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Old 11-23-2011, 01:57 AM   #1
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ALJ judges are a rare breed !

I heard something today that shocked the H......out of me. My friend is appealing her case, after being denied the first time over a year ago. She already had her first ALJ hearing. The judge she had, dismissed the hearing and wanted to postpone it. The reason- he claimed he did not have enough medical evidence to proceed with a ruling. So he postponed until the lawyer got some more medical information.

The date not set, he said sometime in October, well October has come and gone the attorney has not heard anything. Here is the part that shocked me-

Her attorney said that "her judge she has is lazy, and that if he can get out of hearing a case and put it on the back burner, he will. apparently he is known for putting things off. "

This makes me mad, I do believe her attorney. I had a 6 year battle, 3 years at the ALJ level. The first appeal I had a judge who was grumpy and mean. He of course denied me, then we appealed again, got the same judge the second time as well. You guessed it, he denied me for a second time.

Finally at the high appeal level, the appeals court ruled in my favor, and said i should have a different judge, Geee...do You Think.

I finally won fully favorable. I think these guys are a rare breed, not sure how they make there decisions. Thanks for listening, love to hear any simular experience.

 
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

Many ppl have a bias against anyone who is on disability no matter how severe the disabilty. Many are of the opinion if I have to work, then this person should also have to work. Just hope and pray you do not get an ALJ like this. This is why I tell few ppl outside of this forum that I am disabled and on disability. Most ppl who see me in the real world probably just assume I am still working somewhere. Nobody understands anyway except other ppl who are disabled and unable to work. That is why I come here and share. We all have the same frustrations and concerns. Like most people on disability, I would go back to work in a heartbeat if I could have my health restored and work until death as as a trade-off for good health. I had a bad panic attack last night and almost ended up in the ER but was able to calm myself down after about 3 hours. Sure, you don't have to work right now but a big portion of your life in now devoted to feeling crappy each day and just trying to survive and make it another day. It is not a happy way to live.

 
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:07 AM   #3
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

Blueskies - you hit it on the head for me. I recently was approved, and it was bittersweet. I hate the fact that I can't see well enough anymore to do much of anything. I hate that in April 2005 I took a typing test and it was over 100wpm with 2 errors. (not 2%, just 2 errors). And last month? I couldn't break 30wpm and had a ton of errors on numbers. I would love to work.... to be around other people? Not be home staring at the same 4 walls, etc... To be able to have my vision back? I cry at times thinking of all I used to do. Yesterday, my dad drove my son and I down to the SS office, and the whole trip he kept saying things like "see that" and "see what just happened?" I just kept quiet, and cried softly to myself because no, I didn't see the deer on the side of the road, or the driver in the car lane over from us chatting on her cell phone. No I did not see the bird that just flew over... I can see, but not good. If I am not familiar with the place, odds are I will bump into walls until I get where things are, and more often than not, I walk with a hand on a wall - not for me to lean on but so I know where it ends, etc. My dad is on disability as well, and wishes he could do some things he could not do.

Stepmum - this story I am about to tell you has nothing to do with SS, but with experiences I have had with judges. My work (I still am employed, until the final lawsuit is over with) had some employees who did some bad stuff. I became tasked with helping my boss win the lawsuit (compiling all the evidence, and making it as air tight as possible, etc). We ended up being sued in the state of New York by one of the people we were suing. We got a lawyer (nothing like being sued and named personally in a lawsuit for 20 million dollars...I never took it seriously as if I would have to pay though) in New York, and they filed whatever paperwork was necessary to dispute I think jurisdiction (like in my case, I have never in my life been to New York, have no business dealings there, and the only person I know "well" there is a person I know from an online game I play). The judge set a date to hear oral arguments for it. and then that was that. It took her 11 months to issue a decision that the plaintiffs had to refile and she gave them a roadmap of how to successfully have their claims hold in New York. But it took her 11 months!!! So they refiled the same paperwork, and our lawyer fought it, they went to court, and it took the judge 8 months this time to say sorry, you guys didn't prove that it should be held here in New York, so that is that. By comparison, in Sacramento California, we had a judge who decided things that day, and had a written decision the next morning sent out to all lawyers. Complete opposite of the New York judge. I think judges are just who they are... just like workers. You can get one that delays everything, cuts corners wherever they can, and appear to slack off a lot, knowing that until they are called on the carpet, they are good to go. And then you get others who don't want paperwork piling up on their desks, and want to get things through the system faster.

