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(National Review)   Legal representatives of handicapped SSA recipients received over $642.6 million in the first 6 months of 2013   (nationalreview.com) divider line 46
    More: Sick, SSA, Social Security Act  
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907 clicks; posted to Politics » on 08 Jul 2013 at 12:16 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



46 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-07-08 08:29:01 AM
thank reagan for the fat meal ticket for lawyers

shooting fish in a barrel
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-07-08 08:38:54 AM
Somehow, I suspect that making the process easy enough that ordinary people can handle it without a lawyer is going to be their conclusion.
 
2013-07-08 08:57:02 AM
Mangled headline is almost as mangled as the SSI system.

/dnctfl
 
2013-07-08 09:05:28 AM
Attorneys bad, government handouts bad, sick people bad, disabled people bad, poor people bad. There, I saved you a click.
 
2013-07-08 09:17:11 AM
In fairness, almost anyone applying for Social Security Disability will need a lawyer. I don't know if it's a workload issue or some other bureaucratic nonsense, but applications are almost always denied on the first go around. After that, the applicant has to appeal the denial. Disability lawyers aren't exactly making a mint, either. They have to do a very high volume of work to make money. If you want to know where the problem lies, it's not with the lawyers. It's with the bureaucratic inefficiencies that need to be addressed to help truly disabled people get their benefits sooner while still screening out unwarranted claims.
 
2013-07-08 09:20:24 AM

Nabb1: In fairness, almost anyone applying for Social Security Disability will need a lawyer. I don't know if it's a workload issue or some other bureaucratic nonsense, but applications are almost always denied on the first go around. After that, the applicant has to appeal the denial. Disability lawyers aren't exactly making a mint, either. They have to do a very high volume of work to make money. If you want to know where the problem lies, it's not with the lawyers. It's with the bureaucratic inefficiencies that need to be addressed to help truly disabled people get their benefits sooner while still screening out unwarranted claims.


Yes, but eliminating those inefficiencies would mean a couple of people without a valid claim would be able to get SSI, so therefore we need to make it as difficult as possible for everyone else as per American tradition of screwing 100 innocent people in order to stop 1 guilty person.
 
2013-07-08 11:04:10 AM
Never get a national firm to represent you in your disability case.  Their business model is to take as many cases as possible, throw them at the wall, and see what sticks.  They don't really care about your claim individually as long as they are taking enough cases.

However, disability attorneys are, for the most part, limited to 25% of your past due payments or $6,000, whichever is less.  That is not a "lavish payment" for an attorney.  They don't make a lot of money on any one case.  Local attorneys fight very hard for that fee.  Hire locally if you want an attorney that cares about your case.
 
2013-07-08 11:12:31 AM

Nabb1: f you want to know where the problem lies, it's not with the lawyers.


That's never going to work.
 
2013-07-08 11:41:39 AM
Is that a lot? I have no idea by what metric I'm supposed to be judging this number.
 
2013-07-08 11:57:59 AM
Admins accidentally this headline
 
2013-07-08 11:58:59 AM
The myth that somehow people are living high off the hog on disability payments is just wrong.

I hate shady lawyers as much as the next guy and I hope that any fraud is investigated and prosecuted.
 
2013-07-08 12:19:07 PM
NRO...nope...not clicking...sorry subby.
 
2013-07-08 12:20:09 PM
Use your words, subby.
 
2013-07-08 12:22:00 PM

vernonFL: The myth that somehow people are living high off the hog on disability payments is just wrong.


I have friend who is an amputee with lots of other injuries from a motorcycle accident. After rent and utilities his food budget is $35 a week. Now that is living!!!
 
2013-07-08 12:23:32 PM

cman: Admins accidentally this headline


The whole thing?
 
2013-07-08 12:24:26 PM

monoski: vernonFL: The myth that somehow people are living high off the hog on disability payments is just wrong.

I have friend who is an amputee with lots of other injuries from a motorcycle accident. After rent and utilities his food budget is $35 a week. Now that is living!!!


Pffffft, I bet he has a refrigerator WITH an ice maker.
 
2013-07-08 12:25:09 PM
I have come expect poor grammar misplaced words, and missing words when reading internet articles. Et tu Fark Mods?
 
2013-07-08 12:26:08 PM
Headline needs an action verb.
 
