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Old 05-10-2011, 11:50 AM   #1
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Exclamation Had my ALJ hearing

I had my ALJ hearing about a month ago and am beginning to worry about the outcome. The judge said I would get a letter in 2 to 3 weeks. When no letter came I called SSA and got 3 different answers. My local office gave me still a different answer. I feel like the longer it takes the less likely i will be approved.

The judge asked the VE questions about jobs I could do where there was limited or no contact with co workers and supervisors. On the 3rd question the VE said there were none.

I felt like that was a good sign, and the first time I called the SSA 800 # they said I should have my letter by the 4th and should call back if i had not gotten it by then. I was told that my case went somewhere - i think the writers - on the 20th, then somewhere else on the 2nd.

When I called back on the 8th, I was told that my case was being checked to errors and might hear in 60 days. Then I was told to call my local SS office, where I was told that no decision had been made and my case was pending.

I did some research and found info that says if your case is denied it is automatically sent to review for errors. If you get no reply in 30 days, the judges denial becomes permanent decision.

Since the VE said there were no jobs I could do I am wondering if something went wrong along the way that caused the delay. I don't know if 'pending' decision after being sent to 2 places is a good sign.

The local SS office said to give it another 2 weeks then call back.

Does anyone know what might be going on?

 
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

If the VE said there were no jobs that could accommodate your disability, I think that is a very good sign that you will be approved. I would just try to relax and give it a few more weeks like they told you.

 
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

I think the thing that is throwing me is all the different answers I got from SSA. Plus, it sounded like the judge knew what he was talking about when he said I'd get a letter in 2 to 3 weeks. The judge seemed very experienced and professional and focused his questions on my problems with working. I'm not sure if that is good or bad, but i think it seemed fair.

The waiting is driving me nuts.

Last edited by stuckinrv; 05-10-2011 at 01:24 PM. Reason: typo and to add more

 
Old 05-10-2011, 01:50 PM   #4
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

If the VE said there are no jobs you can do, that is a very promising sign. There are very few jobs that do not involve coworkers or supervisors. Even with janitorial work, assembly line work, you have to report to a boss. You are monitored. You have to ask for help. You see coworkers every day. To avoid a supervisor you have to be self-employed and not have to ask for directions or help. You will eventually get a decision, I know the wait is hard. Keep busy and distract yourself somehow.

 
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

Wow - I can't believe you said that about being self employed! That is exactly what the judge asked my witness about - and I never even remembered to include it in past work. (I know you can send away for SS records that lists every job you've ever had, but you have to pay for it. I'm sure SSA verified any jobs i forgot.)

You seem to know what all the questions about co-workers / bosses means. How can this impact my decision?

 
Old 05-10-2011, 05:46 PM   #6
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

Stuckinrv, I know how you feel so uncertain, It is so horriable this process but at least you are in the process of a decsion soon I hope its an approval. Hang in there some how try to keep busy watch funny movies, crossword puzzles are anything to pass the time I feel your uncertainly. Try to think postive and really I have read so many post I think theres no rhyme are reason why some get a quick decisions and some don't it really doesn't seem to matter how long you wait sometimes it turn out an approval just remmber really each case is different and please come back and let us all know and help others if you feel up to it. I did the same thing making myself sick trying to fiqure it thing out with time lines and things but really they run on there on timeline every case is different. Hang in there and Good Luck

 
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:26 PM   #7
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuckinrv View Post
Wow - I can't believe you said that about being self employed! That is exactly what the judge asked my witness about - and I never even remembered to include it in past work. (I know you can send away for SS records that lists every job you've ever had, but you have to pay for it. I'm sure SSA verified any jobs i forgot.)

