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Q. about How Long It Takes and How to...
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Jan B.

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Posted on Tuesday, August 07, 2001 - 10:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My husband filed for disability due to congestive heart failure on march 16.2001 they in turn lost his file and when it was found we were told it was sent to Atlanta for rechecking. now they say it will be the end of August before we know anything. Is this normal? I thought we were supposed to hear something in about 90 Days. Can anyone offer some insight here. Thank You
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2001 - 5:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Alas, 90 days is not the time it takes in most parts of the country. I cannot speak for every location, but in the areas I know of, it can take about 5 months for an initial decision. But the local office keeps telling them 4 months. You can make this faster by being sure the medical records get to the Disability Determination Service quickly.

Sample cases are sent to regional offices for review. My feeling is that recommended favorable cases tend to be reviewed more, so this is a good sign, but it can add a month or more to the process.
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Ben

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Posted on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 6:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

About how long does it take to recieve your money once you get a favorable decision from a judge and the social security office tells you that your case is at the payment center? I live in New York State and have been approved for both SSI and SSD.

Reply by Paul It varies across the country and depending on whether you will actually get SSI; sometimes you there is a perfect and complete overlap and you will not get any SSI.

Around here, about 3-4 weeks to get a call from SSI; about a month and a half to get an SSI check; about 2 months to get a SSD check. Your lump sum SSD check can be delayed for several more months if there is an open SSI file.

Some of this will vary A LOT by region.
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Ann Kennedy

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Posted on Saturday, October 20, 2001 - 8:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My disability was approved as of Sept. 28th, retroactive to Feb. 1999. I have heard nothing since I received my decision. Will the checks come automatically, or is someone supposed to contact me? How long before I receive my benefits?

Reply by Paul For SSI, someone should contact you to update your income and resources. For Social Security Disability, you should receive a check at about the same time you get an award notice, giving the exact amount of your check. This is usually about 2 months after you get an ALJ's award or a notice from the Administration that you have been approved from a medical standpoint. These dates may vary across the nation.

Also, since it was retroactive to 1999 do I automatically qualify for Medicaid?

Reply by Paul If you get SSI, you get Medicaid for all those same months; plus in many states you can apply for three extra months worth, for 3 extra months before you applied for SSI. If you get Social Security Disability, you will eventually get Medicare, effective 2 years after you should have gotten your first check. If you get Social Security Disability and the amount is low enough, you can separately apply for Medicaid; but they will not tell you this and you must do it on your own.

Thank you.

Reply by Paul Your're welcome.
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Joyce M

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Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 7:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would like to know how long it really takes to get your money once you receive the call(from Social Security) that verifies your bank account deposit information? If this question is out of context for this forum please forgive me.

Reply by Paul Forgiven. Maybe a month or two, unless you get forgotten. That is rare, though.
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drakeequate

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Posted on Tuesday, June 05, 2001 - 8:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just applied in june 2001 for SSD disability due to a herniated disk injury. I had surgery to remove the disk fragments, but I now have some nerve damage resulting from the hernia crushing the nerves, plus I have two other bulging disks that are threatening to give me problems if I strain myself again in the future. First question, does my case match the criteria for disability benefits? I can't sit or stand for any length of time, and have weight limitations.

Secondly, how long does is REALLY take SS to process and approve my claim? According to their book, it takes from 60-90 days, and they pay retroactively from the point in which you are disabled==but from reading other posts here, it seems people are waiting years to get approved and paid. Thanks for your help!

Reply by Paul:
1. Don't confuse the time it takes to get an initial determination with the time it takes to win. Here are the levels of appeal, odds for the random claimant, and approximate time in my area. The times vary drastically around the country, and the odds vary drastically from claimant to claimant, and from judge to judge:
Claim level Percent successful Time to decision
Initial 33% 4-8 mos.
Reconsideration 12% 4-8 mos.
Hearing 65% 6-12 mos.
Appeals Council 2-10%* 4 mos.-2 years!
District Court 25% 10 mos - 1 yr.
Court of Appeals very low volume

The Appeals Council statistics make things look worse than they really are; if you have a good attorney your chances are a lot better than that.

The odds are very different depending on your particular case; you don't want to know if the average person will win; you want to know if you will.

2. As to your claim, I do not have enough facts to answer. If you can do sedentary work, and are under 50, or are over 50 and have transferrable skills, you might be found not disabled. Or, if there is medical evidence in your file that makes you look less disabled than you are. I would sit down with a lawyer.
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Ben

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Posted on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 1:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have a similar back problem, along with carpal tunnel syndrome and have been fighting for my disability for six years. I won in court about a year and a half ago, but then the appeals board appealed the judges decision, so it took me another year and a half to get back to court and win again. (A total of six years) But I understand that this time varies widely.

