A California man who worked for the U.S. Postal Service for seven years before becoming disabled was recently convicted of insurance fraud. He originally faced 19 criminal counts including submitting false documentation in support of his claim for disability benefits, but pleaded guilty to only one violation.
The former tractor-trailer operator for the USPS suffered a back injury and sciatica nerve injury in 2000 and began collecting monthly disability checks. As part of his ongoing requirement to reaffirm his eligibility for continued benefits, the man submitted written statements falsely asserting his right to benefits, that he was not otherwise employed or self-employed.
However, an investigation by the USPS Office of the Inspector General revealed that the man had been employed as a General Manager for a local Domino’s, participating in all store tasks from prep to delivery. The man had acquired an ownership interest in that Domino’s, sold it and opened a new store in Hawaii, all while falsely asserting that he was not gainfully employed.
Whether the man was rightfully granted disability insurance coverage from the get-go is not the issue here, but rather that he wrongfully and fraudulently reasserted his right to disability benefits after he was no longer eligible. Many people throughout the country are wrongfully denied coverage for disabling conditions because insurance companies believe they are spending too much annually on fraudulent claims. If you have been denied coverage for a valid disability, you should contact an attorney about appealing the denial right away.
If you are currently receiving disability insurance benefits and are unsure of your rights and obligations under the terms of your policy, our firm offers a complimentary disability policy analysis.
Source: KTVU, “Former Postal employee convicted of workman’s comp fraud,” July 10, 2013