During the Great Depression, when Congress was first considering a federal insurance program for the disabled (the law didn’t pass until almost 20 years later), a Social Security Advisory Council actuary warned of costs beyond “anything that can be forecast.”

The fear was that well-intentioned assistance for any person with impairments of mind or body that would keep him from being gainfully employed for their rest of his life would devolve into a version of unemployment.

That warning has proven prophetic as this country’s Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program has spun out of control and is now on course to run out of money by 2016.

Sunday night, CBS 60 Minutes aired a segment entitled “Disability USA,” which probed the abuse of SSDI.  Steve Kroft reported that SSDI rolls have risen 20 percent just in the last six years to 12 million people, with a budget of $135 billion.

West Virginia, despite a small population, is a big contributor to the SSDI rolls.  The AP reports that “West Virginia leads the nation in the percentage of adults receiving government assistance for disabilities.”

A big reason for the surge in SSDI is that people who have had their claims denied are hiring law firms that specialize in winning appeals.

According to 60 Minutes, “Last year, the Social Security Administration paid a billion dollars to claimants’ lawyers out of its cash-strapped disability trust fund.  The biggest chunk–$70 million—went to Binder & Binder, the largest disability firm in the country.”

Jenna Fliszar, a lawyer who used to work for Binder & Binder and represent clients from West Virginia and other states, told CBS, “I call it a legal factory because that’s all it is.  They have figured out the system and they’ve made it into a huge national firm that makes millions of dollars a year on Social Security Disability.”

In 2011, the Wall Street Journal’s Damian Paletta reported on one Huntington-based disability judge who nearly always sided with the claimant.  Judge David B. “D.B.” Daugherty awarded benefits in all but four of 1,284 cases during one fiscal year.  The national average is 60 percent approval.

A report by the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs estimates that Daugherty awarded more than $2.5 billion in benefits in the last 7 years of his career.

The Journal reported that Daugherty worked closely with lawyer Eric Conn, who advertises heavily in southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, looking for potential clients. Daugherty resigned after the Journal’s reports. Conn, who continues a thriving practice in SSDI cases, was evasive in a brief interview with 60 Minutes about his relationship with the former judge.

The abuse of the SSDI system has caught the attention of the Senate Committee on Government Affairs. It held a hearing Monday and issued a report finding “a raft of improper practices by the Conn law firm to obtain disability benefits, inappropriate collusion between Mr. Conn and a Social Security Administrative Law Judge (Daugherty), and inept agency oversight which enabled the misconduct to continue for years.”

The Committee report says Daugherty’s bank records show $96,000 in cash deposits from 2003 to 2011, for which Daugherty refused to explain the origin or source of the funds.

As one of the SSDI administrative judges said, “If the American public knew what was going on in our system, half would be outraged and the other half would apply for benefits.”

Frankly, it’s predictable that Americans hit by hard economic times are tempted to latch on to any government help they can, especially when there is an alliance of lawyers, doctors and judges willing to shepherd them through the system.

In doing so, however, they are squandering taxpayer dollars and bankrupting a legitimate program.



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  • James

    The terms of the SSI disability dept. allow the law firm to collect 40% of back pay. They don't have to do anything for their money but wait. It take 18 months of denials for a legitimate claim to work through the system, then back pay accrues to the day the disability was filed. So much for the benefit derived by consulting a law firm.

  • tony

    in the face of the baby boomers going thru the needle, what a load of bull. if you want to deal with reality instead of sensationalism, look up "alj dispostion data" on google. you will see EXACTLY what decisions SS judges make. I resent the portrayal of an easy system when I have been wrestling with judges with sub 30 percent approval rates for years. there are a large growing number of judges THAT DENY almost every claim. look it up. but that's ok??? in hops world it would be. to me, its a pretty dangerous place.
    I don't see the people walking in and getting ssd around here. its damn near impossible. that's the reality in this part of WV. I'm sick and tired of this misguided broad brush. Lawyers around here ARE NOT making millions anywhere around here. the atty fees on ss cases are mostly very limited by statute (the most possible on any case is 6k) and very very small compare to other comparable cases and the time involved (and expenses fronted on cases you may never get back) in handling the cases.
    I know one thing, no one is giving it away in Charlottesville or Morgantown ALJ offices, that's for damned sure. for all the readers, stop the lies and go look at ALJ disposition data. that is the real (not-right wing political BS) stats of every SS judge in the US. the actual stats, yes..the real decisions

    its funny that everyone has a story about someone getting it that shouldn't. funny when you look into it, its never that way. why are we like this people? that seems to be the biggest revelation of this whole deal. why do we want to always believe that? really, i wonder why?

