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Author Topic: Hearing Update from 2015 Application 2021 Remand  (Read 3527 times)

Joshua2001

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Hearing Update from 2015 Application 2021 Remand
« on: July 07, 2022, 07:56:06 pm »
   The last correspondence from the Judge offered a supplemental hearing contingent on her not being willing to provide a fully favorable decision.  We responded with,


As long as you are going to credit the symptom of 30 minutes or more in the bathroom, we wont need a supplemental hearing. If you are not going to credit the symptom, we request a Medical Expert be present during the hearing that specializes in OCD to testify as to the medical record.


Well, we just got our notice of a supplementary hearing, and the Judge didnt mention a Medical Expert.  It does say there will be another Vocational Expert present.  We have already had Vocational Expert Testimony that anything over 10 minutes on an occasional basis would be disabling, twice.  I am not really sure where the Judge is going with this or what I should do to prepare.  I plan on asking again for a Medical Expert to be present, unless the Judge is crediting the symptoms.  Honestly it feels like the Judge is fishing for less favorable Vocational Expert Testimony for us. 

We have been at this since August of 2015 (initial application) so we are both tired of this.



Just Me

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Re: Hearing Update from 2015 Application 2021 Remand
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2022, 07:27:59 am »
What does your attorney think ?
Nerve damage in upper and lower extremities. Degenerative Disc Disease, RA.

Hope the size of a mustard seed can produce Faith that can move mountains.

Joshua2001

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Re: Hearing Update from 2015 Application 2021 Remand
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2022, 02:24:08 pm »
We don't have one.  No one would take the case.  There aren't a whole lot of disability lawyers in Idaho and we didn't know what we were doing.  We didn't know we didn't have all of our evidence until after our first hearing and by that point it was too late to get any lawyers to take the case.  I have been doing all the work.  I managed to get a Federal Remand even though the consulting lawyers said they wouldn't take the case because we would lose (being on this Forum has helped a lot with that). 

I think we are close to winning at this point but this Judge has a really low approval rate and I am honestly shocked that she didn't ask a Medical Expert to be present but is asking for another Vocational Expert.   I guess if I want to be optimistic I could take it as the Judge plans on agreeing to the 30 minutes or more in the bathroom as a symptom but my experience so far doesn't justify that kind of optimism.  I would rather prepare for the worst.   I already made the mistake once of thinking the Judge is supposed to help you.

Does anyone know if they have to have a medical expert present if we ask for one?  I can't seem to find much on that.  Only that they don't need to have one to make a decision but nothing on if it is different if we request one.

daaron70

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Re: Hearing Update from 2015 Application 2021 Remand
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2022, 05:17:42 pm »
I was looking over the comments of the ALJ who presided over my hearing, and read that the so called "Medical Experts" review cases at the determing phase of the initial application.  I had a Vocational Expert at my hearing,  and he gave testimony that there are no jobs available for me to do based on my disabilities.  I hope the Vocational Expert can be of good use to you in your case.

newdawn

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Re: Hearing Update from 2015 Application 2021 Remand
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2022, 05:22:35 pm »
We don't have one.  No one would take the case.  There aren't a whole lot of disability lawyers in Idaho and we didn't know what we were doing.  We didn't know we didn't have all of our evidence until after our first hearing and by that point it was too late to get any lawyers to take the case.  I have been doing all the work.  I managed to get a Federal Remand even though the consulting lawyers said they wouldn't take the case because we would lose (being on this Forum has helped a lot with that). 

I think we are close to winning at this point but this Judge has a really low approval rate and I am honestly shocked that she didn't ask a Medical Expert to be present but is asking for another Vocational Expert.   I guess if I want to be optimistic I could take it as the Judge plans on agreeing to the 30 minutes or more in the bathroom as a symptom but my experience so far doesn't justify that kind of optimism.  I would rather prepare for the worst.   I already made the mistake once of thinking the Judge is supposed to help you.

Does anyone know if they have to have a medical expert present if we ask for one?  I can't seem to find much on that.  Only that they don't need to have one to make a decision but nothing on if it is different if we request one.

Does anyone know if they have to have a medical expert present if we ask for one?  I can't seem to find much on that.  Only that they don't need to have one to make a decision but nothing on if it is different if we request one.

There appear to be only 3 scenarios where a judge MUST obtain an ME opinion. They scenarios are listed under "not discretionary":
https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/hallex/I-02/I-2-5-34.html

If you have an expert of your own (like your own doctor), you might be able to get the ALJ to let them provide testimony in person. But their testimony would probably be similar to what the ALJ already has in the medical records and the ALJ could give it the same weight as the written medical records. Also, it would likely be VERY expensive to pay for a medical professional to attend a hearing and their opinion would likely not be given the same weight as an ME that works for SSA since the SSA ME is trained both medically AND in how the blue book listings are applied, how SSA determines disability and RFC, etc. So I'm NOT suggesting you hire a medical person (like your own doctor) to come to the hearing; I guess I'm just mentioning it more theoretically in case you were wondering if you had some other recourse.
Location: IL
Age at Application: 31
Disability: Depression, anxiety
Applied: 11/2013
First Denial: 03/2014
Reconsideration Denial: 11/2014
Hearing: 11/13/15 (Friday the 13th!)
ALJ Approval: 01/15/16 Fully Favorable
Back Pay: 02/13/16
Award Letter: 02/17/16
1st monthly benefit: 03/21/16

newdawn

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Re: Hearing Update from 2015 Application 2021 Remand
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2022, 05:32:51 pm »
I was looking over the comments of the ALJ who presided over my hearing, and read that the so called "Medical Experts" review cases at the determing phase of the initial application.  I had a Vocational Expert at my hearing,  and he gave testimony that there are no jobs available for me to do based on my disabilities.  I hope the Vocational Expert can be of good use to you in your case.

I'm thinking you're maybe referring to MCs and PCs? MCs and PCs (medical and psychological consultants) are the doctors who review cases for DDS at the initial and reconsideration stages.

MEs are kind of the equivalent but can be present at the hearing level (usually only present in about 12% of ALJ hearings though).

Then there are CE doctors which are really low on the totem pole since they don't have much knowledge of SSA law or even always have access to the complete medical record. CE doctors can be ordered to provide exams at any stage of the application process, including the hearing level whereas the other doctors will look at your records but will never "examine" you.
Location: IL
Age at Application: 31
Disability: Depression, anxiety
Applied: 11/2013
First Denial: 03/2014
Reconsideration Denial: 11/2014
Hearing: 11/13/15 (Friday the 13th!)
ALJ Approval: 01/15/16 Fully Favorable
Back Pay: 02/13/16
Award Letter: 02/17/16
1st monthly benefit: 03/21/16

Helper

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Re: Hearing Update from 2015 Application 2021 Remand
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2022, 09:31:31 am »
I know one person who hired her doctor to be available by telephone during the hearing.  It ended up costing a lot of money because the 1st hearing got canceled at the last minute because there was some issue at the building (like the power went out or something- but she still had to pay the doctor because she didn't find out until the time of the hearing).  And then the ALJ would not call the doctor during the rescheduled hearing (but she still had to pay since the doctor was waiting for the call).  And then she ended up having a supplemental hearing where the ALJ finally called the doctor.

She had a remote onset date issue and was ultimately approved- so it was worth it in the end.  But it cost her thousands of dollars.
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Joshua2001

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Re: Hearing Update from 2015 Application 2021 Remand
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2022, 01:13:58 pm »
Thank you guys.  I really appreciate the help.  This helps me with the direction I need to go with this.  It's too bad we don't seem to qualify for a mandatory ME but knowing the direction I need to take is really important so I don't' mess up.  I'll basically have to ask nicely and lay out (again) why my wife should be approved.