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Man Admits to Stealing Thousands in Disability Benefits

Published on February 9th, 2012

Millions of Americans receive financial support through Social Security disability benefits. The monthly payments often provide people living in Illinois with basic necessities. However, Social Security disability benefits don’t always go to the most deserving recipients.

Recently, a 46-year-old man pleaded guilty to theft and fraud for stealing close to $42,000 in disability benefits. Federal prosecutors say that the man claimed that an injury in 2002 prevented him from working. He continued to receive disability benefits through September 2010 even though he had returned to work in 2006.

The man could face up to ten years behind bars.

This is not the first case of theft and fraud involving Social Security disability benefits. In January, we wrote about a man who stole almost $90,000 from the Social Security Administration after using his brother’s identity to work three jobs while he continued to receive disability benefits. He could face as many as 15 years in prison and be forced to pay $500,000 in fines for his crimes.

Close to 11 million Americans receive disability benefits. Last year, about $130 billion was paid out to SSDI recipients. In recent years, more Americans have begun applying for Social Security disability benefits, and the fund is in danger of running out by 2017. It is for that reason why it is important that disability benefits only go to those who are truly in need of help.

Residents in Illinois who are in need of SSDI benefits may find it helpful to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help an individual throughout the application process and assist them in getting the benefits they deserve.

Source: The Republic, “Opelousas man pleads guilty to fraudulently receiving disability benefits,” Feb. 9, 2012

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