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 11-13-2010, 11:44 AM   #1
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Southeast USA
Posts: 40
tryingtobehopef HB User
frustrated with lawfirm, questions about hearing

I used a national ssdi law firm located three hours away from my home. All of my communication with them with through the telephone, mail, and e-mail. My hearing was in the middle of August 2010. I had a panic attack getting to the office, as i went to the wrong place, and called the hearing office in hysterics, as i was afraid I was going to be late. i left the house two hours early, even thought the place was only an hour away. The reaosn is because my husband, who was supposed to drive me, had to stay home to take care of his teenage daughter who "suddenly' got sick at the last minute (yeah right). i have problems with my vision and am extremely sensitive to light. i had to wear another pair of sunglasses OVER my tinted prescription glasses to drive to the hearing. i did not take my Xanax, becuase i have problems with chronic fatigue, and i frequently fall asleep at the drop of a hat. The lady at the hearing office told me to calm down, everything will be allright and she talked me through the directions and even waited outside until i pulled up to the place. My lawyer was there waiting, and he was a very kind man. After being searched and scanned by the guard, the lawyer took me into an office to fill me in on what was going to happen. The lawyer was NOT from the lawfirm, though. He was asked at the last minute by my lawfirm to fill in, because all of their lawyers were already booked elsewhere.

I cried a bit during the hearing, and i was frustrated and could not really clearly explain what I was feeling, how a typical day was, etc. The lawyer cross-examined the VE, who had said i can do some sedentary sit down jobs. On cross-examination, the VE agreed that nobody would hire me and allow me to take naps throughout the day, because I require sleep for much of the day. i had started typing a list of my daily activities, etc. to read at the hearing, but I did not get to print it out, because of the last minute drama of my stepdaughter getting 'sick".

The judge seemed very nice, and he seemed sympathetic when i told him I worked all of my adult life, and i would not choose to be like this when I had good paying jobs with insurance, and now i had to settle for going to cheap medical doctors who didn't seem to care and just wanted to rush me out the door. The psych. center i have gone to for the past few years provided pretty good records with a RFC form attached. i explained to the judge that my problems were physical and mental combined, as my panic attacks and heart palpitations are often coupled together, and it is hard to know where they come from, and i always need a nap after i have the attacks. I also explained that my muscle pain and extreme fatigue cause me to take long naps in the afternoon on most days. i was honest too, explained that my blood sugar was now under control, and that sometimes I have two good days in a row.

The judge said he was holding the record open for two more weeks, because my lawyer said he wanted to get some more medical records, which i don't know why he did. Anyway, outside when i was getting into my car, the lawyer hugged me and said i did good. I asked him what would happen if I was denied, and he said 'then we will appeal it".

i drove home very slowly and almost veered off the road a few times. When i got to the house, i went right to bed and slept for the rest of the day, got up a little in the evening to eat, and went back to bed for the night.

i waited a few weeks, then i called the lawfirm's office. i left a message for the girl/secretary/paralegal who had been talking to me. i wanted a few days, with no response. i called again and left another message. Then she called back, and she seemed a bit annoyed with me, and she said she really doesn't get involved after the hearing stage, and she didn't hear any news yet, etc. later on, when i thought about it, i called her back and got her answering machine. i told her the lawyer said we could appeal it if it is turned down. I asked her if i could call the lawyer's office directly. She called back when i wasn't home and just left a flat answer, 'we didn't hear anything yet' and hung up.

Two months after the hearing, i called the 800 ssi number, after havnig no luck getting through to my local office, and i was afraid to call the hearing office. Then a few days after that, i received a letter that was addressed to the actual lawyer from the judge, with a cc; to me. The letter said that he received the lawyer's request to send more records, and that he gave a deadline for a few days later. The day I got the letter was already past the deadline date. I called the lawfirm again, got the answering machine again, and left a message asking what was going on. Then I called the hearing office and said I got the letter AFTER the deadline date for more records. The judge's admin. staff said i could fax whatever i have. i had borrowed money from my mom to go back to my old (good) doctor. i got some records from him showing an abnormal EKG and some other things. i also got another EKG done that day showing another abnormal EKG that was even worse than the one before. i also faxed some records from my eye doctor, showing the problems i have been having with my eyes for almost the last two years. i also faxed the letter i had originally been planning to bring to the hearing, describing what i day is typically like, etc. i called the girl to make sure she got them, and she did. She sounded busy, though, so i said thank you,. etc.

i reached the local ssi office yesterday, and she said no decision has been reached yet, and she said if i don't hear anything by the end of this month, I should call the hearing office to ask for an update.

