Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn continues to keep a close watch on Social Security disability benefits and is calling for an investigation into another area of the program. He made the news a few months ago for asking the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) to look into the “adult baby” who appeared on the National Geographic channel (the SSA cleared the man of any wrongdoing). Now Coburn wants an investigation into one large law firm that works on behalf of disability benefits applicants.
The Hauppauge, New York-based firm advertises its services nationwide for disabled Americans interested in receiving disability benefits. Coburn has the firm within his sights due to a recent article from The Wall Street Journal that found that some employees at the firm withheld applicant medical information from disability benefits applications. If the allegations are correct, the firm could face severe legal ramifications, as withholding information from federal benefits applications is a fraud and carries stiff penalties.
This investigation could result in a potentially negative side effect for applicants if the SSA limits applicant’s abilities to receive guidance for their disability benefits applications. Disabled workers employ the services of attorneys because of the increased likelihood that they will receive benefits as compared to applying on their own. Like other areas of the law, Social Security law is riddled with complex rules and regulations, difficult-to-follow legislation and hearings in front of judges. People turn to disability benefits lawyers for the same reason that they turn to bankruptcy or criminal defense lawyers instead of representing themselves in court – they are much more successful when an expert professional is on their side.
Are you one of the disability benefits applicants who initially applied on your own, but then sought legal help for appeals down the line? What advice do you have for disabled workers considering applying for disability benefits?
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys