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Social Security Disability Benefits Fraud

Social Security Disability is a great benefit to those who truly need assistance due to a severe medical condition that prevents them from working for at least a year. However, sometimes people violate the law and fabricate a medical condition. Detecting a fraud in the Social Security system is a challenging process, but it is one that is necessary in order to maintain the integrity of the program. Determining whether someone is trying to take advantage of the system can be a difficult task, so before reporting an alleged fraud, consider the long journey ahead and all that goes into pinpointing fraudulent activity.

If you suspect someone is violating the law and is, in fact, fraudulently collecting disability benefits:

  • You need to know the reason why the person has been approved for benefits. If you are unable to determine this, research will need to be conducted to determine the truth before accusations are made.
  • You need to be aware that even though you see this person, you may not fully understand how the person’s impairment causes difficulties in daily living.
  • Some people receiving Social Security Disability suffer from mental or psychological disorders; these are not often easy to pinpoint as an outsider, and it may be difficult to judge how these conditions could interrupt the daily activities.

Typically you would have to know someone quite well in order to determine whether or not he or she is taking advantage of the system. Making strong accusations about someone receiving disability benefits is touchy ground, and something that you would not want to do lightly. When in doubt, do not be afraid to ask questions and look into the actions of the person. This can greatly help you determine where the truth lies. If you do still truly suspect someone of committing a fraudulent act, you should consider reporting that individual.

  • You should begin by contacting the toll-free Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline at (800) 269-0271.
  • Remember to provide as much information as you can. This includes the name, address, birth date, phone numbers, and Social Security number (if you know it) of the person suspected of committing fraud. The more information you provide, the sooner the investigation can begin. You should explain in detail to the SSA exactly in what type of fraudulent activity that you suspect this person to be involved.
  • Do not report anything that you do not know for sure. There are penalties for reporting false information, so stick with the facts.
  • Be certain that you understand the situation surrounding the person’s disability. Work may complicate the person’s condition more than you know. Some people are unable to work because they have to be medicated frequently throughout the day. There are also many individuals on disability who have to make trips to the hospital on a weekly or even daily basis. Other individuals may suffer from a psychological or mental condition that makes them appear quite normal, but they may, in reality, be struggling deeply on the inside. You must be fully aware of their circumstances to be able to judge if they are fraudulently collecting benefits.
  • If you feel uncomfortable telephoning regarding your concerns, you can complete an online fraud reporting form, or mail in your findings to the Fraud Hotline at:

Social Security Fraud Hotline
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, Maryland 21235

When working properly, the Social Security Disability program is a wonderful asset. To those individuals suffering and unable to work, or even waiting out the last stage of their lives, it is often a much-needed benefit. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of a good thing and use it improperly, as is the case with fraudulent behavior. While reporting this kind of activity is important, it is also a serious leap to take. Before you report your suspicions, you should realize that the most important thing is to know all the facts, and to move forward only if you are certain you have a definite case of fraudulent conduct.

Comments

What if I know someone who is working a full time job just started and is also on disability but gets paid under the table but how do I keep my report anonymous

Hi Leann,
You cannot keep your report anonymous. You need to give your own SS # to report someone for disability fraud.

thats why no one will report some one that is working under the table for we dont want that person to know for i know some one that is doing just that i want to report her but dont want her to know who reported her i dont mine yal knowing but dont want her to know

Hi Betty,
The person will NOT be notified of who reported them, but if the SSA investigates the fraud and sees that it's a false accusation, they need to know who filed the bogus claim.

I agree with above. There's so much fraud out there and never investigated. Married people living together but one uses a post office box, works under table uses his sons ss#. While his wife collects and uses house address. Pretty sad no one checks all this out. Neither one of them have ever worked a day but can collect SSI taxes us workers pay and will never collect because they give it to everyone who can't read, depression, rotator cuff surgery. I have all the above and work daily and in nursing school. Wake up government. Do investigations.

how can they -they don't answer the phone -on hold for an hour who is stupid enough to give them your ss number --that's why it goes unnoticed/////

Hi there,
I'm sorry you had a bad experience with the SSA! It's a large organization, so they may have employees that do not handle every call properly. However, you can always send them this information online or through the mail, which may be a better way to reach them in some cases.

