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

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

Timeframe for Getting a Social Security Hearing DecisionTimeframe for Getting a Social Security Hearing Decision

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

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

When Benefits Start After a Favorable Hearing Decision

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

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

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

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  • Published: 9 months ago on March 3, 2016
  • By:
  • Last Modified: December 5, 2016 @ 5:55 pm
  • Filed Under: Hearings
  • M. McNutt

    Hello All,
    I had my disability hearing 10/26/16. In is now 12/5/16 and the SSI website finally acknowledged the hearing and is stated “Your hearing was held. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is reviewing your case, and we are developing for any additional evidence before the ALJ issues a decision.” (Step 2 out of 3).
    Since it took almost 6 weeks just to update the on-line site. Which one will come first: the update on-line or the approval/denial letter in the mail.

    My attorney stated that he thought the hearing did well and the occupational specialists stated that there are ZERO jobs that I can preform under my current limitations after being asked the “hypothetical” questions. When the ALJ modified my restrictions to match the restrictions when my employer “found” a temporary job for me to do there was less then 8000 positions in the united states employment pool. Whats the chance of me getting one of those…slim to none!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear M.,

      Not being hired for a job is different from being unable to perform a job. If the judge finds that the occupation exists in sufficient numbers and you can perform the occupation, your claim could be denied. That said, apparently your attorney is not concerned about it, so there may be no reason for concern.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shaun

        Dear Kay,

        Not to piggyback off of M.’s question, but you didnt give an answer to the first part. They wanted to know that it took approximately 6 weeks just to update the online status, is that an approximation that a decision has been made since there are now updates online?

        Sincerely,

        S.J.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Shaun,

          I don’t know how long it takes for the updates to be posted. It depends on how the updates are being done. If they are done manually or are automated off a manual entry, the timing could vary greatly like other processing functions in the Social Security claims process because the update would depend on how quickly the employee made the entry.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Gabriella

    Dear Kay:
    My husband Is crippled since he was born in 1976. He had over 15 surgeries but at that time they were not sure of what the were doing. He has drop foot, escoliosis and some other conditions. We have been trying to get his disability for over 3 years and our las hearing was in March 2016 and this time we had a lawyer to represent him. Our hearing was supposed to be a video call since we moved to another state and we didn’t wanted to lose our current lawyer. The day of the hearing many technical situations happened in the SS office so we didn’t actually had a hearing. The judge talked over the phone with our lawyer for several minutes and then someone not sure who it was but this person was supposed to be in the hearing he said that the judge was reviewing the case and that his chances of approval were high and they would do it from straight from the beginning when we started our claim. It’s been now almost 7months and we have not heard anything. We called them like 2 1/2 months ago and they said the case was still in for decision and that we were not the only ones waiting for the letter. Last time we called the said a letter should arrive between 6-10 weeks and we still haven’t received anything yet. Any advise?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gabriella,

      Your hearing decision has pended substantially longer the norm, so you might talk to your attorney for advice about whether it would be inadvisable to request a congressperson to follow up. Otherwise about all you can do is call every three or four weeks to see if the appeal has advanced in the process.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • shakeema lynch

      Hi Kay I’ve been waiting for a hearing dati applied for ssd and ssi on Sep 17 2014 I’ve been waiting 26 months for a hearing date my attorney appealed my case April 22 2015 I have anxiety agoraphobia major depression sever agoraphobia superventicular tachycardia uncontrollable high blood pressure I also have hypersensitive heart disease due to uncontrollable blood pressure my rfcs are very restrictive I have tons of evidence I called odar today in Manhattan the guy said it could take another 6 months before I see a judge that’s 33 months altogether could it be true I hope not the website said 20 months wait. It will be 20 for me dec22 2016 he said my case is waitng on being worked up when do you think I will get a date please help wit info

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Shakeema,

        The number of months on the website is an average so some will necessarily take longer than the average. That said, the person you spoke to may not have wanted to be too optomistic. He may have thought it would be better to give the outside time than to underestimate. While you wait, gather your medical records for the period since you last submitted records and get them sent to the hearing office. You can also request a copy of your claim file if you or your attorney has not already done so. The file will give you the exact reasons for your denials so that you can address any errors or omissions in the prior unfavorable determinations.

        If you do not have an attorney, I suggest that you hire an experienced Social Security attorney to assist with your appeal. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 before they send your back pay to you.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • shakeema lynch

          Hi. Kay I called the odar office again today I was told my case was sent to another state to be worked up since the case load in ny is so much will this shorten my time as I stated befor I applied since Sep 17 2014 I appealed 20 months ago on April 22 2015 now total wait is 26 months I do have an attorney on my case is this a good thing they transferred out my case thanx

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Shakeema,

            The transfer was done with the expectation that the office in the other state could move your appeal to a hearing faster than in New York; so in that sense it is good.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Onequa

    Hello, I went to my hearing on September 14,2016 with my attorney. My attorney told me everything looked good and he thinks I may be approved. Since then I have been calling to check the status and at first I was told it’s in editing, then it was awaiting judges signature, and I called back today and they’re telling me it’s in editing again. How long does it take to get a decision, and what’s the process or stages it goes through after the hearing?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Onequa,

      The decision has already been made. Apparently, there was an error in the letter that the judge asked to have corrected before he signs it. I would think that you would get the letter within a month of when it was sent back to editing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tiffany Wilder

        How long does it take a person to get in front of a judge

  • Dante

    Hi all. Much like everyone else i am waiting for a hearing decision. I am 53 years old. My hearing was this month. I have been told a decision can take up to 3 months. My hearing was short but i can’t recall how short because of being both nervous and in pain that day. As i recall the judge said he would move the date of elegibilty one year. After a brief set of questions the voc was asked the hypotetical questions to which he said there was no job i would be able to do under my conditions and because of special time requirements of equal work and rest periods. It seemed to me that my age was taken into consideration. As soon as the vocational answered the hypotetical questions in the negative, the judge ended the hearing without any further questions. My representative told me it looked very favorable. Even so, i won’t know until the letter arrives. The wait adds to the stress levels but i guess that’s normal seeing as i haven’t been able to work in years, which of course has me in a dire financial crisis. I’d like to think the representative is right but i guess only time will tell.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dante,

      As you describe the hearing, I see no reason to question your representative’s optimistic opinion. That said, you are right: you won’t know for sure until you get the written decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ConcernedMom

    Hi
    I applied for SSI benefits for my son who has ADHD on July 7, 2016. I received a letter in the mail of what we discussed over the phone. I called at the end of October to get a status update and was told that my son case was at DDS pending a decision and they had everything they needed, she also stated that my son case had be reassigned to someone else because his case worker before was no longer there. I contacted his new case worker Monday Nov-14 and she said they sent out a forms for his school and doctor that day that confused me because the lady I spoke to before said they had everything. She was a supervisor. What are the chances that he gets approved.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Concerned Mom,

      The supervisor probably took a quick look at the claim and saw that everything that had been requested had been received. Then when the claims examiner reviewed the claim thoroughly, she probably found that more information was needed and requested that information. Call in about two weeks to see if the requested items have been received. If not, I suggest that you follow up to the school and doctor.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Dear Kay, I had my hearing on 9/12/16 for mental illness of ptsd and bipolar 1 disorder. My doctor did a mrfc and listed all the questions as either marked or extreme as well as writing about witnessing me when I am manic and anxious. The doctor also wrote about my problems with concentration and focusing on tasks along with losing track of thought in mid conversation. The doctor also talked about my suicidal/ self mutilation, and hallucinations along with my fear of leaving the house. In the report it stated that my illness would be here whether I abused drugs/alcohol or not. My lawyer had his own doctor do a evaluation of me and it pretty much supported the reports from my doctor. My only concern is during my hearing the judge asked the ve if I could perform any jobs she said yes. Then my lawyer asked could I work my old job and the be said no. So with all this going on how could the ve say I can work some sort of job. Does this mean I will be denied? What are my chances of being approved? I also heard the longer you wait the more the chances are that you will be denied is that true.

        Sincerely,
        April

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear April,

          How long the decision pends is not an indication of whether the decision will be an approval or denial. I would have expected the judge to ask the vocational expert (VE) a hypothetical follow-up question asking whether you could do the job with your mental limitations and restrictions on the MRFC evaluation. (The judge would have named the limitations and restrictions specifically).

          If you are denied, you can request a review by the Appeals Council. If you appeal and do not have an attorney, I recommend that you hire an attorney who is experienced with Appeals Council appeals. I suggest that you hire an experienced Social Security attorney to assist with your appeal. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 before they send your back pay to you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Hey Kay sorry to piggy back here but we live in upstate Ny and my wife had her hearing on the 27th of October for her back surgery’s and stomach thereat a chance my wife won’t be walking in the next 5yrs but won’t go on about that we’ve been waiting now and everyone i asked that is on disablity said it only took them a month before they got a letter and 2 weeks they got their payment and I understand you can’t give a direct answer on how long but reading all these comments and seeing the post dates has us scared!! We are so stressed and now Christmas is coming and we don’t know what to do we can’t say to our 2 kids oh sorry Santa didn’t come because a judge didn’t make a decision we can care less about us but my kids may have to suffer i can’t work due to surgery on my knee 2 weeks ago and in court they deemed her unable to ever work again what do we do? We can’t do our job as parents and can only get so far but Christmas looks like a disaster 😢

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear William,

          The guideline for judges to issue a decision is sixty days, but it can be less or more time. Once the decision letter has been received, it can be a few weeks up to a couple months before Social Security Disability (SSDI) is paid. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits are authorized from the local office and are sometimes paid as soon as two weeks after the date of the letter, but more often it takes close to a month and sometimes longer. To help with Christmas, you might contact the local fire or police department or local churches to find out whether any are doing toy drives for children whose families are going through hard times.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Krissy

        Hi Kay, I have a couple of questions. I had my hearing back in July which the record was kept open to allow some time for additional medical records. i called the odar office on the 18th of this month and the lady stated it was back on the judges desk for review and signature and it could take from 2-3 weeks before I got my decision letter. Will my ssa account change if the decision was unfavorable before the judges signs off or will it remain the same ” estimated benefits can not be released since I recently filed for ss or Medicare? I also received a life insurance policy from Kansas city Missouri around a month ago when my claim was in letter writing which it states supplement your government benfits of $255.00 and receive your free social security and Medicare brochure. Is there a consumer reporting agency that gives out information on people before the claimant is aware they were approved for benefits?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Krissy,

          The status of your claim will not change until the judge signs off on the decision letter. The letter from the insurance company appears to be generic advertising. The $255 being referenced is a Social Security one-time lump sum death benefit paid to certain qualifying survivors upon the death of a Social Security recipient.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Krissy

            Thank u Kay!!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Krissy.

      • Bob

        Dear Kay – My wifes hearing was Oct 14th in CT. We had tons of documentation, as there is also an ongoing workers comp case. Independent vocational experts and doctors documented that she can’t realistically return to work. She is 57, and the claim began when she was 55, as I know there is an age component to this. Our attorney said anywhere from 30-60 days, and generally decisions are handed down end of the month. I keep checking ss website and get the same thing nothing. Are chances good we should hear by end of year?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Bob,

          It’s not really possible to predict how long it will take to get a hearing decision. The guideline is sixty days, but it can be sooner or later than that. Your wife can call the hearing office to find out where the claim is in the appeal process. If it is in letter writing or editing, there could be a chance for a decision letter by the end of the year–less so if the decision hasn’t been made yet.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Key

    Hello Kay,

    I had my haring two weeks ago. I based my claim on Seizure disorder that is not controlled and general anxiety disorder. I had quite a bit of documentation on both. The judge got into depth about how often my seizure are, my ability to focus, and my panic attacks. She looked at my work history and had a vocational expert on the phone who stated I am not able to work if I missed more than 1 day of work per month , the question was a hypothetical question. He also stated that there were no other jobs he could see me doing according to some laid out guidelines they have in a “book” . After my hearing my attorney said I did very well testifying and he felt very optimistic. Do you think he is correct. The one thing that made me very anxious about the hearing is that the judge is aware as I reported truthful statements in my request for social security that I was an online full time college student. However I have taken 9 months worth of breaks as my anxiety and seizures get very out of hand. Also the neurologist sent in information about more serious diagnosis’ other than epilepsy. Do you agree that I should be optimistic, or do you think my schooling would cause me problems?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Key,

      At this point, there is no reason to question your attorney’s opinion. Given the fact that you have had to interrupt your education due to your health, I wouldn’t think that would have a negative effect on your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • sleeplessinmt

      I apologize for writing in a reply I didnt know how to start a new one. Kay, can you explain why a person would be approved for ssdi AND ssi. All I know is ssi is usually less and ssdi is more and I do have enough work credits. My hearing is Dec. 7th very nervous. Was just reading the feed and wanted to ask.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Sleepless,

        If at the time of application, a person’s income and assets are within the limits an application will be taken for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in addition to the Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) application.

        Sometimes a person with a limited work history will have an SSD benefit that is lower than the maximum SSI payment. In that circumstance, both SSD and SSI will be paid ongoing. On the other hand, if the SSD is higher than the SSI, SSI will be paid only until SSD payments start. (Usually SSI can be paid faster and it can be paid for the months that fall in the SSD unpaid five-month waiting period if the SSI application is filed before the waiting period has expired.)

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Ashley

    Hi Kay,

    I am 32 years old and I had my hearing on July 5th of this year with a judge from the Elkins Park, PA ODAR office. My attorney was present, as was a VE. The VE said there were some suitable jobs that I could do, but when my attorney asked if I would need to take additional breaks other than scheduled breaks would I be hirable. At that point the VE stated “No”. I was able to get a letter from my doctor stating I need to take a 5 minute break every 30 minutes, which was immediately sent to the judge’s office. I suffer from chronic migraines, neuropathy, spinal stenosis, and severe depression. I have recently requested my case be processed as a dire need due to being in jeopardy of having my car repossessed, not being able to afford groceries for my home, and having suicidal thoughts due to the stress of finances and this prolonged SSDI case. I called to check on the status and they said as of Oct 17th a decision was made and it was with the writer. When I called a few days ago they said the judge had sent it back for editing. What do you think my chances of being approved are at this point?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ashley,

      I am not able to predict whether you will be approved, but you should get a written decision within a month or less. If you have not done so, you might consider applying for SNAP (formerly called food stamps) because it can take a while to get benefits started. If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as well as SSDI (Social Security Disability), the SSI will be authorized for payment at the local office and, there, you can request an emergency advance payment based on danger of losing your car and any other dire circumstance you might have at the time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jen

        So sorry to piggyback on your post but Kay I need your help! I was told that one way to check if you were approved before getting a letter is to check your my social security account. If it’s giving an estimated benefit amount then you were denied. I checked mine today and it’s giving an estimated benefit amount and when I click on benefit statement it says I would be eligible for so much a month disability and gives a link to apply. Is this true? Does this mean I was denied?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jen,

          Yes, probably your claim has been denied if previously the account said your claim was pending. If you have been denied, you should soon receive a letter that describes appeal rights, which you can use if you disagree with the decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Hi Kay,

            I guess I am “piggybacking” too. I had my Disability hearing on 10/5/16. I signed an acceptance date form (which I was told that I would be approved). That being said, as of today, I have not heard anything. Any suggestions?

            Thanks,
            Joe

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Joseph,

              The guideline for a decision letter to be sent to you is sixty days from the hearing, but it can be less or more time. At this point, all you can do is wait for the approval to be finalized.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • joe

                Thanks for the feedback Kay! What do I do if I have not received a reply within the 60 day period? thks!

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear Joe,

                  You can call to get a status on the formal decision; otherwise, all you can do is continue to wait for the decision letter.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

          • Allen Payne

            Sorry don’t mean to piggyback but I have a question Mrs Kay what dose it mean when u check ur status on my social security account I’ve had my hearing with the judge on august 18 2016 and they said it’s still with the underwriters I’m just wanting to know if it shows that it’s not available dose that mean I’m approved I surely appreciate ur help

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Allen,

              The fact that your appeal is in the letter writing department just means that the judge has made a decision; the decision could be either an approval or denial.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • Allen Payne

                Dear Kay i checked my status on my social sercurity and I looked to see what my estamate would be and it shows not available dose that mean it’s been denied or is it a good thing thank you for your help ! Allen

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear Allen,

                  Typically while a claim is pending a decision, estimated earnings are not displayed. Accordingly, your claim is probably still pending.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

                • Allen Payne

                  Thank you !! Allen

                  • Kay Derochie

                    You are welcome, Allen

  • Royzetta Hayes

    Hi I’m diagnosed with Ventricular Tachycardia,Dysautonomia (Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Syncope), Post Phlebitic Syndrome, and etc. I am currently waiting on the date for a hearing. What do you think my chances of approval are? And one other question, is it normal for the attorney not to have sent any medical records to ss until receiving the letter of hearing date? SS stated “You have no documentation on file, this is your 15th month, and your hearing date could be issued any day, documentation needs to complete before hearing”. I am lost.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Roysetta,

      Whether or not you are eligible depends on how much your diagnoses affect your ability to sustain work activity and how well you document that. You need to talk with your attorney right away about getting a copy of your hearing claim file, so you can determine what is missing and get it in before the hearing. It could take longer to update your medical evidence than you would have if you wait until the hearing date is set. If the hearing is held before you have submitted updated medical evidence, your attorney can ask to have the record held open after the hearing to have time to finish submitting evidence. I would, however, be better to get in before. When talking with the attorney, get clarity on who is going to get the records–you or the attorney’s office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Chantel barnes

      Sorry to piggyback. If your child have autism spectrum disorder and was diagnose after you been denied and is waiting for a appeal hearing do you think a child with autism will get approved

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Chantel,

        You can submit evidence of the new diagnosis and any new information about the limitations your child has; the new evidence will be considered. I cannot predict whether your child will be approved because the severity of symptoms associated with a diagnosis can vary from mild to very debilitating.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

      • Cherita

        Hi I wasn’t sure how to start a new thread. My son was born prenature weighing 1pound 10 ounces and has been very sickly over the years he has been diagnosed with ADHD, Chronic Asthma, learning disability, Touretts syndrome and dyslexia. He’s 9 and we had his hearing a month ago but I wasn’t told if he was approved or not. I have an attorney but I just wanted to no what are the odds of his getting approved for ssi.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Cherita,

          If your son’s multiple medical and cognitive conditions interfere substantially from functioning in development, learning, and interaction, he will be approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Tay

        Yes, my child has autism and was approved at age 3.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tay,

          I do not find a prior question from you to which your current post may refer. If you would like to ask a question, please post again.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Dear Kay,

      I am from NC. and have reached a critical place where I need someone to help me. My Adj hearing was in July 2016, the judge took 30 days to gather more details and the case was finally decided the end of September. I was using an attorney but I also had been having severe problems with the staff and dealing with many abusive issues.
      I reached out to the commission about the behaviors and the Adj. Office about concerns.
      The week I had finally decided to replace them I was finally given a hearing date after no communication for months.
      I spoke to three different people concerning the law office and a partner verbally assaulting me to the point I couldn’t even function for days.
      I was pushed and threatened into doing work for my own case they were billing me for.
      These same areas were also what cost me in my hearing a lack of filing and records that were current.
      Even the ones I carried to court that day were not properly handled.

      I wasn’t called but once to prep for this day knowing I was a shut in who begged for another option except travel.
      I was forced to travel and face my phobia without any support or helpful advice after the law office blasted me.

      I was asked questions by my own lawyer that made me sound like no matter the job I was offered I would find a way to not try.

      The judge asked me nothing about work his only comments were very abrubt and directed at me. I was asked if I was aware I didn’t look ill? If I had ever heard that. I was asked what my day is like.
      When I tried to express that he seemed bored. No VE was there.
      He didn’t seem to care about the spine damage I have or the neck issues, the level of PTSD I have and the no stop illness I cannot possibly be faking or get results made up for.
      I also have documented proof of ddd in L-4-6 2 levels by Carolina pain center and a well known doctor who also found cervical collar issues using discography.
      I have used a cane since 2009 and walked with a pronounced limp but the judge made comments of no visible evidence of injuries or pain.
      I had been falling frequently and was recently given a script for one of the push and scoot carts. I hate that thing but to prevent any further bloody damage or worse I complied.
      The judge calls me a male several times and while I was shaved headed at the time there is no chance he couldn’t tell.

      Many medical errors are made in the judges rendering of his opinion if he really based it off my files. Like one being the current clinic he used as my primary care and the work they have recently done. I have not been to the place he lists in three years!!! Most of the medical information is limited and seems to be used to mention parts the judge wished to pick apart my case not see the full version.
      Notes I know that were written to help me were broken down and used how he decided to take them.
      I discussed the notes used with one of the doctors very thoroughly and was given an FCE to help me because his office doesn’t allow him to do certain things.
      My attorney refused for me to comply with the FCE based on how they are seen in court.
      I was told not to use Fibromyalgia a recent diagnosis I got, because it and another over used one would only harm me.
      They were not mentioned nor were the records sent.
      My attorney held back my medical records without my approval.
      How was that right or fair?

      I hired this person to help me because I can’t do it or handle it.
      What can I do now?
      My time is going to be up if it isn’t.
      He quit literally after he got the decision and refused to send me my total file.

      I can’t get any help.
      I have no future and I am getting worse.
      I have injuries from my original account that never got treated thanks to similar issues.
      As a person trusting the legal help they get and have no choice but to take it this stinks!!
      I need someone fast to help me.
      My husband is the only income we have and he can’t work or dies what do I do?
      I am not even over my 40’s yet how can my life be over?
      I didn’t choose this so why am I being punished because someone else was wreck less?

      I need legal help if anyone has any one please have them contact me?
      I am destroyed and life has no meaning except guilt.

      How do prevent this judge from doing me this way?

      I have always worked.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Kelly,

        Be sure to file for an Appeals Council Review, even if you have to do it before you hire another attorney. State on the appeal that you will be hiring an attorney to have a brief submitted for your claim. Request a copy of your claim file and of the hearing transcript. That will help you and your new attorney draft a statement in support of the appeal. The address of the Appeals Council is

        Appeals Council, SSA/ODAR
        5107 Leesburg Pike
        Falls Church, VA 22041-3255

        The hearing denial letter has more information about filing.

        You can locate other Social Security attorneys by contacting the bar association in your state and asking for a list of attorneys who represent Social Security disability claimants. Then interview two or three to see which one shows the most interest in your case and can give you a general idea of how he or she would approach the appeal. Limit your complaint about the first attorney, sticking to the fact that you thought that the case could have been presented better and the attorney did not want to continue to the next appeal. Focus more on the errors the judge made. Be sure to notify the Social Security Administration when you hire a new attorney and complete the representative appointment papers.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • CHRISTIE MINK

      I applied for emergency food stamps in williamsburg ky almost 30 dayus ago.We are starving.I applied for disability and cannot work at this time.I have gone to the local office several times.% days ago they told me to call the 888# for benefind.I have held on hold for hours and cannot ever get through.I cant seem to find any one to give me any anwsers on anything,not even the status.I am sure I qualify,no drug charges I have copd and weaR OXYGEN AND HAVE DISC PROBLEMS IN MY NECK AND BACK.i HAVE NERVE DAMAGE AND LOSE FEELING IN MY LEGS AND AN ARM ALONG WITH POST TRAMATIC STRESS AND MORE.dO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT I CAN DO?THANKS

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Christie,

        Try submitting a dire need statement to the Social Security hearing office; it should speed thing up a bit; however, there will be additional processing time once you have been approved by the judge. This means that you will not get financial relief from your Social Security claim any time soon.

        I am not knowledgeable about the details of food stamp process, but I would think you should have gotten the emergency assistance within a week. To get through on the phone, you might try calling early in the morning when they first open. For immediate help, try to visit a food bank in your area. Most counties have food banks and many churches. You might also try online to find a state or county ombudsman who might be able to act on your behalf.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Walter

    I am a 100% disabled veteran,with ptsd and degenerate disk disease,I had my hearing about 61 days ago,a week after my hearing the judge sent me for a nervous exam with the psychologist I had already seen.And the psychologist told my wife I can’t work,what do you think of this?Will I be approved or denied?And getting sent to see him again a good thing for my case?Thanks Walter

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Walter,

      Given the consultant’s opinion that your limitations keep you from working, being seen again for an update could help your claim if he writes up your condition and limitations clearly. However, note that the consultant is not asked to make a decision about whether you can work, only to ascertain your diagnosis and limitations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • brandon

      dear kay I had my hearing back in 9/12/2016 it only lasted for about 10 or 15 mins the doctor that was in there read out my diagnosis and the judge ask him if he agreed with it and the doc said yes they didn’t ask any jobs I could do all judge said he will send out a letter after words my lawyer said I won but its been about sixty days and I still haven’t gotten a letter so I am little nervous wondering if I am approved since my lawyer said I was what do u think thanks

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Brandon,

        As you describe the hearing, I would agree with your attorney that it is likely you will be approved. If you are not, the judge’s not getting vocational testimony would make good grounds for appeal.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Donald

          Let me piggyback, my hearing case was somewhat similar. With the exception the judge asked the ve 2 hypethical questions instead of the normal 3. The ve answered i could probably do janitorial work based on ssi dr exam that was several years earlier. Then based on either the hearing or my dr.s not sure which one. The ve said i could do nothing. The judge then asked me a question that he claimed he had never asked anyone. “What will I do with the money?”. My attorney said I gave best answer. He said that in past experience with this judge, when only two hypothetical were asked, the claimant won.My attny said he think I win. Does this sound right?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Donald,

            You will not know for sure until you get the decision, but your attorney has experience with the judge so there is no reason to doubt his opinion. I doubt the number of hypothetical questions is a determining factor.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Donald

          Waiting for response xxxxxx@live.com

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Donald,

            The response to your question is posted on this website. We do not respond via email. I deleted your email address from your post to protect your privacy.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Diane Ridall

      I also am 100% disabled veteran. I had a severe stroke while on military duty in 2012! Which also affected my vision and severe depression! I applied for SSD August 2012 all my paperwork was filed through social security! Had a hearing with ALJ on 4 feb 2016! The judge sent me for a few more tests within two weeks of the hearing! As of this date I still HAVE NOT heard anything regarding my case! I do call every other week to check on status and I’m constantly told that my case is on the judges desk! How long does a case sit on a judges desk? What could I do.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Diane,

        Your appeal decision has been pending too long; however, following up can be touchy at this level of appeal. The first option you might try is to call the hearing office and ask whether it could be called to the judge’s attention that it has been eight months since the post-hearing test results were submitted. This approach could be effective if, on the off-chance, how long the decision has been pending has escaped his notice. If the clerk indicates he or she will do that and you don’t receive a decision within another month or the clerk declines to do so, you could contact your congressperson’s office and ask them to follow up with the hearing office because of the length of time that has passed. And, of course, if you have an attorney discuss the situation with him or her before you do anything!

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • robert buracker

      I had a hearing on july 22 2016 the hearing only lasted a few minutes the alj indicated that he was going to rule in my favor and even stated that i should have been awarded by dds. Everytime i call the morgantown wv odar i am told it is in post hearing status it has now been 108 days how much longer should this take?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Robert,

        You should have gotten a decision by now. I suggest calling the hearing office again and ask for more specific information about the “post-hearing status.” Has the judge made a decision and the decision is in letter writing or is it still awaiting the judge’s decision? Be sure that “post-hearing status” does not mean that the record is still open waiting for you to submit something.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

      • robert buracker

        Still waiting case is still in post status the record is closed called just today told that they have 5000 pending cases at that odar and that alj will get to it when he gets to it. There is no time limit for the alj to make a decision. I can understand a couple months but not this long. Is there anyone that monitors or supervises ssa alj. Never would have guessed that these process is this messed up. Just venting!!!!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Robert,

          No, there is really nothing you can do but wait and check about every three weeks or so to see if any progress is being made. One possibly encouraging thought is that not all of those 5,000 appeals have already had a hearing; most are likely waiting for a hearing and not for a decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Hey Kay I apply for ssi for my son who has ADHD and ODD in November 2012 and was denied because they said that he will get better in a year. I still appealed….my son has been kicked off the school bus and suspended from school multiple times, he had intensive in home for two years, he still has day treatment in school, he also have been on over ten different medications and nothing is working…he had a hearing this year on may 12th with adjudication judge its now Nov almost 6 months later…I got letter in September 26 about the evidence they gather and said they will make a decision in ten days its been over 10 day over a month now…do think he will finally get approved or not

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Niki,

        As you describe your son’s behavior problems, I think that he may qualify medically for benefits. You can call the hearing office to find out whether the decision has been made and the appeal has moved to letter writing or it is still awaiting the judge’s decision.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Called too check the status of hearing response and was told in review is ready for the judge to sign off I should have something in the mail. Probably a week or two, what is this process and who have it.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gable,

      The judge’s decision has been drafted into a letter and is back on the judge’s desk for review and signature.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nichole

        Sorry I’m piggybacking on here. I didn’t know how to start a new comment. I had my SSDI hearing on October 4th. My representative said it went really well but I won’t feel great about it until I see an approval letter. I called the Social Security office the other day just to check on the status of the case because I’ve had a ton of anxiety about it since the hearing and they said they didn’t have any update for me and just told me I would get something in the mail in about two more months because they have a big backlog. The person on the phone asked me what I pay for mortgage or rent. I was wondering why they would ask me that? My hearing was for SSDI, not SSI. Also, if my representative (who has been doing this for over 30 years) says my hearing went well and she has a good feeling about it, should I feel good about it? I trust this person but I just cant feel good about it yet.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nichole,

          You are right that you cannot be sure of the decision you will receive until you actually have it; I would respect your representative’s opinion but not count on it. The phone representative who asked you about your housing expenses may have no looked at your record carefully and may have asked an inapplicable question.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Elizabeth

    Hi there,

    Im a 36 yr. old female, I do have an attorney, I filed under having, PTSD due to a violent attack in 1997 that still plagues me, DROP FOOT with 7 past surgeries as well as Osteomyelitis in the last year in that foot, a lot of pain, with pain meds as well. Did an 8 week course of I.V antibiotics. The infection never leaves the bone and currently it is eating away the bone in my foot. The only way to get rid of it is amputation and there are many risks with that as well. I have Left Bundle Branch Block, Enlarged Left ventricle with and ejection fraction of 33% all due to the violent attack in 97.Also hereditary nerve deafness requiring hearing aids I have Fibromyalgia, Raynauds Disease, I have severe TMJD and had my Temporal Mandibular Joint replace in November of 2015. I’ve been dealing with numerous infections since then and am far worse off now than before my replacement and I thought that was bad. I have been working about 15 hours a week, for family at their office they only do that to help me out, but also they let me go to all my appts, I can take off my shoes, I can put ice on my jaw & foot every 20 mins off and on, I can go home at any time, I can go home if I need to , I can rest if I need to. It’s next door to my home so I don’t have to worry about driving somewhere on all the pain meds I take Tthey would never allow any of the other employees the lee way they give me. Also they are not my family, they are my son’s grandparents. His dad passed away when my son was 3 and they’ve really helped me a lot. They also wrote a letter stating they only allow me to do those things because I’m family and that Since 1997 I have never worked a full time job, Only part time due to my issues. I only I applied for SSI or SSD can’t remember which. in November actually of 2013 was denied and then had my hearing on June 28th. It is now October 31st and it has been over 4 months. I know the vocational expert argued that I could be a dowel inspector, or a cuff folder. My lawyer argued that with something, I can’t remember. I called the local office last week who said there was no decision. Then I called my lawyer who called the office of adjudication, who confirmed it was still Pending. I know the lawyer didn’t really want to bother the Judge if they didn’t need to but they thought 4 months was just a bit out of the ordinary. The office said they would send the Judge an email. Now I’m concerned I’m def. not getting it. What if she’s in a bad mood, or angry we called at all. I’ve been watching the mail for 4 months now in a mess. Because I need this so bad . Is there a time frame in which a decision has to be made? Can they make you wait forever ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elizabeth,

      The guideline for the judge to provide a decision is sixty days, but it can take longer. There is no enforceable time frame. How long it takes is not an indication of what the decision will be. You can call the hearing office to talk with the phone receptionist every three weeks for an update on where the appeal is in the process–still with the judge or in letter writing or just waiting for the letter to be signed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kari reckord

        Dear kay
        What does it mean if im in a hearing for only 10 mins

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kari,

          If you would like to give me an account of what happened during the ten-minute hearing, I will offer an opinion.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Kari reckord

            He ask me a couple of Qustions and my lawyer ask a couple of questions . My lawyer has’a strong case the only reason i ask because i was reading if a hearing only last 10 15 mins the judge has already made a decision it is going to be a favorable one

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Kari,

              Without knowing what the questions were, I can’t offer an opinion.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • kari reckord

                the lawyer said i was disabled..judge ask me if i go to a aalliance day program , what kind of tv shows. lawyer ask me if i can take pictures.if i can cook

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear Kari,

                  I think there is reasonable possibility that your claim will be approved; however, there is no way to know for sure until you get the decision.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

  • I would like to know do the ve or judge make the decision based on voc- medical grid of age. Do the Ve based his just on jobs that are available. Be over sixty days no response.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gable,

      The “grid” is made up of level of physical work you are capable of, your age, and your education. Accordingly, the vocational expert’s testimony is just one thing that the judge considers. While sixty days is the guideline, it can take longer for a decision. You can call the hearing office to get a status.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mommabear

        I’m in ft Myers area. I applied April 2014. I had my hearing September 2016. My judge asked for information going back 2 years before I applied because I couldn’t work. I attempted suicide because of the workplace, took 1.5 years off, then tried to work for 6 months (self employed, didn’t really make any money) and then I got diagnosed with sjogrens, DDD, chiari, trigeminal neuralgia, lupus, etc etc. I had no choice but to quite working. The ALJ was surprised about the suicide attempt because I didn’t try to go back that far. She then asked for info about that to be sent to her. I’m SSDI. Have you ever heard of a judge going further back from when I applied?

        • Mommabear

          I’m sorry to post on someone else’s post. I couldn’t figure out how to post one. Sorry OP.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mommabear,

          On rare occasion a judge will look into a disability onset earlier than the applicant has claimed. It is not typical, but it is legal. So, now you have three possible outcomes, denial, approval with the date you claimed, or approval with an earlier date of disability.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Erica

    Miss Kay,

    I had my SSI hearing on August 28th.
    During the hearing, both the medical professional and the VE agreed that based on my diagnoses (severe depression, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, schizoaffective disorder, and anxiety), that I would not be able to maintain any type of gainful employment, and that I, in fact, should not even work around other people.
    My representative said that the hearing went well, and that what the evaluators said was actually a good sign, but I’m still nervous.

    I haven’t heard anything from the judge yet, and neither has my representative.
    I plan to call both the Social Security 800 number and the local ODAR on Monday just to check up on it.

    Is there any advice you can give me, or does it seem like I’ve pretty much got this covered?

    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Erica,

      The testimony of the vocational expert and medical consultant should help your case. Decisions are supposed to be rendered within sixty days of the hearing, but they sometimes take longer. I suggest calling just the hearing office because the 800 number will not have any specific information other than the appeal still being at the hearing office. The hearing office can tell you where the appeal is within their process.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Pam

    Ms Kay, I had my hearing this morning in front of a Alj. The judge was very very nice. I was a basket case. The Alj states that my denial by the ss Doctor he didn’t agree with. He stated that he wanted to send my whole file to a Head Specialist to review. (I have lupus, fibro, anxiety, depression, osteoarthritis, rls, raynauds, chronic migraines and bulging disc l3-l4) he told me he would have a decision in one month. However the VE came out in the lobby to thank my husband for his service and stated to him I had done a wonderful job presenting my case to the Alj. He then whispered into my husbands ear that I won. My attorney said that it could go either way. That I was lucky that I had such a caring and understanding judge. She also said I would know in 1-2 months. The Alj was speaking to the VE when we exited the room. I was crying so badly that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. Would a Alj tell a VE that I won and not me or my attorney?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pam,

      No, I do not think that the judge would tell the vocational expert his decision without telling you. The fact that he plans to have a medical specialist look at the your medical records indicates that he has not made a decision. Because of this I would accept your attorney’s opinion that the decision could go either way. That said, the information you gave does indicate that the judge has an open mind and if the medical reviewer’s opinion supports your claim, it is likely the judge will rule in your favor.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Pamela

        Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This has been going on since 2012. (The first 2.5 years we were in Germany) I have waited this long with my life in limbo what’s another couple of months I guess. Generally how long is the file open until decession? I read one place 7 days and another 30. He has it listed as post hearing review.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Pamela,

          It could be any length of time; however, usually the judge specifies at the hearing how long the record will be held open before it is closed and the decision is made based on what is in file.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Stan

    Okay my question is I had an alj Hearing in the ve said that there is no work for me in the future I will be 50 years old in the middle of November and my lawyer on the exit of the hearing told me that we have one now I am waiting it has been 4 weeks with no response I called the office and lawyer they said I should have had something by now since I was approved at least that’s what the lawyer said he is a well experienced lawyer he has a 96% win rate so he should know can you please help me and tell me what will be going on next

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stan,

      The guideline for the judge to send you a decision letter is sixty days after the hearing, although it can take less time or more. If you are medically approved, your Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim will be sent to a payment center for benefit calculation and authorization. It can take a month or two for benefits to start. If you were also approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your local office will ask you to update your financial information back to the date you applied. Then they will calculate and authorize payment. SSI will be paid before SSDI, and the one-to-two-month wait period for SSDI will begin after the SSI has been paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Stressed mom

        Kay,
        Thanks so much for helping! I had my hearing before an alj on October 20th 2016. It was for my 5 year old daughter whom has cerebral palsy and needs a lot of help as to dressing and bathing along with other issues. If I recall correct the judge said she would be able to grant in our favor. My hearing was 30 minutes long. I do not have an attorney. I had every piece of medical evidence and all medical records sent to her prior to the hearing. If the judge made a decision on the spot will I get a decision letter quicker? We have been waiting almost 2 years. My daughter was born 25/2 days so she automatically qualified then. In January of 2014 they claimed her health has gotten better. I appealed but did not do it within the 30 days so her payments stopped. I appealed within the 60 days tho. If approved will she be entitled to back pay? And will they take 5 months off for the waiting period from the back pay? Any info you could give would be great! Also. I work approx 24 hours a week at 12.10 an hour and receive 186 a month for child support. I am in Wisconsin. What would her monthly payment be?
        Thanks again!!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Stressed Mom,

          Even though the judge said she was going to approve the claim, you can expect it to be approved; however, getting the letter may not be any faster than the general guideline of sixty days after the hearing. If the appeal is approved, benefits will be paid back to the month they stopped because Supplemental Security Income (SSI) has no unpaid waiting period. Your earnings are not high enough to reduce your child’s benefits. If the child support is for your disabled child, the SSI benefit will be about $629. (Only two-thirds of the support [$124] counts as income and that figure is reduced by the $20 general exclusion.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Stressedmom

            Thanks so much for your help Kay. Since this is for my 5 year old daughter, how does backpay work? Will it be in one lump sum or will it be in installments? Also do I have a certain time frame I’m supposed to spend the money? Thanks in advance!

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear StressedMom,

              If your child’s back pay is more than six months, the money will be paid into a Dedicated Account with restricted use rules and the money will not count toward the resource limit. If the back pay is six months or less, it will be paid in installments of not more than $2,199 each; the installments are made six months apart. The back pay money counts as a resource nine months after it is received.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • Stressed mom

                Thank you! I appreciate your help.

                • Kay Derochie

                  You are welcome.

      • Tesha

        Dear Kay, I had a hearing before the judge with my attorney two months ago. I just called to check on the status and they said that the judge has made her decision but right now it’s waiting to go to their in house attorney and then back to her to edit it. Does this sound like it was approved?! Any help would be great!!!! Thank u!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tesha,

          The process you describe is normal procedure for both approvals and denials, so at this point there is no way to know what the judge’s decision is.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Hi Kay,

        thanks in advance for your feedback. I had my hearing on 10/5/16, signed “Motion to Amend Alleged Onset Date” with an amendment date of 6/15/14. My attorney said that I was approved. I have not heard anything as of yet. A couple of questions: 1. does this mean I am approved? 2. i took early retirement at 62 with a 25% reduction, i visited my local office, they said my SSDI payment would be close to the payment I was supposed to receive before the 25% reduction, if that is so will that be what they base my retroactive amount on?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Joe,

          The fact that the judge asked you to agree to a later disability onset date means that you will be approved. Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit will be a full, unreduced benefit. Your SSDI back pay due will be reduced by Social Security Retirement already paid for the same months.