Reply by Paul True. It varied more widely for you than for most.
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Ben

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Posted on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 1:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One other thing I forgot to add that I've heard plays a big role in the time frame is your age. From what I understand it is easier and faster for someone that is around the age of 50 or above than it is for someone that is younger.(I am 33, hopefully this will be of some assistance to you)

Reply by Paul It is often true that it is harder for someone under 50 to get an award, and in that sense it can take longer, since he or she tends to be denied at more levels. But once allowed, all age groups are treated equally poorly.
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JMoore

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Posted on Wednesday, October 03, 2001 - 9:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Claimants have had some luck in speeding up their claims here (NJ) by contacting their local congressman's office and explaining their situation.

I don't think it would hurt your case.
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Syvella Brantley

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Posted on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 9:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi I am asking this question on the behalf of my mother. My mother has a disease in her neck and spine and is labeled as a disabling disease. She has had two surgeries for this and her neurologist that did her surgery said that she will never be able to work again and he put this in writing on several occasions. My mother applied for disability about 9 years ago and she was denied, she appealed this decision and was denied again. At that time she did not get a lawyer because her husband inherited a business and she felt like she could make it with out the SSI benefits. Years has passed and her husband no longer has the business and they are separated and she has two children under the age of 17 and is struggling to take care of them. My mother then applied for disability again about 5 years ago and she was approved and received checks for about 3 or 4 months. She was sent to see the doctor the states has set up for disability patients and he said that she "looked" like she could work and said that after her surgery she could work, which is totally untrue.Because of this doctors untrue findings her checks stopped. This doctor was not a neurologist and should not have been allowed to evaluate my mothers condition. My mother now has a lawyer and he has been working on this case for almost 3 years now and I think that is a bit too long for my mother to have wait to receive her benefits. Please help us! What should she do?
Thank you in advance,
Syvella

Reply by Paul
I never intend to give advice to people who have an attorney. For one thing I am not supposed to, and for another a good attorney who is representing you will know more of the facts of the case, and its exact posture.

The time a case takes varies around the country. If you are denied and go to Federal Court it can take several years to get through that process, which is a horrible fact, but a true one.

Some people have good cases which they will eventually win. Others cases have difficulties that mean that it is hard to ever win. Sit down with your attorney and get clear in your mind what your chances are and what else, besides a disability claim, you might be doing to help yourself. There are often a lot of other things.
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SUE EGERT

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Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2001 - 9:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My husband is 50 yrs old and recently applied for SSD. He had worked for 30 yrs with the same company prior to this. We filled out the application and sent all his medical records for the last 6 yrs with the application. He has SEVERE osteoarthritis in both hips and his lower back. Due to some other medical issues he is not a candidate for hip replacement. His previous job was fairly sedimentary in nature but the pain and difficulties in movement and sitting made even this impossible to do. We filed in October and were told we would have the initial determination in 60 to 90 days. It has been longer than that and we were wondering if that means he will definitely be turned down? Would it be ok to call SSA and find out what the status is? We live in Florida near Orlando and maybe in need of an attorney to handle this case.
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Paul McChesney

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Posted on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 6:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The time it takes has little to do with the outcome. Call the Administration to find out what has happened. If you don't have the number, call 1 800 772 1213 to get the number of the local office.

If you cannot get them to answer, call the Disability Determination Service of your state Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. They are actually making the decision, are usually easier to get on the phone, and will usually give you a straighter answer.

I would hire a lawyer if I were you. There is too much riding on it to neglect any step that will improve his chances.
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betty jo

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Posted on Friday, November 02, 2001 - 5:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

please tell me after the judge grants your disability how long does your check start. also what day do they start you back pay the day you applied the first time or the last time you applied?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Saturday, November 10, 2001 - 8:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In my area, it takes about 2 to 2 1/2 months. It might be more or less in other areas.

They start SSI benefits the later of the day you applied or the day the judge says you became disabled.

They start your Social Security Disability the earlier of one year before the day you applied or 5 months after the day the judge says you become disabled, whichever is later.
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Ray Charles Rozier

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Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 6:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My sister Bessie Mincey has been trying to get her disablity for 9 years, and she has a heart condition where she blacks out and she has had 4
hernia operation. My sister also has a pacemaker and her doctor has said that she is disablity but she still has not gotten her disablity approved.What can she do to help her to get her case look at.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 10:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It is very difficult to say. You should sit down with a local attorney who specializes in these cases. I am sad to say that I know of cases that have taken as long as that, but such a happenstance is very rare.
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Bill Boss

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Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 11:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had my Hearing Jan 14,2002.The judge approved my Disibility Benefits the day of the hearing.I've been trying for these since July 6 2000.Does anyone know how long the wait is from approval to getting any money? Thank You, Bill Boss
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Friday, March 01, 2002 - 12:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That varies a lot. For hearings in Charlotte, for example, it usually takes the judge about 3 weeks to get the decision out, and the Administration about 2 months after that to start paying. But in Columbia, some of the judges will hold the decisions for 3 or 4, or even sometimes 9 or 10 months, and you have to start writing Congressmen to try to get the decisons out.
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Christy Motes

