability fraud and how you can avoid it.
What Constitutes SSD Fraud Or Abuse?
The Inspector General of the Social Security Administration investigates allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse. The SSA considers the following behaviors to be fraudulent or abusive:
- Making false statements on your claims
- Failing to divulge information that could affect your SSD eligibility
- Misusing someone’s SSD payments as a Representative Payee
- Bribing a Social Security Administration employee
- Buying or selling an illegitimate social security card and other crimes
Most Social Security disability fraud involves misrepresentation of your medical condition or financial situation. It is important to be 100% honest on all answers you give to the SSA. You must also disclose to the SSA when your medical or financial condition changes. It is also fraudulent to perform work for which you are paid “under the table.” All substantial gainful activity, including volunteer work, should be disclosed.
Additionally, you must inform the SSA if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury or illness. If you receive an overpayment of your benefits, you are expected to report the error.
What Are The Consequences Of Social Security Fraud?
If the SSA becomes aware that you made false statements or failed to disclose important information, your benefits will be canceled. You may also be required to reimburse the SSA for disability payments you received fraudulently. Some instances of fraud and abuse are criminal offenses for which you may be prosecuted. In one case, a New York man who exaggerated his vision impairment was sentenced to 57 months in prison and ordered to repay $27,000 in SSD benefits.
Reporting Social Security Disability Fraud & Abuse
Detecting and reporting Social Security disability fraud protects the system for those who truly need it. However, it is important to remember that some medical conditions are “invisible,” meaning they are not always obvious or visible to outsiders. Before reporting suspected fraud or abuse, make sure you understand why the individual is collecting benefits. Fraud can be reported by calling the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline at (800) 269-0271 or filing a report online. If you wish, your identity will remain confidential or anonymous.
SSD Disability Lawyers In Mt. Pleasant, SC
If your application for Social Security Disability was denied or you have been wrongly accused of Social Security Disability fraud, the attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC can help. Contact our office in Mt. Pleasant, SC to request a free consultation.