As President Trump cracks down on surplus government spending, there has been renewed focus on ensuring that recipients of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are actually entitled to them.
Unfortunately for many disabled Americans, not all disabilities can be seen. Everyone has a basic understanding of the perils of cancer and heart disease, but not nearly as many people understand the nuances and complexities of mental diseases. When conditions are difficult to see, such as depression and anxiety, it can be harder to prove a disability exists.
Regardless, government investigators are on the lookout for SSD fraud everywhere. In 1998, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) formed Cooperative Disability Investigation units to look closely at individuals considered suspicious when reported by disability examiners.
Investigations do not have to be initiated by meritorious claims. A simple call to the fraud hotline or an online report filed by an anonymous source is enough to commence scrutiny.
To avoid being examined for potential SSD fraud allegations, maintain regular visits with your treating physicians. Be clear about your symptoms and your conditions, and keep up-to-date and complete medical records on file. Do not quit taking any prescribed medication without notifying your doctors, and if what you are taking does not improve your condition, let your doctor know that as well.
Lastly, be extremely careful about who you talk to and about what, especially on social media. All it takes is one ill-fated posting of you appearing to engage in physical activity for someone to report you for disability fraud. Operate under the assumption that anyone could be watching you at any time.