January 25, 2017
It is important to be aware of Social Security laws and regulations as to prevent accidentally committing Social Security fraud, waste, or abuse, as these offenses could lead to serious consequences.
There are many ways that one can commit social security fraud, waste, or abuse; some are not as obvious as others. The social security disability law attorneys at Disability Associates have compiled a list of illegalities to help clients make informed decisions regarding the use of their benefits.
- Buying or Selling Illegal or Legitimate Social Security Cards (SSCs): This is a crime in all circumstances, and can lead to a hefty fine or even time in prison.
- Worker’s Compensation Fraud: Typically, those receiving worker’s compensation receive smaller Social Security payments. You are required by law to report any worker’s compensation payments to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Failure to report such compensation can result in penalties.
- Misuse of Benefits by a Second Party: If a second party representative handles your Social Security payments, they too are required to follow all Social Security regulations and laws. If you feel that your representative payee is misusing or abusing your benefits, report your claims here..
- Making False Statements on Claims: By signing your Social Security documents, you are swearing that all information provided is true and correct, to the best of your knowledge. Lying or misrepresenting facts on Social Security documents, whether intentionally or accidentally, can result in criminal charges being filed against you. This also includes hiding facts or events that would impact your Social Security status or benefits.
- Bribery of a Social Security Agent: Offering money or gifts, no matter how inconsequential, to a government employee in exchange for favors is illegal and can severely impact your benefits, if not result in penalties.
The Potential Hazards of Electronic Deposits
Electronic deposits make Social Security benefits easily accessible, but can also provide an opportunity for fraud and scams. Those who rely on Social Security benefits are some of the most vulnerable to identity thieves and scammers. Go through proper channels when dealing with Social Security questions or concerns–all correspondence should go through the official SSA website, telephone number, and email addresses. The SSA regularly receives reports of Social Security beneficiaries being contacted by individuals claiming to represent the SSA. If you are not contacted through the official channels, then you are likely being targeted for fraud.
Regularly check your bank statements to ensure you are receiving the full sum of your Social Security payments into the bank account of your choosing. If any of your personal information changes while on Social Security, such as your name, address, or telephone number, be sure to notify the SSA. Suspicious activity should also be reported to the SSA.
If you have been charged with social security fraud or related crime, or you feel you have been the victim of Social Security fraud, it is important to contact an attorney who is familiar with social security law. To get the experienced help you need, contact Disability Associates at (410) 686-2227, or go to our website today.