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Social Security Questions in the Queue

From Jonathan – every day I receive dozens of questions and it is difficult to find the time to answer all of these thoughtful questions. I decided to create this page on my blog where I can at least post the questions so you will know what issues will be coming up. If you are not yet receiving benefits, please feel free ask one of the lawyers on my disability lawyer referral panel – any of these fine attorneys would be happy to answer your questions.

I also plan to enlist the help of my collegues of the Social Security disability bar. If you are a disability lawyer and want to help (along with some good exposure), let me know and I’ll set you up as an guest editor of my blog.

Here are the questions in the queue:

Can I collect State Disability Retirement and Social Security? I paid into Social Security all my life. – Linda I have been told by ny physician tha I should file for disability due to the fact that I am a 63 yr. old. ceramic tile contractor and I am in a great deal of pain with back probems. I also have severe arthritis in my hands shoulders. legs and my back. I have many degenerated disks. I also suffer from type 2 diabetes and mild hypertension. I am concerned about health insurance if disability is approved. Will I be able to be on Medicare right away, or do I have to wait? I have to work to pay for my insurance premium of $1900.00 per month – GeneI am a dwm 44, no children and have filed for a mental disability (depression, anxiety, and ADD). I have had a very unstable work record for the last ten years. I have had approx. 21 jobs (job longevity ranges from two days on the job to three years on the job) in the last ten years with several gaps of unemployment. I have had a long history of outpatient psychiatric care over the last ten years. Some of the psychiatrists are no longer in practice, therefore no records available. I do have records available for the last two years and have been keeping monthly office visits. If there are no records available, will the ALJ’s give much weight to copy’s of Pharmacy records showing that I was prescribed medication’s by my psychiatrist to prove that I was truly a patient of his at one time? I have been prescribed numerous medications with no success, how does that play into the decision to award or not? How much weight will be given to my unstable work record to prove my disability case and how do they verify that I have had as many jobs that I claim? In general, what are most judges looking for in mental disability cases? I am being represented by an experienced paralegal specializing in disability cases for the last 14 years and currently waiting on my ALJ hearing. My paralegal has told me that I have a 90% chance of winning due to the legitimacy of my case, however I am still experiencing anxiety about the outcome. Any suggestions on how to deal with the ‘disability hearing waiting game’ anxiety? Thank you. – Jim

I filed for disability myself and I purchased your complete package, Disability only needed one more form from my doctor, & I recieved my impairment rating total of 20%, No prolong standing,sitting,walking more than 30 minutes, No lifting, pushing or pulling over 10lbs, No crouching,stooping,or repetive bending or overhead activities. Require ongoing treatment 2-3 months injection medication I now take 165 pain pills monthly & Zoloft & seeing psychologist had light duty is this still considered light duty &/or whats your
opion for chances now on getting Disability Haven’t worked since 5/11/04 please give me your feedback. thanks Raymond

Does alimony effect ssi – Mary

How much money can someone on disability from social security receive from other things like alimony and retirement? Thanks for any help – Frank

I am a 50 year old male-brittle diabetic on an insulin pump with neuropathy, hep c, and have always worked. This past year, my sugars have gone wild, I have constant pain and my doc is pushing me to go for SSD. I have stopped driving due to 3 accidents from hypoglycemic unawareness syndrome. My meds make me cloudy. I am a butcher by trade.-very dangerous. Am I a candidate for SSD? Should I try. I want to work-but am getting very slow and have trouble holding a job at this point. Thaks so much – Gordon

Mr. Ginsberg, I have no idea if you can help me or not, but I need to asked my Question. Several years ago I had surgery to have gallbladder removed ever since the have suffered with adhesions and now nerve damage. The main reason was to have the surgery to get better not to end up like this I haven’t been able to work that much because of the pain. I go though everyday,is there anyway that I could get compensated for the pain that I have to contend with everyday. I can’t recieve ssdi because I am short on my credits. Would like your imput on my situration. – Jean

I would like to ask you a couple of questions regarding this post about “A good functional capacity form can overcome bad testimony”. I have various back and leg problems for which I am being treated with Meds and lumbar epidural injections, by an orthopedic specialist. I also have carpal tunnel in both wrists and this specialist has recommended surgery. But I am scared of surgery (having never had one before).

My question is: Will my turning down surgery for CTS help or hurt my case? I also have a good RFC form completed by my primary Dr, who is in the same building as all of my other Drs, and has access to all of my records. Also, I am very overweight and was wondering, if I had a gastric bypass done and lost weight before my ALJ hearing, would that help or hurt my case? Thank you in advance, Faye