Apr 14, 2012


     From KPBS:
A National City [California] psychologist was arrested and charged today on suspicion of completing and selling immigration and Social Security forms falsely stating that his patients had a medical disability. 

Dr. Roberto J. Velasquez, 55, was charged with making false statements in immigration documents and applications for Supplemental Security Income disability benefits. ...

For a fee of $200, Velasquez would provide a form falsely stating that a person qualified for a medical disability exception, even though the person had no actual disability, according to the affidavit. 

Velasquez was also completing medical reports for people seeking to file applications for Social Security Administration's Supplemental Security Income program, authorities said. Velasquez would falsely state that those people had a medical disability, according to the affidavit.
      I've been representing Social Security disability claimants for more than 30 years and this is the first time I've heard of this happening. I expect it's happened but it's certainly uncommon.  It's not hard to understand why it's rare. Note that the psychologist is alleged to have charged only $200. That's not much money to get in return for prostituting yourself as well as risking jail and the loss of your professional license but that's about all you could hope to get for doing this because the claimants involved are so poor. You'd have to be pretty desperate or depraved or stupid to do it.


Anonymous said...

We had an orthopedic surgeon who fifteen years ago called me and told me to fill out my assessment form myself, mail it to him with a check for $200, and he would sign it. I wouldn't go along, and have never dealt with him. This guy just lost his license this year after three or four suspensions. They are out there!

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe you haven't seen this before. I get medical source statements all the time stating the claimant is disabled or noting limitations and restrictions that are so severe the claimant couldn't possible work or if believed, be able to attend the hearing. Unfortunately the treating records almost never support such severity. This is the case more than it is not.

Anonymous said...

It happens all the time, just usually in a not so explicit fashion.

Just this week I had a medical source statement that was the typical dead man's opinion -- extreme limitations in all areas, can't lift/carry any weight, etc, etc. HIs treatment notes from that VERY SAME DAY said "this patient is a malingerer with absolutely nothing wrong with him."

Doctors are under extreme pressure to keep their patients. If that means filling out paperwork that exagerates their functional limitations, you better believe drs do it every single day.

Anonymous said...

And we are supposed to blindly give controlling weight to treating doctors because ...?

Anonymous said...

"this is the first time I've heard of this happening"

Take the earplugs out of your ears and open your eyes. Are you kidding? This happens everyday and any attorney who represents claimants who says otherwise is only fooling themself.

I routinely see RFC statements from physicians which would indicate the claimant is a vegetable.