My doctor says I am disabled, so why was I denied Social Security disability benefits?

By / March 3, 2016 / Appealing If Your Application Is Denied / 130 Comments

Learn why you were denied Social Security Disability when your doctor said you were disabled and see how an attorney can help you win your appeal.

Reasons Why Social Security and Your Doctor Could Disagree
There are several reasons why you could be denied disability by Social Security, even though your doctor says you are disabled.

First, there is the chance that you are not disabled as defined by Social Security. “Disability” means different things to different people, even to different medical professionals. When it comes to getting disability payments, the only definition that counts is the one used by the paying organization. This means that to get Social Security Disability you must meet Social Security’s definition of disability, which is fairly strict. It requires that you be unable to earn “substantial earnings” earnings in any occupation you have done in the past and in any other occupation you could reasonably perform. In 2017 “substantial earnings” for the blind is generally $1,950.00 monthly in gross wages or net self-employment. For all others it is generally $1,170.00. Additionally, to be eligible your disability has to continue for twelve months or more.

On the other hand, you may in fact be disabled by Social Security Disability rules. In this circumstance, your claim may have been denied because your doctor did not sufficiently explain your condition and how it affects your ability to work. Many doctors are rushed and hurry through their reports to Social Security. Others are not aware of all the factors they should be explaining, or don’t explain them in language that the claims examiner recognizes as meeting Social Security’s criteria.

In some cases, you may not have clearly described all the physical and mental requirements of jobs you have done in the past, so that Social Security thinks your past work was less demanding than it was.

Appealing a Social Security Disability Denial
If you believe that you do meet Social Security Disability requirements after being denied disability, then it’s time to appeal. A good Social Security lawyer can talk with your doctor to obtain an appropriate follow-up report and perhaps additional records to support your appeal, or assist you in accurately representing your past work or in making any other necessary argument for your appeal.

For information about the Social Security disability appeals process and about filing a Social Security Request for Reconsideration, see our articles “What Is a Social Security Request for Reconsideration?” and “I Was Denied Social Security Disability. What Can I do?” For more information about attorney representation, visit our articles “How Can a Social Security Disability Lawyer Help Me Get Social Security Benefits?” and “How Do Social Security Disability Attorneys Get Paid for Representing You in Your Disability Claim?”

My doctor says I am disabled, so why was I denied Social Security disability benefits?
2.67 (53.33%) 3 votes

  • Dear Dee,

    If you completed the “short-form” continuing disability review (CDR) form and were informed nothing else was needed at this time, you can expect to continue to receive benefits. It is possible there will be another review in three, five, or seven years.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Angela,

    Based on reports from claimants, who report either an approval or a denial after either of the two sets of language, I’d say there is no way to tell what the difference is–even though, theoretically different language should have different uses and meanings.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Angela,

    Yes, I have seen people be denied when it appeared the vocational and medical testimony supported disability; however, in your case, the fact that the judge asked you to accept a later disability date is a strong indication he is considering approving your claim.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Veronica,

    “Ready to clear” just means ready to have a decision made. It could be an approval or denial, but the fact that they have pursued all the records indicates that a thorough review is being done.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Imogene,

    If your attorney has not already done so, I recommend requesting a copy of your claim file so that you can see exactly why your claim was denied. You can check on average wait times at your hearing office by going to https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/DataSets/01_NetStat_Report.html.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Debbie

    Hello Kay,
    My name is Debbie and I have had degenerative disc disease since 2002, and over the years I now have spinal stenosis. I am 62 years old and struggle to work a full time job. This is my report and findings. Sorry it’s so long and please give me your thoughts at your earliest convenience. Thank you in advance.
    FINDINGS: There is minimal thoracic curvature. The thoracic spine
    has normal AP alignment. Paravertebral body stature is normal.
    There is minimal diffuse disc disease without compromise of the
    spinal canal or neural foramina. In the lower cervical spine there
    is moderate disc disease at C6- 7 with posterior vertebral body
    osteophytes encroaching upon the ventral aspect of the spinal canal
    and asymmetric neural foraminal narrowing worse on the left than the
    right.

    In the lumbar spine there is a levoconvex curvature with the apex
    centered at L3- 4. There is asymmetric disc space narrowing at the
    3- 4 level; severe on the right with associated endplate sclerosis
    and osteophyte formation. At 3- 4 there is a broad disc bulge and
    asymmetric hypertrophic facet disease with associated moderate severe
    compromise of the spinal canal asymmetrically and narrow worse on the
    right than the left and associated moderate narrowing of the right
    foramen with incomplete effacement of the perineural fat. The left
    foramen is patent.
    At L5- S1 the disc is desiccated with complete loss of disc height.
    There is endplate sclerosis. There is mild narrowing of the ventral
    aspect of the spinal canal. There is moderate narrowing of the
    lateral aspect of the left neural foramina due to endplate
    osteophyte. There is mild narrowing of the right neural foramen due
    to endplate osteophyte facet disease.

    At 2- 3 there is moderate disc space narrowing with mild to moderate
    narrowing at the canal and no significant compromise of the foramina.
    There is moderate disc disease.

    At 1- 2 the disc space is fairly well maintained. There is minimal
    facet disease. There is no significant compromise of the canal or
    foramina.

    There is a 4.5 mm right lower lobe pulmonary nodule unchanged
    compared to abdominal CT from 2010 consistent with benign process.

    • Dear Debbie,

      Please tell me what symptoms you have, the type of work you are doing now and have done in the past, and in what way working is difficult for you now. With that information, I may be able to respond.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • You are welcome, Imogene.

  • Dear Imogene,

    Yes, I think the remark was a hint that she is recommending approval. I suggest that you wait to get the decision because it sounds as if you have submitted a lot of things that we not present in your file when your claim was denied the first time. If you are denied, you can hire an attorney then.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kathy,

    It can be hard to prove disability based on a combination of medical conditions because you have to prove that the different limitations, if any, from each condition combine to keep you from working. If your claim is denied, I suggest you request a copy of your claim file and the hearing transcript and discuss the denial with an experienced Social Security attorney to see whether an Appeals Council appeal would be viable.

    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 Carlos,

    You do not say whether you have exhausted all your appeals or not. If you are still in an appeals period, I suggest that you discuss your claim with a Social Security attorney to see whether an experienced attorney thinks a case of approval is possible.

    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 Alice,

    If you have a question and would like to post it. I will see if I can answer it.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear To The Sun,

    Your claim will not be denied because your lifestyle contributed to your disability. Many, many illnesses are heavily contributed to by lifestyle choices and deficits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Angie.

  • Dear Pbmser,

    The report is saying that you can do sedentary work even though you might need to change positions more frequently than normal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Angie,

    You wouldn’t necessarily be denied for not trying a treatment. Hopefully, at the hearing you explained the reasons that you didn’t try Botox after the acupuncture failed.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Peggy,

    The status report is letting you know that you will get your approval or denial decision soon. Keep checking online because the decision will be posted soon.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shelby,

    The definition of disability is the same for both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI). SSI only requires that you be disabled when you applied. Therefore, your SSI benefits will not stop if your Social Security claim was denied because you did not become disabled at an earlier point in time while you were still insured for Social Security Disability.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shelly,

    Given that both the consulting physician and your own doctor think you are not employable, I suggest that you request a copy of your claim file and the hearing transcript and, if you do not have an attorney, hire one to help with your request for an Appeals Council Review.

