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There seems to be no limits to reality TV topics. From storage units to mob wives, there’s a reality show about everything. There’s even a show about fishing for tuna, and one of the stars of that show landed in some hot water recently.
One of the stars of National Geographic Channel’s reality show Wicked Tuna has plead guilty to federal charges of Social Security fraud. Paul Hebert, Captain of the Wicked Pissah!, is known to viewers as one of the most dynamic and spirited members of the show.
Between 2010 and 2013 Hebert collected roughly $44,000 in Social Security disability and Medicaid benefits. He applied for disability benefits in 2009, claiming he was unable to perform critical parts of his job like lifting, walking, and sitting for long periods of time.
Hebert’s application for benefits was approved in 2010 and continued to receive benefits for the next three years. Hebert really was disabled at the time of his application, but he made a critical mistake after he was approved.
In 2012, Hebert joined the Wicked Tuna show and was clearly able to lift, walk, and sit. The show provides clear evidence that in 2012 he was able to work and no longer disabled. His mistake was not reporting that his condition improved to the SSA.
Anytime you’re receiving disability benefits and your condition changes, for better or worse, you need to let the SSA know about it. Because Hebert failed to do this, he has to pay more than $53,600 in restitution.
So far there’s been no indication that National Geographic will be cutting Hebert from the show or punishing him in any way.
Just because you get approved, doesn’t mean the work is over. The SSA has a dizzying list of rules you need to follow once you’re approved for benefits. Working with an experienced disability legal team like Jan Dils Attorneys at Law, will help prepare you for these rules.
Source- NBC New York
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law