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Social Security disability program helps stop theft of benefits

Incapacitated workers aren't the only ones wanting Social Security disability benefits. In certain circumstances, these benefits are the target of criminals who are willing to engage in fraud or other crimes just to get these benefits. For many of these people, disability benefits are viewed as "free money." However, for people who have legitimate mental or physical ailments, Social Security disability is their lifeline -- their only hope of making a living when they can no longer work to support themselves and their loved ones in Wisconsin.

The Social Security Administration has a pilot program that aims to keep criminals from taking control of disabled individuals' benefits. The SSA recently expanded this program on a national scale. It was formed after four mentally disabled individuals were held captive in an effort to pilfer their disability benefits.

Through this program, people are barred from being able to collect benefits on behalf of those who are unable to manage their own money if they have committed certain crimes. These crimes include fraud, identity theft and robbery. Other crimes that raise red flags in this situation include abuse, theft of government property and rape.

The program's ultimate goal is to better protect recipients of Social Security disability benefits from those who are trying to claim their money. Mentally disabled people are especially at risk for these types of schemes. Social Security Disability Insurance benefits certainly are essential for helping people with debilitating injuries to keep up with their monthly monetary obligations. Those Wisconsin residents who believe they qualify have the right to pursue these much-needed benefits.

Source: philly.com, Social Security expands background checks, Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker, March 2, 2014

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