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Posts Tagged ‘Social Security payments’

Jefferson Woman Pleads Guilty to Social Security Survivor’s Benefits Fraud

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

According to the Gainesville Times, a Jefferson woman has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Social Security Administration. Tedra Ditmore, 38, made false statements while applying for survivor’s benefits following her husband’s death.

According to court documents, Ditmore received around $189,000 after telling the SSA she planned to legitimately use the funds for her children and their care. The SSA investigated and found that Ditmore’s children did not live with her and further, her husband did not provide 50 percent of their childcare and support while alive, as per Ditmore’s original claims.

The government argued that Ditmore received Social Security benefits on behalf of her children for benefits they did not deserve. Her fraudulent statements to the SSA might send her to federal prison.

Ditmore told the court that she made false statements to the SSA when she received benefits between 2005 and 2009. Her original children’s insurance survivor’s benefits claim was filed in 2005m a year after her husband died. Initial statements claimed Ditmore provided housing, caring and supporting of her two children. The investigators found that the children had been living with their biological father and were not biological children or survivors of the deceased.

Ditmore faces a maximum of five years in prison as well as a fine up to $250,000.

Government Considering Social Security Payments via Prepaid Debit Cards

Monday, February 7th, 2011

According to Forbes, the government thinks about how much it will cost to mail out thousands and perhaps millions of checks a year. In order to cut costs, the federal government wants people to move towards internet banking and direct deposits. However, not everyone in our nation has a bank account or a debit card.

In order to save on check printing and posting costs, the government is considering issuing a form of a prepaid debit card to the unbanked.

Social Security
and SSI recipients require monthly payments from the government. The government saved $44 million in 2008 by overhauling its payment program and moving towards an automated, check-less system. The government wants to expand this year and extend the program to all of those who do not have a bank account, estimated at nearly 17 million people. Currently, an estimated 54 million Americans receive some form of social security benefits.

Generally, prepaid debit cards come with many associated fees, which our government is surely taking into consideration. There are also fees to withdraw money from an ATM and fees for inactivity. The government has a better system in place than retail prepaid debit cards. Recipients of prepaid debit cards from the government have access to 15,000 fee-free ATMs.

The IRS started a mail campaign to 600,000 people with an annual income of $35,000 or less, asking if they would opt in to this program. Individuals who opt in receive a MyAccountCard Visa Prepaid Debit Card, where tax refunds will deposit. The federal government plans to offer plastic cards with minimal fees as an alternative to a paper check, which is convenient for Social Security recipients and a money saver for the government.

Pawlenty Proposes Social Security Benefits Cuts

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty stated that limiting Social Security payments to wealthier Americans could help the country lower its growing national deficit. Pawlenty, a potential 2010 presidential candidate, told an audience in the state of New Hampshite that annual increases in payments to wealthier Americans might be scaled. Pawlenty also stated that wealthier Americans do not rely on cost-of-living adjustments.

In 2009, the Social Security program paid out $700 in various benefits to more than 53 million Americans. The program faces a $5.3 trillion financial shortfall over the next 75 years as the nation ages and fewer Americans pay in workers taxes.

Current recipients of Social Security benefits have not seen an increase in payments during the last two years. Pawlenty suggested those with adequate income should have their payments curbed while others should receive payment increases.

Pawlenty also believes the nation should consider raising the retirement age.

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.