    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 the back pay.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bree,

    I can’t predict whether or not you qualify for benefits; but your doctor’s support could be helpful to your claim. When you apply this time, be sure that you list all your illnesses and include any symptoms or problems you have related to each condition including the brain tumor.

    If you are denied, I recommend that you request a copy of your claim file to see the exact reasons and that you hire 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

  • Kelli

    Hi, I was just seen by an ALJ who said if I was 55 years old approving me for ssd would be easy. I am 34 I was in a car accident that totalled my suv.

    Since then I have been treated for chronic pain I wear a 24/7 fentanyl patch, take flexiril, gabbapentin, tramadol, prozac, xanax, and ambien.

    I had a cervical fusion at C5/C6
    I have lost function in my left hand due to radiculopathy and carpal tunnel. I had to see a nuerologist to perform a EEG/ EMG? I forget the exact name of the test but it did show my radiculapthy and carpal tunnel.

    I also have broad based disc bulges at t7/t8
    T8/9. That indent the thecal sac of my spine. Surgery in this area is way too dangerous. It is not an option
    I also have bulges at t10/t11 t11/t12

    My whole entire lumbar spine has bulges at every level. I also have sciatica issues

    I have severe joint pain. Typing this out is actually hurting me. I believe it from Lymrs disease as I had the bullseye rash 7 years ago. I did not know what it meant. I took a picture but it got lost when my husband switched everything to Apple.

    I am diagnosed with cervical and lumbar stenosis and disc degeneration. Also thoracic disc displacement, radiculapathy, myofacial pain syndrome (suicide pain). Fibromyalgia, OCD, Anxiety, ADHD, Depression, and Carpal tunnel.

    At my hearing the doctor in the room said my chronic pain and injuries will never go away. The vocational specialist put out a few sedentary jobs, but admitted I would not be able to hold those jobs because of my limitations and constant dropping things that are in my left hand.

    My doctor wrote a rfc claiming I was disabled for my school loans to be forgiven. I have been approved for student loan forgivness based on my injuries, limitations, and diagnosis. He wrote that back in April… it is now December, so the judge is giving me a month to get a new rfc form filled out from my doctor and is also sending me for a psych eval… I see my psychiatrist regularly. I have given those records to the judge, so I am not sure what she wants me to accomplish with a new psych eval.

    The main problem with approving me is my young age 34. That seems to be what is holding the judge back. Im am very worried, but then again if she plans on denying me why would she be sending me to a psych eval and get another rfc from my pain specialist? Do you think she is going to approve me, but needs the new rfc and psych eval to cover herself for approving mr at age 34? I just do not know what to think. I am a nervous wreck wondering what I will do if she denies me, because all activity sets off my myofacial pain causing very painful trigger points to become even worse. It is like a domino effect.

    What do you think my ALJ judges decision will be after I get my new rfc and psych eval? It seems I have everything going for me but my age (34). I did not cause the accident of want to be disabled. I was 2 classes away from my associates but I had to stop going because of my injuries and pain.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelli,

      I think the judge wants the consultative exam and current residual functional capacity (RFC) reports to be sure that her decision is well documented, whatever it is. Requesting these things is not an indication that she has made up her mind either way–approval or denial.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Irene Brown

    Good afternoon,

    I have waited almost 3 years for a hearing, and will go in front of a judge in a few weeks. I just came back from my lawyer and she doesn’t believe I will win my case. I have Degenerative disc disease with annular tear, severe fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, chronic Intersital cystitis, IBS, chronic anxiety, memory impairment (due to Lyme). I live in constant pain everyday and have to use mobility aids to get around. My doctor declared me disabled and cannot make a gainful income to support myself. Everything is in writing from to not being able to lift stoop or even walk 1/2 block. She was concerned because I am only taking a arthritis medication. All the medications prescribed did not help me. I have been under constant care, and medications do not help me. I am at a loss right now. If I do not win this case, I have no idea what my future holds. She also advised me to wear no make up and sweats? I don’t even understand this and think it would be very disrespectful. I am 47 years old and weight 110 lbs. I try to look respectful at all times. If you can please respond to this message for some guidance, it would be much appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Irene

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Irene,

      I suggest that you ask your attorney whether she herself thinks you are disabled and also ask how she will present your case so it will be seen in the best light. I understand your reticence about wearing sweats; I think she is concerned that you don’t appear from the outside to be disabled because you are able to groom yourself and look nice. You might talk to her about it again in light of the fact that you will be using mobility aids. You might also get a printout from your pharmacy of your medication history going back to the date you are claiming disability or earlier to show medications tried. That would support that you have tried meds that didn’t help.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Karen Evans

      Irene, I just received my judge’s favorable decision last week (for chronic migraines, BP II, and anxiety.) My attorney told me to dress respectfully and that the judge would appreciate it. Although I hadn’t dressed up/done my hair/put on make-up in ages, one of the judge’s first comments was: “Well, you LOOK healthy.” Although I am 59 years old, she later told me: “You’re not that old.” I left feeling hopeless, yet it was the doctors’ & psychiatrist’s records and recommendations that bore the actual weight of the case. I wish you luck and hope you have a really smart judge who won’t be fooled by sweatpants.

  • SC

    Good afternoon-
    Today, my doctor told me that she does not think that I am able to work. She is consulting with my other specialists and doctors. My employer cut my hours to two days a week because I was in the hospital too much. I cannot afford anything with two, 8 hour days and paying my bills has become almost impossible. I am 24 years-old and have Severe Osteoporosis due to a ten year battle with Anorexia Nervosa. I also have endometriosis, pituitary abnormalities (rupture and adenoma), hyperprolactinemia, gastritis, Borderline Personality Disorder, cyclic vomiting syndrome, and I am awaiting biopsy results for dysplasia in Barrett’s Esophagus. I have been hospitalized 5 times in one year (once for a week due to sepsis caused by a kidney infection). I also had surgery for Endometriosis earlier in the year. I will begin going to John Hopkin’s per referral for my Osteoporosis for treatment (which is nearly 3 hours away). My bones have been compared to a person in their 70’s. My blood work is consistently abnormal. My question is what would be the best type of disability to apply for if my doctor decides I am unfit to work, and would my age be a deciding factor?
    As far as limitations go- I vomit at any moment, and it happens unexpectedly. It is painful in my spine to both sit too long, and stand too long (I also have scoliosis in addition to the osteoporosis). Walking too long I become nauseous and my spine and legs hurt. My neck and shoulders hurt. I have lost 8 lbs in a month (I now weigh 98 lbs at 5’4″), I experience dizziness and nausea consistently, I have chronic headaches, and I get fevers randomly throughout the week.
    It is not my wish to go on disability, but after my conversation with the doctor, it may be necessary. Any advice would be appreciated.

    P.S. I currently work as a preschool teacher, have worked as a vet assistant and cashier in the past.

    Thanks in advance,

    -SC

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear SC,

      Working only two days a week, I am guessing that you are earning less than $1,130 gross per month. If so, you can apply for benefits now while working. Because you have been working, you may be insured for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI). Depending on the amount of your earnings you may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), so I suggest you apply for SSI at the same time as you apply for SSD.

