What Is Disability Fraud?

Its a sad thing to say but it seems that earning money illegally is becoming easy these days. One such method I’ve noticed, and it really upsets me, is disability fraud. Personally I think it is right that we, as a society, look after those who are unfortunate to be disabled. However, there are many individuals who feel that it is ok to play the system and claim benefits for disabilities they do not have.

In both legal and medical terms disability does not mean that a person is physically handicapped. Just because a person is able to do all the things that a normal man can do it does not really imply that the person is not disabled. There are a number of medical conditions which are not physically visible but they are still termed as disabilities.

What Is Disability Fraud

Invisible Disabilities

Such disabilities are known as “invisible disabilities”.

This is the area in which criminals are taking advantage of the system and literally cashing in.

Below are some of the common types of invisible disabilities –

  • Chronic Dizziness: This kind of disability is related to an improper functioning of the inner ear. Such a problem would cause problems to a person whilst performing some of the basic tasks like walking, sleeping or working.
  • Chronic Fatigue: If a person does not feel like working and always feels totally tired, then he might be suffering from Chronic Fatigue. This can have a very negative impact on the person’s daily life routine.
  • Mental Illness: Some forms of this disability can make a person mentally so vulnerable that they find basic and common daily tasks very had to perform. Disabilities like agoraphobia, depression, lack of concentration and schizophrenia are categorized under mental illness.
  • Chronic Pain: Some bone or physical injuries and back problems can lead to chronic pain. This kind of pain or disability might not be visible to everybody but people linked with the medical fraternity will easily detect such disability.

Of course there are a great many people with invisible disabilities such as those above who are perfectly genuine and who are suffering.

Unfortunately, however, there are also many people who fake such conditions for financial gain.

Types Of Disability Fraud

Below are some of most common types of disability fraud –

  • Doing legitimate work despite claiming to be suffering from disability: It has been found that people suffering from various invisible disabilities are working in jobs they claim they cannot do while enjoying the benefits offered for the disabled.
  • Pretending to be suffering from any kind of Injury: People do pretend to be suffering from some kinds of illness and even doctors can’t prove that wrong. So they intentionally pretend to be disabled, in order to enjoy the benefits offered to them by various agencies.
  • Continuing to claim benefits even after recovering from disability: Not all disabilities are permanent and people are cured every day. Some, however, continue to claim benefits for many years afterwards regardless though.

Tackling Disability Fraud

Disability fraud is extremely hard to prove and prosecute.

Many governments have already initiated various methods to tackle disability fraud but cynics, such as myself, wonder if they are doing enough, especially when recategorising such people as being merely unemployed could prove detrimental to their boasts of keeping jobless figures to a minimum.

Doctors cannot always detect whether a claim of disability is genuine or not and the politically correct society we live in now means you really ought to be very careful about questioning whether benefits claimants are legitimate or not.

Having said that, here in the UK we are encouraged to grass on our neighbours (another ploy designed to destroy society no doubt) but could you tell whether the disabled person living next door to you was faking it?

Probably not.

I don’t know what the answer is but I do know that we need to cut out disability fraud.

I’m of the opinion that far too many people claim benefits for fake disabilities in order to avoid working and we really ought to get them off their lazy backsides and into work so that they can contribute to society, allowing us to divert the money saved to those who really need it.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. derrick gains says:

    Some people deserve disability,and some people need to mind their own damn business …

  2. What is unaddressed are the assets one is allowed to have and get benefits? I know that one version of the program allows a person to exclude their home and car, and up to $3,000 in the bank. What about the other version? Can a person exclude a $350,000-450,000 home, multiple cars, $200,000+ in the bank, a 2nd home at times, able to do housework and yardwork, no children under 18, a working spouse making very good money, etc. Shouldn’t someone have to reduce their lifestyle or does the taxpayer have to pay to allow them to continue in their lifestyle??

  3. i just dont understand what is wrong with the groverment and the system they must be blind the reason is that how can a person that has never work for a living and is using drugs,just apply for disability and get it and us people that work have a hard time getting any kind of help,i have a relative that applied and now she is getting back pay and i wonder just like other people wonder how in the hell can this person get all this free money and never work and to me a disable person can not bend over and clean walls and use her hands to wipe down walls,iam so shock cause i work and just cause i get widows social security and i work but the groverment say i cant make over a certain amount and these fake drugies are getting more them me now there has to be something really wrong with the system,when my time comes that i have to retire i wont be able to cause all these fakers got it the groverment should really look where our hard working money is going to cause this is really to much,cause as broke as the system is how can they pay a person back pay and still get a $850.00 a month.maybe i should turn to drugs and not work,the groverment should get all these drug addicts off disablity and let them get a job and maybe we wouldnt be in debet like the state is.

