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Author Topic: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...  (Read 2791 times)

KM

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Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« on: December 29, 2017, 11:37:52 am »
As the title says, my mostly useless lawyer filed an appeal which only stated I was disabled and unable to work at a minimal level. Strangely enough, this won a vacated decision and remand?? Okeedokee... I'll take that as a plus! As a recap and to add what's never been stated, I have a spinal condition (Extremely rare, will remain unnamed for now) that is undetectable via MRIs, EMGs, etc and has been genetically verified although degree of limitations can't be tested with current technology outside of physical testing.

The key documentation I could present were RFCs stating "no standing longer than 2 hours, no stooping, limited stairs, no lifting houses, etc" from my PCP and Neurologist along with the appointed Dr's (Dr C) "patient should limit standing, etc" with no time limits given, all of which were ignored due to a "lack of objective evidence" to where the AC claims "Dr C's opinion is medically based; therefore, vocational expertise is not a factor". Sounds good, but... Dr C's report is very limited as no times are given. The AC does go so far as to state "the hypothetical question should reflect the specific capacity/limitations of the record as a whole" along with remarks regarding the lack of the ALJ's referencing my needed assistive devices, yet the AC put emphasis on the Appointed doc's opinion requesting the ALJ show the weight given and mentioned my treating docs more like general conversation. What can be determined by this? Should I just assume the ALJ will take my more detailed records into account, or limit himself to Dr C's as he was told to do? Uhmmm... yeah, I know you have no idea, but here we are. Anything you care to share that might make the end of my bleak year just a shade more positive would be a plus.

It's been many months since getting this notice, yet here I sit in mid-default on 30+ years of credit while my case waits at the bottom of the pile rather than placed higher up due to a mistake made by the very system. Not cool. But we all know that's just the way it works. Any ideas on time frames from the time of the vacated decision to... whatever the next move might be? 5 months and counting. Congress has only forwarded my requests for action to those who read such.

General PS unrelated to above. SSDFACTS has yet to ever send me an email regarding updates to posts, or anything at all and even signing up at the beginning I had to have someone allow me in as the emails never worked. Just a FYI if anyone knows of a fix. It's not my filtering as I never see anything at the server level.
Born in '65
Complex Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (SPG4 Spast) MRI, EMG, etc of no use for evidence.  Science not up to SSDI standards
+Arthritis, etc.
Dx 1999 with limited use of legs. Now unable to walk/drv without assistance. Limited use of arms/hands
Filed 2013, hearing unf 8/16, remand 7/17

newdawn

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 11:44:36 am »
Anything you care to share that might make the end of my bleak year just a shade more positive would be a plus.

It's been many months since getting this notice, yet here I sit in mid-default on 30+ years of credit while my case waits at the bottom of the pile rather than placed higher up due to a mistake made by the very system. Not cool. But we all know that's just the way it works. Any ideas on time frames from the time of the vacated decision to... whatever the next move might be? 5 months and counting. Congress has only forwarded my requests for action to those who read such.

General PS unrelated to above. SSDFACTS has yet to ever send me an email regarding updates to posts, or anything at all and even signing up at the beginning I had to have someone allow me in as the emails never worked. Just a FYI if anyone knows of a fix. It's not my filtering as I never see anything at the server level.

Remand hearings are given scheduling priority so the wait time for the remand hearing should be less than if it was your first hearing. How much less, I don't know.

I believe the email notification functions of SSDFacts haven't been working for some time. Sorry.

Congrats on your remand. I'm glad the AC took notice of some specific errors by the judge even though your lawyer didn't make the effort to point out specific errors.
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

Just Me

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 12:35:12 pm »
How long can you sit ? Specifics are vital. Do you have a medical diagnosis your doctors and the SSA doctor agree on ?
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.

KM

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 01:42:22 pm »
All doctors mostly agree - the SSA doc just didn't bother putting times on anything. Limit standing/walking while my docs state 1.5 and 2 hours each, no lifting 5 pounds from floor to waste, no bending, squatting, etc. which I think was straight from all of them, and so on. I even went on record stating I couldn't even reach the floor to lift.

As to the sitting mentioned above, none of the 3 jobs I supposedly could do in the initial hearing involved sitting although I am limited in sitting for extended time yet that's not addressed in my reports. I can't get around that.

I was set at 6 hours of standing and walking, and the jobs ALL involve stooping and bending which every report stated I shouldn't do.

