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I was denied Social Security Disability. What can I do?

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Learn about the Social Security appeals process to follow when you have been denied Social Security Disability and how an attorney can help your appeal.

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Watch the Video: "I was denied Social Security Disability. What can I do?"

The Three Levels of the Social Security Appeals Process

It can be frustrating and disappointing when you are denied Social Security Disability, but a denial does not have to be the end of the story. You can appeal the adverse decision. In fact, you can appeal three times within the Social Security system. The three levels of appeal within Social Security’s system are reconsideration, hearing, and Appeals Council review. You could be approved at any of these appeals. However, if you are not, you still have the legal right to pursue your claim in Federal court.

Expert Legal Assistance for your Social Security Appeal

If you did not have a Social Security lawyer help you with your initial claim and you have been denied, now is a good time to hire an attorney who is experienced in Social Security Disability to help you determine what is necessary for a successful appeal. For more information on how a Social Security lawyer can help you appeal, please see our articles “How Can a Social Security Disability Lawyer Help Me Get Social Security Benefits?” and “Do I Really Have to Hire a Lawyer for My Social Security Disability Claim?”

Reasons for a Social Security Disability Denial

If you are indeed disabled according to Social Security rules, your claim could have been denied for any number of reasons. For example, perhaps you forgot to include or didn’t know to include some aspect of your medical history. Or, maybe your doctor’s report didn’t address everything Social Security needed to fully understand your condition. In these cases, having an expert representative review your claim can help you identify the additional information that you or your doctor needs to submit.

Payment Continuation During Appeal

If the Social Security Administration has notified you that your Social Security Disability benefits are being terminated because they have found that you are no longer medically disabled, you can have your benefit payments continued while the appeal is decided. To get payment continuation, you must appeal and request payment continuation within ten days of receiving the termination notice. One thing to consider when deciding to request continued benefits is that, if the claim-closure decision is upheld, you may have to repay the continued benefits.

Social Security Request for Reconsideration

The first level of appeal is a reconsideration. At this level, your claim file, your statement of why you disagree with the denial and any new evidence that you submit with your appeal will be reviewed by claims examiners and physicians who were not involved in reviewing your claim the first time. If they now find that you meet the requirements for disability, your claim will be approved. For more information about reconsiderations, visit our article “What Is a Social Security Request for Reconsideration?”

Social Security Disability Hearings

If you are denied a second time, you can appeal again, this time requesting a hearing. Once you file the hearing request, it typically takes about fifteen months to get your hearing scheduled.
Hearings are usually held in person within seventy-five miles of your home, but, in some circumstances they may be held by video conferencing. At a hearing you, or you and your attorney, will present your case to an Administrative Law Judge, sometimes referred to as an “ALJ.” You can submit affidavits and call witnesses at the hearing. Sometimes the ALJ will ask a medical or vocational expert to testify, and you or your attorney will have the opportunity to question these experts. For more information about Social Security Disability hearings, please see the several articles we offer on hearings, starting with our article “What Is a Social Security Disability Hearing, and What Can I Expect When I Request a Disability Hearing?”

Social Security Appeals Council Reviews

If your claim is denied at the hearing, you can request an Appeals Council Review of the Administrative Law Judge’s decision. See our article “What Is a Social Security Appeals Council Review, and What Can I Do If the Appeals Council Denies My Claim?” for more information about Appeals Council Reviews.

Federal Law Suit

Finally, if the Appeals Council Review does not result in an approval, you have the right to file suit in Federal court.

This can all sound a bit discouraging, but keep in mind that a significant number of people who have been denied Social Security Disability are approved at one of the levels of appeal. So, if you believe you are disabled, it is worth your time and patience to appeal.

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275 Comments

  1. Latoya Pope says:

    Hello I’ve been denied my Social security Social security told me to go to my doctor for a statement or more stateing that I’m competent of handling my own money but they keep giving me the runaround I need help.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Latoya,

      Apologies for the late response. Our site has had a software problem that is now resolved.

      To help me respond to you, please clarify the following: Are you saying that you have been approved, but someone else is receiving your benefits for you? Did you get the letter from your doctor? Who is giving you the run around, the doctor or Social Security, and what do you mean by runaround?

      Best regards,

      Kay

  2. Amy says:

    Hello there,
    I had applied back 12/16/2011 so SSI/SSDI. Was denied 3 times. Had my hearing before a judge. Was approved with a partially favorable decision. That I would receive benefits for a 9/23/2011 to 1/31/2013. Going forward due to some improvement in psych. Although my health problems persist. Then I recieved my notice of award. It’s not partially favorable. I am getting monthly benefits plus Medicare coverage.
    Is this a mistake? It said that it goes through another review after the judge. Can it be changed?
    This is confusing.
    Thanks for your thoughts,
    Amy

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amy,

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

      You are right to question the discrepancy! The second notification may indeed be in error. I recommend that you not spend any money received for months after January 2013 and not use the Medicare card until you can get clarification. I suggest visiting a local office with the judge’s letter because it truly sounds as if you were accidentally set up for ongoing payments when you were eligible only for a closed period of disability.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  3. Crystal T says:

    Hello my mom was denied the paper says “Not worked long enough under Social Security.”
    She worked in 1983-1989, 1996-7, 2004-7.
    We talked to a woman at the department she said that mom has to have worked 10 consecutive years to be eligible? Mom says there are reasons why she did not work consistently does her reasons mater or they only look at those who work consistently?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Crystal,

      Unfortunately, the reasons for not working do not matter. A certain amount of work credits are required to be insured for Social Security Disability (SSD). For a person over age thirty-one part of those work credits have to be in the ten years immediately before becoming disabled. Specifically, your mother has to have twenty credits in those ten years. This equates to working half the time in those ten years. If her income and assets are within the limits, she might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability,which does not require work credits for U.S. citizens. Social Security usually screens for the SSI program when a Social Security claim is filed. If your mother is unsure, contact Social Security to see if she has an SSI claim pending a medical decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  4. Rey says:

    I was denied ssdi because I was told I did not have enough credits, I have been in the military since 2000 when I turned 17 on my app I put my injury started in 2013. The VA has rated me at 100% permanent and total. I only know I was denied because I called the representative to ask and she informed me I hadn’t worked long enough, at that point she had me apply for sis and I was denied because I have too many assets. My plan is when I get out if the military and move to a different state I’m going to hire a lawyer and re-open my case. Know the I am finished and all of my injuries are worded much better in my va letter I hope that will help. What would I do if I’m denied again I can’t work so what do I do?

    • Rey says:

      Also I never recieved a letter for ssdi however I did recieve a denial letter for SSI.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Rey,

        Please see my response of a few minutes ago to your first message. If you did not receive a denial letter, then your appeal period should be sixty days from the date that you found out verbally that you did not have enough work credits. In your appeal, you would want to state that you did not get a denial letter and explain how you found out you were denied and on what date.

        Sincerely,

        Kay

        • Rey says:

          Kay,

          It turns out that the not enough credits for SSDI was an erroneous code and the SSA sent my info back to the DDS. Today I got a letter in the mail from the Disability Determination Services requesting me to sign medical disclosure forms which I already had turned into SSA. So I called the DDS and they told me don’t worry about sending the forms because they made a decision already today. I think this looks promising as if they were gonna deny me you would think they wanted all my medical records. What do you think?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Rey,

            There is no way of knowing whether the decision was an approval or a denial. If you are denied and disagree with the decision, be sure to appeal within sixty days of the date of the letter. It is usually best to have an attorney for the first appeal to hopefully avoid having to go to a second appeal and wait a long time for a hearing.You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rey,

      If you were receiving VA benefits, your SSI denial for excess income is probably correct.

      It sounds as if your Social Security (SSD) claim was not reviewed medically because it was determined you did not meet the non-medical requirements. I suggest that before your SSD appeals period is up that you make an appointment with the Social Security Administration and have them show you the working earnings record on which they were making the decision that you are not insured. Check their records agaisnt your own records (W-2 forms) and be sure that they counted all your earnings. Also ask them the last date you were insured (if at some point you were) and how many quarters they calculate you needed on the date you became disabled. If they did not count all your earnings and you are in the appeals period, you could go ahead and appeal now, submitting proof of the missing earnings.

      To be insured, you needed one quarter of coverage for every year beginning the year after you turned 21 though the year before you became disabled. Based on the information you provided, it appears you needed approximately 8 quarters of coverage to be fully insured and 4 or 5of those after you turned age 21. (Exact amounts depend on exact dates involved.) Up to four quarters canbe earned in one year. One quarter of coverage is equal to the following amounts.
      2001 830
      2002 870
      2003 890
      2004 900
      2005 920
      2006 970
      2007 1,000
      2008 $1,050
      2009 1,090
      2010 1,120
      2011 1,120
      2012 1,130
      2013 1,160

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  5. Kristina says:

    Hello. I’m 25 years old.

    I had to quit my job July of last year because it was steadily becoming too much for me. I applied for disability shortly after. I’ve been struggling with severe depression and anxiety for about 12 years, vocal dysphonia for 7, and benign positional vertigo for about 5. The dysphonia is made worse by stress, which seems like it’s everywhere with depression and anxiety. At work, because of the way my voice sounds, people refused to believe I wasn’t sick unless I divulged my personal medical condition to each stranger I interacted with each day. If I didn’t, people would do such things as refuse to touch things I had handled. My supervisor nervously spoke to me about complaints and questions being lodged about me, as though I was supposed to do something differently! I was having panic attacks while doing patrols at night.

    I’ve been trying to find work of some kind despite this, on and off again, because my husband and I simply cannot meet our financial obligations on a single income. While searching, I have had potential employers ask if I’m sick, if I’m crying, if I’m alright, been told I’m too quiet/unenthusiastic despite smiling/being agreeable until my face breaks, and even been hung up on by someone who refused to believe that I hadn’t just been woken by the phone at 3:30 in the afternoon – and thus was still groggy and unable to take her seriously.

    I’m unsure what to do about my disability claim. I believe my caseworker only heard half of what I said most of the time and just unconcernedly went with whatever she got. I was sent to a psychologist to be evaluated for my depression and for whatever reason, the positional vertigo (a purely physical issue) as well. The psychologist asked questions that completely failed to address how my depression affects my ability to function, gave me approximately 5 to 10 seconds to respond to her questions before she began speaking over the top of me – right around the time I began to touch upon HOW MY DEPRESSION ACTUALLY AFFECTS MY ABILITY TO FUNCTION, and when asking about the positional vertigo (again, WHAT is she to be assessing that?), made an extremely snide, unprofessional, out-of-line comment about how I “seem to have all of these conditions where a source can’t be found.” My original treatment provider for my psychiatric issues died in the middle of treatment, and my most recent failed to return Social Security’s calls. AT 3:30 PM on the 8th, I gave my caseworker the contact information for someone I saw between these two, and was told she would try getting in contact with him next – but my denial notice was typed up and sent out on the 9th. On top of all this, the notice states that I filed for disability because of depression and benign positional vertigo – despite the primary reason I filed the danged thing being my vocal problem. What the heck is this?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kristina,

      You have multiple medical conditions, which makes your claim complex. When you appeal, I recommend that you write up a statement similar to your comment here, which goes into detail about the problems that your voice has posed on the job and in trying to get a job. Because of your mutliple conditions, I suggest that you get legal assistance with your claim. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Because it is not certain that you will be approved (you must be disabled from all occupations), it might be wise to continue to look for work at the same time. Perhaps occupations that do not require much verbal communication, such as production work, would be a fit. You might also get in touch with agencies like Goodwill that help people with limitations find work. They will understand and may have some good suggestions and/or job leads.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Kristina says:

        Kay -

        Thank you for your time and advice. Much appreciated.

      • tammy hogan says:

        Hi kay my name is Tammy Hogan and I get a social security income it is n8t enough to get by on and I hadn’t worked in the last 12 years sense I am not able to work I am 47 but I can’t work cause of health problems I am constantly going back and forth going to the doctors and nothing doesn’t help I can get my doctor to write a review of me if need be but I need help please

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Tammy,

          I suggest that you talk with your local health and social services department to see if there are any benefits you qualify for that you are not receiving such as food stamps, energy assistance, or subsidized housing. Also, you might contact your phone company to see if they have a reduced cost program for disabled individuals.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  6. Joseph says:

    I have a VERY SIGNIFICANT QUESTION:

    I haven’t worked for over 4 years and My parents have been fighting for me to receive my social security benefits since 1992 when i was just a kid. I was denied even tho there were progress reports, OFFICIAL PROGRESS REPORT that PROVED that i have poor speech development…poor communication skills and poor comprehension.

    I also had bronchial asthma which was also on the record.

    I no longer struggling with those conditions but is it’s still possible for me to receive my benefits FROM WHAT THE OWE ME SINCE MY PARENT HAVE APPLIED??

    I currently have skin condition but since I don’t have a job with benefits, not medical insurance I CAN’T PROVE THAT I HAVE ON RECORD SKIN CONDITIONS!

    Please respond…these are desperate times!!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joseph,

      To be eligible for Social Security or SSI disability, you must be unable to work in any occupation. Having medical conditions or mental impairments does not necessarily result in approval for payment. If you believe that you are disabled and apply again and are approved, you benefit period will be based on your current application.