I agree, if investigations were actually done correctly, there would not be people out there collecting money under a different name and married to a husband who work full time making good money. The reason the country/ Gov. is a joke is because the is so jacked up and no one cares to investigate. What a JOKE. DO YOUR JOB CORRECTLY MYRA.........

Hi there,
I'm sorry Myra isn't pulling her weight! We're not affiliated with the SSA, so it may be a better idea to contact them about her. However, it is possible to collect disability through your work record and have a husband working full time, making good money, as SSDI does not have income limits.

That's not true ssa is not doing anything, i reported someone everywhere i could even i gave my name ,proofs, pictures, addresses ,see him working every single day and guess what stiil working and laughing that he is able to beat the system ,so i gave up reporting

Hi there,
It's possible that the SSA determined that the person you reported was complying with any restrictions that he had due to his disability. It's possible to work while on either SSI or SSDI.

I aggre with you ,due to his injury six years ago he can go to work make not more than$1200a month legal way and still collect ssd ,but working off the book and making thousand of dollars and not reporting to ssa and irs playing "Disable "i don't think so

Hi there,
you can send this information to the SSA here:
Social Security Fraud Hotline
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, Maryland 21235

I did send there first , 3years ego,and few other places I keep saying in the court no one cares, believe me it's a joke ,I don't believe in fair justice, sorry until he won't get caught no one can convince me that ssa is doing something it's just a website "report fraud if you see something " he's collecting $ 1300 from ssd and making $30000 on the side "poor disable "

Hi there,
I'm sorry to hear that. However, it may be that the SSA has determined that he is not committing fraud. It is possible to work and receive disability benefits, and the SSA would be the people to asses if someone is breaking the rules that they put in place.

absolutely correct. Good people that need it cant get it, yet other lie cheat, steal, are getting it and never put a dime in.

I just turned someone in who was getting ssi and was married no children they never worked in their life .collected it for 9 years when their spouse made over 3,000 a month by their self .now the DA is getting involved .I did it anonymous but it did ask for my email , I really don't want this person finding out I did it .but if they do it is what it is .I'm tired of people getting what me and lots of other people work for our whole lives .and when I needed it I was turned down and told I could do a sit down job .guess what so can this person and if you mentally disabled (bipolar) not anything major .and your meds work .so can you. I see physically disabled and mentally disabled people working everyday .not popping pill and laying in bed as this person does 90 hydrocodone gone in a week and their spouse doesn't report it to their doctor , also this person is getting food stamps by lying .they been turned in but I guess food stamps don't care about fraud , and this person uses a ambulance as a taxi service when they own two cars ,their excuse is I don't want to sit in the er waiting room ..

Hi Tony,
The SSA may not make your information publicly available, and the person may not have any way to find out that you had reported them. So, no need to fear making a report!

Someone gets disability and buys drugs with it! Her husband works at a paper mill and makes good money! His name. They also get food stamps and they say they don't live together when they do as husband and wife! They buy under aged kids alcohol and drugs! They slept naked in bed with their son naked as well until he was 10 years old! He doesn't work either because he doesn't want to stop using drugs and drinking and he's trying to get on disability! That's not right especially for people who really need it and have worked! I can't work at all yet I don't qualify!If you would watch their house you will see all the proof you need! She even stole checks from 2 elderly women to by drugs with her pregnant niece and helped kill that baby! He lived 2 hours! Investigate that! Her husband has messed will her young nephew sexually and she laughed it off and said he was just playing! Child molesters and drug addicts can get disability, but people with heart problems and so many other health issues can not get it! Wow great job!They lie their way out of everything while innocent people get hurt! I've been on hold for an hour while typing this! Watch their house and you tell me if her husband don't live there and have a good job! He even steals toilet paper and paper towels for her to trade or sell for drugs!

