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Pair pleads guilty to defrauding the SSA of over $100,000

For countless people in St. Louis and millions of others across the country, the benefits received from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) represent their only means of support immediately following a brain, neck, or back injury that inhibits them from working. Yet one must still remember that this program was not designed for long-term participation; recipients are only supposed to receive benefits while not being able to work. Once one is again able to work and support him or herself, he or she should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) immediately to terminate benefits. Failure to do so can land one in hot water with the SSA.

Such was the case with two Massachusetts men who recently pled guilty to defrauding the SSA. Their troubles began when one of them returned to work in 2008 after having been unemployed and receiving SSDI benefits for over 4 years. Unfortunately, not only did he fail to report his new employment to the SSA, but he also resumed working under his domestic partner's identity while continuing to claim that he was unemployed. The pair allegedly received over $100,000 in benefits fraudulently over the next 5 years.

While there are certainly people out there deliberately trying to game the system, many of those receiving SSDI/SSI benefits incorrectly aren't even aware of the error. Whether it is a lack of communication between a beneficiary and his or her local SSA office or a clerical oversight, one may continue to receive benefits incorrectly with absolutely no deception in mind. This could be a very serious problem down the road if the SSA decides to try and recoup that money. To ensure that one is still in good standing with the SSA in terms of his or her benefit eligibility, he or she may wish to consult with a Social Security lawyer. 

Source: The Daily News of Newburyport "Georgetown men admit to fraud" Dec. 18, 2013

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