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Author Topic: Senator contacted to help with case  (Read 2339 times)

blgreens

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Senator contacted to help with case
« on: January 19, 2017, 09:55:08 AM »
My contact with my senator was not to speed things up but, rather, to make DDS do their job and not just pick and choose what they want to deny people.
Hope this helps others.

After a screw up I was left with no choice but to 'reapply' for SSDI. Of course, I was denied.
I noticed that the two initial denials were almost exactly the same. The first time I applied, I was medically denied.  They used records that were several years old to make a decision. Nothing I turned in was listed on the front page of reports used to determine my disability. The second application was also denied for the same reason. The second one also listed very old medical reports and none of my current records (which I again  had hand carried in with my application) were even mentioned.

Noticing the similarities, I decided to write to my Senator about this.  I explained what was happening and asked if she could take a look at my case and maybe prevent this from happening to me, or anyone else, again.
A month went by without response so, I emailed her to find out what was happening with my letter. I got a letter in the mail today. I should mention that, a few days after the email, I was sent more paperwork to fill out. The exact same paperwork that they had already requested and I faxed back.

The letter:

Dear Ms. *******

Thank you for contacting my office regarding your concerns with your Social Security Disability claim. I appreciate your bringing this to my attention and giving me an opportunity to see if my office can be of assistance.
I have asked Sarah Owens in my San Francisco office to assist you. Ms. Owens has contacted the Social Security Administration on your behalf. You will hear back from my office when a response is received from the agency, which usually takes from six to eight weeks.
Again, thank you for contacting me. My San Francisco staff will do all they can to help you.

Sincerely,
**************
United States Senator




ADDENDUM: Just returned from my chiropractors' office. I was told that they had been contacted by SSDI (finally) and they had requested information from my file (dating all the way back to the date I claimed). The receptionist jokingly told me that she 'had to kill a tree' for me. She held up what looked like a ream of paper. She said it was 502 pages.

Of the four times I had listed him, this was the first time he was contacted. I am guessing it has something to do with contacting my rep. I am also betting my PCP was finally contacted as well.
This time, they are having to do their jobs and not just shine things on. It should be like this for everyone, there is a reason we turn in current records, and all those records need to be looked at.

P.S. Also posted under my thread for reconsideration.

Just Me

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Re: Senator contacted to help with case
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2017, 10:51:00 AM »
Did you contact your caseworker and verify they had requested and received your medical records for the dates needed from the providers you listed ? This is something every claimant should do.

When a claimant is denied after filing an application, they can appeal that decision. Some states have Reconsideration. In states that don't have Reconsideration, an appeal to ODAR and a hearing before and ALJ would be the next step. It is not uncommon for a claimant to not have the needed medical evidence at the initial stages or for their impairments to not be severe enough to meet SSA criteria. Often in the 1-2 yrs it takes for a hearing, the claimants condition worsens to the point the meet the criteria.  ALJ's have more leeway than adjudicators do. Usually, when a claimant doesn't meet a listing, the claimant is denied and is approved after going before an ALJ.

If you are denied this time, do you plan on appealing ? By filing a new application each time you are denied at the initial stage, you lose back pay you may be entitled to, depending on your Established Onset Date if you appeal to ODAR.
Hope the size of a mustard seed can produce Faith that can move mountains.

Lit Love

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Re: Senator contacted to help with case
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2017, 11:02:02 AM »
There are some impairments that are simply unlikely to be approved prior to an ALJ hearing.  Did you attend a hearing when you applied the first time?

Denials at the first two stages are pretty much generic form letters, so they will look alike.  

Also, when you apply a second time, you're at a disadvantage because only medical documentation after the denial will be considered.  If you hire an attorney, you might want to see if they can attempt to reopen your previous claim--depending at what point you stopped the process and why.

Unless there is a likelihood of you qualifying via the GRID Rules, you need to prepare yourself for a wait for an ALJ hearing.  

blgreens

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Re: Senator contacted to help with case
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 12:13:05 PM »
Did you contact your caseworker and verify they had requested and received your medical records for the dates needed from the providers you listed ? This is something every claimant should do.

When a claimant is denied after filing an application, they can appeal that decision. Some states have Reconsideration. In states that don't have Reconsideration, an appeal to ODAR and a hearing before and ALJ would be the next step. It is not uncommon for a claimant to not have the needed medical evidence at the initial stages or for their impairments to not be severe enough to meet SSA criteria. Often in the 1-2 yrs it takes for a hearing, the claimants condition worsens to the point the meet the criteria.  ALJ's have more leeway than adjudicators do. Usually, when a claimant doesn't meet a listing, the claimant is denied and is approved after going before an ALJ.

