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Need advice on what to do in regards to judge

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by AK2, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. AK2


    I have had my case denied thrice by social security, and after two appeals had a judge turn my case down. The case was then sent after my third appeal to a review board who remanded the case back to the judge for a second look. This occured on July 13. Today, August 30, I STILL have yet to have a hearing date. I dont know what to do!

    I can not work. I suffer from relentless fatigue, an itchy/painful rash, and brain foggy memory loss and concentration problem. I hope to recover following the 12 month "Road to Recovery" program through the Chronic Fatigue Treatment Center closest to me. I can not do this if I am living off of a low wage job which can NOT pay for insurance to take care of these treatments, and organic food/supplements. I will also need to get an apartment so I can guarentee that I can get all the sleep I need, in a quiet atmosphere. I also need a cell phone and car/car insurance to be in touch with doctors and get to my appointments.

    My 2 year backpay and general monhtly social security benefits should be able to cover this.

    I also dont want to KEEP myself sick. Somedays I am so tired that I could stay in bed all day. I am afraid of keeping myself sick by having to get up at a certain time, staying at work a certain length of time, and doing work which will keep me sick.

    I can NOT lose this case.

    However, $2000 dollars in debt, and four collection agencies later, I need money. I do NOT have any money, assetts, or any source of income. I am surviving off of the good will of friends when it comes to food and shelter. I have been waiting too long. I MAY have a job offer, and if it comes through, I will begin work in a week or so. I dont expect it to go far, and even if I CAN perform the tasks needed, im afraid of simply (it's minimum wage) not being able to afford to get well.

    I am afraid of taking the job, and whatever else may come, and the judge then THROWING OUT THE CASE if he thinks I can work.

    Does anyone here have ANY experience in this? Legal advice? General advice? Thank you for your help!
  2. There is no treatment that is guaranteed to make you better. You could very well be wasting your money, and making yourself sicker in the process because you're working/pushing too hard and not resting.

    At the point where you lost to the judge and filed an appeal, you should have also filed a new claim. The appeals process takes a very long time. You can expect a new hearing date with the judge in the same amount of time it took the first time. So if it took a year the first time, expect another year (or two years, or three years...)

    You don't want to jeopardize your chances of winning SSDI. You will likely need this coverage for the rest of your life, or at least you should pretend that will be true, erring on the side of caution.

    Let's say you get denied now, then have trouble working, you apply again a few years later. If you don't have enough recent work quarters, you'll be reduced to getting SSI, not SSDI. If you think you can live on $500 a month (SSI) vs. $1000 a month (SSDI), for the rest of your life, go for it.

    Ok, so what to do now? You're barely surviving. My suggestion would be either don't work at all, if you think your friends will continue to support you, or to cautiously try some part time work, but you must keep your earnings below SGA, the Substantial
    Gainful Activity level. Right now that's about $900 a month.

    ps. Do you have a lawyer? If so, why didn't he/she file a new claim when you got denied by the judge? This would be a red flag to me on the quality of your lawyer.
  3. Otis

    Otis SeƱor Mumbler

    I would also recommend a lawyer if you don't yet have one. Best wishes, Otis
  4. AK2


    I think for now I will cautiously go for the Part-time work, as my friends cant help me forever, but I will definitely keep it below $1000.

    I agree that I may be wasting my money, but if, and only if, I get this backpay, I don't see it as a wise choice to ignore any available options which may offer hope.

    I will be sure to talk to my judge's secretary tomorrow. before moving ahead.

    I was NOT aware that I had the option to file a new claim, while my current one is in appeal and (was) being looked at by a review board (and now) by the judge. Social Security NEVER tells me what's up, and for that I cant help but point out the obvious: they are cruel.

    My attorney sucks. I only got her because I felt I had a better chance with one when I went up against the judge, the first time. She is a "free" attorney, so that should say something about her quality. I resent the fact that if I win, she may get 1/3 of my winnings. :/
  5. AK2


    one more thing....

    if the two of you have any more advice, or wish to point out why my tentative ideas is bad or not, I would greatly appreciate further contributive input
  6. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    Im wondering what country you are in?? as things are different for different countries and hence i dont know if any info i give to you is completely right or not. Let me know if you are in Australia as there is something i may be able to do to help you.

    With the phone situation.. i do have a suggestion which probably can get you one. I once got a mobile phone by just asking for one throu "freecycle" http://www.freecycle.org/ Give it a go and you will probably get a phone. I also got a very good washing machine throu there for free and quite a few other things.

    Also.. my CFS specialist made me quit doing part time work as it was me just working for a couple of hrs per week.. which had social security not believing I was as sick as we were trying to get them to realise. Working can work against you.. they will think you are quite capable of doing any work you are doing and possibly more.

    I know someone with CFS/ME who wasnt getting money and didnt have somewhere to live and she took up housesitting for people.. and that was working very well for her
  7. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

    Ottawa, Canada
    For me, it was seeing a physiatrist that made the insurance company back down.
    Without her report, they would have never agreed that I was so sick.
    The minute they got her report, the $$$ started coming.
    I don't know if you could do something to get a stronger case. Sometimes, this is what it takes to make things happen. I live in Canada. I'm afraid I can't help you. Good luck!
  8. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

    Southeast US
    Smart move to get an attorney. Disability attorneys don't charge fees; if you win, they get paid up to a maximum out of your earnings. It took me 2 1/2 years from application to hearing. There is such a backlog in the US, esp. in my state.

    I think the most important step I took, besides getting an attorney, was to have very good doctor notes.

    Good luck.

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