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How long does it take to get a hearing decision and to start collecting Social Security Disability benefits?

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Find out how long you’ll wait for a decision after your hearing and, if approved, when you will start collecting Social Security Disability benefits.

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Timeframe for Getting a Social Security Hearing Decision

Before you can begin collecting Social Security Disability benefits, you must receive a favorable or partially favorable decision on your claim. Once you and your lawyer have presented your case to the Administrative Law Judge at your Social Security Disability hearing, the judge has to consider what he or she has heard, perhaps review your claim file again, make a decision, and draft a decision letter. The Social Security’s guideline is for the judge to render a decision is within sixty days of the hearing, but frequently judges take longer.

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If sixty days have passed and you have not received a decision, you can follow up on your disability claim status by calling the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. The phone number can be found on the letter notifying you of your hearing date.

When Benefits Start After a Favorable Hearing Decision

If you receive a favorable decision, your local Social Security office will then complete the work necessary for you to start collecting Social Security Disability benefits. Sometimes, they will ask you for additional documentation, such as your birth certificate, if you have not already submitted it. Typically, you will receive payment within three to eight weeks after receiving your approval letter. If you have eligible dependents and your family maximum benefit is high enough, Social Security will also take an application for your dependents to receive benefits. For information about whether your family qualifies for Social Security dependent benefits, visit our article “Can My Spouse and Children Get Benefits If I Am Approved for Social Security Disability?”

What to Do If Your Claim is Denied at the Disability Hearing

If the administrative law judge denies your claim and you still aren’t approved for collecting Social Security disability benefits, see our article “What Is a Social Security Appeals Council Review and What Can I Do If the Appeals Council Denies My Claim?”

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185 Comments

  1. Katie says:

    Hi Kay –

    I have a few questions / problems that I need help with and can’t find anyone to give me ONE CORRECT answer from my attorney’s office to the direct SSA, to my LOCAL BRANCH ssa, so my next best bet is you as I have read through many posts here and you seem to have the most ON POINT ANSWERS …. I will number my questions giving as much information as I can so you can best answer my questions.

    1) At my Appeals Hearing on November 4th, 2013, the Judge then and there stated that she was granting my DISABILITY and dating it back to August 1st, 2011. On November 29th, 2013 – we received the NOTICE OF DECISION that basically stating the same thing and why, that we are backdated to August 1st, 2011 and that my decision was FAVORABLE, so on and so forth. The next day, I went and set up a CHASE BANK ACCOUNT and they forwarded information to the US TREASURY that THIS WAS THE INFORMATION (routing # / Account #, Name – also stating that it was for my FIRST CHECK and that I hadn’t HAD an account number with Disability yet because this IS for my first check, etc.) and called my Attorney who also received the NOTICE OF DECISION and ….

    * I was told by my attorney that I shouldn’t be surprised if the money just “SHOWS UP” in my account before I even RECEIVE MY NOTICE OF AWARD LETTER, that “the letters usually are sent out together, can be sent out one first then the latter or I might receive my NOTICE OF AWARD soon in the mail, but that the NOTICE OF AWARD letter has NOTHING TO DO WITH WHEN I WILL RECEIVE MY FIRST PAYMENT / BACK PAYMENT and that I need to just make sure I have my Direct Deposit set up and that the Treasury Department has that information.

    * My BANK called me and stated that they got the documentation sent back to them stating that the information DID NOT go through for some reason, so I then called the 800# directly and set it up with THEM to make sure all was ok.

    * Today’s Date is December 27th, 2013 – as of today, we have neither received the MONEY IN THE BANK, nor the NOTICE OF AWARD INFORMATION telling us what TO receive, although we were already told by our Attorney what our payments would be as an estimate (Monthly – around $1,500 / BACKPAY – around $36,000) and being that we’ve already WAITED our 5 month wait time being that I am being found LEGALLY DISABLED as of August 1, 2011)

    So, as far as SSA says, waiting for our money can take anywhere up to 3-4 MONTHS … but our ATTORNEY (MY ATTORNEY, I keep saying “our” as I commonly refer to myself as *me and my husband* as he has been there through all of this – but it’s MY disability) stated that once we received that “Notice of DECISION” — “to not be surprised if that backpay (backpay FIRST, then from there – the MONTHLY PAYMENTS is what they said ..) within less than one month with or without that money, and to call them when that happens because then they have to get ahold of SSA to track down that NOTICE OF AWARD letter and such – and not even to THINK about that AWARD LETTER because it has no bearing on when we will receive that money”.

    Yet SSA says we will receive the NOTICE OF AWARD FIRST then maybe 30-60 days after, we’ll receive the money …. that was from ONE person at SSA, another person at SSA said more of the same as MY ATTORNEY???

    I guess my MAJOR CONCERNS are —

    1) What is the correct answer on WHEN we should look for our money

    2) What will come first, our BACKPAY (which is what we NEED first because of our medical bills debt and other debt we owe BECAUSE of waiting for our Disability) or my MONTHLY PAYMENTS and just as an FYI, I owe the government nothing, have had no arrests or anything, have never been incarcerated, have no outstanding debt with the government, etc. just incase that might be something you would ask ….

    3) Just in the event that my “DIRECT DEPOSIT” was NOT set up properly because my local branch (who my attorney said was very behind and they didn’t even have me in their system when the BIG / MAIN SSA showed me just fine), would they MAIL ME A CHECK or MAIL ME A CARD WITH THE MONEY ON IT or SOMETHING and not just hold back my payment / money and sit on it / put it aside because they didn’t SHOW information because someone or some branch IS BEHIND??

    We are just concerned as I check every day in my account to see if it has been deposited, afraid to call anyone for the fact that I might be put to the back of the line somewhere for making someone upset.

    It’s been OVER A MONTH now since we received our NOTICE OF DECISION from the judge and according to my attorney, they are even wondering at this point because they have had so many clients that end up calling them stating that they got their money but have no notice of award so they don’t know what to expect monthly or if it’s the correct amount, etc. and said that it actually happens about 75% of the time??

    Granted the LOCAL BRANCH is behind as they don’t even show me in their system yet, but GAVE ME THE NAME OF MY REPRESENTATIVE who I then gave to my attorney because of course I don’t get a return call back — but since I have up until a few days ago dealt with the 800# SSA people, that’s the more important thing, right?

    We’re just not getting anywhere with answers, not getting our notice of award, don’t know whether we WAIT EVEN AFTER the award letter for a period of time before I even see the money or is my attorney correct in what THEY are telling me — that the award letter really has nothing to do with WHEN we will see the money and that ALSO, we will get our LUMP BACKPAY FIRST before the monthly payments, etc.

    Can you help us with any of this and help clarify these answers we’ve gotten and what honestly USUALLY DOES happen / what we can expect as far as this goes? We are in dire straits as far as money and collections and everyone says they need that NOTICE OF AWARD letter that of course we don’t have.

    Thank you SO MUCH for your time and understanding.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Katie,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      First, it can take sixty days or more from the date of the judge’s letter to get payment started. One month would be quite fast. Second, when benefits are already due, direct deposit of payment usually happens before the letter reaches you. The letter usually comes one to two weeks later. Third, it is my observation that almost all the time, monthly payments begin before retroactive benefits are paid and that there can be a substantial lag (a month or more) in time between start of the monthly payments and release of back payment.

      At this point, besides waiting, there only thing you need to do is to be sure that Social Security has your correct bank account information set up on your Social Security computer record. Be assured that Social Security is not intentially “sitting on your money.” They are understaffed for the volume of work they handle. If you have not received payment by the end of January , you might contact the local office for a status, asking if they need anything from you.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • crystal says:

        Hello,
        I called ss yesterday and found out a decision has been made on my case, I am curious how lonng from when the judge makes a decision do you recieve a notice in the mail? And if you have children whom reside with the other parent and you pay child support, does ss pay the custodial parent directly towards child support? And if you recieve backpay how much is the maximum amount they pay in backpay?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Crystal,

          From your questions, I assume that you are inquiring about Social Security Disability not Supplemental Security Income. My response is based on that assumption.

          It can take from a couple weeks to more than a month to get a letter after the judge’s decision has been made. The custodial parent will receive the child’s Social Security benefit after the custodial parent applies to be payee. If you are paying child support, the Social Security benefit will not take the place of the child support unless you go to court and the judge rules that it does. If you owe back child support, it will be withheld from the benefits due to you.

          The amount of Social Security back pay you receive depends on how long ago you became disabled and how long ago your initially applied. Benefits will begin to accrue the later of the sixth full calendar month after you became disabled or twelve months before the month of your application.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

        • shirelle says:

          hey how long does it usually take for some go to court for ssd for my son he is 8 im in south Carolina

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Shirelle,

            After you file the request for a hearing, you may wait a year or more for a hearing date.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

  2. tracy says:

    My atty told me “flat out, hands down that she could win my case even without me being in the courtroom” the judge assigned to my cas has over an 80% denial rate. My concer is at the hearing on dec 10th that she asked only a few questions abt my medical and nothing abt my emotional problems for which I have an rfc form stating that I cannot work and due to my physical issues I must use a walker. The judge only seemed interested in my wrk history and my education (dropped out during my third year due to having a baby) the hearing was nothing like what I was told which concerns me. Also since I filed 2 years ago, physically and emotionally my condition has changed which seemed to irritate the judge as my answers were now different. Also the bank info they have is incorrect but I did not want to change it prior to receicing a reward notice on the chance I will be denied. My atty said I answered questions correctly but I know when I go back over things my answes were not always complete and could have been better. I think I would not be as worried if my atty had told me she could win my case hands down without me in a courtroom. Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tracy,

      It sounds as if the judge did not feel he or she needed more information about your health and your limitations. This could mean that they were being accepted as presented. My guess is that the judge was asking questions about your work history to determine whether, given your limitations, you could work at jobs you have had in the past.