      When you apply, claim the earliest date that you both started to have serious symptoms and began to miss a lot of work (maybe the first hospitalization). This might be before your hours were cut. If it was an earlier date and there were periods you earned more than $1,130, list the periods you worked saying that they were unsuccessful work attempts. You can start an SSD claim online or you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and request an appointment to apply for both SSD and SSI. Then gather up the dates you’ve been on and off work and the contact information for all your medical providers and dates of hospitalization. Your young age will be considered, but it will not keep you from being approved if you cannot work and perform substantial gainful activity (usually $1,130 gross).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Curious

    My husband had osteosarcoma in his leg. They did limb sparing surgery on him, so he could keep his leg. However, it is only a metal rod inside and he has very limited function. His back is also out of alignment due to one leg being shorter than the other. He was on disability for five years , but they recently did a review and said he is no longer disabled. However, he may be getting ready to have surgery again due to his leg not functioning right. We have appealed , but I was wondering what our chances may be of receiving benefits again

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Curious,

      I am unable to assess whether your husband is still disabled under Social Security law. He must be unable to work in any occupation that he could otherwise perform if he did not have his physical limitations. This means that if he has the ability to work in a sedentary occupation (one in which he would be seated most of the day with minimal standing and walking), he would no longer be disabled.

      If he really believes he is unable to work, it may be a good idea to hire an experienced disability attorney to help with the appeal. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front, and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brenda

    I was turned down by SSDI . They said , have not paid in enugh. I have Graves disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, anxiety disorder, bipolar depression, schizophrnia affective disorder, GERD, IBS asthma, bronchitis just to mention a few. Should I appeal or go to SSI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brenda,

      If there is no error in your earnings statement, which is the official record of your work history, appealing the denial will not be fruitful. You can request a copy of the earnings record to be sure it is correct. If it is, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is your only other option.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • AliciA

    Hello I’m 52 years old with babck and leg and depression and anxiety I was denied at two levels however my dr reports state that I’m at 10 percent functioning the judge disagreed and sided with there dr who saw me once for ten min should I appeal

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alicia,

      I suggest that you get a copy of your claim file including the hearing transcript and discuss your claim with one or more experienced Social Security attorney to get an opinion on whether you have grounds to request an Appeals Council review. 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

  • chet

    I have been turned down 3 times so far i have copd stage 3 now and below the blue book guide lines. Also have had back surgery.blew disk. I am in the appeals div in va. Will i get it. Thanks. Chet

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chet,

      I do not have enough information to predict whether your Appeals Council appeal will result in the approval of your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Daniel atkinson

    Hello….I had what turned out to be an Ischemic Stroke on November 9, 2014. I had spent 3 days in the hospital, and then therapy (home therapy and through the hospital). I had filed for disability once I figured out that I’d be unable to go back to work…at the time I was doing maintenance work at a golfcourse – before that, I was a carpenter. I am unable to use my right arm and hand, and have limited mobility in my left leg. the neurologist I’d seen while at the hospital stated that I would be unable to work, and had filled out stating why in a letter to social Security…I’ve since been denied twice, and a currently awaiting to get called before whomever oversees such cases. I do have legal representation – my question is since I’m unable to perform the type of work that I was doing – what are my chances of successfully being able to receive compensation from Social Security? I was 48 when I had the stroke, and just recently turned 50…I’m guessing it’s really just a waiting game now.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daniel,

      At your age, your medical condition and your capacity to work in another occupation with the limitations you have will be considered in determining whether or not you meet the Social Security definition of disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Bryan

    I have been fighting for SSi for over 8 years so long that I forgot the actual amount of years. I have seizures that have landed me in er twice while fighting. My doctor has ruled me unfit for work to the point I can’t even take a bath with out supervision. My last battle with SSi sent me to court where I was given the verdict of “disabled but not disabled enough for benefits” which only made looking for work in this state even harder. Which my doctor still states I should not even be doing. Adding all of this to my bipolar it’s left me stuck between a rock and a hard place. Frankly I would rather work again but at this point neither sides wish to cooperate with my situation. SSI isn’t worth the effort since they have gone as far as speed denial. Employers here have access to medical records which ruins my chances for finding any or even getting callbacks. It is rare to be in this situation and it’s left me tired and unable to do anything.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bryan,

      If you are still in the appeals period, you can file a request for an Appeals Council review. Employers do not have access to your medical records. Some employment applications do ask whether you have physical or mental conditions that would interfere with your doing the specific job you are applying for. I suggest that whether or not you appeal further that you contact your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)and request training services for occupations that you could do with the limitations and restrictions you have. If you qualify for training, you will have a direction for the kinds of work to seek. Note that DVR will do an evaluation; and if they decide they cannot help you because you are not well enough to work, their report will be good evidence for a disability claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Scourtroul

    My husband has been fighting for his SSDI for many years. He had a stroke that left him with hemeplagia and dropfoot as well as diabetic neuropathy, polyneuropathy, amyotrophy that has left him with severe muscle wasting on his affected side as well as memory issues from childhood that have only worsened with time. On our way to his hearing in May, we were called by the clerk of the ALJ and were told the ALJ had postponed the hearing and wanted him sent for 3 CE appointments. He saw an internal medicine doctor, a neurologist and a psychologist. Enternal medicine doctor stated he would write that he is extremely limiting in doing any activities including ADLs and while it wasn’t his decision, he would write that he believes he is eligible and stated to my husband “when you get your social security, get Medicare as well so you can get better access to healthcare.” The neurologist confirmed his stroke and left sided hemeplagia and severe neuropathy as well as stated he is very limited in his activities. As expected, my husband did poorly on the memory questions asked by the psychologist. On top of all this, my husband currently has a diabetic ulcer on his toe that goes to the bone and an infection in the bone and is on IV antibiotics through a picc line. We have now been rescheduled for a hearing in October. He will likely still be on antibiotics and in a wheelchair due to not being able to walk on the foot until The wound heals. The ALJ has requested a vocational expert, an ME Endocrinologist and an ME Psychologist. The judge has a record of only approving approx 38% of cases that he hears. Is it normal to have to go through all these hoops especially at this level and is the fact that the ALJ has requested all these experts and exams a negative sign?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Scourtroul,

      I think that there is very good chance that your husband will be approved for benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joyce Billings

    I see a psychologist on a regular basis. I also see a psychiatrist for medications. My psychologist and my psychiatrist work together. I have been fighting social security for 3 yrs. My psychologist filled out paperwork that SS sent but my psychiatrist refuses saying the medical records are enough. SS psychiatrist says I’m fine. I have an advocate and have been waiting a year and a half to go to court. I am now living yard sale to yard sale. My house will be going into foreclosure soon. What is wrong with the system that it takes so long. SS rep told me to look into food banks and homeless shelters.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joyce,

      I suggest that you try negotiating with your bank to hold off on the foreclosure. You might also talk to a realtor to see if you could sell your house for more than you owe on it. If so, you could pay off the bank and might have some money to into get a small apartment. Also, I suggest that you talk with your psychiatrist about the fact that you are in danger of losing your home and being homeless and that you really need to have all the evidence possible to support your case. Get a copy of the consulting psychiatrist’s report and show it to your doctor. If he doesn’t agree with it, it might motivate him to write a rebuttal letter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • dreday

