July 31, 2014

YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY – Rock Island, Illinois Office

VitalChristina
By Cristina Vital
Manager
Rock Island Social Security office

MULTIPLE OPTIONS AVAILABLE

Today, the Social Security Administration announced that local Social Security offices would continue to provide benefit verification letters until further notice. Providing services when and where the public needs them remains central to Social Security’s efforts, while continuing to encourage federal, state, and local agencies to take advantage of Social Security’s data exchange programs that can serve customers more efficiently and effectively.

Over the last few years, Social Security has invested in technology that allows most government agencies and many other organizations to verify their clients’ Social Security benefits electronically without requiring them to visit a local Social Security office.

“We recognize that some members of the public may require in-person assistance and we will have a presence in local communities,” said Acting Commissioner Colvin. “We also want to ensure that the public is aware that they can access many of our services without making a trip to a local field office.”

Members of the public with Internet access can obtain benefit verification information by creating a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

COMMITTING FRAUD IS STUPID AND ILLEGAL

If you’ve ever watched funny videos showing thieves undoing themselves, or read weird news stories about criminals who do stupid things, you have an idea of how we feel at Social Security when we learn about some of the people who try (and fail) to defraud taxpayers. We take fraud seriously. Here are some real Social Security fraud stories.

A Maryland waterman falsely certified he was not working, even though he owned and operated two profitable fishing boats while collecting disability benefits. He racked up $36,691 in disability benefits and $35,610 in Medicare services. He has been indicted and faces up to 10 years in prison for theft of government property and 5 years in prison for making a false statement to Social Security and for improper receipt of benefits.

A Pennsylvania man pled guilty to pocketing more than $304,000 of his deceased mother’s Social Security benefits for 40 years after her death in 1973.

While Social Security employees are always on the lookout for fraud and have historically been one of our best weapons against it, we also rely on you to let us know when you suspect someone is committing fraud against Social Security. They are, in fact, stealing your tax dollars. Reporting fraud is a smart thing to do. It’s easy to report fraud online by visiting the Fraud, Waste, and Abuse page at http://oig.ssa.gov/report. www.oig.ssa.gov/report.

Reporting fraud is the smart (and right) thing to do.

Filed Under: Finance, Retirement