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Are You Under Investigation By The SSA?

Last updated: May 8, 2023

Most SSDI claimants don't realize the Social Security Administration has the power to investigate what they do. Consequently, you should be aware that they are watching you. How do you know if social security is investigating you?

How Do SSA Investigations Start

Employees at the local claims office typically kick off investigations. The SSA's local office often talks on the phone with claimants. If you need help with your application, they may be able to assist you. They may also call you to inquire about your doctors. The worker may decide to investigate you if they feel you are lying during these phone calls.

SSA has the option of receiving fraud referrals from its Office of Hearing Operations, individuals, or anonymous sources. The SSA is expanding its investigations of claimants across the nation.

A fraudulent claim for disability benefits can involve a person filing multiple claims in different states. Fraud investigations may also be conducted when individuals claim disability benefits while concealing their employment status. Lying about your disability is another example of fraud.

Disability Determination Services (DDS) receives a detailed report once the SSA investigation has been completed. Staff at the DDS make the final decision regarding your eligibility for monthly disability benefits.

Telling the SSA the truth is the best course of action. You should hire a law firm with experience in disability law to speak to the SSA on your behalf. It is not the SSA’s responsibility to let you know you are under investigation. 

You May Be Under SSA Investigation At Your Consultative Examination

SSA investigators typically accompany you to your Consultative Examination when they decide to start an investigation. Investigators are not police officers.

As a result of knowing that you will be attending the Consultative Exam, the SSA may follow you. Your actions during this period may be monitored by the Social Security Administration, which sets up Consultative Exams and pays doctors to perform them.

Consultative Examinations

Psychologists typically conduct Psychological Evaluations, whereas Physicians perform your Physical Evaluation upon the SSA's request. Your Physical Evaluation can be conducted by one or both. The Social Security Administration schedules your Physical Evaluation. It is advisable to attend. Failure to attend will result in your claim being denied. It is important to be aware that you may be investigated when you take the exam.

Investigators from the SSA are dispatched to the offices of the Consultative Examiner. The investigators park their cars outside the doctors' offices. Investigators sometimes pretend to wait for exams in doctors' waiting rooms like you.  The investigator may initiate a conversation with you. Likewise, they will listen to you if you are on the phone. In addition to watching you get out of the car, they will watch you walk. They will also check if you require an assistive device, such as a cane or walker. Investigators compare your behavior with the answers you provided about your daily activities on the SSA's forms.

What Will The SSA Investigator Do?

The investigator will listen to what you say if you are on your phone. The investigator will also watch your actions and check if you can drive a vehicle. The same goes for when someone drops you off or picks you up at your appointment. They will also note whether you need a cane or assistance getting into the appointment. Don't carry your cane if you bring one. Use it instead. They will observe and record your use of your cane. 

Your report might state that you can focus on your phone or computer game if you are using your phone. You will also be credited for the amount of time you sat on a chair if you claim back pain while waiting in the waiting area.

The Investigator May Follow You

The investigator will likely drive behind you if you attend your appointment by car. They will follow you if you drive home or to a store or gas station.  Following you after a doctor's appointment could mean they are watching you. If you go shopping, they will watch what you buy in the store. It will be their job to inquire whether you have any physical problems getting in and out of your vehicle. Depending on how well you can walk into the store, how long you can stand, or how long you can sit, they will also comment on your ability. 

Regardless of whether you are the subject of an investigation, your doctor and their staff will write about you. The doctor often watches you through the window when you get out of your car. The doctor is establishing your physical abilities. In their consultative report, the doctor will describe the doctor's observations of your behavior, your sitting and standing postures, and how you enter and exit the building.

If You Are Under Investigation By The SSA They May Come To Your House

Investigators from the Social Security Administration may come to your house to investigate you. The investigators are usually dressed as police or detectives. You have a right to request identification from them. You will typically be told that they are investigating identity theft. Other times, they may pretend to be looking into an internet crime. They may say they are investigating a complaint you made or one your neighbor made. To entice you into inviting them into your home, they can tell you another lie.  They usually say that they suspect your identity is being stolen. Occasionally, they will notify you that they are interviewing witnesses in the neighborhood based on complaints you have filed with the police.