          If after you are switched to Social Security Disability benefits, there are any earlier months still paid at the reduced retirement rate, when you reach full retirement age at age sixty-six and are switched to Social Security Retirement benefits, your benefit will drop somewhat because of those earlier retirement benefits you received. If all reduced retirement months are replaced with disability benefits, there will be no reduction at full retirement age.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Thanks Kay, I should have told you I turn 67 in December, I was born 12/23/1949 and have gotten partial SS retirement since I was 62. I was just trying to figure out how they determine my new monthly benefit and what my approximate retroactive amount would be from 6/15/16 to present. Please let me know what to expect (approximately). Thanks!

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Joe,

              You are currently sixty-six, which is full retirement age for a person born in 1949. This means that the only months for which you will be eligible for disability benefits are those before December 2015. Given the five-month unpaid waiting period and the twelve-month limit on retroactive (before application) payments, the number of months for which you will receive disability benefits is likely to be limited. That means that your retirement benefits beginning December 2015 will remain almost the same as they have been because very few reduced retirement months will have been converted to disability months. Again, your disability benefit paid will be the difference between your reduced retirement and an unreduced disability benefit. To get the full disability amount, divide your current reduced benefit benefit by .25.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Stan

        Dear K thank you question it has been 4 weeks now well a little over a month after my alj hearing like I said in previous post my lawyer said I have won my case call the local office but still no decision has been made am I supposed to get a financial determination phone call from them first I’m only waiting for SSI how long will it take from now for me to get the phone call or an approval letter thank you very much for all your help

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Stan,

          The judge has to approve your claim in writing with a decision letter before you will have a financial update interview with the local office. The guideline is for the judge to get a letter to you within sixty days, but it could be less time or more. After you get the letter, if your local office has not contacted you within two weeks, I suggest that you call or go to the office to request the interview.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Frankie Rivera

      I dont know how to start a new forum but kay I have a couple of questions. I went to my hearing Oct 19th on Oct 25th recieved a letter from my attorney to amend my onset to from june of 2011 to feb 2014. I agreed of course. DOES THIS MEAN I WON MY CASE? And how long will it take to get my first check? My attorney said that my credits were paid in but ended 3/31/2016 as long as the judge finds me disabled before that I would be fine. I am lost of what that means.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Frankie,

        Please see my response to your first post. It may take a couple months to get the formal approval letter and additional time to be paid. (See prior response.) The attorney is saying that to get benefits you have to have become disabled before April 1, 2016 and that the judge is planning to approve a February 2014 disability date, meaning that you will be eligible.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Karen

    Dear Kay , Yesterday was my hearing . My hearing lasted a hour and a half . I could not read the judge on his decision . It was very exhausting.The judge asked about my past jobs and my earning . I was very nervous. My claim was a dire need .The vocational expert stated two jobs but after the hypothetical questions the VE said no jobs . After the hearing my attorney said .. don’t quote me but I’m 100% sure you won. Can an attorney really tell ? I’m to stressed to get my hopes up to be let down. My claim is ssi/ ssd . A lady in my apartment complex said hers was dire need the odar office told her on the phone in 5 days she was approved don’t they have to write it up first ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      The rules are that you will not be told the decision by phone and that the decision will come as a letter in the mail. Although you can’t count on being approved; at this point, there is no reason to doubt your attorney’s opinion. An experienced attorney would likely have a good idea of how the hearing went.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Karen

        Thanks Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Karen.

      • Karen

        Yesterday Kay I wanted to know what happens now that my hearing was last week . I know it’s early for to know a decision just wanted to know the process after a hearing other then my neighbors experience so I called the 1800 for social security and the lady was very nice .After asking her what happens now I had my hearing last week she ask for my social security number and said your case is closed and it is pending she ask did have a bank account set up and I said no but I have a card with a routing # and account# she said if you like we can put it in now if you have it available so I gave her my information.She said now you just sit tight and wait.I felt like my question wasn’t answered. What did she mean it’s closed now? My claim is ssi/ssd.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Karen,

          The representative said that your claim was both closed and pending. Closed could mean that the hearing decision has been made. If so, pending could mean you were approved and payment calculation and authorization is pending. I suggest calling the hearing office; they can tell you whether or not a decision letter has been mailed.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Karen

            Also Kay if I applied in May 2016 last day worked Jan 1 2016 I understand the 5month wait period and back pay .Is it up to the judge to give u retroactive pay how is that determined?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Karen,

              The judge determines when you became disabled. After that it is the provision of the law that determines payment amount. For Social Security Disability, the law says there is no payment for the first five full-calendar months of disability. Your last working on January 1, 2016 would make your waiting period January through May, 2016. Benefits would begin to accrue for the month of June, 2016.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Karen

            Dear Kay I called the hearing office like you suggested.I was very polite and once again I got a nice lady talk to me and tell me yesterday what she could see so far and there were 3 other dire need files with him as well .I thanked her.later she called and said is this Karen ? I said yes she said are you crying I said no my allergy are bad right now lol she said good no need to cry your letters just finishing up give us a couple days to mail it. Thank you for your suggestion.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Karen.

  • peggy

    I hope all is well with everyone. I have a few questions and I’m hoping that I could get help understanding the ssdi process.

    I have been diagnosed with DDD, spinal stenosis. I have something called arthropathy. It a disease of a joint. Also, Myelomalacia this is a pathological term referring to the softening of the spinal cord. Also, Uncarthrosis , resulting in mild left neuroforaminal narrowing . Also, osteophyte – a complex develops and a series of bone spurs form on multiple vertebrae, the space surrounding the intervertebral discs becomes compressed, and there is a danger of the osteophytes in the spine exerting pressure on the nerve roots or the spinal cord.

    I have had the terrible symptoms of lower back pain, middle and lower back pain, muscle spasms, numbness, swelling, tingling. Its been 9 yrs and my condition has worsened since.

    I also have an irregular thyroid that caused massive weight gain and sweats. Menopause which causes sweats. So, on top of the chronic pain I’m always hot.

    In addition I have severe depression from all of this and also from unresolved childhood stress and trama

    I can’t sit or stand more than a few minutes. Driving is sometimes painful.

    I applied in February of 2015. Within 30 days I was received a denial letter. My attorney appealed and that was denied. So , in November 2016 we filed a hearing by judge and I have not received a court date yet. So, I’m basically trying to determine how long should it be before I get a court date, and how long after the court date can I expect a hearing.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Peggy,

      Depending on geographic area, wait times for a court date vary from twelve to twenty-four months. You can look up your hearing office at the following web address to get an estimate for your office. https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Holly Giles

    Hi Kay
    I had an hearing on July 21, 2016 with ODAR I did not really understood the explanation by the Vocational Expert but if I recall it correctly there were to unskilled jobs but was determined that due to my condition I would not be able to do them. I do have representation and don’t want to be bothersome to them. Last I heard it was in post hearing development. What exactly does that mean? I have been filing for SSI since 2000 but kept getting denied. This time I said it was time to not give up and hire an attorney prior to going to my hearing. I know it takes time but I am just curious about the status of post hearing development. It was apparent that my condition has worsen and expected to get worse. Pending a thoracic infusion at the present time.

    Thanks for any information you may have

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Holly,

      Do you remember whether the judge said he would hold the record open while your attorney submitted updated medical records or some other item? Post-hearing development usually means that something was requested at the hearing and either the appeal is pending the receipt of the item or is pending review of the received documentation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rhonda

    Hello Kay,

    I am currently 47. I have worked all my life sometimes 2 jobs, have 20 plus years with civil service but haven’t worked since 2012 and have enough credits. I filled for disability in Sep 2014. I do have a lawyer, it was denied then appealed , denied and now it is in ODAR waiting for a hearing. I have asthma, COPD, chronic mirgraines ( take Botox injections for) essential tremors, sinus braycardia, tachycardia, IBS, chronic sinusitis, leaky gut, chronic kidney stones, depression, anxiety had hyperthyroidism with Graves Disease, which lead to my thyroid being killed 2014. Now it is hypothyroidism but still have the Graves Disease. I have so much medical documentation, boxes and boxes and my doc said there is no way I can work with everything wrong with me not to mention because I have Graves (auto immune disease) I catch everything. From Sep 2015 to present, I have had C. Difficle, whopping cough, staph infection in both ears, UTI’s and Kidney infections so bad I have had to take antibiotics shots for several months. I still don’t know when my hearing will be. I am assuming after the first of the year. My life revolves around doctors and pharmacies, I am in the doctor office every other week sometimes more. This whole thing is a long painful process and then to think you might not get approved it makes you even more depressed. I guess my question is, anything advise you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rhonda,

      All you can really do now is wait for the hearing and send updated medical so that the judge has current medical before the hearing. You can discuss coordinating this with your attorney. As you describe your many medical conditions, I’d say you have a reasonable chance for approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Steven Green

        Went in front of the ALJ and sent me to the physic doctor to get evaluated so I did that so how long do I have to wait n I do have a lawyer and I got this paper that they sent to me before I went to court back in April of this year so my question is how long do I have to wait for a decision

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Steven,

          I am unclear about whether you had the examination before or after the hearing. If you have not received a decision within the later of sixty days from the date of the hearing or sixty days of when the hearing office received the consultant’s report, I suggest following up with a call to the hearing office for a status.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Trinity

    Hi Kay. I just received my SSDI Award letter. I put in info for Direct Deposit. Its says they go by birthdate, so I’ll get monthly benefit 4th Wed. of each month with October being paid a month after in November. Ok, I understand that . But they are withholding my past due benefit to pay my attorney, so they didn’t say when that would be released. Generally, does past-due get paid out before the first monthly benefit? Is it all at once or in increments? I have to have major surgery soon, so I’m somewhat trying to plan…Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Trinity,

      The back benefits are usually paid one to two months after the attorney is paid and your monthly benefit is set up for payment. It will be paid in a single payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Roosevelt Burns

        My name is Roosevelt
        I had my hearing on Aug 24. I had a lawyer . We had medical records that were still pending. They were paid so my attorney askes for 14 days for the records to come in the judge gave 30 . The records came in the next day but I didn’t check until last week 40 days after the they said the case was still open and pending . They said they qould close it and to have my lawyer call in to make sure. He called me Friday and said he would check again Wed and call me . Today is Tuesday.. Btw I’m 50
        Multiple listings asthma since 8 yrs old with prescribed inhaler 2 puffs Twice a day spirometry test a month before the hearing with shows COPD Emphasyma prescribed inhaler 2 puffs 4 times daily . Diabetic for the last 20 years prescribed insulin since diagnosis back spurs x-rays may 30 spurs were worst prescribed norcol since 2013 and doctor recommended back specialist back specialist wanted 5 physical therapy session before seeing me had the physical therapy neuropathy in both feet prescribed pills high blood pressure and hypertension prescribed medication for both depression prescribed medication
        I had a bad asthma attack June 2014 which is when I became disabled and was hospitalized for 7 days and intubated judge asked me to describe my illnesses and limitation and could I pick up a gallon of milk I said 8lbs yes I could
        She asked the VE questions he said with use of My Cain all the jobs he found I couldn’t do and only 1 at a different limitations
        My lawyer only asked him 2 questions . How many days of a probation period could someone miss and still retain the position he said no days she also protested his numbers for the record
        Does my waiting time start after re order was closed last week or could it have started earlier
        Doctor also filled out RFC from my lawyer 2 days before hearing stating all my illnesses and the limitations .. I’m on Medicaid will it stop if I’m approved or not and do I qualify under multiple listings or COPD
        He records went to the judge last week for final decision how long should I wait before checking again and is there a way to check online

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Roosevelt,

          How long it will take to get a decision will depend on how backed up the judge is. It could be two or three weeks or as much as a couple months. Three weeks would be a reasonable time to check with the hearing office to see if the appeal has progressed through the process. All of your medical conditions will be considered as well as your work history and ability to move into a new occupation.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Kellina gonzalez

    Hi I applied in November 2013 for severe obesity and other underlying conditions cause from it ( also quit job in November 2013 ) because my boss was ready to fire me as it was for missing so many days of work for drs appts and being ill. But in Nov 2014 I was hit by a Dodge ram 2500 in a Publix parking lot walking to my car. I was already denied once and got lawyer. And we had appeals set up. During that appeal lawyer advised me to change disability date to November 17 2014 when I was struck by car had better chance. So I did. Still denied. In Feb 2015 we appealed for court date. I am going to court on November 14 2016. I was doin telemarketing all my life. So that’s basically the bottom of the barrel in work. Now I can’t sit for more than 20 mins or stand for more than 15. Sometimes the pain is so bad I have to lay down. I have budging and slipped and herniated disk throughout my spine. My lower back is totally bad. Outta the disk in tailbone area all but one is budging slipped or herniated. The upper area as well numerous are messed up. Legs get to hurrying. Hip locks up on me. I have gout arthritis and fibromyalgia. Not to mention I’m over weight with thyroid issues high blood pressure etc. Only job i could do is sleep. Do I have a chance. I have waited so long can’t take another let down! Also my lawyer filed in March for judge to look at and make a decision with only my files that was denied because judge wanted to see me. Please let me know your honest opinion my lawyer says yes. But I don’t know

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kellina,

      There is a possibility that your claim could be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kellina gonzalez

        Thank you so much Miss Kay for replying. Nice to hear another professional opinion. Someone bias. Have a great day!!!!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Kellina.

          • Dawyn Branch

            Hi Kay…im just wondering how long it is going to take to get decision letter. I applied for SSD in August 2014 was denied and I appealed it, but during time I was told to also apply for SSI. Finally got a hearing September 21, 2016, disability onset date had to be changed due to me trying to work to pay my bills, my attorney said it would be better for the change so wouldn’t have to come back, so I gave up a year. The hearing went well I thought, my attorney said i would hear something in a couple weeks but I haven’t heard anything. How am I to pay my bills, I can’t keep depending on my family. They have been helping me all while I have been waiting.

            Thank you
            Dawyn

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Dawyn,

              The guideline for receiving a decision after a hearing is sixty days, but it can take longer. If you are in danger of being homeless or are suffering harm because you cannot get medical care, you can submit a statement of dire need, which might speed up the decision.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • Dawyn Branch

                Thank you for that information but I have read online that it was 45 days. So is that not true?

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear Dawyn,

                  The last guideline I saw published was sixty days, but in any event it is just a guideline and can vary greatly.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

      • My judge gave me my disability rght away no waiting now waiting for ssi so happy

  • Hello Kay, I had my disability hearing almost 4 weeks ago and they say it is still pending. At my hearing the judge ask me a few questions about my age which is 58 years old , my weight and height. Then about my education , I told him i went back to school and got my GED but i didn’t get to tell the judge I took some other classes because he went to another question before I could, but I wasn’t able to do them without a friend and teachers helping me so i could be able to draw a little bit of money just for taking the classes but i just wasn’t able to remember or concentrate. My ex employer offered to pay if i would take some classes to maybe help me do something i would be able to do.I HAD TO DO ALOT OF IT AT HOME. i didn’t get to explain all of this to the judge. Now that worries me and I had told my lawyer but he didn’t tell me what to do. He just told me to answer the judges questions and not go out in left field telling him more than he ask.He also ask me about how much weight I had to lift at my jobs which was around 25 to 40 pds. He then said I was probably worn out. The judge ask the VE if she wanted to add anything but she said no. My lawyer only spoke one time and that was to ask the judge to read over my doctor’s notes. My lawyer said he wasn’t familiar with this judge but he thought it went good. They said my judge has a 70% approval rating. What do you think about this? Will I get approved. My hearing only lasted about 15 minutes and he told me he would send my decision in the mail. How long do you think I will have to wait?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Patricia,

      The fact that the judge did not ask the vocational expert any questions may be an indication that your claim will be approved. The guideline for giving you a decision is sixty days, but it is only a guideline. I suggest that you talk with your attorney about the omission in your answer about education and get his advice on whether to correct the record.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • I did tell him but he told me just to answer the judges questions yes and no and not add anything or go out in left field.He said make my answers short as possible. He said that judges have so many cases that they try to make these hearings short and mine was around 15 minutes. My lawyer did not know this judge but said he thought he was a good and fair judge and thought the hearing went great. I am still worried.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Patricia,

          I was suggesting you talk with the attorney after the hearing about your discomfort about not fully answering the question, but it is just a suggestion.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Kelly Gaboury

    I have a disability hearing coming up, I wondering what kind of questions the judge is going to ask me? I’m very nervous about this. How many people will be in the court room ? I suffer from very high anxiety and depression as well as other help problems not mental. And how long will I be in the court for?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      The length of a hearing varies a great deal so I cannot predict the length of yours. There is likely to be the judge, a vocational expert, you, and any witnesses you want to call. And, of course, your attorney if you have one. You will be asked about your health, your work history, your daily activities, and anything else the judge thinks is relevant.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Phyllis valente

        Kay, i apogize to you and this person that post this is.
        first i woud like to say thank you for being you and helping everyone with your knowledge. It is a breath of fresh air for us that are going through this process. Truly! 😃
        My question: i was told at the hearing by my lawyer that i was approved . The judge did not want to even see me. That was 3 mos ago and I got nothing in the mail nor any calls. That was my second hearing date. The first was 3 mos before and that one the judge not want to see me either snd told the lawyer he wanted my pay stubs showing i made very little since i applied but ‘liked my medical evidence’,
        So my lawyer send the stubs with a – ‘On the record request’ . The judge never called or respond so we went to the re scheduled hearing date. Thst like i said is were he said i was approved but i have not gotten any letter or anything. I fear something is lost or wrong but because social security says its still pending a decision. I live in Phila PA

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Phyllis,

          The hearing office has more detailed information about the status. I suggest calling the hearing office to see if the decision has been rendered and the appeal is in letter writing. Otherwise, all you can do is wait.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Kelly Gaboury

    Hi there, I’ve been denied 7 times over the last 3yrs. I finally got a hearing date for December 9 2016. Wondering if approved how much back pay will I be entitled to? And what are my chances for being approved, I suffer from depression, high anxiety and I’ve been on meds off and on for about 20yrs. I was also hospitalized for 5 days at Tuff’s in Boston for mental conditions. I also have endometriosis and had 2 surgeries for it, and I have inflamed pelvic disease and inflamed intestinal disease, and IBS. This is all documented with doctors and hospitals.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      If approved, benefit will be paid based on the application you are appealing not on prior applications. Benefits begin to accrue the later of the sixth full-calendar month after the established disability date or twelve months prior to application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gin

    I first filed in 2012 I was denied, my lawyer appealed it , had a hearing in 2014, was denied, appealed it again. I have a hearing coming up next week, whats the chances I’ll get approved.i can’t work due to panic attacks, depression PTSD and social anxiety and bipolar disorder.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gin,

      The fact that the Appeals Council remanded your claim to the judge indicates you have a chance, though not a guarantee, of approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cheryl Arnold

    I hope I am presenting this correct. My son applied 2/2014 for SSDI. He was denied 2 times right away so he got a disability lawyer. He was 33 at the time. He was working until 12/2013 when employer, Republic Direct closed, but found another job 1/2013 which after 5 weeks he was unable to keep doing so was let go. He had missed work off & on at Republic Direct due to his depression & back problems. His depression was diagnosed when he was 22 years old. He had diagnosis of psoriasis also along with psoriatic arthritis. He’s been on numerous medications but none have helped him with the pain from psoriatic arthritis or keeping psoriasis lesions from spreading. He has new diagnosis of inverse psoriasis which is strictly in privates. Causes severe burning, itching & pain. Nothing has helped him with this either. He finds some relief laying down with loose shorts on. Clothing makes area worsen. All this has added to his depression now categorized as “severe, chronic depression”. My son & family moved in with me 7/2013 & are now divorced 3 months ago. My son had his first court hearing 4/2016 which was continued due to vocational rehab lady was called away. My son got more updated records & social security had him go for another medical & mental health assessment. My son’s primary care physician also filled out a residual capacity form stating his inverse psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis both cause ongoing pain to point of being debilitating & his depression has increased due to ongoing stress from diseases make it impossible for him to work. My son had his second court hearing 9/20/2016, same judge. Judge very argumentative this time, asking him why he stopped working after business closed to which my son said he tried another job and was let go due to not being able to stand or lift & was let go after 5 weeks. His depression had gotten so bad he said due to pain from psoriatic arthritis which was not letting up & he had psoriasis in his privates by then. Judge asked vocational rehab gal if he could do anything & she said yes, something. My son’s lawyer then asked her what kind of job can his client do where this inverse psoriasis causes him painful burning & itching nonstop unless he’s laying down? Did she feel his client could find a job along with his other health issues? The vocational rehab gal then said “no, she didn’t think so”. My son was asked by Judge about going to school & son replied he still couldn’t. It would involve going, sitting which he is unable to walk without painful burning in privates & joint pain, only to acquire more debt. He told judge he didn’t want to be divorced, unable to work & take care of his 2 boys. He broke down then stating there’s so much he’ll never be able to even show his boys let alone do for them. After an hour, hearing over. Son’s lawyer said he did very well but he feels the decision will go unfavorably. Which he will help son appeal. Why would lawyer say this? My son is a wreck & feels like he screwed up his hearing. . Thank you for any comments. Sorry for length.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cheryl,

      I would trust your son’s attorney’s opinion that your son handled the hearing well. The attorney may be projecting a denial because of the attitude of the judge. If your son is denied, he should appeal because of the apparent severity of his three conditions.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hello i had a cort hearing yesterday. I think it went well the ve said i could do 2 jobs but them my lawyer asked him 2 questions # 1 he asked if i could keep a job with my illness and because of all of the medication i take and the side affects it gives me (im always drowsy, shaky, i have panic attacks, nervous break downs, random outburst, and im always getting fired because of it so i cant keep a job for more that 3 months) and the ve said no she can not and the # 2 nd he asked if i could miss 2 days a month ( because sometimes i cant get out of bed or stand up and i just dont show up to work ( and the ve said yes i cant miss up to 3 days a month before i am fired which is not true because i have been fired for missing 1 day. I am diagnosed with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, manic depression, major anxiety, social anxiety, and insomnia) i have not had much work experience and i am on alot of hardcore medications that include lithium and seroquil that go back to when i was a teenager and i have been in and out of hospitals and in patient rehabs since. There was also a check mark on my paperwork that said i had episodes of decomposition. What do you think will happen? The judge didnt really say much it was mostly my lawyer.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daisy,

      I think there is a reasonable chance you will be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hey my name is Tosha I had my daughter hearing on August 22 and when I called last week they said her case was at the local office and they was working on her account does this mean she was approved but I called again Monday And the man I talked to said her case was back with the judge so I really don’t know if this good are bad please help me

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tosha,

      After the judge makes a decision, the decision letter is written and returned to the judge for review and signature. This is probably why your claim is back on the judge’s desk.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Laurel

    Kay

    I had my hearing before an ALJ on 9/22/2016 and she aske me about my cashiering job with the Aramark Company who holds the Contract with the HOuston Texans. The VE said i could do past relative work (Ie. Cashiering) she only asked 2 hypotheticals. One being light stress having restricstions like standing for four hours out of a six hour shift. lifting only 15 pounds and walking the same four out of six. The VE stated yes thier were three jobs. Hotel cleaner, marker (merchandiser) and cafeteria worker. then the second was adding the restrictions of missing 2 or more days from those jobs. The VE said no if i missed 2 days in a month i would lose my job. so there was no job in the national economy.

    I also turned in up to date medical records from my Primary care doctor as of six days before the appointment. I have Copd, Adult Onset diabeties, Morbid Obesity and Hidradenitis Suppurtiva. Is the fact i brought up to dte medical to the hearing a good thing and is haing only two hypo’s asked good or bad
    (My Lawyer backed out of my first meeting because i was two minutes late in June due to a wreck outside of the Houston NOrth ODAR office. i did this one alone with only my fiancee who the judge asked about my HS. She was asked if she saw the lesions and when was the last time she saw them. My fiancee answered “Would this morning before the meeting after her shower count” the judge laughed slightly.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laurel,

      The hypothetical questions are based on the restrictions and limitations you have, so presumably the judge asked all that were pertinent hypotheticals. It was good to give the judge your current medical records.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Laurel E Register

        Kay

        The office was Houston odar North and I was just wondering what the average time to get a hearing decision would be for that office

        Laurel

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Laurel,

          Houston North is currently showing fifty days for a decision after the hearing.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Robyn Banks

            Good morning Kay,
            Can you advise the approximate time it takes to get a hearing before the Judge in the Fort Myers, FL office? Thank you.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Robyn,

              Material published by the Social Security Administration indicates twenty-one months.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Lisalynn

            Sorry to butt in. Don’t know how to do a new post.
            Kay, what is the average processing time after a hearing at the Creve Coeur Office in MO?
            Thanks

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Lisalynn,

              I have not located a breakdown of days between hearing and decision for hearing offices. The guideline is for sixty days, but it can be less or more time.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Laurel E Register

            Kay

            I called Houston ODAR and they said my case was closed as of two days ago. She couldn’t say anything other than that. Does it pose hood news that I got a decision in less days than the office is backlogged

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Laurel,

              Some judges move faster than others even in the same ODAR. It is good news you are getting a decision quickly, but it is not a sign of approval or denial. You should have a decision letter within a few days.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Stepehen

    I’m a recently medically retired Veteran with 11 years and 6 deployments as Recon. ( the got me on the last one, bastards). I had my hearing 2 days ago and the Judge told me I was fully approved and apologized that it even had to come to them, as it was a waste of theirs and my time. The West Virginia Disability Board gives their decision to SSDI and the SSA administration goes off of that. What happens now? My lawyers did a great job, but they said it’s different for everyone to an extent as for timelines. I’m also trying to get an idea of an amount for the pay. I have a spouse and child under the age of 18.

    My on set date was May 2015. I applied October 2015 and I was told they can go back to 17 months for back pay from the approval date.

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephen,

      Your benefits will be calculated and released by the payment center. If your earnings history is strong enough your child will be eligible for benefits; and, if her work earnings are not too high, you wife as well. There is a five-month unpaid benefit waiting period that starts with the first full-calendar month after your disability onset, so your benefits will begin to accrue November 2015.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Amy

    Hi. I. Met with the judge may 9 2016 I still have not heard anything my attorney says they have not heard anything and they keep telling me a decision can take up to 6 months or longer .. Should I be worried

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amy,

      That is a broad question. The VA laws are complex. Think of VA laws as a basket of benefits. There are disability income benefits (known as pension and compensation benefits), there are medical benefits, educational benefits, insurance benefits, loan benefits, aid and assistance relief and others. I suggest you visit the local VA office nearest where you live for discuss specifics. Most major metropolitan cities have a VA Branch Office. In the alternative, you can visit your local post of American Legion or the DVA for free consultation as a full benefit review is much too broad to cover in this correspondence.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • rosalie Gordon

    I had 2 surgerys 3/27/2015 and 06/29/216 on my lower back L4 L5 and S1. first surgery failed and the second one just found out I have a broken screw. I filed disability in 2014 and was denied 3 time. I was now given a notice 3 months ago that I am to see the Judge but I still have not received the letter giving me the time or day to see the Judge. can you tell me how long this process takes.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rosalie,

      If you have not have had a hearing previously, your wait time for assignment to a judge and hearing date can be from twelve to twenty months or so. If you will be seeing the judge a second time because the Appeals Council remanded (sent back) your claim to the judge, you are likely to get a hearing in less than six months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Diana

    Dear Kay,
    I was approved in early September by the judge for SSDI disability. He also agreed that my start time of disability was October of 2014. I am wondering with the automated Medicare insurance starting once you’ve had benefit payments for 2 years if the Medicare time frame of two years backdates to the start of your disability or if literally starts the tow-year-countdown as of the first time you get benefits paid from SS? Another words in October of 2016 or October 2018? Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Diana,

      Medicare starts after twenty-four months of benefits have been paid including back pay. Benefits begin the later of twelve months before you filed your application or the sixth full calendar month of disability (April 2015).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Diana

        Hi Kay,
        Thanks for the help to me and all the others! Just one last question: do you mean that the countdown for Medicare starts as of April of 2015 so I will start getting Medicare in April 2017? Thanks!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Diana,

          If your benefits begin to accrue in April 2015, Medicare will start April 2017.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Philly Love

      Good Afternoon,

      I am one who can not find a new trend set up. I apologize for this. I just had my hearing Aug. 25th and I can not tell how it went it was very unreadable, as I was hoping to leave there with some kind of hope however that didn’t happen in my case. My question? Yesterday I receive a call from my local SSID payment office asking to confirm my Dircet Deposit there was a mix up (due to my lawyer) as the orginal DD was set up in my maiden name (have been married 2.5 years orginal claim was prior to wedding) I called my lawyer today to ask if this was a good sign? In my mind if they were not going to pay out what would they care about my DD or name for that matter! The lawyer looked up my status and stated the judge made a decision it’s pending but has left his desk! Being the payment center called the same time my case updated do I have reason for hope here or is this a twisted fake me out? Thanks Phill

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Philly,

        Given that the appeal is still pending, probably for the letter to be prepared, it is unlikely that the direct deposit update signifies approval. Usually, the payment center is notified of an approval at the same time you are.

        Sincerely,
        Kay
        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Jennifer

    My husband’s hearing was June 6th 2016. Over 100 days ago. The judge was extremely tough. He is diabetic with gastroparesis and neuropathy. He had pages and pages of critical care unit stays in the hospital. The vocational expert agreed that he couldn’t work. But the judge was just sooo tough, almost condescending. He had a congressional flag on his case. It’s just taking so long! Apparently the decision has been made, but we are still waiting waiting waiting. Does it matter the length of time we have waited? Could that be good or bad?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      If the decision has been made, now you are waiting for the letter to be written and signed. The length of time is not necessarily an indication of the decision. As you describe your husband’s condition and the vocational expert’s testimony, if your husband is denied, I recommend appealing with the assistance of an experienced Social Security attorney. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Trinity

    Greetings. My hearing Judge told me I was fully approved, and he apologized for being behind on paperwork, but that he would send out my official letter within 3 to 4 weeks. My attorney told me we won 3 years back and that SSI office would be contacting me because my SSDI only covered up to $680 a month and I should get a total of $733, SSI making up the difference.
    However, my question is about SSI updating my finances/housing for 3 years. What if during a part of this I was “homeless” and living in a tent? What if part of this time, I slept in my car? Is that considered “free housing”, lol? I had food stamps the whole 3 years, and renting a room from a guy for the part of the 3 years that I wasn’t homeless. Will SSI need a lease or receipts, or both? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Trinity,

      You will not be charged with in-kind support and maintenance for period that you did not have shelter. If you did not have a written rental agreement for your room rental or lost it, try to get a copy of the agreement or a statement from your landlord of the dates you rented a room from him or her, the amount of rent you paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • douglas brewer

    i have a anxiety disorder and have applied but been denied i had my hearing and thought things went well the judge put out for my records and said he would accept letters from close family explain what the see when i have my attacks my hopes are high but i call a few weeks ago to see if there was any update and was told the judge send the decision to an underwriter to write it up and send it back to the judge so he could sign it and send it to me i have checked the mail everyday since and still nothing so i called today and found out the decision was made and mailed a month ago but i still haven’t received it so they are having to resend it and that’s all they told me so no my hopes turned to worries any insight you have would be greatly appreciated

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Douglas,

      I can’t predict whether you will be approved or denied. If it is a denial, pay attention to the date on the replacement letter to see if it is the date the first letter was originally sent or the date of the replacement. You should have sixty days from the date the replacement was sent out to appeal; however, if the original month-old date is on the replacement letter and you decide to appeal, to be safe file the appeal within sixty days of that date.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Alan

    I had my hearing on Monday in which I represented myself. The hearing went well. I even submitted a pre-hearing brief and the judge seemed very impressed byit and told me I did a good job on it during the hearing. I got the VE to testify that I couldn’t do any work. The judge has made his decision and now it’s been sent to the writers after 3 days, is that a good sign I’ve been approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alan,

      The VE’s testimony and the judge’s remark about your brief being well done and are more an indicator of possible approval than the speed with which the decision was made.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chanel

    Hi Kay,
    I had my hearing on Aug. 18, 2016. It was flagged as a medical dire need and I also have a congressional inquiry. My attorney says, I won but I haven’t gotten an approval letter yet. She even contacted my former workers comp attorney several hours later that day requesting a copy of my stipulation agreement of my settlement from Aug 2015 to forward to the payment center. I’ve been approved for food stamps as a homeless person since July 2016 because I have no permanent place to live and I’m in jeopardy of losing my car if I don’t get money soon. It’s at least a place I can sleep in. I contacted my congressional constituent on Sept 9 to give a temporary address for one week. He asked if I heard anything about my hearing as of that day. I said, I had not heard anything. Every time I call, I’m told it’s in editing or in writing. Then I told him, I won’t have a place to live by this week but someone might pay for a few nights in a hotel. He then said, he’d call again the day we talked and I told him I have proof from the dept of children and family servicess showing I’m approved for food stamps and it states my address as homeless. He asked for a copy and forwarded it to the hearing office that day. I desperately need my money by Friday. I’ve exhausted all the help I can get. The judge already knew my living situation but my attorney didn’ts specifically tell her I’m homeless at the hearing and she told me, I’d just have to wait. I was able to successfully get my claim flagged as a dire need and a congressional inquiry with my hearing date moved up more than a year ahead on my own. I didn’t get this far to end up on the streets anyway. Can I get this money in a few days? What is left for me to do? My workers comp was settled so that there wouldn’t be an offset , I’m currently about to be two mos behind on student loans but I requested a forbearance last week due to me not having an income. I owe local taxes for a business I once had in 2013 but I closed it. I don’t owe any other federal, state taxes or child support. I just need least enough to keep my car from getting repossessed so I’ll have a place to sleep.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chanel,

      Given that your appeal is in the stage of getting a letter prepared, you should have a decision soon. A medical approval will not result in immediate money. The local office will calculate and authorize Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, but you cannot expect to have payment immediately. A financial update interview has to occur first. As soon as you have the letter you can request an early appointment based on dire need. At that appointment you can request an emergency advance payment due to your housing situation. The minute that you have the medical approval, I suggest that you communicate with the lender that you have been approved for benefits and will have the money to make payments and, when you get the back pay, catch up the arrears. In the meantime, it is unlikely the car will be physically repossessed because you do not have a permanent address for them to locate it. Note that if you are approved for Social Security Disability (SSD), you must disclose the worker comp settlement because settlements are prorated out over multiple months and cause an offset against SSD in those months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Chanel

        I see. I called the hearing office today and they said it was waiting to be signed by the ALJ and it would be forwarded electronically to the payment center. I was told I may qualify for both ssi and ssdi. I just hoped my congressman person was able to get something done quickly. It has been at least a week since he has tried to get them the info over. I’m just so tired of the waiting.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Chanel,

          The associate at the hearing office saying that the decision would be forwarded to the payment center makes it sound as if your claim has been approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Kay,

            Is it reasonable to wait for a decision from SSDI, seven months, going on eight. I had my court hearing in February 2016. It is now the end of September 2016, and have yet gotten an decision. I’ve contacted my Senator and also Attorney General’s Office in Ohio. A dire need letter was mailed out to them was before the hearing date. I struggle with systemic Lupus of the lungs along with weekly subqutaneos infusions for Selective IGG AND IGA, auto immune disease. I am reaching out to you for help and guidance.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Sandy,

              it sounds as if you have done about all you can to follow up on getting a hearing decision. Just for informational purposes, you might call the hearing office to see if anything has progressed, that is, to see if the decision has been made and it is in letter writing.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • S.Potter

    Kay,

    I had an ALJ hearing on Aug. 25th of 2016. The judge did not ask me any questions only my attorney. As my attorney was asking me questions I heard the judge say “she has a lot of limitations. When my attorney finish her questions, the judge did speak with the VE who called out about 4 codes. The judge then said “light work.” I have done sed work all my 30 years of work history. Before the hearing was over the judge could not decide on an onset date. He stated he wanted ro read the case again. Afterwards, my lawyer said I had won. In my portal file it states I should be favorable, just don’t know onset date. Kay, I’m a nervous wreck. Does this mean I’m really approved or can I be denied again. In my reconsideration appeal they notice I had limitations but they denied me. My limitions have gotten worse and 3 of them meets SS medical blue book. Please advise.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear S.,

      The judge’s saying that he had to decide on an onset date supports your attorney’s opinion that your claim will be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jenniffer Baker

        Hi Kay, I couldn’t figure out how to start my own thread so I’m asking here. I had my hearing today and I feel it went pretty well. The judge was very nice and asked me a lot of questions. He asked the VE if I could do my past jobs and he said no. He then asked if I could do any other jobs and the VE came back with 2 but when the judge asked if I could do them with my limitations the VE said no. The judge thanked him and said that’s all he needed to know. He then told me he knew how hard it was for me to be there and we were done. My attorney didn’t even really need to cross examine the VE and said he feels really good about how it went. I’m just curious if it’s normal for the judge to only ask one hypothetical or if it’s a good thing. Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jenniffer,

          The judge apparently accepted the vocational expert’s testimony and did not see a need to follow up with more questions. It is nothing to be concerned about.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Tasha

            Hi Kay, I also can’t figure out how to start my own tread. I went to 3 hearing and on the 3rd one, the judge said, he agreed that I was unable to work and was gonna rush my case since I’ve waited so long. Well, now its in some kind of writing process. He’s finish with his part. What exactly is that and how long does that usually takes?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Tasha,

              The judge’s decision is being written up in a letter for the judge to review and sign. This process can take a week or two or a month or more depending on how backed up your hearing office is.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Kimberly Yarris

    Hi my name is Kim I just had a question regarding my disability and actually applied in 2010 I’ve been denied about 3 times in Florida I couldn’t get any kind of medical proper medical assistance due to Florida’s limitations I actually move back to Ohio and then I got a hearing for July 1st 2016 I have been approved for Medicaid and get lots of medical assistance due to the fact is that now I can actually see doctors because of being approved for Medicaid question is it’s been two and a half months I haven’t heard nothing I called today they told me the case was closed and a letter was sent out but nobody know what the answer is when they say closed does that mean my case has been denied and that is it I’m just curious

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kimberly,

      “Closed” just means that a decision has been made and the hearing decision letter has been out. If you don’t have the letter within ten days of when they said it was mailed, check to be sure they mailed it to the correct address. If needed, request a duplicate letter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kelly

    I had a horrible judge who did a horrible job on my case. He made many mistakes and left out a lot of info on my case. So, I won federal appeal and I will be going in front of another judge. What are my chances of winning ssd?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      The fact that the federal court remanded the claim indicates you have a reasonable chance for approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Denaud Egana

      Dear Kay, On July 6, 2016 I received a fully favorable decision from the AJL. The AJL’s ruling went all the way back to the date of my application in 2013. About three weeks ago, I received a call from a lady wo said she was from social security and that she was working to determine my benefits. She asked me a few questions about where I live and any sources of income. she also asked me about another property that I own. At any rate, I received a letter about two days ago from social securityadvising that I am to receive about $3000.00 in back pay and that I am not eligible for any benefits from henseforth.
      The lady that caculated my benefit has gotten all the information wrong. For example, I own a proprty that shows in current county records that it is valued at $8800.00.The lady used that figure to claim that I have more that $2000.00 in assets and i am therefore not qualified for benefits. However, when I spoke to the lady about the property, I informed her that the property is in complete disrepair and is uninhabitable. In addition to all of this, the current back taxes that I owe is at $6000.00. The County had the property listed for a tax sale but no purchase was made of the past due taxes. As mentioned above, the property is in complete disrepair and is uninhabitable. My question is, who do I appeal this decision to? Can i submit Pictures of the property that shows its uninhabitable? Another question that I have is related to this: The house that i live in belongs to a Trust not to me. I am the Trustee over the Trust. Can Social Security attribute to me the property that belongs to the trust? If the anwser is no, then Social Security cannot count the above mentioned uninhabitable property against me a second home or an asset. As such, can you give me some insight concerning tis matter as well?

