Penalties for Social Security Fraud

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There are several reasons you may be convicted of Social Security fraud, and the penalties vary based on the type of fraud and the length of time of the fraud. The penalties for Social Security fraud are outlined in Section 1129 of the Social Security Act.

Types of Fraud

There are several types of fraud. These include but are not limited to furnishing false identifying information on your application for Social Security or for the maintenance of Social Security, furnishing false information to increase your Social Security payments, making a false statement when determining Social Security eligibility, making a false statement about the amount of wages and the period of time those wages were paid, and using another person's Social Security payment.


The Social Security Act is contained in the U.S. Code. It is in Section 1129 of 42 U.S.C. 1320a through 8. This portion of the U.S. Code is accessible on the Social Security website (see References).


Penalties for committing Social Security fraud depend on the crime committed, in addition to a civil money penalty. The civil money penalty is not more than $5,000 for each benefit received during the commission of the fraud. The Social Security commissioner may also bar a medical provider or doctor from participating in any of the Title XVIII programs.

Penalties for Misconduct During Hearings

During any hearing on fraud, the official who conducts the hearing may assess any number of penalties, including but not limited to prohibition of introduction of evidence, striking pleadings, dismissing the action and entering a default if a party does not conduct himself properly during the hearings. The hearing official may also order a party to pay the other party's attorney's fees and costs.

Review of Assessed Penalties

A review of any assessed penalties may be heard before the U.S. Court of Appeals, which has several circuits. The appeal is heard in the circuit where the appellant lives. An appeal must be filed within a certain number of days of the commissioner's determination via a written petition asking for the determination to be set aside or modified.