Help (Arizona) need new attorney SSDI hearing

Judee

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Whew!!! I've been feeling anxious for your situation so I'm glad to hear that.

I just finished filing the Request for Hearing this week for myself just in time for the deadline so I can completely empathize with how you must be feeling right now.

I'm so glad you have a good support system--wife, sister, doctor, therapist. Hope you find a super good attorney too. :)
 

Howard

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This can't mean anything, it absolutely can't!

Attorney written response:

With respect to your brother's matter, from your inquiry it appears that the most recent decision in his matter was a denial of his request for review filed with the Appeals Council (AC). Unfortunately, our schedules do not permit us to become involved in matters for the first time on an appeal to the United States District Court. It is, therefore, my recommendation that he immediately contact another attorney if he wants to pursue an appeal of his matter. As noted in the AC's decision, he has a deadline to file his Complaint in the United States District Court. Should he fail to meet the deadline the decision will become final and binding upon him.

He is also free to file a new application. However, if he pursues a new application he will likely need to establish some worsening of his condition or other factors which would justify a finding that the ALJ's decision does not preclude him from being found disabled. He may also have issues with in qualifying for benefits if his date last insured was before the date of the ALJ decision.

Please understand that nothing I have said is meant to persuade him not to pursue an appeal of the ALJ and AC decisions or the filing of a new claim. Rather, I would encourage him to pursue such courses of action if he believes he has any basis to do so.

I do wish hiim the best in pursuing his matter.

Lastly, please see the disclaimer below.



I believe attorneys made their language borderline indecipherable on purpose, which on the surface, seems absurd, but it keeps them in the money and forces us to pay them for the privilege of having them clarify their very own words ad infinitum.

Perhaps we should blame those damned Latins, ex post facto.

So based on this response, I am far beyond confused. Reading between the lines, it suddenly seems as though I have absolutely no chance at receiving SSDI. Or perhaps that's not even what these words are saying.

My next move is to call some other attorneys directly, and hope they speak a language more similar to my own.

And I swear, I'm not dense. I may be intellectually compromised, but I am still able to process reasonably well, it seems.

Thanks for following along from home!

End of rant. Time to stop feeling sorry for myself.
Hahaha... and/or appropriate emoticon placed here>
 

Learner1

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@Howard This is actually a helpful reply. Here is the meat of it:

It is, therefore, my recommendation that he immediately contact another attorney if he wants to pursue an appeal of his matter.

As noted in the AC's decision, he has a deadline to file his Complaint in the United States District Court.

Should he fail to meet the deadline the decision will become final and binding upon him.
I'm no lawyer, but apparently you were denied.

If you don't like this, then you must appeal the decision in the US District Court BEFORE the deadline.

This lawyer doesnt have time, so you need to find one who does ASAP, who is willing to file the appeal in US District Court.

If you miss this deadline, you will need to start a new application from scratch. The best way to justify doing so is if your condition has worsened.

Does this make sense? Sounds like or someone who cares about you should find a good lawyer fast. Who is this corporate entity you keep referring to? Is it somehow their job to help?

Best wishes.
 

Judee

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Aw...I'm sorry. I know it's like having the wind knocked out of you.

I wouldn't think you're completely sunk yet though. Even if you only have one more chance, I would try to go for it.

Has your sister called that AZ lawyer yet? He might have some suggestions.

This is really a hard situation. Saying a prayer for you.
 

Howard

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@Learner1

thank you thank you thank you...

Thank you for the translation, what you are saying seems to make sense after the fact. Now I have a manageable goal, a talking point, simply finding an attorney and asking them to file an appeal.

The company that's supposed to be helping me is called Myler Disability… and based on their website, they are to be performing some type of advocacy duties, and then receive a percentage of the judgment as a result of their efforts.

One of my sisters signed on with them 2+ years ago with the best intentions. But these Myler people haven't been responding by email or by phone…. Nor have they provided any guidance during the process, as best I can tell.

...But again, thank you for making sense of this. Fortunately, I am able to comprehend plain English (as well as many other things) a lot better these days. I haven't been involved in the process up until now, so I've got a lot of catching up to do. But this definitely narrows down the scope. I can handle this (now) simplified task.

H
 

Howard

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@Judee

My little sister filled out some kind of email form to an attorney, and that somewhat confusing (to me) response was the result (not that I don't appreciate their timely response).

