Well, from what Pete has described this was not the actual hearing before the ALJ. This sounds like an informal meeting that many times SS does on cases. When I appplied I was given the option of applying and doing my interview by phone or coming into the main office. I ,hose to do a phone interview and not fight the downtown traffic and parking. It is simply to be sure all forms are completed correctly and a question and answer time. The person Pete was to meet/or met with was an adminsitrative assistant/sercretary of SS's. not an ALJ. When an actual hearing is scheduled before an ALJ it is highly recommended that the hearing never be canceled unless its pretty much a life or death situation. This is due to the heavy case load at SS and the judges are real strict on the reasoning for canceling said hearing. Our office here will call an attys office and say I have these dates available for the hearing on such & such, what date is the atty available and thats how we set our hearings before the ALJ. That way it takes care of any conflict on calendars.
Unfortunately, for Pete all the hard work he did was for nothing as far as the SS claim goes. All it did was make him miserable and cause extra pain, not to mention the extra days it will take to get things settled back down. He ran the risk of further injury, its not worth it folks. I do not suggest to anyone out there considering applying ever do what Pete did. These ALJ's are not stupid, these are seasoned judges that know how to read medical records inside and out. This is one of the many things your claim is based on people, not walking or limping in to a hearing or looking like you have been put thru the mill. The judges do not buy it and they cannot be fooled. By this think about it, he has looked at your medical records very carefully and read them word for word. He has mostl likely taken a highlighter and highlighted the parts of your medical records that fit the guidelines for disability according to SS. If the medical records reflect the patient is having some pain, but is back at work with some discomfort and that person walks in looking like they have been in a dog fight and lost-how well do you think that judge is going to perceive that person? Just be yourself is the very best way to handle anything with SS. It is not a dog and pony show.
You do get your chance to speak and use that time wisely. Don't run off at the mouth and ramble, especially if it is a yes or no answer.
Personally Pete, I feel if you will just try to relax a tad and let the atty do the work you will be fine with SSD. Your medical records says it all, its not about how bad you look, how bad you act, nothing like that. These guys have seen it all and they are not stupid. Overkill can do just that kill!!
Moderator Chronic Pain
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.
Post Edited (straydog) : 8/24/2009 7:58:00 PM (GMT-6)