WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., called on the Social Security Administration to examine cases of disability claimants represented by a high profile legal firm.
Coburn Thursday called on SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue to look into the health status of people represented by Binder & Binder, a firm based in Hauppauge, N.Y., that advertises nationally. Coburn's request followed a report by The Wall Street Journal that some of the firm's employees withheld medical information about its clients from the government, the newspaper reported.
SSA is expected to announce a policy Friday to exercise more control over firms that represent people applying for SSA benefits, the newspaper said.
Five former employees of Binder & Binder told the Journal co-workers at the firm routinely held back medical information that could have hurt clients' cases, possibly in violation of federal law.
SSA and Binder & Binder refused to comment Thursday.
Coburn, the top Republican on a subcommittee on Social Security, said Binder & Binder's practices were "potentially fraudulent" and raised questions on how many disability beneficiaries "are potentially improperly receiving benefits."
Binder & Binder helps an estimated 10,000 people obtain Social Security benefits annually, the Journal said.