Since I know what to do now, having a simplified goal and having a direction, I should be okay hiring someone on.

Only a few short hours ago I was flustered beyond belief, so I took a long nap and woke up rejuvenated… and perhaps more importantly, was gifted a potential solution in the meantime.

Thank you and I appreciate the support!
 

geraldt52

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The letter from your attorney is at odds with your original statements regarding a "hearing" on November 19. The attorney's letter indicates that your final "Appeals Council" appeal was denied. This means that no further appeals within Social Security itself are available, and you must appeal their decision to a Federal Appeals Court if you wish to appeal. This means that you had to have long since, probably years ago, had a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, which is the only "hearing" within the Social Security Disability process. I don't understand the discrepancy, but your statements and your lawyers statements are definitely at odds with one another.

If you have indeed exhausted your Soc Sec appeals, as the lawyer stated, it will be very difficult to find a new lawyer who would be willing to take on your case now and appeal it to a Federal District Court on a contingency basis. The Federal Court will only be interested in whether Social Security followed the law, and they will accept Social Security's rulings on the facts of the case. There are no limits on attorney's fees in such an appeal, as there are in prior appeals within Soc Sec, and they will be set by the Federal Judge at the time the case is heard.

You can however begin a new SSDI claim, which I would recommend you do with an attorney from day one. Any benefits awarded to such a claim will not go back to when the first claim was filed. It will be very difficult to win any claim that isn't backed up by continuous medical records and a cooperative doctor. If you don't have that, then that is where you really need to start. It doesn't matter how good or bad you look, what matters is that a doctor is willing to swear that you are unable to work due to "signs and symptoms".

It's a horrible thing how sick people, who can barely care for themselves, are put through the wringer by Social Security, but all you can do is work within the system that exists. The system really doesn't care.

I am not a lawyer, and none of this shouldn't be taken as legal advice. I did however end up in Federal Court with my SSDI claim, so I've been through the process.
 

Judee

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That does seem at odds with the scheduled court date. You may want to follow up with that disability firm to make sure that email you received from this newest lawyer isn't incorrect.

There seems to be a mix up somewhere. You don't want to miss your court date if you do have one.

I did however end up in Federal Court with my SSDI claim, so I've been through the process.
Did you win your case at that level, @geraldt52? At what point in your whole process did you hire an attorney?
 

Howard

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@geraldt52

Thank you for your reply. You needn't respond to this, but for the sake of my own clarity I will provide a brief outline of what I think is going on.I

  • I was told that someone applied for disability on my behalf mid-2016. At that time I was incapable of mentally processing the goings-on.
  • I was told that my SSDI claim was initially denied because I had no “official” diagnosis, outside of POTS (Mayo Clinic didn't seem to believe in CFS).

At that point in time, Myler Disability was somehow involved.

  • I was told it would take two years for the hearing to be scheduled.

Several months ago, the specific date to appear in court was given to me as November 19th, 2018.

In the meantime, Myler Disability kept encouraging my wife to take me to see more specialists (2018). That was never an option due to money issues / her inability to carry me down the stairs etcetera.

Instead, a mobile doctor made a few house calls, and after extensive blood work explained that I have active Epstein-Barr virus. The doctor also wrote a note stating that I cannot work due to my physical condition.

Not knowing any better, I was still expecting this hearing to take place November 19th (I haven't heard otherwise, perhaps it still scheduled) and that I would possibly be able to appear via Skype.

In the meantime, Myler Disability has not responded to my queries. Perhaps they're not supposed to, I just don't know. It seemed logical that I would be in communication with one of their attorneys, offered guidance of some kind, or had things explained to me etcetera at some point in time.

But none of those things have ever happened, so my concern continued to grow.

My sister sent an email to a local disability attorney, briefly explaining my predicament. The wording may not have been correct (hearing v. appeal). And yesterday I received the written response I posted.


So I just thought of this. Maybe I could call the Social Security Department. Perhaps that would be enough. Maybe they could tell me something.

Or perhaps I can call the local court where the hearing is/was scheduled. Someone's got to know something, right?

Again, you don't need to respond to this, it was more for me than anything else. I think more clearly when I see actual words before me.

If I have to open a new case I shall do so.