      If you think that you truly forgot to provide important information at the hearing, then I suggest writing that up and giving it to your attorney for your attorney to decide whether it would be good idea to submit it after the hearing. If you are approved, when you get the judge’s approval letter, promptly notify Social Security of the correct bank acount routing and account number.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  3. shelli says:

    i just had my alj hearing last week, my lawyer says he thinks ill be approved. then yesterday my daughter inlaw got a message on her cell phone saying that someone from this phone number has a phone conference with someone from the ssa office at 1 p.m. now i knew nothing about this, and now im really worried that something is wrong. can you please help me here. could this just be them now wanting me to go see there doctor? since my neurologist appointment isnt till next month and the judge didnt want to leave my case open to wait to see what my doctor says. or do you think something is probably wrong? i would greatly apprieciate your advise on this. thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shelli,

      By now you will have had the interview so any response from me will not be meaningful; but from what you wrote, it did sound as if some follow-up information was wanted for the hearing decision.

      Regards,

      Kay

  4. Mona says:

    Hi Kay,

    My husband filed for SSI and SSDI..which he was denied on his own and now he has a lawyer. His court date was set for 11/15/13 at the ODAR ALJ..I know it take some time to get a decision, but do you think it will take this long if the case was denied or to get a denial letter..Now that it is 01/27/14 he has not heard yea or nay. I try to give him a little hope that I’m pretty sure if they was going to deny him they would have already done that or not…The wait is killing him. What do you think?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mona,

      The length of time to get a decision does not determine the outcome. The guideline is sixty days from the hearing for a decision but it frequently takes longer. You might try calling the hearing office every couple weeks to see if his appeal has moved to the letter-writing unit. If it has, the decision has been made and the lengthy determination letter is being prepared.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

    • Darin says:

      My hearing was 12/04/13 and still nothing as of 03/21/14 next week is 16 weeks 4 months not good

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Darin,

        The wait is difficult, but the length of time your appeal pends is not a determinant or a sign of whether your claim will be approved or denied.

        Sincerely,

        Kay

  5. Kenny says:

    I recieved my review in mail today to fill out. Do you know how long it takes to know if my nenifits will cut off and if they do and I appeal. How long do u think that will take and how long will I be able to keep my benefits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kenny,

      It can take a couple of months or more for the medical review of your continuing eligibility to be completed. If you are still disabled, your benefits will continue, so at this point I would not worry about benefits stopping or having to appeal.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  6. Terri says:

    Hi, I had my hearing with the Administrative Law Judge on October 12, 2013. It’s already the 6th of February and I haven’t received any response letting me know if I was approved or denied. This judge has an 8% approval rate but I know that every case is different. I was denied the first time for disability them I got a lawyer. I called the DARS office and the judges clerk said that a decision has already been rendered but she couldn’t tell me yes or no. She said a letter would be sent out to me and my lawyer simultaneously. I’m riveting how long it will take to receive this letter letting me know the decision. I talked to this clerk five days ago but I still haven’t received anything. I’m hoping it’s not a letter denying me. But I don’t know anything yet. How long does it usually take after the judge makes his decision to finally send me a notice in the mail regarding his decision?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Terri,

      Once the hearing judge makes a decision on your claim, the decision goes to a writing unit for a long, detailed letter to be written up. This is true whether the claim has been approved or denied. It can take a few weeks for the letter to be prepared, reviewed, and mailed.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  7. Terri says:

    Wondering not riveting sorry

  8. Ellen says:

    I have a question I haven’t seen posted. initial:denied. reconsideration:denied. have attorney now, was waiting for hearing, however I’ve been told that file was with decision writer. most recently was told by a reliable source that file is back in the judges hands. I haven’t appeared at a hearing. case was coded critical/dire need. any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ellen,

      My best guess is that the judge has made a decision “on the record,” based in part on how your attorney presented the case in writing. If this is the case, your claim is being approved and you will not have to go to a hearing. The appeal being in writing and then back with the judge, would indicate that the judge has made the decision, the decision letter has been written up, and the judge is now reviewing it for accuracy before it is sent out.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  9. Maggie says:

    I had my court appearance for my appeal February of 2013 and still have not received the decision. Is it true some people are waiting two years to receive a decision? My diseases are deteriorating with every passing month due to not being able to afford all of my medications so time is of the essence for me. Are you at the mercy of the judge because there are no set time limits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maggie,

      The guideline is for the judge to render a hearing within sixty days of the date of the hearing. Many pend longer but most seem to be rendered within six months after the date of the hearing. I don’t know of a way to speed things up. You do not say whether you have an attorney. If you do, you might call your attorney to be sure he or she has not received a decision letter. If not, I suggest that you call the hearing office to be sure that the decision is still pending. That way you will know that a letter has not gone astray. If they say the decision is in writing, you should get a decision in a month or less. If a decision has not been made, you might ask whether the judge has requested any outside information that has not been received–such as more information from your doctors–so that you can follow up if necessary.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Maggie says:

        thank you for your suggestions. i do have an attorney. during the hearing the judge said she did not need any further medical information. she did not question the employment specialist. my attorney said she basically gave us the wink wink that i was going to have a favorable decision. this judge is notorious for taking a long time to make a decision.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Maggie,

          Hopefully, your attorney is right about the wink.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          • tina says:

            My husband had a hearing on dec11 2013 as of today a desicion has been made and its in editing the hearing went well my husband has a excellent work history age of now 56 will be 57 filed
            In 09 doctor wrote good letter our attorney said ve said their were jobs but my husband cant sit stand walk stoop lift more than 10 pounds on a hourly basis in constant night and day pain worked 35 years retired at 52 at one point in court judge got upset with ve stated can this man do this go up ladders take breaks will a employer put up with that she goes well no so husband also told him drugs cause bad side effects so cant take but has to when needs to and deal with effects but all medicals and therapies are short term relief no one can help him so now a waiting game lawyer said he has great shot told his case worker if gets denied appeal immediately case worker said for lawyer to say that feels strong about case she said doctor wrote excellent paper for medical what you think just asking this drving us nuts the waiting game.sucks hope he gets approved he deserves it.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Tina,

            I really can’t say whether your husband will be approved or denied, although the information you provided seems favorable. Given that the hearing decision is in writing now, he should have a decision letter fairly soon.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

  10. worried says:

    hello,i had my hearing date dec 20 -2014 tomorrow will be 60 days,i called yesterday and the ODAR office said a decision had been made an i should have it within 30 to -60 days….The VE stated there was no jobs i could do past or present,my lawyer said that both the medical an mental examiner for the ssi office wrote good in my favor on my file..is this a good sign or bad sign?i been waiting 60 days already and she said another 30-to 60 before i will get letter of approval or denial..worried sick

    • worried says:

      let me re phrase the end there she said it was being processed i should have letter 30 to 60 days she never said approval or denial letter..if that helps

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Worried,

      Please see the response that I wrote to your previous comment of a couple days ago.

      Thanks,

      Kay

  11. matt shemanski says:

    Hi I had my hearing on feb 7 2014, I was told by my lawyer that a decision was made feb 13 2014. I had called the 800# about setting up direct deposit and she put me on hold for a couple minutes and told me that I had to wait for direct deposit because my file is in 2 different locations. What does that mean? And is it good the judge made a decision so fast? And would I recieve a paper check before the decision letter?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Matt,

      A favorable, formal written hearing decision has to be sent to you and the Social Security local office before payment can be initiated. When Social Security said that your file was in two locations, I am guessing they mean that the decision has not been received from the hearing office and that they have only a partial record until they get the decision. A quick decision is not indicative of either an approval or a denial.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  12. matt shemanski says:

    Oh and I was denied 2010 never appealed, so my lawyer asked to reopen case and attach to my 2011 file that I just appeared at by video hearing in feb 14

  13. worried says:

    hello,i had my disability hearing december 20,2013,its been 60 days today.i called the ODAR office and they said a decision had been made,i call yesterday and they said its being processed and could take up to 30-to 60 days.is this a good or bad sign?also at my court hearing the VE said there was no past or present jobs i was able to do and my lawyer said the medical and mental examiner for the ssi was on my side/in my favor…and ideal why process would be 30-60 more days since i already been waiting 60 days?crossing fingers it approval

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Worried,

      As you describe the hearing, it sounds favorable. It routinely takes sixty days or longer to get a decision letter. The fact that the decision has been made and the extensive written determination is in progress indicates that you will likely have the decision letter within the period of time the hearing office estimated.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  14. worried says:

    thanks for response Kay..this is nerve wrecking

  15. Confused *I* says:

    Hello there,
    I had my ALJ hearing a month ago, everything went well and I had a very thorough judge. Where I am confused at is, the Judge and the Employment Specialist both rendered me DISABLED! But because Im not 50 yet, wants one more medical doctor to review my case? All went well in court I cant understand why I did not receive a bench decision?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear “Confused,”

      The vocational expert’s opinion about your ability to work was based on the limitations that you are claiming. Apparently, the judge has requested another medical examination because he or she wants more information to see whether the limitations that you are claiming are as severe as you state they are, that is, whether the limitations are supported by medical or psychiatric findings.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  16. Christy says:

    My appeal hearing was November 1, 2013. I still have not received any letters. It has been almost 4 months. I called my attorney and they state the last letter they got stated a decision was being written. That was almost a month ago. I’m starting to get really frustrated. It this normal?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Christy,

      Yes, the extended time for a hearing decision does seem fairly common. The fact that the decision is in writing and has been in writing for a month would indicate you should receive the decision within a few weeks.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  17. ms.Goodman says:

    hay Kay I went and saw a alj judge on Dec20 and I didn’t have a attorney the judge told ME I should hear from him in 3weeks its been over 60days wat do u think I call the office yesterday and they saying its still pending is this good or bad

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ms. Goodman,

      Well, it seems as if the judge was engaging in some wishful thinking about how fast he or she could get the decision completed. About all you can do is check in every couple weeks to be sure that the appeal is still pending. At some point, they will tell you it is writing, which means the decision has been made and the very detailed letter is being written up. That in turn means you are moving closer to getting a decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  18. Janice says:

