It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Disabilities Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-31-2007, 03:09 PM   #1
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA, USA
Posts: 156
tweiler HB User
Question New hearing scheduled

I got certified mail today from Social Security. Was hoping it was good news but it was just notice of a hearing scheduled. Last Jan I had a hearing and after hearing from me what I could and couldn't do, the Judge stated if I had medical to back it up then he would have to approve me. So he held it open and asked me to get more info from my drs. Well since then I have seen a couple new drs. First was a pain specialist who couldn't find any reason on MRI, xray, etc to explain my difficulties but stated it "might" be myofascial pain. So I asked him to send me to someone who could determine if tat was it. Saw a rheumy and he dxed me w/fibromyalgia, which does explain all my difficulties. Also saw a psych who determined me to have significant depression, rated me at 50 out of 100 scale but said I could manage my own money. And also saw a med dr for work eval and they said I could do stuff with no restrictions, even when they had my med records showing I had physical restrictions and restrictions to meds. I have been doing everything w/o atty till now.

SO when I read the notice I told hubby I want to get my file and copy it. Then start visiting local attys, starting with one recommended to me by another lady w/ fibro that I met while on the city bus one day. At this point I am willing to give up the 25% if it will get me paid but I was told on here I could write a letter about how my hubby & I have done everything till now and maybe the atty would get less. At this point, I just want to be approved and get things moving.

So, am I right in thinking it would be better for me to get an atty now? And can I have people who know me write letters about what I can & can't do? If a letter would work, and hubby no have to be available for the hearing that would be great. He works nights and my hearing is in mid-week so it would be a big hardship for him to attend, especially since that is our only real income right now. I do a very small amount of work as a merchandiser but it's only like $200-$300 month. I do have another hearing with my rheumy in a couple of weeks.

Any advice on what I should do now is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by tweiler; 01-31-2007 at 03:09 PM.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 02-01-2007, 12:56 PM   #2
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ, USofA
Posts: 1,063
Mz Migraine HB UserMz Migraine HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

When I had my hearing I had "witnesses" who showed up in person. They carry more weight then "letters".
Notorized letters carry more weight than ones that are not.

My witnesses were former co-workers, a neighbor, my preacher & my elderly mother.
Notorized statements/letters from house cleaners & various friends.

If your "witnesses" are unable to show then the letters must be "notorized" & typed if possible.
If handwritten, just make sure the Judge is able to read it. Otherwise, he will probably overlook it.

I had an attorney which I didn't hire until the ALJ hearing phase which I promply notified SSDI after I was fully approved.
This way, I got 100% of my settlement. I only paid the attorney OOP expenses.

 
Old 02-01-2007, 02:28 PM   #3
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA, USA
Posts: 156
tweiler HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

How did you manage to avoid telling Social Security you had an atty until after the hearing? I figured an atty would have you sign something for them to send to Social Security showing they represent you.

 
Old 02-01-2007, 05:21 PM   #4
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ, USofA
Posts: 1,063
Mz Migraine HB UserMz Migraine HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

Quote:
Originally Posted by tweiler View Post
How did you manage to avoid telling Social Security you had an atty until after the hearing? I figured an atty would have you sign something for them to send to Social Security showing they represent you.
I hired the attorney the same time I filed for my hearing.

 
Old 02-01-2007, 05:44 PM   #5
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ, USofA
Posts: 1,063
Mz Migraine HB UserMz Migraine HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ailsa125 View Post
Having a witness go with you doesn't also make a difference. I had witnesses go with me and the judge did not call on them to say anything. It may have been because I had a great lawyer who presented my case with convection and concern. There was a man there stating that I could work this or that job, which I and my lawyer and my witnesses knew that I couldn't. The judge asked me two questions and as I was in the middle of answering the second he stopped me and told me that he awarded me my disability. I was so shocked that at first I thought it wasn't so! But my lawyer placed her hand on my knee and smiled and then I knew that my long fight was over. As I mentioned in my first reply to this thread, I posted about my long journey for my disability on the thread regarding disability. And I was more than happy to give my lawyer her 25% that she so deserved.

Ailsa~
Due to my "disability" (migraines) my attorney advised me it was best to have "witnesses" especially my ex-coworkers.