      As far as medical care goes, if you have no income, you might qualify for health care under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) or other public insurance. If not, there may be a free or nearly-free clinic in your area where you could get treatment.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Frank says:

        Hi my name is frank i been waiting about 3 years now i was first denied by social security twice than it went to a ALJ where i went back in forth to court 3 times before the judge denied my case i do have an attorney she said now I’m waiting to see what the appeals council gona do and I’d they denied me to then it will go to the federal district court to file a law suit against the social security administration do i have a good chance if winning my case my doctor wrote that i was permanently disabled, but my lawyer said that the judge ignored the doctor opinion and bipolar,schzofective, diabetes,high blood pressure,back problems and been hospitalized twice for diverticulitis, can you please help me understand,thank you

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Frank,

          It is possible you could be approved in Federal District Court. Another possibility is that the Federal Court could remand the case to the Social Security hearings judge for further investigation and a new decision, which could be either favorable or not.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  7. Shannon says:

    Hello
    I have bin going to the doctor since i was 10.
    i am 19 now they have denied me twice.
    The letter they have sent me both times stated And i quote
    ” We are sorry to inform you but your claim for ssi has bin denied”
    Below this statment it goes not to fair in to detail other then “I am not disabled enough”
    Yet i have my doctors recorded’s about my disabiltys i also have read alot about ssi/ssd and they state. if your disabiltys stop you from doing everyday things such as Meals , Probity’s, and other daly things. i should be approved. With out going in to TO much detail.
    I have very bad social anxiety that has made me have panic attracks just knowing i have to bee around others. i also have VERY bad depretion i CANT NOT stress how bad it affects me. i have bin going to the adult school in my area yet still can NOT bring my self to go when i am need to. I know i could get the grades yet people seem to believe its just becuz im a younge adult im “streesing out” yet they do not understand it HAS got scientifically worse. but there is no cause for it to. yet the contiue to denie me. even though they have my doctors notes , my proscribtion list and my hospital visit’s…

    I have almost compleatly givein up i have No where to go i am also practicly homless i have signed up for medical and even then they have denided me

    PLEASE!!! if u can help me with some Idea on what i can do. Please dont wait i need the help. Thank you -Shannon

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shannon,

      First you need to appeal requesting a hearing so that you do not miss out on your allowed appeals period. You much appeal within 60 days of the date of the last denial letter. This means the Social Security Administration (SSA) must receive your appeal within sixty-five days of the date on the letter. Next, you need legal assistance from an attorney who is well-versed in Social Security and Supplemental Security (SSI) income law. It is important to choose an attorney who emphasizes Social Security Disability in their practice. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  8. Sherry Walrath says:

    I don’t know what to do. I applied for SSDI and was denied because of have too few work credits in the last ten years. According to my statement my taxed SS earnings for the last 10 years was 34007.00. I received my denial letter two weeks ago. I am 55. I have had 5 back surgeries. Two of which were cervical fusions. I have asthma, degenerative spinal stenosis, depression and apnea. I also was denied SSI because my spouse has a good job. What do I do or am I one of the ones that is SOL no matter what.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sherry,

      Disability law provides for benefits to replace some of the money a person was earning at the time of disability. For that reason, you have to have been working with some regularity in the ten years before becoming disabled. It does sound as if you are not eligible for any federal disability benefits. While your total earnings in the past ten years are potentially enough for you to be insured, apparently, they were not spread out over twenty calendar quarters (five years). You can only earn four quarters of coverage (work credits) a year; so unless your $34,007 earnings were spread over at least five year out of the last ten, you would not be insured. You may have sufficient earnings to be insured for retirement benefits at retirement age and/or you may be able to draw wife’s benefits on your husband’s record when he retires.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  9. carey says:

    No one will help i am homeless nowi was denied now i know some medical info i didnt know but have no way of getting med att at the age of 5 i had a srzsure which i think gave me sum brain or some kind of med problem what can i do

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Carey,

      Try calling 211, which is a help-line number in many areas, to get a list of services in your area. Check for homeless services to see if there are any that would connect you with help to appeal your denial, connect you with medical care, and perhaps find you some temporary housing.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  10. marie says:

    Hi I applied back n july 2013 ,n they sent me to their doctor n now a decision was made I called ssa n they told me that my case was under QA what does that means.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marie,

      A medical decision has been made on your claim. Whether it was an approval or a denial, it was randomly chosen for a spot check (a quality review) to see that the decision was correct and correctly arrived at. Once the decision is finalized, you will receive notification of the decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  11. Debra Ceol says:

    Social Security Disability
    Location: Knoxville, TN, 37924
    Your Answers: Applicant’s Age (must be between 18 and 65): 53
    When did your condition first begin to affect you?: 1-3 years ago
    Has your condition caused you to stop working or substantially reduce your work hours?: Yes
    Have you applied for social security disability?: Yes, claim denied
    Are you currently being treated by a doctor?: Yes
    What is your relationship to the applicant?: Self
    Description: The Department Of Veterans Affairs found me 90% disabilities, at the time I was working for the U. S Postal Service and had been with the Postal Service since 2001 and the U. S Postal found me Disabilities to do my jobs at a Mail Handlers. My medical conditions is 1) Cervical Spine Degenerative disc disease. 2) Lumber spine degenerative disc degenerative disease. 3) left and right shoulder strain. 4) left and right wrist strain 5) left and right knee strain 6) Tinnitus 7) left and right foot strain. 8) Hypertension 9) hysterectomy and ovarian fibroid. 10) thyroid. 11) depression 12) Osteoarthritis in hands, knees, wrists, feet.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debra,

      You do not pose any question for me to answer. You have provided a lot of information. If you are attempting to appeal the denial of your claim, I recommend that you contact your local Social Security office or call the call center (800) 772-1213 to request an appointment to appeal.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  12. susie brodie says:

    i was just denied disability because they stated that my condition was disabling on any date through 12/31/2013, i suffer from chronic bronchitis, which they say is copd, i failed a pulmonary function test, i have chronic ibs, repeated hernia surgeries, extensive scar adhesions in which now im going to see a specialist and may have to have surgery to remove scar tissue and was denied. i havent worked a full time job since 2011. i now dont work at all. im now on duoneb 4 times , i take medication for pain that make me drowsy and sleep. how is this not approved for disability. i do have a lawyer who is working on appeal

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susie,

      Sometimes people are denied disability when they are disabled because their claim has not been clearly enough presented. Your attorney, who is helping you with the appeal, will work to present the medical information about your conditions as it relates to Social Security law.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  13. Debra Neal says:

    I was denied for social security and ssi

  14. ken says:

    I was denied and will file appeal, during this waiting is that retro pay?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ken,

      If you are approved and are continuously disabled from the disability onset until payments begin, then retroactive pay will be paid for the months your appeal is pending, but not for the first five months of disability if your application is for Social Security Disability (SSD).

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  15. Rell Rell says:

    Ive been getting denied my social security disability since I was a kid… one of my legs are Longer than the other. I had surgery on my longest leg witch took out most of my knee bone and I had to learn how to walk again… its hard to work cause of limited mobility…. any info? Im know 28 ive been getting denied since 13

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rell,

      You are probably being denied because there are occupations you could perform that do not require you to stand. If you are having trouble finding that type of work, I suggest that you contact the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation of your state and apply for rehabilitative services that include training or assistance with job placement.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  16. LINDA MALDONADO says:

    I WAS APPROVED FOR SS DISABILITY IN OCT 2013 AND NEVER HEARD FROM THE OFFICE AFTER THAT. WHEN I CALLED THEY SATED OH YOUR PAPERS ARE ON MY DESK AND IT LOOKS LIKE YOU WENT OVER THE SGA, WHICH I DISPUTED AND ASK HER HOW SHE CAME UP WITH HER CALCULATIONS, AT THAT POINT SHE STATED SHE WOULD SEND ME FACTS AND NEEDED MORE INFORMATION. SHE SAID WENT OVER FEW MONTHS IN 2012 AND ONCE IN 2013 AND NOTHING YET IN 2014. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN, WILL I GET MY SSD? I CALLED THEM AND LEFT A VERY NASTY MESSAGE ASKING THEM WHY THEY NEVER GOT BACK TO ME, NO RESPOND. SO, BEEN APPROVED IN OCT, NEVER HEARD FROM THEM TILL I CALLED, DISPUTED THE SGA, I’AM VERY CONFUSED, WILL I EVER GET ANYTHING? I WORK 40 HRS WEEK AND KEEP UNDER THE SGA AMOUNT. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GO OVER? DO I GIVE UP? I’M REALLY DISABLE BUT NEED TO BRING IN A SMALL INCOME TO SURVIVE. PLEASE HELP. THANK YOU

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Linda,

      Whether or not and how work above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) in 2012 and 2013 will affect your claim for Social Security Disability depends on when you became disabled. If you would like to give me the date that Social Security says is your disability began, I can comment further. (A tip: a nasty message is not going to get a quicker answer.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  17. Jennifer Buford says:

    Hello,

    I was denied disabilty, went to a lawyer and the lawyer told me that I did not have a case. She did not even look at my paperwork or my denial letter and told me that I can lift 10 pounds. So my appeal is late or non-existent. I am homeless and have just about had it. why so many hoops. My disability is not physical.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      If you are not too late to file an appeal, do so. Then check with other attorneys and be forthright about your mental illness. If you cannot get an attorney, you can still appeal on your own. If you are outside your appeals period, you can file a new claim, claiming a disability date later than your last denial.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  18. Holly Walsh says:

    My review was just a little over a month ago and I received a letter saying I was good and my payments would resume as followed. A week later I look online on my SS account and I called and they said my benefits were stopped because a piece of information they had asked for had not been sent in. They were indeed sent in a couple of weeks ago they told me because they already stopped my benefits I cannot appeal this decision because they already sent me two notices in the mail. I never recieved anything in the mail about my benefits being stopped. I feel I have a right to appeal, am I correct?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Holly,

      If you are within sixty-five days of the date that they say your claim closure letter was sent, you have the right to appeal the closure because you are in the appeals period. If more than sixty days have passed, you can still appeal and attach a statement that you did not get the closure letter and learned of the closure by looking online and calling on the date you called and a copy of the letter that said benefits would continue. Social Security does not have to accept a late appeal but may do so because you did not get notice of closure.

      Whether or not you are within the appeals period, resubmit whatever items they said they did not receive. Also request a copy of the closure letter so that you can address all the reasons for the closure. Lastly, be sure Social Security has your correct current address.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  19. Daniel JoDon says:

    I have severe rheumatoid arthritis, severe social anxiety and clinical depression. I have been denied twice now for disability. Now I have to wait over a year for the hearing process. Since my 3rd appeal I have been diagnosed with stage 3 severe COPD, will new medical conditions speed up the having to wait over a year for a hearing and or decision? I am un able to perform past job duties, uneducated and in my 40′s now.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Daniel,

      A new additional diagnosis will not speed up the hearing date, but you should let the hearing office know of the diagnosis and you should provide contact information for the medical provider who diagnosed and is treating you for the COPD. You mention being uneducated; if you do not have the skills usually attained by completing the grade level you completed, be sure the judge knows this.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  20. Kris says:

    Hi. I have several medical conditions, the most serious being Multiple Sclerosis. I also have permanent vision loss in my left eye (cannot see at all with it) as well as some loss in my right eye. I recently filed for ssdi and just received the “you have not worked long enough” denial. I am 32, and worked 7 out of the 10 past years with enough made to have over 20 credits spread out (4 a year) over those years. The person I spoke to at disability said I haven’t worked enough the past 2 years??? I’m confused!!! Please help!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kris,

      It sounds as if you should be both fully and currently insured for Social Security Disability benefits. You should appeal within the sixty-day appeals period. Be careful not to miss the deadline.

      To prepare for your appeal, I suggest that you request an earnings statement. You can do this online at http://www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213. (Be careful to request an earnings statement, not a benefit statement.) The earnings statement will show all your earnings reported to Social Security. If any earnings are missing, you can do the following to support your appeal and prove the missing earnings:

      1. Submit W-2s for the years that are wrong. (Note that 2013 and possibly 2012 earnings will not be posted on the statement).
      2. Submit pay stubs for any work in 2014.
      3. If you do not have W-2s for the missing years and they are within the last three years, you can ask Social Security will investigate to see whether the employer failed to pay the taxes, whether your earnings were reported on an incorrect social security number, or some other problem prevented correct posting.
      (To get earnings posted for more than three years ago, you have to have some proof of the work.)

      You will get a quicker correct result if you can provide the documentation. Because you have some eyesight deficits, perhaps a relative or friend could help you sort through past tax documents to find the W-2s.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  21. Aaron says:

    Hi, I have applied for social security benefits on 1/17/2014. My conditions are major depression, panic disorder, anxiety disorder, asthma and postural tachycardia syndrome. I also have recently had to get a cardiac monitor in my chest for a year or more. I also have not worked since 2010. Upon the completion of my application i have been sent a denial letter. In the letter it reads “a careful review of your medical records shows that your ability to function has been affected by your conditions, but then it went on to say that i do not have sufficient vocational evidence in file and can adjust to other work. I am conflicted by the two sentences. My questions are what do they mean by the two sentences and upon appeal will i have a better chance of approval? What type of additional information about my conditions would they need to help prove my case?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Aaron,

      First, many people work with medical conditions that limit their ability to function, so the two sentences your reference are not inconsistent with each other. The wording of your denial letter indicates that you are under age fifty. For individuals under age fifty to be eligible for Social Security or SSI disability benefits, they must be unable to perform any occupation that they could otherwise perform based on their education, training, and work experience. To have a successful appeal, you would need to establish that all your conditions combined result in there being no occupations you can perform. It might be helpful to talk with a Social Security attorney or the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in your state to see whether or not they can identify occupations you can perform.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  22. Anon says:

    Ive been diagnosed with Bipolar, Psychosis, Depression, and Social anxiety. Social anxiety is the worst, it keeps me from going places and it causes extreme panic attacks. I worked for a month(from home) but had to quit because of panic attacks. Also, i had to switch to cyber school because of the Social anxiety when i was in middle school. I have medical records for 6 years(being hospitalized, psychiatrist). I’m 18 now. I’m trying a bunch of different meds currently but none ever even helps me.

    I applied for SSI and a month later i got a denial letter saying my conditions are severe, but not severe enough (what?).

    So i’m appealing. I got a lawyer easily.
    But I have to wait over a year for my court date.
    I’m up all night dreading having to be in front of a judge.

    What do i do if the judge denies me? Do i have to start the process all over and wait another year? Would any lawyer take my case then?

    Do you think i have a fair chance at getting SSI?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Anon,

      It is good that you got a lawyer to present your case, which should give you a better chance. If you are denied at a hearing, you can appeal to the Appeals Council or start over. Your attorney would be able to advise you which would be your better option.

      My following comment may sound a little facetious, but I am serious. I suggest that you forget about the hearing and postpone being anxious until you have a hearing date. My reasoning is that what you fear definitely will not happen until after you get the hearing date, which will come only a few weeks before the actual hearing. In the meantime, you are in no danger of having to go before the judge.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  23. Andrew R says:

    I was deemed disabled from 2009-2010 i relocated my family to a warmer climate to ease some of the nerve pain in my back. I’ve tried working the last 3 years and just recently my back went completely out on me again. If it’s deemed that another surgery “may” help can the SSA deny my second claim if i don’t went to be continuously be put under the knife? Also since i had to file a new applicant will they take into account my prior claim seeing as how my diagnosis never changed? Any insight would be appreciated thank you?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Andrew,

      Your current application will be based on your most recent cease work date, not your prior application, Given that you were required to file a new application, it appears that you exhausted your extended period of disability on your prior claim. Under a new application, you will have a five-month unpaid waiting period before benefits begin to accrue. Social Security law does not require you to get any particular type of treatment for your medical conditions, so you would not be required to have surgery as a condition of approval.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  24. Cigano says:

    Dear Kay, I applied back in 2011 for my mental health issues such as: PTSD, BI-Polar, MMD and IMP.. Was denied the 1st time and at reconsideration.. Never follow through for a hearing.. I retained a disability lawyer in 2013, she sent ss a letter asking them to consider opening my case because of lack or no medical records provided but she never got a response.. So, I filed a new claim on oct 2013 was again denied and denied in feb2014 for reconsideration.. So, my lawyer requested a hearing immediately after my second denial and I have a hearing schedule for 7/1/14.. I’m currently in treatment at the VA hospital for my mental Heath issues and I will be discharged on 6/18/14 12 days before my hearing.. I’m going in front of Judge John D. Thompson Jr. The worse judge in all of Florida and the entire country.. He has the stats to back it up.. I’m concerned that he will deny my claim outright just because he’s a bonifide asshole.. So, here are my questions?? Can I request a new judge by delaying my hearing or some other possibilities.. And IF by chance I do get approved will they go all the way back when I stated my disability began in 9/2009?? Oh by the way I have type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cigano,

      You will not be successful in getting your claim assigned to a different judge. If you are denied, you can file a request for an Appeals Council review. If you are approved, your payment will probably be based only on your 2013 application. It is rare that a judge will reopen an earlier claim decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  25. Belinda says:

    My son is 24 and we just recently filed for SSI for him. I wanted to also apply for Disabled adult child benefit (SSDI) because I became permanently physically disabled (ALJ Determination in 2000. My son was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 1 in 2002 at age 12 (only one month after his 16 yr old sister had to be hospitalised and diagnosed with Bipolar 2.) The people at SSA said He could only file for SSI because he has no income, never held a job ( and he will almost certainly always live with me.0

    He was treated by a Team of Psychiatrists at a childrens hospital outpatient psychiatric department every month until 2011 (age 21) when he aged out of Medicaid. In that time he received a comorbid diagnosis of Panic Attack Disorder, Severe separation Anxiety Disorder. took 2 and a half years to try and get him back in a public school with 504 accomodations. That didn’t work (decompensating and Debilitating Panic, too many people and stress) His last grade completed was 8th with ALL F’s except in his special ed class.

