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

By / September 18, 2017 / Social Security Disability Hearings / 2,163 Comments

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.

When to Request a Hearing
Before you can begin collecting Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, you must receive a favorable or partially favorable medical decision on your disability claim, meaning you have to be found disabled under Social Security law, that is you must be “unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted, or can be expected to last, for a continuous period of not less than twelve months.”

If your initial claim was denied and you either filed a reconsideration appeal and it was denied or you live in one of the few parts of the country that does not have reconsideration appeal level and you believe you are disabled according to Social Security law and want to pursue your claim, your next step is to request a hearing on SSA-501 form. You must file your hearing request within sixty days of receiving the prior denial, which is considered to be sixty-five days from the date on the written denial notice. (An extra five days is allowed for the notice to reach you through the mail.) This means that Social Security must receive your request within sixty-five days.

How Long You Will Wait to Get a Social Security or SSI Hearing Date
Although the window for filing the hearing request is short, the wait for being assigned a hearing date ranges from long to very long—typically twelve to eighteen months and in some areas as much as two years. The variation in wait times from one Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), aka hearing office, to another is related to how many hearing requests are processed through a specific hearing office and the number of judges available in each office.

Social Security publishes a list of statistics on the hearing date wait periods for all the hearing offices. The list, which is organized alphabetically by the in city in which the ODAR office is situated can be found at https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html.

Statistics show that each Administrative Law Judge clears two or less hearing decisions a day. Average processing times from request for hearing to issuance of a decision letter from October 2016 through August 2017 ranged from 154 to 854 days with most falling in the 400 to 750 day range (13 months to a little over 24 months).

How Much Longer to Get a Social Security Disability or SSI Hearing Decision
To determine how long it might take you to receive a decision letter after your hearing is held, you can look up the average number of days from request to decision letter from your hearing office at https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/05_Average_Processing_Time_Report.html. From that total length of time, subtract the average wait for a hearing date in your ODAR (regardless of what your actual wait was), the difference between the two times is an estimate of how long you might wait for your decision after the hearing. (This calculation requires converting to days the number of months waiting for a hearing.)

Here’s an example: The Spokane, Washington ODAR averages 563 days from request to decision letter being mailed. The office’s average waiting period to the day of the hearing is 18 months. Because we are calculating estimates, we do not have to be exact, so we multiply 18 months times 30 days to arrive at an average hearing date waiting time of 540 days. If every claim were on average, you would be sent a decision from the Spokane ODAR within 23 days of the hearing (563 – 540). Of course, averages are made up by extremes on both ends. The guideline for judges to complete hearing decisions is sixty days and many decisions are made in that time frame or less; a substantial number of others take ninety days or more.

If sixty days have passed and you have not received a decision, you can follow up on your disability claim status by calling your ODAR to inquire where your claim is in the post-hearing appeals process. Your ODAR’s phone number can be found on the letter notifying you of your hearing date.

If you experience dire financial need while waiting for a hearing date or for a decision after the hearing, such as eviction or foreclosure proceedings, homelessness, or the inability to receive medical treatment for a life-threatening illness, you can submit a statement of dire need with a request for expedited handling. If you do so, be sure to attach copies of documents to support your statement. If the dire need statement is accepted as valid, your hearing request or decision will be moved up in line but still behind all the dire need requests submitted before yours.

What Can You Do While You Wait for Your Hearing
If you do not have an attorney representing you, consider hiring an experienced Social Security attorney to prepare your argument for approval of your claim and to present your case at the hearing. See our article, When and How Do I Select an Attorney to Help with my Social Security or SSI Disability Claim? under “SSDI & SSI Basic Facts” in the drop-down menu under the “Social Security Disability/SSI” tab at the top of this web page.

To the best of your ability, stay under the care of an appropriate physician and get a copy of your records every six months (every three as you get closer to the end of your average waiting period) and submit the records to your attorney or submit them to the hearing office if you do not have an attorney. Keep your attorney and the hearing office informed of any new diagnoses and of any significant worsening in your condition. If you do any work, be sure your attorney has all the details of dates, hours, and pay. You can be considered disabled while working if you are medically unable to earn at the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level, which in 2017 for sighted individuals is $1,170 gross wages or net profit from self-employment and $1,950 for people who are blind or statutorily blind. (Other factors are considered in determining SGA when self-employment is involved.)

What’s Going On While You Wait for a Decision
Post-hearing processing consists of three general steps: the judge makes the decision; the decision is communicated to the decision letter writing department where it is assigned to a writer; and once the letter is written, it is sent to the judge for review and signature before being sent to you. If the judge finds an error in the letter, a fourth and fifth steps are added: the letter is returned for editing (correcting) and then sent back to the judge for second review and signature.

At the hearing, the judge may hold the record open for you to submit additional documentation either at your (or your attorney’s) request or at the judge’s request. Submission of additional information, of course, extends the amount of time before the decision is made. The letter writing phase can be prolonged if the office has a large volume of decisions backed up waiting for letters. In that case, your appeal may sit in the writing department for a while before being assigned to a writer and having the letter written.

In a small percentage of appeals, the ALJ will make a bench decision to approve your claim, meaning that the judge says at the end of the hearing that he or she is approving your claim. However, even with a bench decision, the judge has to prepare a detailed written decision to approve the claim and the letter has to be written and approved; so a bench decision may not speed up your receipt of a formal decision and payment action is not initiated until the formal decision letter has been sent. Also, note that in most appeals, the judge will not make a bench decision at the hearing.

Getting Paid After a Favorable Decision (After Medical Approval)
When you receive your hearing decision letter, the letter will tell you in great detail whether your claim has been denied or has been approved as fully favorable or partially favorable. Fully favorable means that the judge accepted and established as your disability date the date you claimed and that the judge determined that you continue to be disabled. A partially favorable decision means that either the date of disability established by the judge is after the date you claimed or the judge has determined that you have recovered from your disability or both. In the former situation, benefits will begin later than they would have if your claimed date of disability had been accepted. In the second circumstance, no ongoing benefits will be payable and you will receive only one single payment of back benefits.

How soon you receive benefits and which office handles getting payments started depends on the type of benefit claim you filed and appealed: Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your SSDI claim will be processed to payment by a central payment center, where a benefit authorizer will double check that you were insured on your established date of disability; calculate your benefit amount applying any offsets you might have such as SSI (see below), workers compensation, state disability insurance (SDI) or certain public pensions; and authorize payment. Receiving the first monthly benefit payment can take from three weeks to two months or more from the date of the decision letter. Back pay is typically paid a month or more after the first monthly benefit. The larger the amount of back benefits payable, the longer payment can take. Very high back pay claims have to be reviewed and approved by more than one approver.

If you have eligible dependents and you have worked enough that your family maximum benefit (FMB) is higher than the amount payable to you, 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?

If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your local Social Security office will calculate and authorize SSI payments. Before payment can be calculated, a financial update will be needed from you. The update is an in-office or telephone interview called a Pre-effectuation Review Conference (PERC). The local office will contact you to set up a date for the interview. During the PERC, you will be asked to provide information about and documentation for your living arrangements, income, and resources for all months back to the date of your medically approved SSI application. Because SSI benefits are calculated month-by-month, your back benefits may be differ from month to month. Usually you will receive your monthly SSI benefit and the first installment of your SSI back pay (see below) with a month of the update interview and submission of any requested documents. Note: if you have not been contacted for a PERC within two weeks of receiving your hearing approval letter, call your local office to request an appointment for the interview.

If you were approved for both SSDI and SSI benefits, the SSDI benefit calculation will be deferred until your SSI benefits have been calculated and will start a month to two months after SSI processing has been completed. SSDI back benefits will be reduced by the amount of SSI benefits payable for the months in which SSDI and SSI eligibility overlaps. Note that SSDI is not income for SSI until it is actually received, so even if your SSDI is more than your SSI, you may be eligible for SSI all the way back to the date you filed the claim.

Typically SSI back pay is paid in up to three installments six months apart with the first two not to exceed three times the maximum SSI Federal Benefit Rate. In 2017, that amount is $2,205. However, if after your Social Security starts and you are no longer eligible for SSI due to your ongoing SSDI benefit, you can request the remaining SSI installments to be released as soon as the SSDI starts. Similarly, if you are expected to be ineligible for twelve months due to another reason or your disability is expected to result in death within twelve months, you can request that all SSI back pay be released in a single payment. Making the request in writing will reduce potential oversight of your request.

Even if your SSI benefits will be ongoing to supplement a limited SSDI payment, you may also be able to get early release of part or all of later installments if you have a compelling need for more than the initial installment. For example, if you need the money to pay the down payment on a house or to buy a car for medical transportation, or to catch up past-due rent or mortgage to avoid eviction or foreclosure, or to keep utilities from being cut off, or to pay past-due medical bills or to pay for needed medical care, you may be successful in getting additional funds released before the installment due dates. If any of these circumstances apply to you, you can submit a written petition for release of funds. Be prepared to provide documentation of the dollar amount needed in the form of past-due notices and written estimates.

What to Do If Your Claim is Denied at the Disability Hearing
If the administrative law judge denies your claim for Social Security Disability and/or SSI benefits and you think that a procedural error may have been made, you can appeal. Information about appealing a hearing denial can be found in our article What Is a Social Security Appeals Council Review and What Can I Do If the Appeals Council Denies My Claim?

How long does it take to get a hearing decision and to start collecting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
3.7 (74.58%) 48 votes

  • Dear Manuel,

    It sounds as if you may have a good chance for approval if in fact your condtions do meet the listings.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tomeka,

    Fully favorable approval means that your claim was accepted with the date of disability you claimed and that you are approved for ongoing benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Robin,

    There is no limit of time for the judge to make a decision. Apparently, the judge has been unable to keep up with his workload in a timely manner. The hypothetical questions are routine. If the judge believes that your son’s records support the limitations he claims (pain so severe that he would miss a couple days work a month), then the vocational experts testimony might lead to an approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sharon,

    The reference is saying that you are not disabled for either Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability benefits. The definition of disability is the same for both.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tomeka,

    I can not tell you at this time because I am not sure what they mean by “being sent to the payment center to be edited”. I have never heard of such a thing. I am going to assume you had a hearing before a judge in your claim. If that is the case, I believe what they may be trying to tell you is that the judge made a decision and it has been sent to the writing department to be written. After being written it will go back and forth between the writers and judge for editing until the judge is satisfied with it and then it will be sent out to you. This can take 2 months and usually takes much longer. You may have to call back the disability office and tell them that you are confused and ask them to explain to you what exactly is going on and stay on the phone with them until you really have a good idea of what is happening.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Shameka,

    There are so many reasons why hearings get rescheduled and the best way to find out why you are coming back and a decision was not made after the first hearing is to ask your attorney or the judges assistant directly. Do not try to ask the receptionist who answers the phone at the hearing office — you have to ask for the judges assistant to get the real scoop on whats really happening in your case so you can be prepared for the next hearing. It should also state why you are being brought back again in your Notice of Hearing but usually there is not enough information there to really figure out what is going on and why one hearing wasn’t enough. Remember, claims do not always move at the same speed. School and medical records have to be requested. Your other son’s case may have just been able to move faster because the office just got his records in faster then this son. And different judges work differently, some are slower then others. So if your son’s had different judges on their cases, this could also account for some of the delays between the two cases.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Tricia,

    The length of time it takes to get your decision has nothing to do with whether or not it is favorable but has everything to do with the efficiency of the office writing up the decision. After the judge makes their decision, it is usually sent to a group of writers that do nothing but write decisions all day long. Those decisions then go back to the judge to make any edits and then it goes back and forth between the writers and judge until the judge is satisfied that it has been written correctly. This process may take a long time as all of the pertinent medical evidence in your file has to be retyped into a decision. They can not just cut and paste the information from your medical records into your decision, they actually have to retype EVERYTHING. As you can imagine, this makes everything move much slower. Although they would like to get your decisions out within 2 months, that rarely happens these days. (Once in a while, writers will even find something in the file that a judge missed and bring it to the judges attention which may cause the judge to change their decision which will delay things ever further.) People who are dying or homeless go to the top of the pile. And your attorney (if he is very familiar with your hearing office) may be correct when he says that someone there puts decisions at the bottom of the pile if that person calls too often,,,, but I really doubt it. The person who answers the phone is usually a low level employee and if that is as far as you are getting, it’s doubtful that person has the authority to do anything with your claim. Unless you can prove some imminent financial catastrophe, like your power is about to be shut off or you are about to be evicted, you will probably just need to wait for your decision. Once you get to the 3 or 4 month point, try calling and being transferred to the judges assistant as they will have more in depth knowledge of what is going on with your claim status then the receptionist you are probably talking to now who is trained to run interference.

    Sincerely
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Waiting Patiently,

    Usually I suggest calling the hearing office and talking to the phone receptionist for a status. However, in your case the online status is telling you that the decision has not yet been made. This means to get more specific information about what the judge is doing or needs to make a decision, your representative would have to talk to the judge’s assistant.I suggest that you discuss with your representative whether he or she thinks it would be advisable to inquire and is willing to do so.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Lydia,

    You can call the hearing office and ask the phone receptionist what remains to complete the appeal. If the claim is in letter writing or awaiting the judge’s signature on the letter, you can ask typically how long that stage takes in that specific hearing office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Shameka Harris

    hi ms.kay i was giving a second hearing date for my son which was set for oct 24th and the day before the hearing i was called by the odar office and told that his hearing had to be reschedule because the judge was ill. thy told me they would contact me i called last week and was told his hearing was reschedule for feb 9. can you please give me some insight on what to expect or on whats going on. thank you

    • Dear Shameka,

      You do not say whether the second hearing scheduled for October and rescheduled for February was the result of a remand from the Appeals Council or whether the judge called for it before making a decision. If it is the former, the judge will be addressing the issues raised by the Appeals Council and you should have a copy of the remand notice, which would tell you what those issues are. If, instead, the judge is yet to make a decision, the second hearing is likely to clarify or otherwise address medical information received after the hearing. In that case, it will be a harder to predict the exact points that will be brought up.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Long Wait,

    You can call the hearing office to get a status report from the phone receptionist. When you are told that your appeal is in letter writing, you can ask how long letter writing usually takes in that particular hearing office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    I can’t predict whether or not your appeal will be successful. I suggest that you consult with an experienced Social Security attorney to see whether hiring an attorney could help your chances.

    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 the attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your back pay. The only possible cost in case of an unsuccessful claim or appeal is possibly having to reimburse the attorney for his or her out-of-pocket costs, for example, amounts the attorney paid to obtain your medical records.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sharon,

    At this point, you need to wait for the denial letter. If upon reading it, you do not agree with the decision and think that the judge overlooked some evidence or did not give it sufficient weight to important evidence or made some other procedural error, you can appeal by requesting an Appeals Council review. If you do not have an attorney, I suggest requesting a copy of the hearing transcript and taking it and the CD of your claim file to an experienced Social Security attorney to get guidance on the potential success of an appeal and to get help if you decide to appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Sharon

      Thanks Kay, I have my letter and the decision is based on sections 216(I) and 223(d) and you let me know what they mean.

      • Dear Sharon,

        Section 223(d) of the Social Security Act refers the filing of a Social Security Disability claim. Section 216(l) refers to the definition of retirement, which doesn’t seem compatible with a disability claim. Perhaps if you provided the full paragraph, I could comment further.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Shane,

    Your local Social Security office will contact you for a financial update interview to update your financial information back to when you first filed your claim so that your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can be calculated. If you have not been contacted within ten days, follow-up with the office and request the interview. You should be paid both monthly benefits and the first installment of back pay within no more than thirty days of having the interview and submitting any requested documents.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Karen,

    Yes, it is good that your attorney called the vocational expert on her testimony. It will raise the question in the judge’s mind as to whether keeping one eye closed throughout the work day is a reasonable expectation. (I assume that the records and/or the attorney brought out that patching the eye for extended periods is not a medical option.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Karen

      Thanks for the quick reply – sorry I meant to add that to my questions that patching is NOT an option. It is documented to not patch I’m so glad I had my lawyer there – she was right on top of that one. After the lawyer asked VE that question judge said please state that as a hypothetical question to the VE – so she did and the VE said “I’m sure it would be very difficult to do that all day – keeping one eye closed.” I can’t believe she even thought any person could do that. Still haven’t heard anything — lawyer said it isn’t good when they can give any jobs but she said almost all the cases she is on the VE always comes up with something. How much weight does the judge put on what the VE says. Also I was very shocked at the questions judge asked me – not very many at all and nothing about my disability. She mostly asked my lawyer questions about me as I was sitting there – very weird feeling to have someone speaking about me and I can’t reply.

      • Dear Karen,

        It is routine that the judge would speak to the attorney because you have hired the attorney to represent you. It sounds as if the attorney did the best possible with the hearing, and I’d say you have a possibility of being approved.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Little Confused,

    The online status you reference is a routine status report. I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process. If the decision has been made and it is in letter writing or another post-decision step, you might ask if they can give a time estimate based on their usual processing of letter writing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Petseeker11,

    I, too, recommend that you on your son’s behalf file an application for waiver of collection of his overpayments. If the waiver is approved, that should cancel the debt. If action is then taken to collect from you, his representative payee, you can also request a waiver based on not being at fault and not being able to afford to repay. Given that you receive SSI, the waiver is likely to be granted.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • petseeker11

      thankyou.

    • petseeker11

      Letting you know, I did file a waiver for my son and they seemed to hint he may have quite a bit of his overpay waived….they also said not necessary for me (payee) to even file a waiver. However if needed, I could file one for myself at any time.

      • Dear Petseeker,

        Thanks for posting the update for our readers to see.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Mini Me,

    Wait times are unpredictable; the guideline for receiving a decision is sixty days, but it often takes longer. You can call the hearing office to find out where your appeal is in the post-hearing process, which will not give you a time frame but will provide a little information.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Manuel,

    Your question was answered last week. To see the reply, you have to go back to the same place that you posted it, that is, under the same informational article. Here is the reply from last week:

    Having a diagnosis in the listings may or may not mean that you meet the listings. To meet the listings you must have test or clinical findings that show that the diagnosis has reached a certain level of severity, which is described in the listings. Typically if you met the listings, vocational testimony would not have been needed.

    With regard to your description of the hearing, if the judge determines that the information in the claim file supports the limitations you claim, then the vocational expert’s testimony would likely result in an approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear John,

    Average Current Earnings (ACE) is a figure Social Security calculates and it refers to earnings from work, not to workers compensation benefits. he calculation of Average Current Earnings (ACE) is multi-stepped and complex. There are three different preliminary calculations and the ACE used for the workers compensation offset is the figure that is the highest of the three calculations. One is the highest year in the year of disability and the five years before that divided by twelve; the second is the highest five consecutive years after 1950 divided by sixty; and the third is the total of the years earnings used to calculate your benefit before workers compensation offset divided by the number of months in that period. You can read about this at https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0452150010.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • John Gaskins

      Thank you again 😊 you’ve been very helpful and I really appreciate it. I will take a look at the link you provided. H ave a great night

  • Dear John,

    Before your claim will be forwarded to the appropriate Social Security office for calculation and authorization of payment, the judge has to issue an approval letter. The guideline is for you to receive a decision with sixty days; but it can take longer, even with a bench approval at the hearing.

