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04/28/2012 07:37 AM

What was your hearing w/ALJ like??(page 19)

Posts: 63

Heatherj - ohh noo, I feel bad for what your are going through with your ears. I've struggled since I was a child. In high school the otoslerosis got so bad they did surgery on both ears, were unable to save the stapes in either one and did stapedectomies in each ear. That improved my hearing significantly for years. i went on to work at the road dept running a backhoe, then graduated voc/career school certified to be a firefighter/emt. (I've worked hard all my adult life - 22 years, and this hearing is how I'm repaid??)

Anyways, a few years ago I came down sick. One minute I was fine, the next minute I lost all my hearing in my left ear, couldn't walk and was very nauseated. I had to crawl up the stairs and into bed. Somehow I had managed to call my husband at the 911 dispatch center he dispatches from. He called his parents to come watch the girls and he came home from work and took me to the hospital. I had came down with pneumonia and an ear infection that wouldn't respond to antibiotics.

I was on antibiotics for 2 months before it finally cleared up, but my hearing never returned. I went to my ENT and the hearing loss was off the chart with only one frequency showing on the chart at 110db. He said that people who have had stapedectomies are at great risk of losing their hearing from infections and the profound loss was permanent. The right ear has loss in the speech range, but the lower frequencies and higher frequencies that have the loss are not treatable with a hearing aid. I only have two normal frequencies in the right. The otosclerosis will continue to take more hearing from the right side if an infection doesn't render me totally deaf beforehand. The cochlear doesnt make my left ear hear, it will never hear again. The processor takes external sounds originating from my left and transfers the sound to the right side so I "hear" sound on coming from the left. I do not have directional hearing since my right ear does all the work. When I hear something on my left, I have to do a 360 scan to see if I can locate where the sound is coming from. Since the right does all the work, my "hearing" on the left is only as good as the right ear, which isn't good itself...I still have balance and vertigo issues I struggle with, although the vertigo is getting better.

Heartburn - wow, I thought my hearing was long! I just read you story and they do seem similar. Why do these people who hold other peoples livelyhoods in their hands take their bad days out on others?

As a former public service person myself, I can honestly say I NEVER treated a patient rudely, no matter how frivolous the call or how stupid, or how awful. I never even berated drunk drivers who hurt others. It wasn't my job to make them feel bad. It was my job to help and I would think/hope these ALJs would have same mindsets, morals and standards!! To me, the excused of "jaded" is a cop out excuse. If I can learn to not be jaded and take every patient as a new experience, then other people can apply it to their job too, including judges!!

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04/28/2012 10:40 AM
Posts: 241

Thanks Wormie. I am going to take a valium before going in. I already went to court for a September hearing, My judge was so quiet and only asked me one question. I don't know who I'm getting this time and hope it's not like your judge!

Thursday is around the corner OMG! I am getting nervous.

Your a wonderful mom!

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05/22/2012 04:19 PM
Posts: 31

It occurred today so I wanted to write while fresh in my mind. I will say that I am glad it is over.

My attorney met with me and my partner before the hearing began. We went over all the information to make sure everything was correct; which it was not. I had to provide an updated medication list. I was very upset to find out that my partner was NOT allowed to go into the hearing with me. I did not want to be alone; I was scared.

In the hearing the judge introduced himself, the Vocational Rehabilitation officer and Court Recorder. I was then asked basic questions such as address, age, birth-date, and social security number.

The judge asked for specifics regarding my pain - where is it, daily rating between 0 and 10, and how it affects my life. It was obvious the judge had difficulty believing me that the pain is 24/7 and the rating is 9 or 10 daily. "You mean to tell me that you are never out of pain?". Yeah, what a question.

I had to explain why I felt that I was unable to work at all. So, I told him everything. I use a quad cane, I wear depends, I fall easily, I have lost short-term memory, I am in pain 24/7, I must lay down or be in a recliner for most of the day, I am not allowed to drive, I receive assistance with dressing and showering.

After about 30 minutes of questioning from him, he turned it over to my attorney. She brought up things that I forgot to mention and was important for the judge to know. When she was finished, the judge began questioning the Vocational Rehabilitation Officer - I did not like him.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Officer was provided with hypothetical situations from the judge and then gave answers to what kind of jobs a person could do. At the end, the judge gave him all my information and was asked if there was a job I could possibly do. The Vocational Rehabilitation Officer replied, "there is not any work that this person can do; she would be considered unemployable". Those are the words my attorney was waiting to hear - I can never work again.

It was over but it felt like it took forever. The judge did not give me an answer but told me I and my attorney would receive a letter in the mail with the final ruling. My attorney says nothing is 100% but she feels that I will receive a positive ruling. We should receive letters in June.

I do feel good about the hearing and I do believe that I will receive a positive ruling but nothing is written in stone. So, now I wait. But for me, I just feel better that the hearing is finally over and I know my attorney and I did everything right.

I will keep you updated - let you know what the ruling is when I find out.

