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Abstract

This Article suggests that the United States maintains a secret welfare state. The secret welfare state exists because of lawyers' ubiquitous use of questionable practices in representing clients before benefit-granting government agencies, which enable thousands of individuals to collect public benefits who may not qualify for them. This Article focuses in particular on lawyers' handling of evidence of nondisability in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) proceedings and participation in Medicaid planning. Although lawyers' conduct in seeking to minimize their clients' tax obligations has received substantial scrutiny, lawyers' conduct in asserting claims to public benefits has not.

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