What Constitutes Social Security Fraud?

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Social Security is a benefit that is awarded to individuals on a case-by-case scenario. People who are disabled mentally and physically, elderly or the school-age children of a Social Security applicant are a few of the individuals who may receive benefits after they have been approved by the Social Security Administration. The individual must be honest on their application and not abuse the benefits. Doing so is committing Social Security fraud, and they may be prosecuted and lose their benefits, face jail time, or both.

Children

  • Anyone receiving benefits for a child who is not their biological or adoptive child is considered to be committing Social Security fraud. Even those who care or provide for a child may not apply for Social Security benefits for that child, unless they have legally been declared the guardian of the child.

Deceased

  • If you share the home with a spouse, family member or friend, and that individual receives Social Security benefits, you must report if any funding continues to come to your home once that person is deceased. Generally the Social Security administrators will catch this, but in the event they do not, it is illegal to continue using all monies and benefits that belonged to the now deceased individual. Doing so is considered Social Security fraud.

Assets

  • When an individual applies for Social Security, they are to list all assets they have. If a person does not report all assets when they apply, this is considered fraud. You can not alter your bank accounts, or hide monies from the government to make yourself eligible to receive benefits. This constitutes Social Security fraud.

Bribery

  • Sometimes being approved for Social Security benefits takes a long time. It is very frustrating for most, especially if no other income is coming into their household. Although this is very stressful, they may not call in favors of a Social Security administrative employee, or offer any type of bribery, such as money or gifts. Every applicant must go through the same process, and the time it takes to be approved may vary. Any help of bypassing any steps of the process is illegal, and the Social Security administrative employee, along with you are guilty of committing fraud.

Misuse of Benefits

  • Some people have payees, or representatives who handle their Social Security benefits. These people must use the benefits and funding for the recipient, and not their own personal needs. Medical expenses, food, clothing and shelter are all needs of the person. Nursing home and other health care facilities may be a representative of benefits for a person with no relatives. In this case, the facilities will need to provide all of the personal needs of the recipient. Not doing so will be considered a misuse of their benefits and funding, which equals Social Security fraud.

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