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05/22/2012 04:44 PM
jayjay41Posts: 457

Best of luck to you. How long did it take for you to get from stage 1 to the final hearing? I just hired a lawyer about a month ago and I am expecting a couple of years before I meet with an ALJ
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05/22/2012 07:19 PM

Well from what you posted sounds like the ball is in your court. V Offices said what he said. If he thought there was emp. for you then that would be a different story. Sending my best wishes. Now you have a new job watch the mail box. haha!!! In the mean while keep check on you bank account. Sometimes you get your money before a letter comes. Once the SS office call and verify you info you know then it is a go.
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05/23/2012 03:47 AM
Posts: 73

Wishing you the best 6katmom.Its been a long road,but I know you are glad its over. Can't wait til Aug 8, 2012 when my hearing comes up.God bless you.SmileLike realityworld said now you have a new job, (mailbox watching). Smile
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05/25/2012 02:05 PM
Posts: 1
New Member

Hello everyone, I had my hearing in Februaury. It was just the judge, some woman in a corner that didn't seem to be doing much, myself and my attorney in the hearing room. There was not a vocational expert present. The judge was very clear in explaining how the hearing would be conducted, and then we began. I have a very soft voice, so the judge told me I needed to speak loud and clear into a microphone because the hearing was being recorded.

I remember the judge hardly asked me any questions at all really. My attorney was predominately speaking and the judge would interupt if he needed clarification.I answered all the questions as best as I could, and the hearing seemed very quick and to the point.When my attorney was finished asking me questions, the judge said that was all, and that I answered the questions very well.

My attorney never thought we had a chance to win from the beginning, now as you can tell it has been 3 months and he recently received a vocational expert report, which made him change his mind and belive we may have a chance. He said the vocational experts report clearly states that I have limitations and am not able to perform duties to hold a job. I have been waiting for what seems to be forever. Still no decision though!


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06/12/2012 06:29 PM
Posts: 398

I waited 3-1/2 years for my ALJ hearing. I first applied in February of 2010. I had been disabled since having spinal surgery in 2005, but was going through a very evil divorce and highly depressed and could not bear the thought of going through any more stress, as I was also diagnosed with RA and Sjogren's Disease.

I finally got my hearing this past April, right before Easter. The hearing only took a few minutes - not over 45. I was asked first about my job and work history and how much weight I was expected to carry during the course of my work. Then I was asked about my spinal injury and rheumatoid arthritis and the medications I take in order to control pain and the disease. It turned out during the course of the hearing that almost two years' worth of medical records were missing! I thought that spelled disaster, but my attorney requested that the file be kept open for five more days so I could supply the missing records. The judge also was very savvy about the medications I was taking, and asked me extensive questions about side effects. I think what nailed it for me was the fact that I take a chemotherapy drug that causes extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting for three days after I take it. He did not make a determination at the close of the hearing, but did say that if I could provide documentation (prescribing notes) for my medicines, he would grant me my case.

It took two months, but I was approved. My monthly deposits (which are less than $1,000 a month) start next week. It seems like once you are approved everything starts going at light speed. I've already been contacted by and enrolled in Medicare. I now must go into the SSA office near my home and bring certain documents to verify household income and expenses for SSI. I haven't received a cent from anyone so far, so it should be coming up.

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06/14/2012 04:37 PM
Posts: 59

Ok today i went in for my hearing before the ALJ, he was on video which was fine. So it was me, the judge, my attorney, the Vocational Education, and the court reporter. I was literally in there no more than 20 miniutes. I was so nervous. The Judge asked me how did mymedicine make me feel? I told him sleepy, high, and very mellow! after asking me all the questions he asked me the judge asked th VE were their any jobs that I could do, and he responded YES....I thought to myself OMG...what just happened? He said there was 2 jobs that I could do, and they were in South Carolina, and florida! I live in GA. Now this is the part that got me, afther everything was said and done the Judge then said Im not gonna count her cashiering and waitressing job, Ill just count the CNA and Medical Assistant....Can someone PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEE explain what he meant? then he said he would hold my file open for 7 days at the request of my attorney because my psychiatrist hadnt sent in more sheet. But my psyc had sent in my records and it indicated i was severly depressed, I have bad anxiety and panic attacks, my concentrations is off, and i have insomnia! Can someone please shed some light so that i will feel a lil better!!! thanks
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06/15/2012 07:40 AM
heatherj78Posts: 1673
Senior Member

im not sure how to help you. welcome to the forum though and i hope someone else will be able to ring in to answer your question better. how old are you, what disabilities do you have and what meds are you taking? if its very personal then thats fine. it would kinda give us a better idea of why the judge was leaning towards those answers. i can understand greatly about how the mental issues can affect you. its seems odd though that those 2 recommendations would be made. they are very stressful positions and take a great deal of concentration in themselves bc you are dealing with people's lives.

Post edited by: heatherj78, at: 06/15/2012 07:44 AM

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