9/11 First-responders Long Fight to Regain Social Security Disability Benefits

July 15,2014
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Retired NYPD Sergeant Michael Kull was wrongfully accused of disability fraud. He was eventually acquitted of the crime, but, during the criminal process, prosecutors froze his financial accounts and also cut off his Social Security Disability payments.

Despite his innocence and eventual acquittal, Kull had to wage an uphill battle to get reinstated for the Social Security Disability benefits that he rightfully deserved as a first-responder to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Kull’s Criminal Charge and Acquittal

Kull retired from the NYPD in 2006 due to several medical disorders and post-traumatic stress stemming from 9/11. Kull was at the World Trade Center when the planes hit and witnessed the towers fall. He was also there removing victims from the rubble and assisted with the cleanup. Needless to say, he inhaled a lot of dust, chemicals and other impurities during his prolonged exposure.

In February of this year, Kull was accused by prosecutors of engaging in a wide-ranging disability fraud scheme. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office believed that there was a vast conspiracy and charged Kull along with 105 others of the crime. While most of the defendants were guilty of the crime, Kull and seven others were found to be innocent. Kull was able to produce the medical documentation proving that he suffered the medical conditions and was legitimately entitled to the benefits.

Kull’s Fight With Social Security

After he was acquitted of the crime, Kull had to deal with the vast bureaucracy that is the Social Security Administration. Kull was essentially shuffled from one operator to another, one office to another, never getting the right answers or making any headway.

Even with the assistance of a state assemblyman, Kull could not get any help. Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor personally called the Social Security Administration on several occasions. When Lalor finally reached someone, the Social Security Administration employee told the politician that there was nothing she could do. Lalor eventually called the Congressional Liaison Office for Social Security in Maryland and then was finally able to reinstate the payments for Kull.

Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney

If you need assistance with a claim for Social Security Disability benefits, you will want to work with experienced counsel. Not all of us have access to politicians to advocate on our behalf. However, you can have tough and experienced attorneys on your side who can argue for your rights to collect benefits. To get help with your case and to receive a free case evaluation, contact Hermann Law Group, PLLC at 1-877-773-3030.