  • Jim

    If the ACA is a tax, it is an unconstitutional tax. Article 1 of the constitution clearly states that all bills for raising revenues must originate in the House of Representatives. The ACA originated in the Senate. The House had to use the Senate bill, because Robert Byrd had died, and democrats didn't have the filibuster-proof majority in the Senate they would need to pass a House-originated bill. John Roberts blew the call.

  • DWM

    We all say what a travesty this is while we harangue the Republicans for trying to stop a new government program that will dwarf SSDI.

    We are losing our republic to people that don't want to work, want something for nothing, have no interest in fending for themselves, and have no qualms with taking something from someone else that has earned it.

    That's our United States of America. We won't survive as a country the 30 or so years I have left to live.

  • Debra

    Congress is in fact using the ACA. A republican senator was just on TV today stating that they must use the exchanges. The argument was weather or not they could get subsidies to purchase the insurance since their employer provides the insurance. Apparently they will. But they are using OBAMACARE.

  • Joe

    So..........Congress exempted themselves and their staffs from paying taxes by exemping themselves from the ACA law?!

  • Mtnman

    No. Drug addiction and alcohol abuse are disqualifying for benefits.

  • Shadow

    I don't think they take your case unless they are 100% sure they will win, one way or the other.

  • Debra

    John Roberts begs to differ with you. You can do all those things using the ability to tax!

  • Charleston,WV

    Agreed! Kudos!

  • mntnman

    Well said Debra. Well said.

  • Debra

    Ok, let me chime in here. I receive disability for a condition that I was born with. Just because I have a disability doesn't mean that I don't seek enjoyment in hobbies and community activities. I am even blessed enough to be able to do some part time work. I was blessed to have a child, 25 serving in the Guard. I own my own home, and am doing pretty well. The problem is that some people feel that the disabled person should be so ill that they literally can not leave their home. Disabled individuals have hopes and dreams and aspirations just like everyone else. They struggle to find a place in the world where they fit in without being pre judged by the rest of society and they try to understand both sides of the debate that is SSDI. Is there abuse? Of course there is. There is abuse everywhere in every aspect of life. But the majority of people receiving benefits deserve them and are made to feel ashamed when some people find out they receive them. Just remember, I pray live a long and healthy life, but you to can become disabled within a matter of a second.

  • Jim

    Hoppy, I was with you right up until you called Social Security disability payments a legitimate program.

    The constitution does not give Congress the authority to make welfare payments. Medicare, Medicaid, AFDC, Social Security, Unemployment, and Obamacare are all outside the enumerated powers of the federal government, and they should all be shut down.

  • Debra

    Here's another interesting thing to consider. If you are a person with a disability and are employed and you get layed off for any reason, most of the time you can't get unemployment benefits. No why? You're considered to be not able bodied for employment. There are some catch 22 scenarios that many people are unaware of.

  • mntnman

    No need to apologize. It was a legitimate question I've heard before. I just used a personal example to humanize the answer.

    Sorry to hear about your father -- DDD can be a bear to deal with -- my wife struggles with it daily. Tell him to stay active -- do what he can. Chronic pain can really change a persons life -- all one can do is fight on as best they can.

  • Charleston,WV

    I am sorry for your father's situation, as do I for my father, who is also dealing with a limiting injury (eg he is suffering from DDD of his cervical spine and lumbar regions). My point wasn't to be inflammatory to your father's situation as well. The point I was trying to make was that there are individuals who do abuse the system which, upon further review of most comments on this MB, I believe is redundant at this point. Kudos to your last point! BTW, I apologize if you misconstrued the premise of my original question to you not "Fighting the good fight"! Anyhow, good day to you, Sir. Keep fighting the Good Fight!

