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Old 11-20-2011, 09:23 PM   #1
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Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

I am curious - I won the battle to get SSDI, and was determined disabled effective January 2011. Even though the eye disease started in October 2006, and the vision loss became a permanent thing (and an attempt to save my right eye) in January/February 2007.

Anyone ever disputed their onset date? Don't get me wrong, I am very thankful for having been awarded SSDI. I actually do not like the fact that I am now officially disabled (sounds weird, doesn't it?). But, the fact is, tihs year I earned less than $2000 total (closer to 1500), and last year? Less that 4000.... next year will be less than the 1500 this year, so far, I can think of only 3 days I will be working for sure, until this project I am on ends. So we are talking less than $500. The year for 2009 was around $8000 for the year, so my earnings for the past 5 years have shown a great decrease, especially starting 2010. So I am wondering if it is even possible to argue that my disability started as a serious, work interfering issue beginning in 2010? If not, I will gladly take what I have...but would love for the medical insurance issue, and quite frankly, I can use the extra money, as a single mom to a growing (despite my orders to him otherwise) boy

 
Old 11-20-2011, 10:08 PM   #2
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

Many people appeal the onset date. You can still continue to receive monthly benefits while you appeal. But beware when you appeal the onset date, the DDS or SSA can review the disability determination and could potentially reverse your approval, probably unlikely though. If you've been approved for benefits, you should speak to your lawyer to get his/her input.

 
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:49 AM   #3
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

I would proceed with caution on that one. I think they do look at when your work time declines but like blueskies14, says becareful dds takes another look at things. Also I know what you mean about finally getting the disability realitiy really hits your not the same person you used to be and can do the things you used to do bummer. but somehow you have to make the best of the situtation and beleive thats very hard to do sometimes. But again Yea on your approval Yea

 
Old 11-21-2011, 01:32 PM   #4
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

My onset date was changed too, and I thought about appealing the decision but decided not to, I wanted all this to be behind me , and just recieve monthly benefits. LIke others said it might compromise the decision which I did not know about. Have you began recieving your checks ?

 
Old 11-21-2011, 01:42 PM   #5
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

I have not received any money yet, was just notified of the approval Friday, and have a meeting in the SS office tomorrow (Tuesday). After thinking about it, I will just leave it alone. I do plan on asking tomorrow if I get SSI for those 6 months between onset date and entitlement date though, that would be a huge help for my son and I. As it is, with the family benefit that was approved today, the backpay for both of them (minus the attorney fee of course) is just enough to cover the back rent I owe, rent for Dec and January, and to get phone, power, and satellite paid up in full, and buy groceries And get son a winter coat, which he really needs, he out grew the one from last year, so I am thinking XL or XXL this year (will have him try both on, see if there is a length difference). Kid is almost 6 feet tall and only 15 the bugger

 
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:53 PM   #6
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

This question intrigued me BlindMom. I asked my friend Jack about his thoughts on appealing the EOD.

I asked>>>>>
Quote:
Let's say you receive a partial favorable SSDI decision. You decide
you want to appeal the EOD. Can't you receive monthly benefits while
you appeal? Can you also get any backpay from the EOD they gave you
and if you win the appeal, then receive additional backpay or do they
withhold any backpay during the appeal? I have heard that when you
appeal the onset date, the DDS or SSA can review the disability
determination and could potentially reverse your approval, probably
unlikely though. If you've been approved for benefits, you should
speak to your lawyer to get his/her input. Would appreciate your
thoughts Jack or anyone else here. Thanks.
Jack replied >>>>
Quote:
They pay you both the retroactive lump sum and the regular monthly
benefits while you appeal the EOD. If the decision was done by the
ALJ, don't expect the DDS to set an earlier onset date. The case will
again have to make the long journey to the ALJ.
It's always possible for them to reverse a case, actually it's called
reopening and revising the case to a denial. If less than one year
has elapsed, a case can be reopened for any reason. If more than one
and less than four years, there must be clear error on the face of the
record that the original decision was wrong. In either situation,
this does not happen too often, as you said.
If the evidence shows that the initial decision was good but you have
improved, they could reopen and revise to a closed period of
disability. However, this requires tham to use the CDR procedures
before they can terminate. CDRs require them to jump through more
legal HOOPS than initial applications do.

