If you suspect someone is fraudulently receiving disability payments, you need to report your suspicions to the Social Security Administration (SSA). If it can be proven that you knew about the fraud or were involved in the fraud, you may have to pay penalties or serve prison time just as if you were receiving the benefits yourself.
All disability fraud is investigated by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The SSA provides four different ways to report fraud. You can call a hotline number, send a fax, write to the hotline address, or complete an online form. The hotline number is 1-800-269-0271. It is available from 10-4pm Monday through Friday. You can send a fax to 1-410-597-0118. Be aware that long distance call charges will apply to sending a fax. You can write to the OIG at:
Social Security OIG Hotline
P.O. Box 17785
Baltimore, MD 21235-7785.
When calling or writing try to include as much information as you can. The OIG asks that you provide the offender’s
? Telephone Number
? Social Security Number of Suspect
? Date of Birth
? Father’s Name
? Mother’s Maiden Name.
Include a description of the fraudulent activity. In case the OIG needs to contact you please provide your name, address, and telephone number.
The OIG needs as much of the above information as you can provide so they can identify the suspect and start the investigation.
If you are wondering what constitutes fraud, the SSA handbook provides some examples:
? Making false statements or misrepresents facts when applying for disability benefits
? Concealing or failing to reveal facts and events that may make a person exempt from receiving or continuing to receive benefits
? Taking payment for a disabled person and uses it for their own benefit.
When you apply for disability benefits for yourself, you need to make sure you reveal whether you have an outstanding warrant for attempting to escape prosecution or prison or actually escaping from prison. The SSA states that you cannot receive disability benefits for any month where you had an outstanding warrant for any of these felonies.
Fraud really does not pay as you can be fined $5,000 for each false statement. In addition, you may have to repay the benefits at twice the amount you received.