Collecting Social Security Disability (SSD) in California, or in any state for that matter, is never easy. In order to collect, one must prove that the serious or long-term medical condition that is preventing you from continuing to earn a substantial living from work will either lead to your eventual death, or that it will prevent you from working for more than one year.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is normally very tightfisted in making sure that the requirements are met which is beneficial in preventing fraud, but detrimental to some who need the funds that should be available to them sooner than they are able to collect. The SSA's diligence is why the latest news that a former Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits reviewer was himself collecting SSDI seems so shocking.
Back in 1996, the man was found by the SSA to be incapable of performing any meaningful work due to his bout with AIDS. They found that the man was permanently disabled as a result of AIDS and therefore granted him SSDI retroactive to 1995. Because no cure for AIDS has occurred, his status of permanently disabled can never be changed under current SSA rules.
The irony is that in June 2007, the SSA hired the man to review instances of overpayment assessments for claimants who had returned to work. The SSA contends that it was his responsibility to inform the SSA of the change in his work status so that they could reevaluate his status and payments. The man has received a sentence of two years in prison and three years of supervised release by the U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
While this highlights an instance of SSDI fraud, many struggle with collecting the SSDI that they have rightfully earned. If you find yourself or someone you know in such a situation, please contact a Social Security Disability lawyer immediately. They will be able to further assist you in pursuing your legal options.
Source: LifeHealthPro, "Court: SSDI benefits reviewer was collecting SSDI," Allison Bell, Jan. 4, 2013