    Was on a Med Cocktail that changed reguarly based on monthly labs. Early 2011 the childrens hosp team advised that after review of his records they believed they might have to add Asbergers to diagnosis.They could no longer treat him becauseof age and loss of Medicaid but wrote 8 months of scripts for the only FREE pharmacy around.

    DDS sent him for a Mental Status Assement and made a denial determination that says the psycholigical evidence shows your symptoms are severe but we have determined your condition is not severe enough to keep you from working. We considered medical and other info (education, age, training, work experience ) and determined he can understand and remember simple work instructions in a non public environment without social demands.

    The only Medical they had (and attempted to get) was thir own status assment. The school is still looking for the records.Yes it is in Reconsideration but no lawyer will touch it.

    What kind of job is “simple work instructions in non public environment without social demands”. And I thought there was a sequential basis for determining disability, and isn’t that last part #5?.

    They also said “we checked to see if you qualify for any other Social Security and you do not. (Is that a denial determination too?)

    Hope You Can Answer
    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Belinda,

      I recommend that you appeal the denial both explicitly for SSI and Social Security. (Yes, he was denied all kinds of Social Security without taking a formal claim). State that you are appeaing the the SSI denial and also the disabled adult child claim for him on your record (provide your social security number). State that you asked to file a the disabled adult child claim and were refused. You will have a long time (likely a year) before a hearing date is assigned to get a copy of the denied claim file to review and address the reasoning, a copy of all his medical records back to age twelve or earlier and all his school records. It will also give you time to try to find an attorney who is interested in representing him. Even it you do not, you can present the case yourself with evidence that you gather. Be sure to keep one copy of everything you submit for the appeal so you have it to refer to when you prepare for the hearing and also to be sure it is all considered.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  26. Trisha says:

    Hello, I applied for social security in May 2011. I have Narcolepsy however that isn’t consider a disability under SS. So after being denied twice on my own I decided to try and get a lawyers help. I tried getting a lawyer in the beginning but couldn’t get anyone to take the case. By the time I found a lawyer to take my case I had already filed the appeal. So I went for a judge hearing with my lawyer and was still denied. Lawyer decided after the denial came he didn’t want to stay my lawyer. So I went ahead on my own and filed an appeal on judge decision. New evidence of came in after I had done filed an appeal from judge decision. I have Major Depressive affective disorder, recurrent episode, moderate. Sleep disturbance, unspecified. Now I sent all thus new evidence to the social security administration and said it be uploaded to my file. However I read that the appeal counsel doesn’t look at new evidence. So my question is do I need to try and find a lawyer to take my case or just keep waiting on appeal counsel to make a decision. I sent the appeal in October and still haven’t heard anything. This new information can make big difference I think in outcome of decision. I’m just worried that if appeal counsel don’t look at new information they might deny mean once again.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Trisha,

      Some types of information can be submitted to the Appeals Council for your appeal. You do need legal advice on whether what you submitted falls into that class and, if so, whether you presented it correctly or whether additional communication is needed with the Appeals Council to state why it should be considered (referencing governing Social Security regulations). If you are denied by the Appeals Council and you were applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or were still insured for Social Security when the judge denied you, you can file a new claim and submit the new information then…but that has to wait till you get an Appeals Council decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  27. holly says:

    Hi I’m Holly I’m gonna be 20 in October
    I have severe asthma it preventsme from working
    anything can set my asthma off.
    Just cleaning the house I haveto sit down every 15 minutes
    To take a treatment and calm myself down.
    Its sad that I’m so young and can’t really do anything cause of my asthma

    When I was in 5. Grade my nurse refused to give me my medication and
    I ended up having a seizure and stoped breathing was put in a coma for a
    week. The doctors had to give me Propofol the doctors aid I had a 5% chance
    Of surviving. And that if I did I would live a hard life not being able to breath
    I have no other choice but to apply for disability.. do you think I would be eligible

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Holly,

      It is possible that you might be eligible. The best way to find out is to apply.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  28. lynn says:

    Dear kay, my child has hemiplegic cerebral palsy , i applied. For ssi since i miss work alot do to my childs many doctors appt. I was working 32 hrs a week when i sumitted the ssi claim i received a letter stating my child is deemed disable but he does not qualify do to my income, butbut since my submisdion in jan 2014 , my employer has cut down my hours to 15-22 hrs a week . I visited social.security.office and presented my current income stubs , how long for me to get a response i just resubmitted new income june 2014, any suggestions, i cant make it if i comtinue to wrk like this but need extra days to assit my child, thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lynn,

      How long it will take to receive payment for your son depends on whether you had to file a new application because of the length of time your son was financially ineligible. A new application can take two to five months. If you were told a new medical decision is not needed, then payment should start within a couple weeks. If you haven’t received payment within a month, do follow up.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  29. Michael Dorworth says:

    SSD HEARING RESULTS!
    I had a SSD hearing on May 7th 2014, in my eyes and my lawyers eyes it went very well.. The VE agreed there was no work I could do, either past work or line work or heavy or light work, he greed there was absolutely NO work I could do with my disabilities.. Hell even the hearing judge “off record after the hearing” asked if I needed help getting to my car because even though she was in Peoria she knew the building and she knew it was a long walk.. BUT, I was still denied, my lawyer said he could not believe I was denied, but he was NOT going to help me with my appeal process.. So here I sit, no Lawyer and 60 days to appeal and I have no clue what to do!! I have a friend that works at SSD locally and he looked at my papers and said the reason I was denied “probably” was because of the amount of backpay that would have been awarded to me, how much I dont know but they said it was all the way back to 06.. Personally I don’t care about backpay I really don’t even care about front pay I just want a medical card so I can go to the doctor and get help!! But you know how lawyers operate, rightfully so, they have to get as much as they can, its their job and how they get paid… So no blame there… Does anyone have any sugestions?? I suppose it would help if I put what my disabilities were… I have a grade 1 and grade 2 disc degenerative disease.. I have spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, osteochondritis in both knees and right shoulder and Im sure you could imagine the depression… I told my attorney at the prehearing appointment we had at his office that I feared if I did not get disability I would probably go home shut my garage door start my car and go to sleep. That wasnt a joke and it wasnt an attempt to look crazy.. I am 41yo and the majority of the issues I have are juvenile so that shows how long I have been dealing with the pain, Im am tired of living with this pain, yes I know getting SSD wont stop the pain but getting a medical card or medicaid so I can get a doctors help just may.. Before I had gotten the attorney that I had another attorney told me I was worth more dead than alive when it came to my wife and kids, so be it I guess, is what I told my lawyer.. I never said any of this at my disability hearing.. I was not seeking sympathy from anybody!!! Im not some crazy person that has a death wish, im just tired of the day in and day out pain..

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michael,

      Theoretically your choices are to file for an Appeals Council review or file a new application, claiming the day after the hearing decision as your disability date. I say theoretically because if you last worked in 2006, you are no longer insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. You could file a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application if your income and assets are within the SSI limits.

      If you want to pursue the Social Security claim your only option is to request an Appeals Council review. I recommend that you talk with another attorney who specializes in SSDI claims for advice on the statement you should make when requesting the review. Just a note: if you appeal and the Council remands the claim to the judge for a second hearing, insist on a face-to-face hearing. (You do not have to accept a video hearing.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Michael Dorworth says:

        Thank you Mrs. Kay for your insight.. Honestly Im tired of it all, im tired of the disappointment in our SS system for which I paid into since my first job at 15yo, Im tired of the overwhelming feeling of being a burden to my wife and kids physically and financially and most of all Im tired of the ongoing pain.. Getting SSD wont help any of the above anyway.. Again, Thank You for your time..

  30. ashley nickell says:

    My mother has several medical conditions that keep her from working or even able to walk a block. she uses a cane and is constantly in pain. she is about to be evicted from her home because the housing program she was on was only two years. she has no income whatsoever. come july I dont know where she will go or what will happen to her or her things. why has she numerously been denied. I know she has a case. her condition is getting worse and worse because she has to live such as getting groceries done by bus because she has no vehicle.she doesnt even a phone. she uses a neighbors when she can. her medical condions are fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, scoliosis and back, leg, hip, shoulder and knee pain.she has high blood pressure and cholesterol and is overweight. our city health dept for some reason for the first time will not give her a doctors note even though it has been done in the past. so with no doctors note she is expected to get 10 job applications a week..on foot by bus..she has no computer access so this would have to be done at the library. you can only be on the computer at the library 3 sessipns a day which are an hour long each. it hurts her to sit or stand for long periods of time so this too is very difficult but she needs her medicines or like she has been told in the past by doctors “without her medications she is a good candidate for a stroke.” so then she will be in a nursing home. its just ridiculous. there are drug dealers that are approved for disabilty. why is it that my mother who lives every day in pain denied every single time? she cant even wash her hair or clothes regularly because she has no money to buy the toiletries that a woman needs to take care of herself. we do what we can to help her like take her to the grocery store and give her a little amount of money here and there but that is never really enough to do much at all because we have our own mess of issues that is another story.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ashley,

      If your mother has exhausted all her appeals, she should file a new claim for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Perhaps her condition has worsened since her last denial and she will be approved. In the meantime, perhaps you can contact all the public and private social services agencies to see if there are any housing or cash assistance options open for her.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  31. Donna says:

    Hello!
    Hopefully you can answer my one question. In May 2014, I filed an appeal to the denial letter. Im not sure what comes next?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Donna,

      You are now waiting to have your appeal reviewed and to receive a decision. You should consider getting an attorney to represent you and present your case in the new appeal so that you do not risk another denial and the need to appeal again. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  32. Cigano says:

    Hello Kay.. I’m going in front of alj john d. Thompson jr. I hear he’s the worse judge in fl and the 2nd worse judge in the entire us. I have three doctors who says I cannot work because of manic bi-polar, ptsd, dissociative disorder and mdd.. If he denies me cause he is an *%^^%% can I sue him in court??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cigano,

      I am not a legal expert, but I do not believe you can sue a judge because he renders a unfavorable decision

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  33. Diana says:

    Dear Kay,

    I recently applied for SSDI and SSI because I have schizophrenia which I was diagnosed with before reaching my age of 22. I turn 23 this summer, but I just recently applied for disability benefits and was denied upon the basis that I do not have enough work credits (6 required). I know there is an appeals process, and that I can hire an attorney. But is there any general information as to what I can base my appeal on in opposition to this contradiction? Thanks for your help.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Diana,

      If you agree with the information in the earnings record that Social Security has for you, there is no point in appealing. If, however, you have W-2, pay stubs, or other records that show more earnings than are in Social Security’s records, it would be appropriate to appeal. You can call 1-800-772-1213 and request a copy of your earnings record. If you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability also, a decision on the SSI claim may still be in process.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  34. Sandy Wilder says:

    Dear Kay,
    I filed ssdi and the other, sorry im very confused. I definitely have enough credits for one but cant get approved for either? I have PTSD, anxiety disorder, rotator cuff surgery that has permanently disabled my dominant arm 45 percent, and depression. Now I don’t have “record’s” except the hospital I went to when I had my anxiety attacks and the psychologist they sent me to that said I was suffering from PTSD, depression and anxiety. However I have numerous doctor records about my arm not and never will heal. They keep denying me and an attorney told me not enough record. I am just about to my witts end. i have tried to seek help for mental but everyone is full. Idk what to do.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sandy,

      You do not say whether you still have an appeal pending. If you are waiting for a hearing, get on a waiting list so that you can get under care for your psychiatric condition and follow any suggestions your attorney offers.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  35. Angie M says:

    Hello: I applied for social security disability in September 2013. I went to the doctors appointments they required in November 2013 and January 2014. They said it could take up to 9 months for a determination so in June 2014, I called June 16 to check on the status of my claim and they told me that it was denied back in January2014. The problem is I never received a notice of determination and my 60 days for filing a reconsideration was over in March. What can I do?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Angie,

      You need to go to your local Social Security office immediately and tell them that you just found out verbally on June 16 that your claim was denied in January and that you did not receive a notice. If you have not moved or moved and notified Social Security of your new address, your sixty-day appeals period should begin June 16, 2014. If they say you can’t appeal or that you can appeal or will be denied for late appeal, you need to get an attorney right away. If you can file an appeal, it still would be a good idea to get an attorney to help you.You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  36. Jessica Wagner says:

    Ok I have triplets that were born way to early they were receiving ssi and they had to go for reviews of their cases and got denied. They go to speech physical occupational therapy weekly. They go to the pulmonary clinic. they all have cerebral palsy and go to the CP clinic. want this just started to walk but have to hold her head to the side just to ballance. then one of the girls stands but can’t walk the other one can’t stand the pressure on her legs. they are going on two and a half. The denial letter states they have significant medical needs but don’t qualify under their rules. then on top of that they all are still underweight. Howis it they been ddenied.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jessica,

      I suggest that you request a copy of their claim files from Social Security, so you can see what evidence is in the files and the rationale behind the decisions. That way you can be specific regarding why you disagree and gather any missing information to present. If you appeal within ten days of the denial, you can request continuation of benefits while the appeal is pending.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  37. cigano says:

    Hello Kay. I’ve taken a phyc test two weeks ago and the diagnosis from the test results and clinical interview is; that I’ve been diagnosed with c-ptsd, major depressive disorder recurrent and borderline personality disorder with paranoia. I’ve also have a copy of the phcy report that goes into the details of my diagnosis, that I gave to my ssdi attorney. I’ve have statements from family and people that know me who state that I have a lot of anger, irritability, isolation, trust issues, etc….I’ve also given my SDDI attorney four restraining orders, that I have against me from my neighbors, long story..I’ve hospitalize about 20 times since 2008 for panic, that I had a heart cath just to prove to myself that there was anything wrong with my heart. I’ve been Baker Acted 5x as recent at August 2013. I need to know from you or ask you, what are my chances of winning my case? I have an SDDI hearing in July, but I’m going in front of the worst Judge in FL and nation. I don’t want to be stuck in endless appeals if he denies me. If he does deny me what can I do to expedite the process? They’ve already expedited my hearing due to several suicide attempts. Do you think I should request and OTR hearing? Please help me, so I can have an idea of what to do. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cigano,

      Follow your attorney’s advice about requesting a decision on the record. Some claims lend themselves to that and some don’t. It sounds as if you have quite a lot of documentation of your mental health problems and how they affect your functioning. That should help your claim. If you are denied at the hearing, you can request an expedited Appeals Council review.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  38. Ivan says:

    I’ve been under disability since 2003. After my inititial diagnostic and five vistited to the mental hospital. My condition bipolar disorder.