    Once the letter has been issued, how long it takes to get payment depends on the type of benefits you were approved for.

    If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your SSDI claim will be sent to a central payment center, where they will double check that you were insured on your established date of disability; calculate your benefit amount applying any offsets you might have, such as SSI (see below), workers compensation, or public pension; and authorize payment. This can take two months or more from the date of the decision letter. Back pay is typically paid a month or more after the first monthly benefit unless that back pay is a very large amount in which case it can take longer.

    If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your local Social Security office will calculate and authorize SSI payments. Before payment can be calculated, a financial update will be needed from you. The office will contact you for a financial update so that benefits can be calculated for past months. Usually you will be paid within a month of the update interview and submission of any requested documents.

    If you were approved for both benefits, the SSDI benefit calculation will be deferred until the SSI calculation has been completed and will start a month to two months after SSI processing has been completed. SSDI back benefits will be reduced by the amount of SSI benefits payable for the months in which SSDI and SSI eligibility overlaps.

    Typically SSI back pay is paid in up to three installments six months apart and the first two will not exceed $2,205. However, if after your Social Security starts, you are no longer eligible for SSI due to your ongoing SSDI benefit or you are expected to be ineligible for twelve months due to another reason or your disability is expected to result in death within twelve months, you can request the remaining SSI installments to be released as soon as the SSDI monthly benefits start.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • John Gaskins

      Thank you for responding Kay. I greatly appreciate you giving your time to help. My bench decision was a month ago, I received the letter yesterday, stating fully favorable along with all the evidence used to make the determination. I guess I am just in a hurry to know and should just be patient. Yes, I was fully insured the date of accident… medical ins, dental ins, short and long term disability, etc… I guess I shouild expect a little wait since I am still collecting worker’s comp checks, and I still may have a couple more surgeries. That were not even a part of evidence at the SSD, basically I’m more screwed up than was mentioned. Thank you again, have a great day

      • Dear John,

        Be sure that Social Security has all the paperwork that shows your workers compensation payments so that you are paid correctly and do not incur an overpayment. Social Security is subject to a workers comp offset (reduction) if the two payments–workers comp and Social Security Disability (SSDI)–together exceed 80% of your Average Current Earnings (ACE), as determined by Social Security. If you do have an offset, you can contact SSA for information about how your ACE was calculated.

        Note that if at some point you received a workers comp lump sum settlement, you need to report that settlement because it will be prorated into a monthly amount for possible continuing offset.

        As an aside, by insured on the date you became disabled, I meant insured for Social Security.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Samantha,

    Yes, it is possible that the judge could review the request for a decision on the record (OTR) and approve the claim without a hearing. If you have further questions at this stage in your appeal, I suggest communicating with your attorney before making any contact with the hearing office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kentucky_1973,

    Please see my response of yesterday to your first post. If the judge finds that your medical documentation supports the limitations your attorney suggested to the vocational expert, you claim could be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kentucky_1973,

    The status that you are quoting is the status that your claim will be in until the judge makes a decision. It is routine, generic language.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Marie,

    Processing times vary quite a bit from one hearing office to another and from one judge to another. The guideline is to receive a decision within sixty days, but it often takes longer. You can call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Manuel,

    Having a diagnosis in the listings may or may not mean that you meet the listings. To meet the listings you must have test or clinical findings that show that the diagnosis has reached a certain level of severity, which is described in the listings. Typically if you met the listings, vocational testimony would not have been needed.

    With regard to your description of the hearing, if the judge determines that the information in the claim file supports the limitations you claim, then the vocational expert’s testimony would likely result in an approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Larry,

    It can take one to two months to get Social Security Disability benefits started and back pay takes longer. I suggest that if you have not received payment within a month, go online at http://www.ssa.gov and set up a “My Social Security” account. Then look for the Benefit Verification option. Once payment has already been set up, an amount and date will show. If not, keep looking every few days.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Martha,

    Your idea of hiring representation to prepare a request for Appeals Council Review is a good one. You can get referrals to attorneys from your state’s bar association or from NOSSCR (National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives). To get a referral from NOSSCR, call 1-800-431-2804 and request referral to a Social Security Attorney in your area. Filing in Federal court would be open to you if you appeal to the Appeals Council is unsuccessful.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Amy,

    Most back pay has been running about two months after the monthly benefits start.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Carrie,

    You can set up a My Social Security account at http://www.ssa.gov and check the general status of your claim. It does not provide detailed information about processing during a hearing or after an approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Martha Leticia Rodriguez

    It’s official the Decision of Appeals Letter has been sent out today Friday 09/22/17 from the Department of Appeals SSA. They said either my daughter will get a call from our local SSA office or the Letter of Decision. I am glad this process is over and I do appreciate the Law Judge sending out the decision pretty fast because I’m reading these reply and stories and it really is a long process because of a lack of funds.
    I will write my senators in congress of this process and how long it takes for individuals to get a response or notice/letter. It really should not be taking a few years for individuals to get a hearing this is a shame, really it is. I’m not sure if the agency is aware but there are a lot services out there that cannot help you unless you show proof of award letter deemed Disabled.
    This has caused my family a lot of pain because I’ve had to quit my job because my daughter is unable to care for daughter because her mental illness. I’m now on the right track and I’ve gained custody of granddaughter and I’m looking for child care for my granddaughter so, I may go to work part time but than I have my daughter who I have her siblings care for her while I’m a work. I may just go into early retirement Really.

  • You are welcome, Carrie.

    • Carrie Dawn

      so if I am forced to take a job before I hear the decision due to financial means, I will lose my case or do you know, I live in Oregon. thanks

      • Dear Carrie,

        If you work and earn less than $1,170 gross wages per month, your work will probably not have a negative effect on your claim. Earning less than $840 gross would offer more assurance that the work would not result in a determination that you are not disabled.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Nick Nack,

    If the judge finds that your medical records and reports support the limitations you claimed, your claim should be approved because of the vocational expert’s (VE’s) testimony.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Really,

    The guideline is for you to receive a decision within sixty days, but it often takes longer due to large workloads. You can call the hearing office to find out where your appeal is in the post-hearing process: awaiting a decision, decision rendered but waiting for the letter to be written, or letter written waiting for the judge to review it and sign it.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Carrie,

    If you have not seen our previous reply, please look for it above.

    The judge, the vocational expert, and your attorney all know what the vocational code numbers refer to. It’s too bad that no one interpreted them for you in the hearing, but typically that is how it goes.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Carrie,

    Mostly, the VE was giving jobs out of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles in response to questions by your attorney and the judge. The questions would be based on your functional limitations and not on the actual disease you have. The judge and attorney would tell the VE what you can and can not do functionally, and the VE would tell them what jobs someone with those limitations might do. The judge will normally give a few such questions with different limitations in them so that after the hearing he could chose which set of limitations he believed most closely reflect your actual limitations based on your medical records and testimony.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Shameka,

    It sounds like what you are saying is that after his first hearing, you submitted additional evidence in the form of the IEP. If that is the case, he is probably scheduling a supplemental hearing to discuss the new evidence or take testimony that helps him better understand the new evidence. Maybe there was something in there that he has questions about. You can also call and ask his assistant why he is asking for a supplemental hearing. They should know and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to tell you. He will probably explain at the start of the hearing why he’s holding it, but you will probably want to know why beforehand so you can better prepare for the hearing.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Alex,
    Direct Express receives the electronic payments from Social Security, but they do not have access to your medical decision. I am not sure why Direct Express has told you that your case was approved. Direct Express may be able to tell that money will be available on your card on September 29 and assume you were approved. You can not be sure of any decision until you receive your official notice from the Administrative Law Judge.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Carrie,

    If it has been sixty days since your hearing, you can call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process. They will not, however, tell you the decision; you will have to wait for the decision letter.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Carrie Dawn

      thank you
      kay

      • Dear Carrie,
        Kay said you are welcome.
        Sincerely,
        Jane

  • Dear Martha,

    The primary problem is under-staffing, which is the result of insufficient funding. The people to address this to are your senators because Congress sets the budget for all the agencies.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Martha Leticia Rodriguez

      Thank you for all your advise and information I really do appreciate it very much. And I will be writing my senators of this problem and possibly help change the funding amounts for these Agencies.

  • Dear Candace,

    Some hearing offices are very backed up. You will know some progress is being made when your appeal is assigned to a writer. You might ask the hearing office what is the usual wait time between the judge’s decision and the writing of the letter.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear KiltedMedic,

    The vocational rehabilitation denial should have a favorable impact on your claim. If you have not already done so, I recommend that you get and the records of the vocational rehabilitation assessment that led to the denial of service. It could also be very helpful to submit a statement from your employer regarding the problems you had on the job that that led to your dismissal. It would help establish that you may not be able to work using your post-high school education.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • KiltedMedic

      Kay,
      Thank you for your input. And yes, I’ve already submitted both of that paperwork stating A) vocational rehabilitation denial letter explanation letter and B) a statement letter for my dismissal from my previous job. I’ll keep you posted on the SSDI conclusion which should be roughly about February

      • Dear KiltedMedic,
        Kay said you are welcome and let us know the decision of your claim.
        Sincerely,
        Jane

  • Dear KiltedMedic,

    The Social Security Administration will not adopt the VA disability determination because the definitions of disability and criteria are different for each program. The vocational rehabilitation rejection could, however, be valuable to your claim. You do not give information about your work history or your education; however, If you have the ability to work in an occupation that you are qualified for and that can be performed seated with no lifting requirements, as you describe your limitations, you are not disabled as defined by Social Security law. That said, an attorney took your case, so the attorney believes you have a chance for approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cheryl,

    I short hearing is not necessarily an indication of denial. However, if you are denied, discuss with the attorney whether the judge followed procedures; and if not, you may have grounds for appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cheryl,

    The terms can be a bit confusing. He judge makes the decision and sends it to the writers for the decision letter to be written up, but the decision is not final until the judge reviews the letter for accuracy and signs it. The person you spoke to was likely referring to the finalization of the decision. In any event, the decision will not be given out over the phone.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Waiting,

    It is possible that no fees would be paid or that the judge would approve a lower amount than requested.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Amy,

    You may be correct in your analysis if you have had the six figure job for several years. The 80% cap on combined Social Security and workers compensation if 80% of your Average Current Earnings (ACE) as determined by Social Security, it is not what you were earning at the time you became disabled. Even if there is no offset, to be in compliance with the law, be sure to report your workers compensation settlement when you receive it.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Blake,

    I do not know what “certified” means unless he approved your girl verbally at the hearing and was referring to how long it would take for him to formalize the decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kimberli,

    The length of time it takes to get a decision is not an indication or either approval or denial. You can call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process, it is either still awaiting the judge’s decision or is in the decision letter writing and letter review stage.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cheryl,

    The length of time between the hearing and the decision letter being mailed out to you varies a great deal from office to office. If you have not received a decision letter within sixty days of the hearing, you can call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process, which consists of the judge making the decision, a decision letter writer preparing the letter and sending it to judge who reviews it for accuracy and signs it before it is sent out to you. If there are errors the letter is sent back for editing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cheryl

    “Post hearing review” is a status that applies to your claim until a decision has been made by the judge. After the decision is made, it will be sent to the decision letter writing department. When the letter is prepared, it is sent back to the judge for review and signature before it is sent to you. How long it takes to get a decision letter varies a great deal from office. If you have not received a decision within sixty days, you can call the hearing office to find out where you claim is in the post-hearing review process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dana,

    Yes, you have a correct understanding regarding your adopted potential eligibility on both records.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Judy,

    The request should be nothing to worry about. You may have to present proof of relationship before the underpayment can be released payment can be released.Another possibility is that the office may want to talk with you about survivor benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kicks,

    How long it takes to get the letter written after it has been assigned to a writer and reviewed and signed by the judge varies a great deal from office to office and judge to judge. You might try calling the hearing office for a time estimate. As you describe it, yes, the hearing sounds positive.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Kicks

      Thank you Kay. SSA website changed today to “A medical decision has been made and we are working to process your decision”

      • Dear Kicks,

        That should refer to the decision letter being prepared.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Pittbull,

    No that is not normal if your record was complete at the end of your hearing. However, if your judge was waiting for any other evidence, or just happened to receive other evidence after your original hearing date, he may want to call you back in to get testimony about the new evidence and/or to ask questions of a vocational expert or medical expert based on the new evidence and give you the opportunity to cross examine them. You could carefully read the new Notice of Hearing and there may be some information explaining why you are coming back in. Also, if you have an attorney you can ask them why or if you don’t you should definitely call the judges assistant and ask them what is going on.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Martha,

    Part of the point of a hearing is to let the judge see the claimant and observe any visible or otherwise detectable symptoms. So if the judge did observe what you describe, it would be appropriate for him to consider his observations along with all the other information in file.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear T CP,

    The first question of the vocational expert (VE) is asking what kinds of jobs could you do if you did not have health problems. The VE’s answer is based on your past work history. The second question is given the limitations you are claiming, could you do the identified jobs. Accordingly, the answer of “no, you could not” is in support of your claim. If the judge finds that the information in your claim file supports the limitations you claim, then you appeal is likely to be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • f you are approved for benefits, your adopted grandchild may be entitled to benefits from both of your and his grandfather’s records, Social Security will review to see whether your child can receive more with two disabled parents and a combined family maximum than what he is receiving now. They will look at the primary insurance amount (PIA) and the family maximum from both records.

    With regard to the payee issue, your ex-husband did not have to be payee for your adopted grandchild. It is not wrong that he is the payee, but with equal physical custody (50% with each of you), the current payee should be giving your part of the child’s money to cover his food, toilet articles, entertainment, school supplies, medical co-pays when he is with you and any clothing you purchase for him.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Cheryl,

    If you are confused about what happened at your hearing, you should ask your attorney to set up a time to talk with you in person or on the phone and explain why the hearing was so brief and what his opinion is of the hearing. He can of course tell you if he thinks you won and why – in fact, that is part of his job. If he didn’t ask any questions of you at the hearing, that is probably a good sing. If he thought your judge would not pay with the testimony he got from you, he would have spend time asking you questions to try to convince the judge you are disabled. Attorneys don’t normally say nothing at a hearing unless they are positive you will win. And as to the 30 day decision date, that really doesn’t mean anything, and doesn’t necessarily mean you will get the decision withing 30 days. They try to get them out in the time they say it will take them, but a lot of the times something comes up and it just takes long. Once it’s been more then 6 weeks, you could probably try calling your attorney and asking them if they think it would be a good idea for you or them to start pestering the judges assistant for the decision. If you don’t have a good reason to need the decision in a hurry, then just go ahead and give them a few months before you start to pester them.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Hi Victoria,

    If I’m understanding you correctly, you had a hearing and then got called back for another hearing. At the second hearing there was a vocational expert (VE). The judge asked the VE to describe your past jobs. Then the judge asked questions to the VE about hypothetical people who had certain restrictions and for every one of those hypothetical people, the VE said there were no jobs available in the national economy. And I’m assuming the first question the judge asked the VE was if that hypothetical person could do any of your past jobs. If that is what happened to you, I would say that is a very good sign and there is likely a good chance you would be approved. However, it’s not definite and there are certain situations under which the fact that they called you in for a second hearing might not really help. It gets complicated but would be helpful to know why you got called in for the second hearing.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Martha,

    If you are denied, your next decision will be whether to drop the claim, start a new one, or appeal the decision to the Appeals Council which would review your judges decision for legal errors. They will not make a decision on the claim, but only look to see if your judge made any legal errors. The fact that you did not have access to your file before the hearing could be an argument you could make in your appeal. It would have been a legal error to not allow you full access to the whole file. However, if you had time to resolve the problem but didn’t even try, then it might not be a strong argument. You could try to get an attorney that specializes in disability. It will be hard to find an attorney willing to take on the claim at this point, but not impossible. You will need a working CD with your child’s whole exhibit file and a copy of her denial if you try to shop around for an attorney.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Victoria Arnett,
    If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your SSDI claim will be sent to a central payment center (Baltimore MD), where they will double check that you were insured on the date of your established date of disability; calculate your benefit amount applying any offsets you might have,such Supplemental Security Income (SSI), workers compensation, or public pension; and authorize payment. This can take two months or more. Back pay is typically paid a month or more after the first monthly benefit.
    If you applied for SSI in addition to the SSDI, the SSI claim will be processed by your local Social Security Office. Before payments can be made you will be contacted for a financial update. Your SSDI benefits will be deferred until the SSI calculation has been completed and will start a month to two months after SSI processing is complete.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Victoria,

    You should receive the judge’s decision letter within seven to ten days of the date the judge signs the letter. I suggest that you call the hearing office if that amount of time has passed and get the date the letter was mailed to you. If it has been more than ten days since it was mailed, double-check the address they have for you and request that a duplicate letter be sent.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Nick Nack,

    Your claim is not necessarily headed for a denial. Apparently when the judge was working on making a decision, he or she decided that more information was needed before a decision could be made. Hence the request for a medical review and expert medical answers to some questions the judge has. When the medical expert answers, the response will be sent to your attorney for review and rebuttal if needed.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • SHARON JAMES

    What questions should you ask your ALJ Asst. to get more information about your case, my hearing was on 04/25/2017, and I’m still waiting to hear something…I know the Judge has made his decision and the paperwork has been sent off to the decision writers, but I’m still not getting the answers I need to my questions, please help me with some good advice,,Thanks a Ton

    • Dear Sharon,

      Now that the judge has made a decision, there is not much information that can be given you because nothing is holding up the decision. It is now a matter of waiting for the letter to be written. If, when you check again (perhaps in a couple of weeks), the letter has been sent back to the judge, you could ask the assistant roughly how long it takes the judge to review and sign the letter to be mailed out.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sharon

        Thank you Kay.

  • Martha Leticia Rodriguez

    I’ve called again to the Appeals Office where I had my 0p;

  • You are welcome.

