I have written before to warn that some comments on this blog appear to have been authored by a person or person who pretends to be a current or former Social Security employee with actual knowledge of conditions at Social Security. There are a fair number of these posts which ring false to me but I only call out those that go beyond implausible. Here's one:
One case I remember was a mother receiving SSI benefits for a year and a half for a child she had given up for adoption at birth. Benefits were ceased for failure to cooperate. I had the case at the recon level (of course Mom asked for benefit continuation) and discovered this to be the case when I wrote to the hospital where the baby was born and the pediatrician they sent records to. Not only was there fraud on her part but her parents and other relatives withheld information.
Let me list the problems here:
- How does the birth mother get SSI benefits for a child she gave up at birth? The child would have to be quite sick. How would the birth mother know what was wrong with the child? How would she know where the child was being treated? Without this information, the birth mother can't get benefits. I can imagine the possibility of an open adoption where the birth mother would have some of this information so I'll just call this improbable.
- Doesn't the disability examiner notice the adoption when reviewing the medical records at the time the claim is filed? I have seen medical records on sick children. Pediatricians pay attention to the parents of sick children and mention facts like adoption in the medical records. In the case of a very sick child, I'm expect that adoption would be prominently mentioned in the medical records. Maybe the disability examiner missed this but it's improbable.
- Why would benefits be ceased for failure to cooperate a year and a half into benefit payments? Normally, a denial for failure to cooperate is something that happens when a case is first being adjudicated. This could happen but it's another improbability.
- The person writing this is posing as a current or former Social Security field office employee but says that he or she wrote to the hospital where the baby was born. That's not something that field office employees do. It's hard to imagine why the field office employee would even want to do this. This one is highly improbable. It sounds like it was written by a person lacking a firm grasp of the role of the field office versus the role of disability determination.
- Most important, there's no benefit continuation for a failure to cooperate cessation. This one is beyond improbable. It's impossible. Even if benefit continuation did exist for this circumstance if the birth mother could ask for benefit continuation she could certainly avoid cessation for failure to cooperate. Again, this sounds like it was written by someone who lacks a firm grasp of basic Social Security law and procedure.
Be careful when reading comments to this blog. Some commentators are pretending to have knowledge they lack. This seems to happen every time I write about anything relating to the incidence of fraud at Social Security. The poseurs could be Congressional staffers. They could be "think tank" employees. They could simply be paid shills and, yes, people are paid to write comments like this on blogs and newspaper articles. Posing as a government employee with inside knowledge is a common tactic.