    I start my treatment with my medications therapies,etc

    2007 – Still in treatment I drop again with my condition out of control. Eight mental institutions in seven years.

    2009 I continued with my treatment and start trying to work under ticket at work program.

    2009-2012 I failed twice keeping a job…two different jobs same area..education.

    2012-Present. Just one opportunity to work. The company failed me for be a slow learner. I did a grievance with EEOC because I understand was a very weak decision. No consequences.

    Right now im under depression and without interest to still trying to find a job.

    Social security did medical review and denied my bennefits and now I’m in reconsideration process. Without my bennefits and medical treatment I will be in the mental hospital again when I will not able to received my medical attention. Plus I’m going to be in a shelter without any resourses to keep my health in good shape and in the worst scenario of my life. Right now I’m start thinking very negative and I don’t like it. Any suggest about what I can do…any help ?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ivan,

      Get a copy of your claim file so that you know exactly why your benefits were terminated. If you disagree with the reasons, address your arguments to those reasons. It could also be helpful to get legal assistance with the appeal.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  39. Christy Spencer says:

    My sister has both severe mental and physical problems. Mentally, she suffers from bipolar disorder and ptsd. Physically, she suffers from back problems and diabetes. However, she has been denied disability benefits when she should have received them. Why are there so many people in this country who have never worked a day in their life getting a free ride while people like her who “”want” to work but “can’t” are being denied?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Christy,

      If your sister has not exhausted her appeal rights, she should appeal her denial. If she is really disabled, she may not be presenting her case well and may need knowledgeable legal representation. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  40. Melissa says:

    I applied for SSI benefits for my son in June of 2008. He has severe Bipolar NOS with psychosis. He has a history of hospitalizations and has been in Psychiatric Medical Institute for Children twice (9 months each time). It is now 6 years later and we are still appealing. Our latest lawsuit against the social security administration resulted in reversing the last ALJ’s decision. We now have another hearing set up in Sept. I do not understand why we have to start over with another hearing when the judges decision was reversed. Why is this process taking so long? All the decisions from Social Security state that he is not severe enough. He is 14 now and getting worse as he goes through puberty. What can we expect at this next hearing?
    With hope,
    Melissa

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      The appeal system is set up so that a judge’s decision is vacated, not overturned. The judge is charged with investigating or considering issues that the Appeals Council determined were not sufficiently addressed. If you do not have an attorney, it would be a good idea to consult with one who is very familiar with Social Security appeals to give you an idea of how the second hearing will differ from the first and how much additional information you can submit.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  41. Lilly says:

    I have received ssdi since 2011 and just last month had to go for a follow up medical through ssdi but an independent dr I believe. I just received the notice that I am no longer disabled as of 7/10 and will stop getting benefits. Here’s the thing I receive it from a skin condition but the dr never looked at my skin condition!? It is a condition that does not go away and has actually gotten worse. Going to Ss office tomorrow to file appeal. So frustrated and scared. How can they judge without looking? What do I need to do now? I saw you said to ask for the claim file anything else? Can I request their des report?

    • Lilly says:

      Their dr’s report I meant.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lilly,

      The consulting doctor’s report should be in the claim file. When you appeal, state that the doctor you were sent to did not examine your skin and be sure to submit a current report from a dermatologist that documents the problem and the limitations it causes. It could be a good idea to retain an attorney to assist you.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  42. dawn says:

    hello there- i have an 8 year old daughter who was diagnosed with asthma when she was only 2 months old. a side effect from the rsv virus she contracted at the day care. it has been managable up until the last few months. she has had several attacks and receiving treatments on a daily basis. although, i have the family medical leave act in place at my employer iam not getting paid for the time i am losing. so therefore, its getting difficult to pay for medicine for her and maintain the household bills. do you think she could qualify for some assitance due to her illness?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dawn,

      To help you decide whether to file an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits for your child, I suggest that you talk with your child’s doctor and also with her teacher to see whether she is functioning okay in school despite her illness or is having significant problems. You might also read the article about disability for children under the SSI tab on the http://www.disabilityadvisor.com website. If you are not sure whether she would qualify, you can always file the application to have the issue evaluated. SSI also has family income and asset limits which are discussed in the same series of articles.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  43. Fay says:

    I have been denied for SSD-I have coronary artery disease, diabetes type 2, high blood pressure and thyroid-Hasamoto’s. I have 60 days to appeal. Should I seek a lawyer to help me appeal this? I worked in Customer Service-last job for 15 yrs and they say I could do this job. I had angina every day at work/anxiety-miserable with severe fatigue also. The angina has lessened since I retired early-at 63. SS told me I could still apply for disability so I did.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Fay,

      If you believe you cannot do sedentary work as you have done in the past, then I recommend that you appeal with the assistance of an attorney. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  44. Heather K says:

    I am in a situation where my hearing date is about a month away, and my attorney dropped my case because of the judge. I have called several attorneys in my area, and it’s clear that no one is going to help me at this time because the judge is so awful. The current approval rate at SSDI hearings in town is something like 15%, because of the current roster of judges. Because of that, about 60% of applicants are currently going into their hearings without representation, because attorneys will not take their cases (can’t get paid if you can’t win no matter what you do). So, I know I will be denied with this judge, and there is no hope for successful appeal because a remand to this judge would be useless.

    It seems my best option is to withdraw my appeal and file a new claim. I have 3 questions about this:

    1) If I file a new application, does the first application figure into the case at all, or is it completely out of the record?

    2) The end of my SSDI insured period already passed this summer, about a month ago. The original date of disability onset was of course long before that. If I file a new application, can I still use the original date of onset, or am I just too late to file?

    3) If I can still file with the earlier date of onset, will any evidence obtained after the end-date of my insurance period be considered?

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Heather.

      I suggest that before you withdraw your claim that you try one more place to get representation. Complete the Request for Disability Evaluation that is offered on this website. The form to request the evaluation is on every page of the site. When you complete the form, you will be contacted by an attorney’s office to discuss your case. If they take your case, as you know, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      If you do not succeed in getting representation and decide to withdraw your request for a hearing to file a new claim, you must claim a disability date after the date of the reconsideration denial letter. You must submit everything for your claim again. Your prior claim file will not be accessed. Evidence of disability that came into existence after you are no longer insured would be considered only to the extent that in some way it supported you were disabled before you were no longer insured.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Heather K says:

        Thank you for the information. That leads to another question:

        If I filed a new claim, would I be eligible for benefits only for the time between the reconsideration denial and the end of my insured period? Or if it is found that I have not improved, would the benefits continue after the insured period, as they do when you are approved before your insured period runs out?

        Thanks,

        Heather

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Heather,

          If you were approved on a new claim and you claimed the day after the reconsideration denial as your disability date, your SSDI would begin in the sixth full calendar month after the date you claimed and would continue as long as you continued to be disabled.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  45. Lorraine riggs says:

    I have a question, my daughter was approved of ssi disability in surance in December 2013, she was sceduled for a reveiw. In a year., after her 18th birthday , in a bout a mouth afterwards I get a nother letter stateing she was up for reveiw, I went in, they sent her to there doctors ,thsn she was denied a gain, my daughter has a serious heart condition, in May we both went to apeal the decision, and adked for a contiued payments until trial day, but after aouth has passed, gound out she was still terminated, I called ssi they said the paper work was lost, and that if I had proff I came in to bring proof , well I brought the proof, I was than told they was going to fix the problem by a supervisor, and that my psperwork will ne sent to correct ssi building, well I called a gain, the office to were my paper work wss faxed too, said they didnt put in computer you was in for the reason to continue benefits, and we just got paper work 2- days a go, she said I would have to wait 30 days so they csn upgrade sysyem, my daughter rely on medication for survival, I called several more times, they wont return my calls….what should I do?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lorraine,

      I suggest that you both go to the office again and ask to see the manager of the office. Take the proof of requesting continuation of benefits, say what has happened and your daughter’s need for medication, and ask if there is any way to shorten the time frame. Also, contact your daughter’s doctor to see if he or she has any samples of the medication your daughter uses. Also contact the pharmacy to find out which pharmaceutical company makes her medication. Then contact the company. Some of the companies have programs that provide free essential medications for a limited period of time.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  46. lorraine says:

    Another question if you had went to social security building, to apply gor a continuation of disability insurance payments until trial day. Amouth passed and thry said the paper work was lost, I return with proof I csme in, a supetvisor said she was going to fix the problem this was in may, in june I returned to fill out the paper work a gain, they gave me credit for the time I showed up, thought it would be put in computer I came in for a continuation of benenfits, but july came in I called the office, they said it was Sent to the office I was suppose to go to, when I called office, they said they just got paperwork, and it will take 30 days to ne put in computer it is now july, my daughter rely on medication yo keep her alive, with out payments I can buy medication she needs,( note) each time I call, its nevet put in computer I was even there. , when I got receipts that I was there….anf each time I call ,they never return my call, what should I do?

  47. Jeanne says:

    Kay,

    I was just denied SSDI. Reason stated was my condition not expected to remain severe enough for 12 months in a row to keep me from working based on medical evidence & my statements on how condition affected ability to work.

    What I found puzzling was:

    1. They did not address my main disability, OCD. They only mentioned the anxiety & depression.

    2. A statement that read as follows: “Since you were treated, your condition has improved.” How did they arrive at that decision?

    Have a feeling that my Dr. & therapist didn’t provide enough/adequate records of my condition which is getting worse. I will be filing for a reconsideration. Will submitting more current & detailed documentation of my ongoing treatment improve my chances of getting approved? I’ll be be 60 yrs old in September.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    Jeanne

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jeanne,

      By all means submit more documentation if you have it. Appealing without providing any new information is likely to result in another denial. Be sure to make a specific statement regarding why they are wrong including why the OCD is disabling now when it is a life long condition and why your improvement is not enough to work. If you are denied again after you submit more medical information from your therapist, I suggest getting an attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  48. April says:

    My son is 7 years old he was born with leg length discrepancy I applied for disability twice for him and he was denied both times I applied again a year ago he was denied again I appealed it now I got an attorney on board and I’m thinking he will definitely be approved this time if he is does he get back pay from this time applying or the very first time I applied considering he has been disabled since birth?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear April,

      If your son is approved, benefits will be based on the date of his initial application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  49. Jillianne says:

    hey I have a question I appealed my disability because they denied me the first time but I have epilepsy and I want to work part time. If I start working will that deny my appeal for benefits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jillianne,

      Generally, work earnings of less than $1,070 gross wages per month will not keep you from being approved if you are not capable of working and earning more.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  50. jackie Murphy says:

    I was denied SSD benefits because I did not have enough work credits in the last 10 years – eventhou I had worked for 22 years prior to that time. if I am reading the qualifying criteria correctly I have to have a certain number of credits in the last ten years – I am 54 years old. My question is can I use my husbands work credits to qualify?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jackie,

      No, you cannot use your husband’s Social Security work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. If your husband becomes eligible for Social Security and at that time you either have a child of his under age sixteen in your care or your are age sixty-two or over, you can apply for wife’s benefits. If your husband’s income is not too high, you may have a disability claim for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits still pending a medical decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  51. debbie says:

    Hi I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and osteoarthritis and have had shoulder surgery on my shoulder to remove bone spurs .I have back problems having to stand on my feet for several hours at work .I only work part time .I am a 50 year old female and have only a 6th grade education should I apply for disabilty .I am having alot of problems and trying to me keep working with the pain .doctors just keep telling me to exercise it is difficult because of the pain and if I’m not careful I throw out my back.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debbie,

      If you are earning under $1,070 gross per month and are working to your maximum physical capacity, you might be disabled according to Social Security even though you are still working. If your earnings are $1,070 or more, to be eligible you either have to reduce your work hours or stop working.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  52. stacey nelson says:

    Dear Kay first let me just say thank you for all you do ..I’m 39 have bipolar PTSD sever depression personality disorder an add I have seen the same counsler for 24 years who fully supports me going on disability I take a med cocktail that do little to control my disability I am under the care of a psychiatrist as well and take meds regularly an religiously knowing no treatment tis not an option …the meds have tremendous side effect ts that are debilitating as well…I applied for ssdi in June 2014 the dds told me they made a descion on Aug 5 but it was pulled for a quality review …I was told unnoficially by SSA that I was approved for benefits following the review an they make the same determination …my question as Iv been under an extreme amount of stress over all this which isn’t helping is what is the likelihood the will overturn the dds descion? Also its been under qr for three weeks an I was told it should only take about two …should I be getting nervous that they disagreed with the M.E. descion…again thanks for all you do an no I did not obtain an attorney…did I make a mistake?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Stacey,

      The quality review could result in upholding the approval or reversing it to a denial or a request for the Disability Determination Services to investigate further. The length of time in review is not an indicator of outcome. I suggest checking with DDS once a week to see if your claim is out of review. If the approval is upheld, you might not get notification right away.

      You did not necessarily make a mistake by filing your claim on your own; but if you are denied, I recommend hiring an attorney. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  53. Mr. Thompson jr. says:

    My ssdi claim was expedited because my claim was classified as suicidal. If I lose my ssdi hearing and appeal my claim to the appeals council, would they expedite my claim appeal in the same way? In others words, does the SSA still consider my claim as dire because of my suicidal ideation, although, I’m appealing my claim to the appeals council? Or do I have to wait 18 to 24 months for the appeal council to consider my claim?

    Thank you, Kay….

