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Author Topic: Am I allowed to ask information about my ALJ?  (Read 2238 times)

SoIllPanMan

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Am I allowed to ask information about my ALJ?
« on: September 22, 2020, 09:03:59 am »
I have an upcoming ALJ hearing and I wanted to know if anyone had any experience with my ALJ. I don’t know if I can post his name of if that is against the rules.
100% P&T VBA SC PTSD
Applied ssdi 1-2020
Denied 5-2020
Recon denied 7-2020
Hearing 11-2020
Decision 12-2020 (fully favorable)
Onset date 12-2018
Backpay 12-2020
First payment  1-2021

DisabilityDiscussed

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Re: Am I allowed to ask information about my ALJ?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2020, 06:56:09 pm »
What do you want to know about the Judge?  His allowance/denial record (which means nothing as far as the next case is concerned) is a matter of public record available by researching the SSA website.

Has you asked your attorney your questions?  He has probably been before this ALJ many times.

pjscoffee

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Re: Am I allowed to ask information about my ALJ?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2020, 07:44:32 am »
My husband's attorney knew the judge really well.  I think most of them do.  Told us about the personality, no nonsense, etc.  I would ask your attorney.

MisplacedTexan

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Re: Am I allowed to ask information about my ALJ?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2020, 09:19:27 am »
Your attorney would be the one to ask because you need to understand that each case is different and some judges get assigned to more complex cases than others and some judges seem to get assigned to cases that are rather obvious not credible or are easy to make a bench decision on.   When I appeared before my ALJ hearing my attorney told me that my judge was not easy to be approved by but I was in and out of the hearing room in less than 30 minutes and there was no vocational expert there. I got a bench decision.  I would not be worrying about the judges approval rate I would be worried about appearing credible to the judge.  Just a hypothetical question you could be asked is how long can you sit at a time. If you say you cannot sit for more than 20 minutes at a time and then during your 2 hour hearing you never get up to stretch your legs, that will make you look less that credible.   If you have someone that you know that could ask you questions that a judge may ask it would probably help you to think and relax during your hearing. Be totally truthful during your hearing and also expect you could get asked a couple of  similar question by your judge to see if your answers are consistent.
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Tim Buck Too

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Re: Am I allowed to ask information about my ALJ?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2020, 12:37:23 pm »
>>some judges get assigned to more complex cases than others and some judges seem to get assigned to cases that are rather obvious not credible or are easy to make a bench decision on.<<

That can't be right. It would mean someone is pre-judging your case outside of a proper hearing without your, or your lawyers, input. And who would decide the merits, or lack thereof, of your case? Some clerk? Another judge? That wouldn't be fair at all. I would think ALJ's at any particular ODAR are assigned cases on a random (probably computerized) basis.

Whether you get a ALJ with a low approval rate or high approval rate is simply the luck of the draw. And to even all that out, and to make it more fair, is why there is such an extensive appeals process.

The other day I was thinking of a way speed up hearings for those who wait so long. Since all hearings are telephonic now, and soon to be Zoom and Facetime calls, why not spread the load across all the ODARS in the country. I'm sure some ODARS are backed up and some others not so much. Since SSD is based on federal rules and procedures not state ones what difference would it make if I, the claimant, is in Nevada and my telephonic hearing is held in front of a ALJ in Minnesota? And lawyers are allowed, in certain circumstances, to practice outside the states they are licensed in. It happens at the Supreme Court all the time. 

   

MisplacedTexan

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Re: Am I allowed to ask information about my ALJ?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2020, 01:12:57 pm »
>>some judges get assigned to more complex cases than others and some judges seem to get assigned to cases that are rather obvious not credible or are easy to make a bench decision on.<<

That can't be right. It would mean someone is pre-judging your case outside of a proper hearing without your, or your lawyers, input. And who would decide the merits, or lack thereof, of your case? Some clerk? Another judge? That wouldn't be fair at all. I would think ALJ's at any particular ODAR are assigned cases on a random (probably computerized) basis.

Whether you get a ALJ with a low approval rate or high approval rate is simply the luck of the draw. And to even all that out, and to make it more fair, is why there is such an extensive appeals process.

