My SSDI hearing in front of a ALJ is tomorrow. Extremely Nervous & Scared.. Any advice?

How many people were applied for SSDI and were awarded benefits?
0
I have never applied for SSDI - 0.0%
0
I was denied on my first attempt and gave up - 0.0%
0
I was denied on my first attempt and on reconsideration - 0.0%
2
I still have a pending claim - 50.0%
1
I won in front of an AJL judge - 25.0%
1
Other (Please specify) - 25.0%

 
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lfrazier31
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 10/18/2011 6:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone, it's me again.
 
It's been almost 3 years and I have been denied on the initial level, the recon and on my first time in front of a ALJ he stopped my hearing and sent me to see one of their CE Medical Examiners. Tomorrow is my big day and im nervous and scared and most of all hoping I don't have to keep going through this. I am clearly unable to work and my work limitations/restrictions are so limited that the Occupational Therepist stated that if I was able to work a job if any it would be something to the extent of pushing paperclips around on a desk or sorting pens. I am unable to work more then 2 hours a day and unable to lift more then 5 lbs along with a bunch of other restrictions.  If there is anyone out there with some good advice I am willing to listen. I've also been looking for peoples stories but havn't found to many. If you were awarded SSDI for your impairment, I am interested in what impairments you have, how long it took you to finally get SSDI and if you had an attorney or not as well as any other information you would like to include some examples are listed below on what types of information I am curious about to see the comparisons in ones disabilities and how hard/easy it was for one person to get benefits compared to someone elese. That is if there is anyone willing to share this information as I can understand that this can be quite personal to some people.  I appreciate it in advance. I know I had another thread somewhat similar to this but didn't get a whole lot of people willing to discuss their case and/or success.  Thanks to all who view this thread and reply.
 
If you did have a SSDI claim and won, in what year were you awarded benefits? Please include how many years it took you to finally get it and on what level (example: First attempt, reconsideration, ALJ appear, Appeals Council or Federal Court Review.)  I am mostly requesting this to see what the denial rate is and on what level most people are awarded if they do win their case. I am also curious if the people who have won their cases were recently or if they were many years ago when it was much easier to win SSDI.
 
P.S. Wish me luck and keep me in your thoughts and prayers! I could definitley use it. My life has been completely chaotic because of my issues and I would so much rather just feel normal and be able to live a life where I could successfully work or goto college but can't. It's been so depressing and I know that even if I win my case it isn't going to make my life happier or solve all my problems but it will take some of the stress of not being able to pay my bills, afford my medications and seek better treatment that I definitely need.
 
Again, thank you to everyone who reads my threads. I am new here, so some people probably don't know me all to well. But if you read my posts you will notice that I worry a lot and think way to much.
Diagnosed
- Bipolar I
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Chronic Myofacial Pain Syndrome
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Depression
- Scoliosis

Medications
- Bupropion 750mg
- Depakote 600mg
- Savella 100mg
- Seroquel 600mg

Post Edited (lfrazier31) : 10/18/2011 6:24:59 AM (GMT-6)


bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 10/18/2011 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
It took 2 and a half years to get approved. 2 denials I think. I documented everything. I did not have one single diagnosis bad enough for ssdi, but in total, I did.

My disability started 8/1/08 because that is when I quit my job. I've heard it is nearly impossible to get it if you're working. We struggled for those 2 and 1 half years. I gor MRI, ct scans, lab work, saw a rheumatologist, a pain management doc, a therapist, a psychiatrist, an orthopedist. I had fibro, major depression and PTSD , degenerative disc disease etc. I am also 58. Age and how long you would be able to work is a facto.

I received approval 2/2008. I received back pay til 8/1/2005 and had medicare right away. took about 3 weeks to get back pay.

The judge said :the claimant has the following severe impairments:PTSD, osteoarthritis and chronic pain and she cannot work 8 hous a day. I had anattorney. He only asked me a few quetions directly .