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Posted on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 8:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I applied for ssi for my child who has adhd.He was denied.We went to court he was denied.We reapiled.He was denied.Now what do we do?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Friday, May 24, 2002 - 5:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That is impossible to say based on what you tell me. It depends on exactly what impairments he has. I would talk to several attorneys who do a lot of this, and consider what each has to say. Am I getting anywhere by continuing to file and appeal? Sometimes you are wasting your time, and a claim just distracts you from other more useful things that you could do; sometimes repeated failures cause people to give up when they should persist.
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ANGIE

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Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 2:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

MY MOTHER HAS APPLIED FOR DISABILITY ABOUT 7XS. SHE HAS FMS AND SEVERAL THINGS WRONG W/HER BACK. SHE WENT TO COURT & THE JUDGE FINALLY APPROVED FOR HER TO RECIEVE HELP & ABOUT A WEEK LATER THERE WASN'T EVEN A RECORD OF THE COURT DATE ETC.. SHE IS NOW GOING TO OSHNERS HOSPITAL IN NEW ORLEANS. SHE HAS DEFINITE VISIBLE PROOF OF A DISABILITY NOW. SHE WILL HAVE SURGERY ON THE 1ST OF NEXT MONTH. SHE HASN'T BEEN ABLE TO WORK FOR 2YRS. SHE'S BEEN ON STRONG PAIN MEDS. SHE HAS ASKED SEVERAL PEOPLE IN "HIGHER" PLACES HOW COME SHE KEEPS GETTING TURNED DOWN & ALL THEY SAY IS THAT SHE JUST KEEPS SLIPPING THROUGH THE CRACKS. SHE WANTS TO KNOW HOW TO KEEP FROM SLIPPING THROUGH THE CRACKS! DO YOU KNOW WHAT SHE SHOULD DO? THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.

Reply by Paul She should hire a Social Security lawyer, and a good one.
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Sandra Cardwell

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Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 12:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am a 36 y.o. I have been at my current job for 10+ years. I have an anxiety disorder, tic disorder, obsessive disorder. It is very difficult to work. Would it be possible to receive SS Disability? I can't afford to be out of work, can I file for SS Disability while still working? Thanks!

Reply by Paul Possibly; it depends on how severe these problems are. There is a section of this forum that is devoted to trying to file while you are working; see the answers there. As to whether you should file, I would sit down and talk to an attorney that handles a lot of these sorts of claims.
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Bill Ammerman

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Posted on Thursday, November 07, 2002 - 2:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

approved for SSD on 9/26/02, how long can I expect to wait for the benefits to begin showing up in my account?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Friday, December 06, 2002 - 6:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In SSI cases, the lump sum credit or check often comes about a month and a half after you talk to them and give them all of the documents and information they ask for, at about the same time that the notice telling you how much the check is going to be.

In a Social Security disability claim, the monthly check often comes about the same time as the notice telling you how much the check is going to be. At the initial and reconsideration levels, this is often the first notice that you have been approved. At the hearing level, you will first get a decision by the judge, and will usually get the first check and the notice about 2 months later.

In Social Security claims, the lump sum will come at about the same time if you do not have an SSI case also. If you have both kinds of case, the lump sum Social Security check will be delayed about 3 months while they figure the offset.

It is not unusual for the Administration to simply forget to send a check. If that happens, you should bug them a few times, then contact your congressman or senator, and finally if desperate, hire an attorney to file a mandamus.

Take care and good luck.
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Jan B

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Posted on Saturday, September 29, 2001 - 10:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

After filing for disibility in March .. my husband followed all the rquest .We waited until July to call Raliegh and was told his file was lost ..then when it was found we were told it was being sent to Atlanta ,but had received a favorable response from state. After waiting til August I called and was told his caseworker in Raleigh no longer had anything to do with his case ,but we should here something in about 5 weeks. Now it is September and on the 7th we received a leter fom Raleig sayiny Atlanta need med records (the same ones as were sent already) and a list of husbands DR's (they have that also.Now it is the end of September ,any idea if there is someone I can call to make sure it isnt lost again. I called the caseworker she again said it was out of her hands . The local office was very rude and stated we would probally know before they did. I know other people have it worse than us ,we have a 25 year old son at home paying bills as best he can,but he cant pay bills that his Dad and I made becuse his income isnt enough. Thank you for being here to help us people "STUCK IN THE RED TAPE."
We have not gotten an attorney yet. JAN.B