  • Dear Jody,

    All hearing decisions, approvals and denials, go to the writing department for a rather long, detailed letter, which gives an explanation of the decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shameka,

    The judge has requested a second hearing because he or she wants more testimony related to the new information in the Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP and the additional testimony will be considered when the judge makes the decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Maria,
    After you have provided all the information that was requested, it can take up to thirty days to process your claim to pay. You will be notified when you can expect your first check. The back payment may take a little longer.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Norm,

    I have no idea. It really doesn’t mean anything. If your record was complete at the end of your hearing the judge should be getting the decision to the writer in a matter of days. There is no good reason for it to sit on their desks unless they are waiting for more records or testimony. Keep in mind that most judges (at least should) have reviewed your whole file before coming into the hearing and have probably already formed a decision or are heavily leaning one way or the other. Although you may be able to change their mind with hearing testimony, most judges don’t go into a hearing without any idea of which way they will decide.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Ashley,

    Once your decision is sent out, your payments start processing. Normally it takes a few weeks before you start seeing payments if you do not have a waiting period to get through and there are no other technical issues which need to be cleared up on your claim. If you are entitled to SSI and are experiencing a financial emergency of some sort, bring your proof to your local office and see if there is any way they can issue you an emergency check.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Heather,
    Your local Social Security office will calculate and authorize Supplemental Security Income (SSI ) your son’s payment. Before payment can be calculated, a financial update will be needed from you for your son’s claim. The office will contact you for a financial update so that benefits can be calculated for past months. Usually your son will be paid within a month of the update interview and submission of any requested documents.
    If more than six months of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay is due your child, the back pay will be paid into a Dedicated Account. The idea behind the Dedicated Accounts is for the disabled child to have the money that could help him get the medical and/or vocational training . For that reason, use of benefits in a Dedicated Account is limited to medical treatment, education, and job training. You may also be able to use the money for the following things if they are related to your son’s disability: personal needs or assistance (for example, in–home nursing care); special equipment; housing modification; therapy or rehabilitation; or other items or services approved by your localSocial Security office, like legal fees incurred by the child in establishing a claim for disabled child’s benefits. You may not use the back pay in the dedicated account for basic monthly maintenance costs such as shelter, food, and clothing with the exception of protecting the your son from homelessness or malnutrition and even then you must get advance permission. If you do get permission for a special use, I recommend that you get it in writing and that you save the permission document.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Barry,

    Waiting times for decisions around the country are increasing. And your claim will not go to the writers until it is complete. It sounds like there has been some information going back and forth between the judges office, your attorney, and SSA contracted doctors. Perhaps the judge sent your records to their doctors for another opinion. Regardless, the 30 day time period within which they wanted to get the decision back to you doesn’t start until your claim file is complete. Only then does it go to the writers to be written up. If you experiencing financial distress, submit proof to your attorney so they can get it to the judge and ask for your decision to be expedited.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Martha,

    If you ever don’t understand anything that SSA tells you, go ahead and tell them and ask for more details. I’m not sure what they mean either. But if the judges office told you that you can expect a decision in a week, then hopefully you should get it soon. No one at Social Security will tell you what the decision is over the phone – you will have to wait to get it in the mail.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

    • Martha Leticia Rodriguez

      Thank you, I will definitely ask SSA Office to be more details. Thank you for your help 🙂

  • Dear Ashley,

    Everyone’s decision is mailed out, that does not tell me if you were approved or not. I’ve looked back at your old question and can not figure out if you went to a hearing already. If you went to a hearing, none of the information you have given gives me any clue as to whether your decision was favorable. But if you were waiting to go to a hearing and then suddenly your judge cancelled your hearing and is sending out a decision, that probably means he has approved your claim.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Katherine,

    If your hearing is in November then it is the judge who ordered that you have this examination. Once the judge orders it, it goes to a completely seperate office which schedules an appointment for you. There should be a contact number on that letter that you can call with any questions or concerns. Either you or your lawyer should call and explain your situation and SSA may be able to provide you with transportation to the examination or find a closer location. If they can’t and you are forced to miss the examination, make sure to write a detailed letter to the judge explaining why you had to miss it and ask your lawyer to submit it as part of your official record. And most attorneys won’t provide a ride for you to the hearing for insurance and other liability issues. But there are a few that will. You could shop around for an attorney that is willing to drive you to the hearing and then let your current attorney know that you are willing to switch to another attorney if they are not willing to give you a ride. The two attorneys would end up sharing the 25% back pay if you were approved. Knowing this might encourage your attorney to give you a ride or pay for an Uber or taxi for you.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Mary,

    You’ll probably need to call back and just dig for more answers. Wasn’t your hearing in May? Ask the judges assistant more specific questions. Ask if it’s gone to the writers already? If not, why not? How long are their writers taking to get decisions written up these days? If you are experiencing financial issues, send proof to the judges assistant. Otherwise, you will just need to keep calling back intermittently and ask detailed questions to find out what is happening with your decision.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

    • Mary Joseph

      Thanks, I will call and ask specific questions.

      Mary

  • Dear Torez,

    Please refer back to my previous answer I just posted a few minutes ago. Knowing your age or that your conditions are hereditary doesn’t change my answer.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Torez,

    If what you are saying is that at your hearing the judge asked one or two questions of the VE (vocational expert) and they said you couldn’t do your past work and did not offer any other possible jobs you could do to the judge, then there is a good chance you won. However, if the judge asked any questions that resulted in the VE saying that that hypothetical person could do certain jobs, there is no way really to tell if you will be approved. Once it has been more then 90 days since the hearing date, you can try calling ODAR and asking for your judges assistant and ask them if they have a better idea of when your decision may be sent out. If you are having severe financial issues, make sure to send proof to the judges assistant as well.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Katherine,

    It would seem that your hearing office is taking a hard line on dire need letters. What you were told is not the norm throughout all Social Security offices.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sam,
    If you fax it on Saturday that should be enough time to get it to your file and they should accept it.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Martha,

    Whether or not the judge has sent your decision to the writers yet does not indicate in any way if he will approve the claim. Once it has been more then 60 days since the date of your hearing you may want to call back and ask to speak to your judges assistant and ask them for more details on the status of your claim.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Melissa,

    If your record was complete on the day of your hearing, it’s surprising that it’s taking 6 months to get your decision back but not unheard of. Some judges are just really slow and can take up to 8, 9 months or even more to get out decisions. Does your attorney know this judge? Is he scheduled for other hearings with him in the near future? If so, ask him to inquire at that hearing about your missing decision. And when you call ODAR to check on your decision again, ask to speak to your judges assistant, not just the receptionist, and ask them for details on why it’s taking so long. If you are not able to get through to your judges assistant, your attorney should have more luck so start pestering your attorney so they can start pestering the judges assistant for info. If that does not work, you might try contacting your congressperson to follow up.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Marie,

    It’s not the diagnosis of a disease that qualifies you for disability, but the associated symptoms and functional restrictions that are caused by your disease and or side effects of your treatment. If you are not working or are working and are earning less than $1,170 gross wages (after reducing wages by impairment-related work expenses), and your symptoms from all of your impairments combined are so severe that you are not able to maintain full time work anywhere in the USA doing even an easy, low stress, sit down job, then you may qualify for disability. You will want to consult with a disability attorney or file a claim for a formal decision.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Rhonda,

    If the judge ignored or discounted your physicians’ opinions and that of the consulting physicians, then it could be a procedural error. Your attorney will be able to comment more specifically after receiving the claim file and transcript of the hearing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tameka,

    You cannot get an emergency advance payment or any payment until you actually have a hearing approval letter. Just a note: the two months you were told by the judge was an estimate, not a deadline. If you have not received a letter by then, I suggest calling the hearing office for a status report. You might check with your local or county social services office to see whether you qualify for any assistance to help cover your basic expenses of shelter and food.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Judy,

    You will have to get a written approval from the judge before action will be taken to pay you. The guideline is for decision letters to be issued within sixty days; however, it could take less or more time. How long you will wait for payment depends on what kind of benefits you were approved for and how busy the offices are that authorize payment.

    If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your SSDI claim will be sent to a central payment center, where they will double check that you were insured on the date of your established date of disability; calculate your benefit amount applying any offsets you might have, such SSI (see below), workers compensation, or public pension; and authorize payment. This can take two months or more. Back pay is typically paid a month or more after the first monthly benefit.

    If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your local Social Security office will calculate and authorize SSI payment. Before payment can be calculated, a financial update will be needed from you if your claim has been approved on appeal and even sometimes as an initial claim if it has pended a long time. The office will contact you for a financial update so that benefits can be calculated for past months. Usually you will be paid within a month of the update interview and submission of any requested documents.

    If you were approved for both, the SSDI benefit calculation will be deferred until the SSI calculation has been completed and will start a month to two months after SSI processing is complete. SSDI back benefits will be reduced by the amount of SSI benefits payable for the months in which SSDI and SSI eligibility overlaps. Typically SSI back pay is paid in up to three installments six months apart and the first two will not exceed $2,205. However, if after your Social Security starts, you are no longer eligible for SSI due to your ongoing SSDI benefit or another reason and ineligibility is expected to last twelve months or your disability is expected to result in death within twelve months, you can request the remaining SSI installments to be released. Also if you have a compelling reason for needing more than a single installment, you can petition for part or all of later installments to be released.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Frank,

    You need to report the work if the judge did not know about it because working for a year could change the judge’s decision from an approval to a denial or to an approval for a limited period of time. If you accept payment without reporting it, you could be overpaid and also open yourself up to a fraud investigation. These things could happen especially if the work started before you had been off work for a year and/or your work earnings were above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. Gross wages of the following were generally considered SGA in the following years; however, the countable earnings can be reduced by Impairment-related Work Expenses (IRWE’s), which can include medications and the cost of medical treatments. SGA benchmark levels for non-blind individuals are 2017, $1,170; 2016, $1,130; 2015, $1,090; and 2014, $1,070. When you report the work, if possible list all the days you were off work due to your medical condition and all the days you left early. If you had problems performing your duties, describe the problems and try to get a statement from your supervisor if the supervisor was aware of issues. If you got any special accommodations list those. I recommend reporting as soon as possible so that you are not issued an overpayment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Lori,
    There is no certain amount of time for a medical decision to be made. You can receive a decision in less than sixty days at the hearing level of appeal but often it takes longer. Normally it takes about 120 days for the decision to be made on an initial claim or reconsideration appeal and it does depend on how back logged your Disability Determination Services (DDS) is.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Rhonda,

    It probably makes sense to put all of your complaints into a letter and review it with your attorney to make sure it will not hurt your claim to submit it. As to asking about your significant other or friends, that is a common question to ask, especially for people who have emotional and mental health issues. The judge wants to know how you get along with people and whether you can form a significant attachment and not push that person away with the severity of your symptoms. And if the judge stated you are obese it is only because it is a diagnosis somewhere in your file, not something that you should take personally. Finally, you will want to discuss with your attorney whether or not filing a complaint against your judge is a good idea at this time. Some judges are just not very nice, but so long as they are not showing bias against you, there is little you can do to get them off your case. If the judge made legal errors, the appeals council will remand the claim back to your judge and ask her to make another decision without those legal errors. If she once again decides against you and makes the same or other legal errors, your claim will once again be remanded back but this time to a different judge.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Sharon,

    Did you ask to speak to the judges assistant or did you just speak to the person who answered the phone? The judges assistant will have better information than the person who just answers the phone. But it does normally take a long time to get these decisions back. If you are experiencing financial problems, such as an eviction, foreclosure, car repossession or utilities getting turned off, fax proof of these problems to your judge’s assistant and ask them if the judge can try to get your decision out faster. Otherwise, you will have to wait in line for everyone else who is waiting for their decision.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Mary,

    After your hearing, so long as your file is complete and the judge is not waiting for any more evidence, the judge will make a decision and it will go to the writers to get written up. The judge may edit it once or more times before it is complete and he signs it and it gets sent to you. So I’m not sure what you mean by the judge “viewing it”. Although judges would like to get decisions to you in 2-3 months, they often fall behind with work. I would wait until it’s been 90 days since your hearing and then call again. This time, ask them when you can expect to get your decision. You can also try to ask for the judges assistant as they may have a little better idea of how long it will be until your claim will be signed and sent out.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Dixie,

    What you describe is confusing. Maybe the ODAR employee saying she was “so sorry” referred to her realizing that you do not need a hearing because the claim is going to be approved without a hearing (thus it would be “concluded”). However, that is supposition on my part. I suggest that you call back for an explanation.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Nick Nack,

    As we previously indicated, it is fairly likely that your appeal will be approved. If it is not, the last of vocational testimony could be good grounds for appeal. Step 2 likely refers to the period during which the judge completes his decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ohms Law,

    If you did not provide banking information for direct deposit, you can do so now by submitting it to your local office. If the first payment has already been issued with no banking information on file, it will be sent by check.

    It usually takes a couple months to get SSDI monthly benefits started after the medical hearing approval letter. The large amount of back pay will require your claim to be reviewed and approved by more than one person, so it is likely to take another two or three months after the monthly benefits before it is issued.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Vanessa,

    If the claim was medically denied, a letter will come soon. If the claim was medically approved, it will take longer to get a notice. A Social Security Disability claim approval letter will come from the payment center after all the non-medical aspects of the claim have been reviewed and benefits have been calculated and triggered for release. A Supplemental Security Income (SSI) medical approval requires a financial update interview before benefits can be calculated. If you have not received a notice within fourteen days, call Social Security to get a status.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joselin,
    The decision has been made, but It doesn’t tell you if your claim has been approved or denied. If you filed for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you have received a medical approval, a non-medical update is required and you will be contacted by your local Social Security office to complete the update. If you filed for Social Security Disability (SSDI), and your claim was approved, it will be processed by a central payment center. It can take up to 60 days to complete the processing. If your claim was denied, you will receive a letter in the mail after clerical processing has been completed.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Nick,

    From everything you told me, I would think your chances are good. In order to work, you must be able to sit, stand and walk for a total of 8 hours, 5 days a week. If you can only sit, stand and walk for a total of 6 hours a week, you are unable to perform full time work and so you are considered disabled. Also, if your attorney didn’t say anything during the hearing, that is an indication that either he’s positive you will be approved and doesn’t want to add anything that might possibly hurt you,,,,,,, or he’s dead. So if he got up and walked out of the hearing with you afterwards, he is probably still alive and you have probably won your claim.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Sharon,

    They will never tell you what the decision is over the phone, that is normal. There is no set amount of time within which they must get your decision to you. They try to get them back within 60-90 days of the date they go to the writers but it can take longer. Try waiting another month and then call back for more detailed information. Try to see if you can be transferred to the judge’s assistant as they may have a better idea of how long it will be before the decision is reviewed by the judge, signed and sent to you.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Ashley,

    Most likely, it means he is just editing the writer’s work to make sure they wrote it as he wanted it written.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Corrine,

    Please feel free to post your question.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Courtlan,

    Since it’s been almost 90 days since your hearing, you should feel free to call the hearing office. If the appeal is still with the judge waiting for decision or back with the judge to have the decision letter signed, ask to speak to your judge’s assistant and ask them how much longer they think it might be. If the receptionist won’t transfer you, then just ask them if they can give you better idea of how much longer it will be.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Ashley,

    Now, celebrate.

    I would expect you to have the letter within a couple weeks unless there is an clerical error in it and the judge sends it back for correction or the judge is very backed up.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kara,

    Please see my response to your first post. If you have only the two children, you will have no ineligible children and there will be no ineligible child allowance. Deemable income, which will be more than with one ineligible child, will be split between the two eligible children.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    If you are calling the call center or the local office, try calling the hearing office, which has more detailed information. If you have been calling the hearing office and the judge still hasn’t made the decision, it means the judge has a backlog of cases and how long you will have to wait is unpredictable.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Deb,

    You can call the hearing office to learn where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Amanda,

    You will usually receive one letter. It seems common that the online status reports do not get updated at the same time for both SSI and SSDI. The only way your SSI could be medically approved when your Social Security has been denied would be if your SSI was approved with an established disability onset date after you were last insured for Social Security.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jessica,

    It is really hard to say, but with the number of medical problems you mentioned before, I would think your chances would be decent. Of course, the older you are, the better your chances.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Deborah,

    There is no law that states how fast judges have to return decisions, although they try hard to get them out withing 2-3 months of the date they close the record. If it’s been more then 90 days, I would suggest calling your attorney and/or the hearing office for a more precise update of when you might expect your decision. The fact that the judge was from another state will not cause a delay in getting your case written up. They normally ask you to do a video hearing because your local judges have fallen too far behind.

    To figure out your possible monthly disability payment based on your earnings, sign up for an account with SSA at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/. You will be able to check your earnings record and see what you would get each month for disability. If you are having problems signing up on the website, you can also ask your attorney to give you this information which may be somewhere in your exhibit file.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear James,

    From the time the judge closes the file until he signs the decision and is ready to be sent to you, the website will just indicate that a decision is coming up. But once it says that a decision has been made, that means the decision has been written, signed by the judge, and probably already out in the mail.

    As for statistics, try this site for Hearing Date Wait Times: https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html

    And this site for Hearing Statistics by City and/or Judge: http://www.disabilityjudges.com

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Hi Benjamin,

    Sounds a bit confusing to me too. Normally, an OTR (On the Record) decision is given without holding a hearing, let alone a 1.5 hour hearing. I also am unsure what you are referring to as your “date started”. I think you should call your hearing office and ask to speak to the judge’s assistant and ask them these questions.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Rhonda,
    Kay said thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Kathy,

    Unfortunately I really don’t know what that means. If you have an attorney, I suggest asking the attorney.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Rhonda,

    I can’t give you a definite time frame. Usually the judge will sign off on the document fairly quickly, although I’ve seen a few exceptions. If there are errors in the letter, it will be sent back to be corrected before signature.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joseph,

    You did not say at what level your claim is. If it is a new claim or a reconsideration and you filed the new claim or the appeal on March 14, you are still within the typical processing time (long as it is) of two to five months. You can ask the local office or the call center for the Disability Determination Services (DDS) phone number and call the claims examiner to find out whether they are waiting for medical records you might be able to help them get.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Vanessa,

    As you describe your husband’s medical conditions and the hearing, I think it is likely your husband’s claim will be approved. The guideline is for him to get a decision letter within sixty days, but it can take longer. It can take another couple months from the date of the approval letter to get Social Security Disability (SSDI) payments started.

    Social Security law provides for a workers compensation (WC) offset against (reduction of) Social Security Disability (SSDI) because the law limits the total amount of workers compensation and Social Security that a disabled worker can receive for the same months. The maximum your husband can receive between the two benefits is 80% of his Average Current Earnings (ACE), as determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA), which is not necessarily what he was earning in his last job. Even with the offset, the two benefits together are usually higher than either of the benefits alone.

    SSA uses a complex formula to calculate Average Current Earnings. If your husband is approved, after he is paid, he can contact SSA for information about how his ACE was calculated.

    Your husband should submit all the workers compensation documents he has that show payment amounts and periods so that his benefits can be calculated correctly. If later your husband receives a lump sum workers compensation (WC) settlement, the settlement will be prorated over time and the prorated amount will be used to reduce the SSDI.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kimberly,

    Your doctor’s statements are supportive of your claim especially if he included in his statement the basis–the medical findings–that support the limitations. If by “be” you meant to type “ve” (vocational expert), the testimony that there are no jobs you can do is also supportive of your claim. If the judge accepts the limitations the doctor has outlined as being supported, your claim is likely to be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Hi Jason,

    There is no set rule on how long it takes to have a hearing scheduled when it is expedited. You could call the hearing office your case is assigned to and ask them. If it’s already been assigned to a specific judge, ask to speak to the judges assistant and see if they have any idea how soon it will be scheduled. And judges do approve a small percentage of cases without making the claimant go to hearing if they feel there is enough evidence in the file and they do not need your testimony to approve you. But they will not make a ruling denying you disability without scheduling your hearing.

    Sincerely.
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Jessica,

    The status report is the routine status report sent to everyone for the period of time after the hearing is held. The status will not change until the judge makes a decision and the letter has been prepared and mailed to you. The guideline is for you to have a decision within sixty days, but the wait can be shorter or longer. If you haven’t received a decision within sixty days, you can call the hearing office for a status on where your claim is in the post-appeal process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Carina,

    Wait times for hearing dates vary depending on which hearing office is handling the appeal. You can check average times for your office at https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Crystal,

    At age eighteen a child has to undergo a disability evaluation to determine whether he is disabled by adult standards. This means that his claim should have been sent to a Disability Determination Services (DDS). You can ask Social Security for the phone number so you can check on the status and find out whether they are waiting for requested medical records. If so, you can contact the provider to have the records sent.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Txgirl,

    I think what happened in the hearing a good sign. Normally the judge decides if you are disabled by asking the VE if hypothetical people with limitations similar to yours can perform any work in the national economy. The judge will normally offer a number of hypotheticals. The judge normally structures the hypotheticals so that the VE will say some allow for work and others don’t. Later, the judge will decide which one of those hypothetical people you are most like, according to your medical records. If all the hypotheticals your judge gave caused the VE to state there were no jobs available and the judge has to go with one of those hypotheticals, you should likely be approved. Your attorney understands the way it works which is why he didn’t need to ask the VE anymore questions since none of the judges hypotheticals would allow for work. (How long it takes to get a decision is not an indication of approval or denial.)