2013-07-08 12:26:46 PM

monoski: vernonFL: The myth that somehow people are living high off the hog on disability payments is just wrong.

I have friend who is an amputee with lots of other injuries from a motorcycle accident. After rent and utilities his food budget is $35 a week. Now that is living!!!


I bet he's allowed to vote, too!
 
2013-07-08 12:27:16 PM
Came to comment on subby accidentally-ing the whole thing. Saw that's covered.
 
2013-07-08 12:27:45 PM

Virtuoso80: Headline needs an action verb.

 
2013-07-08 12:28:26 PM
FTW: "The only reason Mr. Enzi would "be in any difficulty is if there's a weird group of Republicans who think compromise is akin to communism," said Mr. Simpson.

PRIMARY HIM!
 
2013-07-08 12:29:25 PM
It's funny how fast Social Security went from "third rail" to "KILL IT! KILL IT QUICK!"
 
2013-07-08 12:31:02 PM

Nabb1: In fairness, almost anyone applying for Social Security Disability will need a lawyer. I don't know if it's a workload issue or some other bureaucratic nonsense, but applications are almost always denied on the first go around. After that, the applicant has to appeal the denial. Disability lawyers aren't exactly making a mint, either. They have to do a very high volume of work to make money. If you want to know where the problem lies, it's not with the lawyers. It's with the bureaucratic inefficiencies that need to be addressed to help truly disabled people get their benefits sooner while still screening out unwarranted claims. were created in response to people screaming about the poor cheating the system to get refrigerators.


Adjusted that for ya.

Cheers.
 
2013-07-08 12:32:14 PM
Just read the comments section in the article.  Most of the truly knowledgeable explain the process and how attorney fees, in nearly every instance are "capped" at $6,000.

Somehow, I doubt many farkers thought we were talking about peanuts in reality.
 
As an attorney, I can tell you that a $6,000 fee in most cases which require hearings, developing evidence which likely included taking depositions, securing expert witnesses, etc. is not exactly a windfall.  (And it's all based on a "contingency fee" - if you don't win, you don't get paid.)

Wow, such insight provided by the NRO.  Claims are up, by a substantial percentage! (Oh MY GOD!)  Ignoring the fact that the population that can make claim to SSDI is quickly aging and many are probably inflicted with a lifetime of injuries, diseases, etc. that could lead to them filing a claim.   ONE IN SEVEN AMERICANS IS DRAWING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS!   (Where's my fainting couch?)   Oh, one in seven Americans is over the age of 65 and the ratio of benefits being paid directly correlates to the age of the recipient?  (Never Mind.)

Typical, another NRO article that breathlessly takes on an issue in such a false light that would lead one to think the worst, when there's a fairly intelligent and obvious explanation for what is going on.  Of course, why is any Farker surprised by NRO's inability to refrain from blowing something completely out of proportion?
 
2013-07-08 12:35:23 PM

Three Crooked Squirrels: Never get a national firm to represent you in your disability case.  Their business model is to take as many cases as possible, throw them at the wall, and see what sticks.  They don't really care about your claim individually as long as they are taking enough cases.

However, disability attorneys are, for the most part, limited to 25% of your past due payments or $6,000, whichever is less.  That is not a "lavish payment" for an attorney.  They don't make a lot of money on any one case.  Local attorneys fight very hard for that fee.  Hire locally if you want an attorney that cares about your case.


I'm an attorney in a (mostly) national firm (I travel at least one a week for hearings) and I work my damn ass off to win for my clients. Money has nothing to do with it, I have an ethical obligation to fight as hard as I can and I do. I know some of the other "big" firms phone it in - oh, how I've cleaned up their messes on a refile - but I don't and I haven't had a client yet tell me I didn't leave it all on the field after a hearing.
 
2013-07-08 12:40:23 PM

lawboy87: Just read the comments section in the article.  Most of the truly knowledgeable explain the process and how attorney fees, in nearly every instance are "capped" at $6,000.

Somehow, I doubt many farkers thought we were talking about peanuts in reality.
 
As an attorney, I can tell you that a $6,000 fee in most cases which require hearings, developing evidence which likely included taking depositions, securing expert witnesses, etc. is not exactly a windfall.  (And it's all based on a "contingency fee" - if you don't win, you don't get paid.)

