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Avoiding identity theft when receiving SSD benefits

Identity theft is a problem that many of our Los Angeles readers have most likely heard of or, if they are really unfortunate, have experienced firsthand. There are many different ways that criminals engage in identity theft, and many of our readers may be particularly concerned about this issue due to the amount of information they are required to submit as part of an application for Social Security Disability benefits. On top of that, "tax season" is coming up quick, and more personal information than ever before is about to be transmitted to the federal government by millions of Americans.

A recent article detailed how one unfortunate woman who was receiving SSD benefits was impacted by identity theft. The report indicates that the Internal Revenue Service had apparently received tax returns that were filed under the woman's name. This was a problem for two major reasons: first, the woman's only income was SSD benefits, and as a result she was not required to submit a tax return; second, the tax returns that were filed under her name showed income earned from employment.

As our readers know, anyone who is receiving SSD benefits is under strict requirements to report any changes in employment status. For this woman, the apparent theft of her identity was just the start. The main impact? The Social Security Administration contacted her to inform her that since she was reported as earning an income, her SSD benefits would be canceled. She has petitioned the SSA to re-examine her case.

Los Angeles residents who are receiving SSD benefits will want to make sure that their identity is not at risk, like it was for the woman in this recent article. No one wants to go through a period of time when their only income, SSD benefits, is cut off due to another person's criminal activity.

Source: Yahoo! News, "How Identity Theft Cost a Woman Her Disability Check," Christine DiGangi, Jan. 20, 2016

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