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Daniel,

    Did the judge ask the VE any other questions? Did he offer any other hypotheticals and ask the VE if someone could work based on those hypotheticals? If not, I would say that’s a very good sign. However, your attorney should hopefully be somewhat familiar with your judge and should be able to tell you if he feels like the judge will likely approve your claim medically.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Hi Courtlan,

    It sounds like you may want to call your attorney and get an update to make sure your outstanding records were submitted on time and to make sure there is nothing more the judge is waiting for. If there is no proof in any of your records that you have difficulty picking up coins from a table, the judge may decide to send you for a consultative evaluation with one of their doctors so they can have medical documentation of that specific limitation. Even if the judge sees it is a problem for you, he can not necessarily take it for granted without having a doctor observe and note it in a medical record. This is perhaps why he wanted to see your most recent records, to determine exactly how limited you are in the use of your hand, especially if it is your dominant hand. Maybe ask your attorney if there is any notation in your record about having difficulty picking up coins?

    As to your chances of winning, your attorney would have the best idea since he has had the chance to review your medical records. Discuss with him if there is anything else that can be done to strengthen your case. If your says you are disabled, did he describe your exact limitations to the judge in a letter or form? Normally, once all your records are in, judges attempt to get decision back within 60 days, but it usually takes longer. You can check your current status with your attorney or by creating an account at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear TMCB,

    “Period of disability” means the time frame you have been disabled. “Disability insurance benefits” means Social Security Disability benefits, the amount of which is based on your work history and the Social Security taxes you have paid.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Monica,

    As you describe your hearing and your attorney’s comment afterward, I’d say that you have a good chance of approval; however, you cannot be sure until you actually get a written decision, which can take sixty days or more.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Travis.

  • Dear Katie,

    Work with your attorney to submit a letter of dire need requesting expedited handling. The dire need is our home being in foreclosure and your being in danger of losing it. Attach copies of documents that prove this. It might get your hearing decision moving. In the meantime, communicate with the mortgage holder to tell them the status of your disability claim and that you are trying to get a decision expedited.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear TMCB,

    It looks like you left a word or so out of what you wanted explained. Can you provide the full sentence so we can reply.

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • Dear Charles,

    Decisions are supposed to reach you within sixty days; however, it frequently takes longer and the length of time is unpredictable. I suggest you call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Starrone,
    You are welcome.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Boricua,

    The request does not mean that your appeal will be denied or approved, but it is important that you get the records and submit them as soon as possible. After you have sent them to the hearing office, wait a few days and call to be sure they were received and delivered to the judge.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jason,

    I cannot predict whether you will be approved; however, having clear, supporting medical records is a positive point. There is no correlation between processing time to get a hearing decision and whether the decision is an approval or a denial.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tresa,

    Excessive work loads is the main reason for the long delays in getting a decision. However, how long it takes is not a sign of either approval or denial. You can call the hearing office and get a status report on where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear April,

    You are at this point waiting to have the decision letter written up and signed by the judge. If you don’t receive the letter in about another week, you could call again to get a status again. If your health is suffering because you cannot go to the doctor, you can submit a dire need statement based on financially not being able to access health care and it might speed things up a little. I don’t have enough information to offer a reliable opinion on whether or not your claim will be approved, but the vocational expert’s testimony is favorable to your claim.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Travis,

    The five month waiting period starts with the first full calendar month after the disability onset date that Social Security established for you. Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), benefits begin to accrue the later of twelve months before the month you applied or the sixth full calendar month of disability as established by Social Security. (If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income [SSI] and your established disability date is prior to your application date, your benefits will begin the month following the month of application unless you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits begin with the month of application.

    How long it takes to get benefits started varies considerably. In general, it takes a month or more for monthly SSDI benefits to start. Back pay is typically paid a month or more after the first monthly benefit. SSI is paid from the local office and can be paid within a month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Marcus,

    The guideline is for the judge to render a decision within sixty days of the hearing, although it can take longer. This should include the time it takes for the decision to be written by the writers. However, these days that is more the exception then the rule. But 10 months is excessive and you should talk with your attorney about how to proceed under these circumstances. If the judge looks like they will pay but are routinely late returning decisions, you may want to just leave it alone. However, if you are experiencing financial problems and have proof, such as an eviction notice or notice that utilities will be turned off, you can try to use this to ask the judge to speed up the decision writing process.

    As to the amount you will get each month, that depends on a lot of different factors. You can find out what your monthly disability payment would be by going to https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ and signing up for a free account with the Social Security Administration or by calling and requesting an Earnings Statement.

    When it comes to calculating back benefits, they begin to accrue the later of twelve months before the month you applied or the sixth full calendar month of disability as established by Social Security. If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and your established disability date is prior to your application date, your benefits will begin the month following the month of application unless you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits begin with the month of application.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear Starrone,
    Your SSDI claim will be sent to a central payment center, where they will double check that you were insured on the date of your established date of disability; calculate your benefit amount applying any offsets you might have,such as SSI (see below), workers compensation, or public pension; and authorize payment. This can take two months or more. Back pay is typically paid a month or more after the first monthly benefit. If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your local Social Security office will calculate and authorize SSI payment. Before payment can be calculated, a financial update will be needed from you. Usually you will be paid within a month of the update interview and submission of any requested documents. SSDI back benefits will be reduced by the amount of SSI benefits payable for the months in which SSDI and SSI eligibility overlaps.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Tmcb,

    If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your SSDI claim will be sent to a central payment center, where they will double check that you were insured on the date of your established date of disability; calculate your benefit amount applying any offsets you might have, such SSI (see below), workers compensation, or public pension; and authorize payment. This can take two months or more. Back pay is typically paid a month or more after the first monthly benefit.

    If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your local Social Security office will calculate and authorize SSI payment. Before payment can be calculated, a financial update will be needed from you if your claim has been approved on appeal and even sometimes as an initial claim if it has pended a long time. The office will contact you for a financial update so that benefits can be calculated for past months. Usually you will be paid within a month of the update interview and submission of any requested documents.

    If you were approved for both, the SSDI benefit calculation will be deferred until the SSI calculation has been completed and will start a month to two months after SSI processing is complete. SSDI back benefits will be reduced by the amount of SSI benefits payable for the months in which SSDI and SSI eligibility overlaps. Typically SSI back pay is paid in up to three installments six months apart and the first two will not exceed $2,205. However, if after your Social Security starts, you are no longer eligible for SSI due to your ongoing SSDI benefit, you can request the remaining SSI installments to be released. Also, if you have a compelling need for more than the initial installment, you may also be able to get early partial release of part or all of later installments.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joselin,

    I am not familiar with the term “throw in a letter,” but I assume it means sign and release the letter for mailing. If so, the time frame can vary from quite quick to even weeks.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sabrina,

    I can’t give you odds on approval of your claim, but your attorney said the hearing went well; that is a good sign.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joselin,

    Ruth served as a Disability Advisor on this site for a short period of time but is not longer answering questions.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jason,

    Your claim was forwarded for a medical decision when you filed the claim meaning that in the initial review of the non-medical eligibility criteria it was determined that you met the non-medical requirements. Unless a mistake or oversight occurred at that time, there should be no reason now for your claim to be denied. You can reasonably expect final approval and payment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Psmith,

    Quality assurance (QA) review usually don’t take as long as four weeks. I suggest you call the local office to find out whether the claim has moved out of QA. Some sources say that more approvals are selected for a QA review than denials; but, of course, you can’t know for sure until you get the decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Starrone,

    I suggest calling the hearing office. If they say their file is closed it means that the judge has made a decision and a letter has been written and mailed to you. They are not supposed to tell you what the decision is over the phone. If the bench approval was likely for both claims.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tmcb,

    You have been approved for disability benefits if you received a fully favorable notice. If you had a hearing and the letter is a hearing decision, the letter will tell you which benefits you have been medically approved for. SSI may be referred to as Title XVI and SSDI may be referred to as Title II.

    Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs are both administered by the Social Security Administration. Disability for adults is defined the same for both programs.
    To be eligible for SSDI, in addition to being disabled, you must also have worked and paid Social Security (FICA) taxes for enough years to be insured for benefits including earning credits equal to half the possible number of work credits in the ten years before you became disabled or in the span between age 21 and date of disability onset if you are under age thirty-one at the time you became disabled. To be eligible for SSI, in addition to being disabled, you must have income and assets below a certain level because SSI is a public assistance benefit, rather than an earned benefit purchased with federal insurance tax payments.

    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Joselin,
    Congratulations. The judge has issued a bench decision letting you know your claim is going to be allowed. He is not going to change his mind. It looks like the decision writer has completed his work and now the judge will review the decision and sign it. This usually only takes a couple of weeks. As soon as Social Security office sees that the decision has been approved, they will move quickly to get your monthly checks started. Then they will calculate your back pay.

    Sincerely, Ruth Dobbins

  • Dear Pbmser,
    Congratulations on getting a bench decision from the judge. This way you don’t have to sit around wondering what the decision will be. The judge’s decision writer will complete the written decision and give it to the judge for his signature. General guidelines are for 60 days but it often takes longer. (And if you’re lucky, sometimes it’s shorter).

    Call your Social Security office regarding the paperwork and application for your dependents/children. They might not want to take an application for them until they receive written approval of your claim.

    Your first monthly deposit will come pretty quickly (3 to 6 weeks) after the written decision, however, it takes longer to compute your back pay.

    Sincerely, Ruth Dobbins

  • Dear Joselin,

    The guideline for you to get a decision is sixty days, but it can be less or more time.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tmcb,

    Pending means either the judge has not made a decision or a decision has been made but the decision letter is still in process. You can call the hearing office and get a more detailed status report.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kathleen,

    Only a small percentage of claims are approved on the record (OTR), usually those with very severe conditions and very clear medical and vocational records. That said, it is certainly worth talking with your attorney about whether your claim is a good candidate for a request for an OTR review. One thing to note; however, is that OTR reviews are usually made not much before when the hearing date would be coming up.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cban,

    It can take may take two months to get your first month payment. The back pay can take another two months after that to be released.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joselin,

    The judge could change his mind; however, it is very unusual. The letter writing process can take from a couple weeks to a couple months. Although things are going slowly, you are moving toward getting the formal decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Martha,

    The length of time it takes to get a decision is not an indication of what the decision will be.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tina,

    The wait is due to the backlog of appeals filed before yours. The merit of your claim will not be reviewed until your appeal comes up in line. You can look up your hearing office and see what the average wait times are to get a hearing date by going to https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html and entering the city where the hearing office is located. It will not speed things up, but it would provide some information on how much longer you might wait.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Thank you Sean

  • Dear Carolyn,

    Your attorney likely cannot find out the decision before it is finalized. Once the decision letter is written up, it will go back to the judge for review and signature and the finalized decision will be mailed out.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Spldbaby3,

    I suggest that you request a copy of your claim file so you can see the exact reasons for the denial and the medical records and employment information in file on which the decision was based. If after reviewing it, you believe that you do meet Social Security’s definition of disability, you may have a better chance for approval with the assistance of an experienced Social Security attorney. If you decide to appeal be sure to do so within the time limits.

    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 the attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your back pay.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jason,

    If you explained all this to the judge and also mentioned that you were approved for SSI in the past, which terminated due to your finances, not your health, it is possible that you could be approved with fairly minimal medical records. You should, however, try to keep yourself under the care of a physician if you are denied and have appeal or are approved and have to provide medical for a continuing disability review in a few years.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cban,

    If the judge finds that the medical information in file supports that you need to miss three days of work a month, your claim will likely be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tamika,

    Apparently, the judge wants to ask you some questions after getting the report of the consulting physician. This means that there is still a chance for approval, and the judge is giving you and your attorney a chance to address his questions.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Danet,

    Please tell me the date you filed your application and whether the award letter is for Social Security disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). With that information, I can comment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sean,

    You are right, the government is not funding sufficient staff for consistently reasonable processing times on many claims, and hasn’t done so for many years. That said, your hearing decision has pended far longer than the usual delays. I suggest that you call your congressperson’s office and ask whether they will make an inquiry on your behalf because of not getting a decision more than eight months after the hearing. (If your recent call was not to the hearing office, I suggest calling the hearing office before calling the congressperson to find out whether your appeal is waiting for the judge’s decision or for the decision letter to be written.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Amanda,

    I suggest writing up a statement of dire need and faxing it to the hearing office. Call first to find out to whose attention it should be sent so that whoever is working on the appeal now (the judge or the letter writers) gets the letter. In the statement, request that the decision and letter preparation be expedited because you have not been able to follow through on a hospitalization for your child due to not being able to pay for housing if you miss work to take him for the out-of-town specialty care. Submit a similar letter to the local office once you have a medical approval so that the payment is expedited as well.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, N.M.

  • You are welcome, Mary.

  • You are welcome, Rosemarie.

  • Dear Nm,

    If the judge accepts your physician’s assessment on the residual functional capacity (RFC) form as supported by medical evidence in file, your claim should be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Chris,

    Your local Social Security office or the Social Security call center (800-772-1213) should have the number.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mary,

    If the judge determines that the medical evidence in file supports that you would have to miss work two or more days a month, your claim could be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Derrick,

    People have reported both approvals and denials after receiving that wording in a status report, so there seems to be no way to know.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tmcb,

    Please see my response to your last post.

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • Dear Tmcb,

    The length of time it takes to get a decision is not an indication of either approval or denial. I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Rosemarie,

    A decision has been made on your claim and the appeal has gone to the letter writing department for the decision letter to be written up. Once it is written, the judge will review it for accuracy and it will be sent out to you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Thank you and you are welcome, Carolyn.

  • Dear Carolyn,

    RSDI stands for Insurance and refers to the general types of benefits that are included in the Social Security Act, which is a payroll insurance program. When you work, you pay Social Security taxes, which in turn gives you work credits to insure you for potential retirement, survivors, and disability benefits. Your current Social Security application is for Social Security Disability, which people refer to as SSD or SSDI. The amount of the benefit is based on your work history and the Social Security (FICA) taxes you have paid.

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a public assistance program for disabled and aged (sixty-five or over) individuals who have family income and assets within the SSI limits, which are quite low.

    The medical disability requirements are the same for both SSDI and SSI. It is possible to be approved for both and get SSI until SSDI starts or even continuing getting federal SSI in a reduced amount to supplement SSDI if your SSDI is less than $755 a month.

    The attorneys in your attorney’s office apparently work as a team and your lead attorney was apparently engaged elsewhere the day of your hearing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Danet,

    You are welcome. The referenced letter is probably the award letter.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dee,

    If the judge accepts that the limitations your attorney presented to the vocational expert (VE) are documented in your claim file, your claim has a good chance of approval based on the VE’s testimony.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Felecia,

    The current typical processing time runs from two to five months. The principal reason is under-staffing in the Disability Determination Services and Social Security offices. (Also see my response to your first post.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Felecia,

    I suggest that you check the status of your claim either by going online at http://www.ssa.gov and setting up a “My Social Security” account or by calling Social Security. It is important to check that your claim is still pending and that a decision letter has not been sent to you and gone astray.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear B. Lee,

    I suggest that you call the hearing office to get the status of your claim. Also, as how you can submit a statement of dire need due to living in your car. Such a statement might more your claim so you get a decision. Also I suggest that you contact the suicide hotline for support when you are feeling especially down. Their number is 1-800-273-8255.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Danet,

    I don’t know that congressional involvement will help in that the claim has been in the payment center about a month and monthly payment often takes two months and back pay another month or two after that. It does not hurt to try, however, given the delay of six weeks before your claim was forwarded for payment center.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Carolyn,

    It can sometimes be hard to document disability when it comes from a combination of conditions. However, if your extensive medical records address your limitations and why you are seen to be limited, that is, the cause of the limitations and how they are known, you do have a possibility of being approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Carolyn,

    Your appeal is now awaiting the judge’s decision. Once a decision is made, the claim will go to the letter writing department. I do not have enough information to render an opinion about what the outcome of the hearing will be, but your attorney has said the hearing went well and the vocational expert’s testimony was in your favor so there is a reasonable possibility for approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Jean.

  • Dear Joselin,

    It is very unlikely the judge will change his mind. If he does, you will have very good grounds for appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jean,

    If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your SSDI claim will be sent to a central payment center, where they will double check that you were insured on the date of your established date of disability, calculate your benefit amount applying any offsets you might have such as for SSI (see below), workers compensation, or public pension, and authorize payment. This can take two months or more.

    If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your local Social Security office will calculate and authorize SSI payment. They will contact you for a financial update so that benefits can be calculated for past months. Usually you will be paid within a month of the update interview and submission of any requested documents.

    If you were approved for both, the SSDI benefit calculation will not be completed until the SSI calculation has been completed. SSDI back benefits will be reduced by the amount of SSI benefits payable for the months in which SSDI and SSI eligibility overlaps. Typically SSI back pay is paid in up to three installments six months apart and the first two will not exceed $2,205. However, if after your Social Security starts you are no longer eligible for SSI, you can request the remaining SSI installments to be released. You may also be able to get early partial release of later installments if you have a compelling need.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sean,

    I am not able to explain why your claim decision has pended longer than usual. You can call the hearing office and find out where it is in the post-hearing process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome.

  • Dear Joselin,

    You can submit a statement of dire need based on being in danger of becoming homeless. If you have gotten an eviction warning or notice include a copy with your letter. You can also call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeals process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Angelo,

    The eighteen-month estimate is probably the average for your area, meaning over a period of time some people wait less time and some wait longer depending on how many appeals come in a one time.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Paris,

    There is no need to be worried at this point. The guideline to get a decision is sixty days, but it is often longer.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Danet,

    Much of the delay was in the local office sending the claim to the payment center with the information that you had withdrawn your SSI claim. The payment center often takes takes a couple months to get monthly benefits started and, with several years of benefits due it is likely that it will be a couple months after that before the back pay is released because it will require multiple reviews and signatures due to the large size of the payment. If you haven’t received payment by July 7, you can ask the local office to check on the status of the processing. If you are in danger of eviction or foreclosure, you can submit a statement of dire need.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Torri,

    I suggest that you call the hearing office to find our where your claim is in the post-hearing review.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jacqueline,

    If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your SSDI claim will be sent to a central payment center, where they will double check that you were insured on the date of your established date of disability, calculate your benefit amount applying any offsets you might have such as for SSI (see below), workers compensation, or public pension, and authorize payment. This can take two months or more.

    If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your local Social Security office will calculate and authorize SSI payment. They will contact you for a financial update so that benefits can be calculated for past months. Usually you will be paid within a month of the update interview and submission of any requested documents.

