CONCORD – A 51-year-old Northfield man was sentenced to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for making false statements to obtain Social Security disability insurance benefits, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray announced Tuesday.
According to court documents and statements made in court, mechanic Robert Gallagher applied for Social Security disability benefits in May 2012 by falsely claiming he had been unable to work since Jan. 1, 2011.
To receive disability insurance benefits, an individual must have a medical disability that prevents the claimant from performing “substantial gainful activity” — that is, work activity that is the type ordinarily done for pay or profit.
Social Security advised Gallagher that he was required to report whether he was working, regardless of his income, and that if he provided Social Security with “false information on purpose, (his) benefits will be stopped.”
Although Gallagher was working when he applied for benefits, he concealed his work activity from Social Security. As a result, Gallagher began receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits in October 2013.
In December 2016, during an in-person work activity review, Gallagher again told Social Security that he had not been working.
But in 2017, during an audit of Department of Motor Vehicle inspections by the New Hampshire State Police, Gallagher told the inspector that he worked approximately 47 hours per week as both a mechanic and state vehicle inspector.
Gallagher subsequently admitted to an investigator from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), that he had worked since 2008 and that he lied to Social Security when he claimed he was not working.
As a result of his concealment, Gallagher received Social Security disability insurance benefits that he was not entitled to receive from October 2013 through March 2017.
Gallagher pleaded guilty on Nov. 13, 2018.