We've all been plagued by the late night commercials where a New York Lawyer, in an ugly cowboy hat and ill fitting designer suit, harangues us to let him handle our case for Social Security Disability Benefits. His voice is winy and you'd probably just give him the case to shut him up. However, little do most of you know, he's cleaning up on the deal! The Binder & Binder firm grossed $88 million last year, and the Binders went home with one quarter of the gross, $22 million! This is so shocking, it almost restores our faith in free enterprise. Except, firms like these are gaming the system because they know there's really very little legal opposition to obtaining disability benefits for their client. The Federal Government thinks these cases are so piddly, they usually don't even assign a prosecuting attorney. The only thing standing between Binder and their legal fees is an overworked and under-appreciated Administrative Law Judge.
In 2001, roughly 7 million disabled Americans collected Social Security Disability. Today, there's nearly 11 million collecting. Have we gotten that much sicker as a nation? Or is there something else going on? Much of the increase could be attributed to states that have encouraged welfare recipients to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits because over time it helps reduce the state's Medicaid roles as recipients get switched over to Medicare, for which the states contribute nothing.
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