Wow, such insight provided by the NRO.  Claims are up, by a substantial percentage! (Oh MY GOD!)  Ignoring the fact that the population that can make claim to SSDI is quickly aging and many are probably inflicted with a lifetime of injuries, diseases, etc. that could lead to them filing a claim.   ONE IN SEVEN AMERICANS IS DRAWING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS!   (Where's my fainting couch?)   Oh, one in seven Americans is over the age of 65 and the ratio of benefits being paid directly correlates to the age of the recipient?  (Never Mind.)

Typical, another NRO article that breathlessly takes on an issue in such a false light that would lead one to think the worst, when there's a fairly intelligent and obvious explanation for what is going on.  Of course, why is any Farker surprised by NRO's inability to refrain from blowing something completely out of proportion?


Most cases that go to a hearing aren't max fee cases, often you're getting $1k to $3k, which needs to support admin staff, paralegals, medical record request/processing (which is technically under the SSA's burden but they usually don't do shiat to get records once it hits the hearing level, especially if the claimant is represented), and plenty of other costs.
 
2013-07-08 12:42:59 PM

Virtuoso80: Headline needs an action verb.


Here you are.
 
2013-07-08 12:43:48 PM
Who the fark words?
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-07-08 12:43:56 PM
bullsheet.files.wordpress.com

They're all scammers.  omergard!
 
2013-07-08 12:45:43 PM
NRO would have us believe that taxes are a one way street, and they do appear to be for those in Blue States who receive astounding less back than contribute.

Here's an example of taxes being a two-way street. A program that serves one in seven Americans must be a good program, addressing a real need. That's like every other house on the street. Efficiencies can be tweaked always.

But when the NRO and its ilk create the inefficiencies and then whine about professionals hired to untangle their red tape, that's really precious.
 
2013-07-08 01:47:54 PM

lawboy87: Just read the comments section in the article.  Most of the truly knowledgeable explain the process and how attorney fees, in nearly every instance are "capped" at $6,000.

Somehow, I doubt many farkers thought we were talking about peanuts in reality.
 
As an attorney, I can tell you that a $6,000 fee in most cases which require hearings, developing evidence which likely included taking depositions, securing expert witnesses, etc. is not exactly a windfall.  (And it's all based on a "contingency fee" - if you don't win, you don't get paid.)

Wow, such insight provided by the NRO.  Claims are up, by a substantial percentage! (Oh MY GOD!)  Ignoring the fact that the population that can make claim to SSDI is quickly aging and many are probably inflicted with a lifetime of injuries, diseases, etc. that could lead to them filing a claim.   ONE IN SEVEN AMERICANS IS DRAWING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS!   (Where's my fainting couch?)   Oh, one in seven Americans is over the age of 65 and the ratio of benefits being paid directly correlates to the age of the recipient?  (Never Mind.)

Typical, another NRO article that breathlessly takes on an issue in such a false light that would lead one to think the worst, when there's a fairly intelligent and obvious explanation for what is going on.  Of course, why is any Farker surprised by NRO's inability to refrain from blowing something completely out of proportion?


Social security hearings require none of that. No deps, no experts paid by the reps, and most don't even write briefs. The experts are supplied by the government, there is no opposing counsel, and the government pays for a lot of the medical records. The big firms rake in tons of cash and pay their associates a pittance. A good number of reps straight up misrepresent the evidence, and don't face consequences because the law is slanted in their favor. They don't even have to be lawyers! Therefore, a ton of reps aren't even subject to the rules of professional conduct! One guy in particular has made 10s of millions of $ off the government. People get rich doing this work and there is no oversight!

Also a lot of the claims are frivolous and not even a close call. Some people are just unemployable, but it isn't due to a disability.
 
2013-07-08 02:11:50 PM

Poopspasm: monoski: vernonFL: The myth that somehow people are living high off the hog on disability payments is just wrong.

I have friend who is an amputee with lots of other injuries from a motorcycle accident. After rent and utilities his food budget is $35 a week. Now that is living!!!

Pffffft, I bet he has a refrigerator WITH an ice maker.


Fridge, yes. Ice maker, no but he does have a cell phone so there may be a case to be made here.
 
