In 1996 Christopher Perry was found to be disabled and unable to work by the Social Security Administration. His application for Social Security Disability benefits was approved and he began receiving monthly payments.
From 2007 to 2008 Perry worked for the Social Security Administration, reviewing applications for SSDI. Earlier this month, Perry was sentenced to three years in prison and two years of supervised release; he had defrauded the government by collecting SSDI benefits when he was able to work and while he was actually working, according to the U.S. district judge overseeing the federal fraud case.
Perry qualified for benefits retroactive to 1995 because he suffered from AIDS.
After receiving treatment with an experimental drug, Perry’s health improved and he was able to return to work. He worked in a department store for a period of time and participated in the SSA’s ticket to work program. Eventually he landed a job as a benefits authorizer with the SSA.
Therein lies the irony – as a reviewer, Perry was tasked with processing assessments for overpayment of SSDI benefits to individuals who had returned to work under the ticket to work program. Attorneys for the SSA claim that Perry failed to report his own return to work to the SSA, which may have resulted in discontinuation of his disability benefits.
Perry’s attorney is appealing the conviction for Social Security benefits fraud, health care fraud and federal health benefit fraud. His attorney is arguing that Perry did not realize that he had to report his work to the SSA or that working would change his eligibility for disability benefits.
Source: Life Health Pro, “Court: SSDI benefits reviewer was collecting SSDI,” January 4, 2012