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attorney for SSD

tarheelgirlttarheelgirl Posts: 473
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Health Insurance Issues
Hi, I am just wondering if anyone here has used Binder and Binder to represent them in their SSD claim? If so, what results did you have with them?



  • i did use them, but i had to go to another lawyer for my final appeal....
  • I actually worked for a Social Security Disability (SSD) attorney after I retired from my state job as a Disability Examiner (I enjoyed working on the appeal side much more!) who was actually an employee at the B&B firm. He said (now this was about 4 or 5 years ago so things may have changed) the office was unorganized and that the attorneys never saw a case file before the hearing. The legal assistants or paralegals would gather all the information; sometimes after the hearing is set, the firm would drop the client because it was either a frivilous claim (and the attorneys would have known this if they had actually reviewed the file in the first place) or because they did not think they could win it (in other words, the client was definitely not in the best shape but would likely be denied by the judge because the condition was not severe enough to meet the definition of disability). He (the attorney I worked for) said the whole operation was a mess and he had to quit.

    As I stated earlier, this was a few years ago, so things may have improved.

    The attorney I worked with actually did not see the case file until the day before the hearing. But this is only because I knew what I was doing; I'd request records, review and summarize these records for him, tabbed specific reports or lab/diagnostic findings and gave my recommendation for the decision. So, basically, all he had to do is read my summary, look at the tabbed reports and call his client the day before to be briefed for the hearing. He had a 93% approval rate, and was respected by all of the judges. I had actually spoke with a few of the judges when they would call with a question. Sometimes, that phone call alone would be enough for an approval on the claim - just because of my experience, or maybe just a clarification was needed. His clients were well aware in the beginning that unless they NEEDED to hear his voice or felt uncomfortable with my handling of the file or had a specific question only for his ears, the only time they would hear from him is the day before the hearing for their briefing. I did things this way because those attorney fees paid my salary and I was well aware that if he is not in court, we are not making money. I'd schedule as many hearings in a month as possible (he was contracting with a large law firm in Baton Rouge which was where I worked, plus had his own practice in his home town 20 miles away) and coordinated with his small office. Things went smoothly. I was maintaining a caseload of over 300 clients with just him and me. BUT, this attorney knew how hard I was working and kept asking for at least one other employee to assist me. In order for there to be 2 assitants, I had to go (I was being paid very well for what I did). The large Baton Rouge law firm could not afford to keep me and hire someone else, so they took my salary split it in half and added just a bit more to it so they could pay 2 assistants. I hope they are doing the Social Security portion of that law firm justice and serving the clients as well as I did. The firm was actually a personal injury firm who was just trying out Social Security Disability to see if they could make money on it.

    Sorry - rambling again. I hope I answered your question. If I were in need of a social security attorney, I would get out my phone book, look up attorneys, find some phone numbers for those specializing in social security disability (this is the important part - find one who only does social security - or at least ssd and maybe workers comp) call each one and ask my questions and end my query with "And what is your success rate?"

    Just because they can pay to advertise does not mean that the $$$ for advertising has come from all the cases they have won. They may have inherited it.

    Bottom line, find someone local who can be there when/if you need him/her.

    You can also ask the social security administration for a list of approved attorneys. See if B&B or the attorney B&B would "assign" to you are on there.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.

  • Wow, you sure know your stuff. Jeaux, you rock B) I had to get a lawyer after being denied, and I was awarded a favorable decision 2 years later (it wasn't about my back). I am so glad to have it now because I had no idea these back problems would happen to me #:S
  • Wow Jeaux, you do know your stuff! I appreciate the info here and what you PM'd me before.

    I'm just so confused. I contacted B&B and got them the letter from my doctor and sent them some reconds and they accepted my case. I have never applied before, but it looks intimidating and I have heard that MOST get denied the first time. I was thinking they may have a favorable record, but I don't know what % it is. I figured they wouldn't take my case unless they feel they can win it. They sent me a list of questions to have prepared for them when they call on Monday. I know they take 5300 dollars and it would be nice not to have to pay that. I just don't know what to do? I haven't looked in the phone book, but I am going to tomrrow since you mentioned it.

    Question...when does the back pay start? From the time I had to stop working or from the time I apply for the first time? I stopped working last October 2007 by going on medical leave...my last official day was 12-22-07. I never dreamed I'd be in this shape and would not be able to work and it appears will not be able to hold a job in the future. I understand they don't care about your career and if you can work at McDonalds, they will expect that. I was an ICU nurse and my doctor documented I was even having trouble drawing meds in a syringe for my patient (boy, I'm glad she was listening to me). She documented several times over the past 2 years that I needed to stop what I was doing due to further damage to my condition. Plus I have strict orders from my surgeon that I can't sit, stand or walk more than an hour at a time. I don't know of any job that accomidates that.

    Anyway, thank you for all your info...all of you. Anybody else have any advice for me?

    Thank you!!!!
  • why did you go somewhere else for your final appeal? Did they not do a good job? Where they quick?
  • tarheelgirl said:
    why did you go somewhere else for your final appeal? Did they not do a good job? Where they quick?
    My case was complicted,i have back pronblems and a 50% hearing loss in both ears,so it went to final appeal,and i won total disabilty...
  • I hope your contract is a CONTINGENCY FEE AGREEMENT and not just a run of the mill contract. Some (well most) attorneys charge that 25% or $5300 (whichever is LESS) if your case is approved, PLUS they charge for other expenses like whatever they have to pay to get your medical records. What I would do is get the records myself (if I were a disability applicant). When SSA requests the records, they pay $20 per medical source whether it is one page or thousands. Attorneys pay nearly the same rate. Then you have to reimburse that if your claim is approved (that is the only out of pocket expenses you will owe, which is good). BUT, if you ask for the records yourself, you may possibly get them free. There are record copying companies who come to the doctor's offices/hospitals and they charge so much per page. BUT if you tell them you can't afford to pay for them and that you need these records for a disability claim, they can't charge you.

    BACK PAY BEGINS the date you actually stopped working because of your condition (the month after, actually). If your condition started 10/07 but you did not stop working until 12/07, your back pay would start 01/08. And there is the 5 month waiting period - ask B&B to explain that to you. So, in your case, B&B may not get the whole $5300; because it appears 25% is less. They can't get the max if it's not there. SSA has to approve your attorney, the contract you have with your attorney and your attorney's fee rate. This - believe it or not - is to protect you. Years ago, the attorneys were getting way more than the claimants and were even getting a percentage of their monthly benefit amounts. This is why SSA stepped in and said "Whoa - hold on there cowboy. You can't take advantage like that!" They have a list of questions for you to answer - you should have your own list for them to answer. Like the back pay issue (would they get the whole $5300 in your case or just 25%?) and the 5 month waiting period and what other expenses you would be required to pay. And anyother thing you can think of.

    Your doctor has ordered you to not sit stand or walk for more than an hour at a time. How do YOU feel? Are the hour increments ok with you or do you need more frequent rest periods. Do you need to recline to feel better?

    It truly sucks that SSA does not care WHO will hire someone in our conditions, only whether we can actually DO the work. They also don't care if we have to move to another state to do this work - or that we can't afford to move to another state to work. Only whether we can work. Grrr.

    Good luck to you TARHEELGIRL. Keep us posted, okay?

    I'm only a PM away, you know...

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