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What questions will the SSDI Judge ask me?

I AM

Senior Member
Messages
101
I have searched the forum for answers but not really turning up what I need. I would like to know what questions the SSDI judge asked you and how you may have responded to any of the tricky ones.

I am quite concerned about going to the hearing because the stress of it will reactivate my EBV latent virus (the little sumbitches who are wrecking my life) and I am going to be very ill that night with flu-like symptoms and freezing and burning up, and I am going to go into a crash for days/weeks/longer?

Any advice is appreciated.
 

Howard

suffering ceases when craving is removed
Messages
1,332
Location
Arizona
@I AM Phoenix

I went through the SSDI process a month-and-a-half ago and I'm still waiting for the end result. The judge told me it would take between four to six months for an answer.

I've included a link to a series of sample questions, many of which were asked of me during the hearing.

http://www.jamesdisabilitylaw.com/y...stions-social-security-disability-hearing.htm

I also recommend the Nolo Guide to Social Security Disability. It can be purchased online as a downloadable PDF.

I did not attend my hearing in person because I've been bedridden 24/7 for the past three years and cannot be moved… so the hearing took place by phone.

Additionally, if you assume you're going to be very ill during the hearing it's very likely that you shall be (something having to do with the Law of Attraction). My judge was very thorough, while also being compassionate. Even so, I put more pressure on myself than was necessary.

You may also wish to check through my thread located in the Finances, Work, and Disability subsection entitled “Help (Arizona) need new attorney SSDI hearing” starting on page 3.

There are many good suggestions from others, embedded within the thread.


Best wishes to you
 
Messages
85
I got a 100% VA disability rating that included CFS. I just sent in my whole set of records and the VA findings. They only took about four weeks to approve it. Perhaps if you google the VA recognition of the condition and show that there is at least a co understanding between the VA and SSDI and that is very real it might help. I will try to look up the agreement that vets use when claiming Gulf War Illness and CFS in the morning if I get up. Good luck.
 

I AM

Senior Member
Messages
101
@Howard that is an amazing resource. Thank you so very much. It was depressing looking through some those questions and be reminded of what and how much has been lost. There are also many questions that I would not be able to answer -- anything to do with how much time can you do this or that. I have no idea. I cannot even get on that thought train. It left the station without me.

@Desertstorm that is very interesting that the VA recognizes the condition and there seems to be some compassion for vets from the SSA. I found a very interesting document yesterday that is the social security ruling on ME/CFS. They recognize the disease, which is news to me. It detailed what criteria they are looking for and listed a number of tests and symptoms and other things that they find evidential. After reading that, I feel confident that I will be awarded my SSDI. If you do have a moment to find the document you reference above then I would be very grateful. Thank you.

Are you aware of the clinical trial that Nancy Klimas is doing on GWI? They were given a $9 million grant to study GWI and Klimas is convinced that whatever they find about GWI can be applied to CFS patients.
 
Messages
85
Here are a couple of places these issues are talked about. Then second one is best IMO. If you look on VA.gov and search around you will find all sorts of stuff on CFS and disability claims that can be used as arguments for SSDI. Sorry I have brain fog big time right now and ma due at the docs in an hour. Will try to dig up more later.

Also if you can find successful claim case studies online it would be huge. You can look up Veteran Appeals online and get the actual rulings made by Veterans Board of Appeals cases. We also get rejected at an 80% rate to start but many are approved during the appeal process.

"If your VA disability rating status is 100% P & T, then you qualify for special review procedures with the SSA. When you apply for SSDI, you’ll just need to provide a copy of your VA disability rating documents. The SSA’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) can then expedite the review of your claim and get you a decision on your eligibility for SSDI benefits in just a few weeks."

SSDI should be dealing with civilians just as they do us vets, but we do get special attention I guess. But even showing the judge that it is the case and CFS is a huge part of GWI including Nancy's work with the VA should be of great help. I would say that being very prepared, with all your records in order and supporting evidence of not being able to work, plus the other governmental agencies that are recognizing and funding the effort now should get you over the top. Not BSing them, but a coherent well presented case with a caregiver or helper who is able to help you get through the hearing is vital.

https://stopsoldiersuicide.org/veterans-qualifying-ssdi/
https://vetsbenefits.net/gulf-war-illness-f71/?sid=d7701662c7cad3cabfe7ca50d9c658cb
https://www.warrelatedillness.va.gov/education/healthconditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome.asp

Look hard at the War Related Illness and Injury Center (WRIISC) pages as they are the lead dogs in the VA on ME/CFS.