    Had my hearing today via video conference. ALJ stated, at the hearing, that I was approved. My attorney stated it is very rare for the decision to be made at the time of the hearing. I was so excited I did not get any information on what I should do. Should I wait until I get the award letter and then contact my local Social Security Office to set up direct deposit.
    Thank you,
    Jan

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Janice,

      Your local Social Security office will not take any action to move you toward payment until they have received their copy of the judge’s approval letter, which can take sixty days or more. The local office will be notified at the same time as you and your attorney receive the approval letters. Once you get your letter is soon enough to give Social Security your current bank information.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  19. so worried says:

    Hi, I had my hearing in front of a judge on February 20, 2014… My lawyer and I went in with pictures as well as my file, but a decision wasnt made yet… the judge told me to give him some time to reach a decision…. what had me puzzled is during my hearing a book was brought out with list of jobs in my area and codes were given… im worried because I have bipolar, fibromylagia, chronic ibs, etc and im so embarrassed if im denied and have to be placed somewhere to work…. this along with other issues personally has taken a toll on me physically as well as emotionally…. I asked my lawyer what he thought the outcome would be and his response was “you ll hear something before I will but contact me as soon as you do”… Something I failed to mention was a pre trail took place a week before my hearing that I had no knowledge of… why was that, and is this a bad or good thing?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear So Worried,

      The judge apparently asked for pre-hearing information to see whether it was possible to arrive at a favorable decision without holding a hearing and getting additional information. It is neither good or bad. With regard to the judge not making a decision on the spot, that is common.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  20. darren says:

    Hi, i had a hearing jan 16 2014 i had a lawyer but at the last min he back out, so i went in alone and she ask me about my work background and what was the reason why i said i cant work, I said hypertension and arthritis in the wrist also my back has been giving me problems too, but I’m 43 years of age and I think that’s going to be a problem also, and the person that sits in there to ask if what type of jobs can I work, he told the judge that there are six hundred thousand jobs worldwide that I can do assembly line work, and the judge asked me is maybe this is something that I can do and I told her no because of my wrist is in pain constantly, so I’m worried now because I’m waiting for decision and I don’t want them to deny me because I didn’t answer the questions right can you please help me

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Darren,

      It is hard to tell whether you will be approved or denied. If you are denied and you think the judge didn’t fully consider all the evidence including what you said, you can request an Appeals Council review. If you do this, I suggest that you hire an attorney to help you file the papers.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  21. Alex says:

    Hi – hoping you can offer me some insight. I filed a claim in July 2013. Until yesterday, I hadn’t heard anything regarding its status. When checking the benefits section of the social security website, it simply said that my medical records were being reviewed at DDS. A couple of weeks ago, that status changed to “cannot process your request”. I finally got hold of my case worker and went in to see her yesterday. She made a call to someone who was able to tell her that a decision had been made on my case – on January 7th! I received no notification one way or the other and still do not know what the decision was. My case worker was supposed to get back to me today with an answer, but never did (I called and left her a voicemail just in case she forgot). I am now almost out of time to appeal. Is there some reason that I would not have received any notification when the decision was made? I’ve been sending them additional information during both January and February because I had no idea it was already done (so now I feel sort of stupid). I tried to use the automated phone system today, but it told me it was “having trouble” finding my records – I assume that means I was denied? I will call and try to speak to a real live person tomorrow, but I guess I’m pretty annoyed by all this. Is there any way to appeal, assuming I’ll have to, after the 60 days are up? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Alex,

      Your appeals period starts when you receive written notice of denial, which you have not. You have also gone on record with the Social Security Administration that you have not received a notice when you went to the office. I suggest for now that your write down the date you went to see the Social Security claims representative and were told a decision had been made and that she would get back to you about what it was. Then each time you talk with her or someone in the local office, write down the date and what transpired in the contact. (The contact log is to document that you haven’t been notified of the decision, should they say that a letter actually was sent.) I would say that there is not much benefit in calling the 800 number at this point–just work with the local office.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  22. Maria Pacheco says:

    Hi! I was wondering if you knew of or could direct me to someone who knew, what other benefits you could get once disabled.

    For example: rent payments

    My landlady keeps telling me that she has a tenant on disability and the government pays her rent. Could this be possible? If so, how do I go about obtaining it?

    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maria,

      The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program of the Federal government and some local housing assistance organizations have a program that pays part of a qualified individual’s rent. It sounds as if your landlady is a certified Section 8 housing provider. I suggest that you get more information from your landlady about the program under which the rent subsidy is being paid for her other tenant so you will have an idea of which program you might apply for.There may be a waiting list for assistance based on whether there are available units and funds. Even so, I would suggest applying. You might also inquire at your state or county’s department of social services about other benefits such as food stamps and energy assistance for heating bills. Also some telephone companies offer limited-service, limited-cost telephone service, and most transit companies have discounted “honored citizen” rates for bus tickets.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  23. ivy says:

    Received my decision from dds favorable on July 23, 2013 will I receive an award letter soon, its a reconsideration concurrent case

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ivy,

      Concurrent Social Security and SSI claims take longer to process. Usually monthly benefits are paid first, then SSI retroactive payment, and finally Social Security back pay. It usually takes one to two months or longer to get the first payments. If you mean that you received notification of the approval decision in July, an unusual amount of time has passed and I recommend that you make an appointment to meet with your claims representative to ask what specifically remains to be done on your claims. This will help draw attention to the length of time that has passed and hopefully prioritize your claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  24. Jack says:

    Hi, I just had my hearing with the ALJ. My chief complaints at first were Diabetes, Neuropathy, and Celiacs/GI Issues. Well at the time, the doctor suspected Celiacs and put me on a specific diet and ordered tests. Of course I didn’t have Celiacs, I knew this, but at the time I could have sworn I wrote “suspected Celiac Disease” on my application. Now I am being treated for Diabetic Gastroparesis with diet and medication. I am having a procedure in two days to either diagnose or rule out the disease. This GI issue, whatever it is, causes DAILY Nausea/vomiting/fatigue/depression/Constipation/vertigo/dizziness. I also take two medications that seem to help very well with the vomiting, but I still have all the other symptoms BUT the side effects are Dizziness/Fatigue and have been known to cause Tardive Dyskinesia (Tardive dyskinesia is a disorder that involves involuntary movements, especially of the lower face.) which I sometimes have. Anyways, I have had these GI problems and symptoms for years and they have progressed so much it is hard to even take a shower or take care of my Diabetes at times, I get so sick and dizzy I have to lie in bed all day. I have been hospitalized for Diabetic Ketoacidosis over 11 times since 2011. My hospital records have stated that I have been NON COMPLIANT with my diabetes because of finances and depression.
    The GI doctor did state in his records I have a “chronic underlying bowel disease, and that I have failed many treatments/meds..etc”
    My questions are:

    1- Since I was not diagnosed with Celiacs and it was listed as a chief complaint, should I be concerned about “false info”?? I did state to the judge that doctors have not been able to figure it out, but multiple doctors suspect gastroparesis.

    2- I did state to the judge that I did not have insurance for many years and was having financial difficulty seeing doctors and getting my medication, which along with the daily severe GI issues and symptoms, had been unable to properly care for my diabetes which resulted in the ketoasidosis hospitalizations. Should I be worried about “non-compliance” although I explained my situations??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      DearJack,

      I suggest that you get the report from the test that you are having this week and submit a copy of it to the judge with a letter stating that you have updated, corrected information about your gastrointestinal problem, that you do not have Celiacs disease. I assume that you already told the judge in writing or verbally about your hospitalizations and all your symptoms, but if you have not, you could include a brief statement any omitted information. (Do not repeat information already given.)

      Best regards,

      Kay

  25. MaryAnn says:

    Hello,
    I have a quick question and I’m not sure if this is the place to ask but here it goes. If I go to the disability hearing and get denied do I have to appeal or can I accept the denial and file a new claim after the denial date based on new evidence/condition. I understand that I would lose the option of back pay.
    Thank you
    MaryAnn

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear MaryAnn,

      You are not required to appeal. You can file a new claim, but you must claim a disability date after the date of the judge’s denial letter.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  26. ANGELA ANDERSON says:

    My husband had his hearing on Dec 10 ,2013 and the judge was very rude , kept saying that the money was not for people who drank or do drugs ! then asked my husband if he was a drinker or ever used drugs ? My said that yes he has had a drink before but NO that he has never done drugs ! ( THIS WAS THE FIRST THING THE JUDGE SAID ) He then asked if he had a lawyer , he said yes ,then the judge asked were is the lawyer ? He told the judge that she called on his wives cell and said that she wasn’t coming ! he them seem to be upset ! But anyway , he (the judge) approved the disability ! and that he would receive a letter and that they DO NOT WANT ANY OF THE MONEY TO GO TO DRUGS OR ALCOHOL ! HE TOLD THE JUDGE AGAIN I DON’T DO DRUGS AND I DRINK ON OCCASIONS !( MY HUSBAND RETIRED (DISABILITY) FROM THE GOVERNMENT AT 45YRS OLD , HAS PSTD, DEPRESSION AND AFFECTIVE DIS) THE JUDGE SAID THAT HE WOULD BE EVALUATED IN 2YRS, BUT this is my question it has been 90days and when we have called SS office they say they don’t have anything on him ! we have called the court and they said they have nothing to just keep calling and checking !this wait has been a long wait it has taken 2 yrs to to get to this !thank god that it was approved but we are about lose our home ! How much longer will it take ? we have called the lawyer but we haven’t gotten a return call (be calling since jan2014 ) MY HUSBAND IS BACK IN THE HOSPITAL AS I TYPE THIS ! Can you please let us know how much long the wait will be ? thank you ! sorry this letter was so long.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Angela,

      You raise a few issues. First, Social Security law does not allow payment of disability caused by drug or alcohol addiction. Second, although the guideline is to get a decision from the judge within sixty days, it often exceeds that length of time. I suggest that you call the hearing office every couple of weeks. When you are told that the appeal is in the writing department that means the judge has written the decision and the long, detailed letter is waiting to be prepared in the letter drafting department. Hopefully, the judge will make his formal decision with the verbal decision he gave your husband at the time of the hearing. Once your husband gets the decision letter, if it is an approval it can take another sixty days to get payment.