2013-07-08 02:16:00 PM

Nabb1: In fairness, almost anyone applying for Social Security Disability will need a lawyer. I don't know if it's a workload issue or some other bureaucratic nonsense, but applications are almost always denied on the first go around. After that, the applicant has to appeal the denial. Disability lawyers aren't exactly making a mint, either. They have to do a very high volume of work to make money. If you want to know where the problem lies, it's not with the lawyers. It's with the bureaucratic inefficiencies that need to be addressed to help truly disabled people get their benefits sooner while still screening out unwarranted claims.



Lawyers are, themselves, a "bureaucratic inefficiency" when it comes to disability claims.  They serve no real purpose for the claimant during the process, because the presence of one has no effect on the decision made.  They are completely useless during the application and reconsideration process, and can add nothing to the claim's chances.

On the other hand, if an attorney is involved, they effectively become a constant middleman.  Every little thing gets that one extra step, plus the day-or-two response turnaround time of their office.   Permission forms for medical records requests?  Send them to the lawyer, because he'll have to pass them along to the claimant whenever he gets around to it (and sit on the claim meanwhile, because you can do nothing with it until those come back).  Question for the claimant, to find out whether his "feeling sad" warrants an MSE and expansion of the claim or if he's just feeling down from being out of work?  Call the office, to eventually call him, to have him eventually call DDS.

And for the most part, the on-staff doctors- the ones who make the real determination on the claim- will never know a lawyer was involved.  The claim adjudicator?  He's just taking calls from claimants and lawyers, gathering and compiling info for the docs, requesting records and bothering hospitals, and eventually signing whatever decision they happen to give him.  Nearly everything an adjudicator does is a matter of pre-established policy; the personal phone time required (and the sensitivity of some of the interviews) are probably the only reason it hasn't been automated yet.  Deviate from the process (basically anything beyond the level of asking "Hey doc, did you notice this part?") and QA will just pass the claim back up for "correction."

If you get denied on reconsideration?  By all means, lawyer up and haul it before a judge.  Make sure to save all the correspondences between you and DDS and pass them along; he'll request all the previous claim records as a matter of course.  Hire one before that point, though, and you're wasting money...  and more importantly, time.  The process is already arranged such that there's really nothing productive there for a lawyer to do except kill time and collect fees.

/at least, that's the way it was for us
//wouldn't do that job again for twice the pay
 
2013-07-08 07:24:07 PM

zeroman987: lawboy87: Just read the comments section in the article.  Most of the truly knowledgeable explain the process and how attorney fees, in nearly every instance are "capped" at $6,000.

Somehow, I doubt many farkers thought we were talking about peanuts in reality.
 
As an attorney, I can tell you that a $6,000 fee in most cases which require hearings, developing evidence which likely included taking depositions, securing expert witnesses, etc. is not exactly a windfall.  (And it's all based on a "contingency fee" - if you don't win, you don't get paid.)

Wow, such insight provided by the NRO.  Claims are up, by a substantial percentage! (Oh MY GOD!)  Ignoring the fact that the population that can make claim to SSDI is quickly aging and many are probably inflicted with a lifetime of injuries, diseases, etc. that could lead to them filing a claim.   ONE IN SEVEN AMERICANS IS DRAWING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS!   (Where's my fainting couch?)   Oh, one in seven Americans is over the age of 65 and the ratio of benefits being paid directly correlates to the age of the recipient?  (Never Mind.)

Typical, another NRO article that breathlessly takes on an issue in such a false light that would lead one to think the worst, when there's a fairly intelligent and obvious explanation for what is going on.  Of course, why is any Farker surprised by NRO's inability to refrain from blowing something completely out of proportion?

Social security hearings require none of that. No deps, no experts paid by the reps, and most don't even write briefs. The experts are supplied by the government, there is no opposing counsel, and the government pays for a lot of the medical records. The big firms rake in tons of cash and pay their associates a pittance. A good number of reps straight up misrepresent the evidence, and don't face consequences because the law is slanted in their favor. They don't even have to be lawyers! Therefore, a ton of reps aren't even subject to the rules of professional co ...


It was the copious links and citations that made this post pop for me.
 
2013-07-08 07:35:30 PM

lawboy87: Just read the comments section in the article.  Most of the truly knowledgeable explain the process and how attorney fees, in nearly every instance are "capped" at $6,000.