You seem to know what all the questions about co-workers / bosses means. How can this impact my decision?
Hi stuckinrv,
i've done so much googling on the subject
If you type v. Astrue and coworkers, there are tons of cases involving the judge asking the VE hypothetical questions. For example, one guy had social impairment, but the ALJ determined that he was able to deal with coworkers and supervisors "infrequently". Part of his decision was based upon the doctor's opinion that he had an easy laugh, sense of humor, went to church with family and friends. So any indication of social prowess, even if the evidence shows "social impairment" - will magically add jobs to a VE's hypothetical job list. "Sporadic and infrequent" social contact....."simple, repetitive job involving occasional contact w/ coworkers, boss", it takes a lot to avoid these exceptions. It is harder the younger you are, because based on the grid rules, you have to prove that you can't do any job at all, whereas someone much older may only have to prove a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) of light work. If you have more education, it is harder to get approved.
i'm also filing for SSDI and one thing that bothered me was well, can I work "any job"? Is it right to file for SSDI if you don't know? "Garment rivet hole puncher" came on this board and i thought well, maybe i could do that. But as someone astutely pointed out, you have to work with a boss in that kind of job, if it is piece work, be fast.
Self-employment is interesting, because you have to attract clientele. Unless the business is all online (which requires certain skills), I would think starting a business would be even harder than interacting with supervisors occasionally, although once you're in the groove it may be easier than being supervised.

 
Old 05-11-2011, 06:17 AM   #8
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

even if you self employed you have to have an abuntance of energy and self movation and the meds peolpe have to take sometimes come in to play with that I would think it would be hard to be self employed all the stress of bills and you still have interact with pople at some point. It just plan sucks to be disabled period.

Last edited by Administrator; 06-02-2011 at 11:17 AM.

 
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:07 AM   #9
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

For self employment most of the time you are "selling" yourself to potential customers so either on the phone frequently or making person-to-person visits. The only way to avoid this is perhaps being a transcriptionist but even then you can have stress in dealing with the company you contract through to do the transcription.

Stuckinrv: Did you have a lawyer? If so contact their office for an update. I have access to my atty rep any time I have a question
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:39 AM   #10
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

My situation is complicated - as you may have suspected.

I have become an emotional basket case in the past few years, on top of physical injuries. I am beat up, worn-out, anti-social, and have lost everything I ever owned.

I resisted applying for a long time because of my famous foolish pride.

 
Old 05-11-2011, 09:43 AM   #11
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

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Originally Posted by SpineAZ View Post
For self employment most of the time you are "selling" yourself to potential customers so either on the phone frequently or making person-to-person visits. The only way to avoid this is perhaps being a transcriptionist but even then you can have stress in dealing with the company you contract through to do the transcription.

Stuckinrv: Did you have a lawyer? If so contact their office for an update. I have access to my atty rep any time I have a question
i did not have a lawyer. I figured if I deserved to win i would- and I am so desperately broke I had no desire to share back pay if I got it.

 
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:11 PM   #12
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

SpineAZ and jgrangran I agree. Being self-employed would be very difficult, you have to sell yourself and interact with people. I know that I could never, ever do it, not in a lifetime. You have to know so much and be so organized- i have a hard time keeping a checkbook.

Last edited by sunni123; 05-11-2011 at 12:15 PM.

 
Old 05-11-2011, 12:51 PM   #13
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

I have been google-ing. I think my case may have been approved but was intercepted for quality review - which explains the delay beyond my initial phone calls that coincided with what the judge said.

Anyone have any info on surviving quality review after hearing?

 
Old 05-11-2011, 02:45 PM   #14
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Re: Had my ALJ hearing

You know your probly right it probly went to quaility review. I think if I remmber they aren't allowed to tell you anything before it goes there. I'm not sure what the stats are as far as a deined and reversed are approved and reversed. But if you find out any thing please let us all know thanks

 
Old 05-16-2011, 11:01 AM   #15
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Thumbs up Re: Had my ALJ hearing

i just got my letter and my hands are still shaking. i couldn't even open it for a while because i was afraid. when i finally found the nerve to have a look, i saw that my decision was fully favorable. I am still numb, but extremely grateful that i will not struggle as much as I have been financially.

My heart goes out to everyone who waits and suffers and waits. Thanks to all of you for posting your issues on this forum. I found it a great help during my stressful waiting time.

 
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