3 Signs of Disability Benefits Scams

On July 31, 2016

Signs of Disability Benefits Scams

Signs of Disability Benefits Scams

While applying for federal disability benefits (and/or SSI) can be an involved process, it can be far more complicated – if not precarious – if you happen to be taken by a disability benefits scam.

In fact, according to authorities at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), phishing and identify theft scams are becoming an increasing problem for SSDI and SSI beneficiaries.

To help you (and/or a loved one) avoid becoming the target of a disability benefits  scam, here are some important red flags to be aware of:

  1. Calls or emails asking for your personal information – These requests can seem official and may even be framed in terms of a need to “confirm” or “fix” your Social Security number or other personal, sensitive information (like your bank account number, credit card number, etc.).The fact is, however, that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will not directly call you or email you if there is a mistake with your information, application and/or benefits. Instead, the SSA will send you a letter via standard mail, explaining the discrepancy and requesting the update or fix.
  2. Websites that look like the  official SSA site but don’t end in “.gov” – Another common form of disability benefits scams comes via poser websites that are designed to look like the SSA’s site. If at any point you are prompted to submit your personal information on a website that may appear to be affiliated with the SSA, be sure to check for the .gov extension to verify the site is official.Do not submit your personal information to any site that appears to be affiliated (or mimic) the SSA’s site but that ends in a non-.gov extension. It’s quite likely those sites are scams.
  3. Requests for you to wire money or send prepaid debit cards – You do not have to pay any fees to the SSA in order to have it review and process your application for disability benefits or SSI. While there may be fees for related services (like having a physician complete/submit medical reports to the SSA or retaining an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the process), do not be tricked into wiring money or sending prepaid debt cards to some “official” with whom you have not met and worked.Again, these requests are most often scams (as legitimate doctors and lawyers helping you with an application will not ask for these forms of payment – and the SSA is not charging you for the submission of your application).

Your Disability Benefits Application: More Important Info about Avoid Scams

  • If you think you have been contacted by the SSA – At any point during the SSDI or SSI application process you believe you may have been contacted or approached by a scam artist:
    • Ask the person who has contacted you for his/her phone number so you can call them back – Scam artists will usually clam up, hang up or disappear when you ask for their information or start doing more digging about who they are.
    • Call the SSA directly to ask an official if the Administration has contacted you and/or needs something from you.
    • Report the incident to the FTC so authorities can investigate it further (and possibly take action against the scam artist(s)).
  • What else you can do to avoid disability benefits scams – If you are serious about avoiding SSDI and SSI scams – and positioning your claim for approval, the single best thing you can do is to retain an experienced attorney, like Portland Disability Lawyer Richard A. Sly. That’s because an attorney can take care of all of complicated administrative work associated with your case, helping you avoid pitfalls like scams.

Let’s Talk about Your Options for SSDI and/or SSI: Contact Portland Disability Lawyer Richard A. Sly

For experienced help obtaining federal disability and/or SSI benefits, contact Portland Disability Lawyer Richard A. Sly by calling (503) 406-1471 or by emailing our firm via the contact form on this page.

We offer free initial consultations, are conveniently located in downtown Portland near public transportation, and serve clients throughout the states of Washington and Oregon.

Categories: Disability Claims Lawyer, Hiring a Disability Lawyer, Signs of SSI Scams, Social Security Disability, Social Security Disability Benefits for Injuries, Social Security Disability Benefits for Mental Conditions, SSI Supplemental Security Income