Somehow, I doubt many farkers thought we were talking about peanuts in reality.


The problem with this is that it is ridiculously easy to get a fee increase petition beyond the $6,000 approved under 42 USC 406(a)(3).  Most ALJ's sign them without a second thought, and on the off chance they are denied they'll just be rubber stamped by the more senior ALJ's.  Overbilling, double-billing, and even downright fraudulent bills get through all the time.  And because of the backlog of SSI/SSDI claims, most ALJ's have neither the time nor the inclination to challenge attorneys who make fraudulent submissions, and the ones who do end up in trouble.

And yes, Binder & Binder attorneys seem to pull this bullshiat all the time.  Nobody wants to hold them - or any other of these fraudsters - accountable.  (Hell, an ALJ can't even report an attorney who submits a fraudulent bill to the bar for discipline.)

/former government bureaucrat
//tossed off the fiscal cliff
//you can't fight city hall :\
 
2013-07-08 07:45:35 PM

BMulligan: zeroman987: lawboy87: Just read the comments section in the article.  Most of the truly knowledgeable explain the process and how attorney fees, in nearly every instance are "capped" at $6,000.

Somehow, I doubt many farkers thought we were talking about peanuts in reality.
 
As an attorney, I can tell you that a $6,000 fee in most cases which require hearings, developing evidence which likely included taking depositions, securing expert witnesses, etc. is not exactly a windfall.  (And it's all based on a "contingency fee" - if you don't win, you don't get paid.)

Wow, such insight provided by the NRO.  Claims are up, by a substantial percentage! (Oh MY GOD!)  Ignoring the fact that the population that can make claim to SSDI is quickly aging and many are probably inflicted with a lifetime of injuries, diseases, etc. that could lead to them filing a claim.   ONE IN SEVEN AMERICANS IS DRAWING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS!   (Where's my fainting couch?)   Oh, one in seven Americans is over the age of 65 and the ratio of benefits being paid directly correlates to the age of the recipient?  (Never Mind.)

Typical, another NRO article that breathlessly takes on an issue in such a false light that would lead one to think the worst, when there's a fairly intelligent and obvious explanation for what is going on.  Of course, why is any Farker surprised by NRO's inability to refrain from blowing something completely out of proportion?

Social security hearings require none of that. No deps, no experts paid by the reps, and most don't even write briefs. The experts are supplied by the government, there is no opposing counsel, and the government pays for a lot of the medical records. The big firms rake in tons of cash and pay their associates a pittance. A good number of reps straight up misrepresent the evidence, and don't face consequences because the law is slanted in their favor. They don't even have to be lawyers! Therefore, a ton of reps aren't even subject to the rules of pro ...


Look at 20 CFR 400-499. There are no provisions for deps, the experts are paid by the government (the vocational expert and medical expert), and the reps don't even have to be attorneys. The reps don't even get to do discovery. Look at the regulations, do you see any provisions for opposing counsel???? This is a non-adversarial hearing.

Because its non-adversarial, most reps don't write briefs and the ones that do are either really good at their job or selectively put together evidence in a barely readable "paragraph." If you ever talk to a claimant, you will find out that many times they haven't even met the rep they go into the hearing room with until the day of the hearing. There are good reps out there, but there are a lot of shady ones that engage in unethical practices, and its usually the big national firms. By some weird coincidence, they are also the ones that make the most money.

Honestly, the way to solve this is to either get rid of reps altogether, to give the agency counsel in the hearing room and make it adversarial, and/or change the rules to hold the reps to some sort of ethical standards like a normal lawyer would be.
 
2013-07-08 08:42:12 PM

zeroman987: Because its non-adversarial, most reps don't write briefs and the ones that do are either really good at their job or selectively put together evidence in a barely readable "paragraph." If you ever talk to a claimant, you will find out that many times they haven't even met the rep they go into the hearing room with until the day of the hearing. There are good reps out there, but there are a lot of shady ones that engage in unethical practices, and its usually the big national firms. By some weird coincidence, they are also the ones that make the most money.


The way the SSA has locked down the fee structure, the only way to make decent money as an attorney in disability law is to focus on it solely and to throw a wide net. I agree there are several bad national firms, but my clients hear from me before I see them. Some of us actually work for a living.

