Well I've finished my SSD Hearing and am awaiting the "decision", which the judge said I should receive within the next week. Hopefully there will be no serious delays because of the Holidays. Anyway, it was not what I had expected at all. Despite the "informal" atmosphere I had heard so much about, there was a very formal format and a very formal hearing "court room". The Judge was dressed in robes and, although he and my lawyer had a good raport and has some quick banter before and after the official hearing, it was quite formal to me. First, my lawyer presented to him why she considered me disabled and then explained my earnings statement discrepancies. Basically I had income/no income/income/no income and so on for a while. This gave the impression that I was not being honest and had been working when in fact I was receiving short term disability (purchased), followed by accrued sick/annual leave and some forfeited leave. It just looked strange on paper, so I had to give my attorney all of my records for short term disability and my paperwork where I requested to be on this leave or that leave until I was finally "off of the books" so to speak.
There was a state agency located in the bottom floor of this building and he asked me to give him my work history (which I briefly did). Most of my career was with probation/parole and he asked me if I basicallly did the same job as the people down stairs, which I had (now I'm second guessing myself because my title was changed so many times and I was in and out of facilities so much that I did do the job that they do, but not all of the time). I was very nervous so I hope I answered the questions that he was asking correctly. It's hard to think when you are on the stand. I did honestly answer to the best of my ability, so I guess that's all I can do.
He asked me if I could go back to doing what I had done before and I said No Sir and he asked why. I told him I couldn't shoot anymore because of the recoil and because my hands won't hold the gun, that I can't climb stairs anymore, that I can't meet physical fitness requirements and that I can't do all of the data entry that is required.
Next, she told him why I was disabled and then she and he asked me some questions...how long could I stand, how long could I sit, and things like that. I had to explain that standing was different if I was on carpet or concrete and that it was so many minutes one way and so many the other.....same thing with the sitting because of lumbar support or not. My lawyer asked where I lived and how long it took me to get to the hearing and did I drive, which I had not. She also asked how many times I had stopped on the way (which was two). I was kind of surpised because she did not prep me for that question and I wasn't expecting it. We did stop two times though. And then he asked me about why I had to stop and I told him it was because I had to move around some and to find a restroom because of my bladder surgery failing. I also told him that since my back surgery, I have problems with fecal incontinence and that was a problem for me and then my eyes filled with tears. He said that was enough and that I shouldn't have any trouble and I would get my decision in about a week.
My lawyer thinks things went well and that he made a favorable decision. I'm still holding my breath because you never know until the paperwork is fully compelted. I'm trying not to get my hopes up because I would be really upset if I was counting on this money and it fell through.
I'll post as soon as I get an official answer...........