      Sincerely,
      Denny

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Denaud,

        If you are the beneficiary of the trust, then the property belongs to you. You can appeal its value by filing an SSA-561 at your local office on the grounds that the equity value of the property and your other countable assets come to less than $2,000. To support this, submit the photos that you mentioned and get a realtor to write up a letter as the property’s market value and submit that together with proof that you owe $6,000 in back taxes. If your equity in the property (market value less tax debt) together with your other countable assets add up to $2,000 or less, you will be eligible.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Samantha M.

    My husband just had an SSI Hearing Friday the 26th for his Diabetic Neuropathy. He had trouble being thrown around with attorneys, so at his first, original Hearing in February, after his laeyer backed out last second, the ALJ postponed the Hearing to May. We spent time calling places, and one gave him false hopes. So he went in that second time with MORE evidence. She reviewed the evidence and gave ONE more chance for a lawyer. Even though she didn’t want to postpone again. This judge is one of the toughest ones there, but my husband says she seems nice. After the May one, we struggled hard to find another. First lawyer saw his stuff after we mailed it, and he got turned down because on his RFC form, it mentioned sit-down. Other than that, he didn’t review everything and we had to get the papers back. Another lawyer- over the phone- heard SOME of what he said- said it was too late at that point, and by the time he got him him in to meet him, there wouldn’t be a lot of time. He told him it sounded like he had a good case, said even though my husband was told the VE had to go off past work, training, age and education, that didn’t matter and they’d still say he could. My husband’s foot doctor said he didn’t know why that lawyer said that, since they have to take it into consideration. At his Hearing without the lawyer, first the VE on the phone said 3 jobs. One was Postal clerk. Judge asked if he could keep his legs put up at hip level, she said big companies wouldn’t allow it, but small companies maybe. So that narrowed to 2. She asked if he’d be able to 15% of the day, with more breaks. VE said most jobs would allow MAYBE 10%, but anymore, he’d most likely lose his job. So I’m guessing that gave nothing? She then asked him about his conditions afterwards, why he wasn’t able to stay at his jobs. He said she seemed understanding, like she was concerned about what he was telling her. After it all, after he asked about estimated decision, she said it wasn’t right off- like a week- but probably between 2-4 weeks. I’m not sure how to look at it. I mean, it seemed like it went okay. He’s fought this for 3 tough years. She gave him those chances to find a lawyer. I guess not knowing what could happen, if that was said among the VE and ALJ, and from there… Guess not sure of the chances! Or what to expect.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Samantha,

      If the judge accepts the limitations that your husband is claiming, his appeal will likely be approved because of the vocational expert’s testimony.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Jeannette

      I had a hearing 90 days ago, on the day of my hearing my lawyer sent me a nasty letter then a few days later an apology letter. The judge wanted a mental health evaluation after my attorney’s doctor report, I suffered a stroke and I am numb on my left side without viable use of my arm or leg. My doctor filled out the 11.04 cardiovascular accident form. I’m scared I will be denied again, right now my attorney is refusing to fallow judges orders. Can I appeal again

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jeannette,

        The judge is probably ordering the mental health evaluation to determine whether you need a representative payee due to your stroke, but it is possible that he is ruling out your ability to work in a non-physical job. I suggest that you talk with your attorney and tell him you want to take the examination even if it is not necessary, just to be sure that failure to do so doesn’t cause your claim to be denied. You can call the hearing office and confirm you will attend. If you are denied, you can request an Appeals Council Review.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Lindsay

    Dear Kay,

    I received a fully favorable decision on July 14th 2016, after seeing an ALJ exactly one month prior. Two days prior to my receiving my letter someone called me from our local social security office to discuss my ending my SSI claim, because my SSDI benefit will be to high to qualify. She said she would send me the paperwork, and that I just needed to sign it and mail it back. It has been 6 weeks – I haven’t received the paperwork, the benefit letter from SSDI, or any other communication at all. I’ve tried calling our local office and have left several messages. I am not sure what to do next. Do you have any suggestions? I don’t want to delay the payments if there is something I can do to help move things forward. I haven’t had an income since 2012. Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lindsay,

      I don’t know why you want to void your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, but there are some potential advantages to receiving SSI until your Social Security Disability (SSD) starts. Usually, payment can be started sooner; and if you expect a large SSD back payment, there could be a tax advantage in getting part of your back pay in SSI, which is not taxable. That said, whether or not you want to void the SSI claim, I suggest that you go to a Social Security office and ask that the representative check to see whether you still have a pending SSI claim. If you do, the payment center will not finish processing your SSD to payment. So you either need to provide a financial update back to when you applied, so the SSI can be calculated and paid or you need to withdraw the claim and have that the withdrawal communicated to the payment center.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Landy Thomas

      Dear Kay
      Sorry I couldnt make my own thread but my question is I went to my hearing to the ALJ on June 28 2016 My lawyer told me we won and i should receive something in about six weeks. I received my decision letter on aug 27 2016 telling me i was fully favorable. How long will it take before I receive my first payment?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Landy,

        If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will need to provide a financial update to the local office before payment is calculated. If you have not been contacted within two weeks, contact the office to request an appointment for the interview. SSI is usually started within a month of that interview.

        If you were also approved for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), SSD monthly benefits will start about six to eight weeks after after SSI has been paid, most SSD back pay will be released about two months later. It will be reduced for back SSI benefits paid for the same period. If you were approved for SSD only, then you will not have the wait for the SSI to be processed and paid before SSD processing starts.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Vincent T2

      I went to court on monday July 11th 2016 to see an administrative law judge, they told me on the spot that I was approved for my disability, I’m 100% service connected disabled total and permanent for the rest of my life, I was hurt over in Iraq while I was in the United States Army infantry, I was hit by IED’S EFP’S and RPGs in Sadr City Baghdad, I first applied for Social Security disability back in June of 2011 and I was denied all the way up until July 2016, I’ve been hired Binder and Binder in some time 2014, I was told that I would get a letter and my back pay before 2 months from the day I saw judge, today is the 29th of August and I have yet to receive anything.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Vincent,

        The judge can estimate how long it will be before you get the approval letter but not how long it will take to get benefits calculated and started because he has some control over that. It usually takes a couple of months after you get the hearing approval letter for the monthly benefits to start and another month or two for the back pay to be released. The guideline for receiving a hearing decision is sixty days after the hearing, although it sometimes takes longer.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Kelly M

    My hearing was early in August 2016 for a degenerative spinal disease limiting my mobility. I’m 50 and this is inherited. My RFCs limited me to less than 5 pounds, no standing longer than 5-10 minutes, “must lie down” occasionally, and so on. My judge has the second worst record for denials. His one and only hypothetical was asked as if I could stand for 6 hours, carry 10-20 pounds, and put me in “light work” category. That showed 2 jobs as possibilities but once countered with the question of my meds forcing me to sleep when taken as prescribed 3x a day, the VE ruled out all jobs. The ALJ visibly smirked during some of this “back and forth”. Provided he denies me by defying my neurologist’s recommendations, how could that even be possible without him looking like a fool? Or could the one and only hypo have been a formality? Other feedback on this judge claim he ignored their RFCs as well. I don’t see how they can do this and hold their seat. I very well know you can’t tell the future, but what can you tell me based on the one misleading Hypo?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      I really can’t predict the outcome of your hearing, but the hypothetical does not match the limitations your physician suggested being in a heavier range. If you are denied and want to appeal and do not already have an attorney, I encourage you to hire an experienced Social Security attorney to assist you because there are specific guidelines for filing an Appeals Council appeal and submitting the argument. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kelly M

        Thanks for the answer! I already have an attorney and she offered no help when I asked her about these details. Is it common for an ALJ to go above and beyond your limits for a hypothetical, or should I suspect he totally misread my reports? I don’t know how these cases work and if he simply asked a more demanding hypothetical than I’m capable of, then didn’t ask another more reasonable one when shut down the first time, I could see that as a way to not waste time, but again, I don’t know if I’m just being optimistic or if he is simply disregarding my RFCs. Obviously if I was shut down due to meds forcing me to lie down with “No jobs will allow that” I can’t see any reason to go further, but I don’t know the routines. Simply put, is it common at all to toss out only one overrated hypothetical, or should I be concerned?

        • Kelly M

          As a side note, the one and only hypothetical only offered 2 jobs. I suspect lowering the requirements wouldn’t have added more and likely would have ruled these 2 out. But without another hypothetical even being asked…

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kelly,

          My reply is to both your comments. I can’t say for sure what the judge’s reasons were for inquiring about a heavier level of work than your restrictions except that he may have thought you were less limited than you were claiming. He may have not asked about lighter jobs for the reason you gave: the vocational expert testified that no jobs would allow rest breaks lying down.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Kelly M

            Well, I received my report already. Unfavorable due to a lack of “objective evidence”. I have 2 RFCs claiming high restrictions as well as the appointed SSA specialist’s report which the judge also ruled as lacking “objective evidence” on several facts. All of my personal Dr’s as well as neurologist’s plus part of the specialist’s reports were ruled as “opinionated” rather than factual. From what I’ve read by SSA law my Dr’s finding should take precedence over SSA’s yet all were ruled out or at least partially so in the SSA doc’s case. Is this even allowed? And what “objectional evidence” would he be looking for? This is a neurological disease you can’t measure the limits with like you can with heart issues, blood tests, etc. All physical tests I’ve done have already been considered opinionated, aka, “faked”. Help? (I have a call in for my lawyer but any inside advice would be much appreciated here.) Thank you much!

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Kelly,

              A statement or evaluation of limitations from a physician has to be supported by findings in the form of laboratory or test results or records of findings from clinical examinations during office visits. In short, the medical records made at the time you were evaluated, followed and treated have to support the doctor’s opinion. You may have grounds for an appeal if the judge arbitrarily disregarded findings that supported the doctors’ opinions.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Desperate

    Dear Kay,
    I was awarded a bench decision on June 6, 2016. I received my fully favorable letter from the judge on June 17,2016. I will be collecting SSDI only with no workers comp or any other offsets.

    I haven’t received my award letter yet so I’ve been calling my local office, the 800# for SSA, and the payment processing center as well. I had tried the payment center literally hundreds of times before finally someone answered last Friday, August 19th. She informed me that they started working on my claim on June 23rd. She also said that on August 22nd the payment center has had my claim for sixty days and they typically want the back pay to be paid out by sixty days and to watch my bank account.
    My question is… Do they HAVE to complete everything and pay out by sixty days? Or will I just be continuing to check my account and only end up disappointed? I know it has to be soon… But does the SSA take longer than 60 days to work a claim?

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Desperate,

      You had to call many times to reach someone from the payment center because the payment center is not set up for calls from the public. The key words are “like to;” there is not guarantee that the benefits will be paid within sixty days. Keep checking the account a couple times a week, but don’t expect to receive the benefits at any specific time because it could take another month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gable

    I went before the Vlj everything went great. The VE was ask could I do the same job and the answer was no. I’m 56 year he was there any sedentary work I could perform after finding three job. The judge ask hypothetical VE reply no these couldn’t be performed, after several tried he found a job I might be able to perform. My lawyer think everything went well what do you think. He struggles to find something under my limitations.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gable,

      Although it can’t be known how the judge will consider the occupation that you “might” be able to do, at this point there is no reason to doubt your attorney’s opinion that the hearing went well.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Amy Tinkham

        I filled for ssdi in Oct 2013 for chronis migraines. I have been getting migraines since I was around 12 years old, I am now 35. After the birth of my second child they became out of control. I was getting them 18-24 days per month. Tried 8 different preventative meds & now on botox injections every 3 months which knocked my migraines down to 14-16 days per month. I am also on 2 different pain meds, Butalbital & butalbital w/ coedine, also taking Rizatriptan. All my meds make me drowsy. I had 2 RFC forms, one from my GP & 1 from my Neurologist, both stating that I cannot work & my condition is permenant. The ALJ said both RFC forms were not creditible since I had gone to some appointments alert, which I never denied having good days. I also stated that I cannot drive during migraines, so if I had a migraine on the days that I seen my drs I wouldn’t have gone. I also only seen my drs once every 3 months. The ALJ also stated that I only have migraines 2-3 per month which wasn’t true otherwise I would no longer be approved through my insurance for botox & my meds. I also received a CT scan & MRI which found whte matter on both side of my brain from my migraines. My mawyer found over 10 different errors made by the ALJ. I have already been through the denial process & had my hearing in Feb 2016. Thought the hearing went well, but found out the end of June 2016 that I was denied by the ALJ. My Lawyer filed an appeal on the hearing. Was wondering what my chances were since there were so many errors made by the ALJ.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Amy,

          As you present your condition and the evidence, I would expect you to be approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Michael Schiavi

      Hello Kay

      I had a critical case hearing in Rochester N.Y. on August 8. I am 53 and had my claim filed by a very reputable disability law firm. My lawyer thinks I will be approved rather quickly. The ALJ was very nice,asked me some questions which I readily answered.

      When the Judge asked the usual hypotheticals, the V.E. testified that there was nothing I could do. The V.E. then found 1 thing possible; the ALJ asked could I sustain it with my limitations and disabilities. The V.E. said no.

      The Judge then asked me a few questions at the end of the hearing. Where was I from? I have limited Scleroderma, had a lumbar fusion which did allow me to work for almost 20 years longer, but have Scleroderma-related arthritis and other medical issues.

      The ALJ asked, “So this has been a life-long struggle for you, hasn’t it?” I replied “Yes your Honor it has?” He then said I will have a decision in 4 to 6 weeks. He said if I don’t, to contact my attorney and then said that he expects I won’t have to do that.

      My lawyer said we have a good strong case. What do you think? Are my chances good? They based my critical case designation on dire need as I got evicted from my apartment back in May.

      I found great information you have posted on here, and value your opinion. I’m hoping for a decision by the middle of September. My lawyer filed for both SSI and SSDI. Do you think my chances are good and I will receive a favorable decision soon?

      Thank you!

      Michael

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Michael,

        Based on the information you provided, I’d say that it is likely that your claim will be approved. The judges often don’t give an estimated time for a decision, so your judge’s estimate is probably a reasonably accurate time frame.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Michael Schiavi

          Dear Kay

          Thank you very much! I appreciate all you do!

          Best Regards

          Michael

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Michael.

  • Lisa Marquise

    Hello,

    I just had a 2nd alj hearing. The judge said near end of the hearing that he’d been prepared to render a decision if not for the fact my lawyer couldn’t locate a radiology report on the records disc. She was completely unprepared, and he was visibly annoyed with her. He asked me questions. I thought I did ok, but left stuff out. The VE said I couldn’t perform my job. He mentioned age (I’m 57 now, 53 when started this). My question is was it positive that he was ready to make a decision at that time, had my attorney located the info? How long will I have to wait now, when he was ready to rule that day? I’m not confident now that all my records were given to SS or on the disc, due to my attorney being unprepared. I felt she was incompetent, and it was quite distressing. The judge also didn’t ask me about the mental health part of my claim, which is severe, only the physical which is also incapacitating. Does that mean he won’t consider it? I’m upset w my lawyer because I’d know today what the judge was going to decide if she’d had the Mri report. Thank you, Lisa

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      There’s always a chance the judge could decide to deny the claim if he looks at everything again, but for now your chances of approval look good. You and your attorney should have been given a specific number of days the record will be left open to submit the MRI. Focus now on getting the MRI to the judge quickly. Check with the hearing office to be sure that it has been received and given to the judge. You may get the decision quickly if you get it to the judge while he still remembers your appeal clearly because the judge was effectively saying, “show me the MRI that supports what you are saying and I’ll approve your claim.” No questions about your mental health means the physical evidence will be enough or the mental documentation was already in file.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jonnie

    Dear Kay, after almost 3 years and an appeal I finally had a video hearing, the first thing the judge asked me is ” are you still tachycardic ” and I replied yes your honor. After going over my case with the attorney the Jude asked the VE for other jobs I could do less physical demanding, then the judge asked could I miss 2 or more days a month due to illness and still stay employed and the VE stated ” no” . The judge was very kind and everything seemed to go well, then the judge asked for all hospital stays and ER visits from hospitals which apparently the lawyers office did not gather all. So he gave a 20 day extension. I did all the work and got everything for the attorney about 120 pages. And now it’s all turned in to him. I have several conditions including PTSD, sever depression, anxiety and lots of physical problems.I have not been able to work 3 years now and my son supports me and the judge confirmed that. Now it’s a waiting game, does it sound positive to you the judges questions to me and the VE ? And What is average time for decision from judge for my SSI. Thank you in advance

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jonnie,

      If after reviewing the additional documents the judge thinks the evidence supports the frequent absences from work you claim, it is likely that your claim will be approved. It may take a couple months after the judge receives the documents to get a decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Christina

    Hi Kay. I applied for disability back in June 2014. I am currently waiting for a hearing date although I have already been assigned a judge. I have SLE lupus, fibromyalgia, chronic kidney disease and chronic headaches. I am already receiving SSI. I was approved for SSI back in 2007. I wanted to know with me already receiving SSI benefits will I have good chances of being approved for SSDI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christina,

      Being on SSI proves that you have been disabled since the SSI started; but to be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD, aka SSDI), you must prove that you became disabled while you were still insured. This means that you might be eligible based on current information, but not eligible for Social Security that requires an earlier onset date.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • christina

      Hi Kay,
      I had my hearing Oct 13th but days before my hearing my lawyer informed me there was no mention of me already receiving SSI in my record. It that normal? My lawyer stated he wouldn’t bring up that I was already receiving unless it was mentioned, which it wasn’t! Overall the hearing went well, my lawyer argued I met a listing and all of my medical evidence matched letters and RFCs by my treating physicians. The VE said there were no jobs. I just want to know why they might not have put SSI in my record?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Christina,

        I don’t know why your receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) was not mentioned in your claim for Social Security Disability or why your attorney did not mention it. The medical criteria for the two programs are the same. The only difference is that you have to have become disabled at a point in time that you are or were insured.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Haddie

    Dear Kay,

    I had a hearing before an ALJ on May 24, 2016, and have been waiting for a decision. In the interim, the ALJ requested a CE (orthopedic), wage information from past employers (unsuccessful work attempts), and office treatment records from my primary physician.

    Yesterday, I received an express package from ODAR. I thought it was the Decision. Instead, it was a letter from the ALJ stating, “I have secured additional evidence that I propose to enter into the record…”

    The letter also states, “Actions You Have A Right To Take” and, “Actions I Will Take If I Do Not Hear From You.” In a nutshell, the ALJ is giving me the opportunity to submit additional evidence and/or request a supplemental hearing. She is giving me 10 days to respond. Is this standard? I do not, under any circumstance, want another hearing. I do, however, wish to address some discrepancies in the new evidence.

    Specifically, one of the questions on the form the CE completed is, “The limitations above are assumed to be your opinion regarding current limitations only. However, if you have sufficient information to form an opinion within a reasonable degree of medical probability as to past limitations, on what date were the limitations you found above present?”

    The CE indicated 7/1/2016, which was the date of the examination! Am I reading the question wrong, or is the fact that the date is highlighted on the form an indication that the ALJ is considering using 7/1/2016 as the onset date?!?

    My limitations have been present since 2005, and I previously received disability benefits from 2005 to 2011, for the same condition. How should I address this? I don’t want to do/say anything that could hurt my case. I was anticipating a fully favorable decision. Is there any reason for me to think otherwise? Please help. I am a nervous wreck right now 🙁

    • Haddie

      Hello again Kay,

      I haven’t received your response to the above… I want to know if it is standard procedure for an ALJ to send a claimant a letter with copies of new evidence.

      Also, the following verbiage was included in the letter:

      “If you request a supplemental hearing, I will grant the request unless I receive additional records that support a fully favorable decision.”

      Is this also standard verbiage, or could the Judge be indicating that she does not have sufficient evidence for a fully favorable decision?

      Am I reading too much into this? Please reply. Thank you!

      • Haddie

        Kay, please respond. I’m literally at my wits end. Are my questions too long? I can shorten or amend them if necessary. PLEASE… I need reassurance. I am single, no family and no support system. I am in limbo and every day that passes draws me closer to total desperation and despondency. Please reply.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Haddie,

          I left you replies below your questions on August 12 and 15.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Haddie,

        Please see my reply to your first posting. With the exact wording you supplied in your current post, I would say that at this point, the judge is not ready to approve your claim or is ready to approve it either with a later disability onset date or for a closed period of disability (finding you stopped being disabled on a certain date). I don’t know whether you can find out which by communicating with the hearing office or in a written letter to the judge asking for more information before you make a decision about submitting more information or requesting a hearing.

        Alternatively, you could just request the supplemental hearing if you don’t have anything further to submit about when you became disabled or your current condition. If you do have evidence not yet submitted but don’t know whether it will result in a fully favorable decision, you could submit it with a letter saying if the evidence doesn’t result in a fully favorable decision, you want a hearing.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Haddie,

      The examining physician didn’t want to take a guess at how long you had been limited before he or she saw you. You are being given an opportunity to respond to the examination report. If you do not want another hearing, then you need to submit a written argument on why your own medical records from before the consultative examination support the disability date you claimed. I suggest that you cite specific tests, examinations, procedures, and office visits that support the earlier date and say why each supports disability at that time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Haddie

        Hi Kay,

        Thank you for your response. I wish I would’ve received it sooner because I already responded to the Judge’s letter and didn’t provide any of the above. I simply stated that the date indicated by the CE doctor was the date of my examination, but that my limitations have been present since 2005.

        The Judge already has my medical records and examination reports. Maybe she was just looking for a residual function report from an independent orthopedic doctor, because my treating orthopedic doctor did not provide one.

        My letter should be at ODAR waiting to be processed and sent to the Judge so I’m hoping she can make her decision right away.

        Thanks again for your response! I really appreciate it!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Haddie,

          It is likely that you will have a hearing because you have not provided additional evidence to show that you were disabled prior to the consultative examination. If you have anything that has not been submitted that would support an earlier disability date, I recommend submitting it before the hearing if possible or at the hearing if need be.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • christina

    I had a hearing a few months ago and today I received a letter stating the ALJ determined that I meet the medical requirements to receive SSI payments and to call them for an interview before I could receive payments.
    Is this essentially an Acceptance letter? Or is everything still completely in limbo…? I called the number/ex given but was only able to get voice mail. I left a message and am waiting to hear back.
    Thank you –

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christina,

      You have been medically approved for benefits. Before your are finally approved, you need to provide a financial update going back to the date you filed the application. This is needed so that your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can be calculated for every month. If you don’t get through soon to the number given, you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and ask them to send a message to the local office saying that you want an appointment for the financial update interview following a hearing approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • elizabeth booze

        My daughter is 21 and had her ssi hearing that lasted 15 minutes.is that good or bad?
        Riverside, CA | Sunday at 11:11am
        my daughters ssi hearing lasted 15 min.. the judge swore them in, the atty started asking my daughter questions,the judge NEVER asked her anything but did ask the VE 2 questions and the hypotheticals regarding all of her mental limitations im assuming from the drs whodas form and letters and records they obtained which seemed strong.the VE said no jobs are available with all limitations.the atty gave no closing statement only and opening one… she is 21 and with all of this , why didnt the judge ask my daughter anything and since it was so short, is that a good thng?.. the atty didnt have time wth us before or after the hearing cause they said they are running off schedule… we seemed rushed…your opinion on the shortness and what i stated is appreciated… tyvm

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Elizabeth,

          If the attorney asks all the questions that the judge might and/or the judge doesn’t have questions of the claimant, none will be asked. If the judge accepts your daughter’s limitations, her claim will likely be approved on the testimony of the vocational expert.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • elizabeth booze

            ty kay… she is just so concerned cause of her age 21… the atty finally called and said she thought it went well and she didnt do a closng cause she felt everything was covered…she said after 3 days a decision was made and waiting for it to be written… IS 3 DAYS DECISION GOOD?…it also said no further medical evidence was needed… is that also good?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Elizabeth,

              The speed of decision is not an indication of either approval or denial, but the quick decision is good because you and your daughter will have the decision soon.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Elzabeth

            hi again … ok here it goes… my daughter was told the desicion was made and sitting on the judges desk to sign then send…AFTER ONLY 3 WEEKS?… MY QUESTION IS, HOW MANY PAGES IS THE LETTER IF APPROVED OR DENIED… AND MOST OF ALL WHICH ONES TAKE LOGER TO WRITE UP… 3 WEEKS AND ITS DONE… WORRIED

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Elizabeth,

              The length of the letter for any individual claim depends on the facts of the claim, so it is not possible to guess the decision of the letter even if one knew the letter length. How long you have to wait to receive the decision is more about how backed up the hearing office is and, thus how long your appeal waited to be addressed at each step, not how long each step (decision or letter writing) actually took.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • elizabeth booze

            it was 3 weeks total from hearing to write up… 3 days decision… waited 3 yrs for this…

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Elizabeth,

              It’s fortunate that you are getting a quick reply without having to wait even longer.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

        • elizabeth

          i cant find the latest question i asked that was pending where can i fnd that ?… asked on 09/09/2016

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Elizabeth,

            Please scroll through the comments under this article to find all your questions and my responses.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • elizabeth booze

            yes good to get a fast reply… but scared cause so fast.. i was told denials are faster… so idk…is that true?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Elizabeth,

              There may be statistics to that effect, but I have not seen them. A very seriously ill or injured person could get a very quick decision.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • elizabeth booze

            which would usually take longer to get… the denial or the approval letter after the hearing.. would the denial be faster so the appeal can take place or the approval cause its easier to write up…

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Elizabeth,

              An approval is not necessarily easier to write up especially if it is a close call. All letters have to cite the law, the evidence, and the rationale for the decision. What governs how long it takes for a decision is more dependent on the judge’s efficiency and the judge’s and the office’s workload at the time.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • cassy

    I have been trying to get social security for my son for over 2 years we have been denied and just had our hearing on may 17 my lawyer was very sure that we would be approved however i just recieved a letter that the hearing was unfavorable my soon is going into the fourth grade and reads at a first grade level he cannont spell words as he has a auditory processing disorder and other language and speech disabilities since he was born and cannot hear the sounds after looking at the paperwork that came today they based there decision from his second grade teacher i dont understand how they can do that

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cassy,

      I suggest that you discuss an appeal with your attorney, perhaps based on the grounds that the second grade teacher’s report would be two years old now and he might qualify now if not for the full length of time the claim has been pending.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • rosa

    where do I find my answer to my question

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rosa,

      The answer to your question was posted on July 29 under the same article as you just asked where the answer is. Scroll through the replies till you find it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Renee Conn-White

    My case is a dire need case it was our in that status 5 mo ago I went before the judge June 28 2016 I had been in the hospital in critical condition so the judge decided she needed those records as well even though the vocational specialist said there’s no job I can do I have lupus RA Fibro osteoporosis a heart condition seizures 3 failed hip surgeries and now I have mast cell degranulation I can’t keep any food down I’ve lost 50pds in 4 mo my case is still under review how long after I’ve seen the judge do they make a decision in a dire need case I’ve lost my car have eviction notice power cut off notice I can’t get my meds I have no one to ask for help I live in TN can you pls give me some idea of how much longer it can be I applied 34 no ago

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Renee,

      Processing times vary a lot, but it could be sixty days from the date that you submit the hospital records and additional time to be paid after the approval if you are approved. You might call the hearing office and ask whehter the appeal is still flagged dire need and say that you have received an eviction notice. If you are approved, I suggest submitting a dire need statement again to the local office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Kimberly

      Hello
      My 7 year old has Adhd,conduct disorder and asd. He is receiving home based therapy due to his behaviors. Before his hearing I submitted over 20 emails from his teachers who stated their concerns about him and his daily behavioral challenges. The judge stated that my file was well documented with a lot of information that he’d read. That didn’t stop him from giving my son and I the 3rd degree though. I was told by odar that the judge decided my case in two days. I’m a little concerned about that because during the hearing I was nervous and fumbled over a few of my answers. I’m hoping that my answers won’t affect his outcome. The judge said he’s been seeing his doctor for some years huh? I said yes. I wonder why he asked that

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Kimberly,

        If your son is disabled and the records and most of the testimony support disability, a couple fumbled questions should not affect the outcome unless they were really critical questions that were not answered elsewhere in the case record, which seems unlikely. The judge asked the question because he wanted to know. It may have helped orient him to other questions he wanted to ask. You should have a decision soon.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Kimberly

          Hello
          I wanted to share my update. I called the ss 800# and was told that my fully favorable decision was in the mail and that following the decision letter i should receive another letter stating the amount he’ll be getting monthly. Thanks you for replying back to me and many others. I’ve been reading in this forum before I had the hearing to find out how to win. It worked!!! Because of you, I had every document imaginable pertaining to my child’s disability faxed in and repeatedly called odar to ensure they’d received everything. Thank you so much for your time and dedication!! To everyone else, Good luck

          • Kay Derochie

            You are most welcome, Kimberly. I am glad that the information on Disability Adivsor helped you present the claim for your son.

  • Kay, my dad had his Hearing sometime back in May of 2016 we have received numerous letters stating he had a favorable decision and then the local office had sent us some letters calculating his expenses of each month and year for back pay. They have came to a decision on his back pay and we thought this month would be the starting month but they have sent a letter stating that there numbers were wrong and how they re-calculated everything. It’s been three months and we haven’t received anything just letters, I have heard of people getting at least there back pay before they even get a letter how long can they make you go before you see any money from them?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ashley,

      Normal processing can take sixty days from the date of the approval letter from the judge. Your father’s claim incurred an error so you can expect the time to be longer. If your father has not started to receive payment by the end of August, he can take the recalculation letter to the local office and the office to make a follow-up inquiry to the payment center.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Amanda Carnahan

        Dear Kay,

        My mom had her hearing on May 25, 2016. Lawyer seems to think she will get it. My question is the 60 days calendar days or does that include weekends?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Amanda,

          The general guideline for issuance of a hearing decision letter is sixty calendar days after the hearing, but it can take longer. Your mother can call the hearing office to get a status report.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • rosa

    Dear Kay,

    my mom applied for ssdi back on 11/2013 right now she have lawyer waiting on hearing from judge live in Indianapolis waiting time is 16months my mom lawyer did appeal on 3/17/2015, she has fibromyalgia, osteoarthris, and carpal tunnel in both hands she has need surgery on left hand and elbow 12/2014 and getting ready to have more surgery on hands, her last denial before judge request was we know your in pain, and condition is severe but find a secondary job where your not require you to frequently climb, balance, stoop, kneel,crouch or crawl and avoid frequently using your left hand. in Novermber of 2015 she received letter request information asking for any dr seen after 3/17/2015 and work history from last 15 years. letter said judge could make decision prior to court hearing. I can social security on Friday and rep said they show no hearing schedule and just wait. so any advice

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rosa,

      If a decision is made without a hearing, it will be an approval. If the full file review does not result in an approval, your mother will get a hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Leonardo

    Hello, I had my court date in front of the Judge back on May 26 2016. Everything seemed to go ok at the hearing the best I could tell. My Lawyer noted that one of my Conditions hidradenitis suppurativa was in the Blue Book. I also Have a Fistula Which is the first medical problem I started with then came the hidradenitis suppurativa a few months after and History of Strokes and pyoderma gangrenosum. As well as Depression and Anxiety which I take medicine for as well. The only things that didn’t get mentioned in the court hearing was the 2 strokes and the pyoderma gangrenosum. I Became Disabled Some time in 2010. I even Had Surgery that year on the fistula but It did not work. The Doctor that did that surgery talks about some of the skin infection and boils from the Hydradenitus in my groin area in his medical records but he never called it Hydradenitus. By then next year my condition had gotten so much worse because I didn’t have any income or insurance to take care of my self and find the proper help my parents flew me to the Dominican Republic and brought me to a Doctor there who saw how serious my situation was and agreed to do surgery. I was there for about 2 years I had 3 surgerys done and Had to get a Colostomy because of the fistula. I was able to get much help with the Hydradenitus while I was there but it was slowly getting worse. By the time I came back to the US it was 2013. I applied for disabilty and when I did I put down that I became Disabled in 2010. It has now been 57 days since I went to court I just found out today that the judge requested more medical records from the hospital for 2011. And they just sent it out to him yesterday. I am concerned because even though I had the Hydardenitus back in 2010 and still to this day. I didn’t have alot of Medical Records from 2010 to 2013 there are some like from the Doctor who performed my first surgery and some stuff from the hospital and very few medical Records from the Dominican Republic. None of the records mention the word Hydradenitus even though some talk about the infections caused by it. It was intell 2013 that they realized what it was after that there are many records to confirm what I have. I know that in order to qualify for SSDI I have to prove that I was Disabled before Dec 2012. My question is Does the Judge have to see that they called it Hydradenitus in the past records or will he be able to decide that I had that condittion based on the evidence that would support that I had that condition even though they never gave it a name at that stage. Thanx In advance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Leonardo,

      It can be harder to prove disability at a certain point in time without a diagnosis; however, if the records show serious symptoms that would be expected to cause limitations and attempts to treat the symptoms, it is not impossible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jamie

    Hello, Kay. My daughter hearing decision is in write up. How long do we have now? It only been 13 days now. Is a quick decision a good sign? I know I mentioned earlier that the alj did not even ask me any questions at the hearing but he did allow my daughter lawyer to ask me some questions. As I stated she have ADHD, ODD, Depression. She been taking medications since 2014 and she have been going to psychological doctors every since then. She takes ritalin la, intuniv, and prozac. She also receives intensive in-home services since last year….approved by trillium. Your thoughts?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jamie,

      How fast the decision is made is not an indication of approval or denial. The letter writing process can take a couple weeks to a month or more. Given that your daughter’s condition is severe enough to allow for in-home services, she may be eligible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Noma

        Dear Kay

        I had my hearing 2 weeks ago . The judge states he would grant me disability if I changed my back date which I agreed . Now how long do I have to wait for acceptance letter /check? Thank you

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Noma,

          The guideline is for the judge to render a decision within sixty days of the hearing, although it can take longer. Approved Social Security claims can take two months for payment to start after you get the hearing approval letter. If Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is involved, it is generally paid faster from the local Social Security office; however, you will be contacted first to provide a financial update so that SSI payment amounts can be calculated.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • James H. Wynn Sr

            I had court on July 26th and I got a ‘fully favorable’ decision yesterday (only 2 weeks). I also got a letter from Supplemental Security Income stating that I need to bring in proof of income and rent for the past 3 1/2 years, however I have not received any income and I’ve only lived with people during this time, I HAVE NO PROOF. I called the office twice in the past 2 days but no answer so I had to leave a message. I am trying to find out how much I am going to get and when it will start but nobody can help me. Any ideas? Thank you!

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear James,

              You need to submit a list of all the addresses you lived at since you filed your claim and the approximate dates as best as you can recall. If you did not pay anything to any of the people you lived with, you can make a statement to that effect.

              Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits start to accrue with the month of application. Your monthly SSI benefit will be $488.67 for months in 2015 and 2016, about $480 for months in 2014 and $473 monthly for 2013. All these amounts are reduced rates that have been reduced for your having had in-kind (non-cash) income in the form of free housing. If you paid for your shelter at any of the places you lived, you will need a statement from the householder of how much rent you paid and the dates you rented there.

              When you get your back pay and start paying for your own shelter and food costs (with or without food stamps), you can report the change to Social Security. Two months later your SSI will increase to $733 if you have no other income.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • Kim

      I had my hearing on June 16 th and it called for a status update and was told the judge is still reviewing it. I know it can take awhile but I am having panic attacks and crying spells and my husband has had to stay home from work, because of the panic attacks. I just can’t seem to get any answer besides the judge us reviewing. I see others that already have theirs in writing.
      Any info would be appriciated.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Kim,

        The guideline for getting a decision is sixty days from the hearing, though some decisions take longer. How long it pends is not an indication of either approval or denial.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Allan

          I had my hearing April 16th, 2016 I inquired at the local office and they said it can take 3 to 6 months. My lawyer said it is being written up however the office said it is still in decision process. And to those in need of help now go to your local dss office they can usually help.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Allan,

            The guideline is for you to receive a decision within sixty days of the hearing if the record is not kept open for the submission of additional evidence. However, sometimes it takes longer. A status from the hearing office should be accurate, so I suggest that you call the hearing office because the local Social Security office will just know that the decision has not been sent out; they will not know where it is in the process. Your appeal may be in letter writing as your attorney says.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • steve

    Hi Kay I signed up for disability Aug 2015 I was denied within a month then my reconsideration was also denied. My lawyer filed to be seen in front of alj judge.by the way I live in Indiana.he filed for alj in November 2015. I know there’s a 16.0 month wait period. Does this 16 month wait time go back to when I filed the initial claim. When should I know something when my hearing is. My disability is for severe emphysema. Thank you kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Steve,

      The wait time starts in November 2015 when you requested the hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lee

    Hey Kay:
    My wife had her hearing on 7/13/16. She suffers from chronic fatigue, pain,anxiety due to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome & fibromyalgia. Her lawyer asked the VE if someone consistently missed 1.5 days a month or if someone who have to take 30 min unscheduled breaks everyday, would that be allowed. The VE answered “no.” Now, the ALJ is asking for my wife to complete a medical exam. I always thought this would have been asked earlier in the process and she did have update to medical records and a written statement from her doctor explaining her conditions and its limitations. Why would the ALJ ask for a exam at this stage? Based on what I hear about the exams, he probably will not get any info that will help him render a decision. Any thoughts on why the ALJ would ask for an exam at this stage.

    Thanks for your insight!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lee,

      It is not clear from what you wrote whether the judge is asking your wife to go to a medical examination or he has requested a physician review of all the medical information in file. Either way, the judge probably wants more medical information to decide whether it is medically necessary for your wife to miss work and take extended, unscheduled breaks.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Theresa

    I just had court on the 7th my date of disability was changed. I suffer from IBS (that has resulted in losing 48lbs, Im still obese) migranes, carpal tunnel, sleep apnea, patellafemoral syndrome, spondyliothesis, bilateral pars defect, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and I’m a 50 on the class v with my therapist. My question is what do you think my odds are of getting approved

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Theresa,

      If you agree to a more recent disability date that the one you claimed, you have a good chance that the claim will be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nicole

        The day of my hearing my lawyer had me sign a paper changing the date of my disability. I have been fighting since 09 and this was my 3rd hearing. June 27th was my hearing haven’t heard anything. I’ve had several brain surgeries and I suffer from depression.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nicole,

          The guideline is for the judge to render a decision within sixty days of the hearing, although it can take longer. Approved Social Security claims can take two months for payment to start after you get the hearing approval letter. If Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is involved, it is generally paid faster from the local Social Security office. You will be contacted first to provide a financial update so that SSI payment amounts can be calculated correctly for past months and ongoing benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Wendy Cornelius

        550 riverside drive.
        Hi. Kay, i recently had a hearing and the judge asked me if I would take an amended disability date, will that affect my back pay? I have been trying since 3/4/14, to get approved. Thank you

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Wendy,

          Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI) benefits begin the sixth full-calendar month of disability and are limited to twelve months before application. If your original disability date is more than seventeen months prior to the date you filed the claim you are currently appealing and your revised date is less than seventeen months before application, the change will reduce your back pay.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • laura

    Hi Kay,
    Do u know what the average waiting time is for an appeal to the alj denial? Also I heard the odds of getting an approval at this stage is next to impossible.
    I was also offered a job that I would like to try that may accommodate all of my disabilities. Will this hurt my case if I wanted to try this job to see if its right for me? thanks in advance for answering my questions

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laura,

      I suggest that you take the job because you have no assurance that your current appeal will be successful. It can take a year or even two for the Appeals Council to review your appeal. Then they can reject it, approve it (rare), or remand it to the judge with instructions for further investigation. The second hearing with the judge could result in an approval or affirmation of the denial. If you are approved, your work could be treated as Trial Work Period months during which benefits continue to be paid. If you are able to work and earn more than $1,130 gross per month ongoing after the nine-month Trial Work Period, benefits would be suspended and after thirty-six months terminated because you would have demonstrated the ability to sustain work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Billy

    Hi Susan I applied for disability for mental issues. I’ve been attending a mental health facility and am prescribed medications for ptsd, psychotic disorder and severe depression. I have been attending this facility and treatment for 2 and a half years. I was working part time for about 5 months and fired because of conflict with the schedule. I had my hearing on june 1st and the judge asked questions like could I read a magazine front to back, did I get along with co-workers and other questions I can’t remember,but the hearing lasted about 30 minutes. Oh and I really didn’t understand what the ve was talking about but I believe he thought I could work like 2 entry jobs, but the judge was not clear about my issues with the ve. I have medical files and my doctor supporting my claim my lawyer told me the case is strong and he feels good about the case, but at the hearing he felt like the judge was opposing like trying to down play our case. The judge has a approval rating of 33%
    For the 2016 *fiscal year, Judge R Dirk Selland has disposed 275 cases at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Tampa, Florida. Out of those 275 dispostions, 56 were dismissed, 90 were approved and 129 were denied. My question is what is your opinion of me winning and it’s going on 2 months and still haven’t received a opinion. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Billy,

      Your attorney has much more information that I have and he is uncertain about the outcome. I cannot offer anything more definitive. If you are denied, discuss with your attorney whether the judge’s not clearly representing your limitations to the vocational expert is a basis for appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Billy

        I wanted to know your opinion of the chances you think I will win???

