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Thread: Lost my SSDI Hearing; Help?

  1. #11
    Jody, I had an EMG in 2009, in showed normal and the Judge used the test results as an exhibit. When i discussed the result with my NS, said that wasn't unusual since my numbness, at the time, was spotty and deep. My symptoms also fluctuate with any movement, (especially bending), vibration, such as riding in the car or wheelchair. Stress and MRI's make me more symptomatic; confirmed by my NS. I don't know what an EMG would show at this stage. The numbness is much worse now but still deep.

    I'm having my first Urodynamic test and he's taking a tour of my bladder as well this month. Losing my physiatrist was the worst thing that happened to me. He was wanting to start me in rehab before he left. He left suddenly, I got tossed around like a hot potato and never went through rehab. I'm sure that confused the Judge too!

    In 4 years of searching, Dennis, (Smellcells&Atombombs ), is the only person I've found with an arachnoid cyst but our injuries are very different. I have an MRI every six months that clearly shows the damage to my spine but it apparently went over the Judges head, somehow! Phish, typical of how my "this doesn't happen in real life" life goes a lot of times!

    Yep, I know people in better shape than I that breezed through the process. A friend was telling me about a drug addict that's getting disability!

    Glad you didn't have any trouble!

    Quote Originally Posted by jody View Post
    I went before the judge.
    She appointed two neurologists to examine me after my appeal. Both ordered test, and the tests supported their exam findings.
    You can't fake neurological tests and the extensive exams you get. I got an Emg, an evoked potential, uro dynamics tests, I saw a physiatrist as well. all those exams and test results resulted in my ssdi claim being begrudgingly granted.
    Incomplete, SCI, T1-T8, w/ Arachnoid Cyst. Bilateral shoulder surgeries, 2 on the left, 3 on the right, right forearm surgery for a crushed radial nerve.

    "We can always choose to perceive things differently. We can focus on what's wrong in our life, or we can focus on what's right."
    — Marianne Williamson

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlottes Web View Post
    No payment, thanks goodness. It's common practice that the attorney doesn't get paid unless you win.

    Yes, I warned the attorney that due to the nature of my injury my case was complicated, AND because I had avoided the terms paralyzed or incomplete para I was concerned. Although my med records said, female para, or SCI unspecified, it was easy for me since I have a childhood friend, quad since he was 15, can move his head side to side, that's it. Also had a GF fall from her roof, complete para. Since I could walk, however clumsy, I compared myself to them and concluded I couldn't possible be a para.

    Thank you, yes I did waste two years with this attorney. But, I'm also angry on several levels. One being the State. 2008 was when the Specialist were hit hard with pain med regulations and there was too much focus on the small amount of meds I was taking when they should have been concerned about my symptoms. It was easy, in the beginning, to blame a lot of my symptoms on pain med side effects, with the help of Google searches. Even with my rapid decline, I still find it hard to believe, and STILL go to bed every night thinking I'll be better in the morning! So, maybe I'm to blame too, I don't know.

    If you have paralysis, no matter how incomplete, you are still considered a paraplegic. I am one of those too but it is just because the ICD-9 system they use for identifying is so limited. Just like with a pressure sore, once you have one even if it is closed, you still have one. UTI is another one...for us. To get things covered in the medical world, the system is limiting.

    As for your medical records. Your attorney should have had his stack (or mine did even 24 years ago) and brought out specific points to the judge. He should not have been silent. It almost sounds like he was not familiar with your case and relied on the "everyone is approved at this level" thought. He should have had a highlighted set of records that he could have countered every question the judge commented on.

    So since you have wasted all this time...what about filing a new claim. As was said before, statistically, it will not be approved. But I don't know about filing a new claim. I did do an expedited reinstatement many years ago and they advised me to file a new claim as opposed to going through the appeal. They said it would be quicker as the ER was so complicated. I did both and thankfully both were approved pretty timely because of the paralysis diagnosis being automatic.

