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06/28/2013 04:00 AM

Waiting for ALJ Hearing round 2

kristen215
kristen215  
Posts: 73
Member

As most of you know I had my first ALJ hearing and was denied it February, horrible experience. Bad judge with a low approval rating and a terrible lawyer who sent one of his just out of law school colleagues that I met 5 minutes before my hearing and had no idea what to expect.

I re-applied for both SSDI/SSI in April. I was denied in May, retained a lawyer that was recommended by my Psychiatrist, Therapist, and Case Worker. He filed my appeal which I just got notification of last week. I told him about my situation, made sure he'd be the guy that was representing me when the time comes. I feel comfortable with him and his staff.

Anyway, in request of my case manager at the mental health facility I've been with for a year, I met with the head of OVR (Office of Vocational Rehab) on Monday. She said she can't help me because I'm too disabled. (Not leaving the house alone in over 3 years, random panic attacks that make me bolt, not being able to drive/use public transportation). She said she can't write a written recommendation to my attorney (who is #1 on her list as well) but she can put in my file which they can attain that I'm too disabled. I don't think my case manager was happy, she's been pushing me to "get out there" which I'm not comfortable with yet even though I've been in therapy for a year, I'm not there, and I feel like no one understands that. I've been put on more medication, which isn't helping much and I feel so hopeless.

I was just wondering if the wait for the ALJ hearing is still about a year? Meaning sometime next summer I'll get my chance again. I just hope and pray that I don't have the same judge.

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06/28/2013 04:27 AM
AnnieStang
 
Posts: 84
Member

Kristen, I'm sorry you are having to go thru this struggle. I can understand your frustration. Sad

I don't know anything about the Hearing/ALJ portion of Disability, I'm sure someone will be along to assist you soon with ur inquiries.

Is ur Therapist a part of a Group Entity or does he/she work alone? I know I picked up all my "medical" records and did all the footwork myself and submitted all the pertinent information myself with the application. When I went to see a different Doctor, I'd pick up the Office Summary Documents and periodically go to my Disability Attny's office for them to fax it to SS.

You saying she placed that note in ur file....can u go fill out a Release and get all of ur "Medical" documents from ur Therapist and get what u think will assist ur case faxed over? I know some 'Mental Health' records or documents can't be obtained by the Patient, if they think it would hinder their well being. However, I don't know who makes that decision (guessing the Therapist) as to what documents the Patients can have.

Again, I'm unsure of the details on the stage ur in with ur case, so someone else will be along to post.

Hang in there and don't give up.


06/28/2013 05:09 AM
ElvisPresley
ElvisPresleyPosts: 2887
Group Leader

Unfortunately the wait can't be speed up, you're attorney may be able to file for a OTR. Ask your attorney if he/she thinks that is a option.

06/28/2013 05:26 AM
AnnieStang
 
Posts: 84
Member

Elvis, I didn't know what OTR was, I had to Google it. Lol. I still didn't comprehend it fully. I see it means On The Record?

{copied and pasted:}

Getting You Approval in an OTR Decision

If your original application is denied, the next fastest way to receive benefits is to have an "on the record" (OTR) decision. A Social Security disability attorney can:

write a clear and concise brief that meets the requirements set out by Social Security and presents arguments for why you should receive benefits

gather any new medical records or try to obtain information from physicians to answer questions that may not be in your medical records but is requested by Social Security

write a proposed decision that, if approved by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), saves time since you do not have to wait for the ALJ to write the decision, and

speak to the Attorney Adjudicator to relay the specific merits of your case or to negotiate your disability onset date.


06/28/2013 06:25 AM
cate511
cate511  
Posts: 168
Member
I'm an Advocate

You have a case manager great....she can do the legwork for you and get the necessary files to your lawyer also your case manager can accompany you to the hearing and speak on your behalf I know this because I was a case manager and I accompanied many consumers to their hearings and I believe the judge put a lot of weight to what I was saying. I even argued with the judge several times. Remember your case manager is also your advocate. Of course she wants you to get out there it's her job to make you not need her anymore. Hang in there the wait seems incredibly long but it goes faster than you think

Post edited by: cate511, at: 06/28/2013 06:26 AM


06/28/2013 07:47 AM
LostInCyberspace12
LostInCyberspace12  
Posts: 9933
Group Leader


kristen215 said>>>a terrible lawyer who sent one of his just out of law school colleagues that I met 5 minutes before my hearing and had no idea what to expect.

