Mother accused of concealing child’s death to get benefits

Federal authorities have accused a Philadelphia mother of concealing the death of her 3-year-old child to collect Supplemental Security Income benefits for four years.

The U.S. attorney’s office alleged in an indictment unsealed Monday that 38-year-old Nakia Calicat failed to let the Social Security Administration know that her child died in July 2010. They said she continued to receive benefits until August 2014 that totaled $26,000.

Authorities said officials learned of the child’s death in August 2013 and notified Calicat that the benefits would cease, but they allege that she then falsely told federal employees on at least two occasions that her child was still alive.

Calicat is charged with wire fraud, theft of government money and related counts. Her attorney did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.