    Arachnoid cyst on brain and arachnoiditis due to horrible epidural procedure on spine gran mal seizure 2011 6 seizures in 6 yrs ,pudendal neuralgia from epidural procedure. I am living in severe pain every day neck,shoulder, crotch burning severe tenderness, dizziness, vision disturbance left side, hemiparesis left side ,fall in to things balance off, headaches lft side, chronic pain, cartilage disorder, scoliosis, seizure disorder. The social security has a dr. I went to he told me you don’t have gout you could not walk if you have it ,I had surgery on left knee in 2010. I HAVE 3 different letters by 2 different psychiatrists telling you that I have bipolar with psychotic features.All this and all the hospital tell s.s.is something is wrong with knee,seizure, under control headaches, personality disorder under control. 63 appointments in 2 yrs I .Can I go to any hospital and get Second opinion? This is horrible for anyone to go through with no support. How can you have disorder of central nervous system and not get ssi at least no money with wife and 3 kids. I have had EEG’S, mri, 8 psychiatrists, 4 rheumatologist, 4 orthopedic, 3 neurologist, 3 pcp’s, and not a dime since 2009 0 dollars. I think County hospitalmisuse government funding. They know what is wrong with me but still use me as a Guinea pig If you know what is wrong let the s.s. know and let me support my family I have never been treated so badly. They said I can get a mri but I don’t think they are going to look for what I say is the problem I have no trust in this jps system.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dreday,

      Check with your insurance coverage to see if it covers a second opinion.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Pamela L Foster

    Hi Kay, I have a condition known as Basilar Invagination, I currently have a 7 disc neck fusion going, with rods and plates in my head..I will never move my head normally again ever…I applied for SSN, but I didn’t see this condition on the blue book…I worked in a candy factory for 16 years and I will not be going back according to Doc…Just wondering if you have any feeling on this, I am 53 years old, and they also took my licence, for now…Thanks Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pamela,

      A claim can be approved based on vocational history even if the claimant’s medical condition is not in the Blue book listings. Whether or not you are approved will depend on whether there are other occupations you can perform based on your work history, education, and physical limitations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • bre

    Hello kay, I just received a denial for my reconsideration for anxiety ptsd and depression.All of my doctors said I have all 3. In my denial letter it states they contacted one of my treating physicians they contacted my gynecologist that happened to be a primary care that is allowed to treat for anxiety. I was prescribed medication and was told I have chronic depression. I only saw this Dr twice due to my medical wouldn’t cover any other psych Dr at the time. I got 3 other Dr’s and proper meds to help but none of them did. my condition has got worse through this whole process. I called the gynecologist office and they told me no such report was even sent to social security and on my denial letter it has a date when they supposedly did 06/15/2016. My conditions they said I applied for i.e add depression mood swings lack of concentration. I filed a claim for those conditions back in 2013 and was immediately denied due to me not knowing how to properly handle my case and not responding to letters. I reapplied in 2015 for depression and anxiety and ptsd.Are they still on 2013 file? I’m so confused and upset at this I can barely leave my house due to my conditions and I have two small children that need me.i have no family or friends or savings to help myself.Im trying to hold it together for the sake of my kids. Is there a way I can turn in a recent r.f.c.report to the dss to get it overturned or anything before going through another lengthy process to see the judge.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bre,

      The only next step open to you is to file a request for a hearing. There’s no provision for an informal reopening of the recnsideration decision. I recommend that you hire an attorney and work closely with the attorney to make sure that all your medical records and RFC reports are submitted to the hearing office before 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 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

  • Esther

    Hi Kay, my question is…

    Am 32 years old, I had a back surgery last year…I dont see the doctor that did my surgery anymore however i cant find a job due to my back not been 100 percent…I have lots of limitations that are unable for me to even qualify for a job…now am pregnant…do you think the doctor can disable me due to my condition?? What doctor should i see a regular family doctor?? I don’t work because am unable to even get a job…I can’t stand for a long period of time…what can I do??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Esther,

      It could be helpful to get a doctor’s opinion about your limitations, but the Social Security Administration will make the decision regarding whether you are disabled as defined by Social Security law. Having a medical condition and being unable to find a job is not necessarily the same as being disabled. Now that you have recovered from your back surgery and are looking for work, you might qualify for unemployment compensation from your state.

      You could also contact your state’s department of vocational rehabilitation for retraining into a job that you can perform with your back limitations. If you decide to apply for disability benefits, it could be helpful to pursue retraining at the same time in case your claim is denied. Or, if the department of vocational rehabilitation determines that you are not well enough to retrain, you will have that documentation to support your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • hi i had back surgery that left me with a tear in my annular i have arthritis in my spjbe and arthritis in both knees i have type 2 diabetes high blood pressure vertigo migraines my doctor have me on alot on strong meds i was a cheft but the doctor have me with alot of restrictions that keep me from working I’ve been denided twice i just went before appeals judge and she ask for the doctor restrictions list i gave it to her she ask if she can have it i say yes so now waiting for a decision do you think i will be approved.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Betty,

      Did the judge as a vocation expert about whether you could do any occupations with the restrictions? Also, how old are you and how long were you a chef? The information I am requesting will help me answer your question.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Bulldog

    I have a couple Questions. First I went to my hearing a couple weeks ago and the VE started to name a past job but the judge stopped him and he named four jobs I could do. Is that good or bad?
    Second the VE stated missing two or more days would be bad and person could not work. However my records showed I’ll be missing three or more days. Then my lawyer cross examine the VE and the VE stated there was no jobs and my lawyer asked another question and the VE stated the person is already disable just by missing two or more days so I was wondering is that a good sign? Then the judge closed the session but he forgot to ask questions about my treating physician records and the person typing stopped the judge and said the case is close anything he ask is off the record. He then went on to ask me do I still go to life help do you think that was a bad move on the judge part and is grounds for an appeal if a favorable decision is not made? One last thing the VE said that the hypothetical person could not maintain a job because he or she could not function more than 1/3 of the day

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bulldog,

      The information you provided seems to indicate that your claim will be approved. If it is not, talk with your attorney, who was present at the hearing and knows the facts of your case, about the viability of an appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kitty

    Hi, I was wondering if you could help me? I applied for SSI a few months ago, and recently got a letter telling me to come in for a psych eval, since my problem is psychological in nature. I checked with my doctor to see if my records had ever been requested, and they still haven’t… Is this normal? Is it normal to be given an evaluation by their doctors before they ever contact mine, or should I call and say something? If so… What should I say?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kitty,

      Social Security does not have to request medical records; however, they usually contact the treating physician. Regarding your current situation, I recommend that you attend the exam because if you don’t, your claim may be denied. At the same time, get your psychiatrist’s office to send your records quickly. If the doctor is willing to make a statement about any limitations, especially those relating to the workplace, he or she thinks you have because of your psychiatric condition, also have that sent quickly as well. When you know they have been sent, let the examiner know they are coming and that you would like them considered.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Anthony

        Hi Kay, I wasn’t sure where I should ask this question. I was denied a few years ago and didn’t appeal because my lawyer at the time said I wouldn’t win. So I started over again and a few years later, I finally have a date set in September but its with the same judge. I feel that I’m at a major disadvantage. The lawyer I have now isn’t very confident with having this judge again. I asked him if we could request another judge but he told me no. I tried looking online for someone who had this problem but I have come up empty. Have you experienced something like this before? Theres 17 other judges and I ended up with the same one. Thanks in advance.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Anthony,

          The judge assigned to your appeal is literally the luck of the draw. They are assigned on rotational basis and based on who has an opening in their docket. Given that is has been a few years, maybe the judge won’t remember your case and you’ll have a fresh start.

          Alternatively, you might be able to move to a different state or different part of your state and ask to have your appeal transferred to the closest hearing office, but you would likely cause a delay in your hearing date. If you change state’s your attorney might not be licensed to practice in your new state.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Jeremy

      Winning SSI/SSDI is like winning the lottery. It literally boils down to how the judge is feeling on that particular day. I had a judge who was so upset with the person he saw before me that he took his frustrations out on my case as well. He would not allow my lawyer to ask any questions, and he did not allow me or my lawyer to even present a case. They did say no more previous work (truck driving) and that I did have some severe impairments, but that I could do some jobs. Their CE said I was not able to work due to mental issues, but this was dismissed because I do not currently see a psychiatrist for treatment. I was not trying to win disability through my psychological issues. I used to get around my anxiety by working as a delivery driver where I had very little contact with other people. I was able to work around this issue. I cannot drive with chronic pain, mobility issues, and being on heavy painkillers.

      I have since gained several more diagnosis. I have moderate sleep apnea, severely reduced lung function (my lungs are functioning t 46 percent) and a few others. How many diseases do you need to have to win disability? I am on almost 10 different medications and I am not even 40. I will be seeing a psychiatrist for an official diagnosis for my anxiety, depression, and not PTSD for three months before I re-file. I just lost all of my credits though from the last case, so now I will have to go onto SSI. I have PTSD like issues from almost dying from blood clots in my lungs. Now I freak out day and night about being on blood thinners. I have dreams of dying. Add on the diabetes and then the lung issues and I feel like I am going to die no matter how many medications I am on. If you are on 10 different medications, insulin after every meal, pain medication just to be able to sleep at night because of the pain, and a BIPAP breathing machine just to get some proper sleep, what really is there left in life? My whole life is seeing doctors every two weeks, getting blood tests every week, and managing all of my different medical illnesses.

      I have been so close to losing it completely in the past two weeks. I almost took all of my painkillers and ended it. I am scared to death to get the same ALJ again. He looked at me like I was faking and I am in bad shape. I bought a delivery truck and was trying to go back to work. I had a good delivery job lined up (I would have made at least 30k a year after expenses) but I only made it 35 miles and the pain hit. I had to take the truck back and lost 500 dollars of my down payment. I can’t stand more than 2 hours a day, and sitting without elevating my legs causes swelling and pain in the leg that has chronic blood clots in it. Basically I can’t work any regular jobs. I was in pain for three days after that 35 mile drive. It felt like I had worked a construction job for 1 week. It was just a 35 mile drive. I used to drive 1000 miles in one shot (sixteen hours non-stop) now I don’t even want to drive a car. My doctors all say they will not fill out paperwork for SSDI because it is office policy, so I have to do I ton my own.

      If I try and find a new doctor to help me, the judge will say they have not been treating me long enough to make a RFC for me. Also, with my current doctors refusing to fill out an RFC for me, the judge will say I am not disabled. You can’t win no matter what you do. The judge can always find a reason to deny your claim no matter how many medical illnesses you have. One judge awards 70 percent f all of the cases he [resides over, while the judge I had only awards 36 percent of all of the cases he presiders over. This should not happen. There should be clear cut rules to follow and personal opinions and political views should not come into play when an ALJ is ruling on a case. I wish they would look at me like a human being and not someone trying to get free money.

      Sincerely,

      Jeremy

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jeremy,

        If you are still within your sixty-day appeals period, you might consider filing for an Appeals Council review because you think the judge did not follow proper procedure. If successful, the appeal would allow a Social Security Disability approval and back pay. If you can do that and decide to, your attorney would need to prepare the appeal because the rules are very specific. To find out whether VA dependent benefits are payable, contact the Veterans Administration.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Karen Sherman

    My husband is 45 and was hurt..he has had a rfc done and it says he is unemployable, we asked our lawyer to ask for an otr and he said he did.We were told today that he was still denied and will have to wait for another year til we get a hearing. Why would he be denied even after having a rfc saying he can’t work?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      Your husband has not been denied. The judge found that the information in your husband’s file was not sufficient to make a favorable decision without a hearing. A residual functional capacity evaluation is a medical evaluation and your husband’s doctor is a medical expert, not a vocational expert. The hearing will give the judge the opportunity to get more information, such as testimony of a vocational expert.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jeana

    Hello Kay, I am 50 years old and have knee degeneration and I’m on pain medication and sometimes get cortisone shots in my knees. I have been seeing a doctor for the past two years for this condition and was told it will only get worse over the years. what do you think my chances are on applying for disability? I have limitations on how long I can be on my feet before the pain gets intense. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jeana,

      I cannot determine whether you are eligible for benefits. I can provide some general information. Social Security’s definition of disability is the inability to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA)for a period of twelve months. SGA is usually the ability to earn $1,130 gross per month. If your only limitation is being on your feet and you are able to work seated and have the skills to perform a sedentary job with or without on-the-job training you would not be eligible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kristeen

    Hi, I am only 28 years old and have been dealing with a mystery diagnosis for the past 7 years. Doctors finally diagnosed me with trigeminal neuralgia type 2…meaning it is constant, it is always there. It never goes away, where as type 1 comes in bouts and some people have months in between flare ups. That is not my case. I am always in extreme pain to the point of almost passing out most days. Not much relieves it anymore. My doctors believe something is causing the neuralgia, but can’t seem to figure out what. We’re still actively trying to find the root cause. My questions is is there any help I can qualify for? I have been unable to work for the past 2 years becaue it’s gotten so bad. I live in NY if that helps at all. I am at a loss. I have no financial means what so ever and I cannot just be getting by the way I have been and worrying about how I’m going to afford a place to live while already freaking with my medical problems. It’s just too much. Thanks in advance for your time- Kris

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kristeen,

      I suggest that you apply for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits. Both are administered by the Social Security Administration. It could be helpful to have your physician(s) write a statement that your pain levels are credible and continual.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michael

    I was recently diagnosed with dbt and PE in my right lung since then I have had a really fast heart rate and trouble breathing I lose my breath rather easily and I’m not able to walk long distances without at least a 5 or 10 minutes break to catch my breath and for my heart beat to slow down my doctor said that I can’t work due to this but I also have problems with the middle and lower part of my back the middle part of my back goes numb and the lower part of my back goes down to my hip and legs but we’re not touching that right now til we get my heart rate and breathing under control my doctor told me that I need to apply for social security that I’m not able to work due to this would I quifily for social security?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      The fact that your doctor is encouraging you to apply for disability indicates that you might qualify. It will depend on your work history and the occupations you have done in the past, possibly on your ability to work seated, and your age. I suggest that you follow your doctor’s advice and file an application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joyce

    My doctor told me that I’m not able to work anymore because of my never damage in my back and I can’t stand to long be cause it make my back hurts so bad it burns my hand tingling and burns my feet hurt to

