How Do I Report Disability Fraud
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If you suspect any sort of disability fraud, you can report it to the Social Security Administration via Internet, phone, or mail. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, fraud is any act of intentional deception in order to receive an unlawful benefit. Examples of disability fraud may include making false statements on claims or concealing employment in order to continue receiving disability benefits.
Confirming Ssdi Or Ssi Fraud
First, you need to realize that such an accusation is a serious one and may result in criminal and civil penalties. Make sure your facts are correct and that you have enough information about the person’s situation. Remember, all physical disabilities are not visually obvious and not all disabilities are physical some may be mental . This means it can be hard to really know if a person is disabled.
Second, know that a person receiving SSDI or SSI disability benefits is allowed to work a minimal amount . So just because you know that someone is working or collecting a paycheck doesn’t mean they’re necessarily committing fraud.
Types Of Housing Benefit/council Tax Support Fraud
- Claimants who are in receipt of Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support on the basis of entitlement to Job Seekers Allowance/Income Support and are in fact working.
- Failure to declare either savings/capital or the ownership of another property/land elsewhere .
- Failure to declare all of their income knowing the non-declaration will increase their benefit award.
- Claimants on Income Support/Job Seekers Allowance failing to declare the presence of a partner who is working, knowing this would preclude their entitlement.
- Failure to declare the presence of other adults in the property in order to preserve or increase entitlement to benefit.
- Owners of properties falsely claiming that they are in fact paying rent for the property and inventing a fictitious landlord. In these circumstances false rent books, Tenancy Agreements are provided.
- Failure to declare that he/she has moved but continues to accept payments of Housing Benefit for the address.
- Claimants who claim for an address at which they are not in fact living. These types of offences may occur with the collusion of the landlord or other tenants.
- Landlords who continue to receive benefit and are aware that the claimant has left the premises. Where the landlord has access to more than one property there is the potential to move tenants around without informing the Local Authority.
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Measures You Can Take To Prevent Identity Theft
- Do not routinely carry your SSN.
- Never say your SSN aloud in public.
- Beware of phishing scams to trick you into revealing personal information.
- Create a personal account to help you keep track of your records and identify any suspicious activity.
- Consider adding these blocks to your account with us:
- The eServices block It prevents anyone, including you, from seeing or changing your personal information on the internet. Once we add the block, you or your representative will need to contact your local office to request removal of the block.
- The Direct Deposit Fraud Prevention block This prevents anyone, including you, from enrolling in direct deposit or changing your address or direct deposit information through or a financial institution . Once we add the block, you or your representative will need to contact your local office to request removal of the block or make any future changes to direct deposit or contact information.
Types Of Benefit Fraud
Benefit can be claimed fraudulently by:
- failing to declare work – involves claimants receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax support but failing to declare their earned income.
- non-disclosure of property, capital or income – the claimant does not tell us about all their income, savings, capital or property so that the amount of benefit they get is higher than it should be
- non-disclosure of partner – the claimant not telling us that they have a partner knowing that this would mean that they would not be entitled to benefit
- non-declaration of non-dependants or sub-tenants – a claimant does not tell us about other adults living in the property to keep or increase their benefit entitlement
- false claims by homeowners – where the property owner falsely claims benefit, stating that they are paying rent for the property. They invent a fictitious landlord and use false rent books and tenancy agreements
- false address or failing to declare a change of address – the claimant is claiming benefit for an address where they do not live
- landlord fraud where a landlord continues to receive benefits paid directly to themselves when they know that the claimant has left the premises
- fictitious tenancies – where a tenancy is created between friends or family, where the property would not usually be rented, to obtain benefits to which they are not entitled
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What Happens When You Report Fraud
Benefit fraud investigation staff will look at the information you give. If you have given enough information they will check the persons benefit claim.
An investigation can take some time and benefit fraud investigation staff are not allowed to tell you the outcome.
Sometimes no action is taken after an investigation. In many cases the person suspected of benefit fraud has already declared they are, or have been, working when claiming benefits and their benefit is not affected by this.
