When people think of Social Security, they naturally associate that with monthly benefits for retirees.
But that’s only part of it.
Social Security also provides benefits to orphans who lost one or both parents. It also provides disability benefits to those who are found to be mentally or physically unable to work. These benefits come from funds paid to the government by workers and their employers as required by law.
As with any benefit program, fraud remains an unfortunate reality. A man in Jackson, Mississippi has pleaded guilty to $100,000 in Social Security fraud. He was drawing disability benefits while working full-time. To avoid detection, he used his wife’s Social Security number. Thus he clearly knew what he was doing was illegal.
“53-year-old Bobby Earl Thweatt, of Morton, pled guilty Wednesday before United States District Judge Tom S. Lee, to theft of government funds by fraudulently obtaining Social Security Disability payments.
“Thweatt was approved for Title II Social Security disability benefits effective in October, 1998, based on an injury. As part of the application, he agreed under penalty of perjury to notify the Social Security Administration in the event that his medical condition improved so that he was able to work.
“Thweatt received monthly Social Security Disability payments based on his medical condition.”
You can work and earn money while receiving disability, but what you can earn is set at a very low limit. Exceed that, and you’re no longer considered disabled. You then drop off the Social Security Disability rolls.
“In January, 2009, Thweatt began working again on a full-time basis, but did so using his wife’s Social Security number instead of his own, in order to avoid having to notify the Social Security Administration that he was able to work and therefore was no longer eligible to receive disability payments from the United States government.”
This is deliberate fraud since he knew his earnings disqualified him from continuing to receive benefits. His use of his wife’s Social Security number proved that.
Social Security is already facing a shortfall in funds to pay legitimate beneficiaries. It certainly does not need to be paying benefits to those who are not entitled to them.
Given the size of the federal and state assistance programs, the amount of fraud must be enormous. But thankfully, these crooks are being captured – one day at a time.
Source: MS News Now