My hearing lasted 2 1/2 hours because the judge was reading my 5 inch medical file & asking me a lot of questions.
The judge asked my atty only one question during the whole 2 1/2 hours.
The VE "talked to the judge a lot".
And the judge spoke to each & every one of my "witnesses" who showed up.

So, I guess it depends on the judge, your disability & probably the hearing procedures of the state.

 
Old 02-01-2007, 05:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA, USA
Posts: 156
tweiler HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

I actually read the disability, fibro boards both along with some others like high cholesterol to try to get things under control, even ones that aren't causing much probs right now.

The PT lady I saw last year had asked me if I had fibro and at that time I had no idea what it was and never thought to look it up either. She could tell when I had a really bad day because my muscles would be knotted so badly I looked like a bodybuilder posing in a contest. A few visits she spent the entire 1 hr trying to work my muscles out to a tolerable level. Unfortunately, hubby's ins doesn't cover chiro or massage or therapy, well not at a price we can afford. We'd have to pay 1/2 of cost AFTER meeting a deductible so we just can't afford that.

After the pain specialist suggested the myofascial pain (dr asst actually) and I saw the rheumy, I have never returned to that dr's office. I was so desperate to get "fixed" I was walking over 1 mile from the end of the bus route, just to see that dr. It literally took me a whole school day for each visit I had. I don't drive and we couldn't afford a taxi but he was the best around. I was then "out" for around 3 days after each visit because it was so hard on my body.

The rheumy confirmed the fibro on my 1st visit. And I not only have all the trigger points but I have "sore" places all over my body, they feel like I have a horrible ugly bruise but nothing is there. Some days I end up crying just from trying to scratch an itch and other days just putting on my clothes hurts. Yesterday I hurt so bad I couldn't even get up to send my daughter off to school. I was crying just from the effort to go to the bathroom and then take a pain pill. I eventually went back to sleep and when I woke later my husband was up for work and really concerned because it was almost 1 pm and I was still in the bed. My daughter is only 7 but she ended up taking care of me all day, inclduing fixing sandwiches for supper. I ahve no way to predict when I will have a bad day and if I sometimes can't get my daughter up for school and on the bus, how can I be expected to work??

 
Old 02-01-2007, 06:03 PM   #7
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA, USA
Posts: 156
tweiler HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

I don't know may people locally so only have a couple of friends. however, this may sound weird but I wonder if an atty could question my daughter about what I can & can't do, does she have to help me, etc. I mean some days she takes care of me and she's only 7 (well almost 8). but she is incredibly smart for her age. on her own she has told my PCP about how some days she takes care of me by stuff like making sandwiches and getting my meds, eetc. And how she helps clean the house, things other mommies can do that I can't do with her, etc

 
Old 02-01-2007, 06:24 PM   #8
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ, USofA
Posts: 1,063
Mz Migraine HB UserMz Migraine HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

Quote:
Originally Posted by tweiler View Post
I don't know may people locally so only have a couple of friends. however, this may sound weird but I wonder if an atty could question my daughter about what I can & can't do, does she have to help me, etc. I mean some days she takes care of me and she's only 7 (well almost 8). but she is incredibly smart for her age. on her own she has told my PCP about how some days she takes care of me by stuff like making sandwiches and getting my meds, eetc. And how she helps clean the house, things other mommies can do that I can't do with her, etc
I doubt it because she is a minor & a much young one at that. Would be better if you paid a neighborhood teenager. A *paid* teenager minor would stand a better chance than an 8 year old.

The housekeeping service I use provided a statement.
The person who sometimes does my grocery shopping provided a statement.

The people/hired help who *help* you do not necessarly have to be someone you know.

I should also state that I also indicated on my SS application that I *hired* people to help me do certain things for me & those same folks showed up and/or provided statements at my hearing which helped support my case/disability.