I do hope your friend gets a favorable decision and sooner rather than later...

 
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:07 AM   #4
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

Blindmom, I feel like you sometimes but then I run accross someone that is worse of then me and I start feeling a lot better. But I never tell anyone I'm on disability although I can't hid mine eighter I wish I could. anyway thank-you so much for your post I hope your having a okay Hoilday.

 
Old 11-23-2011, 10:15 AM   #5
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

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Originally Posted by BlindMom View Post
Blueskies - you hit it on the head for me. I recently was approved, and it was bittersweet. I hate the fact that I can't see well enough anymore to do much of anything. I hate that in April 2005 I took a typing test and it was over 100wpm with 2 errors. (not 2%, just 2 errors). And last month? I couldn't break 30wpm and had a ton of errors on numbers. I would love to work.... to be around other people? Not be home staring at the same 4 walls, etc... To be able to have my vision back? I cry at times thinking of all I used to do. Yesterday, my dad drove my son and I down to the SS office, and the whole trip he kept saying things like "see that" and "see what just happened?" I just kept quiet, and cried softly to myself because no, I didn't see the deer on the side of the road, or the driver in the car lane over from us chatting on her cell phone. No I did not see the bird that just flew over... I can see, but not good. If I am not familiar with the place, odds are I will bump into walls until I get where things are, and more often than not, I walk with a hand on a wall - not for me to lean on but so I know where it ends, etc. My dad is on disability as well, and wishes he could do some things he could not do.

Stepmum - this story I am about to tell you has nothing to do with SS, but with experiences I have had with judges. My work (I still am employed, until the final lawsuit is over with) had some employees who did some bad stuff. I became tasked with helping my boss win the lawsuit (compiling all the evidence, and making it as air tight as possible, etc). We ended up being sued in the state of New York by one of the people we were suing. We got a lawyer (nothing like being sued and named personally in a lawsuit for 20 million dollars...I never took it seriously as if I would have to pay though) in New York, and they filed whatever paperwork was necessary to dispute I think jurisdiction (like in my case, I have never in my life been to New York, have no business dealings there, and the only person I know "well" there is a person I know from an online game I play). The judge set a date to hear oral arguments for it. and then that was that. It took her 11 months to issue a decision that the plaintiffs had to refile and she gave them a roadmap of how to successfully have their claims hold in New York. But it took her 11 months!!! So they refiled the same paperwork, and our lawyer fought it, they went to court, and it took the judge 8 months this time to say sorry, you guys didn't prove that it should be held here in New York, so that is that. By comparison, in Sacramento California, we had a judge who decided things that day, and had a written decision the next morning sent out to all lawyers. Complete opposite of the New York judge. I think judges are just who they are... just like workers. You can get one that delays everything, cuts corners wherever they can, and appear to slack off a lot, knowing that until they are called on the carpet, they are good to go. And then you get others who don't want paperwork piling up on their desks, and want to get things through the system faster.

I do hope your friend gets a favorable decision and sooner rather than later...
I'm also like that but I can't hide my disability Im not ashamed because I worked over 40 years 30 years at my last job, so if a person was to say anything about me being on ssdi I would tell them when you get 40 years of working under there belt then you come and see me,untill then you can take a hike.

 
Old 11-23-2011, 10:45 AM   #6
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

No matter how bad it may seem, there is always someone out there worse off than you. For myself? I survived childhood abuse, when other kids died from their beatings. I can still see a little, enough to use a computer (with modification from what normal people use), and watch tv, and read a book on the computer...others are totally blind and have never even seen what the color pink, or green, or blue look like. There is always someone worse off in my opinion.... my goal is to never be the person that there is no one worse off than

 
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:16 PM   #7
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

Me too. But even at a young young age I knew to pray for better things to happen. I think God was watching out for me and my brothers but things still happened but for whatever reason I grew stronger mentality but my brothers never really recoverd one commited suciside and the other one is a serve alochtic and drug additic. but I still love him I tried several times to offer him a stable home but his demons kept hold of him I realized that he has to make the choice to change no matter how bad I wanted it for him. Also going to Texas crippled camp twice as a kid helped me to see I wasn't as bad as some of those kids. So my goal is also to some how pull myself out of depression when I have it and to try to over come things that I have no control over but this disability sometimes really kicks my ----. sometimes but at times I am fine with it other times I'm not. seems like I should be used to it since I had it since birth but only in my older age it has gotten worse. I talk like I'm so old I'm really not that old.