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mr. Thompson,

      The Appeals Council does have an expedited process for some cases. When you appeal, indicate that your claim and hearing were expedited and why and request that the Appeals Council also be expedited.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  54. stacey nelson says:

    Dear Kay just to update I was approved ! An dealing with the local office now :)

  55. Phil says:

    I am applying for my son. He has Autism, adhd,bi-polar but they told me they cant legally say it cause of his age, he has explosive disor der . I filed back in April of 2014. I went a week and a half ago to the speech doctor they wanted me to bring him too. Now they are asking me to bring him to another doctor for a child psyc evaluation. Ive sent them all his medical records, all his IEP’s from school, 2 evaulations ive had done already with diagnoise on them. When and why is itvtaking so long for an approval?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Phil,

      Whether or not it seems necessary, be sure to take your son to all the appointments that have been scheduled. I would, however, call the examiner with a list of everything you think has been submitted and ask the examiner to verify it is in file.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  56. Phil says:

    Ok thank you

  57. Karen says:

    Hello,
    I am a 55 yr. Old female who has worked in a factory for 35 yrs. Since 1996 I have had a bad back with first fusion (hip bone) put in my neck. I continued to work. Long story short, since then I have had 3 more surgeries. Another fusion (metal plate) above first surgery makeing limited movement. The other two, lower back surgeries one resulting in a fusion with rods and screws. To which wear and tear has broken one of the screws. The last surgery I had in May of this year, the surgeon said I could return to work with a no lifting restriction so therefore my employer does not want me back. I of course still have pain and numbness in lower back so cant sit or stand for any length of time. MRI also shows potential for more surgeries. I don’t want to be cut on any more. 4 times is enough. Do you think I could get ssd? I have applied but no response as of now. If I get denied should I give up?
    Thank you, Karen

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karen,

      Depending on your current limitations and restrictions you could be approved; however, you wrote that your physician released you for work with “no lifting restrictions.” If this is correct, you would need other limitations and restrictions that keep you from performing your long-term past occupation.

      If you are denied, you should consult with a Social Security-knowledgeable attorney about whether it is appropriate to appeal. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  58. Justina Miller says:

    Kay,
    I applied for disability and received my denial today. It states that I don’t meet their criteria. I called a lawyer and they have asked that my psychologist write a statement discribing my condition and if it will last more than a year. I have been under pshyciatric care since 2008 and my conditions are becoming worse. I called my Dr and was told that they won’t make statements like this. What do I do? I can’t handle being around people, my bipolar isn’t under control, nor my depression, PTSD or the dissociative disorder. I’m lost and don’t know how to proceed. Help!!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Justina,

      I suggest making an appointment and talking with your doctor and ask whether the doctor will write a letter confirming your diagnoses, your treatment, the effectiveness of the treatment, your current symptoms and severity of the symptoms, any side effects from medication, and any limitations and restrictions that he or she judges you have.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  59. heidi says:

    Maybe you can give some insight. I applied for ssdi in 2010, denied all the way through to the judge.. I appealed to the appeals council, during the wait I also worked with vocational rehab who determined they could not fine me any work at all. They wrote me a letter to present to SSA, I also applied for ssi during that time and was approved.. Appeals council remanded my ssdi case back to the judge in that dtermination they acknowledged that I had been approved ssi.. Can the judge deny my ssdi again even though i have vocational rehab backing me and can he overturn my ssi case? Any thoughts would be helpful..

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Heidi,

      If you are still insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or were still insured on the date the approved SSI claim says you became disabled, it seems reasonably likely that you will be approved by the judge.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  60. Anne says:

    My husband has been receiving benefits for 10 years. We recently got a letter saying that they thought he was no longer disabled and that payments would stop in 3 months. I filled out the paper work to be paid on appeal. Why was he denied after getting benefits for a little over 10 years? I asked their response “dunno.” We finally got paperwork in that said that he worked for 2 years making $150 a month. He did not work at this job, never heard of the company. We have written the company called the company they will not send us any prof he worked there. Will the social security administration ask that employer for prof on when they look into the appeal? A lawyer agreed to take our case but wanted half of our monthly income so we said no way. According to her the appeal could take up to 2 years? We are just lost and confused, seeking any help we can get!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Anne,

      It sounds as if the company accidentally reported the work earnings of someone else on your husband’s Social Security number (SSN). For the appeal, your husband should submit a written statement that he never worked for the company and that an incorrect SSN must have been used to report someone else’s earnings. He should indicate that he has written to the company but is having trouble getting the company to provide him information.

      Social Security is supposed to contact the employer and investigate incorrectly reported earnings. Nevertheless, I would also call the payroll or personnel department of the company and ask to speak to the personnel or payroll manager. Explain that someone else’s work is being (or has been) erroneously reported under your number. If you can provide the years and your SSN, they should be able to check to see that you were not on their payroll. Once, they have done that, they may be willing to send a letter directly to Social Security (attention to the person handling your appeal). They may not give you the information because it would be releasing someone else’s name to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  61. Nichole says:

    I was injured at work 4 years ago. I have multi-level bulging and herniated disc. Severe plantar fasciitis in both feet that requires surgery. Tarsal Tunnel syndrome in my left foot that requires surgery. I have panic attacks everyday. The SSA therapist they sent me to said I have PTSD. They’ve denied my claim several times. I just recently obtained a primary doctor because I can no longer afford to pay my podiatrist and the SSA doesn’t take what my chiropractor has to say. How do I get a lawyer to help me with the federal appeal. They say if I’m not receiving care I can’t get SSI however if my SSI isn’t approved I can’t afford to see my regular doctor and I’ll need to start from scratch with Medi-Cal doctors that have proven to not care about their patients. I’m now homeless. I’m at a loss. The pain and anxiety is so overwhelming.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nichole,

      I suggest that, if you cannot continue with your current doctor for financial reasons, that you apply for Medi-Cal and try a different doctor within the system.

      Usually Social Security attorneys provide one consultation for free, which will allow you to discuss your case with the attorneys in the area that are listed either in a local phone book or online as focusing their practice on Social Security law. Then ask if they represent claims in federal court as not all do.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  62. joey says:

    Hi I have two questions one is how long does it take after you see the judge and they’ve already made a decision and someone reviewed it. My question is how long does it take social security to mail me the answer if they said they have 600 cases in that department??? And the other question is if I’m 24 and worked since I was 14 til I was 20 could I qualify for ssd ???

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joey,

      If your work earnings had Social Security (FICA) taxes withheld, you may be insured for Social Security. I don’t know how many letters a day can be prepared to work through the 600-letter backlog.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  63. michelle says:

    Dear Kay,
    I applied for ssi for my autistic child and was denied twice because he does well in school I got an attorney and went to a hearing in front of the judge how long does it usually take to get a decision and does having a lawyer give you a better chance of winning.My son has 2 marked areas in the criteria for ssi and also moderate interference with daily activities I have been waiting for almost 3 months very nerve racking

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      If you have an attorney knowledgeable in SSI disability law, then having an attorney does usually improve chances of being approved. I suggest that you check with your attorney to be sure that he or she has not received a notice of decision. You can also call the hearing office to find out if a decision has been made and the appeal has moved to the letter writing unit, which would indicate you are closer to getting a letter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  64. Misty prater says:

    I have been denied for the reason I didnt give them evidence or paper work when they ask me for it. But they never ask for anything more from me but they said I was found to be disabled . What does this mean.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Misty,

      Apparently you appealed and have been found disabled. I wouldn’t worry about the discrepancy as long as you are approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  65. Michele says:

    Hello! My husband applied for disability and was denied due to lack of medical evidence, so we hired a lawyer and appealed.

    He was once again denied due to lack of medical evidence. I then received an email from the lawyer’s office that said the previous caseworker was, “no loner employed at our Law Offices.”

    Upon further investigation, I discovered that this person had not filed any additional paperwork with SS during the three months that she had been working on his case, even though I had sent her regular, additional information from his doctor’s about his deteriorating condition. The person who has taken over our case has filed for a third appeal.

    This is a large law firm of good repute in our area … I believe that the first caseworker in the law office was just an unfortunate “bad seed”, so to speak.

    My question for you is whether there is anything my husband and I can / should do beyond filing the third appeal? I have talked with my husband’s new caseworker at the law office and am getting an RFC from 2 of his doctors. I am also getting the paperwork (letter from my husband and me, eviction notice, unpaid medical bills statements) to file a “dire needs” to attempt to get the third hearing expedited.

    Is there anything we can do as far as the first case worker who, “is no longer with this Law Office” failing to file any of the medical updates that she had told me she was going to file between the first and second appeals? Will any of this help to expedite my husband’s third appeal?

    Thank you for your help!
    Michele

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michele,

      Filing the dire need papers is a good idea, but you are still likely to have a wait a few months for the hearing date. Even if the attorney office is willing to make a statement about the error, I doubt that the failure of the law office employee to take appropriate action will serve as any grounds to get further consideration in the scheduling of the hearing. You might tell your landlord what happened to see if you can forestall the eviction.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  66. Bridget says:

    I have recently been diagnosed with Sporadic Hemiplegic Migraine Disease. A rare and debilitating disease. No antidote but treatable when the right regimen is found,which hasnt happened yet.

    I currently have Unum for my LTD through my job at Costco. I’m currently on a LOA and they have told me I need to apply for SSDI.
    Unum is sending put a personal consultant to go over my claim,do you know how this goes and what to be prepared for.

    I’m in Washington state.
    I have solid documention from a headache specialist who I see every 4-6 weeks.
    I did apply
    online for SSDI 2 months ago. Unum has provided free of charge a Genex rep to help facilitate my claim.
    Ssdi is having me do a ADL and work history form. I have a strong 15 year work history.
    The ADL is hard to fill out. This disease is bad. Stroke like symptoms. 3-4 x a week. I’m doing the best I can to fill it all out.

    Do you have any insight or suggestions on how this may turn out, the good or bad.
    Things that may really help me. It may all be nerves but I am seeing a lot of horror stories.
    Thanks so much!
    Bridget

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Bridget,

      It sounds as if your condition may be severe enough to allow approval. Your insurance company is in the disability business. The fact that they have hired a representation service to help with your claim is an indication that they also think you can be approved. When you meet with the representative, try to tell him or her as much as possible about your condition. You might also ask the rep to help you complete the activities of daily living (ADL) questionnaire. Add in remarks that you have had difficulty completing the form and why. State how long after the stroke-like symptoms you have trouble functioning. Be sure to make clear that your doctors have not yet found the right medication regime to control the problem. If you are denied on the grounds that your condition will not last twelve months, be sure to appeal; but wait till near the end of the appeals period so that Social Security will be reviewing the appeal closer to the end of the twelve months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  67. Jan says:

    I applied for disability benefits. And was denied and went throughout the whole appeals process only to be denied again in the end. My lawyer told me to call social security to see if I have enough work credits to apply for a new claim. The lady at social security told me I was approved for a short time for disability back in 2000-2001. And that once I’m in the system they don’t look at work credits anymore they look to see if I’m disabled or not. I’m confused as to what she was saying. I do have 16 work credits in the last 10 years, and understand that I need 20. But from what she’s saying that because I was approved at one time then they don’t look at work credits. Is that true?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jan,

      Except for cases in which a person has a period of recovery of less than five years, I have not heard of what the representative told you. That said, it might be best to file the claim, claiming a date of disability just after the date of the final denial, and get a formal decision about the earnings credits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  68. Ashley says:

    Hi so I’m working with premier disability services but just found out I was denied again today something about how not disabled enough or something . I have manic bipolar social anxiety disorder add adhd dislexsia all of this I was give at around age 8years old I am almost 31 and I have worked in the past but only been able to keep a job for 6mont at a time and now we ar taking it to court I am currently homeless and just got back on my meds which my friend paid for after he seen all my cuts and I almost killed my self… But I don’t go anywhere and I can’t stay out of my head Lind enough to really do anything even with my meds. But they had me full out all those paper work and I guess udk with my adhd and dislexsia it was hard for me to fill out paper work I called and they told me what I was doing was fine and okay but I didn’t get them welding they had time to work with me I don’t know I’m just scared now that im at the finial stage which is applying for the 3rd time and going to court am I missing something here even my doctor s have said no she can not work she’s true to work but can’t keep a job I’ve tried but I’ve learned with my disorder s that there’s just some stud I can’t do and now I’m homeless Carless and I have even lost my kids because of my bipolar so I have child support over me as well… So what I’m asking is do you have any advice for me on what to do with the court hearing?? I applied back in April and today got the second denied letter. And again I am workig with premier disability services just scared of getting denied again cause I do not know what to do like I said I’m trying to get my self back on track… Thank you for your time

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ashley,

      Talk with your people who are representing you before the hearing and follow their advice. In general, tell the simple truth in court as you have to me about why you can’t work. In the meantime, try to stay under a psychiatrist’s care, perhaps at a free clinic if you have no funds.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ashley says:

        I am trying to stay on meds but they cost so much:( thank you for the fat responds just feel like how can my disorder be bad enough to where they took my kids but think I can work…

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Ashley,

          Different agencies are involved in making the decisions and they applying different rules, but pointing out that you couldn’t care for your children could help your case.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Ashley says:

            Even on my meds I still can’t leave and go out side thank you for your advice

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Ashley,

            Be sure that your attorney knows that you mostly do not go out. If you go out at all describe the circumstances that allow you to. You need to go to the hearing, so plan in advance to arrange for the support or circumstances that will get you there.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Ashley says:

            I will because I will have to take my axciety meds during the day to help me to even get out of the house I don’t leave and if I do I take my meds and they make me very loping and very forgetful . Thank you for all your advise I’m super nervous just thinking about having to go and meet with some person I don’t know then go in front of a judge it’s got me shakin up but I have to do it so I will thank you again!!! Wish you could come be my lawyer

          • Kay Derochie says:

            You are welcome, Ashley.

          • Ashley says:

            So they are setting up a court case and that freaks me out cause I’m going to have to take double of my axciety meds to even walk out my door and the meds will make me seem drunk almost and very bad short term memory like bad what do you suggest I do for the hearing ?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Ashley,

            I suggest that you let your representative know in advance about the effect that your medications have on you, so that he or she can explain it to the judge.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • ashley says:

            hi kay heres an up date on my case
            okay i have been in the hearing stage for a while now and my case worker has been working to get my case in to criticial status cause i am homeless well he called me to day and told me that he just got off the phone with the office of disability adjudication and review and they stated tht my claim is in the “pre-hearing review stage and he went on to tell me that means that they are reviewing it to determine if it is even necessary to go to the hearing level. then he tells me that i should hear something with in a few weeks and if i dont get it then i will be going to court this feb -may. my question is have you ever seen or heard of them doing this cause my case worker said he has never had this happen? what does that mean any thought or feed back would be great thank you so much for your time. and im in texas

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Ashley,

            Occasionally, a judge will read a claim file and decide the claim can be approved without a hearing. A claim would never be denied without a hearing.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  69. Jackie says:

    I been on SSD since October, 2005. In June of 2014, they stopped my payments because fraud or similar fault was committed by several attorneys and at least two doctors were involved. Therefore, they disallowed any evidence from my psychiatrist. I requested my records from SS and had no idea that I went out purely on psych and none of my medical problems were considered. I am homebound on oxygen with severe sleep apnea, pulmonary hypertension, depression and severe anxiety. I am inundated with mail from SS and am receiving conflicting answers from the reps when I call SS.