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Billy,

          Please see my response to your first question.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Nancy A Battista

    Hi Kay, I have a few questions. I had my hearing on March 30,2016. The judge asked for clarification on my medical records in May. I called a few days ago they said the decision was being written in the payment center . I called back this morning and they said the judge asked for an updated earnings report. What does all of this mean. I’m so confused. Any information you can give me would help. Thank you Nancy

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nancy,

      I cannot be sure, but I think that after the judge made a decision and before it was finalized some work activity on your part came to light that was not addressed in the pending decision. Either you had worked after the disability date you claimed or a discrepancy became apparent between the date the judge established was your disability onset and the date you were last insured for benefits. Whatever the issue, the judge is gathering information before finalizing his or her decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nancy A Battista

        Is that a good or bad thing? I feel I’m going to get denied. My earnings report has not changed at all. Please give me your imputed I really appreciate it.
        Thanks, Nancy

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nancy,

          The judge may just be checking that your reported work activity has not changed. He may have requested the earnings just so that the file would be correctly documented.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Jay

    Hello I’m asking some questions for my dad his hearing is in 1 month the date is set. He has waited over 2 years. When first applying it was for his back injury from a car crash. Since then (recently) he has had numerous more medical issues ..bad copd,fatty liver, pancrtits and some more issues our question is what is the likely hood of him getting a answer at the hearing considering all these new medical findings? And his hearing date is so close but would a attorney advisory decision be helpful or to request a otrd?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jay,

      Usually judges do not give a verbal decision at the hearing although it does occur. It is important that records be submitted before the hearing for all the more recent medical issues. And, I suggest that your father consult with an attorney about whether to request handling of the appeal in a manner other than a hearing. When he hires a Social Security attorney, he does not have to pay any legal fees up front and he will pay attorney fees only if he is approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount his attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award before they send his back pay to him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ryan kas

    Hi Kayy
    I had my disability court date on April 4th which the judge then sent me to see the disability doctor on may 4th. The doctor said he would write a favorable decision to the judge for me which went out on may 10th. It is now July 12th. Should I be worried that its taking this long to get a decision letter?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ryan,

      The length of time you have waited is probably more about how busy the office is than the outcome of the decision. You can call the hearing office to get a status.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Robert

        Hi Kay, I am currently 100% disabled under IU with the VA. My diagnosis is anxiety and depression. I don’t have a hearing date yet. It has been 10-11 months. I was told 12-14 months.

        I realize I’m not providing much information but I was wondering if you could tell me based on your experience the % of time someone who’s 100% with the VA being approved for SSDI? I have a very strong work history unto June of 2014. I was self medicating my anxiety/ depression with drugs and alcohol. I have been free from those substances since July 2014 and now I’m needing more medication from the doctor’s at the VA to even be able to leave my room. If there’s any other information you’d like me to provide prior to giving me your opinion I’d be more than willing.

        Thanks in advance

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Robert,

          I am unable to predict whether you will be approved and don’t have statistics regarding approvals and denials of claims from veterans who are receiving VA benefits as 100% disabled. The VA and Social Security do have different governing laws and sometimes such claims are denied. Be sure that the judge knows that you have been drug and alcohol free since July 2014 because Social Security benefits are not paid for disabilities caused by drug or alcohol use. (When such use co-exists with mental illness, it is difficult to determine which is causing functional limitations.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • tim peavey

    Kay first off thank you for your help with everyone..

    I had a video hearing 2 months ago,was me and my Lawyer the young lady taking notes and 2 ME on phone didnt have a VE present..Now the ME said i dont just meet 1 listing i meet or exceed 3 ,so the judge said no need for a ve anyway then-then she tell me to take care and to keep following my dr’s advise……ok so now all looked very well 2 months pass my lawer called me today to say the judge wants another hearing.Im very confused ,my lawer cant say why they to are confused. Why would an Alj want another hearing is this a bad sign ,I hate this, please any understanding would be helpfull alot. Tim

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tim,

      Maybe some procedure was not followed at the first hearing that has to be fulfilled before a favorable decision can be finalized. As you relate the first hearing, I would expect you to be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • tim

        Kay just an update had my 2nd hearing sept 16 it was to amend onset date got my approval letter 2 weeks ago, just wanted to tell you Thank you and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving….Bless

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome and thank you, Tim.

  • Trish

    Hi Kay,

    I finally had my hearing on June 17th. My lawyer said going into it that he wasn’t confident i would be approved this time around. When we had the hearing, the judge just wanted to talk to my lawyer first. After 20 mins he comes out and tells me the judge agreed that i was disabled as of a certain time. They even called upstairs and got my benefit amount, which he told me in a conference while there. He went back to discuss another thing with the judge and came back out and got me. I went in and she asked a few questions about my previous work. I told her for the last 8 yrs i had held different accounting jobs. The VE agreed and the judge asked her if my career was considered skilled and the VE said it was. She asked how many days a month a company would tolerate before termination. The VE said 1 to 2. The judge asked if they would make provisions and the VE said no and i would be terminated. Then the judge stated that as she stated to my lawyer it was agreed upon that i was found disabled as of a certain date. When we were done my lawyer said he was very happy she agreed that i was found disabled. Does this mean i was unofficially approved?

    I ask also because one of my disabilities is seizures. Due to the stress of the day and possibly my lack of sleep i had a seizure that night and ended up in the ER overnight. I let my lawyer know and asked if he needed the pics of my injuries and records. He told me no because she found me disabled as of Jan 2016. Judge said she was hoping to have her decision in about a month but it may be longer. If approved, how long would it take to get back pay and would it go through my lawyer first? Some friends of mine who’ve been approved said they received their money before a decision letter and others said they received the letter and a week later their back pay.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Trish,

      Yes, you have unofficially been approved for disability benefits. Only attorney fees will be paid to the attorney; the rest of the back pay will be paid to you directly. Sometimes payment starts before the award letter is received.

      If you are approved for both Social Security and SSI, SSI will be paid first and Social Security back pay will be reduced by the amount of SSI paid for months that you were eligible for both. It can take two months or more after you get the approval letter for Social Security to start and longer if SSI is paid first. SSI should start within a month or six weeks, but SSI benefits will not be paid until you have a financial update interview, which should occur with the local office within two weeks of your receiving the approval letter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Trish

        I did apply for SSI but about 3 months ago received a denial letter. I think my hearing was just for SSDI. I’ve been impatiently waiting for the letter. We lost everything earlier this yr. We lost our housing a few yrs ago and had been living with relatives towing along our two children. We ended up moving in with my mom last April, moving my kids away from friends and the lives they were used to. My 6 yr old adjusted well, but kept asking when he was going back to his school for almost 6 months. My 17 yr old was mad. He loved his tech school and was very upset. He’s loving it here now but it took some time. My husband’s a veteran and hasn’t been able to find work. He’s had two jobs sonce the move but neither lasted. He lost his last job because he developed a diabetic ulcer on his right big toe, has neuropathy and now some type of mass in his left leg. So we’ve been trying to make ends meet living on food stamps and cash assistance. It’s been like a nightmare. So I’m trying to be patient but in the same respect I’m so impatient because there are so many bills piling up and we just can’t bare to lose anymore! Our storage unit was auctioned off in February and they never returned certain items like baby books, pics, etc that meant a lot to us. So I’m trying really hard to stay patient.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Trish,

          It will not help your immediate situation; but if your husband is unable to work and he has been or is expected to be disabled for a period of twelve months, he can file a disability claim also. Given how you describe your finances, I don’t understand the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) denial unless you have excess resources in some form, such as a second vehicle that was too valuable.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,

          • Trish

            Hi Kay,

            Our oly income is about $500 in cash assistance $220 in child support payments and we get food stamps. Our car is not paid off and is currently behind. I’m not sure how much longer they will be understanding before they come get it.

            We aren’t sure how long it will take his ulcer to heal. It’s been almost 5 months now. The mass is new though and we just found out about the neurapathy in April. He has other issues but is the kind of man that refuses to go to the doctor unless it’s absolutely nessessary.

            • Kay Derochie

              I recommend that your husband file Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income claims now. If he is denied because the disability is not expected to last twelve months, wait about forty-five days from the denial and then file an appeal. Waiting to file the appeal will move your husband closer to the twelve months. Be very thorough in listing all conditions he has and all medical providers and the treatments he is getting including testing to determine the nature and/cause of the mass. If he has to elevate his foot a certain amount each day or has any other limitations or restrictions set by the doctor be sure to list those. (Again, I don’t know why you would have been denied Supplemental Security Income given your financial situation.)

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Joshua

    Dear Kay I rencently got approved for SSI on June 24th 2016 at the end of the hearing me and my attorney signed a peice of paper agreeing to the onset date of when backpay should begin I believe… my question is if i got approved on June 24th after waiting 2 1/2 years and with a main hearing and then i went for a 2nd followup hearing because more documentation was provided…when should i receive my letter in the mail? i hear anything from 45 to 90 days though i have to pay back the county i live in for cash assistance they provided me also have to pay my attorney. any timeline help would be awesome.

    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joshua,

      The guideline for getting a hearing decision letter is sixty days, but it can take longer. So, the estimate given to you of forty to ninety days is in line with what is typica. After you get the letter, it can take from two or three weeks to a month or more to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments started. If you were also approved for Social Security, it will be paid second and can take another one to three months after the SSI is paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • richard manning

    Hello could you tell me what the odds of winning a case that was remanded back from the fed. courts

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Richard,

      I don’t have any statistics, but any remand has a higher chance of approval because some fault has been found with how the hearing decision was arrived at.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ariana

    dear kay : im waiting to see the alj ive been waiting for one year and three months my case has not been assigned to a judge yet how much longer do you think i have to wait for my to see a judge? also i lost my benefits two years ago and i was homeless but with all the medical problems that i had diabetes,neuropathy,bronchitis,depression,kidney damage i still had to get a job so i can eat even at my job i had to call out mostly all of the time i recently had to quit because the standing was unbearable with my neuropathy my feet would turn purple and start to swell up i even had to be admitted to the emergency room several times because of it ….my question to you is if the judge ask me if i worked between the time i was cut off what do i say do i be honest and if i say yes would i be denied my benefits that i waited so long to get? PLEASE HELP THANK YOU !

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ariana,

      Your work may or may not affect your appeal for reinstated benefits. You do need to declare the work whether or not the judge asks for it and you must tell the truth at the hearing. Try to write up a statement that includes the start and stop dates of each job, why you started working, how much you earned a month gross, how many days a month you missed or went home early, and why you quit. If need be, contact the employer to gather the data. All this information is needed for the judge to determine whether your work was enough to count as a Trial Work Period month (TWP) in which full benefits are payable and, if so, whether the TWP ended and the work was substantial gainful activity during the period after the end of the TWP.

      Submit the statement to the hearings office as soon as it is prepared, keeping a copy. Also submit a statement of dire need, which might speed up your getting a court date by a little bit. (A side note, if you have not applied for SNAP [food stamps], I suggest you do so.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Paris

        Thanks so much Kay I will do so

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Paris.

          • elizabeth booze

            kay how do i ask question to you

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Elizabeth,

              Just post the question where you posted the question about how to ask a question.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • Michelle

      Hi Kay,
      I have been waiting on my hearing I have been told by my Attny that it shows status as ready to be scheduled. Is this normal I was told back in June that and again today. What is my time line looking to be? Your help is appreciated.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Michelle,

        The timeline varies from hearing office to hearing office depending on the number of cases pending at any time. Being told the same thing in June and July means that your appeal is in the same stage without having moved. The next step in the process is for you and your attorney to be notified of a hearing date. While you wait, be sure that your attorney and the hearing office have all your updated medical information.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Stephanie

    My disability was originally denied stating I was disabled yet I could still find some sort of work. I went to the hearing today and the VE said I could no longer preform my past jobs, the first hypothetical the VE listed 3 factory jobs, the judge gave the second hypothetical and the VE said that I would not be able to preform them. My lawyer said he thinks the judge is going to rule on my side. Is he assuming this because only two hypotheticals were given?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephanie,

      The number of hypothetical questions differs from case to case depending on the limitations established in the claim so the number of hypotheticals is not critical. What matters is the vocational expert’s opinion that you could not perform the identified occupations with the limitations you are claiming.

      Sincerely,
      kay

  • Renee

    I had a hearing on 6/20/2016 and it lasted all of 15 minutes. The judge asked me basis like my name and age and asked if some of my symptoms were certain things. He then asked the Dr if I fell into a blue book listing (he read a whole lot then said yes it meets a listing). He then asked the VE if there were any jobs and he said no. He told me I was free to go and my lawyer would tell me outside what this meant. She was in there for another 5 minutes and then came out and said congratulations BUT said it’s not a real approval until you get the letter. My question is does this seem like an approval and is there a way to file a dire need AFTER a hearing because I have officially run out of help and money and don’t want to lose my house especially since I am this close but I’m seeing wait times can be 6 months.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Renee,

      I’d say it is almost certain that you will get the official written approval. You can file a dire need now with the hearing office to try to the decision sooner; however, check with your lawyer before doing so. You can also file one with the local office to be sent to the payment center once you have the approval letter. Also, take the page of the approval letter that show you are approved and the effective date to your mortgage holder to show that you will be able to bring any arrears in the mortgage current as soon as back benefits are released. Say it will take two to four months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Renee

        Thank you so much! I did receive the approval decision already 🙂 My mortgage company had me send them a copy. Thank you for the advice!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Renee.

  • Harry

    Hi Kay, the AC determined that my appeal claim for PTSD was SEVERE and ordered the alj to vacate and remand his unfavorable decision. The remand states that I will receive a direct call from the alj .ODAR states that a hearing is not scheduled at this point. So is this a possible OTR favorable decision or will I have a hearing . Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Harry,

      Because the appeal was remanded, I don’t think the Appeals Council directly overturned the judge’s decision. A call from a judge is somewhat unusual, but perhaps there is only one detail that needs answering before the judge can move to an approval without a hearing. If you have an attorney, I suggest you ask your attorney for his or her understanding of the situation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Harry

        Hi Kay, my case was remanded because the ALJ did not consider my RFC limitations and he has been ordered to do so. I have since had my doctor complete a RFC which is favorable for my case. The previous ALJ retired but my case has now been assigned to a new ALJ but no date/time. Can my attorney submit the RFC from my doctor to the ALJ for a Otr decision for a quicker decision or will I have to wait for the hearing?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Harry,

          Check with your attorney to see whether new evidence can be submitted at the second hearing or whether only the evidence presented for the first hearing is submitted. If new evidence can be submitted, follow your attorney’s advice on whether or not to request an on-the-record (OTR) decision. Even if an OTR decision is requested, it may not affect the wait time by much.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Mary

    I had a hearing in March, I called today and said my paperwork was sent to Kentucky and mailed out today. What does Kentucky have to do with it.
    My hearing was in Peoria Ill.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      If there is a payment center in Kentucky (I wasn’t able to determine this), your claim may have been approved. Another possibility is that there is a quality assurance office in Kentucky and the judge’s decision has been randomly selected for review sent there for a quality review before the decision is finalized. (Finalized denials are usually sent to Virginia.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Bulldog

        Hi I also was told I would be receiving my letter from Kentucky. I was told it was mailed 15th and allow 10days cause it’s coming from Kentucky. Do that mean I was denied? The main ODAR is in Jackson, MS

        • Bulldog

          I was told that the office in Kentucky is their central printing office. It’s where their letters are printed and mailed from. Have you ever heard of that?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Bulldog,

            I had not heard of that, but it sounds quite plausible. Thank you for sharing the information.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Bulldog,

          Your appeal may have been transferred for completion. I don’t know that the apparent transfer relates to the outcome of your claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Bulldog

            Thanks Kay I will let you know the outcome I should be receiving my written decision within 10 days from Friday. I would say it’s going to arrive Thursday
            or Saturday

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Bulldog.

          • Bulldog

            I will let you know as soon as I receive a decision on what made the outcome of the decision. I am so nervous. Everything I asked you and have read about points to an approval but like my lawyer said I had a difficult Judge. I was told by my lawyers office if I don’t receive my decision by the beginning of next week to call and let them know.

  • Laura

    Hi Kay,
    I was denied benefits after my ALJ hearing, my attorney feels that I have many grounds for an appeal.
    she also said I have less than 5% chance of having the appeals committee rule in my favor.
    is this true? am I just wasting my time? i’m getting so frustrated and I just don’t know what to do I want to give up because I need money. it’s been three years and I have no income. I just don’t know if its time 2 throw in the towel or keep fighting. I honestly cannot work because of my medical problems.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laura,

      Check to see if you are still insured for Social Security Disability on the day after the date of the hearing denial letter. If you are, discuss with your attorney the pros and cons of filing a new claim versus appealing. If you file a new claim, you cannot claim a date earlier that the day after the hearing denial, so there will be no retroactive benefits. But, if your condition has worsened, maybe you would have a better chance for approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Laura

        Thank u Kay
        I spoke with him, and I am elilible until Sept 2017. He said he feels the judge dismissed all of of medical records, and didnt take any of my diagnisis seriously. My denial was based on making more than substantial gain one year which i made less than 11,000 and they said my drs were diagnosong me based on opinions and not medical facts, which I also have tests results (xrays, mris, cardiac caths, stress tests, etc) to back up my medical problems. He also said nothing has drastically changed so if I file a new claim, it will result in a series of denials and appeals. He thinks my age is the biggest facter because I filed at 38 and am now 41. I just dont think I can take another year of this just to end up in another denial. I don’t know what to do

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Laura,

          If you are really disabled, ceasing to pursue benefits may not be in your best interest. Based on the reasons your claim was denied including an error and possible disregard of medical documentation, a request for an Appeals Council review may be the best course.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Kris

        Kay,

        How long does it take for direct deposit back pay. My mom is receiving back pay for her husband that passed away in November 2015. She is only receiving back pay and no monthly income. She received approval letter and went to social security office to show death certificate and marriage liscense. They took her direct deposit information and said that it takes 7-10 business days. How long does it take for money to be deposited?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kris,

          I need more information to respond. You do not say when your mother applied for the back pay or what the circumstances were about the back pay. Was your father approved and payment made or scheduled to be made right when he passed away. Stated another way, what caused the underpayment that is payable to your mother.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • hi kay,
            i at begining stage of my disability i have diabetes, neuropathy from diabetes hypothyroid fatty liver diease from diabetes high cholesterol from diabetes i take insulin 4 times a day also have complete deafness in left ear and im at 75 decibles in right ear i had an hearing test from 2013 that had me total deaf in left ear and 70 decibles in right ear disability sent me to get an updated hearing test done by their ent of choice i apparently lost and additional 10% hearing in my right ear going from 40% of good hearing to 30% of good hearing i managed by the skin of my teeth held a job in retail for 14 1/2 years till i was terminated for missing to much work i cannot stand or walk long due to the swelling of my feet and legs along with my stomach which is very painful im just curious what my approval odds are i did not graduate had a hard time with school due to my hearing lost i have had since childhood i applied june 9th 2016 but i put my disability date as of aug 31st 2014 from when i was fired i don’t know sign laungage my family does hand motions to talk to me my hearing aide dont work that great and cannot afford another one

            ps sorry for posting in a reply i didn’t know how to start a tread
            thank you
            leta

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Leta,

              You may qualify medically due to your multiple medical conditions. If you are denied, I recommend hiring an experienced Social Security attorney to help with the appeal. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 before they send your back pay to you.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Stacey Simon

    Hello Miss Kay and thank you for your time. I just recently went before the appeals judge which seemed to go pretty well. However afterwards upon speaking to a distant relative I learned that another relative has been filing taxes in my name this terrified me once I found out because I believe shows a work history and I have not worked in years! Is this something that the social security will find out about and deny me? If so how can I go about proving that I have not worked or file taxes?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stacey,

      You do need to report what you discovered; if you don’t, the work activity could cause you to be denied. Start by going to the Social Security office in which you filed your claim and telling them what you just found out. Give them the last date you worked and request that they remove all earnings from your earnings records after that point in time. If possible provide contact information for the person using your Social Security number. Also send a letter to the judge with the same information and the fact that you have reported the problem to the local office.

      With regard to your claim, if you haven’t worked in years and didn’t work in the ten years before you became disabled, the disability benefits you have a possibility of receiving are Supplemental Security Income (SSI), not Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • tasha

        Hello kay, my friend just went before the judge because he has chronic gout in his elbows, wrist and ankles.. his doctor has limited his workload to 40 hours a week. He is a forklift driver and now he is unable to lift 5 pounds and job requires at leat 75 pounds. Due to his disability he kept having accidents which he loss his job due to safety hazards after 15 years. When we went to his hearing the ask the VE these question about a person in similar conditions if they could perform the task she stated no, but then she mention 3 other industry jobs that he can do. But each one she list would require him to lift 5 pounds or more. The judge stated he will have a decision today and a letter should be sent to him. I’m having anxiety over it.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tasha,

          If the judge finds that the evidence in your friend’s claim file supports a five-pound lifting limit, his claim is likely to be approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Noreen

      Am confused by whole process. Have stage 2 invasive breast cancer with lymphademia, Afib,Congestive heart failure Neuropathy, Diabetes,Carpnal tunnel in both hands, Arthritis in every joint in my body, Tachardia and numerous heart problems chronic depression and anxiety and have not been able to work since March of 2014 applied in March of 2014 for Disability and 2 weeks later received Notice of award for Ssi stating they had found me disabled as of June 23 2014 which is when my cancer was diagnosed but because I was collecting my short term disability insurance my payment was 0 when my short term insurance ran out I went to SS and told them I now had no income They said sorry I was denied and the Notice of Award was a mistake. So I appealed was denied now waiting for Dire Need Alj on the record decision or hearing. Has any one else had this issue what are my chances of approval at this stage?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Noreen,

        I am unclear about what you appealed. Did you appeal a medical denial or did you appeal the fact that your income was over the limits for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because your short-term disability ceased? Do you have an appeal pending on a medical denial for Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI)? Please clarify and I will try to respond.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Gina

    Hi, Kay,

    Thanks so much for your time.

    I had my hearing and I didn’t have an attorney. The judge asked three hypotheticals, the last one was if I had to take 2 10 minute breaks a day, were there any jobs and the VE said no. Also, the judge left the record open, requesting my psych files and gave me 10 days to comment on them, which I did. The files didn’t include any of the case mgmt notes, which would have been far more detailed and I told the judge about them and asked him to request them if he needed any more information. He didn’t, and the decision is now with unassigned writing. Are these good signs for me?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gina,

      I think there is a reasonable chance your appeal will be successful. If the judge does not approve your claim, you have good grounds for appeal because you offered the case notes after he asked you to comment on the records and he declined to get them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Latoya

        GM I had a court date hearing June 2nd 2016 I went to the hearing the judge said that he no problem approve of the case but he needs to know the correct date that I return back to work because they had that I would turn by July of 2015 my lawyer and he was July of 2014 does it still say that he will approve me just because I went back to work I had no choice I have 3 kids no help i was still going to radiation treatment for breast cancer but I needed my insurance to help pay for my bills does it still look good I haven’t received the approval letter yet

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Latoya,

          I need more information to respond.
          1. When did you become disabled?
          2. Did you continue to work from July 2014 to present?
          3. How much are (were) you earning gross per month?
          4. How much work did you miss for medical treatments or treatment related illness?

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • In Pain In houston

    Kay,

    Thank you for the answers. I’ve been suffering from Hidrenditis Supportiva since i was 15 (1995) and have been on antibiotics since that time as well. I had surgery in April of 2014 to remove 8 tumor like cysts and my sweat glands from underneath my Right Axalliary. Currently I am in Hurley stage 3 in my left Axalliary, stage 2 in my breast area and stage 2 going to 3 in my groin, Anal and Leg region. My question is with the fact that the pustules and openings are always opening oozing pus and blood and i can barely stand and sit would i have a good case for Disability

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear In Pain in Houston,

      If you are not working or working and earning less than $1,130, I recommend filing a claim; you may meet the medical requirements for disability benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Leon baldo

        Dear Kay, I had my hearing on May, 26th 2016 I was curious about my outcome so I called the hearing office and was told, that the judge has made a decision on my case, but they wouldn’t disclose weather it was approved or not . Today marks 20 days since my hearing , could such a quick decision be a good indication that maybe I was approved for benefits???

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Leon,

          How fast the decision is rendered is not an indication of what the decision is, but it is good you are not having to wait long to find out.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • David

    Hi Kay,

    i just had my hearing for my ssi case yesterday.. before the hearing however, i met with my lawyer for him to go over what to expect at the hearing with me, and he told me that honestly he isnt sure how my case will go, that it was a 50/50 shot.. i personally beleived at the time that he was just kind of warning me so i dont get my hopes up in case im denied, that my odds were better than 50/50 (although not too much better im sure, maybe 70/30)

    at the hearing though, the judge posed hypotheticals to the vocational expert, and she listed 3 jobs she believed i could do, but due to the amount of time i would miss from work due to medical issues i wouldnt be able to maintain those jobs (and one of the jobs i know i wouldnt be able to even do, im a severe asthmatic along with other issues and she suggested a radio dispatcher, which would involve a lot of talking, and that would trigger my asthma)

    after the hearing i spoke with my lawyer and he seemed happier, but he was still telling me what to do in case of a denial and didnt really comment on how he thought the hearing went.. do you think im right that he just doesnt want to get my hopes up in case i get denied? or am i just grasping at straws? obviously you dont know all the details to my case.. but the vocational expert said she didnt think i could maintain a job with my limitations… wouldnt that be a good sign of approval?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      If the judge finds that the evidence in your claim file supports you missing the amount of work you are asserting, your claim will probably be approved based on the vocational expert’s testimony. The attorney is likely routinely informing you of your appeal rights, but he probably would not want to say that you are likely to be approved when there is no way to know for certain.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • David

        i honestly dont know where she came up with the number she did (%30) but according to the vocational expert, she said an employer normally will tolerate a %10 absence (maybe not the right word?) rate, but normally would not tolerate a %20 rate..

        as for the %30 that the judge came up with, like i said i dont know how she came up with that, but in a 1 year span i was in the hospital 13 times due to my asthma, and about 3/4 of those times i was admitted to the hospital. also i was assigned to a worksite so i could get temporary assistance while waiting for the ssi hearing, and only working 12 hours a week, and most of that time doing literally nothing at the work site(they are very understanding of my limitations, and there isnt much work to do there in the first place), ive had to miss work due to my asthma, and had to go to the emergency room from my worksite

    • This is my second hearing in front of an all, what are my chances of getting approved the second time around?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Brandon,

        If your claim has been remanded (sent back) by the Appeals Council for a second hearing, the chances might be slightly higher than at the first hearing depending on the reason for the remand. If you are having a first hearing on a second claim and your condition is the same as the first claim, your changes could be about the same but there are really too many factors involved to know.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

      • What should I expect second time in front of alj?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Brandon,

          The judge should be addressing the points that the Appeals Council requested when the Council remanded your claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Should I worry about my second hearing in front of alj being denied since I was told by my Atty that the second hearing will be harder than the first hearing? I’m nervous and worried that I’ll be denied a second time…

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Brandon,

              If the second hearing is a remand from the Appeals Council, it will focus on specific points raised by the Appeals Council. I don’t know whether such hearings are more difficult than the original. You might ask you attorney why and in what manner the second hearing will be more difficult. It may be helpful to remember that the hearing is giving you another chance at possible approval.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Hi Kay, I recently went to my hearing in front of the alj and when the judge asked the ve were there jobs I could perform despite my mental illness, the ve found several jobs I could perform inspite of my mental limitations. Is that a bad sign that the judge will deny my claim despite my disability and deny my claim?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Brandon,

              It seems likely that your claim will be denied because the vocational professional identified jobs you can perform with your limitations.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Dear Kay when I went to my first hearing in front of alj I was denied for whatever reason. My atty filed an appeal and won the appeal the case was sent back to the same alj. After I had my hearing weeks later the alj sent me a letter asking for my signature to release school records. However the judge couldn’t obtain my school records…will this affect the alj decision?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Brandon,

              Not being able to obtain records that were thought necessary could affect your claim. I suggest you find out why they were unobtainable–no longer existing? too long to wait to get them? If they still exist, you could try to get them yourself.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Kellie

    Good morning Kay,
    Looking for a little advice. I feel like my lawyer did me no justice. I had a video hearing early May. A VE was suppose to be onsite where I was. He never showed. My lawyer didn’t question it and the judge didn’t ask any questions about jobs I’d be able to do. The judge asked my attorney why he didn’t send in a pre hearing summary and he responded, “sorry judge”. The judge then told him in the future if he sees his name make sure he sends one in.(the judge wasn’t happy) The lawyer started off with about three sentences and rattled off codes why he felt I fit the description of someone disabled.
    My background is I’m only 42 so everyone says I’m so young to be disabled. I had back surgery in 2013 an L5-S1 fusion with discectomy and again in 2014 due to bone growth and scar tissue had a redo. When I came out of surgery my left leg wasn’t the same. I developed RSD/CRPS in my lower left leg and foot. The pain is rated 42 on a McGill pain scale. It’s known as the suicide disease because the pain/depression becomes to much. I was an LPN for 10 years before my first surgery. I have about 4-6 Dr’s a month and a full medical history for the past 4-5 years of fully documented back problems including DDD and been for about 30 nerve blocks, ablations, injections etc the past 4 years.
    The judge asked me basic questions about me in general (school, age, previous jobs) He then asked a couple of questions irrelevant such as I was treated for a hand injury (due to a foul baseball at my sons game) he wanted to know if I was playing. Then asked multiple questions about a slipper I wear due to the RSD on my left foot. I tried to explain its not a typical slipper it’s an ugg with a hard sole. The lambs wool doesn’t irritate the RSD as “much.” That was it. He then said ok you’ll get a letter in the mail I advise to call your lawyer to explain it and we’re now off the record.
    My lawyer didn’t ask me one question, judge asked no questions about my limitations, and it was over. My lawyer has only been practicing 2 years(I didn’t choose him he was assigned to me). I left there in tears. My lawyer said its good because I would have a good case to appeal if denied.
    Not what I want to hear. Almost 3 years out of work and constant treatments to possibly have to appeal. If I’m denied to I have the right to request another lawyer?
    Sorry so long I’m just so upset.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kellie,

      Usually you have the right to formally terminate the agreement and get a new representative, but look at the terms of the agreement you signed with the lawyer to be sure and talk with Social Security if needed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Ricky A Finney

      How long do it take to get the judges answer

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Ricky,

        The general guideline is sixty days after the hearing, but it can take longer.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Rickey A Finney

          dear ms kay,i had my hearing on 4/27 and the judge didnt call on the ve is that good or bad and i have not heard anything yet what is the hold up

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Rickey,

            I suggest that you call the hearing office to get a status on the decision because it has pended a month more than the guideline of sixty days. A judge will not get vocational testimony if he or she thinks the information in file supports your being disabled based on your medical condition alone without the need to consider work history or because the judge believes the medical information does not support a level of severity that could be considered disabling regardless of your work background. So, without more information about your medical condition, I cannot say whether the lack of VE testimony is a sign of approval or denial.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

            Sincerely,
            Kay

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Matt

    I’m a veteran with a 70% disability rating from the VA. I have bad anxiety and PTSD issues, along with knees and a shoulder that ache at random times through out the day. I had my ALJ hearing about 50 days ago, and am still waiting for a decision. Does the fact that I’m considered 70% disabled from the VA help me case? I’m only 34 years old, will that play a part in the judges decision, as I’m so young?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Matt,

      The VA’s and Social Security’s definitions of disability are different, so a 70% ruling by the VA would not necessarily mean that you would be approved for Social Security. It does mean that you have some impairments and those will be considered along with your education and age, which play a factor in the ability to work in occupations you may not have done before.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • glen

    I just had my hearing about a week ago with a the disability judge. The job I worked at before having to resign from due to my disability was a high level job at a hospital. I was in charge of budgets for many departments and setting those budgets up each year, approving purchases, and many other similar duties. It was a job I enjoyed and did not want to leave but I just could no longer do it. I even tried to work part time at it for several months but finally gave up. I have a 25 year history of degenerative disc disease in my neck and now in my lumbar spine. I’ve also been diagnosed with cervical dystonia, stenosis, gout, hypertension, and had a kidney stone. The last five years I worked I started having really bad spasms down my neck, into my back and down into my left leg that at times were so bad I could not walk for a few minutes. These happen on a daily basis. I was told by a top surgeon that surgery was not an option for me and that I had the spine of a 60 year old when I was 46. The doctor said the worse thing I could be doing was working sitting at a desk all day. I’ve had a number of other opinions from different doctors that pretty much stated the same thing. Also the medication I am on makes me really sleepy at times and my balance is not great at times. I am now 50 which I know can play a part in the decision of my disability. My attorney stated he thought the case went well. My hearing lasted about 45 minutes and I was encouraged at how much the judge wanted to know about my issues and how they affected my work. The only thing that concerned me was the judge asked the VE three questions in a job code like way that I did not fully understand. To each question the VE answered “yes”. My attorney did not have any questions for the VE when the judge asked him if he did. I do have an MBA and I now know that education and age play a part in the decision. How would you feel about my case?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Glen,

      If either your attorney or the judge asked the vocational expert (VE) whether you could do the identified jobs with the limitations you have and the VE said no, then there is a likelihood your claim would be approved. If those hypothetical questions were not posed, then I’m not sure what the outcome will be. That said, your attorney was optimistic, which is a good sign.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Paris

    Hi my case is at the ALJ adjudication office I’m currently waiting to get a hearing date the representative told me I don’t have a date yet and I haven’t been assigned to a judge yet it’s been a year and one month already how much longer do you think I have to wait ..also I’m disabled but I had to get a job to make ends meet will they deny me benefits because I’ve worked???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Paris,

      If you have earned less than $1,130 gross per month, your work should not affect your benefits. If you have earned $1,130 or more this year or $1,090 or more in 2015, whether or not the work affects your claim depends on how long worked and how long after you became disabled that you did the work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • David

      i just had my hearing yesterday, although my hearing was for ssi, not ssd… but i couldn’t imagine them being too different.. but i was waiting for a little over 3 years for it

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I was denied after my ALJ hearing, and I do not understand why. I have isochemic heart disease, as well as many other health issues. I don’t understand why I was denied and the reasonings given behing it. Is it worth trying to appeal, or better to start over again. i’m not concerned about the back pay as much as I am in recieving monthly benefits.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anonymous,

      First, find out the last date you are insured for Social Security Disability because the earliest disability datge you can assert in a new claim is the day after the date of hearing denial letter. If you file a new claim with an earlier date instead of appealing, the new claim will be denied res judicata (already decided).

      If you are still insured after the date of the hearing decision, I suggest that you request a copy of your claim file and the transcript to the hearing; then consult with an experienced Social Security attorney for an opinion on whether it would be better to appeal or file a new claim. (Be sure not to miss the sixty-day deadline for appealing.) If the recommendation is to appeal, have the attorney prepare the appeal because there are special rules on what has to be proved for a successful Appeals Council review.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Kay, It says I am insured until 9/2017.
        I will consult an attorney on tuesday after the holiday

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome.

      • Lashay

        Hi Kay I went my son hearing do to he has autism, an he receive special education services from school and ride a bus for special need kids. After my hearing my lawyer said everything went Great do you think the judge will approve his case. This my second hearing since 2014 but at the time my son was diagnosed with adha/ mood disorder

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lashay,

          Apparently your attorney, who knows the case and was at the hearing, thinks your son will be approved; there’s no reason to question his or her opinion.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • 2ds4es

    Does SSI HAVE to follow Judges decision after and Administrative Law Judge hearing? I cant get SSI to follow his decision. Is his decision a legal Court Order?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear 2ds4es,

      Unless the judge’s decision was randomly selected for a quality review and is being reviewed by the Appeals Council, an approval by the judge is a medical approval and that approval prompts the next phase in the approval process. After a hearing approval, the payment center reviews your earnings record to be sure you were insured on the disability onset date set by the judge and authorizes payment for Social Security Disability (SSDI). For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) approvals, the local Social Security office gets a financial update from you and calculates and authorizes SSI payment. The guideline is for payment to begin within sixty days of the hearing approval letter; however, it can take longer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Bulldog

        Hi I was wondering when it’s a favorable decision or denial do both decision go to decision writer and back to the judge and if its approval when do it go to local social security office and payment center before, during or after the written decision has been mailed?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Bulldog,

          Both approvals and denials go to letter writing before the decisions are finalized. Approvals are sent to both the claimant and the local office (SSI claims) or the payment center (SSD claims) after the judge has read and approved the letter for accuracy.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Bulldog

            I call today and I es told my decision is in the process of being mailed out. I was wondering do it means I’m denied because I went to my hearing on the 14th of June Judge made decision on 16th of June and sent it to the letter writer and July 8th it was back on the Judge desk for him to review and sign off now it’s in process of being mailed? I’m a nervous wreck. From my other post you said it may be favorable but my lawyer said I had a tough judge he said it could go either way but based on my medical records I would but I’m not so sure considering the quick decision.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Bulldog,

              How fast the decision was made is not an indicator or whether your claim was approved or denied. You should have the decision letter.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Sarahlov7

        Hi Kay, I received a denial letter yesterday, I went online today and appeal, how long do I have to wait to go before a judge???

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sarahlov,

          Depending on the state you live in, your first appeal may be a reconsideration, which is a file review and does not involve a hearing or judge. If you live in an area that skips the reconsideration and your appeal is for a hearing, you can expect to wait a year to eighteen months for a hearing.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Heather M

    I have suffered with IBD Crohn’s since birth; (born with an obstruction & resection @ 1 week of age.) Have also lost appendix , part of my colon, and my gallbladder. Since 209 the IBD has now compromised my skeletal system with DDD & DJD. In 2010 I acquired late disseminated Lyme and the Neurological damage caused a difficult form of Aphasia making my ability to do even call center work nearly impossible between having a compromised immune system from my IBD, and Speech issue. I’ve experienced issues with acute depression, panic attacks, & Anxiety while trying to live with all this at variation of degrees since my teens.

    I’m on my second claim since first declined Aug 2014. No Attny involved yet in my case. I’m in Ohio. Apparently things work a little different here. I submitted all my medical records since 2008. They selected my case to be ” fast tracked” through Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) and assigned me a caseworker. I have been to my Mental Health & physical Evaluation. statement made by those third parties to myself and my husband seemed quite favorable; but I am also aware that they aren’t the one to make a final decision.

