The San Francisco Chronicle published a story today covering a $500 million settlement between the Federal government and 80,000 Social Security recipients. Based on a law which denies benefits to anyone fleeing felony prosecution, the Social Security Administration withheld money from anyone named in a state or federal arrest warrant. Because of this policy, these people, unaware of these warrants and many never charged with a crime, were denied benefits.
The policy has been declared illegal by several courts.
Because the Social Security Administration denies most claims at the first level, appeal is often required in order to collect Disability benefits. Though the success rate is small when unrepresented, Doug Landau’s success rate on these appeals is 99%. Because clients do not pay legal fees to our office unless Mr. Landau succeeds and they are awarded benefits, there is simply no reason for disabled individuals to go the process alone.
In addition to the San Francisco News piece, I recommend the videos I linked to in a post on June 19th which consider the government’s time lag in processing these claims as well as evidence that denials are tossed out with the expectation that claimants will simply give up on the process entirely. Claimants shouldn’t give up, they should seek legal help.