    My problem is that no lawyer will take my case. They claim that once an award is given, there is no contingency or money to be made. I have called every attorney in my phone book as well as legal services from Albany, NY to Washington, DC. Right now I filed a Request for Reconsideration, but I’m sure it will go to an appeal due to the nature of the case.

    What do I do? I am not healthy enough to pursue this by myself. Please respond to my email address. Thank you.

    My problem is that

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jackie,

      You are in a difficult situation. If I understand you correctly, you were not aware that other people involved in your claim and/or treatment may have been committing fraud. I have researched a bit and it is possible for an attorney to receive compensation on a cessation-of-benefits case. It may be that the disability attorneys and legal services offices don’t want to get involved in anything related to fraud. Perhaps you could get help from an organization that advocates for disabled people or an attorney that takes on cases related to possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

      One point about your appeal is to read all the correspondence carefully in the order it was received to determine whether you have to prove that you were disabled from 2005 to present or just at present. In order not to have an overpayment, you may have to present proof since 2005.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jackie says:

        Thank you for your response. SSD wants additional proof that I was disabled from 4/15/o4 to 11/15/05. I signed a release for my medical records in June and was just informed that they cannot locate them. I have gone to the same health facility for the past 15 years. There is an urgency on my part to get legal counsel. I tried a resource center, but they feel it’s too complicated for them to pursue.

        I appreciate the information you provided and I am in the process of checking into attorneys who handle cessation of benefits and cases related to violations of the ADA.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Jackie,

          I suggest that you go to the health facility and get a copy of your records for the period in question. Be prepared to pay a substantial amount for the copies. Ask whether it is possible to have them provided as a rush, briefly explaining your emergency circumstances.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Jackie says:

            I’m at my wit’s end over this. The health facility cannot locate my records and they are blaming it on the negligence of a third party storage facility. I asked for a letter stating that, but they are stalling. I can’t find a lawyer and I have only the records which SS has which are incomplete. How do I go about finding an independent doctor to review my file and write a report. I wouldn’t know how to go about finding one. Any suggestions? Thanks for all your help.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Jackie,

            I’m not sure either, but you might start by finding a doctor who is the right specialty and making an appointment to discuss your situation. The doctor might be willing to make a statement about your current condition and offer an opinion of how long you have been in essentially the same condition, given the records that are available. I would also keep following up with the health facility, at least to get confirmation that they can’t find your records.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  70. Susan says:

    Hi Kay, thanks for your helpful website and all of the good information and advice.

    I’m helping my friend apply for SSI. She is 63 and has a variety of physical and mental problems. For many years, she has been homeless with no resources at all. She has no documented medical history to speak of since she has not been able to see a doctor regularly, but she has a variety of debilitating physical & mental problems.

    To see her and speak with her, you would know immediately that she is disabled and unable to work. She is missing most of her teeth, she is mentally scattered, and weak. She is frequently physically ill.

    We applied for her SSI in April, and just received notification that she was denied. Reason “conditions not severe enough”. I’m assuming this decision was made because of the fact that she has no documented medical history.

    I would like to help her with the appeal so that she can keep all the money, should she finally get an award. Can you suggest how to go about getting medical documentation? Or is this something I really need to get a lawyer for at this point?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susan,

      I suggest that, to get some medical history, you try to get your friend enrolled in Medicaid either directly with your state health and human resources or have her apply for health care under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) when the open enrollment starts next month. Another alternative is to get her accepted for evaluation and care of a county health clinic or other free health clinic so that she can be evaluated and treated. In the meantime, have her appeal the denial and make a statement about her condition as a lay observer. Describe what you see about your friend’s physical and mental symptoms. It could be helpful to have an attorney although the attorney needs some medical information to work with. To discuss your friend’s claim with a Social Security attorney, call Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and, if an attorney takes her case, she will pay attorney fees only if she is approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount an attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time they send the back pay. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  71. wendy nelson says:

    Hi Kay,

    I have gone through all appeals processes, except the final step. After reviewing the ALJ decision, the ODAR agreed with the initial determination. I cannot go through another year or more of appealing this decision. My lawyer says that I can, or can replying, of course losing any retro-active claim.

    If I do reapply, is the process the same dragged out length as an initial claim, or can they expedite the claim? I have heard both yes and no. I have been like many others extremely more stressed and depressed over so much of this, that I have been put on suicide watches, which my doctor has noted, and increased my meds to control this compulsion of self injurious behavior. Are chances better when you reapply with more current doctor(s) assessments? Thank you for the time in replying!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Wendy,

      I cannot predict whether a new claim would be approved on initial application or you would end up with having to appeal again.If you appeal and don’t win, you could then file a new claim; however, I suggest that you discuss with your attorney the pros and cons of appealing versus a new claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  72. juliua rhodes says:

    Hi Kay I have multiple conditions that keep me from working. My case has been remanded back to the alj & I have evidence that I had a myopathy during the first hearing . So they discounted my complaints of pain & denied me again there’s a lot stuff that I didn’t say or partially what I said to my phcy doc in the decision how could that happen Kay & my last date insured was Sept 13 2013 I have binder& binder I know they gonna appeal this time but how do they get away with treating ppl that way just lies????

  73. Marie says:

    I became disabled in November 2012 and filed for disability through a lawfirm in April 2013. I was denied in October 2013 so the attorneys appealed and my court date was August 2014. I haven’t received notification yet that I was approved or not but I was looking at my social security statement today and it stated I didn’t qualify for disability due to I didn’t meet the credits within the past ten years.

    I don’t understand that because I have worked for 24 years straight and from 2002 thru 2008 last year of work my earnings totaled $297,759. (2002 thru 2008 is the 10 year span from when I became disabled) how couldn’t I have enough credits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marie,

      You had to have twenty quarters of coverage (earned at a maximum rate of four per year) in the ten years before you became disabled. If your last work was in 2008, you were last insured for Social Security Disability at some point in 2013. If the judge accepts that you became disabled in November 2012, you will be insured when you became disabled and your claim will be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  74. Elizabeth says:

    I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Autoimmune disease which my Dr suggested I apply for disability. While my disability claim is pending can I apply for Workers Comp for bilateral carpel tunnel?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Elizabeth,

      You can have simultaneous Social Security Disability and workers compensation claims. If you are approved for both, the Social Security will be reduced by the amount of your workers comp; however, the two benefits are typically more than either one would be by itself. Be sure that Social Security knows that you have filed for workers comp and also be sure that they know about the bilateral carpel tunnel and who is treating you for it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  75. julius says:

    My question is do they change the judge after 2. Remaned hearings my lawyers say they see bias in the decision or do they have to state that on appeal??? Thanks!!!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Julius,

      I suggest that you pose your question to your attorney, who will be more knowledgeable than I on the fine details of presenting an appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  76. Kevin Galioto says:

    My wife was diagnosed with Grade 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme (Terminal Brain Cancer). She was 38 when she was originally diagnosed (40 in December) and has worked since she was 16 years old. She no longer can work. She applied for Disability 1.5 years ago and was denied. 1. I make too much for their standards, and 2. they said she didn’t have enough credits. She was running a day care out of our home within that 10 year period and it gave us lots of write-offs on our taxes. Even though she reported the income and paid taxes on it she didn’t get any points during that time. So she was told she didn’t work… Which is not true. Is there anything that she can do now… We never appealed before because we really didn’t know we could. We tried to speak with several attorneys at the time and they said we had no case… I know people who are very capable of working but because they are alcoholics they are now on disability…. Certainly someone with Terminal Brain Cancer should be able to get help…

    Thanks for your expert advice… have a great day

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kevin,

      In addition to being disabled, your wife either has to have paid enough Social Security taxes to be insured for Social Security Disability or your family has to have very low income and assets to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a public welfare program.

      I suggest looking at your tax returns to be sure that she filed Schedule SE’s to report and pay Social Security self-employment taxes when she had the day care business. She needs twenty quarters of coverage earned in the ten years before her disability began. A maximum of four quarters can be earned each year. The following is the amount of self-employment profit that would earn a quarter of coverage.

      2000 780
      2001 830
      2002 870
      2003 890
      2004 900
      2005 920
      2006 970
      2007 1,000
      2008 $1,050
      2009 1,090
      2010 1,120
      2011 1,120
      2012 1,130
      2013 1,160
      2014 1,200
      2015 1,220

      If she earned twenty quarters according to your records, she can appeal or if out of the appeals period, present proof of the earnings and request reopening of the denial.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  77. Sherrie Smithers says:

    Hello. I applied for SSD in Sept 2014. I have received questionnaire about my health and what I am able to do. I have filled them out and sent them in. I have had a stroke and have a left side deficit. I cannot walk nor care for myself fully. What do you think my chances are of getting approved. The diagnosis that I listed were CVA, Dyphasia, depression, RA back pain.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sherrie,

      Based on your description of your condition, you may be approved. If you are not, do appeal with legal assistance. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  78. Advocate says:

    My fiancé has severe PTSD with high anxiety issues. He applied for disability last year and was denied. Afterwards we sought an attorney to place the appeal. During the past year he has started seeing a psychologist in place of his therapist who has given him a ton of additional information concerning his disability. He also was diagnosed by his physician with an illness (I can’t remember the name of it) that is brought on by flare up in his anxiety and PTSD symptoms.

    A few days ago he received denial papers in the mail for his appeal. When he told his doctors about this both of them stated that they were NEVER contacted in regards to the additional information given. He asked his attorney about it and they said they turned the additional contacts and paperwork over to the state on 09/30/2014. Apparently, his attorney said that the state decided to overlook searching into the additional information and just denied the appeal based off only the original information that was given for the first claim.

    His attorney said this can be used to his benefit during the hearing – but that it would still be up to 18 months for the hearing to happen.

    This seems rather unjust and most definitely unfair – because the state made a mistake and were lazy about how they went about his appeal he has to wait a year and a half to move forward?

    Is there anyway the appeal can be voided due to someone not doing their job properly?

  79. Meagan says:

    Hey Kay,
    I have had bipolar disorder and severe panic attacks since 2000 and recently diagnosed with several back conditions as well as PCOS and ocd! Recently my menatl conditions have got extremely bad!I recently had back surgery to repair my herniated disc and sciatica, I still have severe lower back pain, I have been out of full time work since may 2013 I tried to go back to work in January 2014 but only worked for 2 days! My mental conditions played a big role in that. As it does everyday! My Ocd takes up much of my day due to several symptoms I have for this condition, I applied for disability in may 2014 and denied in September 2014 saying they didn’t have enough evidence of the work performed but they believe i can adjust to other work. Since then i contacted a lawyer and they said I would have to get a letter from my doctor before they can evaluate my case so I asked him and he refused! He said its too many guidelines, so me frustrated I asked for a reconsideration myself! I am presently seeking treatment and therapy for my mental conditions, And i would like to submit my new evidence to them! I would like to know what is the best way to do this if my claim is still pending? Also do you think this new evidence will help me get approved for my disability? I have in all my credits! Times sre really hard for me because I have two children to take care of and I really need my disability! Is there anyway I can ask for a speedy answer?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Meagan,

      My comments are based on the understanding that you do not now have an attorney. First of all, if you haven’t already filed a request for reconsideration and you within sixty days of the date of your reconsideration denial letter, file your appeal–don’t miss the appeal deadline. If you have missed the appeals period, file a new claim, claim a date a few days after the date you previously claimed as your disability date. Then talk with your doctor again and just ask the doctor to write what your diagnoses and limitations and restrictions are. He does not need to say you are disabled or address Social Security guidelines. You can submit the new evidence about your mental health and the letter from your doctor if you can get it as part of your appeal. Also, you need to provide a list of all the jobs you have held in the past fifteen years with the approximate dates you held the jobs and a full description of your duties. On your appeal state why you can’t do these jobs or other jobs. Next call Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010 to discuss your appeal. If one of their attorneys takes your case, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  80. Dave Jacobus says:

    went thru the usual denided 3 times at the final no awswer my atty told me to re-file I did but was told i had “TIMED OUT” for ssdi but was approved in 4 mos for full ss/id (two different things) how is it i got approved in 5 months for the same thing by the same people that i am suing…. the federal govt for after a 4 plus year wait Not to mention the near 100k they owe me I think they bit there own toe. I WILL SUE THESE CLOWNS TILL THE COWS COME HOME. Any thoughts?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dave,

      Continue to pursue your lawsuit in federal court. Talk with your attorney to be sure that the evidence for the period of time you were still insured is as strong as it can be. In the meantime, at least you will have the SSI to help with expenses.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  81. Dgostina says:

    I have been trying to get my disability since 2010. I have depression, anxiety,bipolar,and seizures. They say I am disabled,but still denied me. I have tried to work but am not able to keep a job. I haven’t worked for a year now my health is getting worse. Should I keep using a lawyer or do this on my own. I need to be able to pay my bills and just live. What should I do? Please help.
    Thanks tina.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tina,

      I suggest that you talk with an attorney regarding the specifics of your past denial and your current medical condition.You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge, and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  82. richelle says:

    my grand father was missing and the social security was denied the papers of my grand father please hel me……what can i do?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Richelle,

      I do not understand the situation you are describing. If you provide more information, I may be able to provide some guidance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  83. henry says:

    dear kay i have a question i have been denied for disability an waiting for a hearing an i have my heart doctor put in writing i need to be put on disability can that letter help me get approved an i have my back surgen saying the same thing but i can not lift more then 15 lbs wat do think look forward to

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Henry,

      If you do not already have an attorney, you should get one to help prepare for the hearing and present your case to the judge. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge, and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free. With or without an attorney, you should submit the letters from your doctors. (Be sure to keep a copy.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  84. Lex says:

    I’ve had chronic asthma since I was 5 months old, never worked because i spent majority of my life in the hospital I’ve been in the icu numerous times (I also could barely attend school because i was always in the hospital) . My mom applied for me when i was 2 years old & they denied me even though from 5months old to 2years old i been in and out as a inpatient and outpatient . So i went back & applied when i got older and they asked if my mom ever applied for me i said yes they said they couldn’t find where she applied and then said she applied for me in my first name but her last name which isnt true because i have the paper my mom kept which states my full name and me & my mom have different last names. So my question is why am i being denied if my asthma disables me from working at all? & why did their computer say different information than what my mom had on a paper from the 90′s? Should i get a lawyer? & do they owe me back money?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lex,

      If you believe you are disabled now and don’t have a current claim or appeal pending, then it would be appropriate to file a claim. Benefits will be paid based on the current claim and if the claim is for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will begin to accrue with the month after your application unless you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits would begin the month of the application. Regardless of the name discrepancy, benefits would not be paid on a prior denied claim that was not successfully appealed. If you are denied on a current claim, yes, it would be a good idea to get representation from an attorney who specializes in Social Security and SSI claims. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  85. julius says:

    How does social security judge’s look at conditions with no treatment at this time idiopathic myopathy I ask because I was denied but she just stated there was no treatment that’s all?? Thanks!!!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Julius,

      You must present medical evidence to the Social Security Administration that you have limitations from a medical condition that limit you from working. If you are not receiving treatment or medical support for the symptoms, the presumption could be that your condition is not severe and thus not limiting to the level of disability. If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to file a request for an Appeals Council review.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  86. Maria Festinger says:

    Hi Kay, I want to thank you for all your help! Well, I went to the most horrible hearing (literally, horrific experience) I am mostly worry because the vocational person said that I could do some other work, like cleaning and something else, the attorney which has been very impersonal from the beginning (a big firm) said that I have to wait about 2 months for the judge decision and that I had a lot of documents to support my case from my psychologist and psychiatrist which I have been seeing since 2008 so my question is if the vocational person opinion is an absolute to the judge? also My last employment was on 2009, how is this going to affect if I am denied and last, can you recommend somebody else for me to take the next step.
    Thanks again

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maria,

      At this point, your next step is to wait for the decision. If you are denied, you have the right to appeal. The judge does consider the vocation expert’s (VE’s) opinion fairly strongly. You do not say whether you or your attorney challenged the VE’s opinion or the judge asked him or her further questions about your limitation; but apparently, your attorney still believes you have the possibility of being approved. If you are denied, you can file a request for Appeals Council review, especially if you think that there are factual errors in the decision or procedural errors. It sounds as if you were last insured for Social Security sometime in 2014. If you were to apply again (file a new claim), to be eligible, you would have to establish that you became disabled prior to the last date you were insured. (Note that you cannot claim the same date again if you are denied throughout appeal). Otherwise, if your income and assets are below the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) level, you could apply for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  87. Chrissy says:

    Hi Kay,

    I had been receiving SSI for my son who was born prematurely. A review had been done last December. In May he was ruled no longer disabled. I had submitted documentation staying the services he currently is receiving as a result of him being born prematurely. (Developmental Delay, Speech and Language delays, etc). I filed the appeal and for continued payments. I have now lost my appeal and I am trying to decided to I even want to go further. This process is emotionally draining. I want to know how long last being denied from an appeal will they stop the payments so that I can prepare to stop the people that work with him. Absent of these benefits, I will not be able to pay for them.