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joyce,

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

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Andre

    Hi I was wondering if a judge would grant me disability.I have gout in my knee both feet my shin and the heels of my feet that limits me from walking.I’m using a cane now but my gout just seems to keep coming back.more frequently than usual.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Andre,

      Whether or not you are eligible for disability benefits depends on how often incapacitating episodes occur, how long they last, and whether you can work in an occupation that does not require you to be on your feet.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mona Jones

    Hi I was wondering if u think judge approved me for ssi ..I have anixity depression artoarthris in lower bk memory loss n legs swollen Dr not for sure there swollen for nerve pain in head …I got disable tags n walk with cane u think disability judge let me have ssi disability ..Mona

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mona,

      As you describe your limitations, I’d say there is a possibility you will be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • bpolar

        Dear kay
        I have applied and used a rep. I’m 44 and live with parents. My live is going down hill. I currently see a doc and take 5 different meds. I had my mental CE exam snd it was over an hour. I’m scared of his notes back to ssd. What are chances of first time approval???? I need it badly. My doc costs 175 a month. There are too many people FAKING it and getting approved.
        Thanks

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Bpolar,

          I have insufficient information to offer an opinion regarding whether or not your claim will be approved. It does sound as if you received a thorough consultative examination.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Trey

    Ok, so I was wondering if you think I should be able to qualify for ssi or not. Back in January 2015, I was shot in the leg by someone trespassing on my property. The bullet it stuck between the tib/fib in my left leg. At the time, the doctors decided to leave the bullet in, and said that I should be better in 4 to 6 months. Not only has it not got any better, it has started getting even worse lately. I slipped and fell on my knee which has made matters worse. I have been back to several different doctors who have all just sent me to another Dr because they can’t help me. I’m in physical therapy right now, and the physical therapist has basically told me that he doesn’t think he is going to be able to help me at all. It has gotten to the point where I can barely walk around my house and I can’t even go shopping for groceries anymore without not being able to walk for 2 days afterwards. Oh, and I’m 21 years old BTW. I haven’t really had many jobs because I was in college before I got shot. I had to drop my classes because I could walk from class to class and all that stuff. I’m at a point where there isn’t really any jobs I can apply for that I could actually fully do.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Trey,

      You do not ask a question, but I will comment. If there are jobs that you can perform sitting down, you may not be eligible for benefits. Whether or not you decide to file a Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability claim, I suggest that you contact your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to see if you can get training or job placement services into work you are physically able to do. You might also talk with counselors at the college to find out what accommodations are available that would allow you to complete your course of studies with limited mobility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lori L.

    Kay
    I had my appearance with a judge on March 24. 2016. I had an attorney, RFC from my psychiatrist states I cannot work. I am being treated for 2 strokes, PTSD, depression, vertigo. I just lost my husband in Nov. 2016 to CJD. So my world again was turned up side down. I am also on 7 meds including prozac and valium. Since my Dr. filled out a RFC and indicated that at this time I cannot work are my chances good? The VE stated there is one job I could do and that is an inspector, whatever that is. I live in Indiana. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lori,

      Whether or not your claim is approved will depend on whether the judge gives more credence to your physician or the vocational expert. If your claim is denied, I suggest that you discuss an appeal with your attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • denyelle denver

        I am very upset and feel at end of my rope with this ssi or ssd i have very bad health issuses and need help to direct me what to do .i have a two bone disease one is degentive joint disease i have major osteoprosise .i have broken 21bonens.i have broken my back twiice.both wrist have had 5 surgeries on my shoulder that now doctors say they cant fix.major depession. Ibs.hunrnia in stomach.blown disc in back. Arthroritis in many bones . And i keep getting run around with social secrity. I know people that should not be on it and get it right away . If anyone can help me and give advise i am at my wits end please help if u have any ideas

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Denyelle,

          I cannot comment because you have not provided any information regarding the status of your claim or appeal or what you mean by “getting the run around.”

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Maureen Agnew Cox

    Hi Kay, I just found your site and I need some advice. My daught is a 22 yr old Crohn’s patient. She was diagnosed in 2004. Since that time she has had many surgeries and procedures. She was found to be disabled in 2011 and collects a disability check. 2015 is the first year she was not hospitalized for this disease. The doctor says it is a surgical remission – she still has crohn’s and this is typical after a surgery. She still has fatigue and arthritus and some skin issues. My question is why would the SS administration now say you are no longer disabled? This is needless to say, freaking my daughter out because she worries about her medical bills and how can she find a job – who would hire her when she tires after 2 to 3 hours on outings or after taking one class at the local community college. I am going to go to the local social security office and take the first step to appeal. BUT why do you think this happened?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Maureen,

      Your daughter was probably found to no longer be disabled because her condition improved and there was a reference to remission. I suggest that she get a statement from her doctor to submit with her appeal that outlines her symptoms and limitations following the surgery and how long he expects her to have those limitations. If the limitations are common, it could be helpful for the physician to say so.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • RON

    HELLO AGAIN KAY, MY FILE WAS AT MAMPSC FOR RECON STAGE, THE EXAMINER DROPPED THE BALL AND LIED ABOUT WORKING ON MY CLAIM FOR MONTHS. FINALLY AFTER 3MOS HE SENT A FORM TO MY DOCTOR TO GET MY IMPAREMENTS VARIFIED. HE VARIFIED MULTIPLE HERNIATED DISCS,EPIDURAL FIBROSIS, PERIPHERIL NEUROPATHY,LEFT ACHILLES REFLUX,ABNORMAL HOFFMAN AND BABINSKI REFLEXES. NO FURTHER TREATMENT AVAILABLE AFTER IMPLANTATION OF SCS. POOR FUNCTIONAL ABILITY AND IMPROVEMENT UNLIKELY. THEY SENT A DENIAL STATING MY CONDITION WAS UPGRADED FROM MILD TO SEVERE, BUT NOT LIKELY TO LAST A YEAR OR MORE. THIS WAS IN NOV AND AT 9MOS MARK. SINCE I HAD EVERYTHING MET EXCEPT DURATION, NOW THAT IT HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN OVER A YEAR AND I HAVE ANOTHER STATEMENT FROM DR THAT IS 6 PAGES AND SIMILAR TO AN RFC STATING IT HAS BEEN OVER A YEAR, GAVE REFRENCED TREATMENT PERFORMED,DETAILED IMPAREMENT LIST,QUALITY OF LIFE SEVERELY DEMINISHED,SIT/WALK/STAND ABOUT 10 MIN EACH. HE STATE I WILL NOT GET ANY BETTER AND NEVER WILL RETURN TO WORK. DO YOU THINK I MAY HAVE A GOOD CHANCE OF APPROVAL AT MY HEARING?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ron,

      I think that you have a reasonable possibility of being approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Suzette

    Hi,
    I am in the Sadi reconsideration phase. My appeal was sent to the Program Service Ctr as opposed to DDS; anyway I spoke to my adjudicator today and she stated everything was done and she need to “verify my work”.
    I’ve some medical updates during my appeal and she receives all info. Would verifying my work be a good indication for an approval and would she handle that or I thought that would be done at my local Ssa office. Thanks so much

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Suzette,

      Social Security claims are paid by a payment center sometimes located in aprogram service center. If the adjudicator was talking about work you did before you became disabled, I would say that your claim has been medically approved and she is referring to your insured status is being double-checked before payment is issued.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Suzette

        Dear Kay,
        Thank you so much for your reply. I am so grateful to have found this site.
        Sincerely,
        Suzette

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Suzette.

