Every year, criminal investigators from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) and other law enforcement agencies nab people receiving disability benefits who should not have been. The SSA has programs in place that can help you transition back into the work place. Some may fear that if they even try to work they will stop receiving disability benefits, but this is not true. The SSA works with disability beneficiaries to make sure that they are able to return to the work force without any pain and suffering. If you do start working, though, you have a duty to notify the SSA about your income. Continuing to receive disability benefits while working is against the law, and such criminals face lengthy repayment schedules, federal prison time and a felony on their criminal record.
A 64-year-old Minnesota man is facing 10 years of supervised probation, jail time or electronic monitoring and an almost 20-year repayment plan in order to return money to the SSA that he had stolen. The man began receiving disability benefits back in 1995. It came to that SSA’s attention that, between 2005 and 2008, he had been working in construction. Co-workers at construction sites told authorities that the man never exhibited any disabilities at work sites. Two weeks ago a federal court found the man guilty.
The SSA catches many of those who illegally work while continuing to receive disability benefits. All it takes is one tip from a co-worker or acquaintance to alert the authorities as to the wrongdoing. Disability beneficiaries interested in returning to work should go about it the proper way and use SSA programs to transition back to work. Receiving disability benefits that do not belong to you takes money away from disabled workers in need who are still hoping to get benefits.
What has your experience been with any of the SSA’s programs for disabled workers who would like to return to work?
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers