Social Security Hackensack NJ Lawyers Discuss Fraud When Applying for Disability

November 26,2013
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If you plan on filing for Social Security disability benefits, you may want to schedule a consultation with an attorney that specializes in Social Security Hackensack NJ. While filing for Social Security Hackensack NJ, there are certain things you will want to make sure you avoid doing. One of those things is committing fraud when you file. Committing fraud is a very serious offense. If you are found knowingly committing fraud when applying for Social Security benefits, then you will likely be facing criminal charges. The following information regarding Social Security Hackensack NJ discusses how to avoid committing fraud when you file for disability benefits.

What Is a Material Fact?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) needs something to rely on to back-up your disability claim. This is what a material fact is for. If you intentionally lie about a material fact, ask or have anyone have to lie for you about a material fact, or intentionally misrepresent a material fact, then you have committed an act of fraud. The following are examples of the fraud discussed above:

  • If you (the claimant) filed for SSI benefits (benefits for those with low income and low assets) yet you purposely do not mention a camper that you own that you are renting to a family member. If you had claimed this asset, then you would not have been eligible for SSI benefits.
  • If the claimant states that they have an 8th grade education, when it reality they actually obtained a GED. The claimant purposely lied because they knew that having a much lower education level would increase their chances to receive benefits.
  • A claimant filed a disability claim based on their diagnosis of anxiety and depression. However, the claimant had intentionally made false statements to their medical professionals about how their anxiety and depression impacts their daily life. Due to the statements made by the claimant, the medical professionals have written their report to reflect the claimant’s statements.

Wages to Determine Eligibility

One piece of the puzzle that the SSA uses to determine your eligibility for SSI or SSDI disability benefits is your earnings. Lying about what your income is or asking others to lie about your income for you is considered to be fraudulent behavior. The following are examples of how you could commit fraud when it comes to reporting your income to the SSA:

  • When filing for disability benefits, the claimant reported that the last time they were able to work was May of 2011. However, the claimant lied. The last time that they were able to work was May of 2013, just before filing for disability. The claimant lied on their SSA disability benefits application in order to receive a larger amount of money in back pay.
  • The claimant was self-employed and hurt themselves while on the job. However, the claimant did not qualify for disability benefits because they had not paid any taxes to Social Security over the years. The claimant also did not qualify for benefits due to their income being too high. Instead of reporting their actual income on the application, the claimant instead did not report their earnings in order to qualify for benefits.

Right to a Payment

If the SSA discovers that you have committed fraud by lying, hiding, or failing to report any pertinent information then it could impact your rights to receive disability payments for you or on someone else’s behalf. The following are examples of how fraudulent behavior could have an impact on your disability payments:

  • An adult child was responsible for receiving their mother’s disability benefits. The adult child fails to notify the SSA that their mother has passed away and continuing receiving her benefits.
  • The claimant had been receiving both their spouse’s railroad pension as well as benefits from the SSA. When the spouse passed away, it was never reported so the claimant could continue to receive the dual benefits.
  • The claimant had originally filed for disability benefits as a single woman. Throughout the time that the claimant has been receiving her benefits, she got married. Her spouse is a full-time worker whose income would leave her ineligible to continue receiving the same disability benefits. Knowing that this would happen, the claimant knowingly did not report her marriage to the SSA in order to continue receiving benefits.
  • A parent had been receiving benefits for their minor child. The child moves out of the home, but the parent does not report it to continue receiving benefits.

Representative Payee

A representative payee is someone who is designated to receive payments on someone else’s behalf. A representative payee is responsible for taking the money received to help pay for items that the claimant needs. However, instead of spending the money on the claimant, the representative payee spends the money on their personal debt or on things for themselves or their family, then they have committed fraud.

Submitting a Social Security Number

If you knowingly use a fake Social Security number in order to establish a Social Security record, then you are committing fraud. The following are examples of fraud:

  • The claimant knew that they were not eligible based on their criminal history, but submitted a fake SS number in order to be approved.
  • The claimant is not a citizen of the United States so instead uses a fake SS number to establish residency and receive disability benefits.

Consult with a Social Security Hackensack NJ Lawyer

If you are concerned about submitting your information to the Social Security Administration when applying for disability benefits, then you may want an experienced Social Security Hackensack NJ lawyer to review it first. For a skilled and experienced professional, contact Hermann Law Group, PLLC at (914) 286-3030. Hermann Law Group, PLLC knows the attorneys who specialize in Social Security Hackensack NJ and will help you with your disability claim. Call today for your consultation!