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LawTalk
LawTalk, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 36738
Experience:  30 years legal experience
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What is the penalty for taking Social Security when the person

Resolved Question:

What is the penalty for taking Social Security when the person is incarcerated?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

The charges are quite varied and depend on how the information was used and whether any harm was caused to anyone, or money stolen somehow.

The potential charges for identity theft range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony.

The possible prison time for a Class D felony is 1 to 2 1/2 years, and a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by no more than a year in jail---however, if there is no criminal history for 5 years preceding this crime, then the court can order any sentence, including probation.

I wish you the best in 2011.

Because I help people here, like you, for a living---this is not a hobby for me, and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX abiding by the honor system as regards XXXXX XXXXX I wish you and your family the best in your respective futures.


Doug

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Please, I mean SS money goes into direct deposite, but the person is incarcerated and I don't know if it is illegal to keep taking the money but can't afford to live without it. Thank you
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Good morning,

Given that you are talking about social security benefits---such as retirement, disability or SSI payable to the person is jail, the answer is no----they/you may NOT continue to collect them any time the person is in jail/prison for an entire month or more. However any spousal benefits (such as retirement benefits that you collect based on a spouse's lifetime earnings) can be collected by an eligible spouse.

If you do not notify Social Security of the incarceration, at a minimum when you are caught, the benefits will end and there will be an overpayment assessment for every dime that was wrongfully taken while the person was incarcerated and you will get a bill for the overpayment. Even when he gets out, he may not get benefits until the overpayment is paid back. I'm sorry.


I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.


I wish you the best in 2011.


Because I help people here, like you, for a living---this is not a hobby for me, and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX abiding by the honor system as regards XXXXX XXXXX I wish you and your family the best in your respective futures.


Doug

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The minimun is I'd have to pay it back. What is the maximum? Thank you. I promise this is my last question .
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Good morning,

If the two of you commit a fraud by receiving benefits for years while incarcerated, especially if there is a purposeful attempt to conceal the status as a prisoner, the case may be referred to the Office of the Inspector General and possibly the Attorney General for fraud prosecution---a felony. You could actually go to prison for it.

Additionally the social security administration offers a bounty to prisons who report prisoners receiving benefits---they can get $200 to $400 bounty. So, think twice before you use the money.

I wish you well.

Doug



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