      Next, I would contact Social Security with a written statement that the attorney did not attend the hearing. The attorney may not be eligible for full compensation given that she didn’t appear at the hearing.

      Lastly, be sure that Social Security knows that your husband is getting a government pension. There is a limit to the amount of government pension and Social Security disability that can be received if the government pension is based on work that was not also covered by Social Security taxation. The government pension offset results in a reduction in Social Security, although the two benefits equal more than either one by itself.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Angela says:

        Thank you for the reply , the judge knew about the retirement for the government and the government say that since it’s a medical retirement that he had to apply for SSD . We also know that people on drugs or alcohol addiction don’t qualify ( he is nether one ) Our thing was that it was said and how the judge said it ! Also thank you so much on the information with the attorney situation . Thank You Angela

  27. Alan says:

    60 days after the hearing? I’ve been waiting 150 days! Yes, I’ve called and they keep saying it needs to be written up! And they say they can’t tell me what the decision is! I received a state of cal benefits ID card in the mail. I looked it up online and the state of cal-health and human services says I got my bic because I was approved for ssi. That’s pretty rock solid that I was approved, I’d say. But I’ve been getting bent over by similar claims about my claim from day 1. It’s likely that it was sent by mistake or as a joke. That sounds crazy, I know. But I’d bet money (if I had any) or my home (oops, don’t have one of those either) that it’s something along those lines. By the way, I need to clarify that I’m not on my sisters couch homeless, I’m the church bushes homeless. I do have a phone though.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Alan,

      One important thing before I forget: do you have a reliable address to receive mail and does Social Security and the hearings office have that address?

      I would go to the office in which you applied (not the hearing office) and tell them about the discrepancy (hearings office says letter not written yet, but online says approved SSI)and ask them whether they have received a copy of the hearing decision letter. The person you are talking to at the hearing office is looking at a computer and reading what the computer says. If someone forgot to update the computer after the letter went out, it could be that you have been approved and the letter has been written and somehow the letter to you didn’t reach you. Or, as you indicated, the error may be in the information forwarded to the California HHS. (By the way, if you have been approved, let Social Security know that you are homeless and need more than the usual first installment of back pay for first and last months rent and rental and utility deposits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  28. michelle says:

    Hi! My 6 yo had court on march 14 2014, the judge approved his SSDI do i have to wait for the letter or will SS already know i need to set up a bank account in his name and bring info to my social security office. Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      Your six-year-old would be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), not Social Security Disability (SSDI). You do need to receive the letter from the judge before payments can begin. Once you and the Social Security office have received the written decision, you will have to provide a financial update for your family from the date you filed the application through present. If you have not been contacted by the Social Security office within ten days of your receiving the approval letter, contact the office to set up an appointment for the interview.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  29. robert bell says:

    I had my hearing on 9/23/13. I called hearing office 3/10/14. The woman said I had a fully favorable decision. I called back Wednesday and they said the judge’s decision is being printed and I should be receiving it in 2 to 3 weeks. So my question is… do I believe what they tell me on the phone at the hearing office? Please help. The wait is Nerve racking!!!!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Robert,

      Usually a decision will not be revealed over the phone, but perhaps yours was because it is past writing and in printing. Of course, errors can happen, but at this point there is no reason to doubt the information you received.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  30. Loss, Confused ,and overwhelmed says:

    Yes , I’m writing to you to ask some questions that maybe , hopefully you can answer. My ex husband who i now take care ,(2 yrs now !! he was staying with our 24 yr old daughter ) has had his hearing in November 2013 and we have heard anything ! i have called the SS Office and was told that there was a hearing in Nov of 2014 and that it was beyond 60 days that he should just keep calling the office and try calling the court to check , so we called the court last Friday , and i was shocked with how horribly the woman that answered the phone spoke to him !!! She told he that he ALREADY HAD HIS DAY IN COURT WITH THE JUDGE ! THAT HE NEEDED TO JUST WAIT BECAUSE THERE ARE PEOPLE AHEAD OF HIM! And we stated to her that the judge said at that hearing that he was approved and that he would be reevaluated every 2 yrs ? !? SHE SAID “AND ” LOOK THE JUDGE HASN’T EVEN WRITING ANYTHING YET! SO WHEN DOES IT WILL GO TO THE WRITERS THEN BACK TO THE JUDGE AND TO LOOK TO WAIT AT LEASE 90DAY OR MORE ! SHE HAD THE NASTIEST ATTITUDE EVER ! (he has been diagnosed memory loss ,schizophrenia and sever depression , he has been in and out of the hospital !) MY question is that it has been 4 months already ! why is there an other 3 month wait ! he needs his meds ! he needs therapy but it I can’t afford all of the sessions, Money is tight ! he has loss his home and car in this 3 1/2 yr wait ! (2 )does the judge think that in 2yrs he wont have mental issues ? (3) Is there anyway that the women that answered the phone can be reported !?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lost,

      It is unfortunate that the employee was rude. The base message is, however, accurate. All your ex-husband and you can do is wait. Apparently, there is quite a backlog since she mentioned other earlier claims ahead of your ex-husband’s. The wait is due to under staffing, which in turn is related to government funding.

      During the wait, I suggest that your husband contact the drug companies that manufacture the medications he has been prescribed. Many of them offer free medications for short periods of time. Another option would be to check with his physician to see whether samples are available or with large pharmacy chains to see whether his medications are in the group with very low prices for people without prescription insurance.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  31. dbrown says:

    hi i had a hearing march 7 i was asked question about my disability and i answer the question to the best of my ability and the ve said that i can work when the judge asked if a person can sit,stand,walk 6 hour out of a 8 hour work day with the normal breaks and the the judge asked the same question with a difference RCF which was can only stand,and sit for 30 min and can only lift no more then 10 pounds and has to take periodcal breaks and then he ask can i do my past job the VE said no and then he asked if i can work 2 hours a day the VE said no is that a good thing

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear D.,

      Without being at the hearing, it is difficult to understand why the judge is inquiring about three different set of limitations. I can say that if the judge believes that you can work only two hours a day, it is very likely that your claim will be approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  32. mark says:

    Hi please help Had My remand hearing from appeals council in early January VE said I could not do any of my past work, She did have three jobs listed that she thought I could do however when my lawyer cross examined her she ruled them out and the VE said no I would not be able to do those considering the other implications that lawyer stated. Is this a good thing if it pertains to a remand issue that relates to evidence not being considered the first hearing. If in that evidence that the judge did not evaluate or give any weight to now gives light to limitations of state hired evidence that he did not consider the first time. The remand letter had listed 4 or 5 things the judge had to do and one of them refered to stone vs heckler and consider evidence of the state hired examiner also consider my weight as it makes other illnesses worse. How important was it for my lawyer to get the VE to agree and say there would be no jobs I could do under her hypothetical thank you the decision is in edit with the judge, I hope to god I can get this my family is suffering because of me.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mark,

      It is very important that the vocational expert testified upon cross examination that she could not identify jobs you could perform. It is not possible to say for sure, but it would appear that an approval is possible.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  33. Patricia says:

    I had a hearing scheduled February 11, 2014 and because of winter storm my hearing was canceled. When I called a few days later to find out about my rescheduled date I was told it was sent to typing. That a decision had been made and it was being written up can I conclude that I have a pretty good chance at having a favorable decision? It was sent to be typed on February 18. If it is not favorable then I would have been denied my hearing. Your thoughts.

  34. Stressed says:

    I had my disability hearing Dec 12, 2013 and have not received any denial nor approval letter. Today is March 20,2014, going on four months since hearing. I had an attorney, and in checking with his office regularly, they still haven’t received anything either. The VE at the hearing said that there are no transferable skills that I can do now nor in the future. Although my attorney told me it would still take 2-3 months, it’s now almost been four months. My attorney also told me that since I am 60 and the VE said the things I needed to win my case, I won. So how much longer to I need to wait?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Stressed,

      I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out whether your claim has received a decision and gone into the letter writing stage. That would give you some idea of how much longer you might have to wait. If no decision has been made, it will likely be at least a month or six weeks longer. If it is letter writing, hopefully you will have a decision with six weeks.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  35. Stressed says:

    Dear Kay-
    as a continuance of my last email just an hour ago, I know you can’t tell me if I REALLY won my case. Sometimes I believe attorneys tell you what you want to hear. Anyway I filed initially in June 2012, my trial wasn’t until 18 months later in Dec 2013. As I mentioned, my attorney told me that everything the VE said was in my favor, and that I cannot work and have no transferable skills according to the govt guidelines. Do you think I won? My attorney’s office doesn’t ever call unless I call or go to his office, and last I checked, March 17, 2014, they told me that they only call to check on my case every 2 months. So shouldn’t they be following up more often? Is it a case of the longer it takes the more the attorney makes? THANKS SOOO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME KAY!
    Stressed

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Stressed,

      Please see my response to your first posting regarding following up with the hearings office. Your attorney’s fees are based on billable hours he and his staff work on your behalf, not on the number of days or months that your claim pends.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  36. da love says:

    Sorry mistake HEY I had a hearing on March 18th after all the questions was ask and I answer at end he ask the medical examiner is their any job out for me he said yes their light sendtaiy work so does that mean (light sendtaiy work )mean so the judge Ask would I be able to do my past jobs ;the examiner said no she can’t so at end the judge said he will get back at me soon and good luck so I was trying to make sense of what good luck mean for me -

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Da,

      If you are under age fifty and can perform light or sedentary work, it is likely that your claim will be denied. If you are age fifty or over and unable to do past work, then your claim may be approved. (I’m not sure what the judge intended to say when he said “good luck.”)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  37. da love says:

    Sorry mistake HEY I had a hearing on March 18th after all the questions was ask and I answer at end he ask the medical examiner is their any job out for me he said yes their light sendtaiy work so does that mean (light sendtaiy work )mean so the judge Ask would I be able to do my past jobs ;the examiner said no she can’t so at end the judge said he will get back at me soon and good luck so I was trying to make sense of what good luck mean for me –
    I have (fibromyalgia )(my back is 45% damages) (depression) (high blood pressure) arthritis) anxiety) (nerves damages in my feet and with all the going on I can’t sleep at all I might can get an hour or two of sleep so can you give me and something about what you think what he mean when he said good luck and I ask my lawyer WHAT HE THINK HE SAID WE GOT IT WE SHOULD HERE SOMEHING IN A MONTH OH I WENT TO THE DOCTOR APPT ON MARCH 20 THE CHANGE MY MEDS AND SAID THEY WANT TO PUT SOMETHING IN MY BACK LIKE A ELECTRICITY WHEN THE PAIN START ITS SUPPOSE TO CALM IT DOWN I GUESS I TRIED EVERYTHING STILL HELP PAIN ALL DAY EVERYDAY AND NIGHT WINTER SPRING AND FALL SUMMER

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Da,

      Please see my response to your previous posting in which I indicated that if you are under age fifty your claim might be denied. You have now written that your attorney thinks that you won the hearing. Since I wasn’t there, I suggest you accept your attorney’s opinion until you get the final decision.