  • mntnman

    They are not dead, they are disabled. How is it hypocritical? They are not permitted to try and to enjoy life because they get disability?

    My father-in-law. God rest his kind soul, refused to file for disability until he could barely walk. He was awarded it quickly, in his mid-50s, after back surgery (he was an industrial painter). Pop would garden, fish, and generally do around his house. Afterwards, he would be in pure misery for days if not weeks. One spring he decided to till his garden instead of paying someone to do it. His back was out for three weeks. He could barely walk. After he recovered, I asked him incredulously why he would ever think of tilling the garden. He looked at me and said, "Am I supposed to just sit here until I die? My back hurts no matter what I do, so I am going to do what I can." Pop struggled with his back the remainder of his life until cancer took him. But he did do things, for short periods of time. And he suffered for it greatly. He even took my twins, his grandsons, fishing every now and then. It gave him great joy. Why should he be denied that because he hurt his back? I know for certain he could not hold down a job of any kind for a regular work day and work week. If he could have, he would have.

    If you passed his house one day while he was in the garden, you might say why is that man getting disability. But you did not spend the evening or next day or next week with him. I did. He taught me, without ever meaning to, that we cannot judge another without truly understanding what they experience. So, my attitude about the infirm among us changed a lot.

    So, no, I do not think it hypocritical of someone on disability to try and squeeze some enjoyment out of life. They are not dead, merely disabled. Now, as for the guy you or someone knows who is hunting, fishing, riding four-wheelers, etc, they are cheating, lying and stealing and I say a pox on them. Like all thieves and liars, they should be denied benefits and made to pay them back. But I will say to my dying day, they are in the minority. Most people seeking benefits are hard working, deserving Americans who met with misfortune.

  • Charleston,WV

    Thanks Greg, but I am deferring to someone who represents a client in a legal case whose purpose is to prove that someone is physically incapable of performing a job-related task due to there disability.

  • DonaldH

    I left trial lawyer undefined for a reason,,, I suppose I could of included tax lawyer or any other sub category as well,, and include those that graduated law school but never took the bar.. I think President Obama is included in on that...

  • DonaldH

    I guess being the counter guy at a soft-serve Dairy-Bar counts as "sales to the general public"

  • DonaldH

    @GregG ::yawn::

  • GregG

    You know, I myself have heard this question a lot over the years. I'm not a doctor or a lawyer but here is my opinion.....There is a big difference between being in a sitting in which one can change positions, completely stop, or take certain Rx for the pain as opposed to being required to stand at a machine for hours at a time. I'm not disabled, but I can assure you that there are things I can not do at my age that would be a requirement of many jobs today.

  • Charleston,WV

    I was curious of your opinion on your SSDI clients of whom you represent: Do you think its hypocritical for your claimants (eg. An individual with DJD of the lumbar region) who have won there SSDI case to go out on recreational pursuits such as hunting and fishing?

  • realitycheck

    .... just came out that we are no. 1 for drug overdoes deaths. the wrong kind of ranking for that category.

  • mntnman

    Alcoholics and drug addicts do not qualify for benefits as a matter of law. If alcoholism or dug addiction are material to the disability , then they are disqualified. Hope that clears that up. I've also never seen a four year old diagnosed as bipolar. In 26 years of representing claimants, literally thousands of claims. Ever. Does it happen? Probably, but it is rare I suspect. (As an aside, getting childhood benefits is tough. At least it is in the districts I work in -- Charleston and Roanoke.)

    And you're right when you're right -- you said 25% fraud, probably higher, not 50%. So that would be 3.5 million people defrauding the system, right?

    I worked in my younger days as a guardian ad litem attorney-- I did home visits -- I saw things that curled my toes. I also grew up in the mountains in a poor community. Saw a lot of bad things. None of that changes my opinion that most people are good, and most people want to do right. Also doesn't change my opinion that most people on SS disability are legit. (Fraud is real, but only a small portion of the system.) Problems to fix, but that is not the tone of Hoppy's piece or your comments. It is being presented as mostly fraudulent or people cheating. And yes, tone matters.