    Thank you in advance,

    Chrissy

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Chrissy,

      The continued benefits will probably stop very soon. I suggest that you discuss your son’s case with a Social Security attorney to get advice on whether to request a hearing. Keep an eye on the date so you don’t miss the end of the 60-day appeal period. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  88. Debbie says:

    I have server cervical spinal stenosis, just had surgery but applied for SSDI 3 months ago. I filled out the questionnaire and received my CE appointment rather quickly per my attorney. i am only 42 but walking with out a cane these days is almost unheard of. what do you think my chances are of being approved first time around.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debbie,

      Whether or not you are approved will depend on several factors, among them whether you are disabled from all work you could otherwise perform and if so is the disability expected to last twelve months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  89. Jerry says:

    Hi . I applied when i was unable to work due to a mass on my heart as well as diffiulty breathing and same symtoms i have had that had kept me from being able to function.first in 2007 under the same conditions. Again in 2009 same and again in 2011 /12 I was not able to continue reg Dr. Visits not working for years but gave in and started work in 2013 .I passed out and went through breathing difficult ies and was dignosed with COPD although mass on my heart has grown but not cancer i think i have always had COPD and symptoms on prior paper work shows all the same im back to hardly working at all 10 hours. My question is shallI reapply yet again or am I able to just call a lawyer. I also have sleep apnea and getting seen by this free clinic once every nine months I need some help quick.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jerry,

      It sounds as if you should file an application or appeal if your claim was denied in the past sixty days. If your attempted work in 2013 lasted less than six months, indicate on the application that it was an unsuccessful work attempt and claim your cease work date in 2012 as your date of disability. Also list periods of time off work due to the same conditions in 2007 and 2009. It may be helpful to have legal representation. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  90. angelalynn says:

    Hi I have been on ssi for 5 yes now for fibromialga back problems and anxiety problems. I recently had my 5 yr review and got a letter today just before Xmas that my benefits will stop as my health has improved. Honestly it has not I am now on more medications and I don’t see me passing many jobs drug test due to the amounts of medications I take. I plan on asking for appeal but does anyone know if they will deny me again. Any help I would so appreciate thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Angelalynn,

      I cannot predict whether your appeal will be successful. I suggest that you request a copy of your claim file so that you can see the exact reasons for why your benefits are being stopped so that you can address those issues. If you appeal within ten days, you can request continuation of benefits while the appeal is being processed. If you don’t have an attorney lined up by then, put on the appeal request that you are going to obtain an attorney and also that you do not want your appeal processed until you have an attorney and have received a copy of the claim file.

      You may need legal assistance to form a good argument for your appeal. You can obtain a knowledgeable Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  91. Robin says:

    Hello: I’m currently at the appeals process. I’m waiting on the Appeals Council to decide where my case will go. My question is…How likely, am I to be denied if I get a job, for the amount of hours and pay, allowed, by Social Security. I’m really not sure if I can even work, those hours. However, bills are starting to overwhelm me. Credit cards are maxed out. My medical bills alone, are outstanding. However, I’ve been told, if I do get a job, this all but seals my fate…and will be denied. Even if I work and get paid, what is allowed by Social Security. Mainly, because I have not been approved yet.

    Thank you,
    Robin

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Robin,

      If you are unable to work and earn $1,070 ($1,090 in 2015) gross per month, your work activity may be regarded as not substantial. If that is the case, such work probably would not affect the medical decision on your claim. However, if you are actually able to work more hours and earn more, even if you don’t, then your claim could be denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  92. Jody Williams says:

    My severe impairments are Obesity, supraventricular tachycardia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder , panic disorder , personality disorder. Ssdi hearing denied I was represented by attorney. Also ive been a payee for my mother. Ive tried to contact attorney no response I waited 2 years now what I have no money . Ive lost everything

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jody,

      You have the choice of filing a new claim or filing an Appeals Council review if you think the judge made errors at the hearing or accepting the decision. You do need to talk with your attorney about the best choice in your specific situation. You might also consider whether with assistance, you could work in an occupation you have not done in the past and contact the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation of your state to see if you qualify for training or job placement services.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  93. Kay says:

    I have CMT (a form of muscular dystrophy) and fall often. In 2012 I fell and hit my head and my neurologist told me to stay out of work for a week. The day I came back my job was eliminated. I

    I filed for disability benefits, and in the meantime I tried working but kept falling and every time I would lose my job.

    I finally got my disability hearing on September 3, 2014 and was denied. The reason is becaue I have an MBA and 30 years of experience. I’m in pain daily and must use a cane. On September 30, 2014, I fell and broke my foot. Three months later it is still healing. I have been working as a long term contract programmer, but the day before Thanksgiving I was told my contract would end in January. My workplace is not suited for disabled people, and my rollator flipped over at work since they don’t have a smooth walkway to get into the building.

    So now I get to look for a job again, but this time I will have a more pronounced limp and must use a cane. The question I have is how do I find a job in this condition? I am a liability to any company. I had to use workers comp on one of my falls and got laid off after my last doctor visit.

    At the hearing I was told I could still do clerical work. I have even applied for those jobs, but all I hear is “you will leave when something better comes along.” I’ve gone through my savings between jobs, and now I’m faced with no source of income. As I look through job postings for computer programmers, companies are now adding a statement that the candidate must be able to lift 40 lbs and other ridiculous things just to keep disabled people away.

    Can someone help me?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kay,

      You do not mention having appealed the hearing decision and now you are outside of the appeals period. Not being able to get a job does not mean that you are disabled from all occupations; however, if you think that you really cannot work, you could file a new claim with a date of disability later than the one you first claimed. Alternatively, you might contact the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation of your state, the Easter Seal Society, Goodwill, and other non-profits to see whether any of them can help you with job placement into work that you can do and that is safe for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  94. Jennifer Ack says:

    I have applied for ssdi December 2013 and was declared disabled as of 28 August 2012. I injured myself at work had a lateral release done. And was told I would need a total knew replacement in less than 5 years. I also have lupus and degenerative arthritis in both knees and shoulders. I am unable to stand for extended periods, sit for longer than a couple hours without getting up and moving around. I have difficulty with stairs and cannot get up from squatting with out help. I also cannot lift anything from the floor or carry anything up steps. If I sit for more than an hour I need help getting up and taking my first few steps. I have headaches and occasional blurred vision along with depression. My question is how can they continue to delay my claim when I have all of this documented and the state workers comp board declared me disabled and unable to perform any job in a medical facility including clerical? What can I do to get them to hurry up? Right now I have no health insurance.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      Please clarify a couple points so that I might offer a suggestion about your claim.
      1. Which agency declared you disabled? Workers compensation only or Social Security also?
      2. If Social Security, when did you receive the medical approval?
      3. If Social Security has not made a decision, have you received a denial and appealed? If so, what level of appeal are you at and when did you file the appeal?

      With regard to health insurance, you might apply for insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), where depending on your income, you might be eligible for a government subsidy to help with premium costs. More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  95. Jennifer Ack says:

    Good morning Kay,
    Workers compensation declared me disabled as well as my doctors. Social Security did deny me. I have appealed and have not heard anything from them since October. I did call them and I was told my claim is under review. I have applied for numerous jobs even fast food, they told me I was over qualified. Nursing jobs look at my restrictions and med list and say they are unable to accommodate me safely, both mine and their patients.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      To receive Social Security, if you are under age fifty, and depending on your educational and work background sometimes if you are over fifty, you must be disabled from all occupations you could otherwise perform. I suggest that while your appeal is pending that you contact your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to see whether you might qualify for job training into another field or whether they can identify jobs where you can use some of your knowledge in work that is less physically demanding.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  96. John says:

    I have recently been denied SSDI,and have appealed with a law firm. I have been told the appeal process may be up to 12 months. Because of this I feel I MUST find a job, even though it would be against my doctors’ collective advice. And it would have to be considerably above the SGA to make ends meet.I am totally stressed out about this.Because even though working will be dangerous to my health(and life), I will be in effect proving their point that I CAN work. My question is: If I was not working during the initial claim, but find employment during the appeal process,am I jeopardizing my chances of approval?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear John,

      To be eligible, you must be disabled for a period of twelve months or more. The twelve months can be interrupted with an unsuccessful work attempt, which is an attempt to work that results in ceasing work again due to the same medical condition(s) within three months of starting work. (Sometimes work less than six months is considered an unsuccessful work attempt.)

      If you have already been disabled for twelve months or more, work in excess of Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) levels begun after you have been disabled twelve months would be treated as a Trial Work Period (TWP). Unreduced Social Security disability Benefits are payable during the TWP, which consists of nine months. After that time, you could be eligible for a thirty-six-month Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE). During the EPE, your claim remains open but you are not paid for any month you perform SGA. Note that the information I am giving you is general and you should consult with your attorney about how he or she thinks work would impact a claim with your specific circumstances.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  97. Mimi says:

    Hello and happy new year!

    I applied for SSI benefits in July 2013. My first denial was in October 2014, and I appealed it. A friend told me that they have 90 days to make a decision. Is that true? Also, if/when I’m approved, is my settlement paid from when I initially filed, or from when my claim says I became disabled, which was 2 years prior to my application? Will I be entitled to 19 months of benefits or 43 months?

    Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mimi,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits begin with the month following the month of the application being appealed unless you applied on the first in which case they would begin the month of the application. Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits begin the later of twelve months before the month of application or the sixth full calendar month of disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  98. Justin Thornhill says:

    I got sick and almost died march 5th 2012 my wife applied for disability due to the woman at the hospital told her to apply because I should have already applied and had it because I have had 3 open heart surgeries when i was 2, 6, & 21 1985, 1989, 2004 due to being born with a quarter size hole in my heart. In 2012 I got hospitalized and then caught staff from the hospital I guess and then I almost died on more than one occasion because the staff attacked my heart because it was already weak and the mrsa staff grew a ball of staff on my heart and everytime it beat it would throw staff all over my body I had a stoke and lost complete eyesight in my left eye and while I was in ICU the doctor informed my wife and mother that they were going to put me in a room on a drip and make me comfortable to die. Well that conversation didn’t go well with my wife so she had them transfer me to a bigger and better hospital where they made a concoction to make the staff lay dormate and my legs were swollen 5x the regular size. The doctors didn’t think I would leave with my legs but I did even though they hurt 24/7 he wanted me to go to a pain management doctor for life but I have no insurance so I declined. I have been fighting with disability since 2012 I have a court date on January 9th 2015 I am going to it but I have no lawyer because every one I have try to hire has turned me down and I have no reason why but within the past months I had a seizure right before Halloween for the first time in my life and then November 13th 2014 on my dads birthday I died 4 times and had 10 seizures but the hospital the ambulance took me to was the one I was in 2012 and they didn’t want to keep doing test cause I have no insurance and then 2 weeks ago I died again but didn’t even go to the hospital due to the fact that they wont help because I have no insurance and still owe them 300,000 from 2012 and also I have been going blind for 5-10 minutes at a time but I cant get help anywhere. I honestly don’t even want disability for the check every month I just need insurance before I die I want to see my kids grow up and old but I cant get help from nobody. What can I do every lawyer I have tried contacting they don’t want to help so what can I do or where can I turn. I would represent myself but I don’t know what I need to say or do. Do you have any pointers or a direction I can turn and ill say I again i can care less for the money which would defiantly help me I just want insurance so I can keep my life!!!!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Justin,

      You have between now and February 15 to apply for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Depending on your family’s income, you may qualify for a government subsidy to pay the premiums. You can get more information at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      I do not know the reason your case has been turned down by the attorneys you have contacted. By now you have had your hearing. If you are denied, you have the right to appeal to the Appeals Council and beyond that, if necessary to the Federal District Court.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  99. Todd says:

    Diagnosed with congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath. I was denied in both of my appeals and now have to see a judge, but I am being represented by a lawyer. My last denial letter said even with my limitations and as long as I take my medication my condition should not get any worse. Heart failure gradually gets worse the older you get, so their reasoning makes no sense. I wonder will the judge take in consideration that my condition is worse now because I found out Im a diabetic now. I thought taking my medication wouldnt make it any worse, and just hoping the judge can see I will never be able to work my old job as a warehouse employee or even sit for long periods of time due to my shortness of breath. Do you think I have a chance of winning?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Todd,

      There is a possibility that you could be approved. The judge will consider all medical conditions beginning with the period of time you first had each condition.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  100. Taylor says:

    Hello….I first applied for Medicaid for my daughter who is now 17. She is multiply impaired. Before she lost SSI benefits along with Medicaid due to my income increasing. Per a agency’s suggestion for other community services I applied on her behalf for Medicaid. All came back with denies due to no eligible disability. I tried getting her approved for SSI but she was denied due to receiving survival benefits. During that time another Medicaid application was pending. I’m finding out today that she isn’t eligible due to SSI not having any medical facts on file although she was on SSI when she was younger. I also supplied Medicaid numerous medical documentation with diagnosis. Medicaid is telling me that she will need to apply for SSI numerous times. Then they will need to do evaluation. However, SSI is saying she is denied because of her income. They won’t go any further. I don’t know what to do. All doors are closing for her.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Taylor,

