Sunday, May 27, 2007

Reporting Social Security Disability Fraud - before doing so, read this first

The other my day wife, who is a social security field office claims rep, told me that someone called her office with the desire to report a case of fraud. The "informant" stated that she knew her neighbor was on disability benefits and the fact that he could take his trash out to the curb and bring groceries into his home from the car was clear proof that he was not, in fact, disabled.

I tend to get very irritated when I hear or read about nonsense like this and I really have to wonder why some individuals have nothing better to do than consider the legitimacy or illegitimacy of someone else's disability status.

For anyone who may be considering making a fraud report, please consider the following before doing so:

1. If you know someone is receiving social security disability benefits, do you know why? In other words, do you know why they were approved for disability? Chances are you don't.

2. Do you know what their functional restrictions and limitations are? In other words, do you know how their condition limits their ability to engage in daily activities? Do you know whether or not bringing in the groceries causes unrelenting pain for hours afterwards in an individual with severe degenerative disc disease? Most likely you don't much about their condition and how it specifically affects them.

3. Do you know whether or not their disabling condition is physical in nature or if their impairment is mental ( psychological or psychiatric in nature? If their impairment is mental, most of your observations of their physical activity and the suppositions that arise from these observations will be meaningless. And if their condition is mainly physical in nature, you will, most likely, not be privvy to witnessing the effects endured later as a result of physical activity. In other words, individuals with severe hypertension, back problems, heart conditions, seizure disorder, emphysema, cancer, etc, etc, still engage in certain routine daily activities and your observation of this does not invalidate their state of disability. In essence, you probably don't understand the nature and limitations
that are inherent to their condition.

4. Finally, and most importantly, do you know what the term "invisible disabilities" refers to? If not, you may wish to research this. In fact, you may wish to read this post that I wrote quite some time ago.

Can You See A Disability ?

You may also wish to read these other past posts:

Social Security Disability SSI and Chronic Pain

Social Security Disability SSI and Pain

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Other Posts

Applying for disability
How to get disability
Social Security Back pay