You do not state your diagnoses, the more you have , the better your odds. But a severe case of BP could certainly be grounds for approval. Almost everyone I know had to see an ALJ judge, except my husband, but he had terminal cancer and they did deny him twice before they reviewed his case.

Documentation, letters from docs, friends, employers will all help. Submit everything way before hearing and sit tight.

Good luck
Maggie

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 11002
   Posted 10/18/2011 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
in a different country our system is different. sending you healing compassionate prayers for a positive outcome. jamie
EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE PERSONALITY DISORDER,

RAPID CYCLING BI-POLAR DISORDER

REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.

lfrazier31
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 10/19/2011 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all. I had my hearing this morning, however, the judge did not give me a direct response today. I figured as much since most people do not receive their decision on the same day. He said I can expect a letter within a month. The Medical Expert there did not know anything regarding pain and he pointed that out directly and that is my main and most severe reason that I have not been able to work. On the Psychological level the Expert said that he really thinks most of my features are mild and he said who is to really tell if I don't actually have an eating disorder and that's why I lost weight (150 lbs down to 118 lbs since my pain and depression) and not because of my pain and depression. He also stated that maybe I don't go in public because I don't like to be around people not because I have anxiety and he said just because I sit in my room and cry and have no energy, no appetite and have a sleep disorder that maybe it's because of how people at home treat me and that I don't do any housework because im lazy not because of my depression or because I cannot do it. I don't know if this is normal or how their Medical Experts are since of course I've never talked to anyone else that has been to a hearing but this was all furiating to me because while I have medical records that state I have depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar, Chronic Myofacial Pain Syndrome and Complex Regional Pain Syndrom he really didn't bring any of that up, rather he based everything on only what I said at the hearing and what the CE Pyschologial Examiner said that they sent me to see and then he was moreless making up excuses for me that im fine and don't have anything wrong and I'm just making things up in my head and overexaggerating them. I kept my answers short, to the point and identifed things I've said to my doctors time and time again.. I don't see how this is exaggerating or making things up in my head?? My medical records have never really been SOLID as to being detailed but this isn't because I do not tell my doctors stuff it's because they fail to actually note everything I say and leave parts out and try to say that my cases are mild, when I am going in there and telling them how severe my depression is and that I want to die or wish the world would end or even when I cut myself. This is mild? I don't know where they are coming from. My Bipolar isn't severe in my opinion only because my medications have regulated my manic episodes so there is no documentation of me having any manic episodes, only depressive episodes, an occurance where I cut myself and over 10 years ago when I was hospitalized in a mental institution for trying to harm myself. Now on the other hand in regards to my pain I have tried every medication and treatment under the sun. I am in constant pain that is severe. I have lost jobs and quit jobs because of it. It is what has worsened my depression and appetite and concentration. Unfortunately, CMP (Chronic Myofacial Pain) is similar to Fybromyalgia in the aspect that it is unseen and cannot be detected by MRI's, Xrays or any diagnostic tests and only on the basis of testimony of years of seeing all sorts of doctors and them determining that it is what it is. I have work restrictions that are so detailed and limited, even in which the Vocational Expert at the hearing said that I could NEVER do any of my past work nor is there ANY job that I could ever do again in the future. Even based on the national average of jobs out there where someone could miss work the minimum is 2 days per month and I was missing 4 plus day's of work and that doesnt include the day's I left early or when I was there couldn't sit still. I guess now I play the waiting game. My attorney hasn't given me any hope as he doesn't seem to thrilled or excited about it and talks more about what happens if we get denied again. I know what happens If I get denied again.. another struggle of not being able to barely live or get by, more bills going unpaid, more depression.. I have already filed bancruptsy because I have been unable to pay bills and was so far in debt so I can't even think about doing that again. I can only hope and pray for the best and of course expect the worst as I always do. I appreciate all your support and will keep you all updated on the outcome. I do believe that I will be finding a new clinic and new attorney if things go south this time. In part I believe the lack of documentation, willingness to offer and try new treatments on me has put a damper on this for me. I also believe that my attorney just doesn't seem to be the most compentent and I almost feel as though I could have done just as much as he did and probably got the same outcome but we will see. I am a fighter.. I've lived in pain and depression for so long that I know I will not give up. Persistence and effort will be what wins it in the end. If they keep seeing me come back time after time they will have to eventually understand that something is wrong with me. Who the heck would live with no income for 3-4 years, live at home with their mom and get treated like their 5 at the age of 31 for the heck of it? I'm not sure of to many people. But the judge doesn't get to see that part of things. Anyway, I am going to stop going on about it and be patient although it's hard to do.