    Your attorney should have presented your side.

    https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0203103010

    Here is a link to the POMS manual of SSA....there is lots of information there for you.

    https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/home!readform
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  3. #13
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    I had plenty of trouble. I learned something though.
    they followed me around for a couple years trying to catch me not being disabled. I had no clue, until my accident was settled. I used the same lawyer for both accident and ssi. When my case was settled, which took longer than the ssi, I got the photographs with my transcripts and receipts. they were taken from the top of a building a half mile away, from a car going down a road, from behind me at the grocery store, going to a from the Drs........I don't know if they do that to everyone, But It is strange some can get ssdi benefits easier than others. I did not use the words para or incomplete para, though, after my exams by the court appointed Dr's, those words were used.


    The judge appointing her own neurologists to examine me worked in my favor. They both were there at the last hearing to testify their examination findings. I was not asked anything the last hearing. I had three appearances in front of the judge. Though I did have a lawyer, He was not asked anything. he only handed over the records I handed him. It was all done with records, test results, letters from my Drs, and employers, and last of all, the exams from the court appointed Drs. it took five years.

  4. #14
    I can't believe your having trouble getting approve after some of the people I have met that are on it.

  5. #15
    Yeah, my attorney dropped the ball, especially since I warned him my injury was rare and complicated.

    I would rather start over of that's a possibility. The friend that referred me to the new firm, with the paralegal without a smile, says, the paralegal is just very focus and was upset at the way I had been represented.

    The CD with my records came today. My husband will drop it by the law firm and they'll let me know if they can do anything. Also, going to call on an old friend, a Federal Judge, and see what he knows about the SSD laws. Never hurts to ask!Lawd, I wish he could push a button and let me start over...LOL!

    Thanks for the links, Daisy....I'll pour over them in the meantime.


    Quote Originally Posted by darkeyed_daisy View Post
    If you have paralysis, no matter how incomplete, you are still considered a paraplegic. I am one of those too but it is just because the ICD-9 system they use for identifying is so limited. Just like with a pressure sore, once you have one even if it is closed, you still have one. UTI is another one...for us. To get things covered in the medical world, the system is limiting.

    As for your medical records. Your attorney should have had his stack (or mine did even 24 years ago) and brought out specific points to the judge. He should not have been silent. It almost sounds like he was not familiar with your case and relied on the "everyone is approved at this level" thought. He should have had a highlighted set of records that he could have countered every question the judge commented on.

    So since you have wasted all this time...what about filing a new claim. As was said before, statistically, it will not be approved. But I don't know about filing a new claim. I did do an expedited reinstatement many years ago and they advised me to file a new claim as opposed to going through the appeal. They said it would be quicker as the ER was so complicated. I did both and thankfully both were approved pretty timely because of the paralysis diagnosis being automatic.

    Your attorney should have presented your side.

    https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0203103010

    Here is a link to the POMS manual of SSA....there is lots of information there for you.

    https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/home!readform
    Incomplete, SCI, T1-T8, w/ Arachnoid Cyst. Bilateral shoulder surgeries, 2 on the left, 3 on the right, right forearm surgery for a crushed radial nerve.

    "We can always choose to perceive things differently. We can focus on what's wrong in our life, or we can focus on what's right."
    — Marianne Williamson

  6. #16
    Oh, Jody, that is sickening that you were followed! It a shame that innocent people suffer for the guilty...way too much of that going on these days AND it's not fixing anything! I'm so sorry that happened to you!

    Phish, this Judge asked me plenty but nothing I expected! I think she had her mind made up before I ever said a word! It was apparent, she was proud to exude her authority!

