As House Focuses on Alleged Scheme, Attention on Disability Claims Process Wavers | Law Firm Newswire

As House Focuses on Alleged Scheme, Attention on Disability Claims Process Wavers

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 28, 2014 - In recent weeks, New York social security fraud allegations have overshadowed the struggles of legitimate disability claimants.

On January 14, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee turned its attention to allegations that a group of retired firefighters, police officers and other individuals in New York City fraudulently secured almost $400 million in Social Security disability benefits.

One hundred and six people, almost all of whom are retired city police officers and firefighters, have been accused of feigning disability. The accused participants were allegedly coached on methods to fake their conditions — including how to flunk memory tests, stage panic attacks and lie about an inability to leave home or find a job. If a first responder worked during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, they were also taught to manipulate psychiatric exams to appear fearful of airplanes and of entering skyscrapers.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office announced charges against the group at a news conference on January 7.

The DA was unsparingly critical of the accused, many of whom had posted pictures of themselves on Facebook flying helicopters, riding motorcycles, driving water scooters and participating in other intensive outdoor activities. “The brazenness is shocking,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

Fortunately, fraud against the Social Security Disability program is a relatively isolated phenomenon. The alleged New York scheme required methodical, intensive manipulation of the system. Indeed, the current system tends to err in the other direction — toward unmerited denial. As a result, the typical claims process for honest disability benefit applicants remains lengthy, difficult and often unrequited. Fewer than 40 percent of applicant claims are approved.

“Claimants must provide their medical records and work history as well as information on their education and age,” says David W. Magann, a Tampa attorney who specializes in Social Security disability law. “The Social Security Administration will try to ascertain whether applicants can perform the work they have done and, if not, whether their skills can be redirected to another field.”

The SSA requires applicants to clear several hurdles. These include a review by a disability examiner and a medical doctor. If the claim is denied, the applicant can request a reconsideration, which, if rejected, may be followed by a hearing.

“If the claims process bogs down in rejections and hearings before an administrative law judge, the value of legal representation becomes all the more apparent,” Magann adds. “And applicants always have a much better chance of benefits approval if they hire an attorney.”

David W. Magann, P.A.
Main Office:
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175

Tampa Office:
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618

View Larger Map

  • Be Aware of How You Could Lose Your Social Security Benefits
    1.Cessation of Disability: Usually a “cessation of benefits” occurs when you are not seeking regular and continuing treatment for the medical problems in the original determination for the grant of benefits. Also, if you are able to make enough money to pass above a certain threshold earnings amount, then you’ll stop getting disability benefits. For […]
    NEW MENTAL LISTINGS Effective: January 17, 2017 After a revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), and thousands of public comments later, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has published significant revisions to its mental impairment listings.  SSA had issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making in August 2010, proposing what at the time appeared to be […]
  • SSA is Heading For Delays Again After Recent Cutbacks & Years of Improvement
    Service Cuts, Computer Problems Cloud Social Security’s 79th Birthday: The Social Security Administration should have reason to celebrate. After all, August 14, 2014, marked the 79th anniversary of the day when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which ushered in the landmark entitlement program. However, the agency’s birthday was a less than cheerful […]
  • SSA is Ramping Up Disability Reviews in 2014
    The Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act of 1984 (“DBRA 1984”) was passed by a unanimous, bipartisan vote in the House and Senate (99-0) in September 1984. President Reagan signed the law on October 9, 1984, when it became Pub. L. No. 98-460. One of the main provisions required “medical improvement” before benefits could be terminated where […]
  • Never Allow A Non-Attorney to Represent You At Your Social Security Hearing!
    You should NOT have a non-attorney clerk at your hearing?  This seems obvious, but several Florida law firms and any company identifying themselves as “Experts”, some who are advertising on TV, are sending non-attorney clerks to Social Security Hearings simply because its cheaper for them to do so rather than have an actual attorney appear. How in […]

Tags: , , , , ,

Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required