 
Old 02-01-2007, 08:05 PM   #9
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA, USA
Posts: 156
tweiler HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

ahhh, well we can't afford to pay anyone so the only help I get is my daughter or hubby or it just doesn't get done. I only do laundry on w/e when he can take me and he does the hard stuff, mostly I make sure it gets sorted right and I fold some of it but most I don't even bother to fold anymore. Unless it is just to pick up limited groc, I only do that when he can take me as well and he actually pushes me away when I try to help put stuff up on the belt to be rung up. Maybe I will just ask hubby to see if he can take a personal day so he can go to the hearing. Dishes may sit for days in a sink of bleach water before they get done, although I use a paper plates a lot now. Mopping gets done 1X per month unless my daughter spills something and then she cleans it herself. The only person who has really seen me on bad days is my upstairs neighbor, however he is on disability himself and I know his has something mental behind it because he commented to me one day that when his benefits were awarded they decided he was not capable of handling his own money. Would he be of any help in this case? He's been our neighbor for around 1 yr and he has even volunteered to take my daughter outside in warm weather and he watches her for me, he likes to sit on the porch when weather is nice. I guess between him & hubby maybe they could bring up the things my daughter has to do for me. All my family is out of state so that is out since we only see them a couple times per year. Haven't worked in years so no coworkers and the therapist stuff is already submitted. I can't think of anyone else, I would be afraid to hire someone off the streets to help because this is not the best neighborhood. I *might* know 1 parent but I haven't known her long, she used to live near us and sometimes she would come over with her son and he would play w/ my daughter and we'd mostly watch them or talk about our pets.


I'm off to bed, I'm finally starting to get tired which means my Rx is starting to work. Bad thing is I took it over 1 1/2 hr ago. I appreciate all this help and advice.

 
Old 02-01-2007, 11:16 PM   #10
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ, USofA
Posts: 1,063
Mz Migraine HB UserMz Migraine HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

Tweiler, your hubby would make a good witness. However, it is always best to have an *independent* witness (non-family member) who can vouch on how your disability disrupts your life.
At least that is the way it works in my state for ALJ Hearings *for my type of "invisible" disability*.

When the Judge saw me, I looked like I was in perfect health! Even though I was all doped up on my "happy meds"........

 
Old 02-07-2007, 05:53 PM   #11
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chattanooga TN USA
Posts: 4
Ailsa125 HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mz Migraine View Post
Due to my "disability" (migraines) my attorney advised me it was best to have "witnesses" especially my ex-coworkers.

My hearing lasted 2 1/2 hours because the judge was reading my 5 inch medical file & asking me a lot of questions.
The judge asked my atty only one question during the whole 2 1/2 hours.
The VE "talked to the judge a lot".
And the judge spoke to each & every one of my "witnesses" who showed up.

So, I guess it depends on the judge, your disability & probably the hearing procedures of the state.
I am thankful that my hearing didn't last 2 1/2 hours! I couldn't have endured the stress! I don't have just one disability, I have many. Luck of the draw, I guess! I know that some possibility wouldn't have been as bad but I received several injuries on a couple of my jobs. I had to work jobs that most women would never have worked...but you do what you have to for your kids. It would have been nice to have been able to have stayed at one place and built up a retirement but there are a lot of companies that just don't care about their employees and no one believed that a person could have 5 - 6 migraines a week. No one believe that 40 different kinds of perfume would actually trigger a migraine! I felt as if I was walking into a battle field on the jobs where I worked exclusively with women! It was a whole lot easier to work with men, at least I didn't get migraines daily because of their perfume!

During my hearing, my lawyer went up and talked to the judge first, then she came and got my witnesses and me. I too had a huge medical file, don't really know how tall it was but the medical papers that I had collected on my own was a good five inches and that didn't include the three doctor's that I was seeing at the time. My lawyer presented my case to the judge with concern and convection. She was very knowledgeable with Fibro, CFS, Myofascia Pain, IBS, Chronic Migraines and the Chemical Sensitivities. I am a mixed bag of illnesses. I guess from my medical report, the journal that I had kept (which the judge had a copy of) and how she presented the case, the judge only asked me the two questions. He said that he didn't *need* to talk to my witnesses. It was a case well presented. I have recommeded her to several people since.

Ailsa~

 
Old 02-07-2007, 06:03 PM   #12
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chattanooga TN USA
Posts: 4
Ailsa125 HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

Quote:
Originally Posted by tweiler View Post
I actually read the disability, fibro boards both along with some others like high cholesterol to try to get things under control, even ones that aren't causing much probs right now.