    I called yesterday to confirm what I saw online that it appears my case has already went to an Adjudicator. It has. It seems very different from the first claim denial. More help, more empathy, and much faster, but again that is my perception presently. I filed this second time in Dec 15. Does this seem like a rush to a second denial? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      As you describe your medical conditions, I would expect you to be approved; however, of course, I can not be sure. If you are denied, get a copy of your claim file to see exactly what is in file and the exact reasons for the denial so you can address your appeal to those reasons. Also, hire an experienced Social Security attorney to help formulate the appeal. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Terry

    Hi. I applied in July 2014. I lawyer appealed it but said we needed more at the time so it was denied. We applied for the hearing in Dec14,2014. I worked for 19years in consruction. I have adhd,bipolar,ptsd,anxiety,depression,and I was hit by a car in 2007 and had brain surgery. I have chronic encephelmalasia/gliosis on front left lobe and it impossible to exclude the right side. I’ve waited 18months and haven’t worked in two years. Do you think I’ll win my case and when do you think I’ll hear something about court

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Terry,

      If you and the attorney have gathered whatever documentation your attorney thought was missing at the time of the reconsideration appeal and your mental and physical deficits are well-documented, you could be approved. However, there is no way to know in advance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tim

    Hi in 2002 I was diagnosed with deteriating disc in the lower back, and sciatica, as well as severe arthritis in the back area!
    I went to see a specialist for my condition as prescribed by my Dr., but the only treatment the specialist wanted to offer at
    the time was a weekly epidural, in which lasted a whole day 1/2 to 2 days, so I decided to go back to my Dr. and see if he
    could just treat me with pain medication, and return back to work, I did not like the idea of posibly being paralyzed by taking
    the injections into my spine on a weekly basis, with no more relief then I was recieving! I worked all the way up until September
    of 2015, I had taken on another job in December of 2014 that caused my back problem to worsen to the point I was having a hard
    time trying to work, with the pain and all, due to the change in job habits, and more lifting of heavy weight items, and standing
    on my feet for longer length of time! Upon going to the Dr. in September 2014 he wanted me to go see a back specialist, and was
    going to put me out of work until I was able to see the specialist, and go from there! I was made an appointment to see the
    specialist but would be like a months timing so I told my Dr. I wanted to continue to work until I knew exactly what was ahead of
    me, and he allowed me to return to work per my asking, even with the severe pain I knew a full check is better than 60% of your
    pay! However in Oct I ended up going to the ER only to find out that my gauldbladder had went bad, so on Oct 10th 2015 I had
    emergency surgery to remove the gauldbladder, and was put out of work at that point, and have not returned since due to alot of
    other health issues to follow! My already high blood pressure increased, so i now have 2 diffrent meds for it, I had already
    had a case of cellulitis, and now it had returned and grown myrsa in which stopped all other procedures until it was cleared up!
    I was scheduled for a F5 and F4 injections to see where and what the back surgeons plans would be, also i had been scheduled for
    vascular surgery on the left leg due to poor circulation, and swelling, it was put on back burner! Once the myrsa was cleared and
    the procedures could move forward I had both shots in the back, and upon seeing the surgeon he said he could do a procedure in my
    back that would relieve only the sciatica, but not so much help for the back pain in which I had the higher problem of, he also
    stated that due to me having contracting myrsa I stold a higher risk for infection for the procedure, so I am yet to do it if
    its not going to help relieve my back pain! I have had the vascular surgery twice, with no follow ups due to the Dr. relocating
    and not making follow up appointmen, I have had some type of itchy condition that my personal Dr. is treating, and I am also
    scheduled for a sleep test! I filed in November for my disability, and was turned down, so hired a atourney who made an
    appeal on my behalf, in which it also was denied, I am currently awaiting a ALJ hearing in which I have been told could take
    up to 18 months, Any suggestions while I wait! I am currently awaiting to go to do the sleep testing, and taking additional meds
    for all the other conditions, and an increase was added for the extra back pain, which is tolerable as long as I am not doing
    to much stooping/lifting of heavy objects/ or setting constantly, so Im in pretty fowl shape awaiting the ALJ hearing, and to
    see whats going to go wrong next! Any suggestions while I wait??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tim,

      While you wait for the hearing, stay under the care of appropriate physicians so your condition and treatment can be documented and updated before the hearing. Also, I suggest that you contact your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to see if you qualify for retraining for lighter work. This could be helpful if you are ultimately turned down for disability benefits. On the other hand, it could also be helpful to your claim if DVR evaluates you and declines to give you services because of your medical problems.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jay

    Kay,

    I love the service you are providing by answering some many questions. It is very admirable. If you could answer a couple quick questions that would be REALLY helpful and very much appreciated.
    In December 2013 we obtained full legal physical custody of Ashley at the age of 12. She was not a family member and Social services recommended US to become basically her parents. We knew she had a learning disability, but we found out about a year and half later that she was intellectually disabled with an IQ of 61. We started realizing it was more then just a learning disability a month or two in but were kept getting told by Social services and her teacher that she just needed more time to adapt. We were never thinking about giving her up, we just wanted answers and help. We did not find out the Truth till we moved from SC to FL and took matters into our own hands. So technically since Ashley is not adopted her application we put in for benefits for her was all based as I guess they described as single. We have been denied 3 times and now waiting for a adjunt hearing . I dont understand why it is taking so long since it has been almost 2 years and also since it pretty cut and dry. She is technically in the eyes of SS she is single at 15. They did not ask our income information at all! Also she is what use to be called mentally retarded with her IQ level. We just need help with some transportation and after school care. So today we got some weird letter saying “We know raising a child with special needs can be challenging” and saying there are programs that can help with a list of things health care costs day care etc. and a number for HRSA and a number for health care which we already have thru my wifes job as a family plan. WHAT IS THIS LETTER SUPPOSE TO MEAN? I feel it is almost a little slap in the face. Do they send this before the main hearing? Do they send this before they send a letter delaying the process even more? Sorry for the long Rant

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jay,

      The letter may be intended as some sort of social services outreach. It would not be in place of appeal rights nor should it delay a hearing. Your income will not be considered in determining the minor ward’s financial eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brian G

    Jan. 2014 First applied for disability in wisconsin. May 2014, denied. Applied for reconsideration. Dec. 2014, denied again. Applied for hearing right away. One year later, Dec. 2015, my attorney receives letter from ODAR asking for updated medical records and a brief to see if my case can be settled OTR. He notifies me Jan. 2016 that everything has been sent in. And now we sit. And sit. My attorney thinks we should hear something this fall. Does this even sound right? Shouldn’t ODAR have sent us something about the OTR decision or given us a date by now?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brian,

      Your attorney is familiar with hearing office time frames in your area, so there is no reason to doubt his estimate.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Amanda Poore

        Hi Kay. Im sorry I can’t figure out how to start my own question. My husband had his hearing on 4-27. The VE said there were 3 jobs he could do. None of them near us or in his line of work. When asked if there were any jobs that he could work and miss 2 days a week for therapy she said no. He called today to check the status and was told it is in decision writing. His exam from the social security disability examiner was very much in his favor. Do you think he has a chance of getting approved? Do approval letters take longer to write than denial letters?

        • Amanda Poore

          I also forgot to mention that we have to move out of state because we are loosing our home. If it is in the decision writing can we change our address or will that hold it up.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Amanda,

            Changing your address will not delay anything. Just be sure that your report the change of address to both your current local Social Security office and the hearing office. Also put in a change of address with the post office just in case.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Amanda,

          Approval letters do not take longer to write than denial letters. The testimony of the vocational expert (VE) is helpful to your husband’s claim. If the judge believes that your husband’s medical condition requires him to miss work twice a week, his claim will probably be approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • tasha lambert

        Hi kay i just have one question how much can i received in ssi For my kids if i have 3 kids that have a disability
        im already getting ssi for 2 an appealing a ssi case for the 3 one if the judge approve does she meet the ssi standards
        Thanks Tasha

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tasha,

          Without information about your family’s income, I cannot offer an estimate; however, I can say that if the third child is approved and the other two are receiving the maximum $733, the third child will also. If the two are receiving less than the maximum because of parental income, the two will receive an increase and all three will receive the same amount.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • David

    Ms. Derochie,

    First, thank you for your candid responses to everyone questions. I have to say it has been the most honest and informative site I have found to date.

    I am trying to better understand the process and ensure my appeal is not lost in the shuffle.

    Board of Veterans Appeal with Judge on 17 December 2015
    Additional Information provided to Judge on 17 February 2016, as requested.
    Latest Progress in eBenefits on 15 April 2016 states, “With Veterans Law Judge”

    My original claim dates back to January 2009.

    Question is, what kind of timeline am I looking at (best guess) for a decision letter or some form of notification?

    Is there a number I can call to check on status?

    Thank you ahead of time for your assistance and time! 🙂

    Respectfully,

    David L Barnes

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      The Disability Advisor is not in the position to render an opinion on a case which is active before a judge. Each case is unique and each judge or panel of judges operates on its own discretionary timetable. A judicial appeal to a judge is a serious and complex process. A pro se claimant (one without an attorney) is held to the same standard of knowledge as an attorney when it comes to setting in motion a judicial appeal. If you don’t have legal assistance, it might be a good idea to engage an accredited VA attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Kimberly

    Hi Kay

    First off thank you for taking the time to answer questions!

    I had my hearing Wednesday the occupational expert didnt suggest any jobs, the judge didnt ask her any questions and after the judge had me leave he told my attorney off the record that I was in “dire need” i just wonder if this all sounds like he will be approving my claim. I dont understand if he felt I was I dire need why not say that with me in the room and why not approve me right away. Also why wouldn’t the occupational expert suggest any jobs? She just listed my jobs…their codes.and numbers associated with skill level..physical level etc I would have thought the judge would have asked her if she didnt state any on her own. The judge was right I am in dire need!

    Thank you for your time

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kimberly,

      The judge is apparently making the decision off the medical records that either you are so disabled he does not need the vocational expert’s opinion to approve or that the information in file does not support sufficient severity to investigate vocational factors. In other words, the decision–approval or denial–will be made without the vocational input. If you are denied, it could be good grounds for appeal. I don’t know what was behind the judge’s remark that you were in dire need. I also don’t know why he had a sidebar with the attorney, but it seems that sometimes judges will talk with the attorneys and tip them off to an upcoming approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kimberly

        Well i have solid medical records dating back to jan 07 every month seeing a doctor..i even attempted a call center job while waiting for the hearing that lasted less than 2 weeks I just couldnt do the work. I have severe neuropathy and atrophy in both of my hands and arms as shown wirh an EMG..back issues supported by MRIs..shoulder issues supported by MRI..surgery on the 25th. Severe depression based on the evaluation the state had me go too. I so tried not to let my aniexty show but it wasnt easy at all and the judge saw me shaking uncontrollably…i couldnt sit or stand for any length of time and felt disrespectful sitting and standing constantly however my attorney said she felt he was going to pay out on the claim? His denial rate is 18%..i dont want to assume my attorney is saying she believes an approval is coming that isnt the case.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kimberly,

          I think it is likely that your claim will be approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Kimberly

        I also meant to ask..i keep reading people are checking statuses online..how do I go about checking mine

        Thank you

        Kimberly

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kimberly,

          At the hearing level, the online information is not helpful. You can get a status on the hearing decision by calling the hearing office if you don’t have decision in about six weeks. If you applied online, you already have an online account at http://www.ssa.gov. If you did not, you can go to that site and set up a “My Social Security” account, which will allow you to monitor activity on your account after it leaves the hearing office.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Milinda Weldon

    My question is: I have been moved to the critical stage in the decision hearing. My hearing has been changed three times due ti conflict of scheduling. What are the chances of the judge looking at my case and making a determination of no hearing at all. I have not worked in two years due to PTSD and Temporary Disassociation with Reality along with severe depression and major anxiety

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Milinda,

      I think your claim will go to a hearing; otherwise, a decision would already have been made on the record.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • brenda white

    Hi kay I’m writing you to ask you for advice on my case…I was told the judge made decision on my OTR and that my case is with the writers is it.possible he ruled in my favor Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brenda,

      Yes, it is probable that your claim was approved because otherwise you would have the right to have a hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Laura

    Hi I just called for the status of my alj hearing i had on 3/31
    They told me it is waiting for the judge to proofread and edit and if I dont hear by 6/1 to call back and recheck status. Depending on how much the judge is backed up it can take upto 4 weeks for her to get to it.
    Can someone please tell me what this means, I have no idea, and my attorney is on vacation.
    Thanks in advance

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laura,

      It means that you will be getting your decision letter with at least five weeks (four for the judge to review it and one for mailing).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Laura

      thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. I cannot stop stressing out about this. I run to the mailbox every day hoping my decision is there. i’m so scared and nervous that I’m going to be denied. I have many medical problems, heart disease I need a knee replacement, asthma COPD, and morbid obesity. My dr said I am temporary disabled until After weight loss surgery and everyone says because I have a solution to my medical problems I will be denied. The VE found two jobs for me but when the judge asked about hypotheticals she said there was nothing in the community for me. my lawyer did very little talking, and said I covered everything, and was please with a VE’s decision. and my getting my hopes up thinking that I might be approved, or should I just expect denial?
      Thank you I apologize for this being so long I’m just so stressed

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Laura,

        Your judge was at the hearing so there is no reason to doubt his opinion. It is possible to be approved and later have treatment that results in recovery and have benefits stop. However, if you have been disabled more than twelve months, you would not be denied because you might get better.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Laura

          Thank you very much, I think its great that you take the time to answer everyones questions and help set out minds at ease. Much appreciated

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Laura.

  • Jennifer

    I had my hearing in January and it’s still with the decision writer. My local office won’t tell me the decision. The VE named off some random jobs and then said I couldn’t do my previous work or anything in the economy due to my problems. Is this good?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      The local office does not know what the decision is because the decision has not been finalized with the letter. If the judge believes that your problems are as great as you claim, then with the vocational expert’s testimony, your claim is likely to be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Blessed

    Kay was wondering at hearing lawyer wanted to change onset date he says all went well, a few days later he submitted the new onset date and said alj requested new medical records on some new problems I am having called the 800 number they said case pending decision she said she can’t say anything but everything looks good just curious as to what that means.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Blessed,

      Well, “everything looking good” sounds as if the person was trying to give you the clue that the appeal will probably be approved, assuming the requested records continue to support approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • joyce m jones

    I had a scheduled hearing for june 21 2016 , but, 2 days after my attorney called me wit this date theycalled me back to adice hearing judge died,now I am waiting to be rescheduled and it has approx. 3 weeks and still waiting for a new date. I s this normal to wait to rescheduled so long?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joyce,

      Rescheduling due to the death of a judge is not a normal situation. The other judges already have hearings scheduled and all of the deceased cases have to be reassigned so it is hard to predict how long you will wait for a date.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Travis

      Dear Kay,

      I had a hearing 2-11-16.
      At the hearing my lawyer ask for 2 weeks additional for medical records..its been now 94 days and I still do not know any decision ..

      • Travis

        Dear Kay

        This is my 2nd request.. It’s been 94 days since my hearing.. After the hearing my lawyer said 90 days in court. My lawyer ask for 2 weeks additional for records.. My lawyer said I did good at the hearing . And my doctor made me permantly disabled.. But I’m 39 years old and feel that’s my promblem..

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Travis,

          You have not asked a question for me to respond to.

          Sincerely,
          kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Travis,

        If you have a question, please post it and I will try to respond.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • anonymous

    Dear Kay,
    I had a hearing almost 3 months ago. I feel it went well, although I feel the judge was not a happy person. I have a Lawyer and when I signed on with them I had filled out a paper for direct deposit, I have since changed my banking institution. I’ve read contradicting details of how people receive their back pay. Some say they get money after a award letter and some say before they get the letter. I’m worried it might be a problem with this old information. My lawyer says we can give it to them afterwards. What should I do?

    • anonymous

      Also, what is typical of reviewing back pay Ns monthly payments?

      • anonymous

        Receiving and*

        • anonymous

          I called today & finally they said the judge made a decision and it with a unassigned writer. I hope this process is going to take 3 more months. I am encouraged she at least made a decision.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Anonymous,

            The letter writing can take from a week to two months, but often seems to run three or four weeks.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Anonymous,

        Monthly payments usually start before back pay.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anonymous,

      You will get your hearing decision long before payment starts. If you are approved, at that time take your approval letter from the judge and your new banking information to your local Social Security office. If you are approved for both SSDI and SSI, ask that they update the banking info on both claims.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Karen Tincher

    Dear Kay,
    I had a hearing on 2-1-16 that seemed to go well on 4-1-16 my lawyer contacted me and said the just wanted to change my onset date which I agreed to as of 4-15-16 my case has been with decision writers any ideas of how much longer until I hear something I’m going crazy here I have bad anxiety and this is not helping

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      It can take a couple of weeks to more than a month for the letter to get through letter writing and be signed off by the judge. The fact that you were asked to change your onset date is an indication to me that your claim will be approved with the onset date you agreed to so there is probably no reason to be nervous about the decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tim

        My hearing was 2-24-16. The ALJ left my case open until 3-23-16 to allow additional medical records to come in. I have been told by my attorney the judge made his decision and is being written. Online it states a decision has not been made. Weeks previous it stated that ODAR had not made a decision. The ODAR portion has been taken off of my status online. Do you have any idea why that has happened ? Also, could this mean I will be denied ? Thank you so much.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tim,

          Your online record does not have detailed information about the progress of your hearing appeal. If the hearing office told your attorney that the decision had been made, that would be accurate. You are probably just waiting for the decision letter to be written up. None of the information you shared indicated either an approval or a denial.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Tim

            Notice of decision came today. Fully favorable. Stressing and trying to read between the lines does more damage than good. It did for me. Nothing matters until you get the letter. Thank you Kay.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Tim. And, you are right.

      • stacy green

        Hi kaye i have a couple of questions

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Stacy,

          Please post your questions so I can try to respond.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • stacy green

            Im sorry didnt see where yu responed ok i was denied on my claim last june im appealing the case 2 months ago i brought evaluation papers to the ODAR spoke with the supervisor ask her how to speed up the case she told me to write a letter askin the judge fo an OTR I DID IT call two weeks ago SUPERVISOR at odar told me that theJudge made a decision an the letter is wit disability attorney to call back in 2 weeks shoul i take this as good news

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Stacy,

              A decision on the record (OTR) has to be an approval; otherwise, you would get a hearing.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • brenda white

            Hello kay i just call the ODAR OFFICE an was told my letter is waitin to b mailed out can you explain the process

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Brenda,

              Apparently the judge has signed off on the decision letter and it should have been mailed within a day of when you were given the information.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Just called the SS office for my area to check on my husband’s disability claim. It has been 3 months since his hearing in front of alj who said we would know something by 3/15 which we did not hear anything. I called and they said decision writer just got the case this week and they can not tell me how much longer it will be before we know the outcome. Will it take 3 more months to find out?

    thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Renee,

      Unless the hearing office is terribly backed up,your husband should get a letter in about a month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sue

        Hi Kay,
        I just received an unfavorable decision, in the letter she said she gave little weight to doctors I have been seeing for years, and considerable weight to the medical experts. I was a government employee and retired with a disability pension. The ime was 8 pages long and cited a lot of bloodwork and regular visits. She gave little weight to his evaluation – she is wrong, I am disabled. Should I continue or throw in the towel, btw I had a lousy attorney. I will have to get a new one if I choose to proceed. Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sue,

          If you believe that you are unable to work in any occupation, I recommend that you appeal. The guidelines on what can be submitted for an Appeals Council appeal are very specific, so do use an experienced Social Security attorney to prepare and submit the appeal.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Tammy

            I had my hearing back in May 2015 I still have not heard anything from anybody I called to check the status and they said it is in the decision writing process what do you think this means am I denied or am I going to get get approved?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Tammy,

              The judge rendered a decision. It could be an approval or a denial. Now a detailed letter is being prepared that will tell you the decision and the basis for the decision.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Sue

            Thanks Kay, I had a doctor visit Monday and she advised me to appeal also, she agrees I cannot work in any area.
            Sue

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Sue,

              You are welcome. I suggest getting a statement from the doctor regarding her opinion and the basis for the opinion to support your appeal.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • At there Mercy

    How is it that when you contact someone from the Social Security office you get a different answer to the same question. (They tell you to call back in a week or 2 for updates), or its being processed, they need 3 signature’s and only have one so far, you have to wait until you start your monthly social security before you get any back pay(which is still another month away), ect…
    I had a fully favorable decision back in the beginning of February and have not received any back payment nor a letter to say how much is awarded.(they said it has been sent out)
    This is very frustrating because of my very limited budget that I am on.
    Your at there mercy.
    I know people who had hearings after me and court rulings after mine and they have received all back payments.
    Is this the norm when dealing with Social security?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear At Their Mercy.

      The general guideline for receiving payment after receiving an approval letter after a hearing is sixty days for Social Security monthly benefits to start if no SSI claim is involved. It is correct that usually the monthly benefit starts before the back pay, which can take a month or two longer. How long it actually takes depends on how heavy the workload and how big the backlog is in your regional payment center, which, like all the payment centers, is understaffed. The people you are talking to are saying the same thing in different ways: they don’t really know when the payment center will get to it. However, if the computer system shows a letter has been sent, you should get it fairly soon.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lori L.

    Hello
    I was told by my attorney that I was partially approved for disabilty from my hearing judge (hearing date was 3/24/16). I have not yet received my letter. I was approved for disability but denied back pay. They moved my onset date from 6/1/13 to 1/1/16 so I now have to wait 5 months for my first payment. Is this normal? It also had something to do with turning 55 in May. My attorney said I can appeal this decision but it would take another 2 yrs and I could be denied completely. He said he thought the judge doesn’t like to give back pay.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lori,

      I don’t know how often later dates of disability are established, but your attorneys assessment of the situation seems correct. Your reaching age fifty-five would change the age-considered factors in whether you can work in an occupation that you have not done in the past.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rickey

    Hi Kay,
    I first signed up for SSI April 2008,but had to reapply again in April 2010 because my lawyer advised me to drop the hearing because of the alj that I was to go in front of then.So I reapplied and hired a new lawyer.This lawyer has stuck with me through 2 alj hearings with the same judge one for a regular hearing and the other for a remand.I was denied again so the us district cour remanded it for a 3rd time.I went to see the lawyer this past Monday and was scheduled to go in front of the alj tomorrow (25),but this past Friday I got a call from the lawyer telling me that the alj would approve me if I accepted the deal to go back to July 2014.I accepted the deal even though Im gonna lose a possibility of losing the months from April 2010 but there was no guarantee the alj would had ruled in my favor so taking the deal knowing that I have the security sooner than later.My question is since I’m not in the county that the decision was made how long do you feel it will take before my local Social Security office receives the award notice & when would I recieve a copy in the mail?When do you think I would start drawing a check & what about the back pay?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ricky,

      If you applied for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and have kept Social Security apprised of your new address, the hearing approval should be transmitted to a local office in your county and there should be no delay due to your move in getting SSI benefits started. If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI) the benefits are paid by a regional payment center so no delay should occur due to your move as long as they have the correct address for you.

      I cannot estimate your benefits. SSDI benefits are based on your work earnings record and your age at disability. SSI payments can be different each month and are based on your income, assets, and living arrangements each month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      S

  • Brandi

    Kay,

    Thank you for writing this article. This has great information and has provided some much needed insight.

    I was awarded with a favorable decision after my hearing this Monday. I’ve been in a 2.5 year battle with denials and reapp’s. I have been unable to work for several years due to my disability.

    Most employed individuals receive an annual letter from SS letting them know how much they would receive if they were to be awarded disability benefit.

    Do you know if I get the amount that was offered when I first filed or do I get what it says is available now that I haven’t worked for several years.

    Also, do I receive back pay from the date I applied in the state of Ohio?

    Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to assist me with.

    Brandi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brandi,

      Your benefit will be somewhere in the ball park of the estimate at the time you became disabled. Benefits will begin to accrue the later of the sixth full calendar month after your established date of disability and twelve months before the date of the original application that is now being approved in appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • karen m gamble

        Dear Kay

        I need some advice….I have several issues which to name a few are lower lumbar fusion, orthoscopic surgery on my knee, breast cancer, neuropathy in my feet and hands, carpal tunnel, high blood pressure, depression, and restless legs to name a few….I was unable to sit through the whole hearing without having to stand….the judge asked the doctor sitting in the hearing if I would be able to work customer service and he said yes light duty….but I tried to explain that my hands go numb excessively due to the neuropathy but my oncologist failed to reference my hands in the neuropathy but I have also tested for carpal tunnel which is included in all my stacks I medical records….my atty in turned asked if I could work if I required standing and moving and the doctors response was no…..should I be concerned with whether or not my case will be approved? My hearing was 3/28/16 before leaving the hearing the judge requested that my atty find and send over the EMG over with 7 days….his office had it there in a couple hours.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Karen,

          If the EMG supports significant carpel tunnel, your claim might be approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • karen m gamble

            The EMG showed that I do have carpal tunnel. I should also mention the fact that I am 54 years old does age factor in to the decision?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Karen,

              Your age is considered in evaluation your ability to move to a new occupation.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • jop

      Dear Kay,
      HEy I had my hearing on Jan 27 2016 I have 3 screws in my pelvic and PTSD depression and anxiety in not able to sit or stand for no long than five to ten min. They asked what job could be performed with geting up and siting down at my paste and there was a camera job and a document job which you had to have a degree for it and the judge asked about a judge with zero tolerance around people and there where none. I still haven’t heard any thing. Jus wondering if you think I have a good chance for a approval.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jop,

        If the judge finds your medical records support the limitations you are claiming, there’s a good chance the vocational expert’s testimony will allow your claim to be approved.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • jop

          Thanks

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Jop.

      • Mrs.rucker

        What does it mean that the doctor is going over my case at the disability adjucation

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mrs. Rucker,

          What you were told means that the disability examiner wants input from a staff doctor either to review a recommended decision involving complex medical issues or to gain a better understanding of your medical condition before making a decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • beliving for the best

    Hello,Kay I am believing for the best.I had my dads hearing 3/07/2016.it’s been six weeks and I was told the judge has to sign off on it.after my hearing my lawyer stayed in and I went out least then a minute later he came out and told me I was approved and took me in a little room and went over my benefits with me and his fees how can he now this.also is it good to have a decision so fast thanks believing for the best.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Believing,

      Apparently, the judge told your attorney that he or she was going to approve your claim and that is good. It can take sixty days or longer to get the formal decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Amy

        Hi. I had a hearing on March 17. My attorney had pretty extensive medical records and notes from my doctors. The disability office also had one of their professionals also attend the hearing. The judge asked the professional questions about whether or not I am able to work, and she told him that I can not work anywhere at all. I know it’s only been 36 days, but I’m just wondering; Is it a good sign for me that their professional told them that I am in fact disabled and unable to work?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Amy,

          Yes, the vocational expert’s opinion is helpful to your claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • cheryl

    ok I had my hearing on Jan 15 2016 I haven’t heard anything as of yet I know the VE was on my side with 3 questions asked to him and his reply was no to all 3 when the ALJ was done she said I totally believe you but if you get denied its because of medical does that mean I have lost? it has been over 90 days and when the attorneys office called they were told it hasn’t been reviewed so I’m confused and I’m not getting any where please help

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cheryl,

      I think that the judge will re-review the medical to see if it sufficiently supports your statements about your limitations. If the judge thinks it does, you will be approved; if not, your claim will be denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Sue

      Hi,
      Thank you in advance for answering so many questions. Its awesome. My question is if I die before my case has been decided, will my family get my back pay?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Sue,

        If your claim is for Social Security Disability and you die before your claim is approved or before you receive payment, your family can claim the underpayment. The following link gives the order of survivors that is used to decide who receives the underpayment. https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-1724.html

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Sue

          Thank you.

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Sue.

  • Heather

    I’ve been diagnosed with Basilar Artery Migraines, occurring 4-5 times a week, and after having gone through the initial application and reconsideration processes, the DDS failed to request or even review the neurologist and other specialist records they were notified of and sent (in my state, the records you send in are not reviewed). I requested a hearing, due to the failures of the DDS to request and review all the records, and the paperwork I received in the mail from the adjudication office says that my case can be pulled and reviewed in advance and they may make a decision without my having to go before a judge. How often does this happen? Are there any statistics or evidence as to what types of instances this occurs? Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      If the judge thinks that the appeal can be approved without a hearing, he or she will review the claim file to see if a favorable decision can be made “on the record.” If so, you will not have to go the a hearing. If not, you will have a hearing so that the judge can gather more information and so you have the opportunity to argue your case.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tami

    I was admitted to the behavioral unit at my local hospital for suicidal ideation in Oct. 2015. I also have anxiety disorder, depression, mild cognitive impairment, essential tremors (really bad), parkinisom symtoms???, and I was told at the hospital, bipolar. I called the ODAR office in Dec. and they told me a decision had been made and was with the decision writer. I was hopeful this was a good sign of approval. In Jan. I received a letter wanting more medical records. I called again and was told the judge decided he wanted to see me after all. I have a hearing scheduled for next month. What I want to know if this is a bad sign he wants to see me? I’m really worried about this. I don’t care what the VE or judge thinks, I KNOW I can’t work. I rarely leave my house now as it is. Thanks for any info.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tami,

      Apparently, the judge started to approve your appeal without a hearing based on the information in your claim file, then had second thoughts and decided he wanted to gather more information at a hearing. (Most hearings appeals to have hearings.) Be sure that the judge medical documentation of your condition and treatment since October before the hearing if possible. If you have not had a neurological work-up for the tremors, it could be helpful to your claim to do so.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • FAITHFUL

    Almost forgot this question. Since he was 15 at the time I signed him up and it tranferred over in his name as an adult. If he wins the case how will this be paid out as far as back pay, etc? He is still living at home and being assisted by me, his mother.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Faithful,

      If the appeal is won and the appeal is on the original 2010 denial and the established disability date is as far back as 2010, benefits will begin to accrue in 2010.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • FAITHFUL

    Hello Kay.
    Thanks for hosting this website and providing answers as best you can. I have several questions. To begin I applied for my son SSI in 2010 at the age of 15.5 years old. His diagnosis from a Behavioral Center/Psych was ADHD, Anxiety, Depression and a cognitive disorder. He was denied through 2013 when a Federal Judge reversed and remanded his civil case.
    He does have a Lawyer and his hearing was in Feb 2016. Now he is 21 years old and his new findings also include PTSD (possible). 1 week after the hearing we received a letter from SSI stating they wanted to request adding his certified income record into the case. 2 weeks after the hearing he was assigned an appointment with a State Psych (requested by his lawyer prior to hearing but never happened until after hearing). 1 week after this appt. we received a letter proposing to enter this record into the case(dated 3/3).
    Since then we have have received nothing. Per his lawyers the results of the pysch visit was good but may not be dispositive was the wording. This of course did not really sit well in our mind when the lawyer for the firm that appeared at the court hearing stated he thought it went amazingly well and the judge asked questions to the VE that would have normally been asked by our lawyer.
    I called the ODAR today and was told a decision has been made and sent to the writing team but have not been assigned to a writer. What would be an estimated time from this point to receive a determination? The rep said call back next week when i asked should i wait thirty days to call she stated no it should not take that long. With a decison being made this quick after the hearing in this civil case does that possibly mean good news. Any thoughts to this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Faithful,

      I can’t predict whether your son will be approved or denied, but it seems the claim is being thoroughly investigated. I would think the judge’s decision will be mailed out in less than a month based on what the clerk told you.

      Now that your son is an adult, if he is found to be mentally capable of directing the use of his benefits, his all his benefits will be paid to him. If not, you will be asked to serve as payee and manage his money for him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • anonymous

    I had a hearing almost 7 weeks ago. I’m curious if the judge takes into consideration all the medications I take? She did not ask me what I take. I have multiple medical & mental issues. I’m fairly confident I will be approved, as I was represented by a attorney. I’m also wondering how often calling to check on the status of my case would be appropriate? Thank You

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anonymous,

      Calling every three to four weeks would be acceptable. If the list of your medications is in your medical records, the judge should take the medications and how well you respond to them into consideration.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • David

    Hello. I finally had my hearing with a judge in November and have been waiting for her decision. I just found out a decision was made weeks ago and it was sent to the decision writer. How long can I expect the decision writer process to take before I receive the decision in the mail?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      How long a decision is in writing depends on the workload in your particular hearing office. Given how long it has been, they must be quite backed up. I would think you’d have the decision letter this month. If you do not, call again and ask whether a check can be done to be sure your claim is just waiting its turn and has not dropped through the cracks.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jim

    I have a hearing on 4/4/16 i am 56 yrs old and have had 3 concussions in the past year and also had foot surgery that does not allow me to walk more than a few blocks without having pain and i am unable to sit or stand for more than a few minutes without pain and numbness. I also have an enlarged prostate that causes me to urinated frequently What are my chances of getting approved

    • Jim

      I am also being treated for stress and depression along with anxiety

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jim,

        Please see my reply of yesterday to your first post. Be sure to report for your claim all your medical conditions including your mental health diagnoses and all your care providers.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jim,

      I am not able to predict whether or not you will be approved. It will depend on how severely your concussions have affected your cognition, how well you are able to document your pain levels, and on your work history and transferable skills you have attained from that work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I had my ALJ on 2/29. The VE gave 3 jobs I could do. When the judge asked if any of those jobs would allow for me to be gone multiple days for fatigue and pain, would they? The VE responded with no, in her expert and personal experience, there were no jobs that would allow it.
    What are my chances of being approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lynn,

      If the judge finds that the documentation of your claim supports your needing to be off work as much as you claim, your appeal is likely to be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Gregory bloom

      Hi my name is Gregory I applied for disability on April 27, 2015 I have CHF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE KIDNLEY PROBLEMS AND DIABETES.so far I have been denied to times so far. I went in front of the ALJ on February 8th 2016, still have not heard from them. I have to kids and we been homeless since September of 2015 ,don’t know what to do anymore do I have a good case?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Gregory,

        I do not have enough information to know whether you have a good case. If your medical conditions are severe enough that you cannot work in any occupation that without your medical conditions you would be able to perform, your claim will be approved.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • max

    another thing to my last comment judge actually gave us another 2 weeks to send the last mri that i had done 3 days before the hearing.i got the report and it shows that nothing has changed in my health nothing has gotten better its just the same of the mri of 2015 witch it shows my neck shifted 10 cm and my lower and upper back have nerve compression but no doctor will do surgery for my neck because of how bad it is

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Max,

      Please see my response to your first post.

      Thank you,
      Kay

  • max

    hello i just went to my hearing on march 14 the vocational expert told the judge that i wont be able to do any of my pass work but that he found 2 that i might be able to do but at a 75% chance of me lasting on the job.can anyone tell me if it looks good for me

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Max,

      I don’t know whether or not you will be approved. I think that it will depend on the how the judge regards a 75% chance of being about to sustain work in the identified jobs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Helene Harrison

    Dear Kay,

    How long does it take to receive a hearing date after you’ve received notification that the disability board is ready to review your case?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Helene,

      You appeal will be reviewed by the judge assigned to the appeal in preparation for the hearing sometime between the notice you got and the hearing date that was set.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • David

    Hello. I finally had my hearing with a judge in November and have awaiting her decision. I just found out a decision has been made and it was send to the decision writer. How long can I expect that process to take before I receive the decision in the mail?

    • David

      Why isn’t my question being answered?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear David,

        I responded on March 25. Here’s what I said: How long letter preparation takes varies a great deal from one hearing office to the next based on workloads. There is some possibility you will have the letter within a month.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Guest000o

    Hello Kay had my hearing 3 weeks ago everything seems very favorable. My parents helped us a lot last year so they will be claiming my 3 children on their taxes for 2015 I have income but it is tax free va benefits so for tax purposes it will be 0. The only reason I am filing taxes is because I have 2 homes and one is a rental property. In the event that I am approved SSDI do you see any issues with my parents claiming my children on their taxes, and then me receiving aux back pay for them for 11 months of 2015?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Guest,

      Your children are presumptively your dependents for the purposes of Social Security, so who claims then for dependents on their taxes will not affect their eligiiblity for Social Security dependent benefits. I suggest that your parents check with the IRS or a knowledgeable tax accountant to determine whether they qualify as their dependents for tax purposes..

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • nadia

    Hello my ssdi hearing has been assigned to a judge.How long does it usually take to get a hearing after it has been assigned?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nadia,

      Your hearing date should be scheduled within a month of two. The hearing date is usually about three weeks after the scheduling.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Curious George

        Hello Kay,

        I was not sure how to add a new post so I just replied to your last comment. I had an appeal hearing October 27, 2015. After a few months of waiting I finally received word that my case with Judge and as February 2016 the decision has been written and being edited?

        My first questions is how long does the editing process generally take? My second questions are the facts from http://www.disabilityjudges.com accurate. According to it’s website Hearing Wait Time is 20 months
        Dispositions Per Day Per ALJ 1.51
        Average Processing Time 665 days
        Cases Pending 10670
        Dispositions 71
        Hearings In Person 100%
        Video Hearings 0%

        Does the processing time (665 days) mean the length of time from start to finish including waiting for a scheduled hearing date, hearing and then a decision?
        My Judge was Janice Ulan and she has an approval rating of 55% and 26% denial rating.

        The judge was informed by the Vocational Expert that there were no jobs that I could perform full time or part time due to my disability. The judge also acknowledged that I have not work since 2013. I filed my first claim for SSA and SSI in 2013 and was denied. I filed again in 2014 and was denied once again and at which point I hired an attorney and filed and appeal, and was granted an appeal in 2015. Can you please help me understand what this means. My attorney isn’t too helpful with answering my questions and I am beginning to think I might have hired the wrong law firm for representation as I am being told, ” you will know something when we do”.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Curious George,

          The total days is an average and includes the number of days between filing the appeal and getting the decision including the days waiting for the hearing. I don’t know the accuracy of the statistics. I do know it is not a government site. It isn’t possible to predict how long the edit of the letter and subsequent signing of the letter will take, but it is possible it could be less than a month. Just a note: even though it is encouraging that the vocational expert testified in your favor, it is true that your attorney will be notified of the judge’s decision at the same time as you are.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Curious George

            Thank you Kay. I appreciate you taking time to listen as well as responding to my concerns. I will give an update once I receive an update.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome.

          • Tammy

            Hi Kay, was not sure how to ask a new question. I had my hearing 4/2016, the judge ask my attorney to send in my lump-sum work comp settlement agreement, is it a good sign my ssdi will be approved? VE said no jobs available in national economy and my attorney was present and did not speak because of my medical records and I was able to answer all alj questions. Why would alj need to see my work comp agreement? Thanks

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Tammy,

              I am not certain why the judge asked to see the agreement; usually that would be submitted to the local office.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

        • Marguerite

          Hi,
          I just had a hearing yesterday and the judge agreed to approve the claim if I would change the dates. Will they hold 6 months back from the changed date and what will my next step be. It’s for my 8 year old son.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Marguerite,

            If the disability claim is a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim for a disabled child, there is no five-month unpaid waiting period. Benefits will start with the first full calendar month of established disability.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • rena jackson

    I am 60 year old grandmother of two suffered 3 heart attacks 2 strokes anxiety,uncontrollable high blood pressure, diabetes, severe depression, and much more.I have been going through this since 2008
    understandably they turned everyone down at initial. about to be homeless again, no one will hire me why arethey doing this to me I have work 30 plus years . My attorney does not seem to care they have all my records. this is torture. can you explain

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rena,

      I cannot explain exactly why you were turned down, but it is possible that your conditions were not explained and documented clearly enough. The attorney you hired for the appeal should be able to determine the best way to present your case. You can ask the attorney to submit a dire need request with the appeal to hopefully speed up the process a little.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Susan

    My son had a hearing with alj on Jan 27. About a week later I was called and asked to bring my son to there doctor again for an exam. We completed the appointment with there doc who is actually a psyricatrist. She has documented mild and moderate limitations for my son. He currently has autism adhd and emotional issues. I got another letter from the judge asking to put the info from there doctor in my sons record. I agreed but I still haven’t heard anything back. Do you think this could be a good sign?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Susan,

      What you describe sounds like normal handling of the consultative examination report. Given that the findings were mild to moderate limitations, it is hard to know whether your son will be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Megan Bowden

    I have a question. I am going to a hearing this week, I can’t work due to anxiety. The Social Security office sent me to their own doctor a year ago, and she said I was unable to work. Will this help my case at my hearing

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Megan,

      If the doctor’s report was written up as clearly as you say, the report should help your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gloria Young

    Kay,

    I called to check the status of my case and was told the judge was reviewing it. How long does it take to get a decision if he is already viewing it and how often should I call to check the status. I just called last Thursday.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gloria,

      I can’t predict how long the judge will take. I suggest checking again in three weeks.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Gloria Young

        OK. I called the ODAR office today and was told a decision has been made and was the the underwritter. Can you give me an estimated time that it usually would take for me to hear something? I think I understand that after it is written, it has to go back to the judge for approval BEFORE they mail me anything, it that part correct?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Gloria,

          Yes, once the letter is written, it goes to the judge to review for accuracy. Hopefully, you will have the letter in a month, but how long it will take depends on your ODAR workloads.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Diana

      Can you contact Social Security and see where the processes at when you have an attorney?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Diana,

        Theoretically, your attorney is supposed to make all inquiries; however, you can try to inquire. Sometimes you will be told even though you have hired someone to represent you.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Yvonne

    I got denied by the ALJ and I had evidence from two orthopedic doctor’s saying I had severe carpal tunnel syndrome and I had three emg’s stating that i had severe carpal tunnel syndrome, I was wondering if you can get disability for carpal tunnel? I had to file a appeal and I know that takes up to eighteen or twenty-four months and I already been waiting since 2009. Can the appeals court over turn the ALJ? I am so confused

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Yvonne,

      Please see my reply of yesterday addressed to Confused, which is the name you used to post your question.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Yvonne

        Sorry about that Kay, I didn’t see that my question I ask you had post. Thank you very much and I hope and pray the appeals process is not that long, my attorney told me it could be from 18 – 24 months to hear from them, but can the appeals council over turn the ALJ? I have been waiting to get approved since 2009 and someone told me they don’t go back that far anymore for back payment, is that true?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Yvonne,

          If you win your appeal and the application that is approved was filed in 2009, the benefits could go back that far. The Appeals Council can reject the appeal, overturn the hearing decision, or remand (send) the claim back to the judge for additional investigation. Of appeals that are not rejected, remand to the judge is the more common action.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Yvonne

            Thank you for your answering my question Kay and I hope I hear something soon from the appeals council

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Yvonne.

