Laurie I.'s review of Disability Group, Inc.

Disability Group, Inc.

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Complaint Posted 4/23/2012
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SINCE I GOT THEM IT HAS BEEN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO GET THROUGH TO THEM, & WHEN I LEAVE A MSG THEY RARELY IF EVER RETURN MY CALLS. THEY SENT ME A DVD TO REVIEW FOR MY HEARING BUT DIDN'T CALL ME TO LET ME KNOW THEY DIDN'T RECEIVE MY MEDICAL RECORDS AT THE HOSPITAL I GO TO (I GO THERE REGULARLY, I COULD HAVE GOTTEN THEM MYSELF IF SOMEONE FROM DISABILITY GROUP WOULD HAVE TOLD ME THIS INSTEAD OF TELLING ME THE DAY BEFORE MY HEARING.) THEY ALSO TOLD ME THE DAY BEFORE MY HEARING (TOMORROW) THAT CEDAR SINAI NEVER SENT THEM MY MEDICAL RECORDS BUT IF SOMEONE WAS ON MY CASE PROFESSIONALLY THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN ASKING CEDAR SINAI FOR MY MEDICAL RECORDS WHEN THEY HAD A YEAR TO DO IT. I should have gone with Binder and Binder. I call DISABILITY GROUP and rarely, if ever, received a return phone call, nobody has spoken to me about my case at all UNTIL NOW, a DAY before my hearing. I was told that I don't have a good enough case and will probably get denied because I'm not seeing a shrink. So basically they told me it's up to me if I want to still make it to the hearing but she just wanted to let me know that there is a good chance I will be denied. She said the court my hearing is at is the hardest in Southern California and they don't approve very many claims, especially for people under 50yrs. old. She said if I am denied I can't apply for another 6 years when I am 50 or have my case dismissed and reapply like in a year. I won't even have medical insurance by then; how am I expected to go to see a bunch of doctors without insurance? I am really upset. The one time I am able to get through to the person who called me (who I'd never spoken to before today) who called me today, the day before my hearing - I told her I want different representation and she said I'd have to fire them (so I did) and that the judge may not grant me a continuance, not having a lawyer. She was nice it's just that there are too many different people working there, people who did call me were all different people (not the same one more than twice at MOST) and when I did call that person I'd never get a return phone call. I had to leave a message every time I called and seriously, I think I had 3 return phone calls per 20. (I'm being VERY generous here) There was one very nice woman (I can't recall her name) who DID return my phone call 2 times. I got the sense that the DG didn't really even care about me or my case because they didn't think I'd win. :'( THE DAY OF MY HEARING, AND I DID GET A CONTINUANCE; I WENT ALONE WITH NO LAWYER) THE JUDGE SAID THE DG "WITHDREW" AND I TOLD THE JUDGE I FIRED THEM, THEY DIDN'T WITHDRAW. THE JUDGE WAS VERY NICE! :) I SPOKE WITH DG AND THE WOMAN I SPOKE WITH SAID THE NEXT TIME I AM UPSET ABOUT SOMETHING I SHOULD TELL THEM (I DID) AND THAT I SAID THINGS THAT WERE UNTRUE, SO I ASKED HER WHAT THOSE THINGS WERE AND THE ONLY ONE SHE COULD RECALL WAS THAT "She said the court my hearing is at is the hardest in THE NATION" and she said she said in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, so I misunderstood her and I apologized. So I have edited that. She said I should be careful putting things online because it could hurt someone and I understand that but it's also very important that people know what they are getting into if they decide to go with DG. I understand that every individual has a different experience with a firm like that so I'm not saying that 'everyone' will have a bad experience with them. I'm just sharing mine. It's just my opinion, but I think if I had been more of a 'sure thing' maybe they would have given my case more serious attention. It's also only my opinion that DG is probably too busy with so many cases they can't do their job as well. I apologize for posting "She said the court my hearing is at is the hardest in THE NATION" and again, it is SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, NOT the NATION. The rest I wrote is the truth according to what I experienced. I am very suspect of all the 5 star reviews, especially the brief ones that are very general, I wonder if those are not written by someone from the DG to keep a high rating. Again, just voicing an opinion.
Business's response - by Andrea R.on 4/25/2012
DGI has a staff of attorneys, case analysts, case managers, and support staff. We work as a team and any member of the team can access our electronically maintained file at any time. We do this to more efficiently facilitate the process, because our attorneys are in high demand, attending hearings across the nation. Typically, the attorney scheduled to appear at hearing calls the claimant the day before to explain what the claimant can expect. Our experience informs us that this is the most efficient practice, because the process is complicated and claimants tend to better remember preparation the day before hearing than they would at some earlier point in time. We do not want our clients to be surprised or thrown off guard at the hearing. As such, we prepare them for what we think might occur. Obviously, this will be different in every case, and is custom tailored to the particular claim and situation. However, we feel it is our job to point out potential weakness in a claim. The claimant has a right to know, as well as to be given full disclosure as to what a given determination means to the case, and its effect upon the likelihood of receiving benefits in the future. In developing the strategy for a case, our attorneys sometimes glean insights that may not necessarily be favorable to the outcome. When this happens, we feel our clients have a right to know this information and to act accordingly in their own best interest. In this particular instance, the attorney scheduled for hearing noticed certain weaknesses in the claim, and advised the claimant of those weaknesses. We did not abandon the claim, and were prepared to go forward and appear at hearing, as we promised to do. Consider the alternative. We could have just not informed her and appeared at her hearing. West LA is local to us, and we had to be there for other hearings that day anyway. If she got lucky and won we would be paid. But if she lost it would come to her as a complete surprise. Unfortunately,
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