| Practice Description: |
Since the early 1980s, Mr. Kodner has been assisting the disabled in their efforts to obtain Social Security Disability benefits. He has helped more than 5,000 clients win their cases at the time of their greatest need. Most clients have sought help due to their inability to work caused by a physical or mental disability. His goal is to assist clients through the Social Security process in a way that is highly effective and also responsive to their needs. About 90 percent of the cases accepted for representation are approved by the Social Security Administration.
His practice is exclusively devoted to the Social Security disability area of the law.
His purpose is to effectively advocate clients' claims through the often-daunting Social Security claims process. He helps frame the issues before the Social Security Administration, present evidence in a helpful and meaningful way, and assists with the endless paperwork as needed. The firm will obtain reports that are geared toward the particular ailments of clients and the relevant regulations.
Mr. Kodner will constantly advocate for approval of the claim at the earliest stages of the administrative process before the Social Security Administration. However, if a hearing is necessary, he will appear with the client and present the case to the judge. He can explain the relevant regulations, cross-examine the medical and vocational witnesses, and make sure that the record before the judge has been fully and fairly developed. If further appeal is necessary, the firm may also take the case into federal district or appellate court for judicial review.
Notable Cases and Results:
The vast majority of Mr. Kodner's cases are approved at one of the administrative levels of the Social Security Administration. For the past several years, 85 to 90 percent of his cases have been allowed at the administrative law judge level or at earlier stages of the claims process. Unfortunately, sometimes a case will be denied at each administrative level of the Social Security Administration. The firm will sometimes appeal such cases into the federal court system and occasionally into the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. A few cases are summarized below:
1. Flores v. Massanari, Case Number 00-4334 (unreported)
In this 2001 case, the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that the Social Security Judge did not give sufficient consideration to the side effects of the medications taken by the claimant for treatment of his pemphipus and remanded (ordered a new hearing) the case to the SSA.
2. Willis v. Apfel, 116 F Supp 2nd 971 (ND, Ill., 2000)
United States District Court remanded this claim due to Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ) failure to adequately explain his conclusion to deny disability benefits. The case was additionally remanded for a new hearing to consider new evidence of the Claimant's knee problems.
3. Aidinovski v. Apfel, 27 F Supp 2nd 1097 (ND, Ill., 1998)
Case remanded for a new hearing due to ALJ's failure to adequately account for the Claimant's fibromyalgia. The ALJ failed to adequately consider the Claimant's credibility and the reports of her doctors.
4. Iwachniuk v. Chater, 926 F Supp 753 (ND, Ill., 1996)
Social Security Administration ordered to award disability benefits to Claimant who had residual functional capacity limitations resulting from impaired intellectual capabilities and dependent personality disorder. The ALJ's decision to reject findings of examining psychologists was not supported by substantial evidence.
United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1978
United States Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1978.
Fees are regulated by the Social Security Administration and are contingent upon obtaining benefits for the client. If the firm is successful, 25% of the past due benefits owed to the claimant and his dependants will be paid to us. The fee ordinarily does not exceed $6,000 unless the case is appealed beyond the hearing level. If the firm does not win the case, a fee is not charged.
Retainer: We ordinarily do not charge a retainer fee.
Year of Birth: 1953
Law School: Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, J.D., 1978
Law School Honors/Involvement: Cum laude; Moot Court Society; senior class speaker
Undergraduate School: University of Illinois, B.S., accounting, 1975
Undergraduate School Honors/Involvement: With honors; "Target Pool" high score at Apple Duck Pinball Arcade.
Disabled persons who are not able to work due to their physical and/or mental impairment(s)
After graduation from law school in 1978, Mr. Kodner worked for a small business-oriented firm, Pitler and Mandel, for two years. He then entered into a general practice partnership, Tutt and Kodner, in 1980. The firm dissolved in 1984, and Mr. Kodner started a solo practice devoted exclusively to Social Security disability cases. In 2015, he joined The Law Offices of Rabin, Kodner & Brown, Ltd. before practicing solo again at Kodner Disability Law.
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
Chicago Bar Association
Past chairman, current member, Social Security Law Subcommittee
National Organization of Social Security Claims Representatives
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
Distinguished service award,1997
SSI Coalition for a Responsible Safety Net
From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Kodner was the producer/director/writer for a local middle school variety show called "Haven Help Us." The show is an Evanston tradition dating back more than 20 years. The show usually contains about 25 to 30 dances, songs, and skits and is performed entirely by the students -- about 200 of them! At least 75 parents are involved as well. Past shows have included numbers such as "Yellow Luncheon Meat," "They Got to Potty," and "Belly Hai." Mr. Kodner was "hoodwinked" by the youngest daughter of a friend into making music videos for the 2008 and 2009 shows. An example of one show, Addicted to Gum, is available for review at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFDImPH0rs8.
Published Legal Writing:
Author of several outlines published in NOSSCR course books on subjects covering law office management, the effects of working upon a disability claim, and attorney's fees
Presenter at several sessions of NOSSCR semi-annual conventions; presented an overview of the SSD program to professional mental health advocacy groups, the Chicago Bar Association, and to the public
Firm Description: Jan Kodner has been ranked as the #1 Social Security lawyer by the Leading Lawyers, a peer review group of other Illinois attorneys. His firm focuses exclusively on Social Security and SSI Disability cases in order to best serve clients. The firm's office in Skokie is conveniently located just a minute or two east of the I-94 Old Orchard Road exit. He is available on an appointment only basis, so please call first. There is no charge unless the firm agrees to represent you and your case is approved.
Married to Roberta since 1980; daughter born in 1987; son born in 1990. The family adopted a chocolate lab named Tess in late 2002. The family may have up to a dozen extra ("honorary children") kids in the house on any given weekend.
Additional Office Locations: