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Social Security Hearings – What Happens?

What Happens at a Social Security Disability Hearing?

If you have been reading this blog about the Social Security disability claim evaluation process, you are no doubt reading a lot about disability hearings.  Since Social Security hearings are closed to the public, you most likely have never seen one or know what to expect. While individual judges conduct hearings slightly differently, there are some common features.  Here is what you need to know:

Social Security hearings are not like State Court Hearings

If you have ever been to a state or superior court, or even traffic court, you know that courtrooms can be very active places.  Attorneys may be milling around, witnesses and spectators are seated in pews, armed bailiffs are there to keep order, there may be a jury box, and these courts are open to the public – except in very limited circumstances, anyone can come to court and watch a trial.

You will not see any of these things in a Social Security disability hearing.  Firstly, Social Security hearings are not open to the public.  Only the claimant, his attorney and possibly one or two witnesses will be allowed in.  Social Security hearings are administrative in nature rather than judicial.  As such, the rules that apply in state court do not apply to the Social Security Administration.

The Rules of Evidence are Relaxed

In a state court, judges spend a lot of their time making decisions about the admissability of evidence.  For example, you may have seen criminal trials where certain physical evidence was not admitted because there was some question about the chain of possession or possible tainting of the evidence.

These evidentiary issues usually do not apply in Social Security cases.  Administrative Law Judges typically allow in any evidence that you or your attorney may wish to submit.  This includes photocopies, letters from witnesses, and hearsay – none of which would be allowed in state court.

Only One Lawyer is Present – Yours

State or federal court proceedings are adversarial – typically each side to an issue (plantiff and defendant) each have counsel and the two lawyers each present arguments in support of their clients.  In a Social Security hearing, you, as the claimant can come with your lawyer, but the Social Security Administration does not send counsel.  Basically you and your lawyer present your case to the judge and the judge acts as both the fact-finder as well as a questioner.  Most of the questions that you will be asked come from the judge.

The Physical Setup – What Does a Social Security Court look like?

Social Security hearings are usually held in small courtrooms not much bigger than a typical lawyer’s office.  The judge will be present on a slightly raised bench and he may or may not be wearing a judicial robe.  A hearing reporter will be present to operate recording equipment.  The microphones you see at the witness tables are tied to this recording equipment.  You and your lawyer will be seated around a large conference table.  You may be asked to stand to swear to tell the truth, but otherwise, you will not be asked sit any any special chair.

In addition to you, your lawyer, the judge and the hearing assistant, there may be other witnesses present.  Frequently the judge will request the presence of a vocational expert witness (also called a “VE”) to testify about your past work and to answer hypothetical questions about work you might be able to do given certain limitations.

In some cases, the judge may also call a medical expert witness (also called an “ME”). The ME is typically but not always a retired physician who will assist the judge by summarizing the medical record.

You may find it odd that one or two witnesses who you don’t know may end up testifying at your hearing, but this is how the system works.

How Long Does a Social Security Hearing Last?

Most Social Security hearings last around 45 minutes to an hour.  Usually, the judge begins the hearing by introducing himself and any witnesses present.  He will then confirm with your lawyer that there are no objections to the evidence and that the issues in the case have been discussed with you.  The judge may or may not ask your attorney for an opening statement.

Some judges then turn to the claimant and ask questions.  Other judges turn to the claimant’s lawyer and have the attorney ask questions.  Be aware that the judge can interrupt at any point to ask you questions or to clarify something that has been said.

After taking testimony from you and/or your witnesses, the judge will turn to the medical and/or vocational witnesses for their testimony.  The ME testimony usually relates to medical diagnoses and the ME’s opinion about the seriousness of your condition and the legitimacy of your complaints as related to the diagnosis.

The VE testimony is very important.  The judge will use the VE to “translate” the judge’s conclusions about your specific work limitations into a vocational profile.  The judge does this by formulating a series of hypothetical questions for the VE in which he attempts to identify any capacity you might have for performing work.

Ultimately, your hope will be that the vocational witness will conclude that there are no jobs that exist in the national economy for a person with your limitations.

Does the Judge issue a Decision at the Hearing?

Usually not.  As noted above, there is no baliff or security officer in the courtroom during your hearing.  Judges therefore do not always tell you how they are going to rule.  More recently, I have noticed that some judges are announcing favorable decision, but not always.  Do not be surprised if the judge says nothing about how he plans to rule.

0 thoughts on “Social Security Hearings – What Happens?”


  2. At my hearing two weeks ago the judge seemed to spend more time asking the VE questions than he did me…My situation is aggravated by the idea that I am self employed….According to the VE, the opinion was I was to be considered completely diasabled with no other type of work available to me based on my job history…I left the courtroom without a ruling and felt rather good intially but now I am having some doubt about the whole experience…Do the judges really listen to what is said by the VE? My being self emplyed didn’t seem to bother the judge…He seemed more interested in knowing how much work would I miss in a typical month and whether it would be enough for me to maintain a standard mainstream job….The VE told the judge I would miss over three days a month and that considering such no one would employ me long term….At the moment I am in left field wondering what will happen…I am five years into this process and it needs to come to an end soon…My big question now is how long am I truly going to have to wait to get news of the judges decision…My attorney said he felt good about how it went and said if we lost on this go round he felt sure we could win on appeal….Then he said an appeal could take over a year…After five years I don’t have a lot of time left to find out if I am going to sink or be able to swim here…Without a decision in my favor here I will end up losing my home long before an appeal happens…Any thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks, Kennect

  3. Kennect, my experience has been that if the VE testifies that you would not be able to sustain work at a job because of too many absences, that is a good sign. The VE is there to answer questions from the judge. The judge creates a profile of your capacity for work then asks the VE if he can identify any jobs given that profile. Take a look at this case study from my Georgia Social Security disability web site: This is from a hearing I tried a few days ago where I wrote down the judge’s questions. The VE is not there to help you or hurt you – it all boils down to the questions that the judge asks.

    1. @Jonathan Ginsberg: My husband went for his hearing a month or so ago and the lawyer said that it looked really good and the work person said that there was NO jobs that my husband could do. Well we got our letter and he was denied at the hearing level. I am sick .We already lost our home. My husband worked for 35 years and hardly ever missed a day. He is legally deaf, he has serious fibromyalgia, Epstein Barr syndrome*CHRONIC), severe immune issues from us living in toxic mold and did not know it, it was coming through out air vents in the home, He has a sleep disorder, has chronic migraines and a few other things, The reason he was denied basically was the the Dr did not do enough tests and my husband would not take narcotics to get better. He already takes meds but not narcotics by choice. Every area agreed that he can not work. The Dr even wrote a letter saying that he is impermanently disabled and would require medical help forever and that he could not work gainful employment due to lifting and the pain and also that he suffers from Chronic fatigue syndrome. We are told that this is a new judge. No man in his right mind would lose his home and not work when he worked for 35 years. They also admitted in the hearing that since he was in construction the past 20 years that he could not ear his hearing aids at work due to it magnifying the sounds of equipment and therefore he would not be able to hear and they STILL DENIED HIM. CAN we request a different attorney. She never had a consultation. She is a nice attorney but we needed to talk with her before the hearing . Now we have to pay her this money and have NO MONEY TO PAY> WE feel so let down. I really like the attorney but it did not help my husband get social security. What do we do now. I forgot to say, another issue was my husband admitted to going to church 4 times a month and taking the children to the park. He said that he does try to get out and walk. He told them by the time is goes two blocks to the park he is really tired and sits down. Please someone help us know what to do.I have seen and personally know disabled people who are not near as bad as he is. Dianna

  4. Jonathan, Thanks for that response and the link…I happen to be in Georgia just by chance in regards to what you mentioned above…The one thing that I find rather funny, I have to find some humor here somewhere, is the idea that I was turned down for a depression study at Emory University earlier this year…The doctor in charge of the program felt I needed more help than what the study would offer…Much to my suprise was the fact that my attorney had gotten paperwork from him to present at my hearing…I had no clue that was going to happen…While the doctor spent over an hour with me discussing his feelings that I was dealing with depression, agoarophobia and GAD the only thing he mentioned in the paperwork presented was GAD…How does SSD look at GAD? Is it considered as something serious or simply dimissed as something kooky that anyone could claim? Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. Thanks, Kennect

  5. Jon,

    This post is similar to my disability case. I have severe, chronic pain in my neck, back, and tailbone. While I have multiple medical problems the pain is what is keeping from being able to “function”. I have two functional capacity forms completed, one physical, that describes in detail the physical medical conditions I have, and the other is a mental health FCE completed by my psychiatrist, describing the cognitive disorder/major depression from traumatic brain injuries/cerebral aneurysm in the past.

    Last week I received notification from Social Security, Office of Disability that was written to my attorney. In it asks for medical records that are up to date. It stated that if possible my case can be decided fully favorable without a hearing. (Which I think is possible).There is enough evidence in my opinion, but as I read this fibromyalgia case post, it makes me wonder if there is.

    I am trying to let my attorney handle everything and have submitted ongoing medical records as I see different doctors. In the back of my mind I am worried that even though I think there is ample evidence I am worried that I will end up waiting even longer and then find out they denied benefits. Both of my doctors have signed a form stating that I am totally and permanently disabled and we have submitted them as well. Do you have any suggestions or do you think I should not worry and see how it all turns out? Thank you in advance.

    Also, what does a mental FCE have to have to be considered favorable? My psychiatrist marked “Marked” for concentration, remembering complex decisions, ability to function in work setting.

    1. i went to my hearing the vocationale witness said i could not work any job and i was still dnied whats my chanes on apeale

  6. my question is; Ihave been giving an hearing. I want to know why is it taking so long. I am just about in the dog house; and out of my house. my bills are getting more than I can bear.What can I do get help; and try to see if my hearing will speed up progess.

  7. How long does this process takes once the hearing has been requested? I have cancer and my savings won’t last forever. I have been off of work for 8 months and denied twice, even though I can barely function most days. All of my medical documentation supports my claim, but all I hear is that the entire process could take a total of 22 months from the time I first filed.

  8. I am curious as all the previous posts are what is your opinion of my hearing. I have been disabled by VA 100% unemployable since Dec 2003. Yet I haven’t worked since March 2002. I underwent 3 surgeries to my neck with a final fusion of c5-c7 with plate and four pedicle screws. then I had a low back fusion for pars defect and sciatica in legs. I underwent a left arm ulnar transposition in 1982 due to the ulna groove being filled in. Now the nerve is partially paralyzed and causes pain at light touch. I underwent in Aug 08 full right shoulder replacement. I have been seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist at the VA for 5 years now for severe depression and suicidal ideation at times. I have up and down periods, I am taking Lithium, Venlafaxine, Trazadone and have had to have a Fentanyl pain patch to take away the severe pain which causes me to go into rages when dealing with my family and my condition. My ALJ hearing was held in Dec 08 and at the time I explained my VA disability findings. The Judge said they were irrelevant, but I am a Veteran and see all VA doctors. I found the Judge to be contradictory at the end of the hearing when he wanted to know if the original award letter of my disability was in the file. My attorney assured him it was but said we whould provide him one for sure as soon as possible. I had a Physical Functional Capacity form from my Orthopeadic Surgeon and a Mental Functional Capacity form from my Psychiatrist both stating I could not maintain gainful employment now or in the future. When the Judge question the states expert witness a Occupational Expert. He stated that their were few if jobs in the economy a person with my disabilities could perform. The expert further stated that based upon my doctors reports thought and with the totality of my disabilities I would not be able to maintain gainful employment.
    Just last week 1st wk of Feb 09 the judges clerk contacted my attorney to ask some questions and indicated the judge was inclined to give me disability back 12 months and forward 6 months temporarily. This would put me at 5 years from my date of last employment, which would make me ineligible to apply again until I met earnings periods again. I said I wouldn’t accept that. I feel with my doctors statements and the ME’s statements the judge can’t find a way to deny but was trying to screw me because he felt i made enough money with my pension and VA Disability as he alluded to he couldn’t understand how I went BK and lost my home when I was bringing in so much money already. the problem was I went 9 months due to clerical errors in AF personnel at the time of my retirement. I had to refinance my home and had to take a 2/28 arm which I felt would allow me time to sell as we had 7 kids in our home and were going down to 3 so we could go smaller but without income I couldn’t qualify for financing then in 2005 my home dropped 150K in value and I couldn’t sell for what I owed. I explained this but he still didn’t understand. With 2 boys in college one in high school and 2 girls in middle school ad my wife with chronic immune disease which she receives 800 a month we didn’t have much to make it. We lost nearly 300,000 dollars in market and had to use our last 145,000 to keep us in our home until Dec of 2007 at which time we turned to keys over to lender.

    What is your opinion did I do the right thing, I have to worry about the future, i am not concerned so much with what is owed in back benefits but the future is far more important with 3 boys in college next year and my girls in middle school one with Autistic Spectrum disorder and the other with great future of college and graduate school.

    I am afraid the judge is looking for a way to deny because he looks at me a guy who worked through pain in the Military for 15 years and finished as a recruiter where I had to make myself look great all the time and put a smile on when I wanted to cry. I always had a can do attitude and it has been contrary to my general demeanor to look for disability. But when I get migraine like headaches and feel like jumping from bridges regularly to get out of the pain, the judge couldn’t really see this. I have always been to proud to show my pain and hid it. What do you think he will do with both my doctors supporting that i can’t do gainful employment and the ME AGREEING.

    tHANKS FOR your response in advance


    1. Donald:
      Decisions about whether to accept an amended onset date or to accept a resolution of your case other than fully favorable are among the the most difficult faced by claimants. On one hand, it would be nice to have a resolution, but on the other hand, it can be very frustrating to give up something that you deserve. Advice about what to do is best left to your lawyer – it would not be appropriate for me to offer you legal advice in a blog post.
      It does strike me that your judge appears to be taking a very hard line – I wonder if your attorney has any thoughts about whether this judge’s decisions might be subject to appeal.
      At the end of the day you should do what feels right to you, taking into account the advice offered by your lawyer.

      1. @Jonathan Ginsberg:

        I am 27 yrs old. 8th grade education. I have lupus, bipolar, optic neuropathy, degenerative spine, asthma, mitochondrial disease,fibromyalgia,history of kidney failure in 2005, adrenal fatigue/insufficiency,psedotumor cerbri. I had a hearing on October 18 2011. the Dr. and psych and ve. that SSA hired all are in my favor w/ the VE saying I can not work. BUT the judge left the case open due to him wanting more records from the psych I see. Can he deny my claim with so much in my favor? Is it normal for the judge to do this?

  9. I have been on disability for the past four years due to various illnesses & conditions. I want to take some online college courses because I eventually want to try to go back to part time work. Do I have to notify social security about starting those courses or can I just start?

  10. I have been injured since 1999 with a low back multiple fusion. I have been to Social Security Court 2 times, had three back surgeries, I have been through pain management inpatient, recently found a long term low back center to help with medications, I have been retrained at college for using a computer, QRC just recently wrote letter ageeing that I am totally disabled, I had a temp. part time job last year working 2 to 4 hours in a day and up to 15 hours a week as an intern. I can not work, because of my pain and problems sitting, standing, lifting, ect. I have just recently had a FCE preformed and I am waiting for the letter of the results to come. A Social Security Attorney I talked to said that if the letter from FCE does not show that you cannot do any of these things that there is no case. I have not worked prier to 1999 and going to college other then the 140hrs I worked last year. Witnin a couple months now, my ship will sink. I have exhausted everything and have done everything possilbe to work in my condition and unable to hold a job. I am praying that help is near by.

  11. Jonathan;
    I have been diagnosed with hypersomnia/narcolepsy extreme fatigue, Epstein-Barr virus, leg length discrepency of 1 1/2 inches, servere depression, GAD and substance abuse, neck/back pain from disk protrusion years ag. I was an ambulance driver -paramedic then became a Physician assistant -PA, I have always had trouble with missing work, school and was put on probation for my extreme fatigue among other things, I take Coumadin and have had numerous internal bleeding episodes- I guess my question is I am still waiting for a hearing and I am hoping my lawyer gets all my records –is this enough to win???? thanks -Kim

  12. Hi, i had A hearing in the begining of june and i was told by my lawyer that i won he told me that i should hear something from SSI or get a check with in a month it has been 2 months and nothing,how long does it take after you are aprroved to recieve your money?

  13. my husband does not know how to read or write. and he does hard labor for work. went to the hearing but didnt understand the judge so he postponed it. will try to get a an interpreter for him.

  14. I have RA was diagnoised at 42 yrs. old. I did have a great full time job, left 2 yrs. into the disease due to my problems. I am now 49 and have been part time for several yrs. I only work 6 hours a week. I have an attorney. I had my hearing Oct. 13th 2009. IT WAS ONLY ME, LAWYER AND JUDGE. IT LASTED 15 MINS. ONLY with only my attorney asking me questions. I found out the decision was made and sent to the writer on Dec. 1st 2009. I was also told that the writer must have it out by their end of month which is Dec. 23rd. So I am waiting. My question is: WHY ONLY A 15 MIN. HEARING? NO OTHER WITNESSES WERE CALLED IN BY THE JUDGE. I did go to 2 docs. of ss’s and they were in my favor, besides 3 docs. of my own. What did this mean? Only my Attorney questioned me and 15 mins. that was it!

  15. i recently had surgery through my neck to have a blown disc removed off my spinal chord i woke up from surgery and had 4 srews in my neck my pain is out of this world. i have 4 childeren am i considered disabled i find it hard to even type this question to you now im in so much pain. but, without my job that i worked 50 + hrs a week my kids are gonna feel the pain also. i have applyed yesterday for disability. are there other help sources out there i am 35 and have no where to turn can someone help me with some answers

    1. @Susan Thonn: None of us can legally tell you whether to hire an attorney; but I think it is legal to tell you about my experience.
      I hired an attorney last September and just had my hearing last Friday (Jan 27). The original attorney I hired “forgot” to keep-up on the education required to have her attorney status. She informed me 2 days before the hearing that a partner at her firm was going to represent me. I met him for the first time 45 minutes before my hearing began. I didn’t feel like he knew me at all. We didn’t “click”. He was more disabled than I am. He showed up in his power scooter with a pen strapped to his hand while I walked into the court room. He is paralized from the waist down. I have a ddd, spinal stenosis, bilateral carpal tunned and epicondolitus. Yep, I was very unhappy. The kicker was when the medical doctor came up with an injury date 5 years after I was injured and the attorney wanted to jump all over it; even though I have really good medical records.
      My experience has taught me to be VERY cautious when hiring an attorney. Find one that has a proven track record and that is NOT absent minded! thanks for letting me rant.
      I hope the best for you.

    2. @Susan Thonn:
      when i first applied i had already had 3 back surgeries and send my papers in and was denied.
      my friend whom works for a attorney gave me a number to a disability lawyer,he did all the work,filed everything,notified me when it was time to go to the hearing.
      i won my disability,i have had another surgery since and so many procedures i cant,i live in constant agonizing pain but i do have some income.
      get a disability attorney. i live in a small town and had good local guy and not one of those big fancy firms. either way they can only take so much of your settlement and it is all predetermined my the court.
      food for thought,i used to know a assistant district attorney when i much younger and he always told us to take a lawyer to court because all judges used to be lawyers. just sayin. good luck. one more thing ,when we walked out of the hearing we did not know if we won but my attorney told me we won and i asked him how he knew and he said because you told the truth and the judge knew it. tell the truth about your situation,answer the questions and dont offer more than you are asked ,less is more.

  16. I had my hearing on Mar. 9 of this year. The judge was really nice to me. He tried to break the tension because he could see that I was very stressed. I have Fibromyalgia among other things that go right along with it.. I had a tele-conference because I couldn’t travel. In the room was myself, my attorney a vocational expert and a transcriptionist. The judge asked me lots of questions about how I feel, what I do during the day, my past jobs, etc.. He then asked the VE like 3 “hypothetical” questions. On the last question the VE stated “unemployable” as her answer. The judge pretty much stopped the hearing right then and said I would get his written decision in 4 to 6 weeks. Did I win? It went so fast and I got a little confused at the end there. But that’s how the hearing ended.

  17. I was just wondering if my wife, who has Epstein-Barr Syndrome is eligible for Social Security benefits. She is 53 and gets tired very easily. She just finished chemo treatments for lymphoma as well. Thanks for any advice that you may give.

    1. Robert, the question – do her symptoms leave her unable to perform a full time job – 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? Having a firm diagnosis documenting two serious conditions would make me think that she has a good chance at winning.

  18. i had my case 3 days ago and the ve said that cant work any jobs with math or fast pace and detailed work. so i guess that means no skilled jobs and that means all the jobs in my past i cant work. and i was told by the m.e. if i was telling the truth about my issues than i has some serus problems. well im not sure if the juge will say im disabled. my lawyer wasnt to sure if i won it my have to do with my age or some time. i had two or three doctors say i cant work and the m.e at the hearing said i have limts to how i can work but i m not sure if she said i can work. this hole thing is confuseing

  19. I was recently denied social security disability, my letter stated that I do show restrictions in my ability to function, but that I still have the ability to do unskilled work. I have filed my appeal and my question pertains to that. I have current a past diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder Moderate/Severe, Personality Disorder NOS, Anxiety Disorder NOS, ADHD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Conduct Disorder- mixed type. I have been in and out of treatment since early childhood, but my symptoms have escalated within the past 2 years. My current GAF is 39, with a highest GAF of 55 within the past year. I have ‘managed’ to work during my adult years, but none of my employment has been ‘stable’ and currently isn’t feasible, I haven’t worked since April 2009- and even that job only lasted 1 day. Since I have worked, am intelligent and very aware of my conditions, it seems that all works against proving my current disability. One of my past employers (who accounts for most of my adult work history, on and off) is willing to write a letter on my behalf citing my inability to work well/function normally in a work environment. Would him doing so be at all beneficial to my appeal? Or Just a waste of time? My illnesses cause me to ‘burn bridges’ or break off relationships early on, and also disrupts my treatment- so it is hard for me to have many/if any ‘personal’ witnesses confirm a long standing history of symptoms, this includes doctors due to my inconsistent treatment. I’m really hoping you might be able to offer me some suggestions to prepare for this appeal- something that might point me in the right direction- I have no clue what I am doing. Thank You.

    1. @Amy: Hi Amy I had the same results come in a few days ago from Social Security. Like you have had inconsistent treatment and unstable work history. My lawyer is filing a appeal. I was diagnosed with Post Truamatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, Hypertension, Depression, Seizure Disorder, and Epstein-Barr. Have you received a reply from your hearing since your post? My problem is I am young, and have tried to maintain a job and feel this is held against me. All though I suffer with symptoms all day, and have to force myself just to blink it hurts. I am just wanting advice on how you prepared for your hearing and how it went. Thanks

  20. My last hearing was in 2007. I was sent to a doctor by social security, who said that I was able to work. Even though my neurologist , who I had been seeing for over and a year, and who also did my first surgery said I was unable to work. I was denied. My lawyer asked for a supplemental hearing, to question the social security doctor, which was denied. We appealed, and the hearing was granted. I just had my hearing today 11/10/10. The doctor that social security sent me to was subpoena,but did not show up. What does this mean, is it a good thing. what happens next?

  21. i have been suffering from Somatoform disorder w/ ambulatory dysfunction vs. transverse myelitis and major depressive disorder since December 24, 2008. I was initially denied and didn’t get an appeal hearing until August of 2010. I just got my full favorable decision. It was a long process but i am happy to say it is good. Just want ta know how long do i wait for the letter telling me how much money I get each month.

  22. I have a question to ask i’m 25 years old in a power wheelchair suffer from L5-S1 Herniated Disk, T3-T4 Herniated Disk with mass effect on the cord, radiculitas from my cervical down to both of my legs and feet and see a psychiatrist for Major Depression and i had two residucal capacity forms signed and indicates that i am permantly disbaled and honestly i been disabled more than a year I have been to so many doctors that they indicate that i cannot get surgery or physical therapy and that i am only a continuation for the rest of my life, with all this said i got denied twice at both levels of ssa they even sent me to two doctors on my reconsideration stage and when i went to ssa’s doctors both doctors indicate what i am doing here that i am disabled completely, i am on 7 medications 4 for major depression and 3 for chronic back pain, I got attorneys now helping me at the hearing stage before an administrative law judge but my question is how could i have been denied and why didn’t they use all of my doctors that i indicated to them when i first filled my claim at the office and i have all my official medical records from all of my doctors and i gave them copies of all those records, then i finally find out that it is not up to the doctors at DDS or the doctors they send me to that somebody at the field office where i applied at denied it that it is up to them. I believe that every social security office has a Judge working their deniing claims from left to right. Social Security Administration Office in NC where the son of bitches who denied me can i personally file a lawsuit against this field office for falsely dening my claim that i am entiltled to as well as pain and suffering?

    1. @Hector, based on what you write, it seems to me that you should be approved. Unfortunately I know of nothing in Social Security law that would allow you to sue a disability adjudicator or the Social Security Administration for damages because they did not approve you early.

  23. I have a question im 20 years old been diagnosed with PTSD and some other things
    i only have 7 months of medical records, a 1 year of only a few old medical records
    and my ssi hearing be scheduled for May.. my question is being i don’t have i believe 12 months worth of medical records could that hurt my case? i Have a lawyer and i have a newspaper route that doesn’t go over the SGA limit… and i wanna know if i have a case if my old records back from april-november 2010 say i have schizophrenic , bipolar, insomnia, depression… and my new records say i have PTSD, borderline/narcissistic personality disorder… do it sound like i have a case?


  25. I had my hearing a few days ago and I suffer from Bipolar1, vasculitis dementia, psychosis, insomnia, narcisicim(sp), essential tremors, ADHD, Raynauds Phenomenon, and I have to self cath myself 3-6 times per day for the rest of my life. I have appointments sometimes 3-4 times per week. I take about 15 different types of meds most days including morning, afternoon, evening and bedtime. The vocational expert said I could still maintain some sort of employment! Blew us away because to my knowledge I doubt any employer is gonna keep an employee who a) needs time off work that many days a week and who has to excuse myself throughout the day to go cath myself! Ive over 50 jobs and the judge was astonished by that! Im 34 by the way!
    Anyhow I just don’t know how its going to go when I get the letter in the mail, a little nervous because I feel like he’s going to deny me because of the VE. Ive been unemployed since November 2008 and all of my 13 doctors have sent all their letters and records so I don’t know.

  26. i went to court is august 7 and havent heard from disabilty yet , was checking to see what is normal , have COPD, DIABETES, SEVEAR NEURAPATHY ? HANDS, 2 INCHES PAST WRIST BONE , FEET 7 INCHS ABOVE ANKLES , UNCONTROLED EPILEPSY SEIZURES , MOBILITY EVALUATION AM CONFINED WHELLCHAIR ,ON CPAP DUE TO SLEEP APNEA . seems like open shut case to me but who am i?


    1. @DEBRA WATKINS-BASS: Debra, I know exactly how you feel. I see so many people getting SSD/SSI and I have been denied twice and now have an appeal hearing set for next month and I am terrified!
      I have Spinal Stenosus. C3, C4 and C5 bulging discs as well as L2-L6 bulging. I fractured L3, I have a torn rotator cuff in the right shoulder, bursitis, carpel tunnel syndrome, bursitis right hip along with sciatica. I can not sit, stand or sleep for very long at all. I am now seeking a psychologist because I can’t take the pain and the depression has gotten worse. So how can I work? How can you work? It stinks!

      1. @Renee — I understand what you mean. I’m HIV+, major depression, PTSD, Bipolar, Lordosis, Scoliosis, Severe Low Back Pain, Osteoarthritis, and Some Hearing Loss. I know a client who is only depressed (so he says) and he got his SSID within 2 months. I am going back to court a 2nd time. I’m really depressed about this because this will make 22 months since my atty’s applied. I feel as though the atty’s know you’ll get paid, but will try and prolong your case. I think in those situations, they need to pay us as clients for going thru this knowing alot of clients don’t have insurance and are exhausting their last little income.

  28. I have rheumatoid arthritis and other illness, i have been denied 2x and waiting for a court date its been almost 7 months waiting for a court date. I have gotten all of my updated medical records also from my RA doctor and regular medical doctor they filled out a form called Residual Capacity Assessment form stating that I’m ability to do very little ( will this form filled by 2 doctors help my case when i go to court? Also its been almost 7 months how much longer i can’t barely a ford my medications. thanks

    1. @Leah:

      My husband’s hearing date is currently approaching and we are currently homeless and they “supposedly” expedited our hearing but it took them a whole year since our last denial notice in Dec. 2010. So, I am not sure how long it will take you to get your date but I am sure it will be at least that.

  29. my husband disability started oct 07. well actually april 07, he was stressing over a position at work & bringing it home & i asked him to see a dr for it. he seen a nurse practioner who prescribed him citolpram i think. things went super well till oct 07 when he had some beer at a camp out. big mistake. its like that 1 night drinking with meds caused him to plummet. he became abusive & an alcholic overnight. he flip flopped wanting to kill me 1 day to buying me roses the next. he cried not knowing what went wrong with him. then i realised & told him 2 stop taking the meds. another big mistake! he then threw us out of our home & bankrupted & 6months later he quit his job. he stayed an alcholic & flipflopped the next 3yrs. get a job only to quit the same day or a week later. he would dissappear for months at a time. long story. fyi my husband worked for the state & my children & i were helpless to the law enforcers. my husband was treated with respect as my children & i suffered. he is back in the home on 3 different meds for his mental crap. i 1st applied for ssid dec 09 at advice of our marriage counciler only to be denied 3 times. we now have a lawyer & my husband has been in counciling since dec 09. he has commited himself once in 09. he is now goofy from the meds but id rather that than him be mean to me & our children. our lawyer said the other day it looks good we may not need a hearing. my question is do all lawyers tell their clients this to just give hope?

  30. real quick, my husband had been stable up till then. at the time it started we had been together almost 11 years. known him since we were early teens. he was a great father before the meds in 07. anyway he has always worked hes not a bum. he took care of us for 10 years so i could be a stay @ home mom. everybody who knew him loved him. now he has no friends & a lot of burnt bridges.

  31. oh and another thing he hasnt touched alcahol since dec 2010. he slowed down a few times 2010 & now has completly stopped.

  32. I have been turned doun 2x’s for disability. My lawyer sais that now we just have to wait for a court hearing in front of judge. How long does it take generaly to recieve a hearing date??????

  33. Hello
    I was just denied ss disability. I had surgery on my hands almost a year ago and still have pain, swelling and extreme grip problems. My career had me using my hands every day, all day-filling out forms by hand, counting money, setting up displays, etc. I can no longer do those things. I was tested by my insurance company and was found to have little or no grip strength and could not pass the typing or other such tests. I also now have a trigger thumb that has almost eliminated my ability to use my left thumb and now have extreme pain in my right wrist. Steriod shots have not helped and the doctor wants to do more surgery. I also have a large nodule on my thyroid and until I have surgery to remove that my hand doctor will no operate on my hands. My thyroid condition makes me extremely tired and I have lost the ability to do anything for eight hours a day as I am so tired.
    I am going to appeal the SS decision and wonder do I need an attorney? And what do I need to have my doctors do to help me get approved?


    1. Beverly, you don’t say if you were denied at initial or recon, or at a hearing. Either way, I think that you greatly improve your chances at an approval if you retain a lawyer. Best of luck to you.

  34. I just had my hearing last thursday. i have Behcet’s Diease it is a rare auto immune disorder that causes inflammation in the blood. it has spread to my brain causing several inoperable tumors. Every organ in my body is messed up. they had over 1000 sheets of medical records at my hearing. My question is the vocational expert did not say anything at my hearing is this a good sign?

    1. @JSykes: If the medical evidence is as compelling as you say, the judge may have felt that there was no need to ask questions of the vocational witness. Most of the time when the judge does not ask questions of the VE, that is a good sign.

  35. i had my court hearing on november 5 th and still nothing i have epilepsy , seizures , diabeties , neorupthy of hands and feet , have burnt one foot welding and one hand on top buner had been turnd off but still hot and blisterd hand once on camp fire holding hand to close cooking hot dog for grandson . have about 3-4 seizures a day , hypertnsion , and copd , sleep apnea cepap machine , have 13 meds plus vitamins that doctors have recomeded .

    1. @charles: Charles if you have not received a written decision and your hearing was held almost a year ago, that is very unusual. I think it would be appropriate for your lawyer to contact the hearing office to confirm that your file was not lost and that a decision will be issued in the near future.

  36. I am a 44 year old male, I was injured on the job in August of 2008. I battled with work comp insurance until December of 2010 before they autherised my back surgery. I have gone through work hardening tharapy and was evaluated at a medium to heavy duty capacity, but I have not worked for over three years now. The problem that I am facing is getting my foot in the door with employers, I think that nobody wants to hire me because I have been unemployed for so long. I did go back to school and I am currently two terms away from getting my Associates Degree in Business Administration, but that doesn’t seem to be making a difference.
    Can anybody yell me if I am barking up a dead tree? Am I really unemployable because I have been out of work for soo long?

  37. I was diagnosed in 2005 with diverticulits and had a perfaration that ended up getting a severe infection I was in the hospital for a month on high doses of antibiotics and pain killers
    before I had my colon resection done. about a month later I had a fistula leaking feces into my urine and into my ab cavity. This was fixed through opening the original surgery site I never recovered from the second surgery because my abdominal cavity was littered with adheasions . I worked through this period with great pain and depression I was treated for the depression but refused the pain meds because the just worsened the pain because of diareia and constipation. I 12-10 I had to have another colon resection for exacty the same reasons of couse they went through the same site all 3 times now my pain is severe and am clinicly depressed I cant hardly set up anymore without the pain becoming to bad I spend my day between the washroom and the bed my nerves a completely shot and the scar and the adheasion along with the depression have me totally incapasitated . I was denied. I have hired a lawyer and filing an appeal .What are my chances?

  38. hey jonathan i had my hearing last week the hearing lasted 10 mins after my hearing my lawyer told me to wait for him outside, 3 mins later the my lawyer stepped out of the judges courtroom and told me that the judge approved me upon review of one to two years that the ssa wants to see if my conditions are still the same or not, once an ALJ tells a lawyer that I am approved is that the final decision?

    1. Hector, based on what you say it appears to me that you will get a favorable decision. The judge can review the records and, in theory, could change his mind, but if he did so, I believe you would have an opportunity to ask for a full hearing. I think you are in good shape with this.

      1. hey jonathan one more thing i had a vocational expert at my ssdi hearing but she didn’t say a word or was asked any questions is that a good sign?

  39. Eventhough I have been denied ssdi, I have been approved for ssi, I am very happy with that but my former lawyer wanted to appeal for the ssdi, I had to fire her because I felt that she did not do her job as my representative, I feel that she only wanted to appeal the judge’s decision so that she can get her cut of the deal, now my ? is if I had kept her as my lawyer and the judge denied my appeal for ssdi would I have had lost all my benefits, did I do the right thing about not appealing for ssdi? If so let me know asap thank you

  40. hey jonathan one more thing i had a vocational expert at my ssdi hearing but she didn’t say a word or was asked any questions is that a good sign?

  41. hey jonathan one more thing i had a vocational expert at my ssdi hearing but she didn’t say a word or was asked any questions is that a good or bad sign?

  42. I have had my hearing. I have had a physical therapy doctor CE and a psychologist CE. Both reports did not seem to support my claim. I received them with a letter from the ALJ offering a supplemental hearing if I chose. Does this mean that I am either denied or not fullly favorable? I read that ALJs will do this if they are not prepared to make a fully favorable decision.

    1. @Angela: Angela, whenever a judge sends you out for a post-hearing consultative evaluation, he will send a copy of the report(s) to you and your attorney and offer an opportunity for your lawyer to write a written response or to ask for a supplemental hearing. This is standard operating procedure. I think you are correct to be concerned that neither report seemed to help your case.

      1. @jginsberg: Since he sent the letter, I suppose he wasnt prepared to make a favorable decision. Is it possible that when he closes the file, he will make a favorable decision?

  43. I was on SSI from 6 months old until I was 26 years old. They cut me off with even giving me a letter or a phone call. I have a major congestive heart failure that I was born with called Tetralogy of Fallot. I have had 3 open heart surgeries and two other related heart surgeries. I know I will have to have another open heart surgery sometime in my 30’s probably in the next couple or few years. I been denied 4 times already and couple of years ago I went to my hearing. The Judged denied me because she said I could work and my overall educational/work experience. I only worked one job in my life as a cashier 7 years ago. Now my condition has gotten alot worse because I cannot do the same things I did 7 years ago. I get more out of breath easily and have my pains since than. The Vocational Expert basically agreed with the judge saying I can work an office job. But my representive at the time didn’t even ask the VE lady any cross examination questions. He could of asked her about you say she can work a clerical position but she would have to take breaks. Especially if I am running errands like scanning and other duties. Anyway I fired him and got a new lawyer. I don’t know what should I do, Its hard for me to work and I been very stressful lately which is making my medical situation worse.

  44. i had my hearing, now i was ask from my attorney and the judge to see a psychologist. my attorney stated that she was impressed and was in a hurry. what would you think this means? also, the ve, from what i could tell, did not find any type job for me. any thoughts?

  45. I am 27 yrs old. I have lupus, bipolar, optic neuropathy, degenerative spine, asthma, mitochondrial disease,fibromyalgia,history of kidney failure in 2005, adrenal fatigue/insufficiency,psedotumor cerbri. I had a hearing on October 18 2011. the Dr. and psych and ve. that SSA hired all are in my favor w/ the VE saying I can not work. BUT the judge left the case open due to him wanting more records from the psych I see. Can he deny my claim with so much in my favor? Is it normal for the judge to do this?

  46. my daughter is about to turn 4 on december 19th, ast week she was diagnosed with reactive attacthment disorder and possibe adhd am i abe to apply for any help for her? do they consider chidren cases? im ost about her diagnoses

  47. I have been denied twice and waiting for a court date. I have had my left knee replaced and my right hip replaced both still painful,severe depression,and bursitis. My attorney says she can get me approved. My denile letters state that I am able to peform my last job. Lol I stood on my feet 8 hours a day as a CNC operator. I had trigger finger(s) surgery done due to the repetitiveness of the job. I can not stand,sit,or walk for any longer than 15 maybe 20 minutes. I have not had insurance so I havent been able to go back to the doctors that originally did the surgeries. I currently take pain meds,anti depressants,sleep meds,meds for me heart,oh I have myocardial ischemia,pain patches. I can barely function when taking my meds. Do you think I have a good chance? Im so nervous, I dont want to look stupid at court because I cry alot.
    Any suggestions?

    1. June, your attorney is a much better position than me to evaluate the evidence in your case. I would tell you that the judge who will hear your case is a very important factor. Go to a site called to research the approval/denial rate for the judge assigned to your case.

  48. My wife recently had her hearing in early Dec. We are having a delayed decision (late Jan early Feb) due to a few other medical records that doctors did not send. They don’t seem to be critical ones though. More just to confirm what was testified to.
    My question is…since the VE stated flat out that she can fill no jobs, can it really be declared anything but disabled?
    I’m just trying not to overcomplicate this. In my way of thinking if she cannot fill a job, and it is testified to by the VE, then she can’t be considered able to hold a job, thus disabled.
    Am I missing something here, because I simply cannot think of how it could be justified any other way???
    Your thoughts, comments are greatly appreciated.

    1. Thomas, I think that if the VE testified that there were no jobs, it would be difficult for the ALJ to draft a decision that denied her claim. If the only questions asked of the VE yielded a “no jobs” response, an unfavorable decision would be appealable. My guess is that the judge wants to review the missing records to make sure that there are no references to drugs/alcohol or to better support his favorable decision.

  49. I received copies of both of my CEs from the ALJ 2months ago and awaiting a decision. Last week I just received another copy of the same CE. What is up with that?

  50. hi my name is kendra i 36.snce I was a child I had btad hbtetatd
    Pain.when I was 17 I found out I have high blood presure
    bell palsy.i amaemic. I also have pain in my I have a cast

    1. Kendra, it depends on whether the various conditions you describe create limitations on your capacity to perform an entry-level, one or two step, sit-down type of job.

  51. I had my hearing on November 21 2011 but the record was held open for 2 weeks at my atty request to get my last exam records in I have pain in my ankle and hip from a bad car accident which required orif surgery on both now arthritis has set in the ve testified at my hearing that with my limitations they are no jobs I could do my past work was construction they did not even bring that up I called them to day and they said alj sent my decison to writer on the 7th of Jan 2012 and I should have it in about two weeks is that a good sign

  52. I applied for SSD 15 months ago for chronic daily migraines and depression, I have had countless nerve blocks and nerve burns done for it. Then November I had Decompression surgery for my migraines. I haven’t worked in 17 months and only a several days that year. My hearing is in March. What chance do I have to receive SSD? I was told I should have applied earlier. I didn’t realize I had a claim. I thought you actually had to be ‘physically hurt’ to apply. I hardly ever leave the house, basically I don’t have much of a life. I cannot tolerate people and noise.

