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Archive for January, 2011

Westfield Couple Receives Probation Over Social Security Benefits Case

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Allene Spearbeck and her husband, Harold Spearbeck, of Westfield, New York, received convictions of theft of government property for ill-gotten Social Security benefits. According to court documents, the couple will receive five years’ probation and make restitution of $120,000.

The Westfield couple received $119,990 in Social Security disability benefits and veteran’s benefits. The complaint alleges the couple was not entitled to such benefits.

Between November 2004 and March 2009, Harold Spearbeck worked as a truck driver for DTL Inc. Spearbeck collected disability benefits from Social Security and the Department of Veterans Affairs despite having full employment.

Allene Spearbeck worked in the office for DTL. In order to avoid a reduction in Harold Spearbeck’s disability benefit payments, according to the complaint, the couple used Allene’s social security number for tax purposes. This action allowed Spearbeck to receive $119,990 in benefits to which he was no entitled.

Congressional Budget Office Forecasts Social Security Shortfall in 2011

Monday, January 24th, 2011

According to the Congressional Budget, Social Security will post a $45 billion shortfall in fiscal 2011 year. According to the same report, Social Security will pay out more in benefits than it accepts in payroll taxes through at least 2021.

The Congressional Budget office announced the report in its bi-annual assessment of the United States budget. The CBO is a non-partisan office, which provides an economic analysis to the Congress. The office states the deficits would total $547 billion from 2012 to 2021.

The CBO forecast excludes transfers into the program from interest and other payments. According to the CBO, the weakest part of the current Social Security program is Social Security disability payments. The office forecasts that fund will deplete in 2017, if it continues without any legislative changes.

Amarillo Woman Guilty of Social Security Benefits Fraud

Friday, January 21st, 2011

An Amarillo woman has pleaded guilty to social security fraud. Blanca Alvarez, age unknown, faced charges of stealing Social Security benefits.

Alvarez pleaded guilty in Amarillo’s U.S. District Court to one charge of Social Security fraud. According to federal court documents, Alvarez filed for Social Security benefits on behalf of a child. The child was in a state foster care program.

Alvarez knowingly lied to receive disability payments for the child, according to the complaint. Alvarez received about $26,000 in Social Security payments for the child who was under the care of the state of Texas. The defendant waits to hear a judge’s decision; she is facing up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

Ways to Help Your Social Security Disability Claim

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Applying for Social Security disability benefits is a long process filled with paperwork. The Social Security Administration reviews each claim and collects supporting evidence. There are a few things you can do to help collect supporting evidence.

The SSA seeks past and future records that relate to your medical condition and disability claim. It is important to keep a list of all doctor and hospital visits, as well as any other medical services obtained. Such a list makes it easier to obtain medical records. A claim is sometimes denied based on lack of medical evidence or supporting documentation, even though an individual has a severe enough medical condition to qualify for benefits. You can provide copies of any medical records in your possession as well.

Another important part of a Social Security disability claim is receiving and responding to official notices from the SSA. Some communication requires a response within a designated period. Do not jeopardize your disability claim by responding late. Responding promptly helps the disability evaluation and benefit determination process proceed without unnecessary delays.