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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.


  1. Gravatar for kevin

    Some people who file for disability are not eligible.

    If your success rate is 99% then you must be screening out people who you think will lose.

  2. Gravatar for Melissa Landau

    Thank you Kevin for your interest. Of course, if someone comes in and we feel that an appeal won't be successful then we don't encourage it. Appealing such cases would be frivolous and would be to nobody's benefit.

    My point is that many people who are eligible are denied and that with our help many of these decisions are reversed and these people get the SSDI benefits to which they are entitled.

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