This is really awful, even with a tough ALJ. Your attorney must be prepared to argue why you are disabled and unable to work. Those that just sit there when the VE or Judge says things that might hurt your claim without cross-examination are doing you a huge disservice. They make it much easier for the judge to deny the claim

This is why I prefer going with some of the big "cookie-cutter" SSDI firms like Allsup. People eat at certain fast food restaurants for one reason only (even tho the food is terrible for your health). They like the taste of the food and they want to relive the experience over and over again. A Big Mac will taste the same no matter which McDonalds you get it from.

I re-applied for both SSDI/SSI in April. I was denied in May, retained a lawyer that was recommended by my Psychiatrist, Therapist, and Case Worker. He filed my appeal which I just got notification of last week. I told him about my situation, made sure he'd be the guy that was representing me when the time comes. I feel comfortable with him and his staff.

Excellent! I think this will markedly improve your chances 2nd time around. Remember this simple formula.

Good medical records + good attorney or advocate + good doctors = eventaul SSDI win. Smile Bad ALJ's are beyond your control but they must approve if your attorney can prove your claim.

met with the head of OVR (Office of Vocational Rehab) on Monday. She said she can't help me because I'm too disabled. (Not leaving the house alone in over 3 years, random panic attacks that make me bolt, not being able to drive/use public transportation). She said she can't write a written recommendation to my attorney (who is #1 on her list as well) but she can put in my file which they can attain that I'm too disabled.

This is really good if your own VE is willing to go on the record and say you are unable to work. This will help a lot IMO. Many people who are denied for private LTD have to hire their own vocational experts and occupational doctors and therapists to refute the insurance companies hired guns.

I was just wondering if the wait for the ALJ hearing is still about a year? Meaning sometime next summer I'll get my chance again. I just hope and pray that I don't have the same judge.

Unfortunately, yes...not much you can really do about that. Hopefully, you will also get a different ALJ this time. It sounds to me like you are much better prepared this time.

07/01/2013 11:29 AM
kristen215
kristen215  
Posts: 73
Member

cate511

You have a case manager great....she can do the legwork for you and get the necessary files to your lawyer also your case manager can accompany you to the hearing and speak on your behalf I know this because I was a case manager and I accompanied many consumers to their hearings and I believe the judge put a lot of weight to what I was saying. I even argued with the judge several times. Remember your case manager is also your advocate. Of course she wants you to get out there it's her job to make you not need her anymore. Hang in there the wait seems incredibly long but it goes faster than you think

I honestly am not sure I want my case manager there representing me to be honest, I've been through 3 different ones in the year and a half I've been at the mental health facility and they've all quit (high turn over rate) My new case worker is nice, but she's pushy and doesn't really understand my disability. I applied for disability both times alone, did the paperwork alone, etc. All she has done is set me up with the OVR (Office of Vocational Rehab) because she's pushing me to work/get out more. I've been in therapy for over a year and the only progress I've made has been actually making my therapy/doctor's appointments. I still freak out around people, haven't left my house alone in 3 years and haven't driven since 2010, she doesn't seem to understand that, which I understand completely - if you don't have panic disorder it's hard to understand.

Post edited by: kristen215, at: 07/01/2013 12:59 PM


07/01/2013 11:35 AM
kristen215
kristen215  
Posts: 73
Member

AnnieStang Is ur Therapist a part of a Group Entity or does he/she work alone? I know I picked up all my "medical" records and did all the footwork myself and submitted all the pertinent information myself with the application. When I went to see a different Doctor, I'd pick up the Office Summary Documents and periodically go to my Disability Attny's office for them to fax it to SS.

both my therapist, psychiatrist, and case worker are part of a mental health facility. They all agree on going for SSDI/SSI. My last lawyer who was complete BS, had no problem getting records, and my lawyer said he'll be able to obtain records, I signed releases for him, but if I need to I have no problem doing the work Smile

You saying she placed that note in ur file....can u go fill out a Release and get all of ur "Medical" documents from ur Therapist and get what u think will assist ur case faxed over? I know some 'Mental Health' records or documents can't be obtained by the Patient, if they think it would hinder their well being. However, I don't know who makes that decision (guessing the Therapist) as to what documents the Patients can have.

The women that placed the note in my file was a Vocational Expert with the county's mental health division. I believe that if requested my lawyer or I should be able to get that record.


07/01/2013 11:35 AM
ElvisPresley
ElvisPresleyPosts: 2887
Group Leader

@Annie, Lost would be the one to talk to. He is the only one I know of on here who got a OTR...Lost where you at? lol

07/01/2013 11:37 AM
LostInCyberspace12
LostInCyberspace12  
Posts: 9933
Group Leader

I am here Elvis...bored to death and it is raining Cats and Dogs outside today.
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