Man mistaken for prison inmate temporarily loses SSDI benefits

Becoming qualified and enrolled in the Social Security disability program can often be a lengthy process. Prospective applicants in St. Louis are often required to submit a virtual mountain of paperwork substantiating their need for Social Security disability benefits for injury, illness, or a mental condition. For most who have to go through this process, their qualification for benefits brings a welcome relief. Yet it should be remembered that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are usually not meant to be permanent, and thus one’s eligibility status is often brought up for review. Yet even those who continually meet benefit qualifications still aren’t immune to unexpected changes in their benefit status.

Take the recent case of a Florida man: his benefits were terminated due to his recent incarceration in a Boston prison. He was delivered this sad news at his home…..in Fort Lauderdale. After a lengthy process to clear up the confusion of his mistaken identity, during which time he was nearly forced to drain his savings to compensate for his missed benefit checks, the error was corrected and his benefits were restored.

While certainly odd, such a case is not all that uncommon according to public safety officials. They’re constantly working with countless agencies, including the Social Security Administration (SSA), to clear up cases of mistaken identity involving inmates using fake names or fraudulent Social Security numbers.

For those that rely on SSDI/SSI benefits as their primary source of income, losing those benefits due to mistaken identity or other clerical errors can prove costly. The prospect of having to fight to resolve the issue while not receiving any benefits can quickly become overwhelming. Those in such a position may want to consider working with a Social Security attorney to help in getting their benefits reinstated.

Source: Sun-Sentinel “Social Security wrongly labels disabled man as inmate” Donna Gehrke-White, Jan. 18, 2014

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