I finally received the explanation for my unfavorable decision. I donít have the words to describe what I feel, right now. SSD mix my medical evaluation file with someone else medical evaluation file. So the judge uses this to his advantage.
Hereís the direct quote that was used as least 5 times: ďIf the claimant stopped the substance use, the remaining limitations would cause more than a minimal impact on the abilities to perform basic work activities. The claimant would be able to perform past relevant work.Ē
Its goes on saying that I have a long history of alcohol and crack cocaine abuse. And that I stay and do chores at this half way house. It quotes 7 medical visits to the DDS medical evaluation office. But I only had 1 medical evaluation. This is not a joke. I could not make this up, even if tried to. My lawyer told me that this medical evaluation paperwork mishap was made aware to the judge. But still, it was used as a major reason for my unfavorable decision. If this was a clerical error why would the judge sign this document? OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am definitely writing a letter and reporting this judge to Appeal Council. So any guidance in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
At this point, your lawyer is your best resource. Hard to believe something like this can happen. The judge must be a real nimwit not remember who's who. The real scary thing that I have to wonder is if the other person who this was intended for....Did they possibly get approved via your paperwork? They may be celebrating prematurely. SS could have a real mess on their hands.
I take it that none of this applies to you....i.e the past substance abuse and etc? Sounds like the applicant is claiming disability due to substance abuse and the judge is saying if the person just stops, then they could work. Not sure how I actually feel about that concept because the experts say that substance abuse is a real disease....But that doesn't apply to your case, so it's a mute point.
Just when one thinks it can't get any wackier or whatever, it does. Hang in there as best you can.....I have to think that this will all get straightened out and resolved. It may just be an honest mistake in terms of wrong files. I'm not defending them one bit, but I guess if surgeons can operate on wrong body parts, then I guess files can get misplaced and etc.
Wow, I am speechless! I certainly think you deserve some written apology if your file was mixed up with someone else's. I do hope and pray that your attorney can get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible. If the determination was made on a case file that was not accurate, I certainly think your case should have top priority. You definitely should not be penalized for the actions of others. I hope this can be resolved swiftly and efficiently. Hang in there.
Yes, my lawyer has appeal the unfavorable decision. But I still have to go through same appeal process just like everyone else who appeal to the Appeal Council. The appeal might take a few months or years. Depending on the case loads. My lawyer says it is very rare that the Appeal Council overturn a judge decision. They will just send it back to the same judge for a new hearing. Ex, the substance abuse DOES NOT apply toward me. My lawyer thinks that it was an honest mistake, too. I, on the other hand, think different. Because if it was a mistake, why did he sign it. You think that he would have previewed any documents before sign it. I also remember my lawyer telling him before the hearing started about the offset of my disability date and the other person medical files in my file. I, personally, think something needs to be done about this judge. Sometime, laughter is the best medicine. The only thing I can do is wait and laugh.
Thanks everyone for your prayers and support.
That is horrible. They need to get some kind of system in place. If the Judge referred to the wrong info (someone else's records), they need to fix it and do another hearing. Isn't there a way the attorney can contact someone there? Doesn't the judge have a staff that can be contacted? It's not fair that you have to appeal like we had to. It's like you are appealling someone else's case. If you have to appeal like us then with that thinking you should win automatically because it's not your paperwork. None of it makes sense. I just think there has to be some place the Atty. can contact. Although you have every right to complain about the Judge, maybe the route to go would be to address the paperwork issue first with higher ups and then complain about the Judge.
Believe me, I know how frustrating the process is when you have all the right info. You should not have to go through all this. It's not right. Good luck with the next step.
Hi Tjunes, I'm so sorry to hear this. I know you are heart broken. It has been a battle just to get to this point and to have it turn out this way. I will pray that this will be over turned fast. Please don't give up.
Yes, my lawyer has appeal the unfavorable decision. But I still have to go through same appeal process just like everyone else who appeal to the Appeal Council. The appeal might take a few months or years. Depending on the case loads.
This is so not right! Thank goodness, however, you've already been awarded benefits via the VA. I agree with the other poster in that your file should go to the top of the stack.
Originally Posted by Tjunea
Ex, the substance abuse DOES NOT apply toward me. My lawyer thinks that it was an honest mistake, too. I, on the other hand, think different. Because if it was a mistake, why did he sign it.
I think he signed it because he has to sign all cases and a big mistake overall is a big mistake. Somehow or another, he got his notes messed up. I'm willing to bet he heard cases all day long and got his people / notes messed up. It's possible two cases had very similar names & etc.
What's equally interesting is if this other person got approved instead of you. Obviously, your case had information that wasn't correct and had someone else's file. Thus, did their file have your information? This other person was obviously a drug abuser and I have to think they may have been approved. Will they go back and take it from that person or will it just stay as is because they are sending you through a normal review....And they will never know about this other person / case???
Take care and hang in there. I think you have a great attitude considering everything. I really would get a congressman and senator(s) involved...Especially since there was this big mistake. They could possibly move your case way up or get it fixed right away. These people yield immense power....I heard stories on here that have been nothing short of amazing once the right elected officials get involved. And given that you're a Vet, I would assume politicians would jump all over this one.
YOU need to write a letter of complaint and have attorney file an appeal. My appeal was honored (rarity) and sent back to ALJ and I just heard this week that I will have new hearing in Jan '10 with a different judge. My complaint was dealt with too--no idea what they did, but I got a letter stating it was dealt with.
Appeals council will likely send it back to judge (or different one.) My 1st hearing was around April 2008--denied. I mailed the complaint asap--I did not even include my attorney on that either. Then my attorney submitted the appeal.
I heard in Jan 09 that appeals council remanded back the case citing many reasons for their decision. My 2nd hearing is Jan '10. So, from 1st decline to 2nd hearing it was about 1 1/2 years.
Thanks you for the love, guidance and differently your support doing this SSD disaster. I personally wrote a letter to my Congressman, yesterday. I told him in detail about everything that happen; i.e., the dismissal of the vocational expert, the citing of the wrong case files information and the misrepresentation of my VA medical files. Yes, they actually used stuff that was 2-3 years old and presented as if the doctor have wrote it, yesterday. Example was that in March 2007, one of my VA doctor said that my depression appear to be stable due to the medication. They cited that reason for denial. But they left off the part that the medication makes the veteran look zone out. And that they are prescribing new medication for a test trial. Anyway, I will give my Congressman until Dec 1st. Then I will send a letter to my Senator. I was told by my VA representative to write one state elective official at a time. Right now, I feel like my VA rep is giving better advice than my lawyer. He apparently has been researching this judge and have find out that he denies most all of hearing. He was also told that this judge is “supposedly” retiring in the next year. My VA representative has given me a new profound inspiration on the whole outlook. Along with some data that shown getting your state elective official involved really work. So everyone, I will keep you updated with any new outcome.
Thanks again for your support,
I personally wrote a letter to my Congressman, yesterday. I told him in detail about everything that happen; i.e., the dismissal of the vocational expert, the citing of the wrong case files information and the misrepresentation of my VA medical files. ......................
Anyway, I will give my Congressman until Dec 1st. Then I will send a letter to my Senator.
Why not write your Senator also? It's not an "up the ladder thing." Writing to all your representatives, can only help. BTW, you have two State Senators. I'd write them both.
A person recently wrote on here that they wrote both of their State Senators and one helped and one didn't. The one actually got intimately involved and pushed everything through. You've already got the letter done, just change the address and send it off.