    If you were approved for both, the SSDI benefit calculation will not be completed until the SSI calculation has been completed. SSDI back benefits will be reduced by the amount of SSI benefits payable for the months in which SSDI and SSI eligibility overlaps. Typically SSI back pay is paid in up to three installments six months apart and the first two will not exceed $2,205. However, if after your Social Security starts you are no longer eligible for SSI, you can request the remaining SSI installments to be released. You may also be able to get early partial release of later installments if you have a compelling need.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Thank you for the update, Christina.

  • Dear Stacey,

    Occasionally a judge will make a “bench” decision for an approval, which is a verbal statement of approval at the hearing. When that happens the decision is not final until it is actually written up and signed off by the judge. Most times, there is no bench decision. Either way, the guideline is for you to get a decision within sixty days, although it often takes longer.

    Once you have an approval decision letter, how long it takes to get benefits started depends on the kind of benefits. If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your SSDI claim will be sent to a central payment center, where they will double check that you were insured on the date of your established date of disability, calculate your benefit amount applying any offsets you might have such as for SSI (see below), workers compensation, or public pension, and authorize payment. This can take two months or more.

    If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your local Social Security office will calculate and authorize SSI payment. They will contact you for a financial update so that benefits can be calculated for past months. Usually you will be paid within a month of the update interview and submission of any requested documents.

    If you were approved for both, the SSDI benefit calculation will not be completed until the SSI calculation has been completed. SSDI back benefits will be reduced by the amount of SSI benefits payable for the months in which SSDI and SSI eligibility overlaps. Typically SSI back pay is paid in up to three installments six months apart and the first two will not exceed $2,205. However, if after your Social Security starts you are no longer eligible for SSI, you can request the remaining SSI installments to be released. You may also be able to get early partial release of later installments if you have a compelling need.

    If you were approved for SSDI, Medicare will begin with the twenty-five month of benefits including past months. If you were approved for SSI, Medicaid starts at the same time as SSI starts, although in some circumstances there is limited retroactivity in Medicaid coverage to pay unpaid medical bills.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear L.,

    If the judge interprets the vocational expert’s opinion that you cannot hold down a full-time job to mean that you cannot perform substantial gainful activity, which is usually $1,170 gross per month, your claim could be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jennifer,

    If you told the judge about the work and he said he was going to approve your claim, then you should have nothing to worry about. If you did not tell the judge, tell me when you started and stopped working, if you have stopped, and how much you earned gross per month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Smith,

    This site answers questions about disability benefits. I suggest that you contact the court that has jurisdiction over your traffic ticket to find out the status of your request. You might also look at the ticket to see whether it lists the day you are to appear in court.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kurt,

    I don’t see a Bakersfield hearing office in the list I have. At https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html., your sister can look up the city in which her hearing office is located, which will not necessarily be where she file the request for hearing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Pruiett Fouser Brenda

    I had the worse disability hearing possible. I have 7 autoimmune illnesses the effect the nervous system. The judge was not knowledgeable of my case and depended on the state appointed psychiatrist to render his medical opinion on Rare Genetic Illnesses. Which he disagreed with the results of my cardiologist, neurologist and allergist. I was in there for 10 minutes with very little conversation with me.
    I sat there as the judge cut off my attorneys cross question and told the attorney the hearing was over and he could write anything else in his 15 day review.
    Total shock and disbelief. I sat there like I was not even in the room. As if this didn’t pertain to a real life.

    • Dear Pruiett,

      If you have not had a discussion with your attorney about what took place and what, if anything, he will submit in his fifteen-day review, I suggest you do so. I may be helpful to know the game plan while you wait.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Dorothy,

    You will be getting your decision soon, within a week to ten days.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Taline,

    The guideline for a hearing decision is sixty days, but it is just a guideline and often it takes longer. I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out where your son’s claim is in the post-hearing appeal process. It won’t speed things up, but it will provide you with some information.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Dawn.

  • You are welcome, Alice.

  • Dear Joseph,

    Please see my response of two days ago to the first posting of your question.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Michael.

  • You are welcome, Mark. With these several conditions, it is possible she will be approve based on a combination of conditions.

  • You are welcome, Kathy.

  • Dear Debra,

    If you did not agree to the January 2017 date of onset at the hearing, once you get the approval letter with the January 2017 date of disability, you have the right to appeal the date of disability onset. Sometimes people win those appeals. Although it is not necessarily likely, when you appeal the date of onset, you are opening up your approval to be reversed because you are appealing the basis of the approval. Stated another way, you are questioning the accuracy of the January 2017 date on which eligibility is based. Before you make your decision about appealing, I suggest that you get a copy of your claim file and the hearing transcript to review and possibly to review with your attorney.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Jezebel.

  • Dear Michael,

    The remark suggesting that your attorney explain the workers compensation (WC) offset seems an indication that your claim will be approved as a partially favorable decision with disability starting as you said when your COPD worsened. The guideline for getting a decision is sixty days, but it could take less or more time.

    From the time you get the approval letter until SSDI benefits start is likely to be at least two months and perhaps significantly longer. I assume your attorney did explain the WC offset so I will not; I will say that it is possible that no SSDI is payable or that it will be reduced due to the WC. Y

    ou will likely not be eligible for SSI for any month in which you actually received workers compensation during the month because the WC is likely to be more that the maximum SSI benefit payable. Your SSI non-medical eligibility or ineligibility has to be determined before Social Security will be calculated, suspended for WC or paid.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kathy,

    The fact that you are waiting for a decision does not necessarily mean your appeal will be denied. Circumstances like work load and working conditions fluctuate, and it could be that your judge is simply behind in his or her work.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mark,

    As you describe the hearing, I would say that your friend has jumped the hurdle of establishing that alcoholism is no longer contributing to disability. The challenge is whether or not the additional records that were submitted document that she is disabled due to mental illness and COPD. The suggestion of a close supervision would indicate not being competitive in the market place and that could be a help. In summary, whether or not your friend is approved for benefits is going to depend on how limited she is now that she is getting appropriate care and isn’t drinking. and how well her limitations are documented.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jennifer,

    You have received an approval as a “bench decision.” The next step is for the judge to formally write up the approval. Once that is done, you claim will go to the letter writing department for the approval letter to be prepared. The guideline is for you to get the decision letter within sixty days, but it could be less or more time.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joseph,

    I am not familiar with that question being directed to a vocational expert (VE). The judge can render a partially favorable decision, for example, determining a disability date later than claimed. This will occur if medical evidence doesn’t support the earlier date or you reach an age benchmark such as fifty or fifty-five at which time the rules about returning to work in a new occupation change slightly. I wouldn’t, however, expect a judge to ask the VE to make that decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jezebel,

    I agree the “stop digging for oil” comment is ambiguous; it could mean when to give up or it could mean recognizing when he hit “pay dirt” for you. However, the attorney’s and the assistant’s responses after the hearing indicate that they do believe you will be approved. Given your age and the attorney’s assessment, approval is likely, and if not, he is right, it does sound as if there could be grounds for appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kesha,

    Your own SSDI will not be paid until the SSI is calculated and set up for payment or denied due to excess income. The SSI will be reduced by unemployment paid for the same months that you were medically approved for SSI.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cristen,

    I am not able to predict whether you will be approved. Initial claims and first level appeals each take from two to five months to get a decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Danet,

    The response your got from the representative was probably the most honest and accurate response possible because truly there is no way to predict how long it will take in the payment center. Usually monthly benefits are started within one to two months, but that time frame begins with the local office’s notification that SSI is no longer involved (or calculated is person is going to receive SSI). Back pay can take one, two months or more after the monthly benefits start.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Danet

      Thank you, Kay.

  • Dear Tammy,

    How long it takes to get a decision is not an indication of approval or denial. You can call the hearing office and get a status on where your claim is in the post-hearing process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear April,

    You have not yet received the decision letter because your hearing office is very backlogged with work. Currently the wait is due your appeal having to wait in line after other appeals whose decisions were made before yours. Your best course of action at the present time is to accept that it is going to take as long as it takes and just call once every three weeks to see if it has moved along.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Danet,

    Being denied Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for failure to submit non-medical information has the same effect as withdrawing your application, which is what you wanted to do. The rep probably did that because she was backed up and it was the quickest (though technically not correct) way to close out your SSI claim.

    The portion of the letter about your SSD also being denied because SSI was denied cannot be correct. I suggest that your attorney be in touch with local office with a request that they contact the payment center to double check that you SSDI claim is there waiting review for payment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Leah,

    If you are owed several years of SSDI, especially if some of those years are from before SSI eligibility, the amount could be quite large. The larger the back pay, the more levels of approval required, which can take several months. If you do not receive payment within thirty days of your last inquiry, request that a memo be sent to the payment center for a status. Thirty days after that you can request a manager-to-manager call to the payment center. Just a note: SSDI back pay will be reduced by SSI paid for any overlapping months if eligiblity.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, T.

  • Dear Dorothy,

    It is likely your claim has been approved with the disability date you agreed to and you will get the letter after it has been prepared and signed by the judge. Hearing decisions are not given out over the phone.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Lala,

    Your benefits will not be affected by your child’s income. If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your SSI will not affect your child’s SSI. If you are approved for Social Security Disability, whether or not it affects his benefits would depend on how much it is. Your payment will not be combined with your son’s.

    If your established date of disability is at least as early as the month of your SSI application, benefits will start the month after application unless you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits will start the month of application.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear J.,

    How long a decision waits to have the letter written up varies a great deal from one hearing office to another, so I can’t predict how long your claim will take. The overall guideline is for a decision to go out to you in sixty days, but that is just a guideline. The only advice I can give is to be patient. Unless you are in dire need such as being on the verge of being evicted or having your home foreclosed upon, there is nothing you or your attorney can do to speed up the process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dadksi,

    The payment to the attorney from your back pay is for legal services and does not include the attorney’s out of pocket expenses. You are responsible for reimbursing the out-of-pocket expenses; but before paying, ask for an itemized bill. Also look at your written agreement with the attorney to see what your responsibility is based on the agreement. The out of pocket is often for the cost of medical records, but it sounds could be for photocopying possibly. Other possible fees could be for photocopying and the like.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dadski,

    It is likely to be another month before the monthly benefits start and a couple months or more after that before the back pay is released.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Azrael,

    If you have an attorney, I suggest you discuss the situation with your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, I suggest that you first call the hearing office to find out if the decision has been made. If so, it is too late to submit additional information to the judge. If not, you can request a copy of the claim file from the hearing office, but now that you have had the hearing, the record may have been closed to submission of additional information and the file may not be available for release until after the hearing decision has been completed.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear T.,

    Waits to get a hearing date can take a year to two years, but I am not familiar with circumstances that would cause a one-year delay in getting a decision after a hearing. If your sister got the information from her attorney, I suggest that she ask the attorney to explain the situation. If she did not, I suggest she check with her attorney how accurate the information is.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Diana,

    The guideline to get a decision is sixty-days, but it is just a guideline. You can call the hearing office to find out where you claim is in the post-hearing appeal process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Guest,

    It looks as if some of your post got caught off. If you wish to post again giving a description of the situation, I will try to comment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Jacqueline.

  • Dear Jacqueline,

    Usually the wait for editing is not as long as the initial wait for the letter to be written. The judges have law clerks who do some of the preliminary work for them. If the error was obvious, the law clerk might have sent it back. I suggest that you follow the hearing office’s advice and try to be patient, as hard as it is, for the letter to be corrected and sent to you. Although there are no guarantees, her statement that “it would be all right” implies that the decision was an approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dana,

    I have not heard of that situation before. Usually the judge will either not engage the vocational expert at all or will ask questions about whether there are other occupations you can perform based on your education and experience and then ask whether with your claimed limitations you could do them. I am wondering whether written vocational testimony had been previously submitted.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jacqueline,

    I am unable to predict how long it will take for the editing corrections to be done and for the judge to review the letter again and sign it. The length of time will depend greatly on how backlogged your hearing office is. You might call the hearing office again and ask if they can give an estimate.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Karen,

    The judge appears to have ruled out the earlier period, but if the additional evidence and her medical research supports your claim beginning with the later date of onset, there is a reasonable chance of approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tracy,

    I believe that the status may mean that the judge made a decision, reviewed the decision letter after it was written, found errors, and will be sending the letter back for correction.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Tracy

      I called today and now it’s saying “Under, Review by Alj”

      • Dear Tracy,

        The status may mean that the corrections I referenced in my last response might have been made and the letter returned to the judge for a second review. However, if you want to know for sure, I suggest calling the hearing office.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Leo,

    Initial claims usually take from two to five months. You can call the Disability Determination Services (DDS) that is reviewing your claim to get a status. If you do not have the number, your local Social Security office should be able to give it to you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Savana.

  • Dear Jonh,

    It looks as if you posted your question twice. Please see my response to the first posting.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jonh,

    If the judge accepts the vocational expert’s opinion as accurate and finds that the evidence for your claim supports the need to miss four to five days a month, your claim is likely to be approved. It would be fully favorable if the judge found that your limitations began on or before the date you claimed. It would be partially favorable it the judge determined a later disability onset or found that you have recovered from disability.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Haseem

    A couple people have reported discrepancies between the automated phone status and the online status. It is hard to tell what is happening, but if the online was posted before today, then the phone status might be the more up-to-date.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Haseem.

  • Dear Vanessa,

    Because you put October 2014 on the application, you could be approved for that date if you earned less than $1,070 gross a month in October, November, and December 2014 and less than $1,090 a month in 2015 and your medical records support your inability to work more at that time.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Debbie,

    There is no way to tell what the decision will be. And, yes, the local office often has more information than the 800 number regarding pending claims; but while a hearing appeal is pending, the hearing office has the most detailed information.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Vanessa,

    I need more detailed information to respond. What date did you claim as your disability date? How much were you earning per month in 2014?Did you leave the job in 2014 due to your health? When did you start the work that ended in March 2015? How much did your earn per month?

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tracy,

    It is bit hard to tell out of context, but Ithink that it means the judge has not yet made a decision after your hearing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Kara.

  • Dear Tracy,

    My answer is posted above just about twenty-four hours ago. Here it is again:
    If the judge accepts either the medical expert’s (ME’s) opinion that you meet the listings or accepts that you have the limitations that your attorney posed to the vocational expert, your claim should be approved. You will not know for sure, of course, until you get the formal decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Michelle.

  • Dear Savana,

    The only morale booster I can give you is that at least the doctor’s report was not taken seriously. I really have no idea what to make of it. It also seems a bit odd for a judge to say good luck because the judge is making the decision and luck doesn’t enter into it. If the ALJ finds that your medical evidence supports the limitations presented to the vocational expert (VE), then I’d say you have a pretty good chance of approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    Yes, the judge should have that recorded for reference when he or she completes the review and makes the decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jacqueline,

    The length of time the correction will take is hard to predict; it depends on the workload in the office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Alice,

    It is possible that the judge will be found in error for failing to verify with the doctor whether or not the statement was legitimate. If you have not done soas yet, it could be helpful to send a statement to the Appeals Council explaining the situation about the signature and stating that the judge did not properly investigate the validity of the statement.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Haseem,

    Just be patient. I wouldn’t expect the consulting physician to be in touch with you. He has to make a report to Social Security within three weeks of the exam, but it is hard to predict how long after that you will get a decision, which will come from SSA, not from the doctor.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Michelle.

  • Dear Cecil,

    Please see my response to your first posting.

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Jacqueline.

  • Dear Terri,

    That can be true. Based on claimant report, it seems as if notification of medical approval of initial claims can lag or be omitted so that an approved Social Security claim gets sent to the program center for calculation of benefits sometimes with no notification of medical approval until the award letter is issued, which can be a couple months later. On SSI claims, the notification will come, often verbally, from the local office asking you to provide more financial information so benefits can be calculated. Appeals decisions are reliably sent out with about the same speed.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Oops, Tracy, it looks like you posted your question twice.

  • Dear Tracy,

    If the judge accepts either the medical expert’s (ME’s) opinion that you meet the listings or accepts that you have the limitations that your attorney posed to the vocational expert, your claim should be approved. You will not know for sure, of course, until you get the formal decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    No, the agreement is verbal and the judge acts on it in his or her decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Andrea,

    The guideline is for the decision to be sent to you within sixty days, but the time required may be more or less. If you haven’t heard anything in sixty days, you can call the hearing office to get a status.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cecil,

    I recommend that you request a copy of your claim file and discuss your denied claim with an experienced Social Security attorney. You can find a Social Security attorney through your state bar association or the National Organization of Social Security Claimant’s Representatives.

    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 the attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your back pay.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jacqueline,

    I think that by saying everything would be okay the employee was giving you a hint that your claim was being approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear CJ,

    Please see my response of a few minutes ago to your first posting of your question.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jacqueline,

    It appears that you posted your question twice. Please see my response to your first post.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Danielle,

    Processing times vary from office to office and sometimes Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment is processed quickly, within less than a month of finalization of medical approval, and other times it will be more than a month. If the SSI back pay exceeds $2,205, it will be paid in three installments six months apart. You should get the first installment less than a month from the first monthly payment.

    It can take one to two months after SSI is paid for Security Disability benefits (SSDI) to start and sometimes as much as a two or more months longer to get the SSDI back pay. Factors such as offsets and amount of back pay affect how long it takes the payment center to issue SSDI payments. SSDI back benefits will be reduced by the amount of SSI back benefits paid (or due in installments) for the months in which SSDI and SSI eligibility overlap. Note that if after your Social Security starts you are no longer eligible for SSI, you can request the remaining SSI installments to be released.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jackie,

    I’d say “you are going to be all right” is a hint that your appeal is being approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Denise,

    It is likely that your claim will be approved because the judge ask you to change your disability onset date to a later date and you agreed.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Andrea.

  • Dear Kesha,

    You need to take documentation of your income and assets since the date you applied for SSI in addition to all the addresses where you lived since applying and a list of any people you lived with at those addresses. Documentation might include pay or unemployment or workers compensation stubs, bank statements, and rental agreements or leases, plus anything else that would apply to you. Once Social Security has this information, your SSI benefits will be calculated and released. If you have more than one vehicle and you still owe money on one or more, take proof of the amount currently owing. It is correct that SSI disability benefits will be paid before Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. Once SSI has been set up, the payment center will calculate SSDI benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Andrea,

    Either one person or the other has given you incorrect information or the second person really meant that the decision has not made because the judge has not signed off on the letter. It is possible that upon getting the letter back, the judge noted an error he or she made and is in the process of returning to review your appeal. Either way, all you can really do is wait for the decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michael,

    Please see my response to your earlier posting of this question.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Timothy,

    The guideline for getting a decision is sixty days, but it can take longer. You can call the hearing office to find our where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process. If the judge accepts that you have the limitations that you claim, your claim could be approved based on the vocational expert’s testimony

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michael,

    The critical status is the result of the dire need letter and it means that it may be moved along a little faster. I would expect you to receive notice of a hearing date within a month. As far as why you have waited so long, all the hearing offices have large backlogs due to understaffing and large volumes of appeals; your wait is not atypical.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Totola,

    If your attorney or you has not requested a copy of your claim file, I recommend doing so. You can then review the file to see if all the needed records are in file, and if not you and your attorney can work to get them.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Dawn.