You Do Not Need To Speak To SSA Investigators

It is unnecessary to talk to two investigators who arrive at your door with information about your identity theft or stolen laptop just because they claim to be investigators. You should not allow them into your house or answer any of their questions. You should not even speak with them. Make sure they show you their police badge. Stay away from them if they can't prove they're policemen. You do not have to invite them into your home even if they prove they are police officers.

It would be best for you if you didn't talk to them. But why? Despite not having any medical training to assess your disability, they are writing a report about you. These investigators do not have medical training in physical or mental health. But they are determining whether you "appear" to be disabled in a report. Does this seem ethical or fair to you?

What Do You Do If You Are Under Investigation?

There is no need to speak to investigators who follow you or come to your house. Investigators may ask your neighbors about you, even if you are not home. Your roommate or other family members may be asked questions about you. The neighbors and family members who live next to you are more than willing to tell strangers about you.

Your family member or roommate should know you don't want strangers to know anything about you, regardless of whether they claim to be investigating a crime for you.  SSA's collection of information about claimants and use of it against them raises serious constitutional concerns. It is also problematic for the government to use taxpayer money to investigate individuals who file credible disability benefit claims.

In addition to these issues, investigators without medical backgrounds should avoid making medical assumptions about people with disabilities. Some disabilities aren't visible, especially those who don't work in medicine. Keep an eye out for these investigators. The investigators are not your ally.

Even though they are not qualified to make that determination, SSA investigators write a report that says you are not disabled. There is nothing to worry about in SSA investigations. In most SSD and SSI cases, investigations are not conducted. Additionally, there's no need to be concerned if you have not committed fraud. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to understand how the SSA investigates. The next time you notice someone watching you or following you, let them know to stop.

Hire An Attorney To Represent You In Your Disability Case

The Social Security Administration often investigates people seeking disability benefits. Is it clear that you need a team of experienced legal professionals to represent you before the Social Security Administration? Not only do you need a lawyer for court, you need legal assistance to appeal the denial of your benefits by the Social Security Administration. Your paperwork must be completed accurately as well. Do not give the Social Security Administration any reason to investigate.

You also require an advocate in court if you want to explain to a judge why SSA's investigators shouldn't be evaluating your disability. You should ensure that your attorney requests that the SSA's investigation report be withdrawn. Your attorney should handle this since the report's people are not medical professionals. Thus, the "medical" opinion they gave about your disability should be removed from your record as it is unjustified.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I tell if I am under investigation by the Social Security Administration (SSA)?

It can be difficult to determine if you are under investigation by the SSA. You may receive a letter or a phone call from the SSA requesting additional information, or you may be contacted by an investigator or law enforcement agency directly. In some cases, the investigation may be conducted without your knowledge, and you may not be aware until a decision is made or legal action is taken.

What are some common reasons for an SSA investigation?

The SSA may initiate an investigation for various reasons, such as suspicion of fraud, overpayments, or inconsistencies in your application or case file. Common triggers for an investigation include unreported income, discrepancies in medical records or work history, or a report from a third party alleging fraud or misrepresentation.

What should I do if I am under investigation by the SSA?

If you are under investigation by the SSA, it is crucial to cooperate with the investigation and provide any requested information or documentation. In some cases, you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in Social Security matters to protect your rights and help you navigate the process. It is essential to be honest and forthcoming throughout the investigation, as providing false or misleading information can lead to severe penalties, including loss of benefits, fines, and criminal charges.

Applying for Social Security benefits can be an overwhelming process. If you are interested in seeking SSDI benefits, check out our article about Social Security's process to evaluate disability claims. To learn more, visit DisabilityHelp.org today!

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Cheri Hermanson
Cheri leads our team of writers in producing the best quality content there is regarding society and disability, most especially those that helps ease the quality of life for our differently-abled loved ones.
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