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SSA clears California 'adult baby' of disability fraud

In May, we wrote about the California man who had been recently featured on the National Geographic Channel's "Taboo" program for his 'adult baby' lifestyle. In the show, the 30-year-old man is shown wearing diapers, being fed from a bottle, and sleeping in a crib. According to the man, who receives Supplemental Security Income benefits, he cannot maintain employment because of physical ailments and mental issues dating back to abuse he suffered as a child.

After the National Geographic program aired, a U.S. senator wrote a letter to the inspector general of the Social Security Administration, asking him to launch an investigation into the man. In his letter, Sen. Tom Coburn questioned how the man could be eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits if he was able to perform woodworking tasks as was shown on the television show.

The SSA inspector general complied with Sen. Coburn's request, and six months later, the man has been cleared of the accusations of disability fraud.

Now, the man is asking for an apology from Sen. Coburn. He told the media that his friend, who had been playing the role of his mother and caring for him, passed away in July. "My friend...had to spend the last three months of her life being accused of something he didn't do," he said on his website. The friend was also under investigation for fraudulent receipt of Social Security Disability benefits, and she, too, was cleared in the SSA investigator.

It does not seem likely that man will receive that apology, however. Sen. Coburn recently told reporters that he does not believe that the problem is with the man, but with "the politicians and bureaucrats who have coddled him."

Source: The Washington Times, "Man living as an 'adult baby' is cleared of Social Security fraud," Stephen Dinan, Oct. 18, 2011

1 Comment

There are a lot of misconceptions about people who are disabled and receive benefits under SSD or SSI. As this story highlights, under the rules governing Social Security a disabled person will often be able to perform some work-like tasks, such as wood working. However, mental and physical health issues may legitimately prevent that person from performing a full-time job.

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