Sixty-six-year-old Paul G. Smith has received an 18-month prison sentence for Social Security Disability fraud. The chiropractor and former boxing judge's “under-the-table” employment definitely did not pay off when the Social Security Administration was made aware of his actions and prosecuted him due to the fraud he had committed.
Paul Smith is a licensed chiropractor who owned a clinic called Rainbow Chiropractic Center in Las Vegas. In 1994, Mr. Smith filed for disability benefits due to a severe back injury and his application was accepted at the initial stage, which is a rare occurrence. In order to qualify for disability benefits at the initial application stage, Mr. Smith needed to have enough medical evidence to prove total disability, thereby demonstrating his inability to work.
Unfortunately, it appears that Mr. Smith withheld information from the SSA during the application process. As future actions would show, Mr. Smith was not actually disabled according to the SSA's standards. It is true that Mr. Smith did not practice chiropractic work from 1994 through 2005 while he was receiving Social Security Disability benefits. He was, however, owning and managing his own chiropractic office and receiving wages that he failed to report to the Social Security Administration. During this period, the SSA paid him a total of $400,000 in monthly benefits on account of falsified earnings records.
To make matters worse, Paul Smith not only operated his own chiropractic clinic, but he also worked as a boxing judge while receiving disability benefits from the SSA. The income he received as a boxing judge totaled more than $130,000.
Eventually, Paul Smith's fraudulent activities caught up with him and the SSA prosecuted his case last August. He was recently sentenced to eighteen months in prison for the crimes he had committed. In addition to the prison sentence, Mr. Smith will also have to pay back more than $435,000 to the SSA for disability benefits payments fraudulently received.
Cases like Smith's are the reason why the Social Security Administration is so thorough when processing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits. While a person may truly be suffering from a physically disabling condition, that fact alone does not mean that he or she cannot perform any type of work activity. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, a person must be completely and totally disabled and unable to perform any form of gainful employment.
It is often hard for an individual to prove that he or she cannot perform any type of work. Because of this, applicants are often faced with a lengthy and complex disability appeal. Cases like Paul G. Smith's, however, prove why such an appeal process is often necessary and why the SSA must take such careful measures to ensure that a person is completely and totally disabled before Social Security Disability benefits are awarded.