The PT lady I saw last year had asked me if I had fibro and at that time I had no idea what it was and never thought to look it up either. She could tell when I had a really bad day because my muscles would be knotted so badly I looked like a bodybuilder posing in a contest. A few visits she spent the entire 1 hr trying to work my muscles out to a tolerable level. Unfortunately, hubby's ins doesn't cover chiro or massage or therapy, well not at a price we can afford. We'd have to pay 1/2 of cost AFTER meeting a deductible so we just can't afford that.

After the pain specialist suggested the myofascial pain (dr asst actually) and I saw the rheumy, I have never returned to that dr's office. I was so desperate to get "fixed" I was walking over 1 mile from the end of the bus route, just to see that dr. It literally took me a whole school day for each visit I had. I don't drive and we couldn't afford a taxi but he was the best around. I was then "out" for around 3 days after each visit because it was so hard on my body.

The rheumy confirmed the fibro on my 1st visit. And I not only have all the trigger points but I have "sore" places all over my body, they feel like I have a horrible ugly bruise but nothing is there. Some days I end up crying just from trying to scratch an itch and other days just putting on my clothes hurts. Yesterday I hurt so bad I couldn't even get up to send my daughter off to school. I was crying just from the effort to go to the bathroom and then take a pain pill. I eventually went back to sleep and when I woke later my husband was up for work and really concerned because it was almost 1 pm and I was still in the bed. My daughter is only 7 but she ended up taking care of me all day, inclduing fixing sandwiches for supper. I ahve no way to predict when I will have a bad day and if I sometimes can't get my daughter up for school and on the bus, how can I be expected to work??
Hi tweiler...
I answered your post the other day and somehow my posts got lost in cyber space! I don't really remember all that I wrote as it was long but I do remember sympathizing with you as I too have Fibro, CFS, the Myofascia Pain....you know when you have that as fascia that covers your muscles, tendons and ligaments literally feel like concrete and you have all these lumps, knots, cords and 'mountain ranges' in your muscles. The trigger points can cause referred pain to different areas in your body.

I hope that you can find some help with Physical Therapy and massage. That is really the only way that you can get the trigger points to release, unless you can get your husband to work on them. Oh, and I lay on tennis balls all the time...it does hurt but you really need to get blood flowing to those places and oxygen to them.

I will try to remember what I posted in case you didn't see it. Right now, I am tired and don't think too well when tired!

Ailsa~

 
Old 02-23-2007, 06:25 PM   #13
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA, USA
Posts: 156
tweiler HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

Well, I have found an atty and I go on Monday to fill out my paperwork. I have copies of the reports from the shrink & med dr SSD sent me to for evaluations. And the therapy notes and the first visit w/ rheumy where he diagnosed me. At the dr office, I signed a release so they will send updated records to SSD. My neighbor upstairs is going to sit down with me and we will work on a letter together and then he will get it notarized so I can take it to the atty. And hubby will work on a letter too, since he can't get off work to go to the hearing. I'm also going to print from my pharmacy my records of Rx and make a list showing what I take/amount/freq/why/etc.

Can anyone think of anything else I might be missing? Or anything else that might help me get approved?

 
Old 03-10-2007, 09:40 PM   #14
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA, USA
Posts: 156
tweiler HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

Figured I would update this post somewhat. I filed out my forms w/ the atty office and was told the atty would call me before the hearing. When I got that call, the atty stated they wanted to postpone my hearing and I got all upset. I had been told if the hearing was postponed that there was no way to tell when a new hearing might be scheduled but it could be next year before I even got a notice. I was crying I was so upset. But the atty explained I had a good ALJ and actually having a hearing was not required to win my case. He told me if I had the right paperwork, the ALJ would award, and if not, none of the additional info I was gathering would be any use. He told me this ALJ does not read the entire medical file, he leaves that up to the VE expert to read and determine what kind of jobs might be possible based upon the medical file. He also told me that with this ALJ if one of my treating dr listed me as disabled or with restrictions that precluded even sedentary work, then the ALJ would issue a decision granting benefits. but in the absence of a disability assessment from one of my drs, he would go with the assessment from their dr (which was full of junk and misrepresentations). I told the atty that it wouldn't be fair to rely on their dr when he referred to documented medical conditions and stated limitations in his summary but on the report where he checks boxes, he marks no limitations for the same conditions. the atty said he did not see a recent assessment so he had sent forms to my treating drs. However, they didn't have them back yet so I offered to call. When I reached the rheumy office, I was directed to a different dept, and then they ended up sending the forms right back upstairs to the rheumy office and told me to call them in a few days to a week. My PCP could not find the forms and the nurse stated my PCP wanted me to schedule and appt and bring in the forms and she would go over them with me and complete them at that time. So I now have an appt on the 20th w/ my PCP and have copies of the forms for her to fill out. The form provided by the atty office is different from what SS uses but covers the info this particular ALJ wants. What I like is it asks my PCP to put down specific info, like how long I can sit at a time and doesn't ask her to judge if I am disabled. This PCP has said before that she thinks I could work part time and that she doesn't considered someone who can work part time as disabled. So the way the form is worded, she doesn't get to give her personal opinion, just the facts.

