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NYC cops, firefighters investigated for SSD fraud

Social Security disability benefits are not always easy to secure -- even for those who seem to meet all the requirements. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of the system, which could ultimately make it even more difficult for those who truly need benefits to qualify.

Recently, news broke in New York City that more than 100 people may have been involved in a scheme to defraud Social Security. The majority of them are retired firefighters and police officers.

According to the New York Daily News, Social Security officials noticed a large number of disability benefits applicants with stress-related diagnoses. Although federal officials were hesitant to investigate initially, they are now looking into the suspected fraud scheme.

So far, investigators believe that the applicants worked with a doctor and others to file fraudulent claims. They then provided kickbacks to those involved. Many of the individuals allegedly involved in the scheme receive 9/11 pensions.

When scams like this come to light, it often results in calls for tightened regulations around Social Security disability applications. Tighter regulations, however, could make it even more difficult for people who really do need benefits to be approved.

If you are applying for benefits at a time when there is heightened awareness of fraudulent applications, it is even more important to make sure that your application is filled out correctly. One way to do this is to work with an attorney who is familiar with Social Security disability applications and regulations. Submitting a flawless application will bring you one step closer to being approved for benefits.


Source: New York Daily News, "City cops, firefighters suspected of scamming Social Security with bogus, stress-related illness claims," Rocco Parascandola, Shayna Jacobs and Corky Siemaszko, Jan. 3, 2013

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