After filing for disibility in March .. my husband followed all the rquest .We waited until July to call Raliegh and was told his file was lost ..then when it was found we were told it was being sent to Atlanta ,but had received a favorable response from state. After waiting til August I called and was told his caseworker in Raleigh no longer had anything to do with his case ,but we should here something in about 5 weeks. Now it is September and on the 7th we received a leter fom Raleig sayiny Atlanta need med records (the same ones as were sent already) and a list of husbands DR's (they have that also.Now it is the end of September ,any idea if there is someone I can call to make sure it isnt lost again. I called the caseworker she again said it was out of her hands . The local office was very rude and stated we would probally know before they did. I know other people have it worse than us ,we have a 25 year old son at home paying bills as best he can,but he cant pay bills that his Dad and I made becuse his income isnt enough. Thank you for being here to help us people "STUCK IN THE RED TAPE."
We have not gotten an attorney yet. JAN.B

Reply by Paul

Believe it or not, a referral to Atlanta, that is, from the state Disability Determination Division to the Regional Office for "quality assurance review" is good news. My experience is that quality assurance review tends to happen in cases they are considering paying.

It is not uncommon for records to be misplaced. Get a copy and hang on to it in case it happens again. The Raleigh office has the Atlanta office number, if they will give it to you, or you can probably trust what your Raleigh caseworker says. Send the records to the caseworker, and that might speed up things.

Don't bother talking to the local office, if you ask me. They probably won't help.

You might try calling your senator; Jessie has a lot of seniority, and might make Atlanta get to work.

I would guess that you are very close now, and there is no sense in hiring an attorney at this point, unless you can't get your caseworker and Jessie to help in the next month or so. But if you are turned down you certainly should hire an attorney. It would mean you have a strong case, but there is something wrong with it, with which an attorney can help you, probably.
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linda

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Posted on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 8:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I left my job Sept. 30 of this year, got a denial and reapplied with an appeal. It's been 6 months today without hearing a word. Isn't it about time to hear from disability. I have damage to my heart from open heart surgery, arthritis, need knee replacement but due to my heart condition a poor canidate for surgery, back pain, soliosis, migraines, sinus problems, lupus from medication, artritis in hands, feet, numbness in hand, coldness and numbness in feet, severe leg cramps, soliosis in neck. I can't do my job as a registered nurse due to my condition. When you appeal, how long does it generally take to hear from disability. Do I have a chance. I can't lift, bend as it causes severe back pain. I don't tolerate heat, and I have 50 per cent of my heart pumping blood like it should. Echocardiogram shows mitral valve leak, l ventricular problems, muscle damage l side of heart, and CHF occ. I have angina and skips in heart beat.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 6:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Processing time varies drastically by region. Call the people whose name appears on notices you have gotten and ask them about your area.

You have a shot at it. The key for highly skilled people like nurses is often the ability to persist at work on a predictable basis. Of course, as always, I suggest that people get an attorney. Take care.
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Ophelia Simon (Osimon1065)

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Posted on Thursday, April 03, 2003 - 10:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had a SSD hearing before a judge in Florence every since the last week in February '03. Tomorrow makes 6 weeks since the hearing, how long does it usually take? Is the wait time good or bad? I'm a little afaid cause the judge made a comment about me washing clothes in my basement, I DON'T HAVE A BASEMENT! He was very, old, in his early 80's. How could he have made such an era. Where did he even get such an idea from. I wonder if he mis-interpreted anything else? Is there a way I can check on the status of my case? Can I call the Federal building in Florence where the case was held to inquire from his staff? I'm not getting any better, worse if anything.
osimon in SC
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 6:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had a SSD hearing before a judge in Florence every since the last week in February '03. Tomorrow makes 6 weeks since the hearing, how long does it usually take?

With the Columbia judges, anywhere from 2 months to forever.

Is the wait time good or bad? I'm a little afaid cause the judge made a comment about me washing clothes in my basement, I DON'T HAVE A BASEMENT! He was very, old, in his early 80's. How could he have made such an era. Where did he even get such an idea from. I wonder if he mis-interpreted anything else?

You will find out when the decision comes out.

Is there a way I can check on the status of my case? Can I call the Federal building in Florence where the case was held to inquire from his staff?

Call the Columbia Office of Hearings and Appeals. Their number should be on your correspondence from them.

I assume you don't have a lawyer. Get one to look at the decision if unfavorable.
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Bob B

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Posted on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 7:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had open heart surgery Feb2003 I had anuyusm arotic valve replacement mitral valve ring put in im on coumadine toprol and zocar and baby asprin also a bypass was done at that time im 58 i always held down a 40 hr, a week job now im lucky i cant work 12 hours a week i appalied for ssd under the advise of my heart docs, and att. but i hane not heard anything since March is that right? im in ohio thanks
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 5:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Your attorney will know how long it is supposed to take in your area. It varies from state to state.
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Nancy M.

