Social Security Disability Fraud Cases Won’t Stop Your Claim

Social security Disability fraud

Those thinking about applying for Social Security disability may have noted the widespread media attention on fraud. In fact, more than 100 former New York City police officers and firefighters admit committing SSD fraud. According to The Chicago Tribune, the case pointed to a potentially bigger problem of SSD fraud across the country, but people considering applying for benefits shouldn’t be dismayed.

Congressional blog The Hill noted that SSD benefits fraud is actually rare and not widespread, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) takes special care to thoroughly investigate any reports of fraud and abuse in the system. The SSA has even gone as far as to enact changes in the system to reduce the disparity of rulings among SSA judges. The New York City fraud case is an uncommon occurrence in the system. However, those seeking Social Security disability benefits should remain informed about the case and how the SSA defines Social Security disability fraud.

How the SSA Defines Social Security Disability Fraud, Waste or Abuse

According to the administration, there are numerous types of dishonest acts considered to be fraud, waste or abuse of Social Security disability benefits. Any type of misrepresentation or concealment of facts can be considered to be fraud during an SSA investigation. Some include making false statements on applications, not disclosing all of the facts and reporting information that is known by the person to be untrue. Applicants are asked to provide as much information as they can to the best of their knowledge; however, many who are severely unwell or incapacitated can ask for someone else to represent them. The SSA will appoint a friend, relative or another individual to act as a representative, and any misuse of benefits by this person is considered fraud as well.

It is because of these issues that it’s advisable for applicants to always use an experienced SSD advocate attorney on their side. Not only can this attorney ensure all information is correct and presented but the attorney can help the applicant gain eligibility.

The New York City SSD Abuse Scandal

There was one recent case where 106 former New York cops and firefighters were charged with Social Security disability fraud. The New York Times reported the accused persons feigned anxiety and made it seem as if they were mentally scared to receive Social Security disability benefits. However, the officers were caught when investigators found social media posts that showed a different picture. According to The New York Times, online photos, phone calls, and testimony from undercover officers found an elaborate scheme, organized by four of the charged individuals, to commit Social Security disability fraud.

“It’s a particularly cynical part of the charged scheme that approximately half the defendants falsely claimed that their psychiatric disabilities were caused by the 9/11 attacks,” Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said at a news conference, according to the newspaper.

This is why having an attorney on your side is important. Providing accurate information—even if it’s just to the best of your knowledge—is essential to receiving Social Security disability benefits, and attorneys can help you ensure this information is correct.

While these cases are rare, it’s important that applicants understand what could be considered fraud and the importance of working with an attorney.

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