Yes we have been following her research closely. I also believe the two are very similar in nature and the VA research is vital. Sadly a huge % of vets committing suicide now are from the Gulf War era and this shit plus PTSD is catching up to us. Many are losing contact with family, wifes have had enough, and simply fighting the VA for disability pushes many over the edge. We were all healthy young go getters for the most part, fighting for our nations and getting shit on when we returned with this condition nobody understands so ignores.

Really hope you get through it and get what you deserve. Stay positive and good luck.
 
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vision blue

Senior Member
Messages
1,865
I just sent you what i hope was a private message...I started a "conversation" with you. hopefully youll get a notification.
 

I AM

Senior Member
Messages
101
@Desertstorm I am sorry to learn of your struggle. I think that is extremely disgraceful that you and others have to fight the VA for your disability. I would ***expect*** the VA to support you whole-heartily. I think vets should be fast-tracked. This disease and whole process sucks for all of us and many do commit suicide -- it is an atrocity -- but I feel that special consideration should be given to vets who were injured while serving. I recently purchased a service dog, very expensive, and it was a lot for me but I never begrudge the veterans going to the head of the line for service dogs programs that offer the dogs at a discount. It seems the right thing to do. Getting off my soapbox now.

Thank you for getting back to me with resources. Breezing through that second link I am very surprised to see the commonalities in GWI and ME. It seems so strange to me. As for my illness it began with an enterovirus. So I am getting on the waiting list to see Dr. John Chia since this is his area of expertise. But I am seeing Dr. Rey at INIM in March, thank you Lord. I have been through the ringer -- but don't want to go into the specifics of that right now. It does me no good to go down a path of negativity.

Instead, I want to focus on where I am going: I AM certain my SSDI will be approved for the maximum benefit and all of my back pay awarded as the outcome of the hearing with the ALJ in February. I AM certain that Dr. Rey will bring me from my current 30% to 90% and that with my other integrative modalities I AM at 100% and have dropped my weight gain by the end of the year. I AM certain that I regain my health and my life and all that was lost by the New Year's Day 2020. That is my intention and declaration. Now may the Universe fulfill it. So mote it be! Thank you!

^^I am very Spiritual. I was attending seminary before I became ill. Ordained or not, I walk with God.

Thank you, again, for all of the wonderful resources. I have some good reading ahead of me. God bless you, God bless us all.

FYI, @vision blue sent the message to me.
 
Messages
85
Please don't get me wrong...I have accepted the reality of this, I have a very loving devoted wife and I won vs the VA. I feel for all the vets who are still fighting the VA, but am pleased they are dedicating resources to find a solution.

There are many in the ME/CFS community who oppose linking GWI with ME/CFS. This makes no sense to me given we need to explore every avenue.

I love your attitude. It makes a huge difference. To my way of thinking there are millions of folks far worse off than me. My wife was a caregiver for a guy who became a paraplegic in an accident, then lost his hands to frostbite when he tipped his chair over outside and nobody found him, then he sadly lost his wife to a virus. All within four years. He is a survivor and an inspiration. I just can't do things I used to do and hurt a bit. No comparison.
 

gbells

Improved ME from 2 to 6
Messages
1,484
Location
Alexandria, VA USA
I have searched the forum for answers but not really turning up what I need. I would like to know what questions the SSDI judge asked you and how you may have responded to any of the tricky ones.

I am quite concerned about going to the hearing because the stress of it will reactivate my EBV latent virus (the little sumbitches who are wrecking my life) and I am going to be very ill that night with flu-like symptoms and freezing and burning up, and I am going to go into a crash for days/weeks/longer?

Any advice is appreciated.

I went through this and obtained disability on appeal. It took several years.

First, know that you must have a MD or DO (no NPs/PAs allowed) who has been seeing you for at least 6 months.

You also need to have a disability lawyer, it will make a huge difference in boosting your chances.