The other day I was thinking of a way speed up hearings for those who wait so long. Since all hearings are telephonic now, and soon to be Zoom and Facetime calls, why not spread the load across all the ODARS in the country. I'm sure some ODARS are backed up and some others not so much. Since SSD is based on federal rules and procedures not state ones what difference would it make if I, the claimant, is in Nevada and my telephonic hearing is held in front of a ALJ in Minnesota? And lawyers are allowed, in certain circumstances, to practice outside the states they are licensed in. It happens at the Supreme Court all the time. 

 

I respectfully disagree. Many  ALJs look at the case file before the hearing and decide whether a case requires a vocational expert to give their opinion, sometimes they want to hold a case for a secondary hearing if they need more information.  They may want to allow a claimant to provide additional medical information. No doubt some ALJs have already decided a case before the hearing or are leaning one way or another and decide the case after the claimant appears before them.
Wise Old Texas Cowboy saying  "Never Squat With Your Spurs On"

I have CDO. It's like OCD, but the letters are in order like they should be.

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Just Me

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Re: Am I allowed to ask information about my ALJ?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2020, 03:31:12 pm »
Will your attorney meet with you a few days or weeks before your hearing? Or will he see you a few minutes before your hearing? If he meets with you a few days or weeks before your hearing. One of the things he will probably go over in that meeting is what you can expect at your hearing. If you do not know when your attorney will meet with you. You should call and ask.
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anetty1956

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Re: Am I allowed to ask information about my ALJ?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2020, 06:49:13 pm »
Def need to talk to attorney bf hand!  It’s a must I say
Sissy55

SoIllPanMan

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Re: Am I allowed to ask information about my ALJ?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2020, 03:51:11 pm »
I do have two meetings with my attorney before the hearing. The first meeting is to go over the CD that my attorney receives that shows all the evidence SSD has on file. I requested to go over that with my lawyer because on my initial and reconsideration I had mailed in and faxed in many different medical records evidence and some were received and some were not. I even went as far as sending in two sets of my VA medical records. One set was just the full download of 2000 pages directly from va blue button health report for the past 7 years. The second set was excerpts from the first set where I had gone through and highlighted anything that seemed relevant to my disabilities and/or the SSD blue book listing of 12.15 for PTSD. I had also sent in a copy of the vocational expert report that I had performed for my VA disability claim and letters that my mother, wife, brother, and a previous co-worker had written for my va disability claim.

The second meeting with my lawyer was by his request and he said we will review and prepare together for the hearing about a week before, so it will be fresh. I know that he will probably cover what, if anything, he knows about the judge at that time.

I asked if I could post my ALJs name to gather any information. I have read stories where some ALJs don't like to approve people who are already receiving va disability. It’s as if the judges think of them as double dipping. I have read other stories of judges not wanting to award mental disabilities on their own with out also having physical disabilities. I’ve also read of judges who will inquire into details of the combat that is causing PTSD. I understand that one of the jobs of the judge is to evaluate the claimants credibility.  I’m not concerned about my credibility, I’m concerned with having to discuss the details of combat. I have been going through counseling for PTSD for the last five years and I still struggle a lot with certain parts of it. I get a lump in my throat and the urge to cry and it gets very difficult to speak. My hearing is over the phone only so I don’t know if the judge will be able to sense my struggle or if he will just think I’m not replying right away.  Mainly i’m a nervous wreck. I struggle immensely to sleep as it is. I know that my evidence of my disability and the genuineness of my testimony will be the prevailing and deciding factors, I just like to know as much as I can.
100% P&T VBA SC PTSD
Applied ssdi 1-2020
Denied 5-2020
Recon denied 7-2020
Hearing 11-2020
Decision 12-2020 (fully favorable)
Onset date 12-2018
Backpay 12-2020
First payment  1-2021

newdawn

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Re: Am I allowed to ask information about my ALJ?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2020, 04:17:21 pm »
I have an upcoming ALJ hearing and I wanted to know if anyone had any experience with my ALJ. I don’t know if I can post his name of if that is against the rules.

I'm not aware of any board rule against posting your judge's name. However, we only have so many active members on SSDFacts and there are lots of ALJs so you may not find anyone active here who has experience with the judge you've been assigned to.
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