Honestly, the way to solve this is to either get rid of reps altogether, to give the agency counsel in the hearing room and make it adversarial, and/or change the rules to hold the reps to some sort of ethical standards like a normal lawyer would be.

Option one won't work as a possible violation of due process. Option two could work, but it would vastly increase the amount of overhead. Option three is probably the best option, but how much money do you want to bet that someone will biatch about "lawyers are cutting out regular Joe citizens so they can have a monopoly?" As a practical matter, it would require the reps to be attorneys.
 
2013-07-08 08:47:11 PM

Wasteland: If you get denied on reconsideration?  By all means, lawyer up and haul it before a judge.  Make sure to save all the correspondences between you and DDS and pass them along; he'll request all the previous claim records as a matter of course.  Hire one before that point, though, and you're wasting money...  and more importantly, time.  The process is already arranged such that there's really nothing productive there for a lawyer to do except kill time and collect fees


I can point to at least a triple digit number of clients who would've never gotten to the hearing stage without an attorney riding their ass to appeal or to complete forms that DDS and the DO would never follow-up on. Hell, I can point to a significant number of clients who were told to "don't appeal, just refile, it's easier" by the DO within the 60 days following a denial  but had a Date Last Insured prior to the denial. And that's even before considering MSS to providers, encouraging DDS to get a CE when a claimant is indigent but might meet a listing, etc etc.
 
2013-07-08 09:08:58 PM

Solon Isonomia: Wasteland: If you get denied on reconsideration?  By all means, lawyer up and haul it before a judge.  Make sure to save all the correspondences between you and DDS and pass them along; he'll request all the previous claim records as a matter of course.  Hire one before that point, though, and you're wasting money...  and more importantly, time.  The process is already arranged such that there's really nothing productive there for a lawyer to do except kill time and collect fees

I can point to at least a triple digit number of clients who would've never gotten to the hearing stage without an attorney riding their ass to appeal or to complete forms that DDS and the DO would never follow-up on. Hell, I can point to a significant number of clients who were told to "don't appeal, just refile, it's easier" by the DO within the 60 days following a denial  but had a Date Last Insured prior to the denial. And that's even before considering MSS to providers, encouraging DDS to get a CE when a claimant is indigent but might meet a listing, etc etc.


That is pretty inexcusable behavior by the D.O. and the judge should reopen the prior claim. I am surprised the AC would let that one fly, they send stuff back for less.
 
2013-07-08 09:14:31 PM

zeroman987: Social security hearings require none of that. No deps, no experts paid by the reps, and most don't even write briefs. The experts are supplied by the government, there is no opposing counsel, and the government pays for a lot of the medical records. The big firms rake in tons of cash and pay their associates a pittance. A good number of reps straight up misrepresent the evidence, and don't face consequences because the law is slanted in their favor. They don't even have to be lawyers! Therefore, a ton of reps aren't even subject to the rules of professional conduct! One guy in particular has made 10s of millions of $ off the government. People get rich doing this work and there is no oversight!

Also a lot of the claims are frivolous and not even a close call. Some people are just unemployable, but it isn't due to a disability.


Got anything to back this up like a citation from a reputable source or personal experience?
 
2013-07-08 09:18:38 PM

zeroman987: Solon Isonomia: Wasteland: If you get denied on reconsideration?  By all means, lawyer up and haul it before a judge.  Make sure to save all the correspondences between you and DDS and pass them along; he'll request all the previous claim records as a matter of course.  Hire one before that point, though, and you're wasting money...  and more importantly, time.  The process is already arranged such that there's really nothing productive there for a lawyer to do except kill time and collect fees

I can point to at least a triple digit number of clients who would've never gotten to the hearing stage without an attorney riding their ass to appeal or to complete forms that DDS and the DO would never follow-up on. Hell, I can point to a significant number of clients who were told to "don't appeal, just refile, it's easier" by the DO within the 60 days following a denial  but had a Date Last Insured prior to the denial. And that's even before considering MSS to providers, encouraging DDS to get a CE when a claimant is indigent but might meet a listing, etc etc.

That is pretty inexcusable behavior by the D.O. and the judge should reopen the prior claim. I am surprised the AC would let that one fly, they send stuff back for less.


