Social Security Fraud refers to the act of dishonestly claiming of benefits. Due to the increasing number of fraudulent claims, the US government enacted a law that will protect individuals from these illicit conducts.
What constitutes Fraud under the Social Security Act?
The Social Security Act provides an outline for actions that are considered fraudulent. Some of those acts are the following:
• Knowingly and willfully makes or causes to be made any false statement or representation of material facts in the application for benefits under this title;
• Knowingly and willfully makes or causes to be made any false statement or representation of a material fact for use in determining any rights to the benefits;
• Having knowledge of any event affecting
o His or her right to the benefit
o The initial or continued right to the benefit of other individual in whose behalf he or she has applied for or is receiving benefit
o Having made an application to receive any of such benefits for the use and benefit of other and having receive it, knowingly and willfully converts the benefits for the use other than for what is intended
Information needed in filing Social Security Fraud
When planning to file a Fraud complaint, you need the following data:
• Social security number of the person you are reporting.
• Description of potential fraud incident
In cases where the Social Security number is not known, you need to secure his or her date of birth, age and the name of the parents. However, if you are reporting a concealed activity you need the name of the employer and its address and phone number.
How to report Social Security Fraud incident
The Social Security Administration takes seriously any report regarding Social Security Fraud. The Office of the Inspector General is the one who investigates incidents of Social Security Fraud. If you have any knowledge regarding these incidents, you can report it immediately by:
• Calling the Social Security Office hotline number
• Use the on line fraud reporting form
• Write to Social Security Office.
Yet, if you have been the actual victim of a fraudulent act, seeking legal assistance from a competent Social Security Fraud attorney is advisable. An attorney with sufficient in handing these cases can help you prosecute the law violators.
What is the Office of the Inspector General?
The Office of the Inspector General is the one directly responsible for meeting the statutory mission promoting economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the administration of Social Security programs. It is also responsible for preventing and detecting fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement in such programs and operations.
OIG also searches and reports systematic weaknesses in SSA programs and operations and make recommendations for improvements and corrective actions.
Penalties for the violation of the Act
Any person found guilty for Social Security Fraud shall be:
• Fined under the United States Code
• Imprisoned for not more than five years or both
The federal court in sentencing the defendant may in addition to any other penalty order restitution.
When can there be restitution?
The court orders restitution in any of the following instances:
• The Commissioner of Social Security order payment that should not have been made
• An individual suffers financial loss due to defendant’s violation of this Act.
Our Los Angeles attorneys are proven experts in handling Social Security Fraud cases. For free evaluation of your case, log on to our website and contact our legal staff.
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Maribel Roncales –
About the Author:
Maribel Roncales, once aspired to become one of the member of the elite force in the military before she pursue her law studies. Her exposure in writing starts during her high school days. For now, she is pursuing her dream to become a lawyer while working as a writer in a Los Angles based law firm.