An add on: I just noticed the SSA doc clearly mentioned my fatigue and I had made a point of my meds knocking me out (muscle relaxers) at any functional dose yet that was thrown out for a "lack of a formal complaint" although it was stated MANY times in my records all the way back to the early 2000s how I had been chasing dosing for effect while trying to stay awake as well as ANYONE taking 2 minutes to look up the sides will see this is #1. It's these details the AC ignored that are still bothering me. I'll take what I can get and I kind of feel good about my records supposedly standing on their own, now.

I could only hope my multiple complaints as well as internet sites I've passed on to my Congressman can sway me a new judge. Mine is well known for being less than professional as well as under-trained and has a history on the net. I'll never fess up who it is so save the time when you dig and suspect which one I'm picking on!  :Main21:
Born in '65
Complex Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (SPG4 Spast) MRI, EMG, etc of no use for evidence.  Science not up to SSDI standards
+Arthritis, etc.
Dx 1999 with limited use of legs. Now unable to walk/drv without assistance. Limited use of arms/hands
Filed 2013, hearing unf 8/16, remand 7/17

Lit Love

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 02:11:49 pm »
The problem with documentation going back to the early 2000's is: 1) SS concentrates on medical documentation starting 12 months before your AOD. 2) You were seemingly able to work for many years even though fatigue was an issue.

A good way to provide objective evidence of your limitations is to undergo a Functional Capacity Evaluation.  Although some ALJ's will give weight to independent RFC's without an accompanying FCE some won't.

KM

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 02:52:59 pm »
And my understanding was, by law SSA is required to take the word of treating Doctors over their appointed ones due to familiarity with the patient/condition. I had gone untreated for a while due to low income which is why I was stuck with their doc in the beginning.

I can't afford the functional test, I sure can't afford to take it and have it ignored as the reports as given I understood were to be taken over all others yet ignored until the remand. That's the whole problem with "un"biased judges being allowed to work without answering to anyone.
Born in '65
Complex Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (SPG4 Spast) MRI, EMG, etc of no use for evidence.  Science not up to SSDI standards
+Arthritis, etc.
Dx 1999 with limited use of legs. Now unable to walk/drv without assistance. Limited use of arms/hands
Filed 2013, hearing unf 8/16, remand 7/17

Just Me

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2017, 04:52:43 pm »
Your Congressman has no say in who the ALJ is. If the ALJ you had before I still there. You will get him.

In your Activities Of Daily Living form did you go into details about how the muscle relaxers affect your ability to function? Non medical evidence and medical evidence needs to back each other up.
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.

jsm

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2017, 10:00:54 pm »
That's the whole problem with "un"biased judges being allowed to work without answering to anyone.


A finding of disability is not a math equation. In math, 1 plus 1 is always 2 (base 10), regardless of who is doing the arithmetic. In a disability decision, evidence has to be evaluated and weighted and it is impossible to eliminate judicial point of view. Sure there are guidelines and policy, but what ends up being a "moderate" restriction? That you can only do some activity once a week, or once a day, or once an hour? And what is occasional? These are going to be judgement calls, not hard and fast mathematical formulas.

And the ALJ is answerable to the AC. Now I do agree that it takes a ridiculously long time period to get to the ALJ and even longer to get to the AC. But the ALJ's don't want these remands on their docket either. The ALJ doesn't want your case to drag on, they would rather get to the next one in line. If you want your congressperson to be truly helpful, tell him/her to vote for increased operating funds for the Social Security Administration. The congressperson doesn't get to assign workloads at SSA. And there is a serious and complicated procedure that has to take place before any federal employee is removed from their position. And it is not because claimants don't agree with the decision.

Remands happen when an ALJ misses some minutia in the law. Some reg, some exception, some failure to document something. 

What you really want is a judge who is biased toward you. That is what I would want. An ALJ with a high approval rating. The fact that ALJ's have a wide range of approval ratings demonstrates that the disability decision is much more than a simple formula with only one right answer. You want an ALJ will draw the conclusion you think is the correct one. For you, and probably every other applicant for benefits, the only right decision is an approval and anyone who disagrees is wrong. Or biased.

KM

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2017, 10:05:48 am »
To know more about my case you would clearly see what I am talking about, but I'm not going to drag my entire case out in public. Some highlights such as his digging to only use the negatives he could find against me (1 of many was stating I'm still active in a hobby while leaving out the fact I can only do so with the help of others), versus ignoring all comments and documentation that support a favorable decision back up what I'm saying. That's not the conversation here as it has drifted as usual.