  • Dear Kara,

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amounts are based on family income and can be different every month. In addition to providing pay stubs now, you will need to submit proof of earnings by the tenth of every month if they differ from the prior month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Totola,

    It is true that individuals under age fifty are not considered to have age-related impediments to working in a new occupations. However, if your medical conditions combine to prevent you from working, then you can be approved despite your age. Be sure that the judge gets up-to-date medical records on all your conditions before the hearing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joselin,

    The information is pretty straight forward: the judge is way behind so you may wait several months for a formal decision on your hearing. You might call, as suggested, once a month to see whether the appeal has gone from waiting for a decision to waiting for a letter to be written.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dawn,

    Individuals who have received that status report have been both approved and denied, so the status really only tells you that a disability decision has been made. It is, however, an indication that you should get notification fairly soon.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Carl,

    I was not able to quickly locate the phone number for the Abilene hearing office. Your local Social Security office can provide it for you. When you get the phone number, I suggest calling the hearing office. It can tell you where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dawn,

    That is amazing to have the letter written in a day. Most hearing offices have a backlog so that the decisions sit for quite a while before the writer actually works on it.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Dawn

      Kay,

      It did sit for a while before the writer wrote it. My question is, to have it written within a day, is that good or bad news? Approval decision or denial decision?

      Thank you
      Dawn

      • Dear Dawn,

        Whether an approval or a denial, a hearing decision is written up into a long, detailed letter so there’s no way to predict whether or not your claim will be approved.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • You are welcome, Debbie.

  • Dear Dawn,

    No, both approvals and denials require extensive letters that explain the basis for the decision and there would not be a difference in how long it would take for you to get the decision mailed to you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brad,

    I don’t know whether you have a question or not, but if you have not applied for Social Security and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for her, I suggest filing an application.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Latrice.

  • Dear Nikki,

    How long it takes to get the decision is not a sign of either approval or denial. It is related to how busy the office is.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kesha,

    It is unlikely that you will receive a payment in May even if the quality assurance (QA) review is completed in the next day or so. Usually reviews are completed within a couple weeks. I do not have statistics on the percentage of ALJ decisions that are overturned as the result of QA reviews.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Bobbi.

  • Dear Dawn,

    At the initial claim level, the denial letter will be issued more quickly after the decision is made than the final approval letter that addresses payment amount. If you are denied, the denial letter will tell you have you have sixty days to appeal. With the allowance for mail time, this means Social Security must receive you appeal within sixty-five days of the date on the denial letter, but it would be better not to leave it to the last few days allowed.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Debbie,

    If you are still insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI), I would expect the decision on your claim to be that you have been disabled at least since your condition worsened. If you were still insured for SSDI on that date, your claim would be approved. Similarly, if you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and your assets and income are within the guidelines, your SSI claim would be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Christina.

  • Dear Rosalinda,

    Please see my response to your first post.

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Michelle.

  • Dear Christina,

    The judge’s remark about “crossing all the t’s,” which means having everything in order, indicates to me that he was thinking about approving your claim. However, you will not know for sure until you get the determination.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Laura,

    There is no way to know how long it will take to get the decision letter prepared and signed by the judge, especially because apparently their normal operations are temporarily disrupted.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tiffany,

    It is unlikely the bench approval will be changed, so it is just a matter of waiting for the decision to be finalized. In your last post you indicated you are in dire financial need. If you have not submitted a dire need letter, you can do so to try to move the process along a little faster. If yo do submit a dire-need statement, be specific about what the need is and if you have documentation (notice of eviction or foreclosure or utility shut off, for example), attach it as well.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Michelle.

  • Dear Mr. Shavers,

    The wait period for a hearing date in most areas is one to one-and-half years. You can look up the average wait time in your area with the following link: https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    “Accrue” means to add up or accumulate. As I used it, it just mean that benefits would start in in May either way.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bobbi,

    Well, if you are not approved, you will likely have a good basis for an appeal and for having your claim remanded to the judge for proper handling.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bobbi,

    Please see my response to your first posting of your question.

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • Dear Joselin,

    Just call the hearing office; they will be able to tell you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bobbi,

    If the judge made the decision based on only one of the three medical sources he requested or said he would wait for (he could have gotten the CE report quickly), then the decision should be an approval. If it is not, you would have grounds for appeal because he would have failed to consider evidence he agreed to receive and review.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    The loss will be three months benefits. The decision is partially favorable based on the date of disability onset you claimed; however, I am not sure whether your accepting a different date before the decision will change it to fully favorable. Either way, the benefits will be paid based on the November date of onset and benefits will begin to accrue May 2015. The only difference is that if your acceptance of the change during the hearing makes it fully favorable, you will not have appeal rights.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kara,

    No, it does not mean that the claim has been denied. It just means that all the work on the claim has not been completed. Medical approval has been received; now you are waiting for review and final approval of the non-medical elements of eligibility for the claim to be finally approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bea,

    The guideline to get the decision is sixty days from the date of the hearing, but it can take longer. All you can do is wait, but sometimes it can be helpful to have a bit more specific information than the local office or call center can give you.
    So, you can call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are again welcome, Michelle.

  • You are welcome, Michelle.

  • Dear Kara,

    The final approval of the claim does not come until the financial review has been completed and benefits calculated so maybe that is why she is saying “allowed” to mean medically approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tanisha,

    I do not have post-hearing statistics for processing time. The guideline is for a decision letter within sixty days. Because of your statement of dire need, it should be less than sixty days. If you wish to, you can call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    You will receive three months less back pay due to the change in date of onset.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kara,

    Yes, you are right. A request for income verification would be made only when there is a medical approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Michelle.

  • Dear Michelle,

    Sometimes a judge will meet only with the representative if the judge has already decided to approve the claim. In your case the judge could approve your claim if you were willing to accept a later disability onset date, which results in less back pay. If you accepted the date, your claim will be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Jackie.

  • Dear Kesha,

    You and your children can all be approved for disability benefits if your ongoing Social Security benefit is not so high as to make the children financially ineligible for Supplemental Security Income. If you have not already filed for both of them, I suggest that you do so. Also depending on the amount of your benefit, they might be eligible for a small Social Security dependent benefit.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kara,

    It does sound as if your son has received medical approval for SSI benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Andrea

    How long does it take to get a decision its been since feb21st no news yet

    • Dear Andrea,

      I suggest allowing twenty-four to forty-eight hours to receive a reply to your questions. I answered the first of your three postings a few minutes ago. Please check there for my reply.

      Thank you,
      Kay

      • Andrea

        Sorry I did it by mistake I didn’t know if I sent it the first time

  • Kesha Itsshowtime Bogan

    Hi Kay, I went in front of the judge for v the third time on Feb. 22, 2017. As of yesterday when I called the OADR, the rep said my case was closed and I should be getting something in the mail in about a week (he was extremely nice and overly emphasized on me having a pleasant and wonderful day). My question is, how long does is take for the ssa webiste to update with an approval message or what would the message say. Right now it says
    Appeal Under Review

    A medical decision has been made and we are working to process your decision. A Social Security Representative may contact you or your appointed representative directly if we need any additional documents or information.

    If I was denied, the rep wouldn’t need to contact me or my attorney for additional information right?? That would just be it right…. I am a nervous wreck!! Thank you.

    • Dear Kesha,

      The language in the online status is stock language and it does not reveal whether your claim has been approved or not. The status may not update before you get the letter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jackie

    I went to my disability hearing on January 26th I call week ago they told me I will receive a letters in 2 week no long she said wait until I receive the letter them go to the office what does that mean bad or good I 54 year old Jackie

    • Dear Jackie,

      I think that you were given a hint that you are being approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but you will not know for sure until you get the letter. (If you applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI), the approval, if it is an approval, could be for it as well.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Bama,

    You can appeal a partially favorable decision, in this case appealing a later disability onset date than you claimed. However, If you agreed to the later date during the hearing, I am not certain that the decision is considered partially favorable. I suggest that you check with your attorney about that point or you can wait until you get the letter of decision; it will say either “fully favorable” or “partially favorable.” I also suggest that you ask your attorney’s opinion on whether to appeal. If he or she says there is no point in appealing, there probably really is no point because with no back pay payable, your attorney does not get paid. Lastly, when you appeal an onset date, it is possible for the approved onset date to be changed to a denial. That doesn’t happen often, but it is possible under the law.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Bama Dan

      Thank you so very much…..Hope you have a outstanding day Kay..:)

  • Dear Prettymuchnervous,

    “Processing” just means no decision letter has been sent to you as yet. You can call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeals steps.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome.

    • Bama Dan

      You know it is very sad that you work like a dog for 36 years and then our great SS system waits you out so your no longer able to get SSDI. Then apply for SSI just to live on and boom no back pay at all….Has to be a way to fix our very wrong system. Have been out of work since 2007 and now i only get 730.00 a month with zero back pay that they owe me…Time for a drink…Thank you for help..:)

  • Dear Jadean,

    The guideline for you to get a decision is sixty days. Given that the decision has been made and is in letter writing, you may receive the letter within the sixty-day time frame.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bama Dan,

    It is not uncommon for a person to first meet the definition of disability when they are approaching “advanced age” (as Social Security defines age fifty-five) because the expectations for an older person being able to work in a new occupation are somewhat less strict than for a younger person. Your benefits will start with your sixth full-month of disability, which is August 2017 and will be paid in September because all Social Security benefits are paid in the month after the month for which they are paid.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shack,

    I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process. It is possible that the decision has been made and is in the letter writing department. The judge will not even know you called.

    And, there is always the off-chance that a decision letter was sent to you and it went astray in the mail. If they say a letter was sent out long enough ago that you should have gotten it, request a duplicate and request that they record on your record that you called because you hadn’t gotten a decision. That way, if the decision is a denial, the appeal period should start with the replacement letter. I suggest also calling the local office; if the decision was an approval, they should be able to tell you that your claim is in the payment center being reviewed for calculation and release of payment. Otherwise, you can also ask them to record on your claim record that you have not gotten a decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ann,

    The status is just saying that the judge is reviewing your claim file and the testimony from your hearing to make a decision. After that the decision will be written up in a letter for the judge to sign.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, John.

  • Dear Michelle,

    A letter of decision should be mailed to both you and your lawyer at the same time.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Dottsie.

  • Dear Dundria,

    It is possible that the judge could decide to approve your claim without a hearing even after a hearing date has been set. If that does not occur, be sure to attend the hearing; otherwise, your appeal will be denied.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mottsie,

    It won’t hurt to make a quick call to see where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process. (The request for and acceptance of a change in the disability onset date is an indication your claim will be approved.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mary Beth,

    I suggest that you do not take any action with the person who has offered to advocate for you without discussing it with your attorney first. Having two people working for you could create a significant amount of confusion and potential problems.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Deena,

    How long it takes the decision t get through letter writing varies a great deal from one hearing office to another–from a couple weeks to a couple months or more. You might try asking the hearing office for a rough estimate of the average time in their office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mary Beth,

    I do not have statistics on the percentage of approval after an Appeals Council Review. To have a successful review, you have to show that the judge made a procedural error. If you do not have an attorney, I suggest that you hire an experience Social Security attorney to review your claim file and hearing transcript and to submit an additional argument to the Appeals Council if needed.

    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 the attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your back pay.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Deena,

    It may be taking the judge a long time to get back to your claim. I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing process. If the judge has not sent a decision to the letter writing department, ask the hearing office to check to be sure that the medical info you sent in was received and given to the judge.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mary Beth,

    The information that the hearing office is the most accurate that you will get. You will not know what the decision is until you get the letter, unless a day or two before it posts online in your My Social Security account.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Keith,

    You can call the hearing office to find out where your claim is in the post-hearing process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shakeema,

    Nine years of steady work paying Social Security taxes may be enough that dependent benefit for your son will be payable in addition to your own benefit. The benefit might not be the full 50% of your benefit, however. I have seen Social Security benefits as low as a couple hundred dollars, but that has been for people who are quite young and have worked very little and have earned barely enough each year to get the quarters of coverage. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not pay dependent benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dianne,

    Based on the details you have provided, I’d say that your claim has probably been approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Stevemrnyc,

    If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your SSDI claim was sent to a central payment center, where they will double check that you were insured on the date of your established date of disability, apply any offsets you might have for SSI (see below), workers compensation, or public pension. They will calculate and authorize payment. This can take two months or more.

    If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your local Social Security office calculates and authorizes SSI payment. They should have contacted you for a financial update by now if an SSI claim was involved. If you were approved for both, SSI is paid first and the two-month-or-more time frame for processing the SSD starts after the SSI has been processed to payment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brazzi,

    It is not unusual to wait two months or more for a written decision, even when there has been a bench approval. You can call the hearing office to find out where the appeal is in the post-hearing process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear TiaR,

    In a way the emergency room visits, if for psychiatric problems, may fill in the gags.

    If you are approved, benefits will be paid based on the 2014 application. If you are approved for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), benefits begin to accrue the later of twelve months before the month you applied or the sixth full calendar month of disability, as established by Social Security. If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your benefits will begin the month following the month of application unless you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits begin with the month of application.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dadski,

    I cannot estimate your wife’s benefit for either Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    SSDI benefits begin to accrue the later of twelve months before the month your wife filed the claim that was approved on appeal or the sixth full calendar month of disability, as established by Social Security.
    If she is eligible for SSI, her benefits will begin the month following the month of application unless she applied on the first of the month in which case benefits begin with the month of application. If your VA benefits are VA compensation, they will be counted in determining her eligibility for SSI, so if you get VA comp and have gotten it for all months since she filed her application, she may not be eligible for SSI. If she is eligible for SSI, it will be paid first and her Social Security back pay will be reduced by SSI paid for months of overlapping eligibility.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dadski,

    I would expect that the writing department (not underwriting) would have an editing section to move the small corrections along more quickly, but I can’t say for sure. You could ask the hearing office.

    Sincerely,
    Kayu

  • Dear Michelle,

    The decision will not be finalized until the letter is written up and then reviewed and signed by the judge, so the local office will not know the decision. Also, the decisions are not given out orally. The length of time it takes to get the letter written up varies a great deal from one hearing office to another. Your office might be able to give you an average time for their office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Keith,

    it is correct that there is no hard deadline for getting a hearing decision and it can take more than the sixty-day guideline. I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out whether the judge has made the decision and it is just waiting to be written up. If not, that is, if the judge has not made the decision, I suggest talking with your attorney to find out why she thinks that submitting more medical information would not help your case. She may be right, but further discussion will let you know why.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Natalia,

    It could take a month or two to get the approval letter and another couple months after that to get payment if your approval is for Social Security. If the approval is for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it will likely take about a month after the letter to get payment started.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Amanda,

    The child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will begin to accrue the month after the month application unless his mother applied on the first of the month in which case benefits would begin with the month of application.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tshphoenix,

    The online status reports may not be able to handle the multiple remands and hearings. I wouldn’t worry about it. You can call the hearing office to see where your appeal is in the post-hearing (third hearing) process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Terri.

  • Dear King,

    If the judge has made the decision and has sent it for letter writing, the letter can take from a couple weeks to as much as a couple months or more. To get a better idea, you might try calling the hearing office to ask the average time an appeal is in letter writing in their hearing office and the date your claim went there.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mary,

    I suggest that you check with the hearing office to try to get an idea of when the hearing might be rescheduled.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Latrice.

  • Dear Terri,

    Pending times for a decision letter after a hearing vary from judge to judge as well as from one geographic area to another so I cannot give you a good estimate. The national guideline is for you to receive a decision within sixty days although it can take longer.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Cowgirl.

  • Dear Latrice,

    It is normal procedure that the hearing decision has to be conveyed by a formal letter. This is true of both approval and denials, so I don’t have any way of knowing whether your child’s claim will be approved..

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear DeeDee,

    It is bad that you have had to wait so long, but the length of time it takes to get a decision is not a sign of what the decision will be–approval or denial.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Valachia,

    I can’t give you an estimate, but it is likely to be less than the maximum dependent benefit, which is paid when the disabled worker has had higher earnings and/or has worked for a lengthy period of time. The maximum amount for one child is equal to 50% of the workers benefit.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear WorriedNS,

    Your attorney has answered your question: this judge takes a long time. That said, you can ask your attorney to submit a letter of dire need based on your being in danger of having your home foreclosed upon. That could speed up getting a decision. If you submit the letter, be specific as to the date by which you must bring your mortgage current or other specifics about the foreclosure process and attach copies of the last written notices you got.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are very welcome, Debra.

  • Dear Nicole,

    Some areas of the country have large backlogs in the hearing offices. It seems that one of the areas is in the letter writing department. If you are having trouble feeding your family, you can submit a dire need letter to see if that would speed anything up. The only solution to these backlogs across the country is more staff, which would have to be funded by Congress and the federal hiring ban would have to be lifted.

    If you are approved, you will have a financial update interview and then payment will be issued by the local office in from about a week to about a month after the interview and submission of any update documents they ask for. If you are not contacted for the interview within a week of your receiving the approval letter, call or visit the local office to request the interview.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    If benefits are payable to your children, the amount will be very low, possibly less than $20.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cowgirlj,

    The length of time it takes to have the letter written varies a great deal from a couple weeks to two months or more depending on the hearing office; you might ask your hearing office about its average time.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Erin,

    How long it takes to get an approval letter after a bench (verbal) approval varies. The guideline for all decisions is sixty days; however, some take longer. If the approval was for Social Security only, the wait time for payment after getting the letter can range from a month to two months or more. If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) also, the SSI will be paid first and usually within a month of a financial update interview that covers the period of time to be paid.

    SSDI back benefits will be reduced by the amount of SSI back benefits paid (or due in installments) for the months in which SSDI and SSI eligibility overlap. Note that if after your Social Security starts you are no longer eligible for SSI, you can request the remaining SSI installments to be released.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Sharon.

  • Dear Michelle,

    Earnings of $830 is below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level; so, although your work activity will be considered, the work in itself will not keep you from being approved for disability benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Kyia.

  • You are welcome, Christina.

  • Dear Cilla,

    Your cousin’s hearing decision has taken much longer than usual, but the delay does not necessarily mean it is denial. It is okay for him to call every two or three weeks to see where the appeal is in the process. They should be able to tell him whether the judge has made a decision that is waiting to be written up or no decision has been made. If he is in dire financial need, such as being in danger of homelessness due to eviction or foreclosure on his home, he can submit a letter of dire need asking to have the decision expedited.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Virginia.

  • Dear Kyia,

    All the entries that are dated are just telling you that your request for a hearing was sent to the hearing office, where it will wait its turn to be reviewed and to have a hearing date set up. You can look up the average wait time for your hearing office at https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html. I think that “SubmittedProcessingDecision” is just a title indicating the different types of status reports you will receive.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Virginia,

    Getting the letter written up can take from a couple weeks to much longer. Times vary not only by geographic area but also by how many decisions are being handled at any given time. After the letter is written, it will be returned to the judge, who will review it for accuracy and either sign it for mailing or send it back to writing for corrections.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    You need to report the work if you have not yet done so. Depending on how many months you worked and how much your net profit was–is the $10,000 profit or gross receipts?–the work could affect the decision of whether or not you are disabled. If the work was spread out over a whole year so that the earnings (net profit) were not more than $1,130 per month, the work will likely not have a negative impact on your appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    Please allow a couple days to receive a reply before re-posting your questions.