    • James

      I finally got update about my hearing Kay
      It was on 1-7-16 and the decision was signed
      By the judge on March 4th and is currently in
      The mail!!! A day after my hearing.. my doctor
      Sent a 4 question paper if I comply with my
      Bipolar medication Seroquel. All 4 questions
      We’re favorable according to my attorney..
      The ve said no jobs very boldly and he made a
      Sarcastic remark after saying good luck telling
      Me good luck finding a full time job, which my
      Lawyer said he responded well, let me gather
      My composure she’s I broke down explaining
      The side effects of xanax hydrocodones and
      Seroquel taking me away from my family due
      To no energy or ambition or just feeling sick
      Please let me know what your opinion is Kay’

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear James,

        The information you provided and your attorney’s opinion lead me to think that your claim will be approved.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • James

          Thanks so much Kay! Godbless

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, James.

        • James

          I actually got a denial today….
          He stated that I went to jail for
          6months and was released on
          Good behavior (I was actually in
          The hole for a fight when I was
          Bailed out!) I give up, I ain’t waiting months for a appeal when life’s just not worth living

    • James

      Also. In the past three weeks my judge
      Approved 19 cases and denied only 9…
      His statistics have gone up this year to 39%
      Approval and 38% denied.. is this good?! Thx

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear James,

        It could be that the judge has received some additional training that has changed his record, or it could be a coincidence that more approvable claims have come up on his docket.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Confused

    I am confused I got denied by the ALJ and I had evidence from two orthopedic doctor’s and three emg’s stating that i had severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands and elbows and I can’t have surgery anymore in either hands and elbows and there is nothing more the doctor can do for me but give me pain medication. Can u get disability for carpal tunnel? And now I had to do a appeal and that could take another 24 months and I have been waiting for disability since 2010 and I just don’t know what to do anymore

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Confused,

      It is possible to be approved for carpal tunnel if severely affects the use of your hands and there are no occupations that you can perform within your limitations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • broken

    my court date was on 1/11/2-16 my lawyer contacted me the day before hearing and said i did not need to go judge ordered a favorable decision. my questin is how long can i look at before i recieve my benifits? im loosing everything here. thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Broken,

      I can’t predict how fast you will get a letter; but if the judge has already made the decision in his or her mind, hopefully, you have a letter within a month. The guideline (sometimes met and sometimes not) is to have payment started within sixty days of the letter. Once you get the letter you can ask your local office to send in a dire need statement to the payment center. That might speed things up a little bit.

      I suggest that you talk to your creditors and tell them you have been verbally approved for benefits and will definitely have money coming in to get things caught up. Say you will update them monthly. Hopefully, they will hang in there with you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • hopeful 726

        I have been told my file is with the final decision writer. What exactly does that mean and where will it go after this?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Hopeful,

          Assuming your claim is in appeal at the hearings level, the information you received means that the judge has made his or her decision and the decision letter is being written. As soon as the letter has been completed and reviewed and signed by the judge, it will be sent out to you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Donovan

        Hi Kay, my name is Donovan. I didn’t see a place to start my comment but I went to my hearing with the alj on December 8, 2015. I have nerve problems in my lower back which causes me to fall sometimes. I have doctor paperwork backing up that I can’t do any lifting over 10lbs, no bending, extended sitting nor standing, no reaching, limited walking as well as I need a cane do to one leg is shorter. I have neck and shoulder problems that cause pain when I stretch. I am sensitive to vibration as well. At 39 I only have a 8th grade education. When the judge asked the ve if there was any work I can perform with those issues and he named 3 maybe but I had rebuttals. He then asked if I was to maybe work could I work a full week without being out and ve said no. He then went on to speak something about onset Dats and retroactive dates. I have only done construction, warehouse and production work and the ve said um not able to do those anymore. Do you think I will be approved?

        • Donovan

          I forgot to mention my doctors even documented that I have scoliosis and that it was from the injury

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Donovan,

          If the judge accepts the limitations you are claiming, I think your claim will be approved based on the testimony of the vocational expert.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • lovely23

      Hi Kay I had an interview for ssi I went to my appt .I recieved a letter from ssi asking to pick a bank stating where I want my payments to b deposited also the mam from Harrisburg said to wait for my decision within 4 to 6 weeks am I approved?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Lovely23,

        I am unable to understand your situation. Could you please clarify? Was the interview after you had been waiting a while for a medical decision or was it part of your initial application? Once I know that, I may be able to provide some guidance.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Jenny Chlopek

    I have a question or two.I had my second hearing on July 24th 2015 because the first hearing on September 27th 2013 was denied and so when my lawyer appealed my case , it came back in april of 2015 the the appeals Council thought that the judge made a mistake so we had a second hearing last year. The judge I had for the second hearing was the same as the first hearing and she told me it will take about 2 months for her to get the decision. but I called my lawyer around mid December 2015 and he is told me that the judge had moved out of Raleigh North Carolina and had taken my case along with others with her.so my question is since its been about 5 months when do you think she will make the decision? why is it taking her so long to make the decision after she told me it would take her two months to make the decision and send a letter out to me?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jenny,

      I suspect that the move to another hearing office has slowed things down. You can call the new hearing office and ask for a status to be sure it is in their system.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Dave

        Had a Hearing September 1st still waiting on decision is this at all normal

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dave,

          Ordinarily, you should have heard by now. I suggest that you call the hearing office and ask the status. If the decision has not been made and is not in letter writing and you have an attorney, I suggest that you discuss the delay with your attorney.

          If they say the decision was made and a letter sent and you should have received it by now, ask for a duplicate letter with a date written on it indicating the date it was resent. If it is a denial, notify your local office that you didn’t get the original letter and had to request a duplicate. The reason to do this is to protect your sixty-day appeal period that begins with the date you received notice of denial.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Dave

            Did all that I guess their was late evidence filed and some medical interagatories entered in January 8 still no desicion made as of now I actually contacted congress and senate to expedite this no word as of yet

          • Dave

            In final review now what not sure what that is or how long it takes anyone have any idea please chime in

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Dave,

              If your claim is being reviewed by the Disability Determination Services (DDS), it means that you are close to getting a decision, probably within a month.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

        • Renee

          My hearing was sept 1st i called yesterday and they said it was in the mail

  • Humble D

    Hello I have live in NYC and have been waiting approximately 20 months for a hearing I’ve been out of work since 8-9-13 due to a back injury which I’ve been seeking treatment every 4 to 6 weeks since my injury my question to you is all of my medical records have been submitted to my case file I called the 800 ssa number to see if there was a hearing date set and she told me my case was assigned to a judge who was reviewing my case and it may not be a hearing and I should get correspondence shortly can you tell me what this means?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Humble,

      If the judge decides there is enough information to approve your claim, he or she will do so without a hearing. If a hearing is needed to make a decision, you will be notified of the date about two to three weeks in advance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Humble D

        Thank you very much for your prompt response and information I appreciate this

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome.

      • hopeless waiting

        Hello Kay,

        I had an appeal hearing October 27, 2015 and my case is still under review. It was my understanding that an appeal decision was about 90 days. In my case it has been longer than 90 days… should I be worried?

        Thanks

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Hopeless,

          All processing times are estimates and some claims and appeals pend longer than the published guidelines. However, I suggest that you inquire about your appeal just to be sure that it is still on the radar and either being worked on or waiting to be worked on.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Hopeless

            I call SSA and was told a decision has been written but it is being edited?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Hopeless,

              This means that there was an error in the decision letter so the judge sent it back for correction before signing it.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Hopeless

            Kay, thank you for your response. I do have another question. Since it has been well over 90 days since my disability hearing before the judge should I be concerned. I am hearing denial decisions take longer to process?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Hopeless,

              I do not know whether there are any statistics on the time between a hearing and getting a decision and approval or denial.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Syeda White

            Hi I had a case hearing January 29 of this yr for my son the judge gave my lawyer 29 days to get more paper. If its not in by then what happens next

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Syeda,

              Please see my response of yesterday.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Katrice

    Hello,

    I have a few questions about my disability SSI case. I had my hearing with the ALJ on November 25, 2015. The judge asked the medical person that was there if there was jobs that I can do for my age and education and the lady said yes. Then asked if there was jobs for a person in my condition and any that would hire me and she said Absolutely Not. The judge then requested my info from my last jobs as to how many hours I worked and the reason for stopping. The jobs sent the information over to my lawyer and it was turned in on about the 18the of December 2015. I called the Judges office about 2 weeks ago and was told that the Judge made my decision on the 6th of this month and it is with a writer. Does this sound like a case I am winning?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katrice,

      If the judge finds that the evidence supports the limitations you are claiming, it is likely that your claim will be approved based on the vocational expert’s opinion.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chris t

    Dear Kay, I have a couple of questions. My husband had a court date in April 2015. Once he got their his attorney was ask to come and speak with the judge. The judge told him that he would not be holding the hearing because he needed more medical evidence. We got four notices of doc. Appointments which he went to in July. We then got a notice that they rescheduled his appointment for January 29. We had a meeting with his attorney and he said that the only problem he sees is that the reports are conflicting. For example he went to a doctor doctor for an exam and he said he basically asked alot of question and wrote in his report he could sit for two hours at one time and stand for an hour. Then the other doctor did an exam on his feet and back. He has nerve damage in both feet, legs, and he has an amputated toe due to diabetic foot ulcers. In his back he has scoliosis and osteophytes in his spine. He also has carpal tunnel in his right hand and he’s right handed and
    severe polyneuropathy in both legs and feet.said he couldn’t stand for more then 15 minutes at a time and could sit for no longer than an hour and needed to change positions hourly. He said it’s a case of the right hand doesn’t know what the left hands doing. He said we need to have our doc look at all four reports and do one report over all the reports. My question is that court is in a couple of days. Will they except that doc report if we put it in the file right before the hearing and if not if we want it put in will they reschedule his court date all over again and do you think it would be worth rescheduling it we are in a lot of date and are almost homeless. Please help

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      I recommend following the attorney’s advice even though there is no way of knowing whether the judge will read the additional report before the hearing or reschedule the hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robert

    Good morning,

    My wife had her SSDI case heard on 11/20/2015. My wife suffers from 2 strokes, a blood disorder, memory loss, nerve damage which affects her right and left hand. The VE went through many scenarios of possible work, when it came to seeking working with hand issues the VE said there are no jobs. That was followed up by the ALJ stating he needed more information on my wife’s hands, and new meds that the doctors put her on. The 30 days was over on 12/20/2015 with new evidence supporting my wife’s claim which was asked by the ALJ. Do you think this is a good thing that they VE felt she was disabled, and is it good that the judge was asking for more records. My wife has been dealing with this since 2011 now.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      The judge requests additional information about your wife’s hands to be sure that your limitations are as great as claimed. If the records support the limitations, her claim is likely to be approved based on the vocational expert’s testimony.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • shane

    my hearing was 12/22/15 and sent to the writers two weeks after my hearing asking for no additional information on my case. I called the social security office today 1/19/2016 where I had my hearing and the lady said they already made a decision and its being edited and my case was moving very fast. what do you think?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shane,

      I think it is fortunate that you are getting a decision so quickly, but there is no way to know from the speed of the decision whether the decision is an approval or a denial.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I had hearing the middle January 2016. My attorney asked all the questions. We had all the medical evidence and psychological too. I have bulging discs touching my spinal cord and also MDD PTSD Anxiety and Panic Attacks……The ALJ stopped the questioning, said he had heard enough. Then asked the VE about past jobs, my attny., asked a hypothetical about missing days at work and he said I would be unemployable. The ALJ ended the hearing by saying Thank You and stopped the stenographer, and we left. My attny. said he thought it went well and we just have to wait 4-6 weeks for a letter.
    How hopeful does this scenario sound?

    Thank You for you attention

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anne,

      Given that the judge stopped testimony in the middle of both the medical and vocational testimony, I would say there is possibility of approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sunshine

    I had my hearing 75 days ago and I called last week and they told me it was back with judge at final review. At the hearing the VE said that there are jobs for me to do But then asked If I could do them with a severe back pain and a severe foot pain and the VE said No then my case ended for the day….. Is this a good indication?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sunshine,

      If the judge found that your claim had evidence to support the level of limitations you are claiming, it is likely your claim will be approved based on the vocational testimony. The “final review” is the judge looking over the decision letter for accuracy before it is sent out.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sunshine

        Thank you. hopefully ill know this week.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Sunshine.

    • Shannon

      I have a question? I had my appeal hearing dec 4th….I’m 35 years old and have bipolar,psychosis,PTSD,major depression with psychotic features, anxiety disorder and hirneated dics in my kneck and back and the vocational expert says there is no work I can do… And the social security psychologist said agreed with all my diagnoses and my doctor and psychologists all agree I can’t work because all five of my meds require me not to drive are do any kind of work do I have a shot to win???

      • Shannon

        And if so will it take longer to know something because of the holidays

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Shannon,

          Increased number of employees on vacation leave and two days of holiday closures is likely to extend processing times a bit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Shannon,

        Based on what you have told me, I’d say it is likely your claim will be approved.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Mary

    I HAD MY HEARING NOV 20TH RIGHT WHEN THE HEARING BEGAN THE JUDGE AND MY ATTORNEY WERE DISCUSSING WHETHER I WOULD TAKE A DIFFERENT ON SET DATE I AGREED ON 2 YRS BACK ….I WENT THE 20TH THE JUDGE MADE A DECISION ON DEC 3RD AND IT WENT INTO WRITING PROCESS DEC 10TH DOES THAT LOOK GOOD ON MY PART?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      The fact that you were asked to change the disability date is an indication that your claim will be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mary

        Thank you Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Mary.

          • James

            Kay,

            I’m the family member & representative for my older brother. He had is hearing with the judge on Dec 8, 2015. The judge stated I the record that the decision was favorable. Given that, what is the time line for benighted to get deposited as well as back pay? The judge did say he would expedite his decision, citing this case should’ve never been denied from the get go. Can you help? Feel free to text direct @ xxx.xxx.xxxx or email at xxxxxxxxx. thank you!
            James

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear James,

              I respond to questions only on this website. I have removed your contact information to protect your privacy.

              The guideline is for judges to get the hearing decision out within sixty days, but it sounds as if your brother’s judge was going to try to speed things up. He might call the hearing office to see if the decision has been made and a letter is in preparation. It can take another sixty days after the letter is received for payment to start.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Sunshine

        mine asked about the date i was disabled. and he told me that it will go back to that date? is that a good indication?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sunshine,

          I don’t understand fully what your wrote. Could you explain what you mean so I can try to respond.

          Thank you,
          Kay

          • Sunshine

            the date of once i was disabled. but i was disabled at birth so he said we were gonna go back to this date is that correct?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Sunshine,

              Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits begin the later of the sixth full calendar month of disability and twelve months before the month of application. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits begin the month after application unless you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits begin the month of application.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • Laurie Miller

      I went before Judge for my dissability, the Judge asked if okay to set date at 2011! I had written leter from psychiatrist, not able to work a letter from last part time jobs office manager, my attorney didn’t submit why I take the pain meds! I received a letter from Judges office giving me 25 days to submit, I wrote my lawyer and dismissed him! I submitted my diagnostics! Its been about 9 months and I still have not heard anything! Looking bad or good!!

      Thanks Laurie Miller

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Laurie,

        I believe that the judge was going to approve your claim with a 2011 disability date if you agree to the change from a date you claimed. I can’t predict the outcome of your claim given that you declined the proposed date. You should notify Social Security that you dismissed your attorney.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Jamie

    My husband had his hearing 12/7. Today he called the hearing office and was told a decision was made yesterday and that he would get a letter soon but they wouldn’t tell him if it was approved or denied. Then he called the 800 number and they said it looks like it has been denied. Would they have old info and have been referring to the initial claim or do they have the hearing outcome at the general 800 number so soon?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jamie,

      The 800 number probably would not have the hearing decision until the decision letter was prepared, finalized, and sent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jessica

        The 800- number knows as soon as the decision writers get done with it, is what our attorney told us, My Husband had his hearing 09-15-15 and Here it is Jan-22 and it’s Decision Writers, it’s all a waiting game and I just wish they would let us know something…

  • In Pain

    I had my court date the other day. Even though my lawyer seem to have high hopes. I didn’t. I have deep depression, I had a stroke, weakness on the left side of my body, and I suffer from migraine headaches. And in 2014 my daughter was murdered. Which sent me into a deeper depression. What do you think.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear “In Pain,”

      Your attorney knows your claim well so there is no reason to doubt the attorney’s opinion.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • In Pain

        Do you think my chances are go? I am going crazy. Can’t take to much more.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear In Pain,

          As I responded previously, there is no reason to doubt your attorney’s opinion that there is a good chance for approval.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • In Pain

        When I had my hearing the VE said there were no jobs I can do in my condition. Is that a good sign?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear In Pain,

          Yes, the vocational expert’s testimony is helpful to your claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • In Pain

            Just was told I got a favorable decision. Thanks for your advice.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome!

  • Cindy

    Hi Kay,
    My hearing was on 10/13/2015 over the phone due to me having knee surgery and not being able to move. The judge asked the VE if under my conditions I could perform certain jobs and she said yes. Then my attorney went and asked hypothetically if I could perform certain job duties under my condition and she said no. After a 20-30 minute phone hearing the judge requested more medical documentation from my doctors and we had to submit it withing 30 days. We did submit and I called and the said a decision was made and is with the writers. Is this a good or bad thing?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cindy,

      It is good that a decision has been made. Once the letter is written and reviewed and signed by the judge, it will be mailed to you. This can take a couple weeks or a month or more.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marie

    Hello. I hope this is the correct place to ask my question. Had my hearing on 7/31/15. It’s now 12/12/15. Called about a month ago, and was told all medical evidence was just submitted and the file was sent to her desk on 10/29/15. How much longer should I wait, before getting legislation involved? Almost homeless; very frustrating! Thanks in advance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marie,

      The guidelines are that the judge has sixty days to make the decision and the letter then has to be written, so ordinarily you could be looking at January for a decision. If you are in danger of being evicted, you can file a statement of dire need, which might or might now speed things up. (You would be in line behind other appellants who have also requested dire need processing.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Hi my name is Gregory and I had my hearing oct 22 2015 and I haven’t heard anything should I be wrryed I Ben wondering about my decision please help thanks

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Greg,

          The guideline for receiving a decision is sixty days after the hearing, but it often takes longer. You can call the hearing office if you have not received a decision within sixty days to find out where your appeal is in the process.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Thanks Kay

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Greg.

  • lab50

    Hi. I hope you can give me an idea as to when I might hear word of the judge’s decision. I had my hearing with the ALJ, my attny, a job specialist (I assume hired by the court) and a court reporter/recorder. At one point during the hearing the judge asked if I was agreeable to an adjusted onset (of disability) date. I said yes. The judge seemed sympathetic and the job expert testified that I could not perform any work. Does this sound hopeful for an approval and if so, when might I hear? My hearing was Sept. 30, 2015. Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lab50,

      The fact that the judge asked you to adjust your disability date is an indication that the claim will be approved. You can call the hearing office to find out whether the appeal has moved to letter writing. If so, you will probably get a letter within a month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • lab50

        Thank you so much Kay. I’ve been waiting on pins and needles. Still very anxious and worried but your reply helps a bit. I will repost when I hear something. Thanks again.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Lab50.

      • Eva Kelly

        Please Help Kay,

        I had my hearing 9/10/15, a dire need letter sent to them placed my case in critical and moved my case from pending after hearing to in the process of writing. Well it’s been in the writing process for 2 months now still no letter. So I called the office listed on the letter spoke with customer service told same thing it is with the judge in writing process. So Jan 10 will be 5 months; and you can only imagine what is going through my head. Why is it taking so long? My LTD insurance company stated that they have never had a case after a hearing with more than enough proof that I have been disabled according to their standards using the same as SSDI that I’m totally disabled the VE stated no jobs; Doctor letters and records prove totally disabled I’m lost for what is happening? please help

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Eva,

          It sounds like work backlogs in your hearing office. You might try calling the office and asking to speak to a supervisor to remind then that you submitted a dire need statement and ask whether the letter can be expedited.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Eva Kelly

            Thanks Kay…Since I first submitted my info I found out shortly after after reading your advice To others. I called the hearing office and found out that a decision has been made and has been sent to judges to write it up…I reminded to rep of the dire need and she explained she was updating case file know reminding the writer of the emergency, and I should get a letter soon and she couldn’t tell me a timeframe..she was helpful I did find I was approved right ok…Then because I know I always get a different answer when I call the national Ssdi # I called them and the rep told me that he saw the flag for dire need and that at this point I should receive my decision in 10 days. I thanked him then rested for that moment. I’m only anxious now because I want to know if I’m approved or denied which is still a wait and have patience lifestyle.

          • Eva Kelly

            Kay I forgot to ask after the info I just wrote should I still call and ask to have the letter expedited. The national rep did say He was also flagging the hardship and was sending notices to the hearing office. This was yesterday the 30th.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Eva,

              Your request will be applied to your appeal in the stage it is at, so you have already requested an expedited letter writing.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Eva Kelly

            Thanks Kay have a blessed New Years

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Eva, and thank you.

  • Jennifer

    Hi I have a question I got my letter oon letter. from the appeal on November 09,2015 and my case wad remanded back to the judge . What is the wait on getting my second hearing? I have been waiting since October 16,2013.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      Second hearings come up faster than first hearings, but the actual time varies greatly depending on the workload of the hearing office. It may take half of less the time for a hearing date than you waited for the first hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Yvonne

    I have a quick question, I went to my hearing August 12, 2015 and I haven’t heard anything yet and my orthopedic doctor said I have permanent nerve damage in both hands and wrists and I already have two surgeries in both hands, can you get ssd for permanent nerve damage in both hands? And the VA at my hearing said the only job I can do is working in the mailroom but my attorney told her I couldn’t use my hands for that job, so I was wondering if I would get approved for ssd?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Yvonne,

      I can’t predict whether or not you will be approved. It will depend on how the judge assesses evidence and the testimony inlcuding that of the vocational expert and your attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Yvonne

        Thank you Kay, I fought to mention I have PTSD and I take five different medications and I wanted to know if I can call social security and find out what the status is on my case

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Yvonne,

          The hearing office will have more detailed information about the status than the local office, which can only tell you the appeal is still pending.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Nicole

    I have a question
    I went to court about 6 weeks ago to present my case to the judge..I received a letter from them a couple weeks later that I needed a physical evaluation..they scheduled my appointment with the doctor of their choice…after my court appearance…whats that mean..good or bad sign. Im still waiting…its been a little over a week since the appointment.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      The examination was requested because the judge found that the information in file did not answer some questions about your condition. Consulting physicians usually have three weeks to submit a report; and after the report is received, it will take a while for the judge to return to the case and complete the review.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nycole Matthews

        HI my name is Nycole I went to my hearing November 10th my attorney told me I was approved after my hearing. It was two ladies seating in on the hearing else well the judge ask one lady will I be able to work she said no. Should my attorney know that fast at the hearing he told me after the hearing I was approved in Congratulation Matthews.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nycole,

          Unless the judge said that he or she was approving your claim, your attorney’s saying you are approved is his or her opinion based on past experience and what happened at the hearing. You can rely to a certain degree on the attorney’s opinion, but you won’t know for sure until you get the decision letter.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Sarita

    I probably have the same questions as everyone. My hearing was Aug. 11.2015. I haven’t heard anything yet. I called around the 2 month mark and the lady told me 2 1/2 months. Now it’s pass that. I read that if you have children, they will ask for their birth certificate. Well, nobody has done that either. Should I be expecting a denial? I don’t think it would take this long to write up a denial. I don’t know what to think. It’s been 3 months going on 4. I have a lawyer but I don’t want to bug them or SS Can someone ease my mind?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sarita,

      The guideline is for hearing decisions to be made within sixty days, but a substantial number take longer. How long the decision takes is not a sign of either approval or denial. You will not be asked for non-medical information or documentation, such as your children’s birth certificates until you have received a written approval decision from the judge.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Steve

    I had a hearing in June 2014 and when I got the decision in Oct 2014 the judges decision in my denial was the she “didn’t find me credible” I have a car accident in the company truck and had 4 surgeries, including a plate put in my neck with 6 screws. The surgeon for the neck surgery gave me 100% disability, I also had shoulder surgery for a torn labrum. My attorney put in an appeal Oct 2014. How long does it typically take for a decision? My attorney thinks I have a strong case for SSDI. The accident was in 2011 so back pay maybe a hold up. What do you think my odds of a favorable decision are?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Steve,

      It can take up to two years for the Appeals Council to complete the review. Then, the typical favorable outcome is remanding (sending back) the claim to the judge for additional investigation or consideration, which usually results in another hearing. Your attorney knows the details of your claim, so I suggest you rely on his or her opinion.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • I had a hearing this yr and my lawyer called mein sept and told me the judge ruled in my favor and the award letter was stitting on judges desk waiting for final draft and I should have had it by October 2015 ok here its the middle of nov and still have nothing. Should. I be concerned. ?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear James,

        You probably don’t have to be concerned; it could be that the judge is busy and hasn’t gotten to it or that there was an error in the letter and it had to be sent back to letter writing be edited. A note: it is unusual for a verbal decision to be given out, even to an attorney

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Quinn Young

      I went to my disability hearing on November 19th, 2015. The occupational specialist says there’s not a job I could do. The judge has already made a decision, but they won’t tell me over the phon. Does it sound like a favorable decision? How long should I have to wait if he’s already decided, he told me in the hearing I’d know in ten days? Thanks

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Quinn,

        There is no way to know what the judge’s decision was. You will receive a letter as soon as it is written and reviewed by the judge for accuracy. It can take a few days to a month or more for the letter to be written.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Mary W

    Just a curiosity question. My deposit day hopefully will be the 3rd Wednesday of each month. If I get approved would that be the day they deposit back pay?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      The back pay could be paid on any day of the month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mary W

        Thank You

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Mary.

  • Mary W

    Is the hearing office the same as the SS office (1-800-772-12130?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      No, the hearing office phone number is not the same as Social Security’s call center number. The call center or your local office should be able to give your the phone number of your hearing office for your area.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mary W

        Thank you Kay,
        Is the hearing office that can you when the judge has signed off or if its at the writer etc. because the SS office doesn’t seem to have any of that information?

        I’ve have read all your post and am trying to ask questions you haven’t answered yet. Thank you for helping all of us understand. You give us more than you know, we are alone and scared and you help us to understand the process.

        God bless

        • Mary W

          Sorry my meds keep me from completing thoughts so I type how I think. Sorry for the mistakes hope you can make sense of my previous question.

          • Mary W

            I call the ODAR office and they informed me I should not ask them any questions or ask for copies of my file with out talking to my attorney. He did say it hadn’t left his office. He would not tell me if the judge signed off or not 🙁

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Mary,

              Because you have appointed an attorney to represent you, the hearing offices often won’t release information to you. I am not sure what “hasn’t left his office” means, but I think it is saying that the decision has not yet been made. You can ask your attorney to inquire further.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Mary,

            I think I understood. Please see my reply to the first post.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mary,

          You are welcome, Mary. The hearing office has the detailed information about whether a decision has been made and the appeal passed to the letter writing department or it is still pending the judge’s decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Winndee

    Hi Kay!
    PLEASE HELP!! I do have a attorney on my case,he was recommended by my workers comp attorney. I received a letter stating that a judge WAS appointed to my case on 3/15/2015. I live in Orange County Califorina. How long does it normally take from the time a judge is appointed to your case, until you ACTUALLY get a hearing date? I am a 40 yr old ER/Trauma RN who had my back broken at work. I have under gone 3 back surgeries, I’ve been diagnosis end with FBSS (failed back surgery syndrome) along with other issues. I just found out I have 2 complete fractures where they did the surgery (a laminectomy and fusion with instrumentation of L-4 to S-1) given I am now in need of ANOTHER surgery, will this speed things up??
    I have 2 minor children ages 14 & 17. My 17 year old will be 18 on 2/14/2016 but is still in High School and is under my custody and care. Will she still be eligible for my benefits?
    Sorry SO many questions! I just can’t seem to get them from my attorney!
    Thank You!
    Winndee

    • Winndee

      I forgot to mention I was injured 10/17/2010, and my workers comp case is still open, as I have the new fractures and need another surgery I am not PNS. Does this sound like a case I will win? Our ONLY source of income is Welfare! $703 a month in Cash Aid and $467 in Food aid! This has been dragging on forever! Will I get a court date any time soon seeing as a judge was appointed 3/15/2015
      Thank You Graciously for your help!
      Winndee

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Winndee,

        Please see my response of a few minutes ago.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Winndee,

      It typically takes a year from filing a hearing to getting a hearing. I do not know the lapse time between assignment of a judge and the hearing date. Your attorney will get about a three-week warning.

      Your newly discovered fractures and upcoming surgery will not necessarily give you an earlier hearing date; however, be sure that your attorney knows these developments so medical records to support the information can be submitted to the judge. You might also ask the attorney whether your appeal is a good candidate for a decision on the record without a hearing.

      If you are approved, dependent benefits will be payable to your older child to the earlier of age nineteen or when she leaves high school. You will need to file papers proving she is in high school after age eighteen. Her benefits likely will be paid directly to her if she is age eighteen by the time the claim is approved and payment issued.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jackie

    Dear Kay,
    I had my hearing on October 7, 2015. I did not have a lawyer. I need to have neck and back surgery (51 yrs). I have disabling diagnosis’s from medical and mental health professionals. I feel confident I will get a fully favorable decision. My question is, I was able to get my case declared as dire need and a hearing was set for me within a month (saving me another year of waiting) is a dire need case also moved through the decision making process faster? In other words, will I wait less time for my decision that the average case? Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jackie,

      Yes, your appeals decision should move faster than average.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Randal

    I had my hearing Sept 14th The judge needed more paper work was gave to her the next day, My lawyer said I had a Solid 50/50 chance lol Is this good or bad

    • Randal

      Im 55 so maybe Ill get the 51 %

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Randal,

        Social Security Disability (SSDI) eligibility is all or nothing. Partial benefits are not paid.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Randal,

      It is neither good or bad. I would rely on your attorney’s assessment of your chances.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Jessica

      I went to court on 10/7/15 and was told that a decision was made on 10/9/15 is that a good sign are not

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jessica,

        It is a good sign that you should be receiving the decision letter fairly soon. It is not an indication of what the decision will be.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Terry Dees

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I had my hearing on September 16,2015 and I am waiting on the decision. My question is this: I had my sister who was to be my council and when we got in the hearing room for the video hearing the judge advised us the she did not need to be my council that she needed to be my witness as she stated that she could take her testimony which she did after she interviewed me first without her in the room. Then I had to leave the room when she took her testimony. Is that a good sign? Also the VE stated that I could do some jobs but when the judge asked him could I do them with my mental condition he stated that there would be no jobs I could do. Is that a good sign that I will be awarded the benefits? Please advise as I am nervous about the decision?

    Thank you for your time and support……..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Terry,

      I believe that for your sister to service as your representative at the hearing, you had to file papers with Social Security appointing her to represent you. If the judge believes that the limitations from your mental illness are as severe as you are claiming, your claim may be approved given the vocational expert’s (VE’s) testimony.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Terry Dees

        Yes I had to file papers for her to serve as my rep. The judge told us that it would be better for her to be my witness rather than to represent me. I called the other day to do a status claim and I was told that it has been given to the writers. Is that a good sign? Also it will be 2 months on November 16th. How long does a written denial or decision take to receive after a hearing?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Terry,

          The decision has been made on your claim and the letter is being written. All decisions, approvals and denials, have letters written so the appeal’s being in the writing department is not a sign of anything. The guideline is for you to receive a decision within sixty days after the hearing, but sometimes it is longer.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Victoria

    My husband had his hearing on July 30, 2015. His lawyer advised us that the decision wait time is between 60 to 120 days. I had to testify at the hearing on his behalf and the lawyer said that my testimony had a tremendous impact on the decision being favorable. My question is whether or not if our son will receive benefits. Could you explain the law as it pertains to dependent children of a disabled parent. Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Victoria,

      If your husband’s earning record is high enough, Social Security dependent benefits will be paid. Your husband can request an earnings statement (not a benefit statement). It will show whether his family maximum benefit is higher than his own benefit. If it is, your son will receive benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • brina thomas

      Hi today I filed my appeal because I was denied because my son didn’t have an IEP from his school but he finally gotten one so how long does it take for me to get a hearing date. Thank you

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Brina,

        It typically takes about a year to get a hearing date.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Rebecca DeMoss

    Hello,
    I had my SSDI hearing and I am awaiting a decision. My question is this. If I am 51 years old and the vocational expert said that I could do some jobs and the judge asked him even with all her limitations the VE said NO..do I have a good chance of approval due to my age and the VE saying NO to the judge? Thank you so much in advance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rebecca,

      If the judge determines that the evidence submitted for your claim supports the limitations that you are claiming, then your claim is likely to be approved without considering your age.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Teretta

    I was wondering I had my hearing on Sept 24th and I had no vocation expert to testify at my hearing. Why is that? Do the judges usually conduct hearings without one.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Teretta,

      If the judge expects to be able to make a decision without a vocational expert (VE), one might not be present. If you are denied, the absence of a VE’s testimony might be grounds for requesting an Appeals Council review.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • teretta

        Hello Kay I was found fully favorable October 13 now I am waiting for my award letter but the SSA website is not updated is this usually the norm?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Teretta,

          Yes, it can take two months or longer before your benefits are calculated and the website is updated with claim information.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • de

    Hi Kay,

    I just had my hearing today 10/05/2015. I did have rep. A couple of questions I hope you can answer. 1. My hearing took about 1 hour 20 minutes, my rep said that was good because the judge listen to what I had to say and did not cut me off so to speak, so my question is that good? 2. After the judge questioned me about my work history as an activity director, he stated ” I can tell you are very passionate about your prior work and if you would be able to do it you would be there now” So question was that remark from him good? 3. The VE stated that I could not work my prior job, but came up with 3 jobs ( telephone operator, receptionist and a call center) The judge asked her then with those jobs is there like a certain amount of calls or that, that I would have to meet and if having to take long breaks, if I did not or could not meet quota I would be let go and the VE said that is correct, so would that be in my favor. Then the judge asked how long I have worked with the elderly, I told him since 1983 when I was in the 12 grade, and he responded so you been in healthcare over 30 years. Is that good.Now my onset when I filed was 04.01.2015 My last job actually fired me because of absenteeism and not being able to fulfill some requirements. Would that go in my favor?

    Thank you.

    • de

      I am sorry onset date 04.01,2014. And I just turned 50 this year

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear De,

      My answer to all your questions is that, yes, all are a good sign.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Juliet

    Hi Kay,
    My disability attorney said that the administrative law judge requested the official last day that I worked. Why would he need this information?

    Thanks,
    Juliet

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Juliet,

      Perhaps there was conflicting information in file about your last day of work and the request was made to establish a correct disability onset date for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Juliet

        Kay,
        As usual, thanks you very much and blessings to you!! Thank God for you.

        Juliet

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Juliet.

  • angel

    I had hearing in May still haven’t gotten decision. When I call it still say pending I’d it normal to take that long

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angel,

      Your hearing decision is pending longer than usual. You can call the hearing office to find out where in the process the appeal is, for example, whether the decision has been made and it is in the letter writing department.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • angel

        Thank you called back said was with decision writers

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Angel.

  • Clare

    I have a question, which I am sure you get a lot. I had my hearing back in April of 2015 and I have called the hearing office and they keep telling me it is with the ALJ, does this mean a decision has been made or still reviewing my information? Everything I have heard they said between 60 and 90 days but it has almost been 6 months now….. Please advise… Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Clare,

      If the appeal has already gone to letter writing, then the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) made the decision and it is back to him or her to review the letter and sign it. If it hasn’t gone to letter writing, then the decision has not been made. I suggest calling the office to clarify.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Crystal

    Hi! I am wondering, I noticed a few times it is said not to call the 800 number to check the status. Well I just found this site today and I have ready called that twice (hearing was Aug 11) the first time the lady was very nice and gave me a little info, then yesterday the lady was not so nice and said call back after Nov 1 if I haven’t heard anything..
    Was it a bad idea to have even called? If yes why?
    Thank you!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Crystal,

      Calling 800-772-1213, which is Social Security’s national call center, does not have any negative impact on your claim. The call center can perform many service functions and can provide certain types of information; however, for pending claim status, all they can do is look at minimal computer information and refer to general processing times.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Crystal

        Okay great! I was a little worried! Thanks so much for your response 🙂

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Crystal.

  • sarah

    Good afternoon
    My ex has been trying to file disability for over 2 years now. He is about $30,000 behind in his child support and I have been told that if approved, my children will get their money and his benefits. He had a ALJ hearing back in April of this year and from what I’m being told, no decision has been made yet. Does it normally take this long to hear back once the ALJ hearing has taken place? This has been drawn out for so long now and of course he wont tell me what’s going on. I have to hear about it through my attorney.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sarah,

      Some hearings do take as long as your ex-husband’s.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Steph

        Hi Kay
        My husband is a disabled veteran. He suffers from a bunch of injuries including severe PTSD back injuries knee injury shoulder injury asthma short term memory loss sleep apnea etc. The hearing was June 16, and we still haven’t heard anything back yet. The specialist ruled out any jobs that he can do because of Dr appts therapy not to mention the physical part. She said NO job will allow him to take 2-3 days off of work a week. We called and we didn’t get an answer. Its been longer than 60 days at this point. Our lawyer said the onset date was 2012 but she disagreed and said the onset date was 2009. Does that mean that’s how far she can pay?
        Thanks

        • Steph

          What do you think will happen? Will we be approved or denied and how much longer do we have to wait?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Steph,

          This is a response to both your posts of today. Assuming that “she” refers to the judge, then I would expect you will be found to be disabled. If your claim is for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, benefits will begin to accrue the later of the sixth full-calendar month after the disability onset date that is accepted by the Social Security Administration and twelve months before the month of the initial application approved in the appeal.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Steph

            What could be taking so long to make a decision? We’ve called and they don’t have any information for us when we call. As of today its been 76 days since the hearing. Is that normal? O believe we qualify for ssi which ever one is for not low income families. The attorney felt the hearing went great but no letters or anything from them yet? Is it normal for them to take this long after a hearing?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Steph,

              Workloads generally govern how long it takes to get a decision. It is not unusual for decisions to take longer than the sixty-day guideline. At this point all you can do is to wait. The disability benefit that does not also have a low income/asset requirement is Social Security Disability (also known as SSD or SSDI).

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Steph

            Ok so I took your advice that you gave to everyone and called today. Apparently she said the judge made a decision its now being written up. What does that mean? Approved or denied?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Steph,

              The information you received means that the decision is being put into letter form. Both approvals and denials have to be written up into a letter.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • bill

    Kay, i was wondering if my attorney can drop me as a client if i want to switch to a video hearing for ssd. Also if a video conference is a good move because i jave waited 13 months already and it is looking like around 7 or more months wait to see a alj in person. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bill,

      Your attorney can represent you at a video hearing. Whether or not he can “drop” you depends on the terms of the agreement you signed with him. I suggest reviewing it and discussing the video option with him to get his viewpoint on the pros and cons.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • bill

        Thank you kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Bill.