      Sincerely.

      Kay

  38. Denise says:

    Hi,

    Question. I received fully favorable decision from an ALJ in December of 2013 for both SSI and SSDI. I only received payments and some backpay for SSI and nothing no letter money payments from SSD. I have called local office about SSD payments frequently to check status and they said that it is at payment center but no action has been taken yet. SSI payments are only $800 and I should be receiving SSDI in amount of $1800. Why is it taking so long? It is going on four months after judge issued letter.

    Also, as an aside, can IRS take entire backpay amount out of SSDI for a big tax debt. They did not take it from the small SSI back payment amount. Thanks.

    Since Social Security only payed me a small portion of retro benefits, is there a way to get the rest releases for housing, dental, eyewear, bills, etc.?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Denise,

      If you are due more SSI back pay in installments, you can request additional back pay for housing and medical, but there are some narrow guidelines for releasing the payments and your situation might not qualify. As far as your SSDI goes, ask the local Social Security office to follow up to the payment center to make sure that the payment center knows that the SSI claim has been processed both for ongoing and back pay.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  39. Ann Frient says:

    Hi, I was initially denied for disability from the judge in my hearing. Let me just say he seemed very hostile and very critical towards my case and so we appealed his decision with an attorney. Before I had only a representative that sat there in court and let the judge just railroad me. I received a letter on January 13th that the Appeals Court would make a finding in my favor for a partial part of my case which was 2 out of the last three years just basically saying that the first year they didn’t find that I qualified due to my disability. They gave me 30 days to appeal and with my lawyers and I choose not to appeal their decision and sent them a letter in writing letting them know I wouldn’t appeal the first year. It is now March 23rd and I’m still waiting to find out anything. Do you know how long it takes for them to go from we will make a decision to find you disabled to them making me disabled. I have found there is a difference between those two statements. Thanks for any information you can provide. Just as added information if I call the Social Security Office at first they could only see that it was still pending. Now if I call they can tell me that the letter was sent
    and that it could take up to a year for me to get the actual affirmative decision rather than the… we will find you disabled. They even gave me a date stating it would be back dated from November of 2012.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ann,

      I do not know how long it will take for you to get the actual favorable determination; however, you do have something to celebrate in that the appeal council has said they will approve your claim instead of remanding it to the judge for another hearing. Once you get the decision it can take an additional few weeks or more to get payment started.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  40. Lisa says:

    My question is as follows: My son(who is only 7) had a disability hearing on September 26, 2013. The judge request tests to be preformed. We had them done on Nov. 4th and Nov. 6th. disability received the results on Nov.12th and Nov. 22nd. Now when I call the hearing office they say a decision has been made, but they can not let me know the answer until the case has been written up. Now to my question:How long do the underwriters have to write up the decision? I have found out that my son’s case has been sitting in the underwriters dept. since December. Is it normal to take this long? Any answer would be helpful.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lisa,

      How long a case sits waiting to have the decision letter written up depends on how big the backlog of work is. That said, the person answering the phone is looking at a computer to answer your questions. If you have an attorney, I suggest checking with the attorney to be sure that he or she has not received a letter. If not, all you can do is wait.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  41. T jones says:

    I have my hearing on jan 27th 2014. Up until now I have not hear a word from social security. Please advise.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Terry,

      Although the guideline is for judges to render a decision within sixty days, many cases take longer. I suggest that you call the hearings office to find out whether the decision is still pending or it has been made and your claim is in the letter writing department.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  42. Zonetta Shorter says:

    Pls.help!I went to court before the judge on Jan.27,2014.i decision has been made but hasn’t been assigned to decision writers as of today,03-25-2014′whats could possibly be taking so long?I called the hearing office and stated I was on pins and neddles with the wait,the rep.suggested I write a dire need letter to speed up recieving decision,do you think she would’ve made that suggestion for an unfavorable decision?seeing how she already knows the decision?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Zonetta,

      Well, your logic is good. One would think she wouldn’t suggest a dire need letter if the decision were a denial. No guarantees, though.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  43. da love says:

    Can you answer my question?

  44. Jack says:

    I just wanted to say that I had a hearing with the ALJ on March 5 of this year and received my fully favorable (praise the Lord) on March 20. I am only 24 years old and my disablilities are complications caused by Diabetes and severe GI issues (I was diagnosed with Diabetic Gastroparesis AFTER my hearing). I did NOT have a lawyer represent me only because all 4 lawyers refused to take my case, I heard excuses like “you’re too young”, “you don’t have a solid work history or whatever”, and “diabetes alone won’t get you disability”, and “I don’t have enough time to gather medical records”. It was all BS, they were afraid they would waste their time and not get paid. I am not advising anyone to NOT get a lawyer but to choose someone that will listen and actually who cares. When I heard the excuses about my age and work history, I was very upset as it had NOTHING to do with my incapabilities to work or even function on a daily basis. Two of the four lawyers didn’t ask what my medical conditions were nor did I get a chance to explain. As for the lawyer who said Diabetes alone won’t get me disability, he never listened carefully as I explained the re-occurring episodes of nausea and vomiting, constipation/diarrhea, dizziness/fatigue and vertigo which made managing my diabetes nearly impossible and led to over 11 hospitalizations from dehydrations and Diabetic Ketoacidosis. As for the “I don’t have time” mumbo jumbo, I requested ALL medical information from all my doctors and the hospital and carefully read through everything and found that the medical records says it all. I felt that I don’t need a lawyer to say what isn’t already in my records, then I decided I will just lay it all flat out on the table to the judge how I go about the day on a daily basis. I know some people may think “well if she has time to write this and look on her computer she may not be disabled”, but almost every day is actually a big struggle for me. Of course I am able to write this, but if you have heard of or have gastroparesis then you know the everyday misery of a bad stomach ache, nausea/vomiting and fatigue/dizziness. I feel like I have a stomach bug and have been hit by a train all at the same time. Some days it gets worse, my blood sugars will act up and I get extremely weak to where I can’t move out of bed, not even to go to the bathroom hardly and I have to skip showering on some days because I am too weak to stand in the shower, and I use a shower chair most of the times. I barely make myself anything to eat, although most of my diet is yogurt and smoothies or some type of liquidy/velvety soup. But honestly, if you truly know you are disabled and truly struggle on a day to day basis then you know you deserve the benefits. If you try to to fight for disability based on pain, social or mental disorders, or if you try to constantly come up with numerous and random things than you may want to hire a GOOD lawyer. I am not sure how long it will take for benefits for me, but I am just really very thankful that I have been approved. I just wanted to share my story for others. I don’t think my condition will get better, but I hope and pray every day because I don’t want to live sick every day the rest of my life nor be dependent on SSI/SSDI. Good Luck to all who deserve it!!

  45. Rose Y Vick Castillo says:

    Help me…
    I am on workers comp in tx and I applied to SSDI also. Well after I applied to SSDI
    I received a “Direct express card ” in the mail. Then DARS calls me up and sends me to a psychiatrist to determined if im depressed. Well,, I did thr interview and now the rep from DARS CANNOT GIVE ME HIS DECISION OVER THE PHONE. SO HE GIVES ME A NAME TO A CASEWORKER NAMED E. HORTON HERE IN TEXAS. I CALL AND NO ANSWER
    I JUST WANT A ANSWER TO SEE MY STATUS…. ITS EATING ME UP! IM IN PAIN AND All of wc is just feeling me up and throwing me to the street pimps FEEL ME..? HELLLLLLLP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rose Y Vick Castillo says:

      And… How do I get paid from ssdi ans workers comp. Is there a formula?
      Please advise. Thanks again.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Rose,

        You can receive both workers compensation and Social Security Disability, but the amount from the two combined is limited to 80% of your average current monthly earnings as calculated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSA states that the formula for the calculations depends on the circumstances of the claim. If you are awarded both, you can ask Social Security to explain their calculation.

        Sincerely,

        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rose,

      The Social Security Administration and the Disability Determining Services of your state agency have policies that prohibit giving out decisions over the phone, so you are not being singled out.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  46. Rose Y Vick Castillo says:

    By the way I am not being rude to anyone here… you all are finr ppl
    THANKS!!!!!!!!!!

  47. rob says:

    hey kay i have a question i had a hearing on feb 26th and was awarded a partial decision to change onset date then and there and signed the form! it has been in unassigned writing since since the 3rd of march why is it taking so long to come out and get written up? also once your awarded a decision in court it can’t be changed right? also once it comes out of writing how long before i can expect to see my first check? also just to let u know it’s now year 4 since i filed so this is why i am a little bit anxious for the letter since it’s been 4 years just to get the alj hearing done and over with but now that it’s over with i’m just wondering why it’s taking so long when it’s sitting in unassigned writing for a month.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rob,

      It can take quite a while for the hearing decision letter to be written up because it has to wait its turn. Once you get the letter, it can take a few weeks to a couple months to get payment started. Typically monthly benefits are started before back pay is released.