 
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:33 PM   #8
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

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Me too. But even at a young young age I knew to pray for better things to happen. I think God was watching out for me and my brothers but things still happened but for whatever reason I grew stronger mentality but my brothers never really recoverd one commited suciside and the other one is a serve alochtic and drug additic. but I still love him I tried several times to offer him a stable home but his demons kept hold of him I realized that he has to make the choice to change no matter how bad I wanted it for him. Also going to Texas crippled camp twice as a kid helped me to see I wasn't as bad as some of those kids. So my goal is also to some how pull myself out of depression when I have it and to try to over come things that I have no control over but this disability sometimes really kicks my ----. sometimes but at times I am fine with it other times I'm not. seems like I should be used to it since I had it since birth but only in my older age it has gotten worse. I talk like I'm so old I'm really not that old.
I have to tip my hat to the young ones on here I was fortunate not having to apply for ssdi untill I was 54 and I was able to work for over40 years because those of you that are younger and collecting ssdi I know that the money you get from ssa is not that much, I'm having a hard time living on what I get and I have a longer work record, so again I tip my hat to you.

 
Old 11-23-2011, 02:12 PM   #9
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

I never planned on going on disablity when I was 38 . But what was I suppose to do after years and years of mental health illness, and keep sliding back into a deep dark hole aith no relief. Things just kept going bad from worse as I thught I was in control. Somehow I worked just to be constantly fired , but I kept going , after the severe burns though everything got even more complicated. Mental health issues was not ever getting better , just got worse over time, even though I has been "locked up" for it , and kept self harming all the time, their was this breaking point. I was in the dark filing for SSDI, and only put depression as my disability , I was denied, then had way too many other reasons that only compounded everything else. SO I got honest at the reconsideration level, put everything down that time , and had more medical evidence , Still thinking a deniel was going to happen , but it did not. I sitll struggle with all the demons all the time most of the day . So now i live a limiting life. Only to stay sane , because of all these things going on all the time, it is not easy to cope . Coming on here is a great distraction. So I do . Anything to escape realy issues , because it is too painful not to.
Reading about these ALJ judges and what people have to go through is frustrating and sad , it makes me angry for those who are truely disabled get denied so much. SInce I am several years away from being 50 and even more years away from retirement , I don't get too much SSDI but that is what i have not as bad as some others , but not great. Now people are having even more of a hard time getting approved , and it is only getting worse.

 
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:14 PM   #10
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

Yes I believe that having a disability where you can't work at a young age is harder on someone younger because I would of hated it even more being young and dealing with this whole process. at least I was able to work as long as I could.

 
Old 11-23-2011, 03:31 PM   #11
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

Here is a little story that I hope makes people smile....even as you shake your head in disbelief

Yesterday when I went into the SS office, a young couple (in their 20s) with their young daughter (my dad told me it was indeed a daughter) who was maybe... 2? Come in right after me. I'm standing there at that computer check in thing, my nose almost to the screen to try to figure out what to do, the security guard comes over, helps me out...checks my purse. No biggie. Then since he is there, he helps out this young couple. They did not have an appointment, they were walk-ins.

Well, mom proceeds to toss daughter up in the air and catch her, doing this several times. Then her name is called, and dad comments to mom about how important they must be to get called before me (idiots, I had an appointment LOL I get to go in the room, not out where everyone can see and hear you hehe). And they quickly comment on how her disability must be worse than mine and that they are in the money now. She proceeds to go to the window/counter thing, and says she is there to get disability. The SS worker asks the nature of her disability, and she says her back is really bad, she can't lift anything, can barely walk. Umm.... silence for a minute, I am thinking "you idiot"...and the worker says "seriously?" mom confirms, and the worker points to the cameras in the ceiling, says it is recorded, and she was seen both on and off camera tossing her child in the air several times. I got called back at that point, but my dad said they left not to long after he saw me walk into the back room area, and they were not happy.