  53. I’m sorry, My name is Karen Ann. (I wrote above) I am 56 years old. I was seeing a psychologist for sexual abuse, was diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression. I have a history (many years) of sexual abuse, starting at age six.
    Thank you!

  54. EMy name is ericka. I applied for ssd in 2009 for a seizure
    disorder,herniated disk,degenerative disk disease and a few other illnesses. I had my hearing last wednesday. To my surprise the judge asked m if i had ever been abused physicall ir sexually. The question took me by surprise and i immediately begn to cry as i had a flashback to the abuse i suffered at the hands of my ex husband. The judge then added ptsd to my case and gave me a favorable bench decision! How long do i have to wait until my benefits start

  55. I was denied at my hearing level and now my attorney has appealed to the next level which i think it is a panel of judges to see if the hearing judge made a mistake or something to that effect. How long of a wait is this normally and what are my chances? And should I get a letter of some kind indicating what they’re doing in my case.

  56. Hi, I had asked you some questions before that were answered. Well my psych is going to sign the papers for mental capacity for the lawyer so they will take my case. What i’m wondering now is, once I am approved, will the back pay or any pay also include the extra for taking care of my son til he turned 18?

  57. hello i had a hearing today and there was no vocational witness there at all just me the lawyer and the judge and clerk and she wants my medicine print out and have untill the 15th to get it sent into her does it mean im going to be approved????

  58. I was recently denied at reconsideration letter. My denial said “although you are unable to work at this time, your injury does not prevent you from working for 12 months” next month is 12 months. I did file my appeal and waiting for my hearing. I had surgery in July for bulging 2 bulging discs and pinched nerve. My MRI last week shows 5 bulging discs and 2 pinched nerves and inoperable. I’m only 33 years old with PTSD, depression, bipolar, osteo arthritis, facet arthritis, DDD, DJD and hemangioma on my spine. I have worked the past 17 years and laid off prior to my injury. Do you think now that I’m closer to the year I would be approved since the disability has lasted 12 mths & prevented me from work? I am unable to sit & stand for more than 20-30 min. Can’t walk far. Also have history of falls.

    1. @Angie G:
      Hi Angie,
      I am fighting for my disabilities too. I was denied the first time when I applied. As soon as I found out, I turned it all over to an attorney. It sounds like that is what you need to do as well. There are many out there who will not take payment until they have won your case. It has taken a little over a year for me to get my hearing since my attorney took my case over. It is very time consuming but it is better to let the attorney do the work. They ask for a certain percentage of your settlement and most if not all of them are capped off at 5,000. I hope this gives you some hope. Good luck.

  59. I waited 14 months for a disability hearing and the judge did not rule at the hearing, I received a letter in the mail two months later telling me I was denied again. I couldn’t believe it. My mother’s neighbor waited three years to get his and he was approved at his hearing. He was 62 by that time… but I feel they have been wrong in denying me, so I’m waiting to hear from my lawyer who may or may not decide if he should file an appeal with the council that can take another year or more. I don’t care how long this takes me, I’m fighting it. I’ve worked in this country for 35 years paying into the crap and now that I need this help, they’re gonna deny me? I guess I’m just one of the unlucky ones… but I’ve heard rumors too about how judges rule and it’s a crock. I have gotten with my state reps for Washington and I am going to fight for these laws and guidelines to change. I am being denied because I’m married to a Ford worker and they told me I was being denied because my husband made too much money, although I’ve been separated from him for nearly two years and haven’t gotten a dime of support from the man. I’m a 53 year old woman with a crippling medical condition so I shouldn’t be getting denied and this 3 year wait and not being able to work because they will deny you is an outrage against humanity as far as I’m concerned. I am also fighting because they’re basically telling me that all the years I’ve worked and paid taxes and Soc Sec has all been for nothing and that this man holds the money, the power and the control over my life. This isn’t Iran where the women walk 10 feet behind the husband. This is America Jack!

  60. Had my hearing. Had the hearing moved up because of the governor our senator and congresswomen. The hearing was over two hours long with numerous breaks because of my numerous illnesses. All my phyicians with all medical testing backed up my disability. The SSD phyicians lied over and over. They claimed I had a masters, drove and enjoted my forced retirement The SSD phyicians both had connections with my employer. The judge was just like the internet stated. Lowest ssd rating out of 20 judges in the location. The judge spent 30 minutes as to why I didn’t watch TV all day and stay on the internet. The shower questions were breathtaking. The vocational expert stated on every question there was no job in the national economy. I could hardly fuction. Took me four hours to write this note. SSD changed their listing for my illness in their blue book June, 2011. SSD for over a year ignored three functional reports from three phyicians. Brroke my leg twice in the lasty two months because I feel nothing and can not walk. I take over 20 medications and inject medicacine 12 times daily. The meeting ended with the VE export as I never got beyond my sixth injection by 10 a.m. as what do I do all day.
    The judge through everything at me including if I shower with my wife. He was not at all objective and was looking for any error. How can I get these phycians who work for SSD. Their reports were all made up to stop the claim. The internet was wrong about him looking at you as he looked surprzed that my complications are real, even with medical testing. Looking to get the tape of the meeting to give the governor, congresslady and Federal senator. It is hard to belive taht my employer has their hands in SSD. First teacher to enforce ADA in my state. Federal Judge stated I was always disabled. Before I die We need to correct SSD

  61. My son applied for SSD, but was denied on the grounds he has no work credits. He applied because he is under 22 years of age and he using my work credits since I am disabled. How can he be denied because he is disabled and has never work a day in his young life? I will contact his disability attorney and see what he has up his sleeves to help our son.

  62. I made it to my first SSDI hearing the 13 of January this year, since applying and denial letters back to April 2009.
    The Judge was very nice and thorough in her questions- I on the other hand was a complete wreck (due to one of my severe psychiatric disorders).
    My attorney that day told me that he found out moments before the hearing that the SSDA appointed psychiatrist I was sent to back in the Fall of 2010 recommended I receive benefits due to my condition(s). I received my denial letter shortly thereafter seeing the psychiatrist- hence the hearing last January.
    The Judge posed the final two questions to the Vocational Expert and with each question, his reply was “No Your Honor, there are NO jobs like that in this US economy that this person (me) could perform”. I thought things were looking in my favor- and so did my attorney.
    Well, I called the SS administration to see if there had been a decision made for I learned two weeks prior that my file had been sent to the Decision Writer.. and I was told that I received an “Unfavorable Decision” and then the person on the other end started reading off why- and it sounded ALOT like the denial letter prior to my hearing.
    Now, I’m freaking out and my letter was sent out a week ago tomorrow and I still haven’t received anything.
    Is there a chance that the person that gave me this information about the Judges decision was WRONG ?
    Please SOMEBODY help relieve my fears and tell me they’re story- or somebody they know that was given incorrect information before I lose my mind ! !

