I had a court hearing Weds afternoon to update the court on the status of my SSI disability application due to my owing some child support. (The kid is 21 now and I owe about
a year's worth that accumulated a few months here and there over the course of 17 years)
For the past couple of years I had been dealing with the county's family law judge who had held that position for more than a decade. He was a very good judge who treated everyone with respect and was very fair. He was willing to do anything he could to help you so long as you worked with him and treated him with respect. Sadly he retired a few months ago and the judge that replaced him was one that came over from the criminal court and is his exact opposite.
Anyway at the hearing this judge all but called me a liar and came within an inch of issuing a court order for me to go back to work. The only thing that stopped her was a letter from a doctor saying that I was unable to work and outlining my health problems. She (the judge) looked very unhappy when she found this letter in my court records.
In today's hearing I was actually told things like: "Since you are able to care for a child you should be able to work." "Since you were denied by SSI apparently your condition is not that bad and you should be able to find a job within your physical limitations."
I asked her and the lawyer who was representing the state's attorney general's office just what kind of job I could hold being a 41 year old with a high school education who can't stand, sit, walk, for more than 15-20 minutes without having my pain levels go from moderate (with medication) to severe. I asked them what employer would hire someone who is on long term narcotic pain medications as every employer I have ever had would put you on a leave of absence if you started taking these types of drugs because they knew their insurance would not cover any claim should anything happen. Of course I never got an answer.
During the hearing I was also berated for not having surgery to "correct" my back problems and was all but told I was wrong for putting it off until such a time as I could be sure that we had support in place to care for my 5 year old which would not happen until after my wife graduates even though I explained that due to having diabetes that my healing time would be longer than normal and that it also put me at greater risk for complications. I also explained that several doctors had put me at a 50/50 chance of surgery helping and a 25% chance of it making things worse, including being partially or totally paralyzed from the waist down and that with those odds I am not in any hurry to take a chance of going from bad to very, very bad.
Finally, somehow, in all of this it was basically pointed out to me that it is my fault that my SSI was denied, that SSI lost my appeal and that since I have had not had surgery and am still able to do most things, even though it is with difficulty, that I can not find an attorney willing to take my case unless I pay them upfront because they do not think I could win at this time due to not having tried the surgical route. I have been told it would be different if the surgeons would say there was a very good chance the surgery would not help, but as many of you know good luck with that one as those who do back surgeries all think they can "cure" you under the knife.
Post Edited (Jim1969) : 5/5/2011 1:23:34 AM (GMT-6)