  • ashlynn

    Hi my name is ashlynn I write you before and never got a reply back. but I just wanted to no how long it take for a approval or not when it go to the DDC doctor ?and I also wanted to no my daughter had to go to the IMA doctor and they said they fax it to ssi how long it take to get approve for her and also they have my daughter doctor stuff but the school stuff didn’t come back but she went to their doctor do she still need to wait for the school stuff

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ashlynn,

      See my response posted yesterday to your earlier question. It is likely to take a month or more after the examiner receives the school information for you to get a decision, unless the independent medical exam report was enough to establish disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Charlie

      Hi Kay, I had my hearing today in front of the judge. My doctor was fully supportive of my condition. With the restrictrions from my doctor the Vocational expert said there were no jobs that I could do. Does that mean that I have to be found disabled. Thanks.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Charlie,

        If the judge accepts your restrictions, you are likely to be approved.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Charlie

          How can the judge not accept the restrictions that my doctor has placed upon my condition? I have been seeing my doctor on average once a month for over five years. What reason would he need to not accept my doctors restrictions. Thanks

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Charlie,

            The restrictions your doctor has placed on you have to be supported (shown to be necessary) by clinical findings or test results. In other words, your doctor’s opinion has to be supported by medical documentation. If that is missing from your claim file, the judge might not accept that your condiiton requires the restrictions.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Charlie

            Would mri scans be considered findings by my doctor? My doctor put those restrictions on me based on the mri’s that I’ve had done I have disc and nerve damage to my back. I am just really curious and extremely stressed out over the whole process. Now waiting for the answer by the Judge is extremely nerve racking. Thanks for your answers Kay it has been very helpful

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Charlie,

              Yes, MRI results are medical findings.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Marie

    Hi kay just a updat, my attorney file a reconsideration appeal for ssdi for neuropathy
    On July 15th. The lady handling my reconsideration called me told me I was being sent for evaluation to one of their doctors she was very polite and told me it was for the neuropathy in my hands, she asked a few questions about my medical. The doctor I went to was a specialty in sports medicine. I developed neuropathy in my hands and feet and arm, whole body basically after completing chemo and rada dating for right breast cancer in September 2013. The doctor said my right arm is swollen my index fingers on both hands shake and I have 50% feeling in both hands my muscles are weak and my balance is very unsteady. He ask if I could feel the key board while typing I told him no. he asked what kind of work I did, I told him mortgage loan specialist for over 25 years. He also ask me if the tge doctors told me that in 6 months after treatment would my neuropathy get better or I will have to deal with it the rest of my life, I told him they said it is permanent. He then told told me yes, because you are 2 years out of treatment and you still have it. He told me how 3 of his 4 sisters had breast cancer..on the way out of the exam in room he ask me how was my memory, we talked for a second about and he said he would not be surprised if they sent me for a memory evaluation. I forgot to mention that he said he was glad I was not crying because most people did. He could see the pain on my face, but I was not going to cry. He was very nice and friendly. I know they can tell you one thing and right the report another way…the disability worker told me she will have my case close by Oct 15th 2015 and that the examine was to get more medical review for the neuropathy in my hands..,in your opinion do it sound like I have a chance?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marie,

      Given your work history, which requires keyboarding, the symptoms you describe, and the doctor’s comments, I’d say that you have a good chance of being approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Marie

        Thank you Ms Kay, I really appreciate your opinion.
        I will keep you you updated .

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Marie.

  • Kim

    I have 37% lung function in any exertion I run out of air and have to sit down I can’t walk over 450 feet on a good day I have been denied on my first try for disability what do I need to do I am applying for the second time any help would be appreciated thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kim,

      You have to show that you cannot do work that you have done in the past or other work that does not require exertion. If you think you cannot work in sedentary work where you are seated most of the day, I suggest that you hire a 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 sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • crystal bryant

    i dont understand why i am bein turned down i am not physically an mentally able to hold down a job i cannot even attend meetings that i am suppose to be attending i need HELP!!!!! I have very high hypertension i am on two blood pressure pills a day i have very high deppresion and also anxiety i am also on pain meds i need immediate assistance!!!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Crystal,

      I suggest that you discuss your claim with an experienced 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 at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Latoya meeks

        I went before a judge and VE and the expert clearly stated there was no jobs I could perform yet the judge still felt I could perform my old jobs. I have arthritis in my joints which working at my old job at a fish plant would be impossible. Working as a deli clerk with sleep apnea will be impossible I take over 4 different medicines that say uses care when operating machinery. I have carpel tunnel in my wrist and it’s hard to open things and hold things in my hand for a long period of time. Can’t stand too long with knees bucking or back hurting really bad. Yet, I’m not disabled. The side affects from the meds keep me so sleepy all I’m like a rag doll.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Latoya,

          The judge may have determined that your symptoms and limitations were not as severe as you claimed in which case the vocational expert’s (VE’s) testimony would not have been material. On the other hand, the determination could have been in error. You have the right to appeal to the Appeals Council if you think the testimony of the VE was ignored or other procedural errors were made.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Adam Land

      I’m too am waiting… every doctor I have been to doesn’t understand way me be true dowm… I’m had to leran hope to wlk agen and I lern how to eat agin. I forget al hte tmie and can’t writ or spely

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Adam,

        Be sure that your claim lists all the limitations that you wrote about in your post today.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • sher

    I am trying to become rep payee for daughters ssd again. Her dad was injured, so she was getting ssf as she inder 18. Now applied as she has her own disability. Trying to be payee rep again. I am her guardian too.its been over month and they say pending. Should I become concerned. If I’m not selected ehat is recourse. I’m guardian..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sher,

      Please see my response to your question, which you previously posted under the “How Does Social Security Select a Representative Payee for my Social Security Disability Benefits?”

      Thanks,
      Kay

  • B.A.M.

    Hello:

    I initially applied for SSDI&SSI benefits in May of this year. I was “diagnosed” initially with Crohn’s in early 2013 after being admitted to the hospital by way of an emergency room visit. Unfortunately I was not able to afford medical care and continued to have flares replete with all the symptoms throughout 2013; however, I continued to work my very stressful case management job until I got terminated in December 2013. A week later I was hospitalized again.

    From March to June of this year I have spent a lot time with internal medicine and G.I. doctors. I wound up in the hospital again in June 2014 due to severe intestinal inflammation and abscesses. Same symptoms as with the other two hospital stays. I also ended up contracting c-diff. I then received my denial letter stating that despite noted limitations I could still work but I had the right to appeal. I was perfectly fine accepting the decision and continue looking for work until I wound up in the hospital one month later and had to have emergency surgery due to a bowel perforation, bowel obstruction, and abscesses on my liver caused by bile that seeped through my perforated bowel. Long and short, a portion of my colon was removed and now I wear an ostomy pouch. Not to mention that while I was hospitalized, I suffered withtachycardia.