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    You have to be approved because unless you waive attending you cannot be denied without getting a hearing that you can be present at .

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    Please see my response to your first and second posts.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    I don’t know whether the decision is technically a decision on the record or a bench decision. Please see my response to your first question about how long you will wait.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    Some judges get the letter out quickly after a bench decision and some do not. The guideline is for a decision to go out to you within sixty days of the hearing, but it is a guideline only and it can take longer.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Natalie,

    All hearing appeals, approvals and denials, are written up and submitted to the judge for signature or corrections. The corrections will go back to the writing department for correction and then the letter will be returned to the judge for signature and mailing to you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ralph,

    The language referring to when you are last insured for benefits usually specifically says that you are insured through a certain date.

    I think that the language you quote is indicating that your claim is scheduled for a continuing disability review in two years because the judge thinks you may recover from your disability within two years. (This used to be explained with language that said the claim would be reviewed in a certain number of years.) I suggest that you check with the Social Security Administration to be sure of the meaning. If it does not indicate that you will have a continuing disability review in April 2019, please let me know the intended meaning.

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • Dear John,

    Thank you for the information. You and your attorney should have gotten the decision letter by now. Perhaps your attorney can call the hearing office for a duplicate letter.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Alesha,

    I recommend calling the hearing office because the My Social Security account on http://www.ssa.gov will only say that it is still pending.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ralph,

    Approvals do not typically have a future end date stated the way you have. Does the approval letter say that your claim will be reviewed again in a continuing disability review in April 2019? If it does, that means that the judge thinks that you will have recovered from your disability by then.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Patrick,

    You can look up usual wait times for a hearing date in your area at the following link: https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Haley.

  • Dear Michelle,

    Yes, I would say that the judge plans to approve your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim and that the disability onset date that he is establishing is far enough back in time that you were still insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI).

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Constance,

    “Letting the cat out of the bag” means that he told you something he didn’t intend to or wasn’t supposed to. He was probably referring to having told you indirectly whether your claim was approved or denied. Without knowing what else he said, I don’t know what that decision is.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dareek,

    When SSI back pay is released varies a lot from office to office. Sometimes it is before the first monthly check; other times, after. If you have not received the first installment of back SSI benefits within a month of receiving the first monthly benefit, I suggest following up to the local office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sharon,

    Frequently monthly benefits are started before the back pay is issued. Allow a month from the interview for the local office to start payment. If you have not received payment by then, I suggest following up.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sweetie54,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with the online status language.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Evette,

    After you get the letter of approval, it can take another sixty days or so for them to pay the Social Security Disability underpayment to the qualifying survivor. If the deceased was your husband, the benefits will be paid to you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jessica,

    I assume you are saying that you file an appeal in federal district court. You could try calling the court clerk to find out what the usual time frame is for getting a decision. However, if you have an attorney, check with him or her before calling.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Haley,

    I have not heard of a 3-6 code. Is it possible that what was meant is that it was in write up as of 3-6, meaning March 6?

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Prettymuchnervous,

    After the hearing the judge has to make a decision, the decision has to be written up into a letter, the judge has to review and sign the letter, and the letter has to be mailed to you. All those steps are part of processing your appeal after the hearing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ervin,

    If the judge finds that your claim file has information to support the symptoms and limitations you claim, the vocational expert’s testimony will likely result in the approval of your appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brazzi,

    The guideline is for the judge to get a decision out within sixty days of the hearing, but it is only a guideline. You can call the hearing office to find out where your appeal is in the post-hearing process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sakiya,

    Please see my response of a few minutes ago to your first post. The copy of the online status you have added here does not mean that a quality assurance review is in progress. I assume that you have gotten other correspondence including a decision letter and some other notification that the Appeals Council is reviewing the judge’s decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sakiya,

    Yes, the quality assurance review done by the Appeals Council could award a fully favorable decision or could remand the case to the judge for additional investigation. If the Appeals Council upholds the partially favorable decision, you will have the right to appeal the closure of the claim.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Starr,

    You will not be able to get the decision in advance of receiving the judge’s decision letter. A quick decision does not necessarily mean a denial. It just means that the judge acted efficiently. If the judge found that your claim file supports the limitations you claimed and that the vocational expert (VE) was asked about, the VE’s testimony should result in an approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dareek,

    Once you get back pay, you can use that money to pay your share and get your benefits raised so you can move.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tamara,

    When hypothetical questions are asked of the vocational expert (VE) and the VE says there are no occupations you can perform with the limitations you have, that’s a good sign.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Constance.

  • Dear Constance,

    The medical approval will come first before any money is paid, but it is possible that the benefits will be paid a little while before you get the award letter, which is a letter listing the payment amounts.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dareek,

    Apparently you are receiving free or subsidized housing and/or food and your benefit is being reduced by one-third for this in-kind (non-cash) income. When your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) starts if you begin to pay either pay fair market value (FMV) for your housing and/or food or pay your share of shelter and food expenses if you are sharing in a household, you can report the change and have your benefit increased to the maximum $735 SSI federal payment.

    Fair market value for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00.
    FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount.
    Share LA

    Your share is the total shelter expenses (and food expenses if you share food) divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Christina,

    Here is what I think happened. The judge wrote the decision, it went to the writers, and somewhere along the way someone notices previously overlooked work–your self-employment. This required the investigation, which consisted of your explaining the earnings posted to your earnings record and which put the appeal back in “review” status. It is likely that when the judge reviews your statement the decision will be fully favorable. At that point it will go back to letter writing again. I do not know whether it be returned to the same writer, be bumped up in line, or start over at the end of the line; although it seems possible that one of the first two will apply.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tina,

    Please see my response of a moment ago to your first post.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Constance,

    Maybe they said “confirmation” number; however, I’m not sure what that would refer to.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Constance,

    The judge might have said he was making a “bench decision” to approve your claim, meaning that while he is still in court with you he was making the decision to approve you. The codes may be the basis for his decision. The bench decision will be finalized when he formally makes a written decision and a letter to you is made up and signed by the judge.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Constance L Pugh

      I hope so because I can’t work

    • Constance L Pugh

      Thanks you but then when I call they said I should no something by April 2

  • You are welcome, John.

  • You are welcome, John. And you did get quick processing!

  • Dear Constance,

    The length of time varies a great deal from a week or two to multiple months depending on how busy the specific hearing office is. In the longer periods, the delay is in the decision waiting its turn to be written up, not in how long the actual writing takes.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Constance,

    The guideline is for you to get a decision within sixty days, but it is not uncommon for it to take longer.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sweetie54,

    Many hearing offices are very backed up and the time frames are guidelines not enforceable laws, so basically you just have to wait. Your best source of status information is to call every couple of weeks for an update, but you will not be given a decision over the phone. The decision may post online a short time before you get the decision letter.

    For financial planning, it may be helpful for you to know that it could be a couple months after you get the decision before benefits actually start. You can apply for reduced retirement to have income while you wait for a decision. If you are approved for disability, which is sounds as if you will be given that you agreed to a later onset date, you will be switched retroactively to the higher disability rate so that you will not have a permanent early retirement reduction.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Andrew,

    Many of the hearing offices are backed up with work. I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out whether a decision has been made and is being written up into a determination letter or the judge still hasn’t made a decision. If there’s been no decision, you might ask the hearing office whether they received the information requested in November and December and when the last evidence was received. It is has been received, all you can do is wait until the judge gets back to your appeal and makes a decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear John,

    You are welcome. The letter in the mail is the judge’s explanation of why your claim is being approved. The benefit verification letter, which you can request online will have information about your monthly benefit rate. You should also get an award letter with information about current and back pay, but it could one or two months or more before you get it.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Marsha,

    The decision is supposed to get to you within sixty days of the hearing, but often it takes longer. Apparently, your hearing office is, indeed, very backed up. You can call the office directly to get a status report to see whether the appeal has gotten out of letter writing and is back with the judge for review and signature.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Keena,

    Apparently, the attorney is concerned that your claim file doesn’t have enough evidence in it to prove that you have the level of pain that you claim and that was presented to the vocational expert to comment on. I suggest that you talk with your physician to find out whether there are any tests that would objectively prove your subjective [your viewpoint] statements of pain. Depending on what is causing the pain, there may not be. Your doctor could write a statement saying that your reported pain levels are credible and why he or she thinks so.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brittany,

    It is likely that your SSDI claim will be denied as well because the medical criteria are the same. The only way you would be approved for SSDI with an SSI medical denial would be if you were approved for SSDI for a limited time (a closed period of disability) that ended prior to the date that you applied for SSI.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cheryl,

    If you are approved for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), benefits begin to accrue the later of twelve months before the month you applied or the sixth full calendar month of disability, as established by Social Security.
    If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your benefits will begin the month following the month of application unless you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits begin with the month of application.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Becky,

    You can call the hearing office to inquire about the status of your appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cheryl,

    If you are approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), benefits begin to accrue the later of twelve months before the month you applied or the sixth full calendar month of disability, as established by Social Security.

    If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your benefits will begin the month following the month of application unless you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits begin with the month of application.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Judith,

    You cannot find out what the decision might be, but you can call the hearing office to find out where in the post-hearing process your appeal is now–awaiting a decision or awaiting the decision to be written up in a letter.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Sharon.

  • You are welcome, Dianne.

  • Dear Sharon,

    It is good that the requested paperwork was completed by your physician and submitted to the judge.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dianne,

    Yes, you are correct about what likely needed to be proved at the hearing. From your account of the vocational testimony and the judge’s comment, I would expect your claim to be approved based on not being able to work in past or new occupations. The comment about your age refers to Social Security’s rules that the older you are, the less you are expected to be able to learn and/or adapt to new occupations.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tammy,

    The guideline for a hearing decision to be issued is sixty days and often it takes longer, so at this point there is no reason to be worried.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • tammy russell

      thank you i was stressing thanks for clearing that up

  • Dear Aiyana,

    I do not have initial claim processing statistics for specific states. The usual time frame is two to five months for a medical decision. Be sure that you notify the claims examiner of your new medication and restriction from driving.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Aiyana

      Hi Kay,

      I have notified them. I don’t know why it’s taking so long. It’s been since August.

  • Dear Karen,

    It appears that when a hearing or Appeals Council review is involved, the online status is not updated until the appeal decision has been completed including the decision letter being signed and ready to send out. So, it could be that although the decision has been made, they are still working on the formal notification.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Debra.

  • Dear Toya,

    It is possible for a child to have medical, psychiatric, or cognitive problems and be receiving treatment and not be disabled according to Supplemental Security Income law. That said, if you do have medical documentation to back up the limitations that your attorney argued for are valid, your child could be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pam,

    I don’t have statistics for the wait time for a decision after the hearing. It is probably taking a long time for the judge to get back to your appeal after receiving the report from the medical specialist. The reasons could be general backlog in that office or with that particular judge, illness, vacation, time spent in hearings, etc. There is not much you can do to speed things up. If you are in danger of becoming homeless, you could file a statement of dire need and that might cut a little time off.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Raven.

  • Dear Steven,

    I do not have any definitive information for you. People have been reporting both approvals and denials with the wording “working to process your decision.”

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Debra,

    Only a small percentage of hearings result in the judge making a “bench decision,” that is, saying that the claim will be approved right at the hearing. The more common practice is for the decision to be communicated only with the official letter.

    You can call the hearing office for a status report to see where the hearing is in post-hearing process; however, the guideline for the decision to be sent is sixty days and many times it takes that long or longer.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Debra.

  • You are welcome, Andrea.

    • Andrea

      Hi my hearing was Feb 21st still no news is that a good or bad sign? Thank yoi

      • Dear Andrea,

        How long you wait for a decision is not a sign of approval or denial. The general guideline is sixty days, but it can take less or more time. You can call the hearing office to get a status on where your claim is in the post-hearing appeal process.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • You are welcome, Keena.

  • Dear Dareek,

    If your approval was for Social Security Disability (SSDI), it can take the payment center two months or more to start payment after they receive all the necessary information. If your approval was for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you have not received payment by the middle of March, a month after you provided the earnings update, I suggest following up with your local office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Raven,

    The listings can apply to anyone regardless of age; however, to meet many of the listings more than a diagnosis is needed. You have to certain test results or clinical findings that show extreme severity of the condition. If the vocational expert identified occupations you can perform with the hypothetical limitations the judge suggested, your appeal may be denied, but you will not know for sure until the decision is actually rendered.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Andrea,

    The judge considers all the testimony including the statements by your attorney and makes the decision. The guideline is for you to get a decision letter within sixty days, but it can take longer.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Keena,

    If the judge finds that the medical information in file supports the specific limitations that you have claimed and that the vocational expert (VE) spoke to, your claim is likely to be approved based on inability to perform new occupations.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dareek Harris

    I Had Went to My Local office today and I ask was my ssi decision for my income had update the lady said she working on it and on my account it’s on the 2nd level saying Hearing is processing how long before they make a solid decision on my benefits because my on sight date was Jan.9 2017 would I get anything before march

    • Dear Dareek,

      From what you have written, I am unsure of your current situation–whether you have been medically approved or are waiting for a hearing. If you have been medically approved and have had an interview to update your financial information, you should get a check and an approval letter in less than a month. If I have misunderstood your situation, let me know, and I will respond again.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Raven,

    Judges consider much more than the vocational expert’s testimony. Specifically, the medical evidence is evaluated to determine whether there is sufficient information and documentation to support that you have the the limitations that you claim. If so, it is likely your claim will be approved based on the vocational expert’s testimony that there are no occupations you can perform with your limitations.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Debra,

    Attorney fees are still 25% of back pay limited to a maximum of $6,000 per benefit awarded. Exceptions can be made if an attorney petitions for a higher benefit based on having performed more extensive services than the norm, but this is not common.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Samantha,

    The guidelines are for the judge to get the decision to you within sixty days, but it sometimes takes longer.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Andrea,

    I am unable to answer your question out of context. I suggest that you ask your doctor to interpret the report.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Marla,

    The dire need statement will speed the process up a little, but I can’t give you an estimate of how much. The reason is that many people who have filed disability claims are in dire circumstances and submit dire need statements.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Keena,

    Meeting a listing is only one way to qualify for benefits. You can also qualify based on being unable to perform prior occupations and not having the transferable skills or other abilities to work in a new occupation that you could otherwise perform if you did not have physical or mental limitations.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Shelly.

  • Dear Judy,

    You know now that you are close to getting the decision in that the appeal process is in its last phase, so I suggest that you stop calling so frequently. The judge will get to reviewing the letter for accuracy and signing it when your its turn comes up and according to other demands of his or her schedule, which includes holding hearings. If you don’t have the letter in thirty days, then a call would be in order.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Drained,

    As you describe your grandson’s condition, I would expect him to be approved. However, the school records being sent to you are not a sign of either approval or denial. You are being given an opportunity to review the evidence obtained after the hearing and comment on it, contest it or correct it if applicable.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Keena,

    The questioning of the vocational expert at your hearing followed the usual form. Your attorney didn’t ask the expert any questions because her answers to the judge’s hypothetical questions were favorable to your claim.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Constance L Pugh

      I have a scs I have had to docs removed from my neck and the doctor has to go back in my neck I have a fission in my neck I have had foot surgery breast reduction my body is gone and still have pain in my legs and feet

  • Dear Keena,

    I cannot access that part of the site because I do not have a pending claim, but I would think that you could access it by setting up a “My Social Security” account. If you continue to have problems, I suggest calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to get instructions.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shelly,

    An extensive letter will be written up to explain the judge’s decision; this is true whether an approval or denial. It can take from a couple weeks to a month or more to get the letter written and back to the judge. It just depends on whether that process is backed up or not in your hearing office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, John, and thank you for the update.

  • You are welcome, Sweetie.

  • Dear Vanilla Fusion,

    If the judge accepts that your claim file supports the medical need to miss two or more days a month, your appeal is likely to be approved based on the vocational expert’s testimony.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Debra,

    If the judge finds that the information in your claim file supports the limitations you claim, your appeal is likely to be approved based on the vocational expert’s testimony that you cannot work with those limitations.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, John.

  • Dear Debra,

    If the judge believes that the information in your claim file supports the limitations you are claiming, your appeal is likely to be approved based on the vocational expert’s testimony.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cindy,

    I suggest that you talk with your attorney. The reports may have been sent to your attorney for review and the opportunity to comment or rebut.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear John,

    Questions don’t post until they re answered. Questions are usually answered within forty-eight to seventy-two hours.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear John,

    Usually the language “process the decision” has led up to a denial; however, your appeal cannot be denied without a hearing so it must be an approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Adela,

    If the rest of the status says the decision is being processed, the decision is probably a denial. If it says they are working to process his benefit application, it is probably an approval. If a denial, he should have the letter within about ten days. If it is an approval, he may not get a letter until benefits have been calculated and released.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tina,

    With an ejection fraction of 30%, you have a reasonable chance of approval especially if your work history is in non-sedentary occupations.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Valachia,

    It just means that a decision has not yet been made and that a review is in process or the claim is waiting its turn to be reviewed.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kimmie,

    Questions are posted when they are answered and I have been out of the office for a while.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brenda,

    Whether or not your will be approved depends on your work history. If your prior occupations required you to be on your feet a lot and you do not have transferable skills for work that is done mostly seated, you could be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cathy,

    The guideline to get a decision is sixty days but it often takes longer. I suggest that you call the hearing office to see where your appeal is in the post-hearing process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sweetie54,

    The fact that the vocational expert did not identify jobs is in your favor for an approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Vanilla,

    Due to being out of the office for a time, I have not responded before your hearing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kimmie,

    Your question has been answered this week.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kimmie,

    The online status means that the judge has not yet made the formal determination or that the decision has been formalized and is in the process of being written up into a letter to you. You can call the hearing office to see where the appeal is in the process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear B.,

    There is not much you can do but wait for the hearing date. If you are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, you can file a dire need letter, which might speed things up a little.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jackie,

    I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out whether all the requested and subpoenaed records have been received and, if so, when the last were received and where the appeal is in the process. You do have a chance of approval given that the judge went to the trouble of issuing a subpoena to get your medical information. One issue is that you be disabled from your non-addiction conditions without regard to any limitations caused by the opiate addiction because no benefits are paid for drug or alcohol caused disability.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Fred,

    The long wait does not necessarily mean that you have been denied. I suggest that you call the hearing office to find out whether a decision has been made and the appeal is in the letter writing process. If not, ask the attorney whether there is anything you can do to call attention to how long the decision has been pending without riling up the judge. One acceptable action is that, if you are in danger of becoming homeless or cannot get urgently needed medical care, you can submit a statement of dire need.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Emily,

    You cannot appeal the denial now because there is only a sixty-day appeals period. Unless you have been working, you are not now be insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI), but you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability if you have limited income and assets. You can read about SSI under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this webpage.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pbmser,

    Please see my response to your first posting of this question.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Vicky,

    How long your reconsideration pends is not a sign of approval or denial. It can take two to five months to get a reconsideration decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Janice,

    The guideline is for a decision within sixty days, but it often takes longer. Your friend can call the hearing office to find out where his appeal is in the post-hearing process.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Andrea,

    Your eligibility is likely to depend on your age, occupational history, and educational level so I cannot predict whether you will be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Suzanne,

    There is always the possibility of an approval on the record (OTR) without a hearing. Usually when this occurs it is close in time to when the hearing date would be set up. I suggest that as you wait for a hearing or an OTR decision be sure that you submit any new medical information that could come up, and about every three months, send your recent medical record so the judge has current information.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bobbie,

    If the judge accepts the limitations you are claiming, your appeal should be approved based on the vocational expert’s testimony.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Christina,

    Yes, the judge has made a decision. How long it takes to get a writer assigned and the letter written varies a great deal from one hearing office to another and from time to time. You might call back and ask how long the process has been running in their office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sonia,

    “Closed” just means that the decision letter has been sent out. The decision could be a denial or an approval. The length of time it took to get a decision does not relate to the outcome.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Latara,

    The decision is not formalized until the letter of decision is issued.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Christina,

    Yes, a decision has been made; the next step is for a writer to be assigned and the decision letter to be written up and then reviewed and signed by the judge. Hopefully, it will go out within a month but it could be longer.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Stigirl,

    The guideline is for the judge to get a decision out to your within sixty days, but it can take longer. I suggest you call the hearing office to find out whether the judge has made the decision and the decision has been sent to the writing department for preparation of the letter or your appeal is still awaiting the judge’s decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Latara,

    You could wait as much as a couple months after the judge receives the lab report before you get the decision letter.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Treasea,

    All decisions, approvals and denials, are sent to a writer to have the letter prepared.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Steven,

    The vocational expert’s testimony is helpful to your claim. If the judge determines that the limitations you are claiming and that the vocational expert was considering exist, your claim is likely to be approved. I can’t say when the decision will come through.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Lissette,

    As you describe your condition, I would expect your reinstatement to be approved. I suggest that you call your local office to clarify your status. If you are denied, I recommend that you get an attorney and appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Dear Lissette,

      I suggest that you submit a dire need statement to your local office to hopefully speed up the payment of your claim in the event you have been approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Donna,

    Typically answers are generated within forty-eight hours; however, sometimes it is longer. Your question was answered a few minutes ago.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Donna,

    I see your point; the date seems odd if an active review were initiated which I doubt it was just a few days after filing. The language in these status reports is new and we are all getting used to it. In any event, you will receive a notice when the case has been assigned to a judge. That is when the more intensive review will begin, if any has occurred up to present. You can go to https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html and search for your hearing office’s city to get the average wait time for a hearing date in your area.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Aiyana.