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Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 12:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have filed for social security disability eight months ago and was told by our local office in Ohio it was approved by our state ssd, but it was "pulled" and sent to Chicago,IL for them to reveiw. Can you tell me what this means? Thank You.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 5:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nancy: When a file is "pulled" after the State Agency makes a recommendation, it means that the "Quality Review Branch" of the regional Social Security office is going to review the claim and might "correct" the State Agency's decision.

That is bad news because the Quality Review Branch tends to recommend denial; but good news in the sense that a case that the State Agency recommends payment on is probably a strong one that should be appealed. Be sure to appeal any denial. And of course get an attorney.
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Paula B

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Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 10:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hoping I can get some answers and guidance. My husband was an insurance professional. He was formerly a claims manager when he was diagnosed with BiPolar Manic Depressive Disorder. He was working in Kansas at the time. We are living in South Carolina where we are both originally from. Within the past three years he has had a hip replacement due to perthes disease and has had the diagnosis of schizophrenia added to his mental disorder. He has struggled to hold a job and simply is not going to be able to.

I am supporting both of us and need to find out about SSDI -- how long does the process take? What are the chances of getting approved? How much back pay is he entitled to? He has worked over the past three years but none of the jobs have lasted longer than 6 months. He was recently hospitalized for Schizophrenia and BiPolar Disorder.

Thank you
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 6:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paula B:

how long does the process take?

In South Carolina as of 2003, 3-6 months at each of the first two levels, and 9-12 at the third, hearing level.

What are the chances of getting approved?

If his condition appears in his medical records to be as severe as you described, pretty good once he gets to the hearing level, and fairly good at the earlier levels.

How much back pay is he entitled to? He has worked over the past three years but none of the jobs have lasted longer than 6 months.

Hard to say. For Social Security Disability, you get no benefits for the first 5 months you are disabled, and you can only draw starting one year before your application. If his work attempts are found to be "unsuccessful," they might be ignored. Generally, 6 months is the outside limit of what might be considered an unsuccessful work attempt. It is going to take some clever lawyering to get benefits during those months.

Certainly he needs to apply.
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TERESA

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Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 12:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi,im new here and was wondering if anyone could help me?Ok my husband signed up april 2003 for SSI and SSDB and they sent him to two Doctors and in july they sent a letter stating that they needed the address and other information from a job he had back in '99'and thats all we've heard.. so today i called my local social security office and they told me that it was approved in frakfort,ky on august,03 and it has been put in the REVIEW BOARD since august26,03 and they told me within 7days from now they would contact me and let me know whats going on and he hasn't worked since oct2002 and my last contact with the social security office they also wanted to know if i was going to be over his check...so any answers would really help us out???? thanks so much
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Sunday, February 29, 2004 - 5:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Teresa, most disability cases are referred to the "state agency," which is generally a subdepartment of your state government's Vocational Rehabilitation department, for them to make a recommended decision on the question of disability. Most or all of the time that the state agency recommends a favorable decision, the case is sent to a "quality review" branch of the Administration. Their review takes about 30 days around here right now. The will reverse the recommended decision fairly often.

So the fact that it is referred to quality control is a good sign, but does not mean that you are going to win for sure.

If they don't issue a decision in about two months from the date of the referral to quality control, make phone calls yourself, get your congressman to, or hire an attorney to harass them.

It is common for the government to find a later onset date in cases decided favorably at the initial and reconsideration levels; watch for this and think carefully about appealing if you are not satisfied.
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angie delli-veneri

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Posted on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 10:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm a 42 year old woman, I've had two known heart attacks and still suffer from what they call spasms. The doctor recently wanted me to go into a testing for a certain drug to help with the spasms' after seeing the films on the heart catherization he said it would be to much of a danger going through another one to see if anything has changed. So he put me on the drug they're using in the test. I'm still experiencing spasms. Am I entitled for disibility?
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Nancy Sandoval

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Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 1:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, my name is Nancy. I applied for disability on February 12 of 2004. I just spoke to disability determination examiner and he told me he received all the medical information he requested but didn't get one of the psychiatrists medical forms. I said I was going to call the Dr. but he told me he has enough information right now to hand it in to his Dr.'s for a decision. He said my claim maybe one of the claims to go to quality control. he should have a decision in another week and let me know if it will go to quality control which will delay it another 4 weeks. Is this a good sign?
I suffer from Depression, Anxiety
Do you think I have a chance? Is there anything I should do in the meantime to help my case?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 2:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nancy: To answer your questioins:

Is this a good sign? Cases that go to "quality control" tend to be cases with favorable recommendations. Not always.

Do you think I have a chance? I would need to see the medical evidence to have a good idea.

