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Identity theft leads to woman losing SSD benefits

Floridians who are suffering from an illness, condition, disability or have suffered injuries that render them unable to work may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Disability is available to those who meet the requirements and are approved to receive them. It is important to understand the various rules for those who are receiving SSD benefits and how to retain them. Disability recipients also have to be cognizant of how their disability status can be affected by events in and out of their control.

Recently, a woman has had to deal with the loss of her SSD benefits not because they were taken away due to a random decision on the part of the Social Security Administration, but because she was the victim of identity theft. The problem of identity theft is prevalent, especially in the age of the Internet. The U.S. Justice Department estimates that more than 17.5 million people were victimized in 2015 alone. The woman in this case had surgery for her bowel and her colon four years ago. Because of that, she is rarely able to leave her residence. She also has three teenage girls.

Two-and-a-half years ago, she received disability benefits, but then lost her benefits after her identity was stolen. She realized there was a problem when she received a letter from Social Security requesting her tax returns from 2011 to 2013. The woman does not file because she does not work. But the SSA told her that there were tax returns filed under her Social Security number. Although she reported what happened to her and she had hearings in front of an administrative law judge, her benefits were discontinued in December of 2015. She is in the process of trying to clear up the matter so she can receive her SSD benefits again.

Many applicants might feel a certain amount of relief when they are approved for SSD benefits, but will harbor the fear that they will lose their benefits at a certain point. There are many reasons why benefits might be discontinued, but one that few people think about is identity theft. There are many reasons why benefits might stop. It might have been done in error or the SSA could have acted capriciously due to a clerical or technical error. When a claimant believes SSD benefits were ceased unfairly and would like to try to restart them, the first step to take is to speak to an experienced attorney about filing an appeal.

Source: wate.com, "Knoxville woman's disability check taken away following identity theft," Don Dare, Jan. 13, 2016

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