The outcome of benefit fraud investigations can result in a criminal record and recovery of any benefit which could result in the confiscation of assets to the value lost through fraud.
Call The Vaoig Hotline Toll
Write the VAOIG Hotline:
VA INSPECTOR GENERAL HOTLINE P.O. BOX 50410 WASHINGTON, DC 20091-0410
Include all required information as well as any additional documentation or proof supporting your report of VA benefits fraud. Although the VAOIG will seek out any witnesses for supporting testimony or documentation under a confidential complaint, if you have signed and notarized witness statements, include them as well.
Fax your complaint to 565-7936. As with mailing a complaint, include any additional or supporting documentation.
Supply any additional information in a timely fashion when requested by the VAOIG. Additional information may include details about vague phrasing in your written complaint or an over-the-phone recording or in-person testimony of your observations.
About the Author
Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.
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How To Report Military Benefit Fraud
- The name of the military facility or office involved with the claim
- The name of the person who are suspected of committing the fraud
- The name of any victims of the fraud
- To call the VAOIG Hotline free of charge, dial 488 8244 between 08:30 and 14:00, Monday to Friday. The Hotline is closed on weekends
- Send your information to the VA Inspector General Hotline , P.O Box 50410, Washington, DC 20091-0410
- Fax your complaint and all information to 565 7936
- Email your information to the VAOIG Hotline at
What Happens After I Report Someone
The DWP Single Fraud Investigation Service will look at the information you give. If you’ve given enough information, they’ll check the person’s benefit claim.
The Single Fraud Investigation Service isn’t allowed to tell you the outcome.
Sometimes no action is taken. It might be that the person has declared a change in their circumstances and their benefit is not affected by it.
The Single Fraud Investigation Service will only take action if they find the person has been committing benefit fraud. Action can include removing a person’s benefits and taking them to court.
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The Cost Of Benefit Fraud
It is estimated in 2020, £65.2 million of public money was lost through benefit fraud. This figure is made up of:
- £18 million Employment and Support Allowance
- £2 million Jobseekers Allowance
- £7 million State Pension Credit
- £2 million Carers Allowance
- £15 million Universal Credit
- £18 million Housing Benefit
Information You Need To Provide To Report
The law says that there has to be a good reason for investigating someone for benefit fraud so you will need to give as much of the following information as possible:
- the name and address of the person you are reporting and their partner, if they have one
- a description of the person
- the type of benefit theft you think they are committing and why you suspect them
- information about their employer, if you think they are working
- information about their vehicle, if they have one
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Is Disability Fraud A Big Problem
Many believe that disability fraud is rampant, that hundreds of thousands of the 10+ million Social Security disability recipients are faking it. And while there are many examples of social security disability fraud out there, program statistics reveal that abuse is not as common as you may think.
In 2018, the SSA reported just under $100 million in recoveries, fines, settlements/judgments, and restitution as a result of Social Security fraud investigations. They further report that the majority of recovered funds were from recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance , the program people pay into throughout their working life that allows them to collect should they become disabled and unable to work, and Supplemental Security Income , the program for low-income seniors, blind, and disabled people who do not have significant work history.
While $100 million sounds like big moneyand dont get us wrong, wed all love to have that kind of money!when you actually put it into perspective with the amount paid out annually, its relatively small. In 2018, the SSA paid out nearly $200 billion to beneficiaries of SSDI and SSI, so that fraudulent amount is actually just a mere .05% of the total. Plus, keep in mind that the recovered $98 million was for benefits paid out over several years, not just in 2018.
What Do The Dwp Need To Know When I Report Suspected Fraud
The DWP need a good reason to investigate someone for benefit fraud, so you will need to tell them as many of these things as you can:
- The names of the people you believe are committing fraud
- Why you suspect fraud and what you believe they are doing
- Their address
- Details of anyone else involved
- Descriptions of the people involved, such as their height, build and hair colour
- Descriptions of their vehicles, including number plates and colour
- Details of any work the people are doing, including the type of work, names and addresses of their employers, the hours they work and how much they earn
- Details of any partner, including their name, description, employment and times they arrive at and leave the property
- Details of them spending lots of money, which you may not expect somebody on benefits to be able to do
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Recognizing Ssdi Or Ssi Fraud
Social Security disability fraud is defined in several ways. Examples of disability fraud include:
- False statements: Fraud can simply be making a false statement on the disability application, like saying you are married when you are not, or lying about a source of income.