Last edited by BlueSkies14; 11-21-2011 at 04:55 PM.

 
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:09 PM   #7
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

just a quick update... met with SS today in person, and verified information. Asked them about the onset date, and if I could get it changed. She said you can always try, but it doesn't happen that often. Given my vision decreased, I would have a better chance, but I decided to not risk it in the end. It's a long process to start with (and mine was shorter than most, and was still just 2 weeks shy of a year), and I would rather not have to deal with the hassles

Oddly enough, the paperwork she printed out showed a different amount than I was told on the phone - turns out the computer just automatically added the COLA to it, and she thinks I may get that amount in December. And the upside is, I should have the backpay sometime next week due to the Unlawful Detainer I have pending (which hopefully I will win ).

 
Old 11-22-2011, 06:43 PM   #8
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

Unlawful Detainer? What is that? They withhold your backpay until resolved?

 
Old 11-22-2011, 07:00 PM   #9
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

Unlawful Detainer is, at least in California, a court process that a landlord can utilize if you are behind in rent. You are first served with a 3 day notice to pay or quit (leave the residence). Once the 3 days pass and you have not paid the amount on the notice, the landlord can then file an unlawful detainer with the local court system. The court then sends you a notice that one has been filed, and you have to be served in person, unless you get permission from the court to post and mail (according to the legal aid attorney who is helping). Then you have 5-10 days to respond as to why you should not be made to leave your home by court order. In my case, my landlord had me served with a 3 day notice, but the amount was wrong. He claimed I owed half of August and all of September (got the notice mid-September). I really owed $125 for September, and had paid all of August. Until September, the Salvation Army had been helping me with half my rent, and September I found out they could not help in September, so I paid all I could. And being as I had no money, I just have not paid rent since then..so I do owe the $125 for September, and then the amount (850) for October and November (and december in a week).... but the lawyer thinks the UD (Unlawful Detainer) will be dismissed because I was able to prove, with receipts and emails, of what I did owe... in which case, with the backpay I will get by next week, I will be able to pay the 2 months and the $125....

The UD doesn't affect my SSDI at all, but the SSDI will certainly help show the judge that I now have the means to pay, and if I do not have the backpay by then, there is a number the judge can call to verify I am getting it, how much, etc..

 
Old 11-22-2011, 07:03 PM   #10
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

Oh, and because there is a UD pending, witha court date of the 2nd, it is considered dire circumstances financially, so they are releasing all my backpay instead of holding back a certain amount that I guess they normally do, and are expediting it

Sometimes, in an odd way (trying to think positively), not paying rent and being taken to court over it is a good thing in speeding up the funds

 
Old 11-22-2011, 08:33 PM   #11
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

Thanks for the explanation BlindMom. Are you getting SSI or SSDI backpay? They normally don't withhold any of the SSDI backpay. You get the entire lumpum in one payment. They do pay SSI in three installments.

 
Old 11-22-2011, 08:41 PM   #12
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

To be honest BlueSkies, I don't know LOL

She told me the amount, and I did not write it down, forgetting (no pun intended honest) that I am getting forgetful lately hehe.

I know she talked about SSI, and backpay, and I am getting SSDI. I remember her saying I would get SSI from Dec 2010, because I filed Dec 2... and I remember questioning that because my onset date was Jan 2011, and I don't want them coming back and saying sorry, you owe us money, and she said SSI did not matter, it is paid from the time you apply, not your onset date, that onset date is for SSDI only.

I am calling her tomorrow to get those numbers again, she said quite a few different ones, and then we got into the whole I was told one amount, but she was telling me a different amount for SSDI, and then figured out it was with the COLA, and then my sons family benefit actually decreasing by 2 dollars even with the COLA, and her explaining that there is a maximum you qualify for including family benefits and I was at that cap, and then me asking shouldn't the cap go up the COLA amount, etc... So bottom line is, I am calling her tomorrow morning so I can type in the numbers so I know what I am expecting.