Hi Ann,
If you suspect them of theft and sexual abuse, I would immediately contact the local police department as they may be a threat to the community. To report SSA fraud, I would go here:
http://oig.ssa.gov/report

My husband has a sister who is 50 years old hasn't held a job for more than 2 months in over 15 years, she can't get a job because she's so strung out she can't pass a drug test, she is now receiving full disability because she told them she has mental trama and panic attacks!! Well she does but that's what being on drugs 24/7 will do to ya plus she was withdrawing and shaken and thrown up, told them that's why she can't hold a job. So of course she passed drug test the one time, but I thought the law made it mandatory for ex drug attics to take a suprise drug test ever so often. She has moved 4 times because she can't pay her bills, now is living in her mom's storage shed for the 10th time in 2 years!! I lost my entire family all from cancer within 9 months and because my husband has good job they won't just give me mental disability. She's from name lives in shed of no bills just spends it all on dope alcohol and pills. I was told get eid of our assets and get attorney, file then it would be a year wait and may or may not receive help. TEST PEOPLE THAT RECEIVE THIS BENEFIT FOR DRUGS LIKE BLOOD TEST LAST TIME SHE USED HER GRANDDAUGHTERS URINE. SHE ATLEAST HAS A FEW MEDICAL ISSUES NOT ENOUGH TO GET THE DISABILITY CHECK THAT I MYSELF PAID INTO FOR OVER 30 YEARS WORKING 2 JOBS 3 OR 4 YEARS OF THAT. COME ON GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS OPEN UR EYES.

I so agree with you. I believe my ex is doing just that as I've got photos and info from others but he's bipolar and I'm fearful of what he would do to me. Yet it angers me he's able to lay low under the radar It's ridiculous.

Hi Deb,
You can send that information entirely anonymously, you can send that info as a letter to the SSA here:

Social Security Fraud Hotline
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, Maryland 21235

If you don't include a return address or any personal information in the letter, there would be no information that would say you submitted the letter.

I too, know someone who is working making about $ 300 just for the weekends, thats more than her SS check each month.. Im not giving info on this person if I need to give any on myself..

Hi Sue,
You don't have to! You can send the SSA this information totally anonymously, just send a letter without a return address to:
Social Security Fraud Hotline
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, Maryland 21235

Hi Robin,
You can report completely anonymously, all you need to do is mail a letter without a return address or personal information to the SSA here:
Social Security Fraud Hotline
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, Maryland 21235

This is bs there r alot of people taking advantage of the system and u can't get leads to people without Givin up ur name

Hi Stone,
You can absolutely report to the SSA anonymously, don't worry!

Hi Stone,
You can absolutely report to the SSA anonymously, don't worry!

Hi Greg,
It's understandable that seeing someone who is 'disabled' play golf may be upsetting, but it may be that the person who is receiving disability benefits is getting them for a problem that may not be physical in nature.

Hi Shannon,
It is possible to ride a motorcycle and still get disability, may disabilities are not apparent to the naked eye and as such it may be hard to tell if this person is committing fraud.

I know a guy who goes deep sea diving ,he claims to have PTSD, and other mental problems , if his meds work good enough for him to dive around sharks then they should work good enough for working .

Hi Mary,
Not every disability is the same, it's very possible that this person derives therapeutic value out out diving and it helps his PTSD and his other mental disorders. Additionally, it's very hard to tell if someone with any type of mental condition is able to work unless you are qualified to conduct psychological tests.

Okay. what does PTSD and deep sea diving have to do with each other? His PTSD might be military related, bombs going off in his head, people getting shot. heck I have PTSD from the 3 wars I was in and I am disabled but I still make 6 figures at work. Stop complaining about everyone elses issues.