Is there anything I should do in the meantime to help my case? There are probably a hundred things. A short list of wild guesses which might not apply in your case, just to give you an idea: Get the form yourself. Be sure all the medical records are in. Be sure they are helpful. Get a statement from a doctor saying you have limitations that a vocational expert would say establish disability. Get a vocational expert's statement that those limitations do establish disability. Get a doctor's statement that you meet the listings of impairment. Get medical testing done that shows impairment. Hire a lawyer to do all that. Lots more.
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Joanne Dugan

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Posted on Tuesday, November 04, 2003 - 12:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have been before the admin. law judge, and I was so fortune it to have him approve my case right then and there! It has been five weeks since the hearing and I still have not received any benifts. How long does it take before I will get my first chack? I have been fighing this case for three long years and am growing impatient. Any information as to how long I might have to wait? thank you so much!
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 6:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This varies a lot depending on the area you live in and the particular judge. For example, in Charlotte, NC, the decisons come out in 3-4 weeks like clockwork. In Greenville, SC, in about 2 months in most cases. In Columbia, SC, anything from 2 months to 10 months or more.

There is not much you can do about speeding the judge up. If it has been several months, you can gently check by phone and make sure the decision is not accidentally on hold for some reason. If the judge is waiting for something, get it.

If it takes many months, you can try writing your congressman. Theoretically, an attorney could petition in Federal District Court for a mandamus, by which a District Judge could order the ALJ to issue a decision; but as a practical matter this is never done: it would have to be really, really late for the District Judge to order action, and you probably would not like the decision you would get.

Sometimes when a decision is delayed we send in some new evidence and a nice letter summarizing the merits of the case.

Unfortunately, once the decision is issued, it takes another couple of months to get a check.

If you have an SSI claim, after you get a favorable decision, get right down to the local office and show them a copy of it. They will give you a list of things you have to get. Get them all quickly, and the check will come faster.
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bemeup911

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Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 4:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am 47 years old and have worked for the last 18 years doing moderate physical labor. In 1986 I had chymopapin injections for 2 ruptured disc. Since then I have had 4 back surgerys. 2 disc cervical, the latest was a 3 level fusion in the lower back. My neurosurgeon has made the statement that they "ONCE" thought the chymopapin was the way to go. His theory is sometimes the stuff doesn't quit and keeps working its way up the spine softening the disc. I am very upset as the way I am currently feeling, a constant state of pain, if I will ever be able to return to work. Exactly how long does applying for disability benefits until you are approved?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 6:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That varies drastically depending on the area of the country. In upstate South Carolina, it can take 3-6 months at the initial level, 3-6 months at the reconsideration level, and 12 months at the hearing level. If you are denied there, it can presently be around 9 months to the Appeals Council and a year or year and a half at the Federal District Court level.

Statistically, more people win their claim at the initial level than any other level; about 1/3 of the cases are won there. I never see those people, and I don't know where they are hiding. Only 10% win at the reconsideration level, about 60% at the hearing level, about 25% at the Appeals Council, and about 15-40% in Federal District court.

Nationally, very few cases are appealed beyond the hearing level, though there are some lawyers, like me, who appeal most cases that are denied at the hearing. One of the secrets of success is to keep appealing, and not to despair.
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joanne dugan

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Posted on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 3:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I live in charlotte n.c. How long before I receive a check once it is in the payment center?
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 5:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Uh, I am not sure. Let me answer another question. Once an ALJ recommends a favorable decision, how long does it take to get paid? In the Carolinas, about 2 months for Social Security Disability claims as of 2004. For SSI claims, maybe 1 1/2 months, depending on how fast you get them all of the financial information.
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d.williamson

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Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 8:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

48 year old nurse . i have end stage renal failure called bergers disease i'm flat worn out besides the animea and continuous blood loss and hypertension not to metion panic potassium i'm not understanding how to wait a year with out any money to live never mind get medications and doctors would it not be more american to just shoot ones self??
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 9:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It would be more American to go postal, but don't do that. Many nurses are so tough that by the time they quit it is possible to get benefits at the initial level. It might not work, but do these things, each of which is calculated to get a favorable decision closer to the time you stop working. I assume that you have not yet quit:
Right now:
-Line up your doctors, and be sure they will help, before you quit. Stop seeing any doctor that will not state clearly that he will help you with a claim.
-Cut your expenses ruthlessly and put money in the bank.
-Get a job somewhere that has long term disability, which will often pay right away.
-Get your medical records and sit down with an attorney who does a lot of this and make sure you are set up right.
When you start missing work:
-Hire a lawyer
-Once you are out for a little while, immediately file, and maybe go back to work (don't do this one without a lawyer).
-Timing on going all the way out of work is tricky.
Once you finally quit:
-Get your lawyer to get a strong statement saying exactly what the lawyer says is necessary from every single doctor.
-Have a contingency plan in case you don't win at the initial level.
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Jessica

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Posted on Thursday, May 06, 2004 - 10:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Like a recent message you answered here, my file was "decided" with lightening speed,(within a week of my one and only CE) and sent from Columbus, OH to Chicago for Quality Assurance. He couldn't tell me their decision, since it could be changed.

