Social Security disability benefits are only intended for individuals in New Jersey and elsewhere who are fully disabled, and those who are no longer able to perform their assigned duties. Last week, we wrote about a man who stole thousands of dollars in disability benefits by using a false identify. In a somewhat similar story, a couple has been convicted of faking their injuries to begin receiving Social Security disability benefits.
The couple was found guilty of defrauding the government last year. Both are former postal workers. The woman was recently sentenced to seven months in prison. She will also serve three years of supervised probation. Her husband was also sentenced to three years of supervised probation.
The woman said she fell after tripping over a plastic tub. Her husband claimed to have strained his back when he was lifting a bulk mail container. However, an anonymous tip initiated an investigation by officials in 2009. Throughout the investigation authorities say they discovered that the couple was lying about their injuries.
The woman claimed that she could no longer work because she was unable to sit for long periods of time, yet was caught on video sitting at a casino gambling for hours. The investigation also revealed that the woman used a walker or cane during visits to the doctor, but walked on her own during shopping trips.
Millions of Americans have suffered an injury that prohibits them from returning to work. For those people, Social Security disability benefits provide them with financial assistance that allows them to continue living a somewhat regular life. When people receive benefits illegally, they are not just taking the money from the government. Instead, they are taking the money from injured Americans who desperately need it.
Source: Citizen-Times, “Asheville postal worker sentenced to 7 months for fraud,” Clarke Morrison, Jan. 23, 2012