I had a case this week involving a fellow with a long history of orthopedic problems. He has had multiple surgeries on his neck and now he needs an operation on his lower back. He is over 55 and has no real education, training, or work skills. Seems pretty simple. Then the judge's office calls.
No Favorable Decision In The Face Of Earnings
It turns out that somebody had been using this client's Social Security number while working in someplace called Olathe, Kansas.
The judge relayed the message that she was convinced by the medical portion of the claim. But, with these earnings in the record, she could not find in my client's favor.
Report False Earnings At Once
Fortunately, there are options if you find out someone has been using your Social Security number. The first thing to do is report this fact to Social Security. If the circumstances support your allegation that the earnings in question are not yours, Social Security will remove these earnings from your record. In this case, my client had never even been to Kansas, let alone worked there.
The IRS Has A Form Just For This
You can also file IRS Form 14039. This form alerts the IRS to any earnings reported in your name that do not belong to you. I am
not sure of how effort the IRS puts into investigating claims like these. That said, it's important to file 14039 because it is an affirmative statement from you that you did not earn the wages in dispute.
Check Your Earnings Record
If you discover that someone out there, whether in Kansas or on the moon, has been using your Social Security number, report it immediately. Sadly, this sort of identity theft is far too common. It is worth checking your earnings record to see if there is any suspicious activity. You may never apply for Social Security disability benefits. But, if you do, you will be glad you reported any bogus earnings.
Have you been the victim of identity theft? What did you do? Let me know.