Lesson of the day? If you are claiming that kind of injury, do not toss your child in the air several times inside the waiting room in full view of everyone hehe

That being said, those with the "invisible" illnesses, keep a good upper chin Especially with mental health issues, they are becoming not so stigmatized now....still a ways to go, but not as bad as it was even 10 years ago. And honestly, if I had to lose a lot of my vision, I am glad it happened when I was 36, and not 26, and at 41 now, I have lived with PTSD for more of my life than not, and it isn't fun.... but to heck with anyone who thinks badly of any of us...live a day in my head, with my thoughts and vision.... so pfft on them

 
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:16 PM   #12
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

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Originally Posted by BlindMom View Post
Here is a little story that I hope makes people smile....even as you shake your head in disbelief

Yesterday when I went into the SS office, a young couple (in their 20s) with their young daughter (my dad told me it was indeed a daughter) who was maybe... 2? Come in right after me. I'm standing there at that computer check in thing, my nose almost to the screen to try to figure out what to do, the security guard comes over, helps me out...checks my purse. No biggie. Then since he is there, he helps out this young couple. They did not have an appointment, they were walk-ins.

Well, mom proceeds to toss daughter up in the air and catch her, doing this several times. Then her name is called, and dad comments to mom about how important they must be to get called before me (idiots, I had an appointment LOL I get to go in the room, not out where everyone can see and hear you hehe). And they quickly comment on how her disability must be worse than mine and that they are in the money now. She proceeds to go to the window/counter thing, and says she is there to get disability. The SS worker asks the nature of her disability, and she says her back is really bad, she can't lift anything, can barely walk. Umm.... silence for a minute, I am thinking "you idiot"...and the worker says "seriously?" mom confirms, and the worker points to the cameras in the ceiling, says it is recorded, and she was seen both on and off camera tossing her child in the air several times. I got called back at that point, but my dad said they left not to long after he saw me walk into the back room area, and they were not happy.

Lesson of the day? If you are claiming that kind of injury, do not toss your child in the air several times inside the waiting room in full view of everyone hehe

That being said, those with the "invisible" illnesses, keep a good upper chin Especially with mental health issues, they are becoming not so stigmatized now....still a ways to go, but not as bad as it was even 10 years ago. And honestly, if I had to lose a lot of my vision, I am glad it happened when I was 36, and not 26, and at 41 now, I have lived with PTSD for more of my life than not, and it isn't fun.... but to heck with anyone who thinks badly of any of us...live a day in my head, with my thoughts and vision.... so pfft on them
Like I said long ago the younger people today think that ssdi/ssi is a piece of cake to get they want free money this is why it's getting harder to get .

 
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:43 PM   #13
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

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Like I said long ago the younger people today think that ssdi/ssi is a piece of cake to get they want free money this is why it's getting harder to get .
Its not just the younger people that want the free money. There are plenty out there wanting the free money. I worked in LTD for many years, and you would be surprised by the people that were close to retirement age, and were tired of working and thought they would just get on disability to ride out until retirement. They had the mentality that just because they worked many years, they are entitled to the money, but thats just not how it works. You are either disabled, or you are not. It isn't like a bank account and you put the money in, so you get to withdraw it. It is insurance. It is a risk. You either have a disability, or you don't. So, yes, there are definitely young people out there trying to work the system, but there are older people out there doing the same thing!! Believe me, I have seen it both ways!!

 
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

Blindmom, what a story!! I love that they called her out on it right then and there!! That does make me laugh!! And while she may very well have back pain some days, if it was disabling, she definitely wouldn't be able to throw her kid in the air! I hope that made them think twice about filing.

 
Old 11-23-2011, 10:46 PM   #15
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Re: ALJ judges are a rare breed !

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Its not just the younger people that want the free money. There are plenty out there wanting the free money. I worked in LTD for many years, and you would be surprised by the people that were close to retirement age, and were tired of working and thought they would just get on disability to ride out until retirement. They had the mentality that just because they worked many years, they are entitled to the money, but thats just not how it works. You are either disabled, or you are not. It isn't like a bank account and you put the money in, so you get to withdraw it. It is insurance. It is a risk. You either have a disability, or you don't. So, yes, there are definitely young people out there trying to work the system, but there are older people out there doing the same thing!! Believe me, I have seen it both ways!!
Your right there are older workers trying to skate into retirement on ssdi or ltd, but at least they paid into it were as a younger person in there 20,s and 30,s have not. I'm a believer if you are disabled at any age you should get it. I do not cadone the fact that you fake a disability just because you don't want to work anymore at any age . I worked very hard for over 40 years the last 5 years with my disability so I could make it to 30 years at my job I retired from. Our company did not have Ltd. So I worked through the pain from perphiral artery diease.

 
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