- Falsified documents: Fraud can also take the form of the use of a fraudulent document, like a Social Security card that has been altered or falsified.
- Concealing information: Concealing information, like not reporting improvement in your medical condition to the SSA, is another form of fraud. Anything that may affect eligibility for benefits must be reported to the SSA. If the beneficiary dies, then that must be reported right away as well, since cashing checks of a deceased person is illegal and constitutes fraud.
- Misuse of benefits by representative payee: A payee is appointed by the SSA to make sure that the funds are used for beneficiaries with disabilities. If the payee uses these funds for himself or others, then that is fraud.
How To Report Ontario Disability Fraud
Millions of Ontarians genuinely need help from the Ontario Disability Support Program , the agency responsible for making payments for people with disabilities in the province, but sometimes people take unfair advantage of the system. If you think someone is intentionally defrauding ODSP, you can report it to the ODSP Welfare Fraud Hotline.
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How To Report Fraud
Do you suspect someone of committing fraud, waste, or abuse against Social Security? You can contact the OIGs fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or submit a report online at .
If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from our agency, hang up, and then report details of the call to the OIG at .
Our investigations are most successful when you provide as much information as possible about the alleged suspect and/or victim involved. The more you can tell us, the better chance we have of determining whether a crime has been committed. As you fill out a fraud allegation, please include the following about the alleged suspect and/or victim:
Its helpful to know facts about the alleged fraud, such as:
- Description of the fraud.
- Location where the fraud took place.
- When the fraud took place.
- How the fraud was committed.
- Why the person committed the fraud .
- Who else has knowledge of the potential violation?
OIG will carefully review your allegation and take appropriate action. However, they cannot provide information regarding the actions taken on any reported allegation. Federal regulations prohibit the disclosure of information contained in law enforcement records, even to the individual making the allegation.
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Where To Get Help
If you have any questions about your benefits, a benefit claim or an investigation, its a good idea to contact your benefits office. You may have made a genuine mistake, or be unsure if something applies in your particular case.
If you are worried about being suspected of benefit fraud or If youre concerned about checks on your benefit claim or being asked to give evidence you may want to get independent advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Overpayment Of Benefits Administrative Penalties
If you’ve been paid too much benefit this is called an overpayment. It’s treated as benefit fraud if you have:
- deliberately withheld information from your benefits office
- given false information that may lead to you receiving benefits you’re not entitled to
The administrative penalty that can be applied is 50 per cent of the overpayment. For example, if you were overpaid by £900 you would have to pay a penalty of £450. However, there is a minimum penalty that can be applied of £350 and the maximum penalty is £2,000.
If it is believed someone has attempted to commit benefit fraud, a fixed penalty of £350 can be considered as an alternative to prosecution.
You need to tell a benefits office if your circumstances change so it can make sure you are getting the right amount of money. This will help prevent any overpayment.
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Consequences Of Committing Disability Fraud
Fines or even jail time maybe imposed if the SSA finds that disability fraud occurred. For instance, when a person makes a false statement on a Social Security application, after stating that the information is true and correct, he or she can be liable for a crime. A
Also, the SSA will not consider any statements it believes are fraudulent to decide a claim. The SSA will deny a disability claim if the agency determines it contains fraudulent information. Even years later, the SSA can reverse an approval of disability benefits if it finds the disability applicant committed fraud in applying.
Detailed Checks On Your Benefit Claim
If benefit officers believe there is serious fraud, authorised officers will investigate your claim in more detail. They may gather information about you and your family members, and compare it with information already given on claim forms or in interviews.
Officers may contact private and other public organisations that hold information on you including:
- government agencies, including HMRC
- overseas authorities
Officers can only make enquiries where they have reasonable grounds to believe youre committing benefit fraud or are helping someone else to do so.
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