View Full Version : Is this Social Security Disability "help" worth it?

05-29-2012, 11:43 PM
A friend of mine is attempting to get help through Social Security for ongoing(and upcoming) medical problems, and apparently during a recent hospital stay a rep from Cardon Healthcare Network stopped by to chat with her. Today she received a letter from them thanking her for choosing them to be her "disability advocate".As your representative, we will work diligently to expedite your claim through the complicated Social Security Disability process.
They then give a list of how long it takes to happen with Social Security:
1. Decision on Initial Application after sent to Social Security-3 to 5 months.
2. Decision on Reconsideration Appeal-additional 2 to 4 months.
3. To get a hearing date after requested-10 to 14 months.
4. Decision after hearing is conducted-1 to 3 months.
5. To get monthly payments after favorable decision-1 to 3 months.
6. To get full payment after any favorable decision-1 to 12 months.

The cost? 25% of the benefits, or $6,000-whichever is less.
Does anybody have any experience with this company, or know anyone who has dealt with them?

05-29-2012, 11:52 PM
I don't have experience with them directly, but those timelines and fees are within the ballpark of what my SO experienced hiring a private attorney who specializes in SSDI appeals. It was such a relief to only have to worry about it in the abstract, not in the getting-scary-envelopes-in-the-mail-every-day kind of way. I would highly recommend using someone who specializes, whether she chooses to go with that firm or another. The hoops they make you jump through (well, that we peeked through before hiring someone) are just ridiculous. If our lawyer wasn't such a nice guy, I would seriously suspect some conspiracy between the lawyers and social security to make the process so agonizing as to be nearly impossible without a lawyer.

FWIW, this Cardon Healthcare (http://bbb.org/houston/business-reviews/medical-business-administration/cardon-healthcare-network-llc-in-the-woodlands-tx-31000768/) ranks an A+ at the BBB, although I see two (http://bbb.org/utah/business-reviews/home-health-services/cardon-health-care-network-in-sandy-ut-8000896) others (http://bbb.org/elpaso/business-reviews/health-and-medical-general/cardon-healthcare-network-in-el-paso-tx-99136395)which are unranked entirely.

05-30-2012, 12:04 AM
Social Security is pretty strict about attorney fees in SSD cases. They have to approve the contract, which is capped at 25%, and they will withhold the fee from the lump sum award, and pay it directly to the lawyer. I dunno if Social Security does the "or $6K, whichever is less" bit, and I'm not sure how it works in cases where the claimant is only eligible for SSI.

I've never heard of Cardon Healthcare, but it looks to me like your friend is getting a standard rate. If I did SS work, I'd charge something similar. From what I've seen, represented claimants tend to fare somewhat better than those that go it alone. A lot of claims are denied in the early stages, and have to go through the lengthy appeals process to be successful. That appeals process can be complicated, and there are deadlines that apply.

05-30-2012, 12:31 AM
Having gone through the lawyer route and not being familiar with the process, I agree with my friend Oakminster: make sure they're reputable, sign their contracts, and then wait.

One of the things hammered into me from the outset is that you will be turned down the first time (it's like it's traditional), so when that happened is when I employed those guys with the cowboy hats and just sat back and let them keep me updated until time came for my hearing. By allowing them to represent me before a judge I felt that on my part I did everything as correctly as I could.

It also helped immeasurably that my friends here on the Dope where there for me every step of the way with their support.


05-30-2012, 12:24 PM
My wife's a social worker who generally works with clients who are having issues with housing (are homeless or are in danger of becoming homeless). Part of that involves assisting individuals with disabilities in their Social Security applications. She believes it to be worth it to pay the fee and use a lawyer. A reason she cited that ignores all headaches from the forms to be filled out and papers gathered is that there's often a gap between what's in the medical records and how severe the disabilities are. As a result, benefits are denied. A good lawyer will make sure that all the supporting documentation exists/is created.

As others have said, that 25% is pretty standard and is also the max they can charge. In case there's any confusion, that 25% only comes out of the lump sum payment for the back payments. They are not allowed to touch anything going forward.

05-31-2012, 03:14 PM
The local Cancer Center said they were legit.

The Tao's Revenge
05-31-2012, 08:22 PM
The cost? 25% of the benefits, or $6,000-whichever is less.

The obvious question. What motivation do they have to pursue a quick decision, if possible?

05-31-2012, 08:37 PM
The obvious question. What motivation do they have to pursue a quick decision, if possible?

If they get paid the same regardless of how long it takes, then presumably, they will want to get it over with faster in order to reduce their costs (and increase the number of cases they can take).

The Tao's Revenge
05-31-2012, 08:47 PM
If they get paid the same regardless of how long it takes, then presumably, they will want to get it over with faster in order to reduce their costs (and increase the number of cases they can take).

What I'm asking is if $6,000 is the most they can make, won't they have motivation to drag the case along until 25% of back pay is equal or greater than $6,000?

Or am I asking from a flawed premise? Is it 25% of back pay or total benefits collected? If there's a quick decision, will they take 25% of OP's friend's check until they reach $6,000?

05-31-2012, 09:32 PM
In my experience when a SSDI claim is (finally) approved, the first check is retroactive to the date of the first application. The lawyer takes their cut from that check only.

When I was in Alaska I applied on my own and although it took seven months to be approved, it took ten days from the date of my doctor appointment to receive my approval. Since moving to Washington I applied in December 2011, with a law firm's assistance. Since then there have been a couple of denials and appeals, and I am currently waiting for SS to send me to the doctor. When I am approved the law firm will take 25% of the first check. A small price to pay to not have to deal with Social Security myself.

05-31-2012, 11:42 PM
Based on her own research and the advice given here, my friend has decided to go with this company. Thanks to all.

05-31-2012, 11:50 PM
A bit off topic but has your friend applied and been turned down? If not what would be the harm of making the application without them?

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