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Woman convicted of fraud over Social Security disability

Many people in North Carolina are unable to work due to disability. They may eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, benefits to help them care for themselves and cover their necessary expenses. One of the limitations placed on these benefits, however, is how much a person is allowed to earn from any type of work the individual may do. If a person earns more than is allowed, he or she may not collect SSDI and doing so is considered fraud. One out-of-state woman found this out after allegedly fraudulently collecting SSDI benefits for a decade.

Authorities say that the woman started legitimately collecting SSDI benefits back in 1992. Seventeen years later, she allegedly failed to notify the Social Security Administration that she was working as a caregiver and thus making money that put her above the threshold for collecting SSDI benefits. Her claims were reviewed periodically, and officials say she falsely reported her income in 2017, only naming sources that retained her eligibility. She was eventually found out and accused of stealing over $84,000 in benefits from 2009 to 2019.

Late last year, she pleaded guilty to theft of public funds and making a false statement. She was recently sentenced to time served, supervised release and repayment of the stolen benefits in full. There is no word on how she intends to repay this amount or her eligibility for any future benefits from any type of Social Security funds.

Though this is an extreme example, it shows how important it is that those who collect Social Security Disability Insurance benefits fully understand the provisions. Fraudulently collecting benefits may land a person in significant legal trouble. Those in North Carolina who wish to prevent something like this may want an attorney’s assistance with their application. An attorney can explain the do’s and don’ts and work with those people who may have had their claims denied.