I know someone is getting disability for a back problem but yet Moses yard by hand which is almost an acre and rides a Harley Davidson but he has neck whiplash disabilities and Loback disabilities, so he says he never works

Hi R,
This may not be fraud, as someone's condition can still let them be able to do maintenance work on their house, but not allow them to work full time.

I am applying for disability, at age 27, due to a neurological condition causing seizures. My doctor forced me to fax a document to my employer stating that I was not allowed to work, until neurology cleared me. My neurologist does not feel comfortable releasing me back to work until at least 2 years seizure free. Those with neurological conditions do not always appear to be disabled, and alot of siezures are caused by stress. Perhaps this is his way of relieving this stress, in an environment where a seizure will not cause him to fall down an elevator shaft, or off the side of a building. I have been getting alot of people complaining of my recent lifestyle changes, and hearing allllll about how I "look" just fine. After becoming unemployed, I was forced to move back in with my Dad. He got mad about the grass getting too high, so I cut it. The neighbors think i'm perfectly fine ifI can cut the grass, little do they know when I finally got inside the house I suffered a seizure the moment I laid down for a nap. So next time you see a disabled person going golfing, or fishing, keep in mind that they could be great ways to reduce stress/depression. Disabled persons do not have to sit in their home all day wallowing in pity.

Hi Bob!
That's right! If you've got a disabling condition, that doesn't mean your life should stop! Thanks for sharing!

I know someone who is applying for Disability and is working right now making 550.00 a day just got a check for 3970.00 the check went directly into his checking account.

Hi Jamie,
Working while applying for disability does not mean that the person is committing fraud.

If someone makes over $500 a day than apparently their "disability" doesn't affect their employment opportunities, and so they shouldn't be ripping off the taxpayers with such bogus SSI claims. I'm healthy, not disabled, and I'm making way below $500 a day. This is ridiculous.

However Bryan, if you are receiving SSDI you have maximums on what you can earn and of course if you are earning that money under the table you are also cheating on you income tax!! First of all generally speaking, you can't start doing "substantial gainful activity" (SGA) and continue to receive disability benefits. I am pretty sure you know this but in a nutshell, SGA means you are working and making more than $1,130 per month in 2016 (or $1,820 if you're blind). There are exceptions to this rule, however. For SSDI recipients, there is a trial work period during which you can make more than the SGA amount without losing your benefits. Therefore the $3,000++ check or Direct Deposit exceeds that person's allowable amount if they are not in their trial period. If your SSDI payments have stopped because your income is substantial, the SSA gives you five years during which your benefits can be reinstated if you stop work because of your disability. During the five-year period, the SSA will not require you to file a new disability application to get benefits. This is called expedited reinstatement.

You can begin to work and continue to receive SSI benefits as long as your wages and other resources do not exceed the SSA’s income limit for SSI; however, your monthly benefit amount will be reduced in proportion to your income. If your only income is from your job, the SSA does not include the first $85 you earn toward your countable income for your SSI benefit. After the $85 adjustment, the SSA will deduct 50 cents for every dollar you earn from your monthly benefits. Again, if your SSI payments stop because you earn too much money, but you are subsequently forced to quit work because of your disability, the SSA will reinstate your benefits without the need for a new application for a period of five years.

The difference between SSDI and SSI is that you have worked and paid into the SS for a minimum of 5 years, whereas SSI is straight up the Federal welfare program. Each state has the ability to augment this payment and you would have to check with the state to see what those benefits are.

There are people who have paid into the system but haven't worked within the last 5 years before filing for SSDI and therefore are not qualified, however they may qualify for SSI. I only state this because IF you THINK you have a qualifying even file ASAP because the clock starts ticking. I once had to deny a woman for this very reason :(

No matter which benefit you are receiving IF you have a month with earnings in excess of $3000 you will lose benefits for that month or you will be billed to pay benefits back so keep SSA apprised of your earnings while on any benefit program they oversee.

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