Oh, I agree, but it happens far more often than it should. Seriously, I wouldn't have a job if the SSA actually followed its nonadversarial policy and did half the work  my firm does. The more I do this work the more "arbitrary and capricious" appears to be the law of the land.
 
2013-07-08 09:22:06 PM

bgilmore5: zeroman987: Social security hearings require none of that. No deps, no experts paid by the reps, and most don't even write briefs. The experts are supplied by the government, there is no opposing counsel, and the government pays for a lot of the medical records. The big firms rake in tons of cash and pay their associates a pittance. A good number of reps straight up misrepresent the evidence, and don't face consequences because the law is slanted in their favor. They don't even have to be lawyers! Therefore, a ton of reps aren't even subject to the rules of professional conduct! One guy in particular has made 10s of millions of $ off the government. People get rich doing this work and there is no oversight!

Also a lot of the claims are frivolous and not even a close call. Some people are just unemployable, but it isn't due to a disability.

Got anything to back this up like a citation from a reputable source or personal experience?


He's generally correct about hearings (although to make over $10 million would require over 1,600 max fee clients and that's not including any form of overhead). As for the validity of claims... I can't speak to what happens w/unrepresented people, but my firm turns away plenty of people because their claims are crap.
 
2013-07-08 09:52:31 PM

Solon Isonomia: bgilmore5: zeroman987: Social security hearings require none of that. No deps, no experts paid by the reps, and most don't even write briefs. The experts are supplied by the government, there is no opposing counsel, and the government pays for a lot of the medical records. The big firms rake in tons of cash and pay their associates a pittance. A good number of reps straight up misrepresent the evidence, and don't face consequences because the law is slanted in their favor. They don't even have to be lawyers! Therefore, a ton of reps aren't even subject to the rules of professional conduct! One guy in particular has made 10s of millions of $ off the government. People get rich doing this work and there is no oversight!

Also a lot of the claims are frivolous and not even a close call. Some people are just unemployable, but it isn't due to a disability.

Got anything to back this up like a citation from a reputable source or personal experience?

He's generally correct about hearings (although to make over $10 million would require over 1,600 max fee clients and that's not including any form of overhead). As for the validity of claims... I can't speak to what happens w/unrepresented people, but my firm turns away plenty of people because their claims are crap.


I meant over his/her career. The number might be much higher. He/she has been mentioned in this thread, but I don't want to call out specific reps by name. I think he/she was mentioned on the This American Life episode on this subject. (Which definitely did not tell the whole story btw.)

As for the unrepped people... Surprisingly a good amount of them get paid, even on ones where the rep withdraws, which I believe is good (or bad I guess? "I am disabled... yay?"). And its not like the claimants don't have other problems. It is clear that even the people that are exaggerating their problems are probably like 10% disabled with something, its just that it is not enough to prevent them from working according to the regulations. If you are applying for disability (especially SSI), you have pretty much tried everything at that point and you are pretty desperate; its hard enough to get a job with a felony on your record, but if you also have a bad back you are basically unemployable. Who is gonna hire an ex-con to be a cashier or a security monitor? The people that are applying because they don't want to work are a very small minority.  Maybe SSA could adopt a % system sort of like the VA and give people partial disability?
 
2013-07-08 10:02:28 PM

zeroman987: As for the unrepped people... Surprisingly a good amount of them get paid, even on ones where the rep withdraws, which I believe is good (or bad I guess? "I am disabled... yay?"). And its not like the claimants don't have other problems. It is clear that even the people that are exaggerating their problems are probably like 10% disabled with something, its just that it is not enough to prevent them from working according to the regulations. If you are applying for disability (especially SSI), you have pretty much tried everything at that point and you are pretty desperate; its hard enough to get a job with a felony on your record, but if you also have a bad back you are basically unemployable. Who is gonna hire an ex-con to be a cashier or a security monitor? The people that are applying because they don't want to work are a very small minority.  Maybe SSA could adopt a % system sort of like the VA and give people partial disability?


Oye, that would mean a complete overhaul of the system... the problem is about half of the ALJs just don't believe anyone (like that nutbar down in Dallas, or those people w/5-15% approval ratings), that's the systemic problem I think that needs to get fixed.
 
2013-07-08 10:32:09 PM
Did anyone note which bunghole the author pulled his numbers out of?
 
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