    1. It is possible that you have been given wrong information and it is possible that the judge did not decide in your favor. Unfortunately until the decision is issued there is nothing you can do but wait. If it is unfavorable, I’m sure your lawyer can recommend how to proceed with a possible appeal to the Appeals Council. Best of luck to you.

  63. I have been diagnosed by 2 reputable doctors. I have bi-polar, social phobia, depression, anxiety, PTSD, personality disorders and OCD I also got a decision from the ADJ at my hearing 3/21/2012 that says my conditions are SEVERE. My problem is, I was denied even though I told them that I would miss more than 5 days a month from my previous jobs. I only have a high school education, I am 37 years old and have had numerous jobs that I can’t keep because of my anger issues with customers, co-workers and my bosses. I only know fast food restaurants, ie. Subway. I am a sexual abuse survivor at age 7-11, I have had over 9 relationships with men, over the last 15 years, that were very abusive. I can’t do group therapy because of my social phobia. I have to live home with my 65 yr. old mother who has many medical problems too. I take 900 mg. Lithium, 300 mg. Lamictal and Trazadone for sleep disorders. These meds can’t be stopped COLD TURKEY. These meds also make me groggy, fear of closed places, I get heart palpatations, chest pains and after 10-12 hours a night’s sleep, I have a hard time getting out of bed. My lawyer didn’t seem to know what to do or ask. The firm is reputable but I don’t think he was prepared. I live in the State of Maine and have waited 25 months so far. What do I need to do to get approved. I have a phone conference with the law firm on the 17th. It’s not the time frame that is annoying me, but the denial after getting an evaluation and being treated with potent meds.

  64. Again, I really thought that this female judge would be more understanding to my problems. She asked many questions but the report sent to me did NOT include further remarks from one doctor that were from therapy sessions in 2011, it sounded like I hadn’t seen her for 3 years. The 2nd doctor’s letter was portrayed to me as not complete. Only 2 short sentences were said. The judge questioned my feelings of severity even with the complete diagnosis. I feel like they are calling me a liar or a hypochondriac. My mother wrote 2 letters but they wouldn’t accept them and she has been the closest to me in over 3 years, also saying that I would do anything to get me approved, including stretching the truth. That to me says they think she is a liar.

  65. My 7 month old daughter was diagnois with Severe acid reflux,and difficulty breathing, and spama of the esponsof at 6 weeks old, I applied for SSD in April 2012 and received a denial letter a week again, is Severe acid reflux, and difficulty breathing considered “disable”. Please ppl. i need answers oh and by the way i reapply the same day i received the denial letter, so do i need to get a SSD lawyer or what, i’m lost!! 🙁 (I don’t understand how and why would they deny a INFANT child that can’t really EXPLAIN)

    1. Lonna, you need to speak to an attorney who handles child SSI cases. Was the denial based on a medical determination or on non-medical factors such as your household income?

  66. I had my SSDI hearing last Wednesday. My attorney seemed to think it went well because of how the ALJ concluded the hearing, but I have no idea as it just seemed like an ordinary end of hearing dismissal to me. However, when the ALJ asked me to verify my address and phone number, he asked me if I had a computer, and I was wondering what the purpose of that question would be? (I tried to find the Google +1 button above but could not find it!). Thanks in advance.

    1. Lynette, I have no idea why the judge wanted to know if you had a computer. Also, it is fairly common for judges to verify a claimant’s address and phone number in every case. Hopefully your lawyer’s gut feeling is correct and you will be approved.

  67. I was diagnosed 10+ years ago with hypertension, stroke level even on medication, and depression. Have been on anti-depression meds for 10 years. I was also diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome. I continued to work, albeit with a change in my work schedule for the next 10 years. Three years ago it got to the point that I was no longer able to do my job, even with working three days a week from home. I was a financial analyst and my mind fog and fatigue as well as job productivity got so bad that I had to quit. Along with pain and fever many days a week I just couldn’t cope. The entire time I worked I was being seen by a doctor and a couple of rheumatologists, but to be honest was in denial about the sjogren’s until I had a lip biopsy. I was not able to afford insurance after I left my job until this last Dec. I just pay cash rather than insurance premiums. I bought all my meds over the two years of not seeing a doctor through online out of the country. I am going to be having a CE this week for physical and mental. I am so very worried that this is just the step before denial or could it be that my file is thin for the two years that I didn’t see a doctor? Does anything good every come from the CEs? Thank you.

  68. I have been waiting for almost 12 months for a hearing with ALJ, so I called my disability expert I have handling my case and found out my case has been sent out of state. I live in Florida and I guess they are so backlogged that is the reason for being sent out of state. My hearing would be via video. My condition is due to coronary artery disease and stents placed, also have vertigo and sometimes low heart rate. So my question is this, would it matter either way if I leave it with video hearing or ask that my case be in person hearing in my own state?

    1. Theresa, I personally have not had any problems with video hearings. However, some lawyers I know will object to every video hearing notice and demand a live judge. I would ask your attorney about his/her experience with video hearings vs. live ones and make your decision accordingly.

  69. I just want to say thanks for the advise. I have discussed it with them and they feel better about in person hearings and I think I would be better having it in my own state as well. I guess whenever I do get the hearing I will post something if it may help others to know how it all went.

  70. my question is i went for my hearing the ve stated there was no work i could do due to my limations iam woundering if the judge decideds on her decision basted on his testimonal


  71. I have been fighting my case for a while now. I have been diagnosed with Hypertension, Depresion, and Narrowing of the spine between S1 and L5. I also have Spinalbifida in L5. I have had 2 strokes in the past and have a lawyer handling my case. The lawyer keeps telling me that I have a good chance of winning this case. I am scheduled for a hearing this month or next month. I was just wondering what is your opinion of this case?

  72. Had 3 back surgeries the last one in July which was a fusion workers comp states I can work but my doctors say I cannot have ss hearing in sept haven worked in 3yrs got hurt on job still in pain

  73. I am having a hearing by video next week, and the Judge asked my Attorney to file a brief by Fax yesterday. I have never heard of the attorney filing a brief the week before. I went through this process in 2001 in Washington State, and during my review, in 2012 the interviewer said I had denied having a disability to my wifes family physician on the paperwork when I first saw him. My Wife had told him I was on disability, and saw a Pain management doctor. My wifes family practitioner agreed to see me, but would not treat me for my back since I had a pain management Doctor. I lost my Disability insurance and income over a year ago. As of Two months ago,(9 weeks when I have hearing), My back has gone out, and I have NO Feeling in Right foot, up to knee is numb, and pain up to low back at site of my previous injury. I Need an Emergency MRI, and will need decompressive surgery, and possibly fusion. If I lose I cannot afford to continue to see pain managenent, get an MRI, or get Surgery. No insurance, Cannot Work. What is my course of action if Denied?

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