What is really bugging me here is that I am doing all the work for the lawfirm, and i do not know if i am overstepping my boundaries by contacting places directly instead of letting the lawfirm handle it. The problem is that they don't call me back, and they don't seem to care. i am tempted to look up the number for the actual lawyer who showed up at my hearing and ask to speak with him directly. Would I be breaking some sort of rule/code of conduct/conflict of inerest issue because the lawyer is from another lawfirm than the one i hired?

i am going crazy as well as the fact that I am feeling horrible, and in these brief spurts of anger/energy, i write these posts. please, does anyone out there have any ideas on what to do

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 11-13-2010, 12:20 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
BB07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Lower Alabama
Posts: 1,009
BB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB User
Re: frustrated with lawfirm, questions about hearing

no, ofcourse not-the lawyer WORKS for you and if you feel he has not helped you you can contest his fee-did you know that? I had a lawywr like that and i contested his fee and he got zero $$$$-i hired another atty and had fired the jerk, but he still tried to get his fee-amazing
the lawyers are bound by the ss laws and guidelines and if they do not fulfill they will not get paid-it was my judge in fact who told me this other atty will not be paid and i had to fill out special papers so the new atty, the one who went to my hearing with me and i won, would get paid-so i know it sounbds like its a big mess for you-all you can do is wait for judges decision at this point, and when you win-and i think you will-those attys who neglected to get your addtl records in by the deadline-they will not be paid either-the judges are not stupid and know just how arrogant some of these attys are-so hang in there
__________________
constant companion pain

 
The Following User Says Thank You to BB07 For This Useful Post:
NElady (10-04-2011)
Old 11-13-2010, 01:33 PM   #3
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Southeast USA
Posts: 40
tryingtobehopef HB User
Re: frustrated with lawfirm, questions about hearing

thank you bb. i know what you mean about the judges not being stupid, etc. What i am worried about is that if it would make ME look bad because i didn't do my homework before hiring a lawyer, and the judge might think i am stupid. i think that one of the reasons is because when i first filed, i did not have good medical records, and started finding regular doctors in the area i lived AFTER applying. Some of the better lawfirms were more picky about who they would choose to represent, and without the records, my case didn't look strong in the beginning. So when this lawfirm accepted me, i was thankful, and i didn't know anything at all about the ssa system, so i just blindly followed what the lawfirm said. My other records were from the area i lived in before, several states away. After moving to my new state, i worked successfully for a few years and ignored my symptoms because i was so happy to be in a new state and i was determined not to let any health problems stop me from working. when they got overwhelming, though, i just collapsed and had no choice.

now, two and a half years after first applying, denial on application and reconsideration, and currently awaiting a decision on the hearing, i know so much more, and as my mind is foggy and goes in and out, i have to take advantage of the times when i am sort of alert to do things. This is where being so far away from my family is so hard. my husband, who i love very much, understands, but he still can't physically feel what I am feeling. he also got his disability approved so easily because he had been going to doctors all along and had good records . When i first met him three and a half years ago, i stopped having prejudices about people on disability. i always used to think being disabled had to mean being in a wheelchair, and i never, in a million years, thought i would be in this position. i was very humbled by this experience. My husband was a very hard worker before he became disabled, and in fact, he uses the term "retired' because I think he is embarrassed to say 'disabled'.

What also bugs me is that even though people we know may say they understand, the fact is that unless i am FOUND to be disabled and approved by the SSA, i won't really get the recognition for having things wrong with me. Does SSA, and society, think that if i am denied again, that i will just pop up and say 'ok, i'm better"? What about the people who are denied and they die? Are they not really dead because SSA didn't find them disabled? I have so much bitterness about this. Thanks for letting me vent.

Any more ideas and opinions are welcome and would be appreciated.

 
Old 11-14-2010, 10:16 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
BB07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Lower Alabama
Posts: 1,009
BB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB UserBB07 HB User
Re: frustrated with lawfirm, questions about hearing

many, many do die. it's a hard cold fact-i went through LIVING hell with ss-I was crushed by a city bus-multiple fractures, BRAIN INJURY, SPINAL DMAGE WITH NERVE INVOLVEMENT and the radiating intractable pain-and i was still denied TWICE-It's a darn shame-but these people who work for ss literally hold your disabled life in thire hands- and the lame denials i got-they just wanted me to give up i guess-but i had no choice-I REALLY AM TOTALLY DISABLED-would give anything to return the great career i had prior to 1/27/2007- now i must live in constant pain and insomnia because of the pain-evan with good pain mngt-i get minimal relief-yes i am very bitter with the ss system- i paid into it for 32 years-but i did finally win, on 7/16/2010-but am still waiting for 3rys back pay-excuse spelling-i am somewhwat brain not working so great all the time
__________________
constant companion pain

 
The following user gives a hug of support to BB07:
tryingtobehopef (11-15-2010)
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Approved! Questions about Medicare and backpay...... princess9483 Disabilities 6 08-21-2010 11:09 PM
Approved at hearing level..but have some questions and some advice Debslol Disabilities 2 08-02-2009 08:49 AM
New here and a few questions Remmers Disabilities 13 06-17-2009 11:31 AM
Hearing Questions - Regarding ear tubes, fluid in ear, etc. lovinthev8 Hearing Disorders 0 11-14-2008 11:05 PM
My son always whines and gets frustrated, plus more- Autism? luvs2bamama Autism Spectrum 4 02-13-2008 04:52 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 10:41 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!