Home > Uncategorized > PSA: It May Be Illegal to Cash Your Dead Aunt’s WC Pension Checks for Ten Years

PSA: It May Be Illegal to Cash Your Dead Aunt’s WC Pension Checks for Ten Years

If you’re not a big fan of the antics of Justin Bieber, you might not be a big fan of some of his background singers either.  Apparently, Vernon Burris, a background singer for Mr. Bieber, is in some hot water over taking care of his disabled aunt.

Mr. Burris may even benefit from Mr. Bieber’s deposition tactics.

Deborah Wilkes, a former employee for Los Angeles County, had received a lifetime pension award, and her sister, Dolly Burris Bennett, was taking care of her.  Well, while Ms. Wilkes passed away in December of 2004, but Vernon Burris continued to sign her pension checks and deposit them into his mother’s account.  It is estimated that $165,000 was improperly collected from Los Angeles County.

Now, Mr. Burris managed to sing his way into an arrest in 2014, the authorities swooping in Justin time (see what I did there…? Because he worked for Justin Bieber…?)  So from the time of death to when a tip came in, LA had been paying out for about ten years!

Now, dear readers, before you close this blog post off from your computer screen and your thoughts, writing it off as a filler post and turning back to thoughts of your weekend, bear with me just for one minute more.

What procedure do you have in place for your pension cases, ranging from 70-100% permanent disability, to guarantee that the person receiving the pension is still entitled to it?  What program do you have to regularly check to make sure your closed cases don’t have potential to be reopened for a reduced award?

Diligence is expensive, and when dealing with someone honest, diligence may seem like an unnecessary expense.  But, the sad truth is that we don’t always deal with people who are honest.  Some people lie to get a workers’ compensation award.  Some people lie to keep the award.  Perhaps it makes sense to periodically check up on our semi-closed cases to see if it’s time to put away the checkbook.

Chins up, dear readers!  It’s going to be a good week – your humble blogger can feel it!

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