Examples of Social Security Fraud
Social Security fraud happens in different ways. Some of these are false statements, falsified documents, concealing information, and more.
False statements are any lie on a disability application. This could be checking married instead of the relationship status of being single on the application. The Social Security Administration gives more money if married.
Falsified documents are submitting a fake or altered document to receive Social Security benefits. These are usually a fraudulent Social Security card.
When a person applying for Social Security conceals information like not reporting a medical condition improved, this is fraud. Anything that may affect eligibility for benefits must be reported to the Social Security Administration. If the person receiving benefits dies, someone must report it right away. If instead someone close to the deceased still cashes the checks, this is illegal and fraudulent.
Misuse of Benefits
The Social Security Administration appoints a payee to ensure they use funds just for those with disabilities. If the payee instead used the money to benefit him or herself, this is also fraud.
Whistleblowers & Social Security Fraud
Fraudulent claims are on the rise. Detecting a fraudulent claim can be very difficult. Most people equate disability with physical incapacity such as the inability to walk or talk. However, there are a number of qualified disabilities that are entitled to disability benefits but do not result in physical handicaps. This is called ‘invisible’ disabilities.
Invisible disabilities include chronic fatigue or chronic pain. People who were in car accidents or have recurring migraines could suffer for the rest of their lives. Another example is mental ailments. Depression, panic attacks, and other psychological issues are invisible disabilities. Sufferers could look perfectly normal, but their medical conditions make them valid claimants to the benefits.
Even with all of this, it is important to still come forward and report fraud.
About the Whistleblower Statute
In 1863 to combat fraud in Union contracts during the Civil War, Congress passed the Whistleblower or Qui Tam statute. It was not until 1986 before Congress modernized the Whistleblower statute and renamed it to the False Claims Act. It became the government’s primary tool to combat fraud. Individuals who report government-program fraud bring the lawsuit on behalf of the government.
The Law Protects and Rewards a Whistleblower
When a knowledgeable attorney like those found at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm files a False Claims Act lawsuit, he or she files it under a seal. This means it is completely confidential. There is also a full disclosure statement in the suit, which details the evidence collected by a whistleblower.
After we file your suite, the Department of Justice will review the evidence before deciding to step in and decide if they want to prosecute the case. The government’s fraud investigator will work closely with you, the whistleblower to identify all responsible for the fraud.
The government could give you 15-30% of the recovered funds. In order to receive the reward, you must be the first one to file a case under the False Claims Act. This is why it is key to pick an experienced attorney to work quickly get your compensation.
Social Security Fraud Settlements
In August 2017, David Daughtery, the Social Security judge who rubber-stamped more than 1,700 bogus disability applications as part of the largest disability fraud ring in American history was sentenced to four years in federal prison. Authorities say the scam totaled $550 million in bogus lifetime payouts. Jennifer Griffith along with Sarah Carver blew the whistle while working at the Huntington, W.Va., Social Security office.
In July 2017, a federal grand jury indicted a Kentucky pastor and his wife. They defrauded the Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare programs. The pastor and his wife defrauded the government programs of more than $100,000 over six years. He was still receiving his salary at the Assembly of God church while receiving benefits from a heart surgery. A whistleblower at the congregation reported his fraud to the Social Security Administration. Social Security fraud doesn’t have to be huge multi-level operation. It could be occurring in your own backyard.
Premier Complex Litigation Attorneys
The Michael Brady Lynch Firm has successfully represented thousands of consumers and recovered millions of dollars for their clients. Our team of attorneys has been recognized as some of the most experienced and successful in the country. Our award-winning staff is also sought after for our knowledge on complex litigation, scientific evidence development, negotiation strategies and trial tactics.
Most of all, our law office is resourceful and dedicated to pursuing any compensation you are due. Because of this, we have received a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, such as inclusion on numerous Plaintiff Steering Committees. We will take whatever legal measures are necessary when fighting for your rights to damages.
Therefore, if you believe you have uncovered evidence of fraud involving a government-funded program, contact us today. Our attorneys have represented many clients in the past with complex cases. We will work tirelessly to obtain results on your behalf.