      Once you actually receive the written approval, the decision will not be changed unless new evidence is received that would make the decision incorrect (such as work activity that Social Security did not know about). Prior to the decision letter being sent, a certain number of hearing decisions are picked randomly for quality assurance. If selected, your claim has to go through that review before the decision is finalized and the letter sent.

      One other point, if your claim may be approved with a disability review date, which is a date in the future that the Social Security Administration will review your claim to see whether you are still disabled. These reviews are usually one, three, five, or seven years in the future, depending on the likelihood of medical improvement.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  48. rob says:

    i also have 1 more question also i forgot to ask this! but if i have been on foodstamps do i have to re-pay them all the money i have got from them with my back pay? or is that only for cash asst? i’m in the state of florida. from what i have been reading u only have to repay cash asst! but not food stamps. can u let me know so i know which it is! thanks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rob,

      I have never heard of anyone in any state paying back the value of food stamps.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  49. jennifer says:

    Hi my question is i appeal for ssdi i call them and they told me part of my case is pending and the other part is accepted what that could be thank u

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      The information you got could mean that you have been medically approved, but review of the non-medical eligibility factors is still being reviewed. To be certain, you could ask them what they mean, specifically what has been approved and what is still pending. Also ask whether you need to provide any information for the part that is pending.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  50. Pam says:

    I had my hearing just a few days ago, and the ALJ asked the VE for jobs i could do with my issues. The VE could only find flower picker does this bode well for me or is that bad? It’s only been a few days but the judge said i would know in 30 days.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Pam,

      The vocational expert did identify a job that you could perform, which could mean a denial; however, the range of occupations seems a bit narrow. I cannot predict the decision you will receive.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  51. rob says:

    hey kay since i last wrote u my case has been finally assigned to a writer! so now it’s now moved to from unassigned writing to now assigned writer and it’s now being written up! how long does it take for the writer to write up my letter for partial approval? when i went to court the judge said he was awarding my claim and i signed the partial agreement there at the court room. so my question is how long does it take for them to write up the letter? i’m guessing it should only take a day to write up the letter because it can’t take to long to write up a letter of approval! because i mean how long could it take to write up a case i mean for them to work an 8 hour day it should not take somebody to write up a case more then a day because it’s only 10 pages or less it’s not like it’s a book or something. i’m just wondering because so that way it can be closed out mailed to me and sent to the payment center so that way i can finally get paid and get my medicare and medicade! and over 2 years of backpay thanks! also i was still wondering about if i have to payback the food stamps i been getting for all these years from what i’ve read is that u don’t have to payback food stamps u only have to payback cash asst. which i do not get the only thing i get is food stamps thanks! by the way i’m in Florida if that makes a difference

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rob,

      Please see my response of earlier today regarding your food stamp question.

      How long it takes for the judge’s decision letter to be written after it is assigned to a writer depends on how many letters the writer already has assigned and has to complete before yours. Also, the letter goes back to the judge for the judge to check to be sure there are no errors in it. All that means it could be a couple weeks before you get the letter.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  52. Vickie says:

    My boyfriend has been through Hell! Why is there no do process? I could not believe the first denial..crazy. The man can not even stand up! Went to judge Jan. 9, 2014. Judge stated to lawyer it was approved. April 2, 2014 and now very confused! March 3 we called ALJ and was told it is at the decision writer. Called march 17 and was told it is waiting to be signed by judge. called march 24 and told it was in the mail. lawyer called on march 25 and said it was in editing. Called this morning and was told it is waiting for the judge to sign….?
    What is going on?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Vickie,

      I think that this is what has happened: the judge made the decision; the letter was written and sent to the judge for signature; the judge found an error in it and sent it back to be edited. If that’s the case, the letter will go back to the judge to be signed. The conflicting information may have been caused by your calling after the judge showed it leaving him and before the editing department input into the computer that they’d received it, so that the person who said it was in the mail, thought it was.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  53. Zoe says:

    My son is 24 years old and he recently applied for SSi,his psychaitrist completed a mental health functional capacity form on his behalf,which stated his prognosis is moderate to severe,cannot be around or work around people without becoming stress.he suffers from psychotic disorders.all medical records have been submitted to DDS,upon speaking with his claim examiner she stated she has everything she needs.question one is it good that she’s (so far) is not requesting another medical evaluation?second question,do you think he’s chances of being approved are good?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Zoe,

      The examiner’s statement that she has all she needs means that she can make either an approval or denial decision based on the evidence that has been submitted. This is good news in the sense that your son will get a decision more quickly than if he were sent for an examination. If he is denied and he believes there are no jobs he can do that are sufficiently distance from interpersonal contact, then he should appeal with legal representation. He can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. He does not have to pay any legal fees up front, and he will pay attorney fees only if he is approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from his retroactive award at the time they send his back pay to him. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  54. Elaine says:

    I’m 50 years old,my case was heard before judge on jan 28,2014.the judge stated I could only do sedanary work,the VE vocational expert stated I could do no past work and I don’t have any transferable skills,the judge asked her was there any jobs I could do,she named afew then the judge stated are there any that would allow her to lay down and rest?the voc replied no jobs,zero tolerance.of the jobs she did name,my attorney cross examined her and asked her,of the jobs she named,was there any that I could do that wouldn’t require for me to bend my head downward,the VE said no jobs,do you think with all stated above I should have favorable decision.judge made decision same day of hearing but my case still hasn’t been assigned to decision writer.please give me your expert advice?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Elaine,

      As you describe the testimony, given that you are over age fifty, I think the judge’s decision may be an approval. You said that the judge’s decision was made the same day, but the claim has not been assigned to a decision writer. From that, I understand that the judge verbally said he was approving your claim, but he has not completed the work necessary to formalize the decision and send it to a writer. Check back every two weeks. Once it gets to the decision writer, it can take a couple weeks to over a month for it to go back to the judge for signature and mailing.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  55. Rich says:

    Hi,I’m 24 years old,I filed for SSi,my psychaitrist completed a mental capacity form that states prognosis is moderate to severe.i haven’t been asked to go for more mental evaluation by DDS.i spoke with my claim examiner and she said claim still under review and she has everything she needs,my dr.said I cannot work and socialize with ant situation that would cause stress,when asked if I could work,my dr.states only if it was a low stress job and I worked alone.my diagnosis is psychotic with episodes.do you think it will be favorable?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rich,

      Your claim may be approved if it is determined that your stated limitations as described by your psychiatrist are supported and if there are no occupations you can perform given your limitations. If your claim is denied and you believe you cannot perform any occupations that are identified, you should appeal with legal assistance.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  56. rob says:

    hey kay my decision was finally approved yesterday so i went to court feb 25th decision was sent to unassigned writing on the 3rd of march then went to an assigned writer on the 28th of march and then it was signed and approved yesterday on april 1st 2014 yesterday yes! i already knew the decision since i was approved at the hearing! but i read online that the judge could change his mind which kinda had me on pins and needles! so i called my lawyer today and they said it was closed and approved and they printed out the approval letter today and i’m having my family go pick it up for me so i can take it to social security to start payment! my question is now that i have the approval letter when i go down to social security to give them my banking information how long does it take to get my backpay and my payment? thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rob,

      It is good news that you have been approved. Wait about five days from the date on the letter before going in to Social Security to allow time for the information to make it through the system and be set up in the local office. It can take as much as sixty days or more for payment to be started.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  57. rob says:

    hey kay i have 1 more question sorry about all the questions. but anyway here it is. like i said i got my approval letter from my lawyer today.i call SS on the phone the main office and asked them about setting up payment to get direct express. i didn’t give the lady any of my info because she did not ask for it and seemed like she didn’t want to be bothered. she told me that i could not set up any kind of payment info intill SS sent me a paper in the mail for an interview to ask me about non medical stuff about my income and who i live with and stuff like that because i was approved for ssdi and ssi. so she told me that i could not do anything intill they send me the paperwork to have an interview. but my lawyer told me that i should call or go down to the social security office with the approval letter that they gave me so that i can move the process along to get my express card and to try and move the hole interview process along so i don’t wait for months on end for them to send me a letter or call me because she said that could take for ever because they ain’t in no rush to do anything! so i should call or go see them to try and get the interview done and also set up banking. or i could just wait for them to call me which can take 2 months for them to even call me which is kinda crazy on it’s self since i’ve been waiting 4 years already. so should i call the local office tomorrow or go down there and show them the paper to set payment account and try to get the interview done with so i can move onto the next step of payment?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rob,

      I recommend going to the office. Once you are there, you may be asked to make an interview and come back on a given date, but that will still get the ball rolling.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  58. rob says:

    hello kay i called my local social security office today and they looked up all my information and set up payment for direct express. but my question is which i don’t understand is when i asked about my backpay for my ssdi which is about 16 grand and the back pay for ssi which is about 2 grand. i’m getting around 620 in ssd and ssi onlky pays out 721 max so since i’m’ getting 620 in ssd that ssi will only pay me about 101.00 plus since i have in kind income since i live with my parents they will take a 1/3 of the 100 bucks so probly only get around 60 bucks or so a month in ssi! if i even get that much then the lady stated to me that since i am getting ssd around 16 grand that i won’t get all that money that they will will make it in a bunch of installments because then i will make to much money to get ssi if they give me all my backpay all at once! which i think is a bunch of crap so basically they are going to hold up 16 grand in backpay for a 60 bucks a month in ssi? my question is i was told by my attorney that i can sign a form to waive the ssi amount so i just collect ssdi in the 620 a month and get the hole 16 grand up front in back pay from the ssdi! my question is if i sign a form to waive the ssi application after i get paid the backpay from ssdi can i reapply for the ssi in 6 months? so basically i waive the ssi now so i lose the backpay in the ssi and the on going 60 bucks or so a month and then in 3-6 months from now can i sign up to get the ssi started once i pay all my bills and spend all the ssdi back pay? because i think it’s a bunch of crap that i have to wait all these months because u can’t have more then like 2 grand or something to collect ssi! so they are going to pay me 2 grand in backpay in ssi and then make me wait for the 16 grand in ssdi and pay me 2 grand every 6 months for like what 4 years lol and i hear a bunch of stories where people never see that money i would rather just waive the ssi and just collect the ssdi so that way i get all the money upfront and not have to wait 4 years to collect everything because i think it’s crazy to make me wait for money when i’m entitled to it! espically make me wait all them years to collect on my ssdi when it’s only like 50 bucks a month in ssi. so just to give me an extra 50 bucks a month they are going to hold 16 grand in backpay i mean does that sound crazy or what! because my lawyer said the same thing that alot of people waive the ssi because to get an extra 50 bucks a month it costs u all your ssdi backpay and they make u wait years on end because u can’t have more thenn a few grand at any time in the bank i mean what kinda crap is that! so like i said if i do decide to waive my ssi now to get all my backpay from ssdi can i reapply and get my ssi 3-6 months from now as long as i don’t have any money left from the ssdi backpay?

