The act of misusing the benefits provided by the Social Security Administration is considered to be a social security fraud.
The Social Security System is misused by people in order to obtain benefits illegally. Whenever such things happen, the condition or occurrence is said to be a social security fraud. A fraud is committed when a person conceals facts, provides false information or misuses a social security number. The different areas in which such frauds are reported include social security disability, retirement Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims, Medicare, etc.
Social Security Frauds
These frauds occur in a variety of situations. The following are the ones which occur most commonly.
- Identity Theft: In this fraud, a person tries to obtain social security benefits like loans, credit, services and goods by misusing the social security number of another person.
- To Make False Statements: In this kind of fraud, a person states or claims false things to be true; for example, the claim to be single when actually being married.
- Misusing Funds: A person or organization can misuse the funds granted by the Social Security Administration for taking care of the beneficiaries. For example, if a nursing home uses the grants provided by the Social Security Administration for personal expenses instead of spending on the incapacitated beneficiaries, it is considered to be a fraud.
- Concealing Facts: To hide or conceal facts in order to gain monetary returns is also considered to be a fraud. For example, if a person conceals the facts regarding the death of a beneficiary and avail the social security death benefits such as cash or other returns, one can report against him.
- Altering Social Security Cards: Selling social security cards or to impersonate an SSA official is also one of the social security frauds and should be reported.
Reporting Social Security Fraud
In order to report these frauds, one should first verify whether the person one is reporting against is really involved in a fraud. Many times, in case of disability-related disorders, it is difficult to judge whether a person is really impaired or if he is acting to be so. Thus, due care should be taken before one reports any such fraud.
There are toll-free numbers which could be used to report social security frauds in the US. One should contact the ‘Office of the Inspector General at SSA’ in order to report the fraud. Also remember that as many details as possible should be provided, but make sure they are all correct. The details might include the name, social security identity, mailing address, date of birth, etc., of the accused. If possible, the timing, date and other details of the fraud should be given to the department.
It helps in taking quick action against the accused. If necessary, the law enforcement officials can use the information to carry out the related investigation regarding the fraud. One should however be careful and give the correct information. Any mistake or incorrect information would lead to penalties. Depending upon the situation, the officials or administrators may ask you for the personal details. If one doesn’t want to report directly or call the officials, he can also write to the social security administration department about the fraud.
The different social security activities include insurance programs to protect people from adverse conditions like unemployment, poverty, disability, etc. The act of reporting social security frauds brings to light the misuse of the facilities or benefits provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA). One should thus take every possible step to curb such anti-social activities.