    Space makes it difficult to really discuss the good, bad and ugly of the system. I have no problem with drumming out all fraud. But we need to remember we are dealing with people, most of whom are sick and infirm. They did not ask to be sick. We can help them, or let them make do on their own. I for one prefer to help. But that's just me. It just bothers me that so many are quick to say its mostly fraud -- I see too much to know better.

  • Metzger

    lawyers are parasites

  • Metzger

    Look at the bright side , unemployment is going down ........hmmm

  • blugldmn

    I believe addiction is categorized as a disability.....

    All of these people and more are eligible based on the requirement.

  • Mr. Big

    Most definitely they are self serving!

  • bulldog95

    You didnt even read what I said did you? Where did I say that half the people on SSDI are cheating the system? Thats right, I didnt.

    Spend the day as a social worker and make home visits and you will be singing another tune. Theres nothing like seeing a family tell you that there dad does this and that, but when you talk to him you would think its a wonder he can get out of the bed. Theres nothing like hearing a woman tell you that her income is her child support and that she needs more. There is nothing like hearing parents complain that they need a doctor to label their child with bi-polar. Did you know they could label children under 4 with bi-polar. So yes, there are major problems with SSDI, but as usual you and other avoid the very talk of the area that many say is the very heart of the problem.

    So are you saying someone that is an alcoholic deserves SSDI so they can sit around and have even more time to drink? Are you saying that a child that is 4 years old or younger can or should be labeled as bipolar?

  • mntnman

    Bah humbug I say. Are there no prisons, are there no workhouses? Somebodies a grouchy Gus. I guess everyone abuses everything and there are no honest people in the world anymore. Except of course those who believe just like you believe. I choose to believe in the essential good in people; simply because you choose to believe otherwise does not make me close-minded. I think the world is mostly good - you do not. So?

    SS disability is not any more abused than any other venture involving humans -- probably about the same I suspect. Fourteen million people are currently on SS disability programs. With a population of 313,900,000, that amounts to 4.5% of the population. Does that really seem that out of whack? Average age of the disabled worker, 52.8 years of age. So far and away it is older workers getting the benefit.

    Since you seem to believe that most people are cheating the system, I guess your position is that more than seven million people are actively involved in defrauding the system? All these older people getting a free ride, making much less than they did while working, all so they can get $1129.20 a month (average SSDI monthly benefit -- source SS Administration -- benefit is based on your wage record, so it is different for each person), less their medicare premium. Yeah, living at or below poverty after being a coal miner for 35 years is everyone's dream.

    Oh, and to make you angrier, part of my law practice is to handle SS disability and SSI claims. I am pretty good at it too. So I have more than a passing understanding of how all this works. Go ahead, make your snarky comments -- I am proud of helping people in need. (And I really could care less what you think of me or what I do in any event.) I see them at their lowest point and help them get some money to keep the lights on and buy food for their kids. And yeah, I make a living at it. (No, not millions.) I won't apologize for that, to you or anyone else. I see a lot of misinformation /misunderstanding written on the subject, so I'm not surprised by what I read here. I can tell you this, before you criticize too much, you need to walk a mile in some of these people's shoes.

    There is more than one side to this, in spite of Hoppy's reporting and 60 Minutes. They obviously chose to present one side of the issue. People on disability are not getting rich. They are mostly sick and infirm. They mostly suffer daily. Some cheat -- yeah they do. We should go after those. But don't paint with such a broad brush.

  • liberty4all

    How do they pass laws that benefit themselves? Just curious since more than one type of lawyer serves in the House and Senate. Is your contention that they are all self-serving? Please provide some examples to help educate me. Thanks.

  • Mr. Big

    Lawyers control the house of delegates and the senate and they pass laws that will benefit themselves.

  • Joe

    Your example is a very valid point and where I see an award is absolutely justified.

