A disability investigation is one of the typical varieties of case assignment handled by private sector investigators and insurance investigators alike. Often times, a disability claim may be related to a workers compensation investigation and may be handled by state or city law enforcement professionals.
Insurance fraud is a huge problem in our society, with plaintiffs, doctors and lawyers all trying to get money, often through any means necessary. When people fake disability for profit, there can be a high price to pay; including financial penalties, loss of benefits and even jail time for serious offenses.
This article explores the investigation of potentially fraudulent disability claims on many levels.
What is a Disability Investigation?
Disability claims are designed to allow a person to receive money if they can no longer work temporarily or permanently. Some people have endured unfortunate events which led to them becoming partially or completely disabled, physically or cognitively. These circumstances may preclude them from working to their capacity, or at all, for life.
Claiming disability is both a right and a privilege. The disability system is in place to help those who truly need it. Unfortunately, many people try to cheat the system, by claiming false injuries or exaggerating real injures that are not disabling or have long since healed. These are the claimants who stand the greatest chance of being investigated for disability fraud.
Disability Legal Facts
Claiming disability, without merit, is a criminal offense and can land a person in jail. Insurance fraud and workers compensation fraud are huge problems in society and lead to increased premiums for every type of insurance product coverage. The average family pays between $500 and $1500 a year in insurance premiums just to combat fraud practices. This is insane and unacceptable.
As a defensive trial preparation investigator for many years, I was thrilled to be part of debunking many false disability claims, in which the plaintiff was obviously lying. Surveillance showed these thieves doing everything they claimed was impossible, including sports, yard work and even construction. Additionally, many of these thieves were working off the books, while claiming that they could not get out of bed. For every one of these liars who were brought to justice, I slept a bit better at night.
Disability Investigation Advice
Do not defraud your insurance carrier or any municipal agency by claiming false disability. You are likely to be caught, either immediately, or in the future, and the penalties can be severe. Many crooks do not realize that suspicious cases are often reopened after years and rechecked. These instances often produce tangible evidence of fraud and lead to the arrest and convictions of plaintiffs, doctors and attorneys. I just wish it happened more often.
Likewise, I urge every investigator out there to take these criminal matters very seriously and take it personal if someone is trying to cheat your company or agency. It is only through active involvement that fraud will be reduced. Remember, the benefits to all of us are well worth the effort.