I know the standard I need to "beat" is the guidelines for sedentary work. She has been treating me for almost 2 yrs now and was the one who diagnosed the scoliosis and I know it's in my records about how long I can sit before I start to have pain shoot down my legs and that I usually lie down when the pain starts like that. Right now I can sit for maybe 30-45 minutes max before I have to lie down. And getting up and walking doesn't help, it just moves the pain to my back from the fibro. As long as I stick to those facts, she has to be honest and I (and the atty) am convinced that based upon my history and what I say I can do, that the ALJ will agree I am disabled.

 
Old 04-04-2007, 07:05 PM   #15
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Roanoke, VA, USA
Posts: 156
tweiler HB User
Re: New hearing scheduled

Thought I would post another update. I had my appt w/ PCP as scheduled. Then had serious family issue come up that delayed me picking up the forms to take back to my atty. This family issue has made my life a WHOLE lot harder than it was before. And I have absolutely no way to avoid this family issue and no idea how long it will last. It's something that will affect my whole family and all I can do is face it and pray. And 2 days after the family issue came up, I had a mental exam at my atty office by a shrink. I think I might have lasted 15 mins before I was broke down in tears. All told it was around 1 1/2 hr exam and I was a wreck most of it. I know I failed the memory part, I tried to remember what the 3 words were but couldn't, although I could remember something to relate them to, like 1 reminded me of my brother and sports but I know I got the word wrong and I still can't remember what word he asked me to remember.

I took my PCP forms down to the atty office today and asked about the mental. She told me it wasn't good (for me personally) but was very good for my case because everything I had told the atty about was confirmed by the shrink. They're going to mail me a copy so I can see what he wrote. And I told them I am in the process of getting set up in counseling, it's just a matter of finding someone I can get to by bus so I have more flexibilty in scheduling.

As for the forms my PCP completed, they look very good for my case. Highlights on the physical are : frequently lift under 2 lbs, max lift under 10 lbs, stand under 1 hr, sit under 2 hrs (under 1 hr straight), yes on all the environmental restrictions, can't climb due to vertigo, can't crouch crawl or kneel. Highlights of the mental are: anxiety, depression, can't handle work stress, can't remember complex job instructions, can't handle job dealing with public, only fair ability to handle simple job instructions. She also made sure to list the meds I take and the side effects, some are sedatinng and others cause dizziness, have IBS, etc.

After hubby looked over it, he thinks it sounds very good for my case. But she did say that she feels I can handle my own finances because my family wouldn't need to rely on my income to pay normal bills because my husband's income covers all of that.

And I have an appt for my rheumy to get him to fill out a fibromyalgia specific questionairre.

I also got a letter letting me know my hearing was moved to June 20 but I am hoping with this paperwork already submitted the ALJ will go ahead and make a decision. The backpay would go a long way towards at least reducing the family issue to a manageable level.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Approved at hearing level..but have some questions and some advice Debslol Disabilities 2 08-02-2009 07:49 AM
SSD hearing scheduled hyper79 Disabilities 9 04-11-2009 11:03 PM
Determination hearing scheduled 9-12-07 badtoejam Back Problems 7 02-06-2008 11:44 PM
Still waiting for hearing luckylisa Disabilities 1 08-04-2006 08:35 AM
To Kymtnms - SSI Appeal Hearing lestoby Multiple Sclerosis 21 06-03-2006 11:18 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:26 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!