Post Edited (lfrazier31) : 10/19/2011 7:36:09 PM (GMT-6)


bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 10/19/2011 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I am shocked!!! I never heard anything like that happening at an ALJ hearing. MY meeting had a soc sec rep, my attorney, me and a vocational kind of guy. and the judge they went over my history, my attorney did most of talking, judge asked me a couple of questions and he asked vocational guy if there were any jobs that firt my disability, age and skills. Guy said no and judge gave me an approval.

Didn't your aattorney speak up. How dare they say it is all in your head. Did you have letters from psychologists or any thing?

I am just disgusted you were treated that way. I don't know if you can get another lawyer at this point, but I would consider it.

I'm so sorry you were put thru that. Anyone else ever have something like that happen? Keep us posted

Maggie

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 10/19/2011 7:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh, wow, that sounds like a nightmare. Send me an email dear.
Bipolar 1
Borderline Personality Disorder
Panic Disorder
PCOS

Lamictal 200mg,
Seroquel 200mg,
Lithium 600 mg.

lfrazier31
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 10/19/2011 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maggie and Tortoise,

Tortoise, I sent you an email.

As for the other questions Maggie. Yeah, my attorney did most of the speaking. He asked me a lot of questions that really didn't pretain to much of anything or that let me explain my story in detail. He wanted me to keep my answers simple and to the point. Basically, only say 2 or 3 word answers. I didn't get to explain much of what I spend my time doing every day or how I get by on a day to day basis. He basically asked what my last job was, how long I worked there, why I missed a lot of work and ended up quitting. He asked if I was depressed, anxious and in pain. He asked my current weight and how much weight I've lost in the past year. He also asked if I see my boyfriend a lot and what we do when I do see him. The judge didn't ask me many questions at all and the ones he did ask were related to substance abuse issues as I have a lot of impulsive actions that caused me to drink in the past which got me into some trouble. They determined that all of that was not relevant to why I couldn't work or keep jobs. Unfortunately, I have only had a handful of visits to Pyschologists since my insurance does not cover them and the visits to my Pyschatrist are frequent but probably not frequent enough to amount to anything. It's basically a followup of how im feeling and how I feel my meds are doing for me. My Pyschatrist does not offer counceling and none of them do at the clinic I doctor at. My Psychatrist always likes to make light of things and say that he believes a lot of my issues are situational.. well yeah to an extent they are but I do not have Bipolar because I live at home or don't have a job.. I am depressed because of these things. I don't cut myself because I live at home it's because I am severely depressed and need help. I am actually surprised that they didn't hospitalize me for doing this.. they just said you can't be doing that and you need to take better care of yourself. I've told my Pyschatrist as well since he started me on the Buprpion that I have been nauseated and vomit a lot but he says well I still want you to take it.. the depression has also gotten worse since then. My weight has all went downhill since the pain, depression and sleep disturbances. I often used to wake up and hear voices and see things (hallucinations). This was made light of as well. I will wait it out and pray and just see what happens. I definitely believe that I need to find some new doctors though. The only good thing I have on my side is my work restrictions and limitations and hopefully that will play a big part in the decision.

Thank you both for your responses and support.
Diagnosed
- Bipolar I
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Chronic Myofacial Pain Syndrome
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Depression
- Scoliosis

Medications
- Bupropion 750mg
- Depakote 600mg
- Savella 100mg
- Seroquel 600mg

Post Edited (lfrazier31) : 10/19/2011 8:09:21 PM (GMT-6)

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