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Former Missouri politician wrongly collected disability benefits

When circumstances prevent an individual from working due to an accident, medical problem, mental health issue or other disability, social security benefits provide a safety net. Society accepts that not every person is able-bodied and eligible for work, and in such cases, it is only fair to provide Social Security disability benefits to pay for life’s necessities. Moreover, in many cases a disability that qualifies for SSD benefits is temporary. In such cases, once the worker recovers from the injury or illness and returns to work, the disability payments stop.

However, not everyone is completely honest in this regard. Despite the fact that constituents in Missouri trust their representatives to know the law and uphold high moral standards, one former lawmaker recently pled guilty to improperly receiving disability payments. The 65-year old legislator served as a state representative for seven years beginning in 2003. During that time, he failed to advise the Social Security Administration that he was working at a salary of approximately $30,000 per year, while he continued to collect approximately $59,000 in disability benefits. The lawmaker initially said that the problem was just a misunderstanding, but the indictment determined that such conduct was willful and deliberate wrongdoing.

In a situation where a person wishes to collect social security benefits, it may be a good idea to consult with a specialized attorney in the field. Legal counsel can explain the medical requirements, the federal regulations, and help complete the necessary forms. In this way, a person who cannot work can obtain all necessary and appropriate benefits in accordance with the law.

Source: The Kansas City Star, “Former Missouri lawmaker Raymond E. Salva pleads guilty to Social Security fraud,” Mark Morris, June 26, 2013

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