I appreciate everyone's input.
 

geraldt52

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...Did you win your case at that level, @geraldt52? At what point in your whole process did you hire an attorney?
Yes, I did win. From the time I applied for SSDI until I got my first check was 7 years. The attorney's fee, taken from my past due benefits was about $35K. Never so much as an apology from anyone at Soc Sec. I hired my attorney before the ALJ hearing, and SSDI is all she does.
 

geraldt52

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@geraldt52
...So I just thought of this. Maybe I could call the Social Security Department. Perhaps that would be enough. Maybe they could tell me something.

Or perhaps I can call the local court where the hearing is/was scheduled. Someone's got to know something, right?
If the claim only began in 2016 I doubt that there is any way that it is to a point where your only recourse is Federal Court. Two years is about what I'd expect for you to get a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Maybe you're right and the lawyer is confused.

Your local Social Security office or the office where the hearing is scheduled should be able to tell you where you are in the process. You can also ask them for a delay in the hearing, so that you can get yourself better organized. One thing you don't want to do is have a bad hearing before the Administrative Law Judge, because that could doom the whole process.

You can file a second SSDI claim at any time, without affecting the first claim, and if your old medical records are not in good order then that is probably a good idea.

I hope that helps.
 

Howard

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Myler Disability Rides Again

Frustration. No need to respond.

So, these Myler Disability fxxxers (Kyle, my newest case manager) finally responded to an email query on or about October 30th, assuring us they are indeed working on the case….

Subsequent to that, my wife and I composed a lengthy email full of important and seemingly relevant questions (the ones suggested by my fellow Phoenix Rising members), while also requesting a timely response… sent out on Thursday, November 1st.

No response across-the-board, until today. And guess what, Kyle the case manager is no longer with the company, on hiatus, or never really existed… something to that effect.

The person sending the email wrote the following:

“My name is _______ and I might be your new case manager.”

My hearing is scheduled for November 19th!

And as I'm writing this, my wife called these people and asked what was going on.

Good news, they answered the phone!

Well, they would like us to send in our most recent medical records... Again! Just to make sure!

So what happened to the most recent medical records we sent in last week? Did "Kyle the case manager" take them home?

That's all these people do! Ask for medical records.

Heck, I could do that from bed even in my debilitated state.

Please send in your most recent medical records.

Sincerest regards,
Howard


Seriously, we really need the money.

Myler stated that their attorney just wanted to “make sure” they have everything.

Great. Wonderful.

Sounds like a load to me.

Just throw in the word “attorney” and everything will be okay, right?

So this is me venting, in real time. Perhaps everything will all work out for the best, but I am feeling immensely frustrated.

In any case, I've been self-quizzing myself the Sample Hearing Questions. If the hearing ever takes place, at least I'll have a strong grasp in regards to what will be asked of me.

Additionally, my wife purchased a suggested e-book title. If we can figure out how to download it onto my temperamental tablet we should be all set.

Stay the course. Stay the execution?
Eh, it's not all that bad.

Perhaps having a new case manager is a blessing in disguise, or whatever the heck they call it when something seemingly negative happens, for a reason.

H
 

geraldt52

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You can take this as either good news, or bad news, Howard, but the outcome of your hearing will almost certainly be determined by which Administrative Law Judge hears your case...something which you have no control over.

If you luck out and get a sympathetic ALJ, and have a supporting physician, your odds on being approved based on CFS are much better than they used to be years ago. If the ALJ has a prejudice against CFS though, there is probably nothing that you can say or do that will help.

Good luck.
 

StarChild56

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My best wishes and thoughts for you and your case.

I had a lawyer when I applied for SSDI, which I won and my lawyer never requested medical records from me. I filled out authorizations for HER to contact all medical professionals I'd seen and SHE got all pertinent medical records. She reviewed them. I did not have to do any of it.

I am sorry that your legal representation leaves much to be desired. Hoping you get a good ALJ and get an instant win.
 

Judee

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@Howard, I thought of something last night. The ALJ only gives you so many days up until your appearance to submit additional evidence. If you (or Mylar) bring records on the day of the trial, the court may or may not accept them.

I am concerned that this company won't get them submitted in time for you. You may want to call the court to see how you can make sure they have all your records or how you can submit them so they will be there on the 19th.

Anyway, it was just a thought. Hope it doesn't add to your stress level right now. What @geraldt52 says sounds right but the ALJ cannot be sympathetic to your case if he doesn't have all your records.