  • GregG

    Where did you come up with this figure? From what I have found a lawyer only receives 25% of past due benefits award, up to a maximum of $6000.00

  • Mark

    The new Speaker of the House runs personal injury advertisements ad nauseum in NCWV. "call the tiger"

  • MojoJojo

    I posted this last Friday.
    I would like to make a small correction in your view. SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) is for people who have worked for a living and then become disabled. SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is for the people who are disabled but have never worked or have very little work history. SSI is the program that the Clintons prostituted in the early to mid 1990's. That is when people who claimed Bi-polar disorder or anxiety disorder got coverage. These are the able bodied people who just don't want to work. The way the Clintons prostituted the system was by allowing ADHD and ADD to be classified as a disability. There was a rush to get kids classified as ADHD. Kids now are getting $660 monthly checks that the parents spend on their meth and such. The Clintons induced and made it very incentive for parents to drug their children. Big incentives for trial lawyers, as we see many advertise for such clients. The trial lawyers were rewarded by getting 33-44% of a disabled persons settlement award from Social Security.
    Doctors are allowed monthly, and many times more, office visits that are billed to Medicaid for Med Checks. This gives doctors a nice string of patients and guarenteed income. They see the patient for 5 minutes or less and then get to bill for a complete office visit.
    School systems nationwide were incentivfied by the Clintons to get kids on ADHD meds. Schools systems get additional funds just on the number of kids "classified" as disabled or ADHD. Sometimes that can amount to millions of $$$.
    The Clintons were smart about it, they spread out the $$$. Everyone got a cut, but the taxpayers. As ALWAYS with liberal democrat progressive policies, the taxpayers get the shaft.

  • MojoJojo

    The ADD/ADHD diagnosis became a disability during the Clinton years. It was a part of the Hillary HealthCare that did pass, but only by Executive order from Bill Clinton. It was a policy change. It was not passed as law from Congress.

  • MojoJojo

    The cap you mention is 44% of the disabled person's award. Blood sucking leeches these disability lawyers are.

  • Rick S.

    Here is how the system is worked, as told to me by an actual SSDI employee.

    A claimant applies for benefits with a doctor's diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. Since ADD/ADHD is an accepted form of disability, the claim must be approved. As long as the claimant is receiving benefits, he/she also gets taxpayer funded health insurance. The claimant then uses that health insurance to make regular visits to the doctor who made the diagnosis and continues to support the diagnosis. Therefore, the claimant continues to receive benefits and the doctor continues to receive payment for seeing the patient/claimant. If the doctor would clear the patient/claimant to work, then the benefits to the claimant and the revenue stream to the doctor would end.

    The SSDI employee told me that approximately 70% of claims in his office are for ADD/ADHD.

    Almost all of these ADD/ADHD claimants are physically able to work. That said, most of them can't get a job because they have no employable skills and an unemployable attitude. Many of them are also hungover or stoned.

    SSDI is a good program that provides much-needed benefits for many people who have legitimate physical and mental maladies that prevent them from working. The SSDI employee has told me that the system is going to go broke in the very near future, due in large part to the massive amount of questionable ADD/ADHD claims.

  • GregG

    Spot on Mntnman!! Over the years one of the things I have noticed, and never seems to be mentioned, is the amount of people that have legitimate non physical conditions that should have never set foot into a working environment. And I'm not talking about the ones faking it, I'm talking about the kind of individuals that you wonder if today is the day that they come to work with a gun and become tomorrows news headline. Seems it is always after the fact that people start screaming WHY?! But if these individuals were placed on SSDI prior to going off, the same people that wonder why would be screaming that someone is cheating the system. Like I said, I know the system is abused, but I also believe for every one person abusing the system there is 100's that should be entitled to some help. But like everything else, gripiing about the problem comes a lot easier than fixing the problem.

  • bulldog95

    Its no brainers like this one where a person should no doubt be awarded SSDI without the need to go to court and without the need of an attorney. However the system is set up to where they need an attorney so they can get a big fat payday over and over again.

  • bulldog95

    Ahh, glad to see you came down from your ivory tower to bless the rest of us with your wisdom and how the world really is. The simple fact of the matter is that while you think the abuse is probably around 1% because you know people that need it, its actually a lot higher. I would wager its probably 25% fraud. This story done by 60 minutes is just the tip of iceberg. If you followed around those people on disability you find many of them going fishing, 4 wheeler riding, dragging a deer out of the hills, or something else that is labor intensive.