      During the next open enrollment period in the late fall of this year, you can apply for medical insurance for your family through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov. Or, if your daughter lost he Medicaid in the last sixty days, you could try applying for insurance just for her based on a qualifying life event. Depending on your family’s income, you may qualify for a government subsidy to help with the cost of medical premiums. Also, when your daughter turns eighteen, your income will not affect her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) financial eligibility and she will be able to apply again for SSI. In the meantime, enrolling your family in private insurance may be an option. If she has to take medications, some of the large pharmacy chains offer lower cost medications to individuals with no insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  101. Taylor says:

    I forgot to add that per SSI , survival benefits may rollover when she is eighteen. So, if this is the case, SSI will never do a disability evaluation which is what Medicaid is saying she needs to have. (All current documentation provided to Medicaid was from state evaluations of my daughter. They also received a document from her doctor Medicaid sent to me to have filled out.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Taylor,

      Your prior post did not mention survivor benefits, which would be Social Security benefits, not Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If your daughter is receiving survivor benefits and the benefits are below $753 and, once she turns eighteen, your daughter uses the survivor benefits to pay her share of shelter and food costs where she lives or pays market rate for a room and buys her food separately, or pays market rate for room and board, it is possible that she could still qualify financially for SSI. If she has enough income to do this, she should start to this beginning the month she turns eighteen and applies for SSI or earlier.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  102. Queen McCarty says:

    I have been denied SSD/SSI because I don’t have enough credits and my husband makes too much. I have been suffering from Severe Gastroparesis for the past 4 years. I’m unable to do basic chores without being in pain. Is there anyway that I can get any benefits? My husband is active duty military, but he’s about to retire. Can I draw SSI from him? I am in desperate need because I can’t work anymore and we really need the help.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Queen,

      Your husband may have the option of receiving a dependent benefit for you as part of his military retirement pension. He can find out by contacting the retirement department of his branch of the service. If he is eligible for Social Security Disability or Social Security Retirement and you are sixty-two years old or older, you can receive a Social Security spouse’s benefit. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not pay dependent benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  103. Jill says:

    Hi, Kay. I am currently in the request for reconsideration waiting period for my initial SSDI claim. I have bipolar 1 disorder, obsessive/compulsive disorder, general anxiety disorder, social phobia, and seasonal affective disorder, plus I was recently diagnosed with tardive dyskinesia from the Abilify which I’ve been taking for the last 10 years. In addition to this, I suffer from hip and knee arthritis. Obviously, I was denied the first time around. I am being represented by an attorney.

    I went to an independent medical exam in November before I was denied and the doctor was horrible! She asked me questions about my mental disorders, but she did not address the arthritis at all. She didn’t ask me to lift anything, squat, bend, or kneel. The only thing she asked me to do was stand on one foot and jump, which I could not do, and try to walk a straight line, which again I could not do. The examination only lasted about 10-15 minutes and she was very rude and short with me.

    Shortly after this I received my denial letter and a copy of her report. It said that even though my medical conditions do somewhat affect my ability to work, I was able to do a medium unskilled job. I looked that up and it said you must be able to stand most of the day (can’t do this because of the arthritis) and be able to life 10-25 pounds on a regular basis. I am 58 years old and this I can definitely not do!

    Anyway, to get to the point, I guess my question is this: If the diagnosis of TD was made after my initial claim, will my attorney need to notify SSA of this so they can request additional records? If so, do you have any idea of how much time this will add to the request for reconsideration? I had to leave my job last May because of my conditions and really need the money. Also, will her statement of my conditions being “somewhat limited” to work have any bearing with the reconsideration process? Thank you, and sorry for this long question.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jill,

      You should let your attorney know immediately about the new diagnosis, so the information can be submitted and can be considered. You might try to get the related records and submit them. Social Security will consider everything in your claim file including the prior consultative examination report, so you need to present everything you can to overcome that report. Discuss with your attorney that you want to try to win at reconsideration, not have to wait for a hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  104. Shawn says:

    I was approved (Fully Favorable) for SSD in 2012, going back to 2008. (Claimant has the following severe impairments: Herniated cervical disc, neck pain, back pain, lumbar radiculopathy, depressive disorder and anxiety disorder). I’ve had 2 more low back surgeries in 2013 to redo fusion at L/5-S1 and another Dec 9th 2014 (Laminectomy L/4-S5. I also have chronic DVTs which required Angioget and Angioplasty in right leg on 5/21/2014. Had clot in left leg 4/17/2014 and clogged my IVC filter, then developed severely in right leg. I was diagnosed with venous insufficiency in both legs, post plembotic syndrome and my vascular doc is trying to get me a pneumatic compression system. I was also hospitalized 10/30/2014 for depression and suicidal tendencies and elected to have ECT treatments in patient and out patient. I’m up for my 3 yr review Feb 17th of this year. I have been going to the doctors, psychiatrist and counseling non stop since before I filed for SSD. I’m worried about having my benefits stopped. Can I get your opinion? Thank You!! I’m a nervous wreck.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shawn,

      Your describe your condition getting worse, not better, so there should be no reason to think your benefits are going to stop. If your claim is reviewed in the future to see if you are still disabled, just give them all the information about your treatment and any new diagnoses since 2012.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shawn says:

        Thank You Kay!! Just seeing the words “No Reason To Think Your Benefits Are Going To Stop” is comforting. I was also wondering why I didn’t get a short form or a long form, just a notice that says I have an in office appointment. Is that the norm now? Paperwork reduction, etc? I promise, this is my last question! lol

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Shawn,

          I am not sure what you mean by “short form” and “long form.”

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Shawn says:

            Short form SSA-455-OCR-SM (Disability Update Report)
            Long form, SSA-454-BK (Continuing Disability Review Report). Reading all kinds of message boards and attorney info pages, you tube, etc. They speak of getting these forms to fill out and send back to SSA for continuance of benefits. I never got either of these and I’m confused. Sorry to keep bugging you.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Shawn,

            You did not receive the forms you mentioned because your claim is not being reevaluated medically. You have been asked to go to the office to update the non-medical portion of your claim, which for Supplemental Security Income is any changes in your financial situation.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Shawn says:

            I actually just got the short form in the mail Saturday-SSA455. Having trouble trying to figure out best way to answer 5b and 6b. I’ve been going to my back surgeon for post op visits (surgery 12/9/14) and to my psychiatrist. Hospitalized for 2 back surgeries and Depression. What can be the best answers other than “Back surgery/Depression” to where the SSD in Wilkes Barre computer reader doesn’t spit it out for red flag. I just don’t want to go through any long forms and the rest of the crap, cause I’m trying to move back home to Florida.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Shawn,

            The best thing to do is to list all treatment and all diagnoses that you have received in the time period in the period of time the form asks for. Surely a few minutes or even a few hours is worth monthly income to support you. If you move, be sure to report it to Social Security in our new town and ask them to report the change of address to the office doing the continuing disability review.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  105. Maria says:

    Hi Kay,
    I email you a while ago and I finally got a response from social security and I will like to know your opinion, the letter says the following:
    -We have been noticed that your application for Supplemental Security Income disability payments MAY be approved. Before we can begin your payments, you most come into our office.
    An appointment has been schedule on February 19, 2015……………

    So they are asking me to bring the followings documents/information:
    *The evidence used to establish your disability indicates that that your interests would be best served if a representative payee received the benefits on your behalf. When you come into the office, please bring a trusted relative or friend who can serve as your representative payee.

    * they are asking me to bring bank statements for the period May 21, 2013

  106. Maria says:

    Sorry kay, I don’t know why message was sent without ending.
    Well I will like to know if you can help me in how to approach this coming appointment and If you know why are they asking me to go with a trusted representative?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maria,

      You have been medically approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and possibly Social Security Disability (SSDI) if you applied for that as well. The medical review of your claim resulted in a determination that you are not capable of directing the use of your funds on a consistent basis to see that your your shelter and food expenses are paid and other basic needs are met. Therefore, your claim has been approved for payment with a representative payee (trusted relative or friend) to manage your benefits and pay your bills.

      If you disagree, you have the right to appeal the payee decision, which could best be done with a statement from your own physician about your capacity to use money to take care of your needs. If you decide to appeal, have the doctor complete form SSA 787. You can get the form by “Googling” the form number on the Internet and printing it or you can request it from a Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  107. Maria says:

    Hi Kay,
    First of all I want to thank you so much for the wonderful help you provide in this comments.
    I just received another letter from SSA ODAR saying : NOTICE OF DECISION -FULLY FAVORABLE, but I am so confuse about going for an interview for SSI and scared I wont be approved. Not sure about all this. Can you please explained to me whats going on? will I get some kind of help even if I don’t pass the next interview with SSI?
    Thanks so much again,
    Maria

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maria,

      You must be both medically and financially eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Your upcoming interview is to review your finances since you applied to determine whether you are financially eligible for all the months since application and, if so, for how much each month and to determine your ongoing benefit amount. (If you applied for Social Security Disability, only workers compensation and certain government pensions affect payment amount.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Maria says:

        Hi Kay, hope all is weel, Will I need both, form ssa 787 and the letter from Dr ?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Maria,

          You need only form SSA 787. It would be a good idea to have the doctor address on the form whether you are still disabled from working even though you can manage money.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  108. Steve says:

    Hi Kay,

    I am going into the initial hearing stage as I have been denied SSD after the original application and then reconsideration. One of my questions is do you know if my credit report will have a bearing on the hearing. Will my credit report be used at the hearing?

    I have always had a good credit rating but it might be slipping soon because I have no income.

    Thank you very much.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Steve,

      Your credit report has no bearing on whether you are disabled and will not be discussed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Steve says:

        Kay,

        Thank you very much for the reply. I noticed SS is listed as a soft inquiry on my credit report is the reason that I asked you. Do you know if they will run anymore inquiries before a hearing?

        One last question. I had earned one credit the year that I stated my disability began (as you probably know, one can earn up to 4 credits per year). Is this one credit applied to the entire year so that the day and month that I stated my disability began make me eligible for SSDI or do they apply that one credit to a particular portion of the year it was earned?

        Thank you very much in advance :)

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Steve,

          Thank you for the information about the credit check. I have never heard of that before. With regard to the earnings credit, if you earned the credit after the date of disability that you claimed, it will not be counted to insure you. If you need the credit to be insured, then your disability will be established after the date that you earned the last required credit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Steve says:

            Hi Kay,

            I recently wrote to you about being insured on the date of disability and you replied:

            “…if you earned the credit after the date of disability that you claimed, it will not be counted to insure you. If you need the credit to be insured, then your disability will be established after the date that you earned the last required credit.”

            If I earned the credit after the date of disability (my stated date), will SS automatically move the date of disability forward to the time that I earned my last required credit? How will I know what my actual date of disability is?

            You have helped a lot of people here – God bless you.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Steve,

            Part of Social Security’s decision that you are disabled is a determination of the date you became disabled. In determining whether you are eligible for benefits, they also routinely look at the last date you were last insured, so I believe that they will look at when you were first insured as well. That’s a long way of saying probably they will automatically adjust your eligibility date. If that doesn’t happen and you are denied for any reason related to your insured status, you can appeal.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  109. Maria says:

    Hi Kay, hope all is well,
    I was approved for SSI and the are going to pay me $488 a month and Im worry because is a very low amount, so Im not sure if that amount will go up with SSA or what is going to happen, The Social security office also told me I was going to get $11000.00 back pay for SSI so Im wondering if that will be all the money I will be getting or SSA is not included yet?
    I am so grateful I will be getting some help thou.
    Thank you very much for your help Kay.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maria,

      If you have also been approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your SSDI benefit could be higher than $488. Also, if, when you start to receive benefits and get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay, you start to pay your share of the shelter and food expenses where you live or pay your share of shelter expenses and buy your own food, two months later, your SSI will increase (assuming that you are not yet getting SSDI.)

      SSI back pay will be set up for payment first. If SSI eligibility continues after Social Security starts, you will be paid the $11,000 back pay after attorney fees in 3 installments six months apart and the first two will be in the amount of $2,199 each and the remainder paid in the last installment. Social Security payments will be processed after SSI. You will likely be eligible for Social Security back pay, but it will be reduced by the amount of SSI back pay paid for months in which you were eligible for both benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  110. Maria says:

    The attorney mention I was approved for SSA, so I don’t understand what is happening here

  111. Maria says:

    The date of fully favorable decision is 2/5/2015 and my earning records show I paid $21000 and more or less same amount my employer paid and I paid $5000 for Medicare as well as my employer $5000. My onset date date of disability is December 7, 2011. Not sure if this may help you help me.
    Thanks again Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maria,

      Please see my response to your earlier post of the same date. I am not able to tell you the amount your Social Security benefit will be. If you got the tax information you quoted from an earnings statement issued by Social Security, it should have a disability benefit estimate in the same statement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  112. Maria says:

    Thank you so much Kay for all your help.

  113. Marsha Johns says:

    Hi i suffer from depression social phobia anxiety short term memory loss….I ma in Federal Court waiting to hear if denied or in favor. I talked to my lawyer she said maybe we should reapply and see if we can reopen my case….. Is it true if i get denied in federal court I cant go on and try to appeal or reopen my case Thank you I dont know what to do been fighting for 4 years Marsha

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marsha,

      If you are denied in Federal District Court, you would have to appeal in Federal District Court.

      I am not certain, but I think while your appeal is pending in Federal District Count, you can file a new, separate claim, for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at any time. Similarly, you may be able to file a new claim for Social Security Disability if you are still currently insured for disability after the date of the last appeal decision. I suggest you ask your attorney to explain the advantages and disadvantages, if any, of refiling.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  114. Lisa Jones says:

    I have worked since I was 18 yrs old was laid off in 2009 I’m 51 now and have Diabetes (was diagnosed at 12) I take 5 shots a day , massive heart attack, open heart surgery (8 blockages) stroke (short term memory is gone) depression, deg. back disease I tried to work after my surgery but couldn’t because of memory loss and was denied ssd in 2010, and has gone before the judge and was denied,was appealed haven’t heard anything in 7 months I don’t understand what they base it on, I know people that have been approved for a bad back, what do I need to do, my lawyer said I couldn’t present any new information to the judge even though my Dr said he would guarantee I would get it after his input

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lisa,

      Appeals Council reviews can take as long as two years. Once your claim is at the Appeals Council level, no new evidence is accepted because the Appeals Council considers only whether or not the judge followed proper procedures and did appropriate investigation given the information you and your attorney presented. If you are not approved after all the appeals you file have been decided, discuss with your attorney the possibility of filing a new application with a later disability date.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

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