  • Dear Tonia,

    The sixty-day appeal period starts with the date on the denial letter, if you are denied. There is no hard deadline for getting the decision to you; however, the fact that the decision is awaiting letter writing indicates that you will probably receive the decision letter within a month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cheryl,

    You can go to http://www.ssa.gov and set up a “My Social Security” account. There you will be able to check on the status. You can also call the hearing office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear DB,

    Some judges complete the formal decision quickly after a verbal approval at the hearing and others do not. The guideline is to get the decision letter out in sixty days or less. Once you get the letter, depending on the kind of benefits you are approved for it will take from less than a month up to two months or more before payment starts.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tay,

    The judge has to write up the decision, which can take a while. Sometimes the judge makes the decision right away and sometimes there is a delay, presumably due to workload and time spent in hearings. Then a long, detailed letter is prepared. The letter goes back to the judge for review and signature.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tammy,

    The next step in the process is for your claim to undergo review for non-medical factors–financial eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and insured status and other factors for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI). If you applied for SSI, you should be contacted by the local office within two weeks. If you applied only for SSDI, you may not hear anything until benefits are paid, which could be a couple of months.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Marcus,

    It is likely that your claim will be sent back to the judge for correction of the code or other needed correction. You probably will not have to do anything but wait.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Aiyana,

    Yes, do report the change in your treatment including in the report which doctor is prescribing it. Monday is a federal holiday, so call on Tuesday.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Diane,

    Your claim may have been approved. Watch for a status change within a week telling you what the decision is. You will, of course, also receive a letter.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tresa,

    Keep watching the ssa.gov site. Before long there will be an update that tells you the finalized decision, which probably will be an approval given what the judge said at the hearing. You will also get a detailed letter. If the decision is an approval, the claim will be reviewed for non-medical eligibility factors and calculation and release of benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear John,

    The decision letter will have to be prepared, which could take from a couple weeks to a month or more. After that, for a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, you will have to provide a financial update back to your application date before payment is authorized. The most optimistic time frame from the date of the letter is three to four weeks for monthly benefits to start and up to a month for the first installment of back pay.

    You can, however, file a dire need statement with the local office and also request an emergency advance payment once benefits are calculated and request more than the first back pay installment to be released if you need it to get your family into housing.

    If you were approved only for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), it can take two months for payments to start. If you were approved for both SSDI and SSI, the SSDI will be paid second and up to two months after the SSI is paid. SSDI back pay is reduced by SSI back benefits paid for the same period.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Christine,

    I don’t have sufficient information to predict whether you will be approved, but there is no reason to doubt the opinion of your attorney, who knows your case.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Marcus,

    Get your attorney’s okay first, but you might consider calling your congressperson’s office to see whether they will follow up for you. Let them know that you are homeless with a baby. Also, if you have not done so, you can file a dire need statement at the hearing office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bonnie,

    The guideline is for the judge to get a decision out within sixty days of the hearing; however, it is a guideline and the finalized decision could take less or more time.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, David.

  • Dear Tia,

    Apparently, your child’s claim has been denied twice. The next step is a hearing appeal. Unless the appeal is review and approved on the written record (OTR), your daughter gets a hearing for an opportunity to explain what she is disabled.

    It could be helpful for you to hire an experienced Social Security attorney to assist with presenting your child’s case at the hearing. 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 your child is approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount the attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your child’s back pay.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Aiyana,

    Having additional medical documentation may result in a more favorable outcome with this claim.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear David,

    The judge has a guideline of sixty days after the hearing to get the decision letter to you, but it can take less or more time. If your application is only for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), it will likely be another two months before you receive payment. If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is authorized by the local office, you could have payment within a month. If you are approved for both, the time frame for the SSDI will begin when the SSI has been paid. If you are not already receiving SNAP (food stamp) benefits, I suggest that you apply.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Eddie.

  • You are welcome, Sabrina.

  • Dear Jenn,

    Being in process is not an indication of denial. You can call the hearing office to find out whether a decision has been made and forwarded to the letter writing department or the appeal is still awaiting the judge’s decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sabrina,

    Within a month you may be notified of the hearing date. I have insufficient information to comment on your chances for approval, but the fact that an attorney took your case indicates that you have a reasonable chance.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sabrina,

    If you have a question, please post it and I will attempt to answer.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Rodriguez.

  • Dear Cathy,

    It is good that you are close to getting a decision. The decision itself could be an approval or a denial.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Eddie,

    As you describe your conditions, I would expect you to be approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Eddie.

  • Dear Rodriguez,

    I suggest calling the hearing office to see where your appeal is in the process–whether it is still awaiting a decision or it has been decided and moved to letter writing. Other than that, about all you can do is wait.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kandi,

    Your wait for a decision is outside the norm by quite a bit. Have you contacted the hearing office to make sure that a decision letter was not lost in the mail? If you find out that the decision is still pending (not in letter writing), and you have an attorney, discuss with the attorney the option of asking your congressperson’s office to follow up for you.

    If the letter was sent, find out the date of the letter, request a duplicate letter be sent to you, and that request that your case record be annotated that as of the day you called you had not gotten a decision. This is important as related to appeal rights in the event of a denial.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Peggy,

    The current average wait time for a hearing at Pasadena, Texas hearing office is seventeen months, which for you would be April 2017. As you describe your conditions, you may qualify for benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Christina,

    If you are unable to pay for your housing, utilities or essential medical care, you can submit a dire need statement, which if accepted might speed up the processing of your appeal a little bit.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dean,

    It is likely a coincidence, as I don’t know what gain either of them could possibly have by “being in cahoots” regarding anything about your case.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Eddie,

    The judge is not obliged to look at evidence submitted after the hearing unless the record was formally left open for submission of additional evidence. Plus, the decision might have already been made with the appeal in letter writing when you submitted the new evidence.

    I am not able to determine your wife’s chances for approval at the next appeal; however, her attorney would not have appealed if he did not think she had a basis for appeal and possible approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mark,

    As you describe it, your attorney did a very good job in deposing the vocational expert. As long as the judge finds that your records support your need for limited public contact and an average of one medical appointment a week, your claim should be approved regardless of your age. And yes, young people can become disabled and when they do, they are approved for benefits.

    The guideline is for the judge to get a decision out to you within sixty day, but it is a guideline only. So, the time frame can be longer. You can call the hearing office to find out whether the decision has been made and sent to the letter writing department or the decision is still pending.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kristie,

    I would expect your appeal to be approved given the judge ‘s statement and the doctor’s report. How long it will take is unpredictable. You could have a decision in less than a month or it could be two months or more. It will just depend on how fast the judge gets back to your case.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Peggy,

    The wait time ranges from ten to sixteen months depending on which office in Texas is handling your appeal. You can go to https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html and look up your office by city to get more specific information.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pam,

    The guideline for the judge to get a decision out to you is sixty days from the hearing date or from the date that the requested post-hearing evidence was received by the hearing office. Of course, this is just guideline and the wait time could be longer or shorter.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Yellow,

    Having diabetes is not necessarily disabling; many people who have diabetes work full time. You do not mention working. If you were working up until the heart attack and were earning $1,130 or more and stopped work due to the heart attack, your onset would be when you stopped work. On the other hand, if you had been unable to work due to your health before the heart attack, you could claim an earlier disability onset date.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Greg,

    When post-hearing evidence is requested and received, often the appeal ends up in a holding pattern again waiting for the judge to get back to it, which means you could easily wait for a decision a couple months from submission of the evidence. In the meantime, you can call the hearing office to see whether, the appeal is still in post-hearing development or a decision has been made moving the appeal to the letter writing department.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Peter,

    Within the last month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has initiated new online status explanations. You might try clicking on the details button to see if it provides more details. You can also call the hearing office for more detailed information about where your claim is in “hearing processing”–for example, decision still pending or in the letter writing phase.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pam,

    If you were still insured on January 1, 2016, your claim will be approved in a partially favorable decision as your family says. If you were not still insured on the onset date the judge established, your Social Security Disability claim will be denied. (If you have a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, it will be approved. Of course, if you receive a partially favorable decision, the issue is how much back pay you will receive.

    You have apparently received an advance report of the reviewing doctor’s report to give you the option to respond to it if you wish before the judge makes a decision. You could show the report to your own doctor and have your doctor (your rheumatologist, if you have one) rebut it explaining why the diagnosis is correct and when you began to have serious symptoms related to it.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pbmser,

    With the additional context you have provided, I would say possibly two or three months after you submit the requested records; however, I suggest getting your attorney’s opinion in that he or she is likely familiar with the time frames in your particular hearing office.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Depressed,

    It is possible to be medically approved for both and denied SSI due to excess income and resources. If you were medically denied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will either be denied medically for Social Security or approved for a closed period of disability that ended before you filed your SSI application.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Patricia,

    The guideline for receiving a hearing decision is sixty days, but it can be sooner or later. The hearing office has more specific information than the online record or the call center. You can call the hearing office to see whether the decision has been made and the appeal sent to the letter writing department or the appeal is still with the judge waiting for him or her to formalize the bench decision.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Depressed,

    The online status must not have been updated. If you received a hearing denial letter, the letter is the correct information. Read over the denial letter carefully for the reasons for the denial and request a copy of your claim file and the hearing transcript. It could be the judge denied your claim because he or she did not find that the information in your file supported the limitations you claim and that were presented to the vocational expert as hypothetical limitations.

    If you think the judge made an error, you can appeal. If you do not have an attorney, 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 the attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your back pay.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Der Shakeema,

    The hearing office would not have anything from the time you requested the hearing to present unless you or your attorney submitted updated information. I suggest that you request a copy of your claim file so you can see exactly what is and is not in file.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • shakeema lynch

      Thank you Kay happy holidays

  • Dear Quanna,

    I can’t predict whether your children’s benefits will be continued, but I would have expected you to have gotten a decision on your appeals by now. I suggest that you call the Disability Determination Services (DDS) to ask the claims examiner whether he or she has requested anything that has not been received and, if not, approximately when a decision will be made on the two claims. (Note that each appeal is processed separately, so there may be two different examiners.) If they are waiting for something, follow up to get it submitted.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kevin,

    I do not have statistics specifically for the Santa Barbara area. New claims in California are running from six weeks to five months with most offices in the seven-week to four-month range. You can call the Disability Determination Services to find out the status of your claim and to ask whether they are waiting for anything that they have requested from your medical providers. If so, you can follow up with the providers to move things along. If they say no, ask if they can give a rough estimate of a completion date.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kevin,

    I do not have specific information about processing time for initial claims, but California has ranged from six weeks to five months with most offices falling in the seven-weeks to four-month range.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brenda,

    Allow up to three or four business days for the payment to go through the banking system.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brenda,

    You should also be getting a mailed copy of the award letter also; however, unless the letter indicates approximately when you will receive payment, you may still have to wait a while for benefits to start.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pbmser,

    Please see my response to your first post. From this post, I am wondering whether you mean that ODAR received your appeal in August 2015, not 2016. If so, then you should have an approval or a hearing date within a month or six weeks.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pbmser,

    The benefit estimates your received are informational and not a sign of approval for benefits. If you just filed a hearing request, you will wait from a year to two years for your appeal to be reviewed. Even if enough information was submitted to approve your claim without a hearing, it will still have to wait its turn for review. You can get the average wait time for your ODAR office by searching for the city the office is on at https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html. During the wait period, submit updated medical evidence every three months or whenever any significant change occurs, such as the information that the most recent fusion is not working.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shakeema,

    The authorization for release of information, the form SSA-827, may be used only to clarify any points needed. You cannot be assured that the hearing office will request the recent records, so I recommend that your go ahead with your plan and get your records quickly and submit them. Let the attorney know that you are doing this. Call the hearing office to ask how long the pre-hearing development usually is in their hearing office. You can also tell them that you are submitting updated medical records.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shelly,

    Attorneys take cases only when they think there is a reasonable chance of winning because they do not get paid if no benefits are awarded. Briefings before hearings are usually held close to the time of the hearing so that the briefing will be fresh in the claimant’s mind on hearing day. The amount of detail that attorneys go over in the briefing varies quite a bit depending on the attorney and the characteristics of the claim. You can ask the attorney about his or her approach to the hearing if you feel you need more orientation.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jessica,

    The amount of time that your son’s reconsideration appeal has been pending is outside the norm. I suggest calling the Disability Determination Services (DDS) to inquire whether they can give a rough estimate of when a decision will be rendered. If you did not put it in the claim or appeal papers, mention that you have not put your child in pre-school or kindergarten because of his behavioral problems. As far as hiring an attorney at this point, you will have trouble getting an attorney to take the case because attorneys are paid a percentage of back pay. Because benefits have been continued, there will be no back pay from which an attorney could be paid.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cynthia,

    Send a statement of dire need (a letter is fine) to whichever office is currently working on your claim–the Disability Determination Services or the hearing office. If you have already gotten a medical approval, submit the statement to your local Social Security office. In addition to requesting expedited processing, be specific about your homelessness. Are you sheltering in a car, in public shelters, couch surfing and running out of people to stay with. Also indicate that you are using a feeding tube and how difficult that is without a stable home. If you are waiting for a medical decision and have been approved, re-submit the statement currently dated to the local office after the approval; don’t expect that the local office will be aware of the prior request.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jacque,

    Apparently, your claim has been denied twice. The average amount of time between the first denied appeal and getting a hearing varies by geographic region. You can find out the average time in your area by going to https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html and searching for the name of city where your hearing office is located.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jackie,

    Yes, I would say that the judge has decided to approve your claim. If he does not, the fact that he did not wait to receive what he originally requested could be grounds for an appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Realist78,

    You cannot assume that all your records have been received. You can ask the examiner which records have been received. Ask for both the providers and the dates covered and whether they have requested any records or statement that have not been received. The new online status reports will state a decision has been made and the your “benefit application” is being processed and will be posted before you get a letter. The status does not reveal whether the decision is an approval or a denial.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brenda,

    Review of evidence that has been submitted can be done quickly or it can take quite a while. The length of time depends on the workload in the office and how complicated your case it. The office itself might be able to give you an estimate.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, John.

  • Dear John,

    You do not need to submit bank account information to the hearing office because the hearing office is not involved in issuance of benefit payments.

    You can submit a dire need request in an ordinary letter. Reasons for acceptance of dire-need access are homelessness or threat of it, loss of utilities or other conditions making shelter uninhabitable, lack of food, lack of medications and/or critical medical care and the inability to meet the needs another way. Be specific as possible about the circumstances and attach copies of eviction or foreclosure notices, utility shut off notices, etc. If you are medically approved, re-submit the letter to your local office also.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear John,

    If you haven’t already, you can submit a statement of dire need to the hearing office to request expediting of the formal decision and of the process that leads to payment. For help in the meantime, check with your local state or county social services office to find out whether there is any source for temporary housing for your family and whether your family qualifies for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and SNAP (food stamp card).

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Diane,

    I am not sure I fully understand your situation. If you mean that the judge was making a decision on the record, the decision would have to be an approval. However, if the documents that were requested of the attorney were related to your medical condition that would mean a decision had not been made. I suggest that you call the hearing office for a status. If they say you have been approved and a letter has been sent to you, then check with your local office about any non-medical information or documents they may need. If you still can’t figure out the status of your claim, contact your attorney’s office again.

    If you are approved, you can provide bank account information to your local office to have direct deposit or you can request a DirectExpress debit card to which benefits would be loaded. In either case, be sure they have your current address in the event that a first payment is sent as a paper check.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brenda,

    Although your account has been verified for direct deposit, it can be a month or two after your attorney is paid before your benefits start. You will likely start getting monthly benefits first, followed by back pay one to two months later.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Paula,

    Please see my response to your first post.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Doughbeater,

    It is hard to know what the judge meant; he may have just been saying that he’d get to your claim soon or was acknowledging a dire need status. If the new codes are post hearing codes, stage 2 could mean that the decision has been made and is in letter writing; however, I do not yet have the key to the different codes that are now being posted. I suggest that you call the hearing office to get a status. And, perhaps you could share what you found out.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brenda,

    Now, you wait for the local office to process the non-medical portion of your claim and issue payment. Usually payment is started within a month of the office receiving everything they need from you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tracy,

    You can expect to be approved with the more recent disability onset date.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shakeema,

    I am unable to estimate how long the work up takes, but once it is completed there should not be a long delay before you are notified that it has been assigned.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michelle,

    The judge has made a decision–either approval or denial–and the decision and the reasons for it are being written up into a letter. After the letter is prepared, it will be sent back to the judge for review and signature.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear David,

    Assuming that you were not told a hearing would be rescheduled, the judge may have decided that he or she could approve your claim on the record (OTR) based on the information already in file. I suggest calling back in about two weeks. If you are told the same thing, that, is no decision has been made, inquire whether a new hearing will be scheduled.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Diane,

    I suggest that you clarify with your attorney’s office what is meant by “payment papers.” They could be additional paperwork needed for the attorney to be paid. If that is the case, it would be a sign of an upcoming approval. (A long wait does not necessarily mean a denial.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • 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