    • Its the same where I live Olga – people who fake illness or stay at home and pop out kids ‘earn’ an awful lot more than I do. The system is broken.

  4. My ex husband is collecting disablitly for himself and our 2 children, although he can run heavy equipment,dig ditches with a hand shovel, hunt in the woods, get fire wood by himself, plow snow for people, weld for people (the list goes on and on), he still gets away with it. He “claims” he can do things, just not on a regular basis. Well technically the things he does he starts from “The beginning and finishes till the end.” How can that be justified? I am very frusterated. Especially when for 13 years I watched him use it as an excuse to not want to do something but when it benefits him he can jump up to do it.

  5. I totally agree. I used to do volunteer work at a non profit organization that would help people get on disability. Some people needed the help but I would say the vast majority are scammers. People just want to get paid for doing nothing. These people would come into the office, walk around town, go dancing and partying at night…they just didn’t want to work for a living.

  6. I have a neighbor that draws $1175. 00 per month disability but he also drives a semi truck. He says he can make up to $900.00 per month driving a truck while he receives disability. For a while he worked only enough to get $900.00 dollars per month but this last month he worked almost every day which makes me think he’s getting paid under the table.
    I’ve seen this guy put up a wood fence by himself, I’ve seen him with help from relatives put a metal roof on his house. I’ve seen him get on and off a small tractor all summer as he leveled his yard and I’ve seen him climb up and down getting in and out of his Freightliner truck to haul cattle. I have never seen him act like he was in any pain at all.
    I have back pains myself and there is no way I could do any of the things that he does. I filled out a form online for Social Security about this fraud but the Gov doesn’t seem to care.
    So my question is… Why is he allowed to work at all if he is supposedly unable to work and what more can I do about this fraud. His disability is suppose to be in his back. This is in the U.S.

  7. If it takes most persons an hour to complete a task and it takes one person, because of their disablity an hour AND 15 mins to complete a task- guess who an employer is going to kick to the curb. Just cause a person doesn’t look disabled to YOU has nothing to do with how that person will look to an employer.

    • Catherine, I have no idea what you are trying to say. I have a 45 y/o cousin who is developmentally disabled, but he has always worked. I’m a transsexual, and even though I have lost jobs due to the fact I’m not a genetic female: or translate; A REAL Woman, (the only reason I was passed over), my employer I have now does know about me. I’ve still always worked regardless…until recently it was only part-time but things have since changed. They could go back, but I do work. Catherine, sorry to say (and I could be wrong), but it sounds to me like you are simply looking for excuses.

      • I can’t believe that Jathe is literally unable to understand Catherine’s obvious point. So I guess it was more likely just rude rhetoric for Jathe to say “I have no idea what you are trying to say.” Obviously there are people who may not appear disabled upon casual contact but still have severe difficulties with performing adequately or consistently on a job. And obviously there are many employers who discriminate against people with even milder limits or challenges. It was also presumptuous, pointless and rude for Jathe to state that Catherine was probably just looking for an excuse. Jathe was wrong to even assume that Catherine was writing about herself. Regardless, Catherine made a valid and straightforward observation about a social problem that should be discussed thoughtfully and objectively, not responded to with personal attacks.

  8. jjjohnson says:

    It is much easier to get disability if you try to get it straight out of high school. If you worked 20 years and really need it, you can not get it and have to really fight for it. If you own your house they want you to sell it. The working man really is a sucker. If you are real young and are on disability why should you even be aloud to raise your kids. I know a child that was going to college , getting disability benefits and getting a welfare check and food stamps, not to mention she was cashing in on grant money and one of her checks was 9000 dollars. They finally caught on to her scheme, but all they did was tell her to quit school. She can attend class, she should be able to attend a work place. Them idiots have to know it was a scam, but they do not care. She is on disability for one of the emotional disorders depression or bipolar or something similar. She thinks every thing should be handed to her for free and I believe she made her kid have autism.
    How do you make a kid have autism. The answer is lock a child into a room with no communication lack of nutrients and this kind of crap happens. Why would she do that? its real simple another check. she even kicked her boyfriend out because he didn’t won’t another child, she already has two that she can’t take care of. If you can’t work for a living then it should be against the law for these types of people to have children.

    I am the one who got her kicked out of college because I made a report on her. To make matters worse she is my step kid and I say this very loosely. This sounds like a case for children services. No its not, children services are not very honest and loyal people. They oldest child seems pretty smart and seems like she is going to have a future. The problem here is they put kids in foster care and this makes kids messed up in the head and I don’t won’t any part of that type of nonsense. I remember when the child was in foster care and the little kid said why can’t I go with you nanny? The real answer was children services was not servicing no body, but them selves.

    People blame parents and act like there the reason there kids turn out bad. This is true in a way, but society, the government and law makers do not back parents up if they need it.