    What you are overlooking is the mental aspect of SSDI. The physical part and coal miners is a no brainer in most cases but lets look at where the abuse really is, the mental part. Alcoholism is a disease that can land you on SSDI. Parents that find a doctor to get their child with the correct diagnosis to get SSDI.

    But let me guess, you dont buy it just like you dont buy it that foodstamps are being scammed. Its not something you see in your personal life because they are not a part of the ivory tower and your BOE family. Stop being so closed minded and look and you will find that outside that little sheltered life of yours that the world isnt as great as you think it is.

  • Rick S.

    That is interesting that you can show 100 legitimate claims for every one case of abuse.

    I personally know several people who work in the SSDI office and deal with these claims every day. They have told me for several years how the abuse of this system is the most widespread fraud in America. The people who actually work there and actually see these claims (not you) tell me that there are far more claims of abuse than legitimate claims. And while they try to stop the fraudulent claims, they are thwarted by judges who overturn their decisions, doctors who rubber-stamp the illegitmate claims in order to protect their own entitlement income stream, and even Congressmen who improperly intervene on their constituents' behalf (vote-buying). Some of the stories I have heard are sickening, and the general population has no idea what is going on and how bad it is. No idea.

    If you check the facts, the overwhelming increase in SSDI claims is by not older workers, but by younger people who don't want to work, primarily in their 20's.

    No, sorry. In this case, the abuse far outweighs the legitimate claims. And that is factual information straight from the source.

  • GregG

    Joe, one thing I have seen happening more and more over the past 20 years is employers requiring very thorough physical exams. I know one individual that lost his CDL's over his health issues. Then he failed two employer required physicals for a two other jobs do to some other health issues. Now the way I see it, if this man doesn't meet the physical "requirements" for employment in 3 totally different fields then how can he not be eligible for SSDI. Here is a man that has beat his body to death for 30+ years and now his physical conditions are deem unemployable in the opinion of big business. But according to SSDI he is employable. The system is flawed and needs a total overhaul.

  • David

    To me, this isn't a conservative vs. progressive issue. It's a shame that so many lawyers, doctors, and judges are participating in this fraud, and perhaps enticing people who wouldn't otherwise try to fraudulently collect benefits.
    With that said, disability Social Security, and the Medicare coverage that came with it, quite literally saved my father's life - and I hate to think that someone such as him would be denied simply because so many other people commit fraud. Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater. I work, and I gladly pay taxes, pay into Social Security and pay into Medicare. I understand that what I pay helps others, but I'd like for them to actually need it.

  • bulldog95

    There is no way this is the normal TD. I completely agree with everything you just wrote in this post. I just checked my pulse and I am still alive. Just wondering if something froze over...

  • donj

    West Virginia residents are pretty much at the top in drug addiction, workmans comp fraud, Social Security disability fraud, lack of literacy, and low education level. State political leaders like to brag about the terrific work force in this state. Really? There are reasons WV is near the bottom in income in the nation. Some are political but many have to do with sorry choices and lack of personal responsibility.

  • mntnman

    Primary cause of increased awards -- aging population. Coal miners getting old and broken. Older people with health issues and no education -- hence they can't qualify for employment elsewhere.

    Yeah, it makes a great story -- tell it to the 58 year old coal miner who has had three back surgeries and can barely walk. For every abuse you show, I can show you 100 legitimate claims.

    Abuse -- sure -- there is abuse in every system where money is an issue. The most recent example is the router debacle in WV. That does not mean that the system is ripe with abuse. It means that there is some abuse. Easy to cherry pick the abuse.

    Go out and talk to people who really need the benefits and are barely making it. Remember, a good coal miner makes $60,000 plus, with great benefits. SS disability means they lose a lot of money. I hope you never need SS disability -- I hope you stay healthy. But if you do, remember your criticism of others who get it. (Of course, YOUR claim is legitimate. Its just all those others who are abusing the system.)

  • Neal

    Lawyers give more money to the community than churches? You've got to be kidding me! If you haven't been to one lately you should try attending to witness all the good that is done in a church. From mission trips to help the poor to donations of time and money, there are many things that churches do to help the needy.