I know my primary care doc and my pyschologist were supportive of my claim and sent their materials in.

But I signed no less than 15 medical releases, and have nearly an equal number of diagnoses! Most of my symptoms are neurological and invisible, including CFS, narcolepsy, frontal lobe atrophy, heavy metal issues, immune system irregularities. My MRI/EEG/Tilt table/Sleep studies/Neuropysch/blood work are all abnormal or positive to varying degrees.

I'm wondering how they could make a decision without waiting for all of the doctors to file the forms and records? Is that proper? Is it a good or bad thing?

Do you know how long it is taking the Chicago office to review the files presently?

I'm so confused by all this. I guess a quick decision is better than waiting around? Ugh. It's all depressing.

Thanks for your help!
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Paul McChesney (Admin)

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Posted on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 6:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Q. I'm wondering how they could make a decision without waiting for all of the doctors to file the forms and records?

A. They can do what they like. They will do all sorts of weird things, since "they" are actually a group of individual caseworkers.

Q. Is that proper?

A. They are supposed to buy the recent medicals.

Q. Is it a good or bad thing?

A. It depends on what medicals are floating around out there. If they happened to get the ones that helped you, and failed to get the record from the one idiot doctor that said that there was nothing wrong, it is perfect. Or it could be the other way around.

I personally don't want them to write for anything. I want to get it myself.

Q. Do you know how long it is taking the Chicago office to review the files presently?

A. No. Ask a Chicago lawyer. If he can't answer that question, don't hire him.

Q. I'm so confused by all this.

A. Of course your are. It is a complex process that you have only been through once.

Q. I guess a quick decision is better than waiting around?

A. There are a certain class of cases that will be won in the long run, but will not be won at the initial level. For them, a quick denial is the best outcome. I cannot tell whether yours is one of these.

Q. Thanks for your help!

A. No sweat.
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CurtisMichaels

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Posted on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 11:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I hope I am not out of line here but I am in need of a referral for an attorney. Just turned down after applying 5 months ago. I am totally "bummed out" ... I thought this would be a slam dunk. Boy have I been naive! This is really getting next to me, not being able to provide for my family...it sure does a number on ones self esteem... My income replacement benefits have just run out (I was a self employed trucker leased on to a larged company when I was injured therefore no workman’s comp) after paying me benefits for 2 years. I fell about 14 feet and injured my back but it is one of those difficult to quantify injuries…none of the medical people denies that its there or that it happened it just doesn’t show well on an MRI or X rays. (Nerve damage) I was advised by several people in the "system" (SS employees) that I should not have a problem receiving total disability...once again, silly me! The same insurance company that has bee paying me income benefits just paid in excess of 20 thousand, that’s right folks, 20 GRAND for a powered wheelchair that I need much of the time (but not 100% of the time)to function yet SS says I am not disabled?? (The list price was thirty thousand!) I also have just been approved for a pump device that is implanted under the skin and pumps morphine directly into the spine via a catheter. I digress...sorry...anyways I believe that I have a very strong case and have been told over and over by others as well that I do, I currently hold the record for the amount of Oxycontin prescribed daily (once again that what several docs have told me) just to survive the pain on some level. Thanks for allowing me to vent and I apologize if this isn’t the right place to do so. I would sincerely appreciate any feedback, suggestions, referrals or just plain old conversation. God Bless, Mike
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vonda hester
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Posted on Monday, July 19, 2004 - 11:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was denied Disability around the end of May. I have appealed the decision. How Long will this step take? What happens after that?
I suffered a devastating mental collapse last fall, have had therapists and physciatric help continuously and still hiding out most of the time, very emotionally vunerable, and thinking of doing things to myself, but haven't because of family's love. What I want to know all is "Does a mental illness such as mine mean that they will treat me as less disabled? Thank you.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 6:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Q.:I have appealed the decision. How Long will this step take?
A.: It varies by area of the country, but a range of 3-8 months is sort of typical as of 2004.

Q.: What happens after that?
A.: If you win, you get a check. But that is unlikely. Nationwide, only 10% or so win at the reconsideration level, and your chances are lower if you don't have an attorney.
If you lose, you can appeal and go to a hearing, where your chances are better.

Q.: Does a mental illness such as mine mean that they will treat me as less disabled?
A.: I say a lot of bad things about the Administration, but one thing I will say in their favor is that they treat mental illness on about the same level as physical illness.

Thank you.
Sure.

