Disability Fraud Explained by NY Defense Attorney
Disability benefits may be available through private insurers; through workers’ compensation; through the Veteran’s Administration, or through the Social Security Administration. Each different government or private program has its own criteria for applying for and continuing to receive benefits. Benefits provided may include payment of medical bills or qualification for Medicare/Medicaid, as well as payment of ongoing income or wage loss benefits.
In some cases, individuals who apply for, or who receive, disability benefits are accused of defrauding the system. Serious state or federal charges can result in cases of disability fraud. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC provides legal representation to defendants, including benefits applicants, physicians, and others accused of involvement with disability benefits scams. We will work hard to help you avoid civil and criminal penalties, to help you avoid the loss of funds you have obtained, and to help you stay out of prison whenever possible. Give us a call as soon as you can if an accusation of fraud has been made against you.
What is Disability Fraud?
Disability fraud occurs whenever false or misleading statements are made to improperly obtain benefits from private disability insurers; workers’ compensation insurers; the VA; or the Social Security Administration disability benefits program. Omissions of pertinent information may also be considered a form of fraud. Examples of fraud may include:
- Exaggerating injuries, or assisting someone in exaggerating injuries, to qualify for disability benefits.
- Failure to report improvement in a medical condition that would result in the termination of benefits.
- Working under the table without reporting income when receiving disability benefits.
- Concealing income or assets when applying for means-test disability benefits, including benefits available through Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Claiming an injury sustained on personal time is work related to qualify for workers’ compensation disability benefits.
- Billing disability insurance providers for unnecessary medical treatment or for medical treatment not performed.
Disability fraud charges may be brought against individuals who apply for benefits with inaccurate information or who omit information when applying for or receiving benefits. Doctors and others who help to exaggerate disabling conditions or who bill for unnecessary services may also be charged with disability benefits fraud. Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Top Rated Criminal Lawyer
Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
What are the Criminal Penalties for Disability Fraud?
Criminal penalties for disability fraud can vary depending upon whether you face charges at the state or federal level, as well as depending upon the nature of the fraud that occurred and the program that was defrauded.
In the state of New York, defendants may be charged with insurance fraud under Article 176 of New York Penal Law, as well as Welfare Fraud under Penal Law Article 158. There are different degrees of both welfare and insurance fraud, with First Degree fraud the most serious offense and Fifth Degree fraud the least serious offense. A defendant may also be charged with aggravated insurance fraud. A past record of convictions and the amount of money obtained are two key criteria used to determine charges and possible penalties for a fraud scheme.
Defendants may also face federal charges. Defendants can be charged with a variety of offenses under 18 U.S. Code Chapter 47, related to fraud and false statements. The Social Security Act also addresses fraud in Section 1632, which imposes a penalty of up to five years imprisonment for knowingly and willfully making false statements in connection with Social Security benefits applications.
When the postal service, the Internet, or other means of communication are used to submit fraudulent benefits applications or otherwise to disseminate false or misleading statements in connection with disability fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud charges may follow.
How Can a NY Criminal Fraud Defense Lawyer Help?
Disability fraud crimes are serious, and penalties could include imprisonment and fines. You may also be required to return money obtained through a fraud scam. Defendants need to ensure they are aware of defenses available to them and options for a plea agreement in order to try to reduce penalties or avoid being convicted. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC understands the laws related to disability benefits scams and we can provide assistance in fighting charges. Give us a call today to learn more.