  9. I have seen many sides of this issue and at least in the U.S. it is way too difficult for seriously ill people to get basic social security disability. SSA routinely finds you ineligible until you go through multiple rounds of applications and appeals. They give you a long questionnaire to fill out and then when you do it, maybe taking a month, they say, well if you could do that, you must not be disabled. They lose your documents and put pressure on their doctors and analysts to find very sick people ineligible. The agencies are also understaffed and poorly managed. The judges are a little better, but some of them are also incompetent. Meanwhile, the private disability insurors are even worse. They will use every trick to drag out your case and find very sick people ineligible. For both government and private disability, you have to hire an expensive lawyer to have any chance and many very sick people spend years futily trying to get disability. But of course all the attention goes to people who make false claims. Where is your righteous indignation about all the very ill people who are put through living hell by slimy insurance companies and heartless, incompetent government agencies?

    • Not living in the US I can’t pass too much comment on that but I can tell you that here in the UK it seems far too EASY for some people to claim disability 🙁

    • I understand your frustration, Paul. I tried to get on disability many years ago and the same thing happened to me. I can only work part-time and rely on family to make up the difference that I can’t afford to pay for with my own income.
      It is so true that seriously ill people get denied all the time and those who are gaming the system will often times get benefits quite easily: I had a former employer who was HIV and had stomach cancer and his disability claim was denied (I’m not sure how many times) and he eventually died. He never did get it. Sometimes you will hear of cases where someone was approved a week before or a week after they died, but not him. Not even then.
      On the other side, I know someone who got on SSI on the first try for her alleged mental problems. She didn’t have a lawyer, a social worker or a therapist, and she managed to get approved. She even admitted to me (inadvertently, of course) that she could work, but it had been so long since she had (nearly 20 years) that she didn’t think she could get back into the daily grind of having a job again. So, from this, I’m assuming she is lying on her disability reviews to continue receiving SSI benefits. It’s truly a wonder she has never been caught.

  10. Kimberly York says:

    My x has claimed he was disabled for ten year. Has been turned down multiple times. Once again he is attempting to get disability. Many men have found this as a way out of support or at least paying the back support. He has been arrested sevral times on drug charges. In december he went to child support court due to non payment no leg braces nothing then in January 14th appeared in court with a leg brace stating he was appealing the last hearing he had 6 months ago. I have video’s of him climbing up the back of bleachers with his back injury. He has never wore a leg brace ever before, he appeared in court an now since he is out of jail he hasnt wore one either. His mom, dad an cousin have all filed for disability. It seems that after applying many many time he could be charged with attempted diability fraud

    • Sounds like the system worked as he has been turned down multiple times. It sounds like he could be charged with attempted fraud, but in the many cases of prosecutions I have heard of, they have gone after the people who were successful with false claims. Yes, many frauds are prosecuted.

  11. Hi, I just came across this page on a google search on false claims, Ive reported a female at least 3 time in the last year but nothing seems to be done about it, I feel so riled and let down by the lack of interest by the authorities too deal with my report, and after all the ad campaigns encouraging us to shop these fraudsters in!
    This particular female is single person living in a 3 bed house, having help with her mortgage and claiming income/incapacity for mental illness that was treated and long gone at least 4-5 years ago… she claims she is severely agoraphobic , can never go out .. ever .. but yet she is a lead singer in a rock/acoustic band that gigs out live at various venues. pubs event and at least 1-2 times a week also advertising for weddings and events for more gigs too…. i think we all know that those sort of jobs are generally cash in hand !!
    regulary holds rehoming days from her home providing cake tea ect… and attends college in the day !! offers reflexology massage and waxing … saying now if you were too give me money for the service ‘as a gift ‘ (nod nod wink wink ) that would be ok !!!!!! Its a joke !! And apparently she couldnt work ….. too weak and fragile with depression, house bound with agoraphobia. !!
    I’ve sent links to the authorities for her band site, full of past gigs future booked dates, weekly , photos from the site and others from facebook. she’s had of 4 foreign holidays in 1 year, goa turkey kenya paris etc… various pop concerts shes attended and many a photo of her at a few recent partys or down the pub !!!! You know what I could go on with even more bits adding to reasons above like accounts with savings undeclared too but im running out of steam typing !
    and all payed by us tax payers, now I would thats living a full social life ! .. nothing has ever been done about it … how much info do these investigators need exactly to look in to cases…. ! or is it all a big con too keep the rest of us happy feeling like the people at the top listen too us and care ! Im sick with it and what to do next.

    • Was she ever caught? This sounds exactly like this woman in Virginia who appears to do pratically the same thing. She even has a video on Youtube (someone else posted her performance online, not her) belting out a blues tune.

      Does anyone know if these people are ever caught? The government tracks down – and jails – the FEMA fraudsters, and Income Tax fraudsters…why not the disability fruadsters?

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