Some lawyers take cases only at the hearing level, but I would hire one right now if I were you. Take care.
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Bob
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Posted on Thursday, September 16, 2004 - 1:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul when the judge ask the lawyer for any more new evidence does that mean he will here the case a little sooner then maybe 6-t12 monthes? Thank You Bob
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2004 - 2:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Your lawyer can estimate how long a case will take in front of a particular judge much better than I can.
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PJSmith
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Posted on Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 12:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, can someone help me with a question please? I got my fully favorable letter about 4 wks ago and on the front page it was dated for Aug. my question is how long does it take to get a check for back py after I got the letter? I am 3 pymts behind on mortg, one yr behind on property taxes, and a triple elec bill so u can see time is crucial. This is for ssd. Thank you very much ! Hanging in there from Fla
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2004 - 2:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hard to say. If it is like around here, and it might not be, you normally expect the check within a few weeks or a month of the notice.

If that does not happen, I would get down to the local office and raise sand. And contact your Congressman or a Senator; if they are good they can often get lost cases started up. Show them your forclosure warning and such. If desperate, consider hiring a lawyer.

And you might show your favorable decision to your creditors; occasionally that helps.
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Debra Roan
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Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 1:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had a hearing before a judge on June 4th 2004. I called and all they tell me is that my claim is with the disability writer. My question is how long does it take to write a decision and what could be the long delay? Thanks for any information you may have.
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Debra Roan
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Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - 1:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By the way, I will be 50 on the 1st of Feburary and initially filed in March of 03.
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 6:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, since it becomes more difficult to turn you down when you turn 50, the delay has not been all bad, if you have a close case.

The time it takes to write a decision varies drastically from office to office. For example, in Charlotte, NC, almost all decisions go out in about 3-4 weeks. In Greenville, SC, most go out in 2 months. In Columbia, a large proportion go out in a couple of months, but a substantial minority take 6-7 months. In some other offices the wait is even longer.

So, what can you do about this serious problem? In the normal case, I try calling on a regular basis, and asking when I should call back. Call back a few days after that deadline, and explain that you waited a few days, and fill them in on any financial difficulties. Write a letter setting out those difficulties. Always be pleasant and patient sounding, but don't give up.

Save a copy of your letters. After a certain period of time, I guess 7 or 8 months, you can consider hiring a lawyer to file what is called a mandamus in Federal Court. The problem is that if you force the judge like this, he will probably be mad; so you should try the pleasant persistence first.

In your particular case, depending on the facts, you might not want to nag until February.
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preston (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 10:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hello i'am new ,igot my fully favoable dession on feb 17 2006 and now everythings in the payment center. i was award both ssi/ssd now how much longer do i have wait on an award letter are money
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Paul McChesney (Admin)
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Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 4:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

After you get a fully favorable decision at the hearing level, in my area in 2006, it takes about 2 months to get the first Social Security check and the lump sum SSI, and about 2 more months to get the lump sum Social Security Disability check.

If you only had an SSI claim, or only a Social Security disability claim, you would get one and only one lump sum, in about 2 months, followed by monthly checks.

The extra 2 month delay is the time that it takes the SSA to figure out how much SSI you have been paid, and to adjust the lump sum Social Security check.
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Nichole S, (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 10:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi.. new here and I am at a cross roads. I dont know if i should apply for SSD or SSI or what I should do. I am 31 and have had a pacemaker since birth it was implanted because of a severe atrial flutter (slow heart rate) and congenital heart defect and over the years I have become more dependant on it. I recently found out that my DR. wants to try and remove scar tissue (about 20+ yrs worth). My last day of work was in December and my Dr has decided I am not to return to work. Thing is, we don't know if I will be able to return to work after all of this and I don't know if I should start the application process or not. I have had people tell me that my parents should have applied for this when I was a child but they never did. I am wondering if I should apply for anything at all, what my chances are, and if I should get a lawyer to help me?
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Nichole S. (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 10:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I should add that, our bills are mounting and my husband is becoming not able to keep up with them and it is getting harder to feed our family (a household of 6). I was told that if the scar tissue can't be removed then daily life and activities are going to continue to wear on me (as the blood had to find its way through the scar tissue to pump properly) and I will continue to become more dependant on the pacemaker.
even my employer told me I should apply for everything out there right now... She had to terminate me because I couldn't come back to work after FMLA was exhausted. BTW... we are in Ohio

Thanks in advance!
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Lin Davis (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 8:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had my appeal hearing with the ALJ on May 4 2006. I went in unrepresented. I suffer from Major Depressive disorder (recurrent) w/out psychotic episodes and Panic Disorder. The ALJ was very rude, and became moreso when I corrected him on many facts that he had incorrect, such as my wages, he stated 3-500 per week, where as I am paid bi-weekly. He also flung my file on table when I brought a letter from my therapist in which she stated that although I was a weekly client, she was never contacted by the SSA. I am very concerned that I will be denied and am wondering if you had any foresight due to your experience. I live in MA an have been told that it is much harder for an approval in this state.

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