Harry J. Binder
Harry Binder knows how to start things. It was on May 19 th, 1975, that he started Binder & Binder®. Harry was working late that night. At about 9:30 P.M. a big guy wearing a raincoat, sneakers, and a very worried look rang the door bell at Harry’s small office in Patchogue, New York. It was a proud but discouraged, and almost penniless ex-firefighter. Harry invited him in, sat him down, made him a cup of instant coffee, and listened to a story that he was destined to hear many times, in many different forms, from many different people, in the years to come. The firefighter had been injured, and eventually disabled, so he applied for Social Security Disability benefits…and was turned down.
The big guy threw a challenge at Harry. He said, “I need an expert at Social Security to represent me. Is that you?” Harry has always liked challenges, starting things, and firefighters. He says, “Firefighters do stuff I’d be scared to do once, and they do it every day.” So Harry’s response was, “I’m not an expert tonight, but give me a week.” And he hit the law books.
One of the things Harry started that day was a long, difficult and expensive campaign to expose one of our government’s best-kept secrets… the Disability part of the Social Security law. Harry often says, “If the government told people about Social Security Disability like they’re supposed to, we wouldn’t have a business.”
But as you might guess, Binder & Binder® is more than just a business to Harry and his brother and partner, Charles. He says, “There is a Binder family tradition that says “Do what you do, better and nicer. That means treat our clients like you’d want your mom or dad treated if they were in a similar situation.” As you might also guess, that’s easier said than done. But Harry makes it a personal challenge to our people to do the “little things.” For example, he insists that our people remember that “Most of our clients are really hurting. They need you to listen… really listen to what they’re telling you. Most of the other people in their lives don’t bother to do that.”
It was a small beginning. “Our people” at that time meant just Harry and Charles, and their secretary. But folks responded in a big way to our small beginning. They liked the passion, the focus, and the…”better and nicer” way they were treated at Binder & Binder®. From that small beginning, Binder & Binder® has become “America’s Most Successful Social Security Disability Advocates®, serving clients all over the United States.
Harry is a fair golfer and a good racquetball player. He and his brother Charles are semi-fanatical New York Ranger hockey fans, who attend all home games at Madison Square Garden and as many games in cities around the league as time will allow. And Harry loves old time rock and roll. Especially doo-wop. He sometimes turns the music up in his office to glass shattering levels, and sings along in his not-quite-in-pitch tenor voice… although we have asked him many times not to do that.
Harry graduated cum laude from the City College of New York, and the Cornell University Law School. He will tell you he is, “Married for a long time. A very long time.”
Harry takes his greatest pride in three things: 1 – He was at Madison Square Garden on June 14, 1994 at 10:58 P.M. when the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup. 2 – He has become one of the major individual human sources of irritation to bureaucrats and dastardly insurance companies nation-wide. And 3 – He started something big. A company that really does things “Better and Nicer.” It’s called, Binder & Binder®.