      • beth

        I had a video hearing and my attorney was with me. I had to wait about 14 moths to get a hearing. I had a decision in about 9 weeks.

  • sharon

    Hello Kay,
    I have a question, I call the SSI office asking information for my Hearing and they told me is being assigned to a judge, to wait for a letter.
    Does this means they made a decision or I still have to see the judge?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sharon,

      I believe that the letter being referred to is a letter telling you that the appeal has been assigned to a judge and the date of the hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • sharon

        Hello Kay,
        Thank you for the information, I call again to verify on that and they told me my case is pending, does this mean the same answer you gave me?
        Thank you,
        Sharon

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sharon,

          Yes, the hearing office’s answer is probably conveying the same information.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • sharon

            Thank You!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Sharon.

    • fonda

      I had my hearing on July 21 and I amended my disibility date from December 2013 to July 2014my attorney said I won is this true and when should I get a letter

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Fonda,

        Usually when you agree to a later date of disability onset, it means that the judge will approve the claim with the later disability date. The guideline is for the decision to be rendered within sixty days of the hearing, but it can take longer.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • fonda

          Thank u Kay for your insight

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Fonda.

  • Torre

    Hello Kay,
    My question is.
    I call the to find out about my hearing day and the told me, My case is in the final step, Can you explain this to me?

    Thank you
    Torre

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Torre,

      If “final step” means final step in getting a decision to you, it means that your claim has been approved on the record, that is, based on the judge’s review of the claim file; and you will not have to go to a hearing. If “final step” means final step in getting a hearing date, I do not know exactly what it refers to; but apparently, a date will be set soon.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • torre

        Hello Kay,

        Thank you very much for the information.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Torre.

  • Juliet

    Kay,
    As usual, thank you so much for your help!!

    • Kay Derochie

      You are welcome, Juliet.

  • Rod

    Hello Kay
    I spoke with the hearing office last week and they said the decision is no been made yet. My hearing was on April 28 2015- I was told I had a really tough Judge, but my lawyer told me that everything went really good. My lawyer was given 21 days to bring some paper work and he did he even send me to another psychiatrist because of my ptsd and psychosis among other things the va rated me 100% disabled. But I am confused on why my decision has not been made yet is that a good sign? I been waiting a long time and I don’t know what else to do.
    Thank You

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rod,

      In theory, the decision should have been made within sixty days of the judge’s receiving the additional information after the hearing, but some decisions pend longer. Right now, it is just a waiting game.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • mary

      Hello Kay

      My Lawyer told me after my hearing that my case maybe
      dismiss if so will I hear from social security.

      Mary

      • mary

        Kay
        I meant to say will I hear from them sooner

        Mary

        I

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mary,

          I am not sure that you will receive the decision any sooner. I suggest that you ask your attorney.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Mary,

        You should receive a written determination even if it is a dismissal.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Madeline

    Hello Kay,
    My question is. I call to find out information of my hearing day and they told me, my case is sitting down, waiting for a judge to be sign.
    Can you tell me what this means?
    Thank you
    Madeline

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Madeline,

      The judge has made a decision on your appeal, the letter has been prepared, and now the letter is will be reviewed for accuracy. If it is all correct, the judge will sign it and it will be mailed to you. If there are any errors, the letter will be sent back to the letter writing department for correction, after which the letter will come back to the judge for signature and mailing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Madeline

        Hello Kay, Thank you for the answer, but I’m a little confuse, this means that the judge made a decision without a hearing? and those this means Is favorable?

        Madeline

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Madeline,

          If in fact the decision has been made and is just awaiting the judge’s signature on the letter and you have not had a hearing, yes, it means that your claim has been approved. The reason is that a judge can approve by reviewing the written record but cannot not deny without a hearing.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Madeline

            Hello Kay, Thank you very much for your answer.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Madeline.

  • Chris

    Hello Kay

    Not sure if you know, however I spoke with the hearing office and they said the decision has been made, and the writer is drafting the letter etc. My hearing was on July 14th 2015-I am in Connecticut. I was told I had a really tough Judge, however the VE stated that on my first issue-Central Sleep Apnea-I could not work and on the second issue-my back injury I might be capable of doing light work-however my lawyer did both a hypothetical utilizing how I lost my last job and then the VE agreed I couldn’t work if that was the case. The lawyer then showed how I lost my last job (between the CSA and my injury I simply couldn’t do it). My lawyer was even confused and he does this all the time. He said he couldn’t tell. I know you can only go by the info I share, but my 2 questions are: if he made the decision in 3 weeks is that a good thing? Also second one-now it’s with an underwriter, about how long does that usually take?
    Thank You
    Chris

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      How long the judge takes to make a decision is not an indication of either approval or denial. How long it will be in letter writing depends on the workload in that particular hearing office. If it has been assigned to a specific writer, it has moved along a bit in the process.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Chris

        thank you so much for your response Kay 🙂 The hearing was weird, he asked if I went to the Casino (we have some in NY on the border and a couple upstate CT), I answered honestly (no I hadn’t) but was surprised he asked that-was it normal? I truly almost never go out and I was honest about that too. My problem is I’m , I have Central Sleep Apnea,so I have to nap 4-6x a day and use a CPAP machine and also I’m in incredible pain and discomfort from a spinal injury-however I am told I look like I’m 30 and I look physically healthy-so it’s hard because I look fine but I’m not-even during the 20-30 minute hearing I had to get out of my chair every 5-10 minutes to relieve the pressure from my back because I can’t sit. He also asked if I had a FB page-which I do, it’s set to super private due to an ex-husband and I use a different name as well (my maiden name for FB,the one from my late husband is my legal last name), asked if I had pictures on it (??) and the details of how I managed to attend my son’s high school graduation (I answered, again honestly)-I had called ahead and they had made arrangements to drive via a golfcart anyone disabled down to the football field where the kids were graduating and drove me back when it ended and I went straight home afterwards. I really am restricted to the point my son does my shopping and my kids do most of the housework (I tried to control myself but I did get teary when he asked about that-I feel so useless as a parent due to my broken body)-my concern was whether or not he believed me. I have heard horror stories about people watching people who are in the process of attempting to get approved for SSD/SSI or those who’ve been on it-does that actually happen? I mean I have nothing to hide but it kinda upsets me that someone feels like they have to watch me. Thanks again for your helping me with these questions. 🙂 Chris

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Chris,

          The judge was trying to determine whether your activities match your allegations of being very limited. It sounds as if you answered honestly and with sufficient detail, which is all you can do.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • kareen

      Hello Kay my lawyers called the hearing office today n were told my case went to the writter does this mean the judge made a decision? N if so how long before I get a letter. I’m so anxious I applied June 32013.thanks kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Kareen,

        Yes, a decision has been made. How long it takes to get the letter written can vary from a week to a month depending on workloads. After it is written, it will go back to the judge for review and signature.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • kareen

          Thanks Kay

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Kareen.

  • tndarlin

    Hi , I went for my second hearing last Friday , the first time it was sent to the appeals council , after about 18 months they sent it back to the judge for a different decision they didn’t agree with the judges decision and she didn’t take the severity of multiple sclerosis to heart , I have multiple sclerosis , and some other issues
    the vocational expert said there is no jobs I can do with my balance , what are my chances of being approved ? ive been fighting this for 5 years …

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tndarlin,

      Your chances are better than before the remand to the judge. One can never know for sure until the decision is rendered.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michelle

    My husband had a hearing in Virginia on December 16, 2014. We are still waiting for a decision. My husband’s attorney has sent several request via facsimile requesting an update on the status of his case and we are still waiting.
    Is there anything else that we can do.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michelle,

      It sounds as if your attorney is doing all that can be done. You might ask him whether it would be helpful to have your congressman follow up, but don’t take that action without discussing it with your attorney first.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • steve

    I went infront of an alj on june 30th 2015 they had a medical expert that put my neck and lower back under classifacation 1.04 but the judge still didnt make a decision on if i was approved or denied yet when can i expect the decision letter or you think i get payments first my lawyer said if i get listing 1.04 i will be golden

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Steve,

      The judge is supposed to make the decision within sixty days of the hearing, but sometimes it takes longer. You will get a medical decision letter from the judge. If it is an approval, it can take another approximate sixty days to be paid if your claim is for Social Security and thirty to sixty days if it was for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you filed claims for both, the SSI will be paid first. You are likely to receive payment a week before the award letter that includes the amount of the benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michael

    Hi Kay

    I just had my SSDI hearing today 7/27/15 I did not have a lawyer. And all my medical care comes from the VA. So I presented my case file and answered all the questions the law Judge and VE asked of me.
    The VE was unable to come up with a job I could do based on my medical condition’s. Is this a good sign that I may be approved? The Law Judge didn’t ask for any additional evidence or medical exams.
    What do you think?

    Thank you for your advice
    Mike

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      If the judge believes that the medical documentation that you submitted supports your claimed limitations, then your claim is likely to be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jason Higgins

    How long does it take the decision writer to write the letter. The judge in my case gave her decision on July 2, 2015.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jason,

      The time in the writing department varies greatly depending on the volume of decisions coming through. When it has been assigned to a writer, you will know it is progressing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jason Higgins

        I have been told that it was assigned to a writer three weeks ago.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jason,

          I would expect you to have the decision letter within a month.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Pamela

    I had a hearing June 16 2015 how long do it take for a judge to decide on the case because my daughter is 8 and she has a bladder problem and she has had 6 surgery and my lawyer said she didn’t have to be approved but for 3 dominion but she was approved for 4 does it make any difference on how quick the decision is and when should I receive something everything is due and I need to make some hours on my job

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pamela,

      The guideline is for the judge to make a decision within sixty days of the hearing, but it can take longer. After an approval letter is received, it can take another month or two for benefits to start. You can call the hearing office to see where the appeal is in the process.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Elaine

    Hi me and my son just had our hearing after year in half of applying and being denied. How long does it usually take to hear a judgment from the judge for both me and my son. My son has autism, adhd,and odd will he even be able to receive ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elaine,

      Whether or not your son is approved will depend on how severely his conditions affect his ability to function as compared to what would be expected for a child of his age. The guideline for receiving a hearing decision is sixty days, though it could take longer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Rebecca

        Hi Kay,

        I have a few questions. I received a notice of award 2 weeks ago, which I am truly thankful for it says my entitlement date is july 2013 and they found me to be disabled on September 11, 2012. It tells me the beginning and current amounts to be paid and then it says why we cannot pay you starting july 2013. We need more information before we can start your payments again. What does this mean? I have been waiting for something else to come in to explain what I have to do but nothing has come and I know I should have called but I have a hard time talking to people on the phone and in person. Someone said it could be because I need a representative payee could that be the hold up? I made a account on the ssgov website and it says that I am entitled to benefits but they have been suspended since July 2013. Also, the amount that they gave me is just for me, How do I get benefits for my children? Also, medicare has billed me $419 for the next 4 months how do they expect me to pay that when they are not giving me any money? Thank you in advance for any information you give me.

        Sincerely,
        Rebecca

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rebecca,

          Try to get a relative or friend to go to the Social Security office with you to find out why your benefits are suspended and what you need to submit to get them started again. Your children’s benefits should be started automatically if you listed the children on your application, but their benefits probably won’t start until yours are straightened out.

          It might be that a payee is needed for your payments to be released. Just in case, try to take the person you would want to be your payee to accompany you to the office. (That person may have to file to be payee for the children, too.) When you are at the office, discuss the Medicare situation and the need for benefits to start to pay the premiums.

          Another possibility is that you may have also been medically approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and updated financial information needs to be provided before that payment can be made. If that is the case, your Social Security would be held until the SSI was paid so that the Social Security could be offset (reduced) by SSI paid for the same period.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Ruth. Hi i went in from of the judge and she sent me to seen a doctor from SSS .I went and still wenting for a answer. To see if a denied or approved . How long is the decision it take . I need the help soon . How so cant get help to see a doctor ? I was getting Medicaid but my daughter turn 18. They take it away. And now I haven’t to see a doctor and me sick condition is getting worse. In be passing 6 mosths a but this already.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ruth,

      I suggest that you call the hearing office if it has been more than six weeks since you saw the Social Security doctor. They will be able to give you a status report.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jason Higgins

    Dear Kay
    I had my first hearing in November 2014 and I waited for the judge to make her decision instead of making a decision she wanted me to have another hearing on March 18, 2015 I have been diagnosis with bi-polar and several other mental ailments. I called the social security office last week before the holiday and was told the judge has made her decision and it is in the underwriting office.
    I called today and was told that I would have a decision mail to me within the next 10 days. I am very nervous do this means my case has been deny or what

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jason,

      The information you received indicates that you will be getting a decision letter soon; it does not reveal whether your claim will be approved or denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jason Higgins

        Thanks Kay

        One more question

        How long it takes to update your status on the my Social Security online account. After the decision has been made

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jason,

          I don’t know the answer to your question. My observation is that it seems to vary quite a bit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Jason Higgins

            Hi Kay

            You give wonderful answers to questions.

            What is a decision writer and what is the function of that person as it relates to getting your social security letter.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Jason,

              The judge makes the decision and provides the information to go into the letter; then the writer does the clerical work of creating the letter. The letter goes to the judge for review and signature. If any errors were made, it goes back to be edited; otherwise, the judge signs the letter and it is sent out.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Stan

    I’ve had my disability hearing about 10 days ago….. Yesterday I received mail stating that my benefits will be garnished. I don’t even know if I have been approved…. from what I understand, all back pay will be taken. My children are 18 and 16….. I am behind a lot….

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stan,

      Given the timing of the notice as related to the date of your hearing, the notice may not mean that your claim has been approved. It may just mean that the Social Security Administration has received notification of a support order that requires garnishment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Melissa Pritchett

    Hi, When I first filed for disability in Jan 2012! s.s. sent me to their psychologist who said I have PTSD, that’s worse then my therapist said I was. I went to court Feb 11, 2015 and there was no vocational expert there. The judge sent my file to a second psychologist. Its now July first and I am still waiting for an answer.
    My questions are: Why would he need 2 of their psychologists to say the same thing? and is that normal? And is it normal to take this long?
    Last the judge asked me my height and weight, Why?
    Thanks Melissa

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      The judge may have wanted a second examination because of the amount time between the first one and the hearing. If you are substantially overweight, the judge may have asked your height and weight so that he or she could determine whether you also have a medical diagnosis of morbid obesity, which together with certain specific medical findings can be the basis for disability. I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out whether the second medical report has been received.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Melissa Pritchett

        Thank you so much, That put my mind at ease. I did get a copy of the report from the second psychologist, His report seemed to be in my favor. He agreed with every thing in my file. He even said things I knew nothing about that makes my case even stronger. So I guess I still wait:(
        thanks Melissa

  • rogerroger

    Ok if it is approved u said it will b sent to another office after he signs off on it . When they tell u it was sent out in the mail does this mean it will come straight to you . Or go to another office first and than to u ? Because I read some of your messages to other people on here and u said something about 10 days longer after it is mailed out . sorry kay im just stressed out .. thank u so much

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rogerroger,

      If the letter was sent out in the mail, it means that the letter is coming to you. Each situation is different, but I would think that you would receive the letter within a week of the date they said it was sent, even if it took a day or so to get through their mail room.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rebecca G Horton

    I had my disability hearing before an ALJ on June 1, 2015 and will turn 62 on September 23. Should I apply for early retirement while I am waiting on a ruling? I have been out of work for 3 years and I am in desperate financial need as I cannot afford my medication. I have applied for medicaid and have been denied.

    Thank you for time and consideration.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rebecca,

      Given your financial need, it may be best to apply for early reduced retirement. If you are approved for disability, you will be paid the difference between that reduced retirement and the higher disability benefit and there will be no permanent reduction in benefits. I suggest that in the meantime you contact the pharmaceutical company that makes your medications to see whether you can get some at no cost. Some companies will temporarily supply essential medications to those in need.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Billy

    Dear Kay
    I had a hearing back in March 17th 2015. I went in for BPD had a therapist and physiologist feel out the RFC forum and both had them marked from moderate to the worst some worse then others. Hearing lasted 15 to 20 mins. As of May 27th it was in unassigned decision writing. My lawyer never spoke in the hearing but one time to ask if the letter from past job was needed and alj said no. The letter was talked about the first few mins and by the end he did not want it why is that? The other question is it normal for it to take that long in pre hearing when the file was closed on March 18th? The lawyer said we won at the hearing how do they know? He was in there 3 or 4 mins after the we was dismissed I went out to wait on him.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Billy,

      Of course, I cannot be sure, but I think it is likely your claim will be approved. Apparently, when more information was presented during the hearing, the judge was able to arrive at a favorable decision without the letter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • N.Need

    Hi Kay,

    I had my hearing back in Feb 2015, here it is June and I have not rec’d a notice of Approval or Denial, what I did receive was a phone call from the processing center letting me know that I was approved and they no longer mail out paper checks and did I have a bank account so my funds can be directly deposit into my account.

    My question – is this normal procedure to hear from the processing center with the break down of my back pay and monthly benefits before receiving a notice of decision from the hearing office and also she stated I should have my funds in about 15days could this be true? I’m in Calif.

    Thanks Kay!!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear N.Need,

      You should have received a letter from the hearings office. I suggest that you call that office and tell them you never got a decision letter and ask that a duplicate be sent to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • EDITHMorrison

    I had a hearing on May12,2015 contcted my attorney they said the judge made a decision how long does it take to get the letter? Should I contact social security with my bank information? how long does it take to get backpay they owe me back from May 2013 when I first filed.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Edith,

      It can take another month or more after the decision to get the letter. How long it takes to get benefits after that depends on whether you have applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or both. It can be a month to three months after you receive the judge’s letter.

      As soon as you have received the letter, take it and your bank information to Social Security. If you have been medically approved for SSI (the letter will say), ask for an appointment with the local office for a financial update interview before going in with the bank information. You can call 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • spirit

    Hi, my name is spirit, I attended my daughter hearing on 05/26/15 , the judges are trained very well they don’t show no sign of emotions, and that a great thing, my daughter is 13, she has a heart condition, laxity-liagements, and scoliosis and they found a spot on her lungs, her bone cracks every move she makes, I’m not for sure of she will get denied, but if so I will let God handle it , and try a again, and if it in her favor, I still know that God is in control, my lawyer told me it would take up to 3 months which I understand, he also ask me to bring in anything else afterwards pertaining to her cardiology appt , I turn her paperwork showing she has therapy every MONDAY,I’m just waiting for other result, so maybe they are I need of more information, I know it’s going to be a while before I received a letter, would it be wise to call at the end of next month to check the status, or just wait til August.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Spirit,

      If you haven’t received a decision by July 26, call the hearing office and ask the status–that is whether the decision has been made and the appeal is in letter writing stage or still awaiting a decision. You might be asked for something else, but usually additional evidence, if needed, is requested at the hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • rogerroger

    I went for my hearing for my ssdi on april 1,15 today is june 2,15 and I called near the end of the month and they said the judge has not made a decision yet than and than I called a week later and they said judge has made a decision and I called about another 2 weeks later a they said it was back from the writers and it is on last step waiting for judge to sign it.. Ok in court the judge was very nice and did not talk to me a lot my lawyer done most of the talking and I answer on him .. and ok and the ve said they was no jobs I could do . ok I am only 37 and I have a metal plate in my left scapla , and I also have 2 rupure discs in my lower back that cause my right leg to hurt , I also have sleep apena , and I have 50% lung capacity, and scars in my lungs and also my right hand hurts a lot it even cause my joints to swell and I have ex-rays of my hand mri of my back and cat scan of my lungs all prove that shows everything im saying whats wrong with me, oh and I also postive resting tremors and also have major depression and anexity

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rogerroger,

      Do you have a question? If so, please post it and I will try to respond.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • rogerroger

      and if the judge approves when does it go to another office after he sign it after he get it back from the writers ? And also can u see it on your ssa account online ? thanks Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Roger,

        The letter will be sent after the judge signs off on the letter. I am not sure what you would see online. If the appeal is denied, it might show the claim as closed. If it is approved, it may not update until payment is made. You might check with Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 regarding how the online account is updated.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Randy Greenwell

    Hello,
    I’m trying to guage if I’ve won or lost my ssdi case I just had.
    I’ve heard if you get a quick decision it’s usually good and my attorney says she knows the decision has been made and they are writing it up. Whatever that decision is.
    I also hear if the VE says there are jobs you can do even if they aren’t the ones you’ve done before…that the ALJ will automatically side with the VE and you’ll lose.
    Any thoughts?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Randy,

      If the vocational expert (VE) testifies that there are jobs you can do even with the limitations you have, your claim is likely to be denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jared

        Even if the VE testifies that there are a couple of jobs you can do with limitations, then your attorney asks one hypothetical question and the VE says “No, it would not be tolerated” ??? One hypothetical question that ruled out all jobs seems that it would help the judge rule in your favor? Am I wrong?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jared,

          If the judge determines that the limitations your attorney expressed in the question to the vocational expert (VE) are supported by the evidence in file, the VE’s negative answer could be the basis for an approval.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

        • Ann

          hi i went to my son hearing and thed judge said we will here from here in 30 to 60 days and we still didnt get any letter or nothing yet so is this a good thang or bad thang

          • Ann

            and the court date was on may 5 2015

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Ann,

            The length of time a decision pends is not an indication of approval or denial. You can call the hearing office to find out where the appeal is in the process.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • henrietta goodson

    my daughter 26 years olds this is her third hearing for ss claim , she had a hearing on feb 18 15 . she had a learning disability and bi-poler with psychotic feature since she was 9. the appeal counsil sent it back for a remanded twice can she be approve this time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Henrietta,

      As long as the appeal is still alive, which it is, there is a chance for approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ALEXIA LUMPKIN

    HI,KAY
    I AM WAITING ON A DECISION FOR MY SON HEARING I HAD THE HEARING DEC.2 ITS BEEN 5 MONTHS NOW AS OF APRIL 25,2015 NOW BEFORE I SAY ALL THAT I HAD CALLED IN THEY TOLD ME THAT I WAS MISSING A PAPER FROM HIS SCHOOL I TURNED THE PAPER LIKE 2 MONTHS AGO SO I AM TRYING TO FIGURE OUT NOW HOW LONG ITS GOING TO TAKE THEM TO GIVE ME A DECISION AND IS THIS A GOOD THING OR BAD THING FOR ME AT THIS TIME.

    • ALEXIA LUMPKIN

      OH I ALMOST FORGOT I DON’T HAVE A LAWYER EITHER.WILL THAT MAKE MY DECISION HARDER FOR ME.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alexia,

      How long a hearing decision pends is not an indication or approval or denial. The decision could go either way. Whether not having an attorney will affect the outcome of the appeal depends on how well you were able to present your son’s claim at the hearing. I don’t know how it will take for you to get a decision. You can call the hearing office to see whether a decision has been made and the appeal has progressed to the letter writing department. (You will not be told the decision by telephone.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Binny

    Hi Kay,

    First of all, thank you for answering all of these questions! I have learned a lot about SSDI by reading this thread. I had my second SSDI hearing on February 11, 2015 with the same judge I had my first hearing with (no VE or MD was present) and was denied. During the second hearing the judge asked me questions and I responded. These were both video calls. At the end of the hearing the judge told the lady recording the meeting that the VE that was on hold was not needed and the judge wanted my case to remain open while waiting for the most updated files from my doctor. The files were faxed to their office and I received a copy and said I had nothing to add. So here I am 10 weeks later and I call the ALJ’s office and I am told that the judge now wants a VE to answer questions and there will be another hearing. I told this person that my house was going to be foreclosed and he said to send in the papers in order to try and speed-up the hearing. I sent in the paperwork and have heard nothing. This is so exhausting and painful. I have anxiety, major depression, and bipolar disease. I don’t know if I can handle another hearing. I do not have representation. There is only one other way to save my family’s home and I am very near that choice. Anything advice you could offer would be appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Binny,

      My advice is to hang in there. The fact that the judge is calling on the vocational expert after getting the medical records is a good sign. It may mean that he believes that you are as limited as you say you are. Talk with the mortgage holder and ask them to hold off of the foreclosure because if you are approved you will have the money to bring the mortgage current. You might also consider taking in a boarder so you can pay something on the mortgage. Tell them that you call them every two weeks to give them an update on the hearing status.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hi Kay,

    I just got a call from my Attorney that my ALJ is moving and that I have the option of a video hearing or the case will be handed to a new judge. My attorney advised me to not chose the video hearing because this attorney has a approval rate of only 20% even though my case has very strong documentation we don’t want to risk it. What else can be done to expedite this hearing? Is there anything I can do except wait? I was told it will still be in a critical status and the hearing date will be 30-90 days. Thanks Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pamela,

      I would follow your attorney’s advice. Given that the appeal will still be in critical status, it is unlikely that you can do anything to speed things up further.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Thank you Kay!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Pamela.

  • Richard

    dear Kay,
    its been six weeks sense my hearing, so I called the local ssi department in Auburn Maine today, at first she couldn’t find anything and then she said I was denied, was that her way to get me off the phone? I have read in some of your post that they will not tell you over the phone

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Richard,

      The Social Security Administration, including its hearing offices, seems to have a policy of not giving out claim decisions over the phone. I suggest that you call the hearing office and ask the status of the appeal. If you are told that the case is closed, request the date that the decision letter was sent to you. If it has been more than ten days, ask for a duplicate letter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • JF

    I had a hearing on November 6 2014. I am still waiting on a decision. It has been 5 months now. The wait is not what is driving me crazy. It’s these medical evaluations they keep sending me to that is keeping me up at night. Since the hearing, I have been assigned to go to three medical evaluations. And at each medical evaluation, the doctors ask the exact same questions every time. So whoever is requesting me to go to these medical evaluations is just getting duplicates. I suffer from Polymyositis which affects my muscles and joints. I also suffer from Lupus. I am not able to drive because my arms are too weak to turn the steering wheel and my legs are not strong enough to lift up to put on the gas or brake petals. I can not lift my arms. I have suffered from this since I was 19 years old. It has gotten worse each passing year. I am now 32 years old and I have gone as far as I can. I just can’t work anymore. Due to this I also suffer from depression, anxiety and am taking medication for that as well. I guess my question is, what are they trying to get at by making me go to all these medical evaluations??? I feel like I am being discriminated against because of my age. Which isn’t fair. I suffer just as much as, if not worse than most 65 year olds. At the hearing, the judge asked the VE if there were any jobs I could do, and she rattled off like 4 or 5 jobs that are impossible for me to do. Especially since I have little to no use of my hands. I saw above where you told someone that if the ve lists any jobs, the case will most likely be denied. Which worries me. Because trust me when I say, I am in very bad shape. If they are going to deny me, why make me go to all these medical evaluations? I was told by my lawyer that I have a strong case. How can I have a strong case if the ve lists that many jobs? Any help or advise you could give me would be appreciated. By the way, it took me two hours to type this and correct mistakes and one of the jobs the ve stated was a Clerical Assistant, and one of the main job responsibilities of a Clerical Assistant is typing and using a keyboard. Doesn’t that seem strange to you?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear JF,

      Social Security law says that unless you are of more advanced age you must be disabled not only from occupations you have done in the past but from all occupations for which you have the education, experience, or transferable skills to perform.

      Testimony of a vocational expert (VE) often includes two questions, the first being whether there are occupations you can perform given your education, work experience, and transferable skills. If occupations are identified, then the judge usually asks the VE whether you can perform those occupations with the physical and mental limitations that you have. That is the point at which the VE considers medical issues such as reduced use of your hands. The judge probably did not ask the second question because your claim file didn’t have adequate documentation to clarify your limitations at the time of the hearing and that is why you are being sent to exams. You are claiming disability based on multiple conditions so presumably the multiple consultative examinations has been performed by doctors with different specialties.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michelle

    Hello. I had my ALJ hearing on December 22, 2014. On March 27, 2015 I was told that my case has been closed on March 23,2015 and the decision has been printed and I should receive notification in 1 week, I have not received anything yet and social security or my attorney can not tell me what the decision is. I did set up an account on mysocialsecurity website and during the entire waiting for decision process it says I am not receiving benefits and also would not show me estimated benefit amounts it just said that it is unable to show me estimated benefit amounts because I applied for social security. Now since my case has closed it still says that I am not receiving benefits but it also shows estimated benefits for retirement, disability, etc. I am 39 years old. Does this mean I have been denied because it shows me that information now when it didn’t before? Is there anyway to find out what the decision is before getting notification in the mail? Any information you could give me would be great. Thank you.

    Michelle

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michelle,

      It is possible that your appeal has been denied; however, you will not know for sure until you get the letter, which should come any day now. If it has been denied, you can discuss with your attorney the prospects for requesting an Appeals Council Review of the judge’s decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Margaret Lamb

    I applied for Disability, got turned down, did the reconsideration appeal, turned down for that, and now I am waiting for a hearing date to be set before a judge. Was requested to, and accepted a video conferencing. I am in Bowling Green, KY, and I am over 50.
    Would you by chance be able to give me any insight as to this post letter I just received? It reads, Your client’s request for a hearing has been transferred to the National Hearing Center from the Louisville KY Hearing Office.”
    Would that mean in any way that there may be a shorter time frame, or just simply that it has been moved around within the offices lol?
    Thank you so much for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Margaret,

      There is a chance that your wait for a hearing date might be shorter than if the appeal were kept in the original office because usually hearing venues are changed because the original office’s workload is high and another location is not as booked.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sheila

    Hi Kay,

    My daughter is 15.She has narcolepsy, auditory processing disorder and dyslexia. I applied for disability benefits for her in 2011 and never heard anything back from them. I would call every few months and was always told it was pending. This went on over a year.I finally decided to contact the Nashville office to see how much longer it would take.They told me her claim was denied the following year and a letter stating it was sent out. I never received the letter because it went to an old address. They had my updated address on file. I had to start over and reapply for my daughter. We just had the hearing February 5th and I’m still waiting for a decision to be made. I pray she is approved because my daughter can not make it on her own. She is still unable to count money, nor tell time. She cannot read well or read with comprehension. I have to constantly repeat everything to her and she still does not understand what is being said. Her brain just doesn’t process what’s being said well. She receive assistance at school, assignments are modified and allowed extra time on test and assignments. She has an IEP in place. To me, she is still not doing good just not allowed to fail. My question is when or if approved for benefits. Is there anything I can do about getting the back pay from 2011 when I originally filed. The social security office had all of my updated information but sent the denial letter to my old address and when would call and check on the status. They kept saying it was pending. I was never told it was closed. I would greatly appreciate any advice you have on the matter. Thanks and have a Blessed day.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sheila,

      I am not sure there is anything you can do now. You could have filed an appeal late and asked for it to be accepted late because the notice was sent to the wrong address even though you had reported the new address. The appeal might have been accepted. The other thing you could have done would have been to ask he judge to reopen the prior claim if he ruled in your favor because of never receiving a denial letter; however, that could be a bit risky. If you have an attorney, discuss the issue with him or her.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ronnie moulton

    I had my ALJ hearing on sept.9th 2014 in okc. Here it is 6 months later & I still haven’t received a letter ! If I call ODAR they tell me I’m not allowed to call them , when I call the law firm I hired all they say is I will receive a letter before they do! And when I call the social security office no. The law firm gave me to call all they can tell me it’s still pending! I guess my question is how can I find out what the status is & if 6 months is a long time to be waiting ? Thanks Ron

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ronnie,

      You can ask your attorney’s office to call ODAR to find out whether the decision has been made and the appeal has moved to the letter writing department or is still waiting for the judge’s decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • MrDee

        Hello,

        I had a disability hearing October of 2015 and my case is still under review with the judge. Should I be concerned?

        Thanks

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mr. Dee,

          Although the guideline is for a decision within sixty days, some pend longer. This is not a sign of either approval or denial. I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out where the appeal is in the process of decision and decision letter writing.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Cydnie

    Hi Kay,

    Thank you for your advice. I did in fact call them, because feeling in limbo was really weighing heavily on my nerves. You were correct, it was in fact the timing of the letter…my disability has been approved.

    Thank you again!
    Sincerely,
    Cydnie

    • Kay Derochie

      You are welcome!

  • Cydnie

    Hi Kay,

    Thank you for your quick response. At the top of the letter it says Social Security Administration retirement, survivors, and disability insurance. So if I’m to under what you’re saying correctly is that because it says Social Security retirement, survivors, and disability insurance it’s referring directly to my disability? Sorry if I seem like I’m not grasping things very well, I’m in the middle of a heinous migraine.

    Thanks,
    Cydnie

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cydnie,

      Yes, you understand correctly. I suggest that you call Social Security to discuss the discrepancy between the letter and the payment and ask for an explanation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cydnie

    Hello,

    Seven months ago I applied for disability. I hadn’t heard anything, and then last week money was deposited into my checking account from Social Security disability. This week I received a letter stating I have met the “medical rules.” on the second page it says they have not decided if I have met the, “non-medical rules.” I understand what the medical, and non-medical rules mean. My question is, would they go ahead and deposit money in my account if I hadn’t already met all of the criteria for medical and non-medical? Is it possible that they could take the money back?

    Sincerely,
    Cydnie

    Sincerely,
    Cydnid

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cydnie,

      I suggest that you look at the letter that says it has not been decided whether you have met the non-medical rules to see whether the letter refers to Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If it refers to Social Security, it will say Retirement, Survivors, Disability across the top. If in fact, the letter does refer to SSDI, then I suggest that you contact a Social Security office to find out whether the payment was released in error or the timing of the letter is incorrect and should have gone out sooner and that you will get an award letter with a breakdown of the benefit amounts.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Christy Roche

    Hi Kay my son had hearing on 10/08/2014 and judge requested records from his surgery. Well he finally received everything and its been about a month or longer since he received all the records. About how long does it take for the judge to make a decision and what’s the next step.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christy,

      It can take two months or more after the judge receives all the information to get a decision. After the judge makes a decision, the decision is passed to the letter-writing department to prepare the letter. The letter goes back to the judge for review for accuracy and signature. Then it goes out. If you haven’t gotten a decision in another month, you might call the hearing office to see if the appeal has moved to letter writing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Christy Roche

        Thanks Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Christy.

  • N.Need

    Hi Kay,

    I had my hearing on Feb 26, 2015 and the judge ask the VE one question and that was can I return to my previous job and the VE response was no. The judge had no further question and my attorney did not cross-exam the VE. After the hearing my attorney told me I was approved, but I did not hear the judge make a decision…my question is could this really be the case, that I’m approved? I’m 55 years old.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear N.Need,

      Your attorney’s opinion is probably correct. The likely reason the judge didn’t ask anything further is that, given your work history and age, he will find you disabled based on your not being able to perform past occupations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • N.Need

        Thanks Kay!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, N.Need.

  • Juliet

    Hi Kay,
    I was in touch with you recently. I had not gotten a decision letter after seeing an Administrative law judge in August and the only thing that I had gotten from SS was an authorization form for me to sign to allow them to obtain medical/education information, in January. I worked as a registered nurse until Feb. 2013.
    I got a letter from the administrative law judge today requesting that I meet him again on May 8th. Is this a normal procedure and what are some reasons why a second meeting before the judge.

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Juliet,

      Apparently, after getting the additional information following your first hearing, the judge has some questions he wants to ask in person or he wants to get additional testimony from a vocational expert for which you would need to be present. I assume that you still have your attorney representation. If so, the attorney will accompany you to the hearing, so you might talk with him or her first to get additional perspective.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Juliet

        Thanks Kay. You are very knowledgeable. I had neglected to tell you in my last posting that the alj had requested that a vocational expert be present on May 8th. However, this expert is a different one from prior.
        Thanks again!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Juliet.

          • Juliet

            Hi Kay,
            I had a supplemental hearing on May 8th and was sent to an occupational, etc. Psychologist on the 8th of June. He asked simple questions and I feel like he wasn’t nice at all. I am not sure if he was trying to get a negative reaction or what. It has been over two months and I have not heard anything from the alj. My attorney doesn’t recommend that I call SS because he feels that I would get conflicting information. However, I haven’t been getting any updates on the status of my case whatsoever. My question is that whenever it takes a long time to get a decision, does it usually means denial in most instances?’
            After the supplemental hearing in May, my attorney told me that it went well. We never would have believed that I would be sent back to another doctor. SS had initially sent me to a psychologist, then they sent me to a general practice MD, in which I found out on the May 8th visit that he was in favor of my disability due to my lower back issues.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Juliet,

              The length of time a hearing decision pends is not an indication of whether it will be an approval or a denial. I recommend following your attorneys advice about contacting a local Social Security office or the call center. You could ask your attorney if he is agreeable to your calling the hearings office to ask the status of the hearing decision. That will tell you whether the decision has been made and it is in the letter writing process, which can take a while, or still waiting for the judge to review the consultative exam report and complete a decision.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • chris

    Hi Kay, I had an ALJ hearing on 11-6-14 at that time the judge said he does not give decisions unless he has info from a CE (certified examination) . I had this done the next week. In Dec my disability rep called me and said the exam went in my favor and that she was going to ask the judge for a decision without a further hearing. On 1-6-15 my rep spoke with the judges clerk to see if the judge would go ahead with this motion given all the information gven upon results of the CE. On 1-14-15 my rep called me and said that she had talked to the judges clerk and the judge was going to approve my case without any further hearings. It is now 3-2-15 and I havent heard from anyone or recieved anything in the mail. Have you heard of this before? I also had to send in the foreclosure letters from my mortgage co to expedite the process. Will this really speed up the process or not?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      Impending loss of a home is grounds for an expedited decision; however, there may be other expedited cases in front of yours. It can take sixty days or more to get a written decision after the hearing or after post-hearing evidence, such as a consultative examination, is received by the judge.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Very concerned

    Hi I have not been scheduled a hearing for a ALJ and am currently waiting. I would like to know what are my chances of getting approved since I do an attorney and a listed impairment.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Very Concerned,

      I cannot predict whether you will approved. There must be something about your medical records that does not clearly show that your impairment meets the listings. To be in the listings of severe conditions, your diagnosis must also be accompanied by certain test or clinical findings that are listed in the Blue Book of listings.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Very concerned

        Yes my test meet the clinical finding now, but could it be that when I initially applied it did not meet the requirements but over the past two years my condition has worsened. Also could my education affect my chances of approval.

        • Very concerned

          Let me rephrase my question. If I have a listed impairment with all clinical finding and test that fall within the blue book of listing can my education affect my chances of approval?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Very Concerned,

            Please see the answer I just posted in response to your first question.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Very Concerned,

          If your condition wasn’t as severe when you applied as it is now, it is important to be sure that all your current records and test results have been submitted so that they can be considered. Your education will be considered in the decision if your condition isn’t severe enough for an approval based on medical alone. Usually the more education you have, the more transferable skills you would have to a new occupation that could be done with physical limitations.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Nick m

    Hello. In your best estimation when would an appeal hearing be scheduled after a denial would be made? Would an appeal take place in your best estimation weeks or months after one may be denied for benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nick,

      If your initial claim is denied, the next level of appeal is a reconsideration, which is a file review and not a hearing. If the reconsideration is denied, it can take a year or more to get a hearing date.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nick m

        In PA isn’t the reconsideration portion skipped? If so when is an appeal scheduled after a determination is made in your best estimation. Is an appeal hearing scheduled weeks or a month after a determination is made?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nick,

          You are right that in a few areas, the reconsideration level of appeal is skipped. I do not know whether Pennsylvania is one. It is likely to take the same amount of time to get a hearing date after the denial of an initial application as it does after a reconsideration denial–about a year.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Dear Kay, I had my hearing on August 3 2015. The be said there was no jobs for me. I’m 41 and have been diagnosed with copd,asthma,emphysema,major anxiety,major depression,stinal stenosis,degenerate disc,disease,menopause,high blood pressure,4 knee surgeries,failed fusion of cervical adhd ,ocd,ptsd,and gi problems. I have a lawyer bit everytime I call its like were still waiting. Today I called and they said it was pending decision writing.what does that mean? What are the chances of me being approved? Its driving me crazy waiting! Thanks,tina

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tina,

          Your attorney was saying that a decision has been made and a decision letter is being prepared.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Tina

            Thank you so much Kay! You help alot of people out and we do appreciate it!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Tina.