  • GregG

    Silly? Ha, ha, ha!! Right!!! Old Rush "I'm on loan from God Limbaugh" is selling everything from sleep number beds to his own ice tea. He is a snake oil salesman if there ever were one. I'd rank him right there with a televangelists when it comes to preying on the masses. Only difference is, Rush will suck the gullible in rants and then sell them ID protection and an EIB coffee mug.


    Perfect example of the lazy segment of our population. Why is ADHD considered a disability? And bad backs are just simply the default disability when no proof is required. She can find a job that will allow her to work. Sitting at a desk in lieu of her sofa or a beach chair is perfect for her. Get to work!!!

  • Hillbilly

    Is it still true that the more workmans comp and unemployment claims placed from people at a workplace, the higher the rates go for that company?

  • Hillbilly

    Reminds me of back when just before a strike was coming, a huge number of coal miners came down with "back injuries" - which we all know are the hardest ones to dispute...

  • GregG

    Actually, it is my understanding that there is a "cap" on what a lawyer can make on a social security disability case. Now how many cases they take on in a years time, I would guess is unlimited. I don't know many lawyers personally, but I would guess that lawyers like Harvey Peyton give more of their wealth back to the community than most of your tax exempt churches.

  • Hillbilly

    Anyone else remember the term "Ambulance Chasers?"

  • DonaldH

    Not really,, but sometimes I'm just so giddy in anticipation for Hoppy's show, I tune in early...

  • liberty4all

    There is a state web site which provides biographical information on all of the delegates and state senators for WV. In the House of Delegates, a quick glance shows that there are approximately 10 attorneys, some from both sides of the aisle, and who practice in different areas. For instance, the leaders of both parties are attorneys. Also appears to be as many if not more delegates affiliated with the insurance industry. Largest career choice (or former career if retired) represented by the delegates appears to be education related (retired teachers, administrators, etc . . .). I can't speak to the legislator's staff. Also, you didn't define "trial lawyers". If you are referring to personal injury attorneys only, the numbers go down even more.

  • Hillboy

    30 minute advertisements

  • Hillboy

    30 minutes advertisements

  • Hillboy

    Are you saying you've actually listened to some of those 30 advertisements?

  • TD

    good piece Hoppy, we need to reign this in. My first introduction to this fraud was when I was 18 and working as a janitor at a factory. Our maintenance man had a roofing business on the side. When he would get behind in his business he would claim to be down in the back and go on workers comp. while he was out doing roofing. The boss at the plant hired a Private Investigator to film him working, climbing up and down the ladder carrying heavy materials, etc... When he came back to work they brought him in the office and showed him the film, then fired him. Even though some of the other workers expressed sympathy for him the boss explained how workers comp was a good and important program but that people like this guy were a danger to ruining it for everybody. Same is true of all these deadbeats, they'll ruin an important safety net for people who really need it.

  • DonaldH

    ----Jenna Fliszar, a lawyer who used to work for Binder & Binder and represent clients from West Virginia and other states, told CBS, “I call it a legal factory because that’s all it is. They have figured out the system and they’ve made it into a huge national firm that makes millions of dollars a year on Social Security Disability.”-----

    They (lawyers) haven't "figured out the system" as Jenna Fliszar claimed to 60 minutes-- They (lawyers) are the "law makers" that write the laws-- and they write them with a single goal in mind-- to game the system for the personal wealth of their profession...

    I'd like to see a percentage by state and federally as to how many elected legislators AND their staffs are trial lawyers...

  • Pruntytown

    Unfortunately, in this situation you cannot solely blame this administration. The scheme of getting on disability has been going on a lot longer than that. As much as it pains me to say it, the highest percentage of disability claims came under the previous administration. This does not change the fact that lack of government oversight has caused another castrophe that the working man has to pay for.

  • DonaldH

    I think more he doesn't approve of lawyers intentionally gaming the system to take more than their fair share of the settlements--

    How about we put a cap on how much a lawyer makes a year-- No Lawyer deserves to make more than 100K a year, right GregG-- that's more than enough, right? They need to share their wealth, right GregG? They need to pay their fair share of Taxes, too (about75%rate)
    --Right GregG?