And I'm quite aware of Congress' lack of pull, but having them involved would hopefully shed some light on things that aren't right which should be of use to all to come. I didn't write congress with a cry about me. I wrote them with a wake up call to look into abuses. Again, there is a validated history behind this judge who has failed to meet his requirements yet still holds his position and that's fact, not my opinion. That's all on that subject as it wasn't the point of my post. The point being how Doctors' reports are given weight and the wait times. It was mentioned remands take a high priority yet here I sit 5 months and counting with no source of income and family generosity has reached its limits.
Born in '65
Complex Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (SPG4 Spast) MRI, EMG, etc of no use for evidence.  Science not up to SSDI standards
+Arthritis, etc.
Dx 1999 with limited use of legs. Now unable to walk/drv without assistance. Limited use of arms/hands
Filed 2013, hearing unf 8/16, remand 7/17

Kicksnomore

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2017, 11:26:42 am »
KM - Sorry to hear about your situation.  My judge also “cherry picked” my records.  Literally taking 1/2 of a doctors comments that said I had less swelling and ignoring rest of the sentence.  The whole sentence said “less swelling with medication, but still very functionally limited with pain and fatigue.

I am waiting for the AC now.  How long did it take you to get the remand? 

I hope you will get a hearing date soon.  Remands are supposed to get priority.  I have seen several people get there new hearing date at around the 5 month mark.

Good luck
Disability: RA
Applied: 3/2015 (onset 8/2014)
First Denial: 6/15
Reconsideration Denial: 8/15
Hearing: 7/17
ALJ Denial: 9/17
AC Appeal: 11/19
AC Remand: 4/19
ALJ Hearing 2: 3/20
Fully favorable: 3/20

KM

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2017, 11:50:18 am »
I'd have to dig to make sure, but I'm pretty sure the remand was a year almost to the date of the hearing. From the hearing to the denial was about a month so roughly 11 months after the decision for the remand.
Born in '65
Complex Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (SPG4 Spast) MRI, EMG, etc of no use for evidence.  Science not up to SSDI standards
+Arthritis, etc.
Dx 1999 with limited use of legs. Now unable to walk/drv without assistance. Limited use of arms/hands
Filed 2013, hearing unf 8/16, remand 7/17

Bonzai

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2017, 12:17:56 pm »
KM,

My wait for a Social Security Appeals Council decision was 17 months, and then another six months before I had my remanded hearing.  As Kicksnomore mentioned, the wait of 5-6 months is about average.  The reason remanded hearings are expedited is that the case is still considered at initial hearing level, and Social Security is tries to keep the 'average length of time cases are at initial level' as low as possible, because that is a number that is reported to Congress; not because they care about how long a claimant has been waiting.

As far as having an unfair biased ALJ, I had that, but it is hard to prove.  What wasn't hard was the amount of evidence I had in my favor, as my record kept piling up and all of the new evidence, between the time of the initial denial and remanded hearing, had to be considered by the ALJ.

As far as SSDFacts board functionality, we upgraded the site a month and a half ago, as we were using a very old version of SMF.  I am noting what is not working now, and hope to get things working again in early 2018.  Email functionality stopped working about two years ago, and that is one thing we will get going again.
"If one of these engines fails, how far will the other one take us?"
"All the way to the scene of the crash!" - Ron White

Lit Love

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2017, 03:19:07 pm »
I am empathetic that finances are tough.  Insurance, WC and or LTD will sometimes cover FCE's.  Of course it is impossible to say if such a report will make a difference with every ALJ, but it is objective medical documentation that has helped many of us. 

KM

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2017, 02:37:10 pm »
No insurance due to no income as .gov dropped me, I don't know what WC and LTD are.

It seems somewhat common for 5-6 months from AC to a new hearing notice. Has anyone reading this seen times much outside of this?
Born in '65
Complex Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (SPG4 Spast) MRI, EMG, etc of no use for evidence.  Science not up to SSDI standards
+Arthritis, etc.
Dx 1999 with limited use of legs. Now unable to walk/drv without assistance. Limited use of arms/hands
Filed 2013, hearing unf 8/16, remand 7/17

Just Me

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Re: Denied, Appealed, Remanded, Waiting, Waiting Some More, Etc...
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2017, 03:44:20 pm »
Workman's Compensation (WC). Long Term Disability (LTD).

Are you currently receiving regular treatments for your impairments? If not, you need to start. There are free and sliding scale clinics and teaching hospitals that have clinics

If you are going to have a new hearing like the first one had not happened. Your remand will say "De Novo". If this is the case. Be sure you do an updated Activities Of Daily Living form. Send a copy to your attorney. And be sure and call the office of the ALJ and verify it has been received.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 03:53:21 pm by Just Me »
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.