  59. Steve T Hernandez says:

    Hi Kay , i went to my hearing with ALJ on feb10,14, my attorney was present,wheni got hearing i was giveing a floppy disc by social security she said my medical records were on it my attorney checked it was blank my ,attorney alldid not have ethier omg!!..my attorney said it was ok becuse..could tell judge my limitations,i found this be odd because attorney pre ample time get them..i felt hearing went well,iam 63 yrs old heart issues,diabetes..,off work 2yrs..but no decision as of yet..iam worried..because judge has wait..for my records..do you think it in writting?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Steve,

      I do not understand your question, “Do you think it in writing?” Could you please explain a bit more what it is you are asking.

      Thanks,

      Kay

  60. ajb says:

    Kay, I had my hearing feb 28 2014, my attorney stated that she pretty much is 100% positive that i am approved. So i called on April 1 and the stated it was sent to the judge to review the paper work the developed and from there it would be sent out in 2 weeks from april 1st. Is that accurate? Also, my attorney adviced right after my hearing that they are back paying me from the day I became disabled Sept of 2010 they take off 5 months she adviced from that. I filed in sept of 2012. How will my back pay work on that they are back paying to 2010 how many months is that. Also, I have never set up a bank account with SS dont they send you a debit card now that is loaded or do they send you a paper check and then you change everything from there? Thank you for your help

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear AJB,

      If you are approved based on an original application of September 2012, your back pay will begin September 2011. Once you receive an approval letter from the judge, you can take the letter to Social Security and discuss your payment options. You can request the first payment be a check so that you can set up a bank account for future direct deposit; or if your prefer, you can request a DirectExpress debit card.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • ajb says:

        Dear Kay thank you for your response…I have an update however I recieved a letter yesterday SAT in the mail that states that I need to come in on April 14th at 9am at my local office where I filed to do a review of living arrangments…my concern is that it states that it is to see whether or not if i would be able to get SSI> Kay, I worked 10 years prior to my onset date of 2010 when I stopped working I made $24.15 an hour, yearly I made in the low $30,000 each of those years and even if they count back from when i filed in 2012 i still worked 6 of the 10 years ive paid more then enough to get SSDI Im confused i should be getting SSDI not SSI….are they just asking me to come in to see if i would qualify for both i know i would not because i was told i am to draw $1600 to $1500 each month. This is worring me I just dont get the SSI statment in the letter the review i am not worried about its the wording of referring to SSI that concerns me…. what do you think? Please give your advice on this…..Also 2nd question the attorney adviced me after my hearing i had in late feb that the judge is ruling that i am to be backed paid to my onset date of 2010 not 2012 when i filed that would be 4 years of back pay how does that work…and 3rd question once I do go to the Local social security office as requested on April 14th by their letter does that mean I will be getting some type of money ..backpay or my regular monthly earnings how much longer do you think after I go there next Monday will it take. Sorry Kay I know this is alot to answer but you have great needed knowledge for us that are new to this process.,,,thank you again AJB

        • ajb says:

          Oh Also Kay on the bottome of the letter it did state that the Administrative judge found me to be diabled…i forgot to add that to the post above

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Ajb,

          The Social Security Administration is reviewing to see whether you qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for months before the Social Security starts. You will not be eligible for SSI once you start to actually receive Social Security.

          SSI back pay, if you are eligible, will begin the month after October 2012, the month after you applied unless you applied on the first of September and then benefits will start in September. Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits will begin September 2011, twelve months prior to the date of your application. This maximum retroactivity is possible because your earlier 2010 disability onset date was approved.

          It can take from a couple weeks to a couple months after the interview to get payments started. The order of payment is usually SSI monthly, SSI backpay (in installments if it is over $2,163), SSDI monthly (though it might precede the SSI back pay), and then SSDI back pay. SSDI back pay will be reduced by SSI already paid to you for the same months. (Note: SSI is not taxable and Social Security can be partially taxable depending on your overall income for the year, so there can be some advantage to getting part of your back pay in the form of SSI.)

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          • ajb says:

            Kay I did not qualify for SSI I earn to much per month, however everything according to the lady I spoke with Monday about SSI she stated there was no need for me to come in she would advice the payment center in Baltimore, MD that to go forward and process my SSDI she stated that being I did not qualify for SSI that SSDI will be one check for all the back pay is this true?..she explained they only do installment payments when you have earned a large amount of SSI only with SSI do they do back pay installments payments she stated the Judge sent everything to the Payment center on April 2nd..she explained that it should be in a couple of weeks I should start recieving something however she explained they have up to 60 days to process payments, but that normally never takes that long …so based on what I was told how close is the accuracy on what the rep said from my local SS office.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Ajb,

            The information the representative gave you sounds accurate.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

  61. rob says:

    Hey Kay I have a few more questions for you. 1st question is I was approved April 1st by ALJ how long before I see my 1st check and backpay? my 2nd question is I am getting both ssdi and ssi I am getting almost 700 in ssdi and like only 30 bucks in ssi I was told that since I am getting a few bucks in ssi they are going to withhold my back pay and send me installments due to the whopping 20-30 bucks in ssi! which I think is bullcrap! I was told that I can waive my ssi so I can get all my backpay all at once so I don’t have to wait years on end to get my backpay! my question is if I waive my ssi can I reapply for my ssi in like 3-6 months from now! because from my understanding if I waive my ssi then I am not eligible for Medicaid or the state won’t help u pay for your medicare either! because from my understanding if u get ssi not only do u get Medicaid but u also get your medicare part A B AND D FREE FROM THE STATE THAT THEY PAY your premiums but if u don’t get SSI then they don’t pay for it and u don’t get Medicaid! so if I waive my ssi part and only take my ssdi can I reapply and get the ssi 6 months from now?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rob,

      This comment is in response to both your postings. You bring up several questions. First, Social Security Disability (SSDI) back pay is not ever paid in installments. Whether or not you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay, the SSDI will be paid in a single payment. Second, SSI is paid in installments only if the SSI ack pay exceeds $2,163.

      If you do continue with your SSI claim, the SSDI back pay will be reduced by the SSI back pay for the same months because you cannot receive duplicate federal disability payments for the same months.

      Based on the information you gave, it sounds as if you will be eligible for SSI in the amount of $480.67 for months between when you applied and when you actually receive an SSDI check. (The one-third reduction is from the maximum of $721, not from a partial benefit). Once the SSDI checks actually start, to be eligible for SSI, you will have to pay your parents your share of shelter expenses and food expenses (or your share of shelter and buy your own food or move out and live alone). This is because the one-third reduction combined with your Social Security is more than the SSI income limit.

      If you stay on SSI, your back Social Security and SSI will not count toward the $2,000 resource limit for the first six months after you receive it. If you plan to either stay on SSI or withdraw your application and apply later, I recommend that you get a copy of the SSI rules on spending down resources.

      Should you decide to withdraw your SSI application, you can apply again in the future, but you would have to file an all new application. You are right that Medicaid will pay your Medicare premiums.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  62. Steve T Hernandez says:

    Dear Kay , my question is since no one had medical records alj hearing how long will inpact wait be ? And is it true longer the wait less favorable?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Steve,

      I can’t predict how long it will take for you to get a decision. I do think it will depend in part on how long it takes to get the missing records to the judge. The length of the wait is not a sign of either approval or denial.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  63. Zoe says:

    Hi Kay, I’m writing to ask 2question,I had my hearing jan.27,2014.im 50 years old no transferable skills,high school graduate,cannot perform previous work,will automatically be approved with social security using the grid rule.the other question is pertaining to my son,how long will it take for DDS to make a decision,if they say they have all information needed.he filed on February 20,2014 at local social security office because his dr.completed a mental functional capacity form will that increase his chances of being approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Zoe,

      The judge will use all the evidence at hand to decide whether you are eligible.I cannot say whether he will use the grid. With regard to your son, new claims typically take two to five months to reach a decision. Some take longer.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  64. SHAMERA MOORE says:

    I WENT TO MY APPEAL HEARING FEB.12,2014 AND ITS APRIL 2014 DO YOU KNOW MUCH MORE LONGER IT WILL TAKE FOR ME TO RECEIVE A LETTER ITS FOR MY 13 YEAR OLD SON IM KIND OF NERVOUE WAITING ON THE DECISION HE HAS BEEN DENIED THREE TIME BUT SINCE THEN HE HAS MORE MEDICAL CONDITIONS DO YOU THINK HE WILL GET IT HE HAS ADHD.CHILD HOOD ANXIETY AND TRICHOTILLOMANIA

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shamera,

      I cannot predict the hearing decision or exactly how long it will be until you receive it. I suggest calling the hearing office every couple of weeks to see whether the decision has been made and the appeal has moved to the letter writing department. They will not tell you the decision over the phone; but if it has moved to writing, you will know that you are getting closer to getting the written decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Shamera Moore says:

        I called about two weeks ago they said the judge has made his decision and it with a decision writer does it take the same amout of time to write a approval letter as it does to writer a denial letter