  • Joe

    Just remember, Shadow, there's never a charge unless they get money for you! :)

  • DonaldH

    That's silly Greg and you know it-- The Rush show, as is the Ed Shultz's show are exactly as advertised , political opinion shows--

    These "Ask The Experts" shows are paid 30 minute slots-- The Stock Broker on his 30 minutes promotes his firm and gives stock advice; the Used Car Salesman promotes his car lot--- But they have one 30 minute segment a week that allows some Injury Lawyer to pretend he's an "Expert" on a range of issues from the Economy to Foreign Policy to Environment to Health Care-- and so on--- Granted, when WCHS was challenged to prove the lawyer was an "Expert" on all of these they changed his paid 30 minute advertisement to "Ask The Lawyer"

  • Shadow

    Who in their right mind would try to reject an add by a law firm? They would be in Court the next day. I resent them, and the operators may also, but you can always use the mute button for your TV.

  • Joe

    Great points, Cap and also GregG. This is not a simple issue. Lots of layers and complexities.

    But how is it fixed, and what could both the pilotical and medical issues be resolved. I am most troubled by what seems to be the trend of higher unemployment, higher disability claims.

  • CaptainQ

    Federal Disability/SSI is like any other Federal program, There are those individuals out there who truly need it and there are those out there who are trying to take advantage of the system to get benefits they don't really deserve.

    Sadly, in the present state of the nation's economy, it almost pays more (money and benefit-wise) to be on some form of public assistance than it does to earn a living at an actual job. Perhaps this is a factor in the overall unemployment rate dropping slightly since those who are on welfare, SSI or disability don't count towards the percentage of people who are 'actively seeking employment.'

    It's a shame that an assistance program to help those who are truly physically unable to work is being abused by some dishonest people with clever lawyers. Reminds me of the way the old WV Worker's Compensation program was constantly being defrauded in the many decades when it was still state operated. I knew many people who were awarded 'full disability' from the old WV Worker's Comp who built decks on their homes, enjoyed horseback riding, etc. and the judges who basically looked 'the other way' on those cases.

    It was one of the smartest moves this state ever made to privatize Worker's Comp. Could a form of privatization work for Federal Disability/SSI? Doubt if ANY Washington politician wants to touch THAT entitlement program for fear of public backlash. Like the government shutdown, Federal Disability/SSI fraud is something none of us can do anything about.

  • GregG

    But you have no problem with the 3 hours of Rush and his brainwashing.... I'm not surprised.

  • GregG

    For many years I worked in sales to the general public. I have seen the "abuse" of the system first hand. But, I have also seen the other side of the coin. There are many folks out there that have given their bodies to there employers. Years of abuse and the old "I don't need to see a doctor" for this ailment have taken a toll on many workers. I myself was employed at one point by a company where you didn't dare go to a doctor for fear of being terminated. Is there abuse? Sure there is. But there is also many people that are eligible but get turned down. Hoppy doesn't mind his employer making money from Jan Dills, he just doesn't approve of the working class being represented by her. Typical.

  • DonaldH

    30 second ad is the least of it... How much is their Charleston affiliate making of the full 30 minute "info-commercial" they disguise as "Ask the Lawyer" when in fact all it is a show that didn't do anything in the past but bash Bush and the economy and now does little more than praise Obama and his economy....

  • Jim N Charleston


    How much WVRC making of 30 second lawyer ads? You made Jan Dills famous. I know she won't take NO for an answer.

    All I got

  • Joe

    One of the least discussed aspects about this is the effect on families.

    My sister-in-law fought to have her son, my godson-nephew, diagnosed as adhd, which a third doctor finally did, and now receives a check for it. She also a year ago claimed a back injury on the job nobody witnessed and was awarded limited disability, but is still attempting to obtain full disability. She claims she cannot work, but somehow survived a weeklong trip to Myrtle this summer.

    This has torn my family apart, as most feel she simply decided she did not eant to work anymore.

  • Bob

    It fits the Obama scheme to make a large portion of the population dependent on government handouts.