 
Old 11-23-2011, 12:02 AM   #13
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

I agree, knowing Social Security, i would say sit down don't rock the boat. This could open a whole new can of worms. You do not want then opening the case again and looking at it. I agree though, you should have recieved the original onset date, that is strange. No offense, but I think being blind is a full disability. I am surprised you did not win right away. What does your attorney think?

 
Old 11-23-2011, 07:43 AM   #14
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Re: Win SSDI battle - anyone ever fought the Onset Date?

Stepmum -

I did not win right away due to me, and in part the first SS doctor I was sent to.

When I first got this eye disease 5 years ago, it was believed that it would go away, like it does for nearly everyone else who gets this eye disease. It would be a pain for a few weeks, then be a distant memory. However, a few of us are lucky enough to experience severe problems with it....My vision fluctuated so wildly during those first few months, and my eyes were hemoraghing so badly that my retinal specialist made the decision to do cold laser eye surgery to cauterize the blood vessels in my eyes that were bleeding. This left my left eye scarred so badly that I can't see the center of anythinhg, only slight peripheral. My left eye became the "useless" eye, and the goal then became to save my right eye.

Since I was only 36 when this happened (am now 41), my goal was always to have better vision than I really had. I literally went to bed one night in very early October able to see perfectly (and fell asleep, as I always did, reading a book), and woke up with "glitches" in my vision. When the laser surgery happened in Jan or Feb 2007, I was determined to not have vision loss in my right eye, despite there being, well, vision loss So I would take a bit of time on the eye tests in the specialists office, and guess at letters. Never guess Eventually even numbers were difficult for me to differentiate between (I can no longer tell the difference between about half the numbers unless they are quite large). Then the economy and jobs turned sour, where I worked was going downhill, the bus route to my job got cut, and all that, so I toyed with applying for SSDI, but I was still in the mindset that I could fool myself. And I kept guessing on the eye chart, and eventually, you will get one right..

So I apply for SSDI/SSI, they get my doctor records which shows my vision ranging from 20/80 to 20/400 in my right eye (and completely blind at one point), and send me to their own doctor. Stupid me felt they were impartial. He did the eye test, and I decided time to stop guessing... But then he said guess, just guess, and after 5 guesses I finally got one right. That put my vision at 20/100, instead of 20/200, and that was that. He also put in the report that if I stopped smoking perhaps my vision would go back to normal, as it was the smoke that was clouding my vision. Given I have never smoked a day in my entire life... yeah... I was livid. He also attributed the vision loss as being faked by me, even in the left eye (which he said was 20/200, despite that big E that is usually the first letter on the eye chart was not viewable by me with my left eye - I could tell something was there, but could not tell it was an E). So I got denied for SSDI/SSI. The next eye dr they sent me to, I refused to guess. He told me just see if you can guess, and I said no, sorry, I can not tell what they are. He pulled out different eye charts, did fingers, asked me to count dots on a piece of paper (I missed over half of them with my right eye hehe), and he told me he thought I should wear glasses - only to protect my right eye because if something happens to it, I am done with vision wise. At that point, I was pretty sure I would be approved...until the QRB thing happened, then once I found out fully what that was about, I was sure again I was approved... and here we are, approval, and should get money next week for backpay, and then regular benefits on either the 2nd or the 14th (the case worker wasn't sure, she said she had seen some where, since one person (son) was getting SSI for the month, the computer just payed out on the 3rd (2nd for December) instead of the 2nd Wednesday which is when I should be paid... I told her it didn't matter, was just glad to have a steady "income" again.

So that is how I lost the first round and won on reconsideration... my left eye is "can see fingers" - meaning I could not see the eye chart, but could tell when his fingers were about an arm length away how many fingers he had (after 2 tries). My right eye is 20/200 - barely. I could only tell one letter on that line, which was slightly depressing, but oh well

 
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