    Here are my issues/questions:

    *I filed a reconsideration appeal three months ago so my case wouldn’t be dropped. One of my doctors wrote a letter on my behalf stating that I couldn’t work for AT LEAST six months. He didn’t directly indicate 12 months and I guess it’s because there are more assessments, evaluations, and possible surgeries to be had. Do you think this letter will be more of a help or a hindrance? My claim is still with the state DDS agency.

    *As requested I completed and returned the Adult Function Report and Work History Report to the examiner two months ago. Last month I had to have an outpatient procedure (specifically a flexible sigmoidoscopy). I requested my records from this procedure and forwarded them to the DDS examiner. Between my surgeon and GI doctors, I have Crohn’s — which is an IBD. Is it likely that I will get approved for SSDI and SSI? The examiner says my case is under physician review.

    *I received unemployment benefits from January 2014 – May 2014. Even though I was becoming increasingly ill, I never received a clear diagnosis or medication regarding my condition; therefore, I continued to look for work. I don’t remember which date I listed as the onset date for my initial claim. Is there any way to find that out?

    *My hope is that I can get approved for benefits at this level — particularly since I currently do not have an attorney or advocate of any kind. I don’t feel that I will be able to work for an extended amount of time. Especially since I currently have issues that have resulted in a recent outpatient procedure with more to come; however, I cannot afford to go through an ALJ review. The person I live with already threatens to kick us out of her home on a monthly basis, and she is tired of waiting. I didn’t ask for any of this but there is no explanation that can assuage her. Are there any recommendations past homeless shelters that help people in a situation like mine?

    I appreciate any advice or recommendations you can provide and please excuse the long-winded and lengthy post.

    • B.A.M.

      How do I remove this post since it hasn’t been answered?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear B.A.M.,

        Your post has not received a reply.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear B.A.M.,

      The fact that your reconsideration is now in physician review indicates that you are close to getting a decision. If it is not successful, do appeal. Not appealing won’t help your situation. If you have to appeal, be sure to engage an accomplished 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 at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      It sounds as if the doctor who made the statement that you couldn’t work for six months made that statement after you had been off work for a while. If you had already been already off work and disabled for six months before the statement, the statement could be helpful.

      Check with your local county and city social services department and housing authority and non-profits to find out what housing options might be available. You can call the local Social Security office and ask them the date you claimed. If you are denied, you can get a copy of your claim file with all the information in it. You say “us.” If you have minor children that might be a help in getting housing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Heather

    Hello I had a hearing with the judge I was denied it says they took little consideration to my doctor’s I filed for mental and physical disability both doctor’s provided statements saying I cannot work I don’t understand what can I get that they would accept? The VE stated 1 job and the judge said I cannot do that due to my condition but on the paperwork it states several jobs what is the difference between the hearing and now? Is the only way to get a favorable decision is go the the appeals council? Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      Your recourse is to file a request for Appeals Council Review. You must show the judge made an error in the procedures used to arrive at the decision .I suggest that you get a copy of your entire claim file including the memorandum by the judge to the file that explains how several jobs were identified and why your doctors’ opinions were not accepted If you do not have an attorney, I recommend getting a Social Security attorney because there are special guidelines that govern what the Appeals Council will review.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kelly Fenner

        How do I ask Kay a question through this site?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kelly,

          Just type in your question the same way you asked this one and I will post a reply.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • marlo

            I have been denied twice and in appeals twice they have had the appeal for 17 months I have gotten extremely worse and my att.didn’t seem to care,I was told they can’t give new information short of a leg being cut off,I have multiple health issues and now am having to get mental help because of this process..I have a MRI that shows two bulges and a tear in my spine..I can’t get any med help and I’m in bad shape..it’s been 4 and a half years..I have fibromyalgia my feet are deformed..chronic headaches and other issues.no one understands why this is happening to me .why can they not take new information it’s been 17 months?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Marlo,

              Can you provide a bit more information so perhaps I can respond. Is your appeal at the hearing level or in an Appeals Council Review?

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Apryl

    My name is Apryl and I have been fighting since 2011. I have SEVERE hip, back, leg and knee pain due to bilateral hip bursits with swelling adjacent to my hips severely swollen on left side, a laberal tear on left side, neuropathy and bulging disks. I have all records from treatments since 2011. I had a doctor for 3 years who took no time to write any of my issues down so his notes look like I’m a bit crazy. I do still limp I do get frequent migraines due to medication. Without meds I’m pain 100 with them 6-9. Depends on the cold because I do have arthritis in my back and hips. I can’t even go to get a gallon of milk from the grocery store or go shopping by myself due to dizziness. I can’t walk, sit or lay down for more then 15-20 minutes without the pain increasing. Any movement kills me and did I tell u I’m only 35. I put in more then enough to recieve the disability but they won’t go by new doctors notes that is exacally what would deem me disabled. When I got the denial letter my doctor of 2 1/2 years joins saying I can’t even get a job
    Folding laundry so the old notes don’t say enough. I don’t. Know should I get another lawyer? I am in desperate need of help and worked my whole life to live each day wondering how I’m going to make it through the day never mind paying my bills. Help me pls don’t know what do to;(

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Apryl,

      You do not say whether you have exhausted all your appeals; but if you have not, I suggest you appeal to the hearings level and see if you can get the doctor who didn’t write comprehensive notes but who supports that you were disabled when he was caring for you testify at the hearing. You indicate that you have a lawyer, so I suggest that you discuss further strategies with him. I cannot advise you on whether or not to change attorneys.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • DEBRA HOWARD

    WHAT ARE THE RIGHT THING TO DO TODAY LOOKING BACK WHEN THEY HAD MY LIFE AND DID WHAT THEY WANTED TO DO FOR 7YEARS I NEED LEGAL HELP

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Debra,

      Please see my previous reply.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • DEBRA HOWARD

    WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN SOMEONE HAS YOUR LIFE IN THERE ANDS FOR7YEARS AND NO RESULTS OR NOTHING AND THE JUDGE HOLDS ON TO APPEAL UNTIL STATE LIMATIONS WHICH IS SEPTEMBER 20 2014 IT WILL BE 7YEARS NO ONE SHOULD SUFFER LIKE THIS TO WHITE LADIES IN MY BUILDING HAD SAME LAWYER BUT THEY GOT THERE DISABILITY NOT ME WHAT STEPS CAN I TAKE TO GET PAID FOR HOPELESSNESS THEY SHOWED ME

  • DEBRA HOWARD

    7515 EUCLID AVENUE
    217MY CLAIM IS STILL IN THE JUDGES OFFICES UNDER A LOT OF PAPERS MY LAWYER HAS TOOK MY CASE 7YEARS AGO AND NOTHING I AM EMOTIONALLY DAMAGE I THEY TOOK ON MY CASE 7YEARS AGO I AM VERY SICK WITH HEART DIEASES LUNG DEASES ,BRONCHITIS,ASTHMA,EMPHYSEMA BUT TELL ME I NEED MORE I BARELY A LIVE TODAY ONLY CAUSE I TAKE MY MEDS SO WHAT CAN I DO BY FILING A CIVIL SUIT AGAINST LAWYERS FOR LIVING THE WAY I HAVE AND EMOTIONALLY DAMAGED

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Debra,

      I am not qualified to give you advice about filing a lawsuit against another person. If you wish to do so, I suggest that you contact an attorney for advice.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

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