Thanks to everyone who commented on the last blog post concerning surveillance and disability fraud investigations. Due to the comments we posted (and those we didn’t), we are writing this post about the concept of Malingering. What is it, and why would someone do it?
According to Medscape, malingering in the DSM-V is described as “”The essential feature of Malingering is the intentional production of false or grossly exaggerated physical or psychological symptoms, motivated by external incentives such as avoiding military duty, avoiding work, obtaining financial compensation, evading criminal prosecution, or obtaining drugs.” That’s a mouthful! Let’s look at a few cases involving the financial compensation part.
Larry Benson’s Fraud of the Day site recently wrote about a guy who was “mooching” by claiming to have an injury that didn’t prevent him from playing basketball and working out at the gym (good old surveillance at work). That guy got almost 9 years time for his fraud.
The military handles malingering under Article 115. You can find it by clicking HERE. It is a punishable offense. THIS retired Air Force captain suggests that the VA could possibly have fewer cases of malingering on their hands if they got corroboration from civilians who know what is really going on with the people they live and interact with (a form of surveillance and intel). Another story of a guy malingering and lying about injuries to obtain benefits (and being reported by others) can be found HERE. He faces a maximum of 15 years and a $250,000 fine.
It’s not just limited to physical injuries, unfortunately. The numbers of people getting diagnosed with PTSD has swelled through the past several years. And so have the numbers of people that actually have “Pseudo-PTSD”. Without a doubt, true sufferers of PTSD deserve all of the help, medical and financial, that our Country can give to them. Their symptoms also are COMPLEX. People who actually have Pseudo-PTSD, and are malingerers, take away the ability to do justice to the true sufferers. Many articles can be found on this but journal articles are respected more and one can be read by clicking HERE . A fantastic writeup done by an attorney on how to combat someone’s claim of PTSD (which includes surveillance and digging into the past of the claimant) can be found HERE.
Perhaps the Veteran’s Benefit Administration AND the Social Security Administration could financially benefit from using some of these resources in order to combat such fraud. Perhaps they already are! Your Country thanks you for your help in detecting it.
NOTE: it’s been one year since this blog started. We almost made it to 75,000 page hits! Many thanks for spreading the word, and we look forward to doubling the numbers in year 2. There is a lot left still to write about.