    Quote Originally Posted by jody View Post
    I had plenty of trouble. I learned something though.
    they followed me around for a couple years trying to catch me not being disabled. I had no clue, until my accident was settled. I used the same lawyer for both accident and ssi. When my case was settled, which took longer than the ssi, I got the photographs with my transcripts and receipts. they were taken from the top of a building a half mile away, from a car going down a road, from behind me at the grocery store, going to a from the Drs........I don't know if they do that to everyone, But It is strange some can get ssdi benefits easier than others. I did not use the words para or incomplete para, though, after my exams by the court appointed Dr's, those words were used.


    The judge appointing her own neurologists to examine me worked in my favor. They both were there at the last hearing to testify their examination findings. I was not asked anything the last hearing. I had three appearances in front of the judge. Though I did have a lawyer, He was not asked anything. he only handed over the records I handed him. It was all done with records, test results, letters from my Drs, and employers, and last of all, the exams from the court appointed Drs. it took five years.
    Incomplete, SCI, T1-T8, w/ Arachnoid Cyst. Bilateral shoulder surgeries, 2 on the left, 3 on the right, right forearm surgery for a crushed radial nerve.

    "We can always choose to perceive things differently. We can focus on what's wrong in our life, or we can focus on what's right."
    — Marianne Williamson

  7. #17


    And, that makes it a "principle" matter in my mind. When at this point in life, I'd rather just say screw it, and screw the Gov!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRainman View Post
    I can't believe your having trouble getting approve after some of the people I have met that are on it.
    Incomplete, SCI, T1-T8, w/ Arachnoid Cyst. Bilateral shoulder surgeries, 2 on the left, 3 on the right, right forearm surgery for a crushed radial nerve.

    "We can always choose to perceive things differently. We can focus on what's wrong in our life, or we can focus on what's right."
    — Marianne Williamson

  8. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlottes Web View Post
    Yeah, my attorney dropped the ball, especially since I warned him my injury was rare and complicated.

    I would rather start over of that's a possibility. The friend that referred me to the new firm, with the paralegal without a smile, says, the paralegal is just very focus and was upset at the way I had been represented.

    The CD with my records came today. My husband will drop it by the law firm and they'll let me know if they can do anything. Also, going to call on an old friend, a Federal Judge, and see what he knows about the SSD laws. Never hurts to ask!Lawd, I wish he could push a button and let me start over...LOL!

    Thanks for the links, Daisy....I'll pour over them in the meantime.
    I would also add a congressman to your list of people to contact. They have people on their staff to deal specifically with SSDI issues. I do believe you can appeal it higher than the ALJ. I know my next appeal after the ALJ is a court. I am having an issue too but it is not like yours. You have to be represented by a lawyer at the court level.

    I looked in those links that I provided and you can appeal it higher.

    3. Appeals Council

    If the individual disagrees with either the ALJ decision or the dismissal of a hearing request, he or she may ask the AC to review the action. The AC may dismiss or deny the request for review, or it may grant the request and either issue a decision or remand the case to an ALJ. The AC may also review an ALJ decision (within 60 days of the hearing decision or dismissal) on its own motion. The AC has final review authority for SSA.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  9. #19
    Thanks, Daisy! I've spun Congress through my head also. Guess I've done a full circle, wanting to twist my first attorney's lazy head off then the pompous Judge, a round of letters all-the-way-around Washington with respect to the broken system(s)! But, Charlotte, (my arachnoid cyst), doesn't like stress and raises hell when my stress level goes up. SO, my husband will drop off the, SSA CD of records, tomorrow to the firm I met with last week, and we'll see. I understand, this firm is in very good relations with the hearing office.

    The appeal is strictly a paper appeal, the statistics are against me, my case will be time consuming for any firm or attorney to rework and update so I'm not going to get my hopes up.

    Incomplete, SCI, T1-T8, w/ Arachnoid Cyst. Bilateral shoulder surgeries, 2 on the left, 3 on the right, right forearm surgery for a crushed radial nerve.

    "We can always choose to perceive things differently. We can focus on what's wrong in our life, or we can focus on what's right."
    — Marianne Williamson

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