Here is the SSA instructions on CFS:
https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/documents/64-063.pdf

The bottom line is that CFS, despite the fact that 75% of people are totally disabled by it, is not an automatically qualifying condition. So you have to prove that you aren't able to work. This is much harder than having a qualifying condition. Proving you aren't able to work means that you have to document your pain, fatigue, exercise ability and inability to work using a diary. You need to have letters of support from people who can observe you (ie. His room is very messy (supports not having enough energy to clean), he had to give up his pet, he sleeps all day...
I recommend you sign up with this website and follow her instructions.
http://disabilitykey.com/

This free site is excellent:
https://www.meaction.net/2017/04/17/the-sleepy-girl-guide-to-social-security-disability-u-s/

It says to check your RFC forms for mistakes.

If you tell the judge anything contradictory or if he sees anything contradictory he will deem you not credible and ignore your evidence. This can include.

  • Listing a hobby that contradicts your stated work capacity. Ie. My hand is crippled but I can bowl or I can't walk a mile but I like to go birdwatching.
  • Saying you can't sit for more than 20 minutes but then sitting in the room for 30 minutes.
  • Are you saying you have photophobia but aren't wearing sunglasses in the hearing room?
If you have chronic pain I strongly recommend you see a neuropsychologist who can test and diagnose you. Chronic pain without a medically verifiable cause will qualify you automatically under Somatoform Disorders. Be sure to tell them all about the diseases you think you have, possible causes, infections, etc. They will think you are crazy and give you this diagnosis which is an automatic win.

Disability wants to deny you. They will try every trick in the book to do it.
Here's the mentality you're up against.

http://www.wbrz.com/news/stage-4-cancer-patient-denied-disability-insurance/

and


Here's a website where you can look up the areas and judges:
https://www.disabilityjudges.com/state

Oh and plan for a long appeals process. Get into public housing to save money, etc. Write off medical bills and mileage against your budget, etc. One trick to get a speedier appeal is to write a letter to the judge (have your lawyer read it first) stating that you are suicidal and/or under financial crisis due to (homelessness, etc). They have to speed it up. Don't lie, be able to support everything you say. Remember, make a strong case and don't contradict yourself.
 
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I AM

Senior Member
Messages
101
a guy who became a paraplegic in an accident, then lost his hands to frostbite when he tipped his chair over outside and nobody found him, then he sadly lost his wife to a virus. All within four years.
@Desertstorm that is extremely upsetting.

And, like you, I know there are millions worse off than me. I recall many years ago Dad wrote a letter to me, God bless him, saying "I hope that you recognize the many blessings in your life." And at that time I did not... I wondered what the heck blessings Dad was talking about. This was years before I even became ill, and both my parents were alive, and yada yada yada... net-net I was truly blessed. I am not sure why I was blind to it except to say that I was in a victim mindset. That is no longer the case. It has not been for a long time. In fact, I think Dad's words of wisdom began to open my eyes to the Truth.

My parents are excellent role models... God bless their souls... survivors, people who worked hard and were proud of their accomplishments rather than lamenting the hardships of their childhood (or worse blaming their parents and feeling that they were owed something because of it).

It is indeed true that perception shapes our reality. In my belief system, we create our own happiness or unhappiness. All is mind.
 

jesse's mom

Senior Member
Messages
6,795
Location
Alabama USA
In my case, I applies and was denied. I then went to a SSDI attorney who led me through the jungle. I was then approved upon the judge that heard my case simply because my lawyer knew how to write the brief correctly. It was well worth the 10% of the "past payments" that it cost me.

I won before I was 50 and they say that is rare. I have some coexisting spinal issues that came into play as well.

So sorry this is such a battle and hardship on so many of us.
 

I AM

Senior Member
Messages
101
Thank you @gbells you have given me some important things to consider. You've listed some great resources. The SSR on ME CFS was something I read the other day and it gave me a lot of confidence that I have the supporting medical evidence, symptoms, inclusionary and exclusionary tests, diagnosis, etc to prove my disability. I wish that I had known about this resource sooner. I also have gained clarity from the Sleepy Girl's Guide although all of the links make for difficult reading (I feel like I am going in circles).
 
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