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Shamera,

          It does take about the same amount of time to write a hearing decision approval or denial. In either case, the applicable law and all the basis for the decision has to be described.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  65. monique says:

    My hearing in front of the judge was Feb 21 2014 as of today my decision letter is waiting on the judge to sign it. How long do have before I receive my decision letter in the mail, and if approved how long will I start getting my payments and back pay? im in the state of Louisiana.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Monique,

      Unless the judge’s review of the letter reveals and error in the letter, I would expect that you would receive the letter within two weeks. It can take up to two months or longer for payment to start after you get the letter. Once you receive the letter, either go to a Social Security office with a copy of the letter or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and request an appointment to provide whatever is needed to get payment started.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  66. Zoe says:

    I called The hearing office again today,the customer service rep.said case still hasn’t been assign to decision writers,I had hearing jan.28,2014,when I called before the customer service rep.stated judge made decision same day of my hearing.the rep.told me today decision was made but she couldn’t see what decision is,my question for you,Kay is that true that customer service reps can’t see decisions that are unassigned?Also,I asked was it too late to send any additional medical documentation,she replied no it was not too late just hurry and get it in before it goes to the decision writers.Do you think she said that because she knows my case has been denied.? Now,concerning my son,I spoke with his claim examiner at DARS she stated she was trying to make a decision with the medical documents she has from my son psychaitrist but the DARS doctor wants him to go for a medical evaluation,why do you think the doctor wants medical evaluation?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Zoe,

      The hearings office does not give out hearing decisions verbally. I do not know whether the telephone representatives can see what decision has been rendered. If they cannot, then the representative’s saying to hurry up and send in additional information would not necessarily be an indicator of a pending denial. If you think the additional information will help your case, send it in. The claim will then be sent back to the judge, which will lengthen the time before you get a decision.

      With regard to your son’s claim, I believe you mean the DDS, not DARS. The DDS examiner makes a decision on a claim; however, that decision has to be reviewed by a physician before it is finalized. Apparently, the physician’s opinion was that there was not enough information, so an exam was requested. Be sure that you take your son to the exam or his claim may be denied.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  67. ajb says:

    Kay, is it faster to get your money if you set up direct deposit or for them to send a check in the mail then set it up…I was told for them to mail a 1st check for back pay is quicker then direct deposit..also if they do the back pay that way is that the way the will do your monthly benifit to by a paper check to start? thank u

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ajb,

      If Social Security has direct deposit information or a request for DirectExpress debit card, they will pay the first payment that way because it is less expensive for the government than sending a paper check. If they do not have direct deposit information, the first payment will be by check. That could be either the back pay or the monthly benefit. I suggest getting a bank account set up for receipt of Social Security now. Direct deposit is likely to be a little faster because there’s no mail time involved, just a couple computer runs.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  68. Danny says:

    Hello
    I filed April 2012 finally had my hearing on April 2nd this yr Judge was very nice my testimony was correct and true VE stated no jobs in national economy my lawyer and I informed judge that we are waiting on med statement frm nephrologist judge allowed 2 weeks to get in statement or she could make decision off what she had ..I felt like I won and my lawyer says looks like we won even without statement so gotta wait 6-8 weeks for decision my question is did VE saying no jobs at all that I could do in hypotheticals is that a sign of winning

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Danny,

      If the judge finds that your claimed limitations are valid, then the vocational expert’s testimony is a sign you could be awarded benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  69. Jennifer says:

    Hi my name is Jennifer. I applied for disability in June 2012. I had my court date December 3,2013. I got a letter on the 12th of March saying I need to go an see another doctor . Why did it take over 3 months for them to tell me this? I went on March 20 to the appointment . U call the DDA about my case and was told last week the are waiting on the results to be looked over . Than I called this Monday was told that they have not gotten last test result. I feel like I am been lie to. What can you tell me?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      I doubt that you are being lied to. My guess is that between your last two calls they received the report they were waiting for and it was missing one of the test results or the judge requested some other test result that was mentioned in your records and it has not been received. It is not uncommon for it to take the judge a couple months or more to carefully review an entire claim file including all medical records. In your case, the judge’s review revealed that he still had questions about your condition and, thus, you were asked to go to a consultative examination.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  70. Steve T Hernandez says:

    Dear Kay , had my hearing with law judge on feb10,2014
    I called because it over 60days i was told the judges had nt. even. Started on my file she office personal isaid t. Would be another 6mos..wow !! ..this was so disappointing
    I called my attorney office find why she ..ther is no more 60day waiting time ..frame anymore its like more 4months after hearing because judges back logs.
    I have written a letter to Senator Feinstien to see if bumbs it sooner omg 2yrs such long wait it certainly needs inprove ther wait times

  71. ajb says:

    Kay, in my paper work the judge recommended a payee for me however, I dont have anyone that can do that. Even if the judge recommends that do have to have a payee? I am taking that as her suggestion not something I have to do but Im not sure. Can you advice me on this? thank u

    • ajb says:

      Also Kay the SSI interviewer over the phone from my local SSO never mentioned the payee issue to me at all when we went over whether or not I would qualify for SSI what should I do should I call and asvice who i want if I can figure it out or should I let it slid being she never mentioned it or will the payment center catch that the judge recommended it I dont know what to do know…I dont want to wait any longer for my check to statr and my back pay. It just seems to me that the girl i spoke with about my SSI at my SSO would have said something…also when I called the main SS line I requested a debit card thru social security they sent the request thru they never mentioned I needed a payee…will the payment center catch the recommendation or because their so over loaded do you think it go unnoticed..also my attorney never mentioned it …what should I do…and if you think I should call how much longer does that take cant they notify the payment center if I have to do that who to make the 1st check out to..and the SS debit card out to as well..being its still in the payment center would it be quick enough for them to turn that over into a payee’s name and me still be on schedulae as I am now to recive my 1st series of payments? Or do I just take a chance as so far noone has mentioned it but Im not sure do they catch it at the payment centers usually or should someone between my local SSO and the SS call center I called should’nt they have said hey you need a payee before we can issue yu any reg and back pay ..and if I did have to get a payee do they get my back pay in their name as well? HELP HELP..thank you Kay.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Ajb,

        First, please see my reply of a few minutes ago, which was a response to your first posting on April 12. This reply is to your second and third postings on April 12.

        Your comments seem to indicate that no conversation has occurred with the local office that is handling setting up payment of your benefits and that perhaps the information you got about getting a list of agencies and payments starting in your own name was general information from the Social Security call center. My response to your question is based on that assumption.

        It is possible that a claims representative or claims authorizer will notice what was initially overlooked. I think it would be worthwhile to investigate whether your own mental health care provider would support your getting your own benefits. If so, I would definitely get the statement and apply to be your own payee. That will settle the matter.

        With regard to your second question, if Social Security does ask you to suggest someone to be your payee and payments are started while a payee is being located, it is likely that release of back benefits will be postponed until a payee is obtained.

        Sincerely,

        Kay

    • ajb says:

      Kay sent you 2 emails can you advice me on those thank u

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ajb,

      The judge’s ruling is not a suggestion; it is a determination that the Social Security Administration must follow. You have a couple of options. If you are getting care at a mental health clinic or social services organization, you may be able to get a social worker at that organization or clinic to serve as payee. Another option is to contact your treating psychiatrist or therapist to see if he or she believes you are capable of using your benefits in your own best interests, paying for shelter, food, personal hygiene items, clothing and medial care before other purchases. If so, you can get a written statement from the medical provider and apply to be your own payee.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  72. nowee says:

    what does it mean when they have recieved all your records and they have went to the doctor is he the final one that approves or denies your claim and does it take him long

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nowee,

      The consultative examination (CE) doctor does not decide whether your claim will be approved or denied. The Disability Determination Services (DDS) claims examiner, who is trained in Social Security disability law, will review all the information in your claim file including the information provided by the CE physician and make a decision. That decision is reviewed for accuracy by a DDS physician, who is also trained in Social Security disability law.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  73. nowee says:

    what does it mean when they have recieved all your records and they have went to the doctor is he the final one that approves or denies your claim and does it take him long.refering to ssi

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nowee,

      In an initial disability claim review, the claims examiner reviews all the information and makes a decision recommendation. That decision is then reviewed by a physician trained in Social Security Disability law. The physician reviews to be sure that nothing has been overlooked medically and that the medical issues have been understood correctly. If so, the examiner’s decision becomes final. How long this will take depends on whether or not the physician has a backlog and therefore is unpredictable.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  74. shirelle says:

    Hey im in south Carolina how long does it take for you to see an judge its for my son he is eight people keep telling me different things one lady says 14 months one said anytime also can the judge approve you without you coming

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shirelle,

      Occasionally a judge will approve a claim without a hearing. This usually occurs only a couple weeks before you would have had a hearing date. Please see my reply to your previous post of earlier today for the answer to your other question.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  75. Tracy says:

    Hi Kay I applied in October 2012 denied twice got a lawyer and is still waiting for a court date I’m in ready to be scheduled status now plus I sent in my dire need letter which I found out was approved so now that has been what’s the next step will I move to the front of the line or how does that work

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tracy,

      You will move into the line of people who have been granted an expedited hearing before you. You will get a hearing faster than if your dire need request had been rejected, but the hearing will not be immediate.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  76. Pam says:

    Kay,
    I got a fully favorable decision for disability and disability Insurance! Do i have to now apply for ssi? I called my local office to set an appointment. I got it going all the way back to onset date Jan. 2011 so i could get from june 2012?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Pam,

      The two disability programs are Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You would have been screen for both programs when you applied initially, so you probably do not need to file an SSI application now. The only circumstance I can think of that would require an SSI application now would be that you did not qualify financially when you initially filed your claim and now qualify financially and your Social Security (SSDI) is below $741 monthly.

      Social Security benefits will be the later of July 2012 (the sixth full calendar month after the month in which you became disabled) or twelve months before your month of application. SSI benefits, if you are eligible, will begin with the month following the month of application unless you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits would begin in the month of application.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

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