A couple from eastern Iowa has admitted they lied about their marital status in order to qualify for more federal benefits.
Donna Hanson of Solon has been getting Social Security Disability benefits for about 16 and a half years. On three different occasions she reported to federal officials that she was not married.
However, Robert Hanson told the Veterans Administration back in 2003 that he and Donna were married, which impacted his level of benefits. He also submitted a signed statement to the Social Security Administration in 2014, claiming that he was not married. The VA determined the couple has been married since October of 1999.
The two pleaded guilty to making false statements to the government this past May. Prosecutors say Donna Hanson got about $24,000 more in disability benefits than she was eligible for by claiming to be single. The couple was sentenced this week to four years of probation. A judge will decide later how much restitution they’ll be ordered to pay.