  • Hi I had my hearing on jan 15 2015 the judge said i was approved for ssd benefits but it is now march 1 2015 and i still haven’t received my notice of decision letter when should i receive it since he already said i was approved

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cody,

      It can take sixty days or more to receive the formal decision letter. You can call the hearing office to see if the decision has been made and the appeal is in the letter writing department. After the letter is written, it goes back to the judge for review and signature.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nick M

    Hi.. I just filed a claim over the phone for disability benefits a week and a half ago, in PA. SS said they will send me a eligibility determination by june 22 2015. I currently am on unemployment… I told SS that I was on unemployment.. I was wondering if I should stop receiving unemployment benefits because I would rather try for disability. When I contact legal advice and called SS I get mixed opinions on whether I should stop my unemployment. I only receive about $440 a month for unemployment, and its my only source of income. What in your opinion would be the best way about going about this. Also I would like to know an estimation of when I after I receive a notice of determination when a appeal hearing would be scheduled. Do appeal hearings happen weeks after a determination or months.
    Please help,
    Nick

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nick,

      Claiming unemployment requires that you claim you can work and that you are applying for jobs. Claiming Social Security Disability is claiming that you cannot work. The two would appear always to be incompatible. However, if you believe that you can work a limited amount with the ability only to earn less than $1,090 gross a month; it is conceivable that it could be appropriate to apply for both. Please note that my opinion that it could be okay to file for both is based on logic; it is not an informed legal opinion.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • irene fields

    I went to my first “video” hearing in Nov 2014. The judge was behind so he called me and and asked me a few questions. I did not have an attorney and He said he was resetting my hearing for a new date and He recommends that I get an Attorney. I did but still have not had my hearing. is there a time frame here? It was the judge that wanted to reset the date not me. My attorney does not want to do a video hearing he wants to us to be in front of a judge. does this mean I have to wait another year?

    • irene fields

      FYI this was a Disability hearing I seem to have left that part out

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Irene,

      I am in agreement with your attorney that is better to have a face-to-face hearing. I doubt you will have to wait a year for the hearing date to be set.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • rhonda

    I am 55 years old

  • rhonda

    My hearing was on November 25th 2014. I am years old and I have Bi Polar and Anxiety and is not able to maintain employment. While at the hearing a VE was present and she was naming a lot of jobs that she felt i qualify. My Lawyer asked her if I am able to do the jobs and she told him based on my condition i am not able. I called the hearing office ans was told it was in disbursing in Baltimore MD, then when i called back they said it was in writing with a Attorney does this mean i have a good chance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rhonda,

      The information you are receiving seems a bit muddled. Sometimes a judge will consult with an attorney about points of law before the decision is made. Also there is a writing department in which a hearing decision letter is drafted after the judge makes a decision, but I have not heard of a decision being “in writing with an attorney. You might try calling and asking for an explanation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ricky

    The alj gave me a fully favorable decision on October 28. I started to receive my monthly payments in January, got notice of rewards but it did not state my back pay amount which i understand some don’t. What i don’t understand is i can never get a consecutive answer about my back pay from calling the ssa plus i don’t understand what the hold up is on my back pay. I had to get a rep payee which i did so everything is done on my part. It seems to me that the more back pay that is owed, the longer the wait is to receive it is. I understand the ssa is under staffed but if they can get your monthly amount started why can’t they release your back pay? Most disabled persons have to wait many years to even get approved because the system needs to be redone. Having to go through 2 denials just to get approved by a judge is crazy. If the judge agrees with your case then why doesn’t the case get approved before the hearing? If it was there wouldn’t even be a back pay issue. Plus why is there a 2 year wait on medicare? if a person is disabled then they need medicare as soon as possible for their ailments. I just don’t understand why my husband, who has been waiting for 4 years, finally gets his disability and then has to wait forever for his back pay which should have been paid to begin with. Thank you for your time

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ricky,

      Many years ago Congress passed the law that gave people receiving Social Security Disability benefits Medicare after two years of entitlement. Congress could change that law and you could approach your state senator to request that he sponsor a bill to do so.

      Social Security back pay is usually taking three months from the time that the first check is paid. If you did not also apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), ask the local office to check to be sure that they transmitted information to the payment center that SSI is not involved. Other than that, the local office has no control over the back pay and the people you are talking to are guessing how long it might take.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • T T H

    Hello,

    My hearing was on 12/23/14. I filed for a hearing on 8/16/12. I am 100% Service Connected Disabled Veteran for PTSD, Bipolar, Depression and Anxiety. I also have chronic diarrhea. During the hearing, I was mostly asked about diarrhea, they did not ask me about my emotional problems. I am not concerned about the diarrhea. The VE stated that I could be a “Janitor that wears a diaper.” Does my 100% rating have any relevance to SSDI? A decision was made yesterday, and was sent out to be written. Any advice on time to write the letter, or what I may expect?

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear TTH,

      Social Security’s rules for disability are different from the VA’s, so being approved for VA benefits does not mean you will be approved for Social Security. If the decision is unfavorable and the decision does not address your mental health conditions, you could have grounds for appeal with the Appeals Council. It can take from a couple weeks to a couple months for the letter to be written, depending the the backlogs in your hearing office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • T T H

        Thanks for the prompt response. Speaking of anxiety….This waiting game is driving me crazy. I waited 3 years for the VA to award me 100%. I thought I was all done waiting.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome.

  • Pedro Labarta

    hi kay my hearing was in 10/27/2014 i am still waiting i was represented by an attorney and she told me that day that it was a favorable decision when will i get my award letter and my back pay .

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pedro,

      I can’t predict when you will receive the decision from the judge. I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out where your appeal is in the decision process. It typically takes one to three months to get benefits started, depending on whether have applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or both.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • don

    Hey Kay ,my name is dont I had a court hearing in california november 6its been over 90 days and I still haven’t got a response is it too soon to call the hearing office or the 800 number

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Don,

      It is not too soon to call the hearing office to find out where in the process your appeal is now. The 800 number for Social Security won’t have that information.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Diamond

    Oh I forgot to mention I live in philadelphia pa please Kay. Help me out thank you so much and have a wonderful day

  • Diamond

    Hello everyone just need a little help okay my daughter had a mental evaluation January 15 I just wanted to know how long should I have to wait to get a decision back.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Diamond,

      It could take a few weeks or a couple months to get a decision after the evaluation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dan

    Dear Kay,

    Ive been going through this process for 2 and a half years. my question is this. I’ve been checking my ssa account since my hearing, and its always showed no estimated amount until today. it says you are currently not receiving benefits. and now it shows an estimated amount. does this mean I lost my hearing?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dan,

      I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out whether the decision letter has been sent. If it has, the change in status on your account could mean your claim has been denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tonya

    Dear kay,
    I have a question I went befor the judge on November 20,2014 at that time she said she wanted a copy of all my medicine that I took by December the 3,2014 I hope my attorney got them to her on time how would I know I was hoping I would know something by February 2015 I just not sure how it went I dont feel that it went as well as it could have have but I was scared to say anything unless I was being talked to do you feel I may by then or is that to soon…… also I have a 14 year old son who is with his dad in Alabama im in El Paso Texas she did ask me about my kids and I told her that he was with his dad his dad does have cousty of my son can I get his check and but it in the bank for him so when he gets older he will have it I ask this because his dad will not take it he feels like he is taking away from me it just my son will be 16 in 2 years and he could get a car or something with it I was just wondering what you think thank you for your time Tonya in El Paso

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tonya,

      You can ask your attorney the date the list of medications was sent to the hearings office. You can also call the hearings office and ask if the list has been received. It is hard to predict whether you will have a decision by February, but it seems possible. Your Social Security benefit will not be reduced by your son’s dependent benefit and you will not get more just because your son doesn’t receive benefits due him, so his father should apply to receive the check for his son. If he doesn’t need it to support the child now, it can be saved for college or trade school training costs after he graduates from high school. If his father still won’t apply, you could try getting Social Security to pay the benefit to you for your son’s later education.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Stacey

    So I would lose a lot of my backpay because of SSI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stacey,

      Receiving SSI does not cause you to lose back pay. The total amount of back pay is the same. Is just that part of the back pay is paid as SSI and any amount greater than the SSI back pay is paid as Social Security Disability (SSDI) back pay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Stacey Houston

    Hello I have a couple of questions. I have received my fully favorable decision in the mail already and it was dated November 25, 2014. I am wondering how long it will take for my benefits to start? Also I have already went to the social security office for a interview for SSI. How long will it be before SSI starts? Also will I receive backpay anytime soon you think?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stacey,

      It can take a couple weeks to a month or more after the interview for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to start. If you were also approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), it will start after the SSI has been paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Stacey Houston

        Ok thank you. One more question if the SSI starts first then the disability will start after the SSI, will I be paid backpay for both SSDI and SSI?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Stacey,

          Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) back pay will be reduced by the amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay for any months in which the benefits overlap.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Christy

    Hi Kay my son hearing was scheduled for 10/08/14 the lawyer requested information from his new doctor regarding surgery he recently had and records for Speech he takes weekly now. He decided to leave the case open for 30 days but it took a little longer. I called the hearing office a few days ago and was told it was in Post Development never heard that before. Can you please give me some insight on exactly what stage is that and she said you have to give them 30-60 days to process everything. I do have a lawyer so who do I contact to check the status the hearing office or my lawyer its about 60 days from the hearing date. She also made a statement that my lawyer is waiting just like im waiting is it a bad idea to contact hearing office. I dont contact them often but its been about 2 months almost and the other reps will tell me if it was something that they was waiting on but this particular rep said she didnt know. Can you please help!

    • Christy

      Sorry the judge requested records from new Dr’s

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christy,

      Post development means collection of additional evidence and review of the evidence after the hearing. Some attorneys don’t want their clients to check with the hearing office for a status report (all you will get is where the appeal is in the process, no details) and will not do so themselves, so I suggest asking the attorney if it is okay with him or her for you to call given it has been two months since your last call.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Christy

        Hi Kay I have another question the lawyer also requested the medical records since 10/14/14 does it take 30-60 days from that date to process everything and if everything received should i be getting a letter soon

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Christy,

          The time frame can vary greatly so it can take thirty to sixty days to get a decision after everything has been submitted.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Jennifer

    I am sorry I wasn’t clear. There was a vocational expert during my hearing. I believe my lawyer was not happy with the expert and asked the judge to hold the case open so that she could get an independent expert who has worked on my Long Term Disability case. Something happened that that was never done. To me, it sounds like the lawyer dropped the ball. I have not gotten any sufficient reasons to justify what happened and how this may have impacted my case. This is it for me. I have no money to continue this process, so I did not know if I could do anything as to lawyer negligence, perhaps…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      I don’t know if this is possible; but if the judge has not rendered the decision (it could sit on his desk a long time) maybe you could still have the vocational expert render an opinion and submit it to the judge with an apology for the late submission. I suggest that you talk with your attorney about this possibility. I can’t advise you about what you can do about possible negligence. You would need legal advice about that.

      Sincerely,
      Kay
      Kay

  • Carrie

    Thank you Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      You are welcome, Carrie.

  • Carrie

    Hello Kay please help I called odar office and they said dec 4,14 my decision mailed but today I still haven’t received it yesterday I called 800 and I ask them what my decision and the lady told me she can’t open it until Tuesday she said if I don’t get by Tuesday call them my question is how come they can’t tell me or open it is that a bad or good thing it sound bad actually I had a alj hearing sept 3, 14 and now still waiting for letter what could be wrong I feel it’s denial it took to long

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carrie,

      Many hearing decisions pend as long as yours did. I believe that what the representative meant was that she could see in the computer that a decision had been made but approval or denial had not yet been posted where she could see it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jennifer

    I went before an ALJ on October 21, and as of December 4, my case is in the writing department. When do you think I will get a decision? Also, what is the next step if I am denied? I was unhappy with the way my lawyer handled the case. It seemed as if she did not have a good relationship with the judge and the person who was supposed to do a vocational review for me never did that. What can I do? Thank you for your time!

    • Jennifer

      I wanted to clarify one thing in my initial response. My lawyer had asked for my case to be kept open 10 days and then she was going to get an independent vocational review. This never was done, and the lawyer’s office cannot give me an answer as to why it wasn’t done. Thanks again!

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jennifer,

        Please see my response to your prior post. I don’t have anything to add related to the additional information you are providing.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      The vocational expert was not called upon either because the judge thought you were disabled without that testimony or the judge didn’t think the information in your claim file supported the limitations you were claiming. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal to the Appeals Council. Some specific guidelines must be followed in that appeal, so it would be helpful to have an attorney prepare the appeal. Alternatively, you could file a new claim with a later disability date, but you would lose back benefits and also to get Social Security the new disability date you claim would have to be while you were still insured for Social Security Disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Paul

    Hello Kay,

    This article has been amazing for helping me cope with waiting on my husband’s decision. He had his hearing with the AJL on October 16 and we’re currently waiting for December 16 so that we can call for an update. There is one item that has me concerned a little bit and maybe you can shed some light.

    The hearing went long, about 45 minutes. From what I understood from our lawyer, the ALJ asked for an MSE to follow-up on one of my husband’s mental diagnoses (Asberger’s Syndrome) and that a 10 day period was put into place to collect more documentation and for that exam. This 10 day period is long over at this point but we never ever got notification or were made aware of a place & time for an exam. Does this mean the additional documentation prevented this from being done? Was a ball dropped somewhere?

    Aside from that, things sound great. 45 minutes is long and that’s nothing but good, I guess. I was told the VE listed him as unable to perform menial tasks that he did before the onset (cashier, light stocking, store associate, etc). Lawyer said his testimony was distinct and detailed – I guess a good many applicants can stumble over themselves & that doesn’t fare well with judges. Lawyer was a less experienced sub for the county assistant DA we hired, but she sounded smart – said that there’s a good chance of approval and that the ALJ would have made ‘no’ clear if it were ‘no’. Based on this information, what do you think? I know you can’t give professional opinion but I’m curious still.

    Having to support our household with one income, I may need mental help next, lol. nah..I’m just ready for this check. It would seriously change our lives for the better. Thank you for your response.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Paul,

      I can’t predict whether your husband will be approved. I do suggest that you contact your attorney immediately about the documentation that was to be submitted and the examination that was to be scheduled to be sure the ball has not been dropped and, if not, to find out what the situation is surrounding the appointment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dominique

    Hi I had my hearing on oct 24th and I called today to check the stays they said the descion hasn’t been sent out yet to call tomorrow what does that exactly mean my lawyers said he’s not the judge but he thinks I’m gonna get approved but I’m still anxious about it

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dominique,

      Apparently, the decision letter is close to being released and the person you talked to thought it would be mailed by tomorrow and, thus, told you to call so you could be told that. You will not be told the decision until you get the letter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • cornell

    Hi kay i thank you for you help nd support. I received my approval letter and it is fully favorable. Here is a break down for the folks waiting for benefits. I applied in jan 2012 was denied within 6 months and received a appeals hearing aug 2014 received my decision letter dec 1 2014. Hope this helps for those wondering how long the process takes. Thanks agin Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      You are welcome, Cornell. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Had hearing on October 1,2014 decision letter was mailed on November 26,2014 how long before payments

    • I was approved

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bonita,

      If you were approved for both Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the SSI will be paid first, after you have an interview with the local office. The Social Security can take from one to three months after the SSI is paid and will be reduced by the amount of SSI paid for the same months. I suggest that you call the local office saying you have a hearing approval letter and request an appointment to provide any additional information that is needed to get payment started.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • cornell

    Hi Kay I received a fully favorable decision and was wondering how long do you think it will take for them to deposit money into my bank account I have everything set up with social security office. Also I was approved for ssdi and was working too so my back pay if I made over a 1000 I want get paid for that month is that correct?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cornell,

      I need more information to respond. Were you approved for both Social Security (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Also, please retype your last sentence; there appear to be typographical errors that keep me from understanding it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • DireNeed

    Kay, my husband had a hearing scheduled for October 30, 2014. However the day before the hearing his lawyer got very sick and was unable to attend the hearing. The hearing was postponed to January 16, 2015. Of course this has not sat well with my husband and me as we, like others, have been on this long journey with no second income for over 2 years and are about to loose everything we have. I contacted our lawyer explaining this to him and how disappointed I was in the delay. He submitted a dire need OTR request to our judge and said he hoped to have a decision from the judge within a few weeks. That was a month ago. However, the lawyer’s case worker did tell me that the judge requested additional information from our lawyer but was not a liberty to say what was requested. I contacted the lawyer to make sure he submitted the paperwork but he did not tell me what additional documentation was needed either. Is this a good sign? Or could this be a sign of denial for the OTR and we have to go to the hearing?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear DireNeed,

      It is a good that the judge expedited your case trying to gather information before the hearing (or perhaps make a decision without a hearing.) His doing so is not an indication of what the decision might be. I do not know why the attorney didn’t say what was requested.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • michelle

    I have a question i went to my hearing in sept.2014 and the vocational expert said there was only two jobs I could do due to my copd one was a government job which was ruled out by my lawyer and the judge and the second was a packer which the judge ruled out…then the judge sent me to more Dr’s and they said I do have copd emphysema do u think I will be approved and if so how long before I know foe sure?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michelle,

      Whether or not you are approved will depend on whether the judge believes that the medical evidence shows you are as limited by COPD as you claim. Decisions can take two months or more. You can check on the status by calling the hearing office every two or three weeks.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sherry

    I recently had my hearing and just have a quick question or 2. When the ALJ was asking the VE the hypothetical questions the VE responded that there were 2 jobs I could perform with my limitations. When the ALJ said I could ask the VE questions I only asked one which was ” Would these jobs make accommmodations for a person who cannot sit for more than 1 hour, stand for no more than 30 minutes and must rest thru the day?” to which the VE responded “No”. With the VE’s response being no does that rule out those jobs and if so does that better my chances of winning my case? Thank you.
    I forgot to mention I am in Ohio

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sherry,

      The VE’s response to your question would establish that you cannot work with the limitations that you listed. If the judge believes the information in your claim file supports that you have those limitations, your appeal will likely be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sherry

        Thank you for a quick response Kay.
        In regards to my limitations, the state doctor they sent me to 2 yrs ago is the one who came up with the stated limitations.
        I do have another question. I received a CD at my hearing and upon looking I found things in my medical records that my Doctors failed to tell me therefore were not included in my claim. Does the ALJ look at these also and take them into consideration when reviewing a case or do they just look at what is on the original claim?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sherry,

          The judge should look at everything in the claim file.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • shannon

    hi im shannon i have a question for you. i got my decision on my SSI case it was fully favorable and I already went to the meeting at my local Social Security office I was just wondering how long does it take for a check to get in in the mail

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shannon,

      It can take as little as a week and as much as a month or longer depending on whether the office has all the information needed to calculate the benefit and depending on the workloads and backlogs in the office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Harold M.

    Hello, I received a bench approval at my hearing on 11/5/2014, after fighting for 3 years; I was wondering whether or not I need to contact my SSA office to verify banking account info and to make sure my dependents are included in any potential retro/back benefits owed…I’m not sure how long the process takes to get the award letter when you get a approval at the hearing as opposed to waiting a few months for the decision as in the majority of cases

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Harold,

      As soon as you get the written approval from the judge, contact Social Security to check the things you mentioned. It will take one to three months aftert the approval letter is issued before benefits start.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • cornell

    HI Kay I have a quick question. I contacted the Hearings Office today to check the status of my claim and I was told a decision has been made and it is being edited, how much longer do you think it will be before I receive the letter its been in the writing/editing stage since nov.7th 14? I just need some reassurance that Is on its way within 2-3 weeks because funds are low and Christmas is coming soon.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cornell,

      I can not assure you how long it will take for the letter to be edited and sent. If it is an approval, after the letter is finalized, it goes to another appeals office before it is released to you. If you are approved, it will take more time after you get the approval letter to have benefits released. This means that you should not count on receiving income by Christmas.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • RP

    My husband had a hearing in July this year, in August 2 guys came in our neighborhood showing pictures of my husband asking our neighbors questions, andwe are still waiting on a decision on his case. the lawyer said it was the state bureau checking on him as requested by ssa and they sent in a report. Is this normal to do before a decision is made?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear RP,

      This type of investigation not routine, but it is sometimes done. Apparently, the judge wanted to know if your husband’s observed activities matched his alleged limitations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rickey

    I also had to send all of the medicaid dates to my lawyer to sumit. They ran from June 1, 2008- February 28, 2015.I don’t know if that helps or not.

  • JOHN

    Hello I came across your website and just have a couple questions I had my hearing before the judge I received my decision which was unfavorable, but I have a few questions about it. First I do have a lawyer but they will not call me back and not answer any questions so us it to late to get a different attorney if I want to take this to the next step? Next if I read over the decision it says they took in consideration light weight to my doctors forms is this allowed and if not what else could it go by? I don’t understand what else they could be asking for I don’t know what else I could to provide? If I go to the next step I believe you said appeals council will it take years foe them to make a decision as well?? Thanks for your help I have no one else to ask. Also the VE at the hearing said there was no jobs for me then when I get the decision it says there are several jobs I could do how can they do that?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear John,

      Please see my response of earlier today to your previous posting.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • tiredofwaiting

    Had my hearing. Judge fired off a bunch of questions at me. Attorney asked me a to describe my day. Then the judge questioned the VE. VE went on about how I could perform three jobs then the judge said given the limitations can the claimant do the job. then the VE went on and on and finally said no because no employer would allow an employee to consistedly miss work on a weekly basis and not have a issue with that. then the judge said good luck to you. I’m confused. i was in there less than 30 minutes. my attorney never asked the VE any questions but said it went extremely well. The mere fact I told him it was extremely difficult for me to be around people do to my severe depression and insomina and then i’m forced to come in to a hearing that lasts less than 30 minutes ….after waiting for a yearand continuing to wait for benefits… someone really needs to address that this is not a game … we are shamed in those hearings… for their amusement.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tiredofwaiting,

      Apparently, the judge got all the information that was needed to make a decision in a short time. If your attorney’s assessment of the outcome proves true, there is no harm in the short hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • John

    Hello I have a question I have seen the judge and the decision was unfavorable, but when I read through the papers it says they give little weight to my doctors papers why would they do that cab they do that? It says they found my conditions severe but I guess its not supported by documents what else could they want? I have a attorney who is not doing a good job I have left several messages at their office and they won’t even call me back is it to late to get a new attorney? I have two doctors one for physical and mental they both filled out forms saying I could not work what else can I do? Also if I take it to the next step will it be a few more years fir the next step? Also the VE said they was no jobs I could do now the decision says there are several jobs I could do why would she say in front of the judge I couldn’t do anything then in the paperwork 86,000 jobs? I’m so confused lost and depressed any help would be appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear John,

      You do need to talk with your attorney about the specific grounds for appeal including the VE testimony discrepancy. I cannot advise you regarding whether you should change attorneys. Review the paperwork you signed with your current attorney to see what the provisions are regarding criteria for termination. If you decide you want to terminate, before you take action, be sure another attorney would take your case at this late stage because it would be best to have an attorney present your appeal to the Appeals Council. Again, I am not suggesting you should change attorneys.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rickey

    Hi Kay
    I was diagnosed back in December 2007 with a variety of mental illnesses like PTSD & PDD among other things.NC Vocational Rehabilitation done an accessment on me & sent me a letter telling me that I could no longer work that they couldn’t help me to go to Social Security to apply for disability. I haven’t had a good work record due to my disability. I tried to work but could never handle the jobs.The last real job where I worked more than a month was in 1987.So since I didn’t have enough work credits I had to apply fot SSI.I hired an attorney to represent me in 2008.Also in November 2008 I was awarded Medicaid & still have it to this day.In March 2010 I recieve a letter telling me of my upcoming hearing on April 1.2010.The lawyer at the time wanted me to drop the case because the ODAR judge wouldn’t rule in my favor because that judge didn’t believe in mental illness as a disability. So I had to sign the paper resending the right to a hearing then and to start all over.The lawyer sent me to another lawyer.I started the process over March 2010 & on July 19, 2011 I got my chance to go in front of a ODAR judge.The lawyer told me it all went well & if everything goes right I should be drawing in late fall of 2011.The judge tore me to shreds never taking anything that the drs were saying or voc rehab only the lie from the so called accessment that the social security dr did on me which only 2 questions were asked so that dr said there was nothing wrong with me but for the past 25 years I’ve been in concelling due to my disability. The lawyer filed an appeal to that decision which that was denied.The lawyer sent it to federal court & had me to refile another claim to social security.In May I got my remand letter for another hearing which was held June 25.I was originally told up to 120 days but now the decision could be anyone’s guess.Why the back log? Haven’t I suffered enough? The lawyer told me if the same judge keeps denying me that he would keep appealing it til it goes through.I started this at age 40 so now I’m 47.Could my age play a huge part in this? Will I have to wait til I’m in my 50’s to finally get approved? This has been a nightmare with all the stress & anxiety that I already deal with on an everyday bases.There are times I want to just go crawl in a hole & die but I hold out.I wrote you earlier before my hearing.I contacted the ODAR office in September telling me that I would get a decision in a week.I called my lawyer & they weren’t pleased by me contacting ODAR in which the lady at ODAR evidently lied cause no decision as of yet.Everything is still pending. Do you see a decision possibly being made soon & with the time that’s past by does my outcome look more unfavorable?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rickey,

      As you describe your denial, the judge did not believe your claims about your limitations. If that is true, I would say your age is not a factor; however, consult with your attorney for his or her opinion.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Rickey

        Hi Kay
        My case was sent back to the same judge as a remand.My lawyer has told me that there’s enough evidence in my medical records for me to be approved.I called ODAR yesterday & they tild me that the case is still pending that its with the letter writers.The reason for the remand was because the judge failed to take into consideration the medicaid that I’ve had since November 2008 that they pre dated from June1, 2008 in which I’m still recieving.When I had my hearing in October 2008 all of my evidence wasn’t in then but I was granted disability through social services.The Social Security dr that I was sent to in 2010 never did any assessment on me. He only asked 2 questions & wrote up a report that I didn’t have a disability & that’s all that the judge believed.The judge was nice & I felt like he was gonna be fair to me.I’ve lived most of my 47 yrs with trauma right after another since age 5.Im really lucky I’ve even survived & I find it extremely hard to live from day to day not knowing if someone don’t come up to try to harm me.I relive past traumas on a daily basis.Its not been easy.I feel like a failure in life but its not my fault. I can only hope that the letter writers will finally see what I live with & grant me a favorable outcome.My behavior specialist believes I deserve to get it.How long does it take the letter writers? I was told they got it or had it since September.Does the long length hold any merit to it being approved or denied? Thank you Kay.Have a great evening.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rickey,

          The judge has already made the decision; the letter writer just prepares the letter based on the decision the judge wrote. After it gets to the letter-writing department, it has to be assigned to a specific writer. The delay is not related to whether the decision is an approval or a denial; it is probably related to work backlogs. If the letter has been assigned to a write, you might receive the decision within a month.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • please help

    Hello Kay I am not sure what is going on I have been talking to you about my brother and his case under the name praying everyday but my questions keep disappearing, anyway the last thing I heard from you was if the paperwork was sent to Virginia is this a sign of approval? If my brother applied for SSI and SSDI does the paperwork come back together or separate? Now SSI do you have to be disabled to receive this or what does it go by? Thanks again Kay you have truly been a blessing for a lot of people. Have a good day

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Please Help (Praying),

      Please see my previous responses about your posts. The medical decision from the judge will be in one letter for both SSI and SSDI. Payment for SSDI is handled by the Social Security payment center. SSI payments are calculated and released by the local office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • PRAYINGEVERYDAY

    Just so you know one minute my comment is not on there and next it is not I am not writing that just to write it was deleted twice now all 3 come at this same time. Sorry

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Praying,

      Your comments will not post to the public until they are answered.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marilyn Sullivan

    Hi Kay,
    My hearing was June 14, 2014 as of today’s date November 6, 2014 the judge still has my case and hasn’t rendered a decision. Everything I needed my attorney presented to the judge at the hearing including doctors letter with all my medical limitations. What could possibly be taking the judge so long to make a decision it will be 5 months since my hearing very soon.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marilyn,

      I am unable to answer your question. You might call the hearing office and ask. When you say the judge has not rendered an opinion do you mean the hearing office has told you that or do you mean you haven’t gotten a decision? If the latter, it is possible the decision has been made and the appeal is in the waiting its turn in the letter writing department. The hearing office can clarify where it is in the process.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Laura

    Hi..
    I had my court hearing in front of a judge through close circuit tv and i didnt have a lawyer. Now I’m not sure not having a lawyer was a good idea. If I get a denial letter will it be to late to get a lawyer for the appeal?
    Patiently waiting, laura

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laura,

      If you are denied, you can hire a lawyer to assist with filing the request for Appeals Council Review. 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

  • marcy

    hi i have a question i applied for disability..its only been a little over 2 months talked to my caseworker threw disability to give her more update on my health record she said she didnt need no more information that she already made her decition..but had to send it one more higher up( what does that mean?) to see if the agree on her decsion..then ill get a letter with in 2 weeks for my decission is this a good sign??marcy

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marcy,

      At this point you cannot really be sure of the nature of the decision. If you are denied, you can appeal. It is usually best to obtain an attorney for your appeal. 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

  • cornell

    Thanks Kay you are such a comfort on the website to people waiting on disability thanks for your time and hard work because you keep people calm until the wait is over 🙂

    • Kay Derochie

      You are most welcome, Cornell.

  • cornell

    I have a question I been waiting for my award letter for 3 months. Had my hearing in August in Indiana. I call the hearing office and they tell me its in the underwriting stage meaning decision been made its being written up. So How much longer you think I will have to wait before I receive a letter. I have not money and may have to move Christmas is gone down the drain for my kids unless I receive money before December this is so ridiculous kay the best of your knowdlege do u think it will arrive befor dec or payment atleast? My hearing was August 15 2014 went to underwriting oct 15, 2014

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cornell,

      If the appeal has been assigned to a letter writer in the writing department, you have a shot at getting a decision within a month. How long it takes to get money after that depends on whether you are approved for Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, or both. It also depends a great deal on current workloads. In summary, you might see some money in December but I wouldn’t count in it. If your possible move is because of being evicted for failure to pay rent or your utilities are shut off, you can submit a dire-need statement in the hopes of being paid more quickly. If you haven’t already, check to see whether your state has cash assistance for families with dependent children.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Prayingeveryday

    Hello first I want to say Thank you, you are truly a blessing for people in desperate times. I just have a few question’s, first this is about my brothers case, he had a hearing with the ALJ in July 2014 and is still waiting for a decision in the mail I know every case is different, but my question is others I know have went before the judge and got approved for benefits in what seems to be just a few weeks. The people I do know of that have been approved so quickly have had no children living in the home my brother has two school age children he is responsible for so would that make a difference in the time frame he has applied for SSI AND SSDI? Also since the hearing was in July can we still submit additional information to the judge like a dyer situation letter and so on??
    Thank you again for everything. Have a great day!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Prayingeveryday,

      Family composition does not affect the amount of time it takes to get a hearing decision. The variation has more to do with the judge and the specific hearing office’s work load at the time. I suggest calling the hearing office to find out if a decision has been made and the appeal has gone to the letter writing department. If a decision has not been made, ask to submit a dire need statement and how to do that. I am not certain whether at the hearing level there is a certain form to be completed or a letter will suffice. Usually dire need means danger of eviction, no utilities, or homelessness. If your brother has not done so, he can apply for food stamps for the family and his state might have cash aid to families with dependent children.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Prayingeveryday

        Thanks Kay for replying to my question and the great information you truly are a blessing for people. Being a person in this situation is really a true test of strength and hardship on families. I feel so sorry for people its very hard to read these stories, but I know you do help and give comfort. Thank you for everything keep up the good work.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are very welcome. Disability Advisor and I are happy to be of service.

          • Prayingeveryday

            Hello Kay one more question my brother called the ALJ office today about his case and they told him a decision was made and they had sent his paperwork to Virginia so they could get it processed do you have any idea what that means? He lives in KY by the way. Thanks again

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Praying,

              The judge has determined that your brother is disabled and the decision has been sent to the hearings office in Virginia for review of the judge’s decision. If the review doesn’t find any problems with the decision, your brother’s approval will become final.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Prayingeveryday

            Hello I meant to tell you he does have a lawyer and they we’re not sure the reason for that either??

          • Prayingeveryday

            I sure hope for his families sake he got approved. Keep up the good work Kay thanks again for everything.

          • Prayingeveryday

            My brother was wondering do all cases have to go thru Virginia is this a sign of approval? If you apply for SSDI and SSI when the decision is written does the paper work come together or separate? What is SSI based on if your medical condition or money based on household?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Praying,

              Typically only approvals are sent to Virginia for final review. The medical decision for Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will come in the same letter. The award letters with benefit amounts will come separately. SSI is based on your medical condition and your family income.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • brenda

    hi, today i talked to the social security office and they said alj made decision the day after my hearing and that it was awaiting signature of the underwriter…what does this mean and how long could it possibly be before i receive the letter and start receiving benefits? thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brenda,

      I believe that your appeal is awaiting a writer, that is the person who prepares the letter. Then the letter goes to back to the judge for review and signature. It can take from a couple weeks to a couple months depending on backlogs in the writing department and the judge’s schedule.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Heather

    I went to the alj on June 4th. I have not received anything from social security yet. I called my lawyers office and they told me there was nothing they could do we just had to wait. They advised me not to have any contact with the social security office. Is there anything that I can do to find out something?

    • Heather

      I’m sorry I failed to mention, I am in Virginia.

      Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      I suggest clarifying with your attorney whether they object to your simply calling the hearing office to find out whether the decision has gone to the letter writers. This would be a routine inquiry that the judge would not know about.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • jermaine

    I am waiting on my award letter since aug. I called the social security office today and they said it was assigned to a write what does that mean? I had my hearing aug 14 do u think I will receive my letter within the next couple weeks. One last question I filed feb 1 of 2012 will I receive back pay from the time I filed till now?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jermaine,

      The information that you received indicates that a decision has been made by the judge and a letter is being written. It can take as much as a month for the letter to be written after it has been assigned to a writer and to be reviewed and signed by the judge.

      Social Security benefits begin the later of the sixth full calendar month of disability and twelve months before the month of application. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments would begin February 2012, assuming the judge found you to be disabled at that time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • rob

    hey i have a QUESTION can u drop your medicare coverage and keep your medicade? and then if u want can u reinstate your medicare anytime u want to? because doctor donm’t take medicare but only takes medicade so i have to drop my medicare because they don’t take it and can’t bill my medicade if medicare is primary so if i drop my medicare can i pick it back up anytime i want too?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rob,

      I suggest that you contact your Medicaid office to be sure, but I think that Medicaid requires you to maintain your Medicare Part B because Medicaid pays only what Medicare does not. As far as Medicare goes, if you stop it, you can re-enroll for Medicare Part B only during the open enrollment period in the last quarter of the year and coverage starts the following July. You will also have to pay a higher premium as a penalty for not paying premiums continuously.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jill Banks

    Hello I have a question:

    I went before the ALJ yesterday and the judge said he is keeping this at a 12.05c. What does this mean? Also my attorney said that it was looking great in my favor. The judge was extremely nice and I came out of court feeling good about the hearing. My attorney was all smiles!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jill,

      I believe that 12.05c is a code for a certain mental condition. If you want more specific information, I recommend that you talk with your attorney or physician.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shakeia

    Dear Kay,
    I went to my ssd hearing with my lawyer on august 14,2014
    I called my local ss office and was told that the alj has made an decision and it was on his desk waiting to be signed. I was just curious as to how much longer will it be before I get a letter in the mail?
    Ive been waiting 4 years and really praying that I get a favorable decision. I feel really nervous about the outcome. It’s like after the hearing time stopped. How much longer can I expect to wait?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shakeia,

      Assuming that the letter was correctly prepared and doesn’t need correction, I would think that the letter will be sent out within a week or so.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Roger

    Dear Kay,

    Thank you so much for this website. I really appreciate the effort you put in to helping us cope with “the wait”. This whole system has been totally brutal–my initial application was in May of 2012 and I had my hearing at the end of August 2014. It’s disheartening (and makes me angry) to think of how many people have died or have taken their lives because the government did not declare them disabled, when they indeed were. I feel for people out there. I myself have lost a lot in this process and am barely surviving as is.

    I’m not going to get into the details of my disability, but I think my hearing went well. My judge has a 62% approval rate, which I believe is quite high. My doctor attended my meeting and at the conclusion, the judge said he wish more doctors would attend and how rare it is. My doctor and the SSA doctor seemed to agree that I was indeed “moderately to severely” disabled on 3 or 4 out of 5 sections, or so my doctor says. The vocational expert was not even asked to speak. Is this a good sign?

    My attorney seems to think I was awarded disability and spoke like that after the hearing, but said that no proper decision had been made and I would need to wait roughly 30-90 days (please, God, make it 30). He is with a very reputable law office; should I trust his words, in your opinion? Do you think that the vocational expert’s lack of testifying is a positive thing? I’ve lost a lot of trust in the last two years–trust in people, in our government–but want to trust my attorney so much.

    Two more tidbits: I have been receiving SSI since October of 2012. If/when I receive backpay, will the SSI that I have already received be deducted from the monthly SSDI backpay amount? What, on average, is the typical amount awarded each month?

    Also, I applied as a minor (under 22) for when my disability started. I believe that they found my disability to have begun prior to age 22, though I am in my late 20s now. Is there anything I need to know about this re: backpay, monthly payments, duration of decision, time of onset…etc.? It seems to be a more complicated case than most, and I hope this does not mean a longer waiting period. I also am not sure about whose SS # they put my case under to award backpay…either my mother’s or my father’s. I am hoping my mother’s, as she has worked since she was 14, and would mean a higher monthly income and would help out. Do you know how they figure this out?

    Thank you so much, Kay!

    Roger

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Roger,

      You raise several questions. It is possible that the judge did not ask the vocational expert to testify because he is convinced that you are disabled and have been since before age twenty-two. This leads to the second issue you raise. It sounds as if you are applying for Disabled Adult Child’s benefits which require an individual to be unmarried and to have become disabled before age twenty-two. You will be paid on the account of the parent who either is receiving Social Security Disability or Retirement benefits or is deceased. If both parents are either deceased or getting benefits, then you will be paid under a combined family maximum on both parents’ records. The amount you receive depends on your parent’s or parents’ earnings records and whether they are living or deceased. Accordingly, I cannot estimate the amount you might receive. Your retroactive benefits will be reduced by the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you received for the same months as the Social Security is paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Roger

        Thanks, Kay. I appreciate your input. 🙂

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Roger.

  • Stressed&nervous

    Hi, I am wondering what you think the outcome of my hearing would be. I have been trying for a bout three years to get my disability. I have been denied a number of times. However, this time I had a lawyer and VE at my hearing. The judge ask the VE some questions. He first ask him what jobs I have had in the past he think I could do which were a daily clerk and QC at a fish plant. Then he asked some hypothetical questions about Is there any jobs that would allow a person to miss work more twice a month he said No. Then he asked hypothetical speaking a person who cant kneel, bend, and etc are there any jobs that the individual can do and the VE said NO. My lawyer had no questions because the judge had asked all the questions my lawyer was gone ask. Although my illness are listed several times in my medical records, no doctor has said how severe it is.Do you think that would hurt my case although there was no jobs the VE thought I could do? It has been a month since my hearing and I have not heard anything. Call my lawyer he hasn’t heard anything either and normally I get a decision unfavorable like the next week. I am feeling confident about this hearing. What you think Kay?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stressed&nervous,

      If the judge thinks that the information in your claim file supports the level of symptoms and limitations you claim, your appeal is likely to be approved. Your attorney, who has read your claim file, can give you a better idea of whether there is sufficient medical information to support your claimed limitations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Stressed and Nervous

        I was denied the judge felt I could do my old jobs even though the VE said there was no jobs I could do. I appealed it and I call and they said the appeal process has finished and it’s been sent to a location other than my local branch. They also told me I should be receiving a letter any day what does that mean? I ask for a number to contact someone and they gave me the number to my local office but yet the Appeals council sent it somewhere different

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Stressed and Nervous,

          It is possible that the Appeals Council has remanded your claim to the judge for additional investigation and reconsideration of the decision. It is also possible the Appeals Council denied the review and the file was sent to storage. You will have to wait for the letter to know what the situation is.

          Sincerely,
          Kay</