If you are denied this time, do you plan on appealing ? By filing a new application each time you are denied at the initial stage, you lose back pay you may be entitled to, depending on your Established Onset Date if you appeal to ODAR.
I turned in current records when I applied initially. None of them were listed as being used. The two most recent doctors (past 5 years) were never contacted.
I also request a CD copy of my file, once I filed for reconsideration, and have yet to receive it (had to fill out a form and mail it in). I have left several messages regarding this and other things and no one is returning my calls.  The last person I was able to speak to told me that some of my medical records would not be on the CD. Trying to find out why.
I plan on taking this all the way if need be. If my information vanishes (on line) again, I will be contacting someone, immediately, to find out what is going on. On another post, I explain why I do things on line, by mail and over the phone. I would love to be able to walk in my local office to deal with all of this. For now, I am stuck running up my phone bill for all these long distance calls and spending a pretty penny on postage.
It was never my intention to have to refile.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 12:33:50 PM by blgreens »

blgreens

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Re: Senator contacted to help with case
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2017, 12:24:01 PM »
There are some impairments that are simply unlikely to be approved prior to an ALJ hearing.  Did you attend a hearing when you applied the first time?

Denials at the first two stages are pretty much generic form letters, so they will look alike.  

Also, when you apply a second time, you're at a disadvantage because only medical documentation after the denial will be considered.  If you hire an attorney, you might want to see if they can attempt to reopen your previous claim--depending at what point you stopped the process and why.

Unless there is a likelihood of you qualifying via the GRID Rules, you need to prepare yourself for a wait for an ALJ hearing.  
It was for the first stage of each initial application. Both times they used records from way back when and nothing current.
I have been keeping a file, just in case I have to go to court. I have been preparing for it since I turned in the initial (second) application. I have copies of everything from both times.

None of my doctors, listed, were contacted until after my Senator contacted SS. SS requested information from current and all the way back to the date I noted as first date of disability.

My reason for contacting my senator was to see if she could help me make sure that they looked at information that was newer than 10 years old. I did not request to speed things up or to influence any decision.  I expect, as all do, that a determination will be based on my current medical and weather they are sufficient enough to prove my disabilities.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 12:28:01 PM by blgreens »

Just Me

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Re: Senator contacted to help with case
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2017, 12:50:16 PM »
SSA is only interested in medical records that go back 1 year from when you had to stop working due to your physical impairments and 2 yrs before  mental impairments stopped you from working.
Hope the size of a mustard seed can produce Faith that can move mountains.

blgreens

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Re: Senator contacted to help with case
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2017, 02:30:46 PM »
SSA is only interested in medical records that go back 1 year from when you had to stop working due to your physical impairments and 2 yrs before  mental impairments stopped you from working.
That is what I thought but, the only records they requested were from 2007,2008. These were follow ups and tests after a cervical fusion. They did not request current records (until now).
As stated, they went back to the disability date I claimed (now it has been almost a year and a half since then)

Lit Love

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Re: Senator contacted to help with case
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2017, 02:37:14 PM »
They might be jumping through hoops for appearances, but I doubt it will make any difference at this stage.

Helper

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Re: Senator contacted to help with case
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2017, 03:10:13 PM »
SSA is only interested in medical records that go back 1 year from when you had to stop working due to your physical impairments and 2 yrs before  mental impairments stopped you from working.
That is what I thought but, the only records they requested were from 2007,2008. These were follow ups and tests after a cervical fusion. They did not request current records (until now).
As stated, they went back to the disability date I claimed (now it has been almost a year and a half since then)

Did you use the same disability date on both initial applications?  Because the 2nd application onset date cannot be sooner than the day after the last denial.

blgreens

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Re: Senator contacted to help with case
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2017, 04:20:52 PM »
Did you use the same disability date on both initial applications?  Because the 2nd application onset date cannot be sooner than the day after the last denial.
I have been doing a lot of research this time. I found where a case can be reopened:

"Because Social Security pays benefits back to the date of the original application or beyond, it is always in a claimant's interest to get an older claim reopened and joined to a new claim......"
"This situation arises when a claimant denied SSDI or SSI benefits doesn't request reconsideration or request a hearing by the appeal deadline, and the denial of the old claim becomes final. If the claimant later applies for SSD or SSI again, he or she should hire a lawyer to reopen the first claim...."
"A prior disability claim needs to be related to the current disability claim (for instance, an initial claim for herniated disc and a second claim for herniated disc and spinal stenosis). Social Security will not reopen a prior claim that is based on a disability that is unrelated to the current claim.
In addition, the onset date of your disability on your second claim must be within the timeframe covered by your first application.
Finally, Social Security will generally only reopen a claim that was incorrectly decided the first time around...."
To reopen a claim, you must file a new application for disability and ask Social Security to reopen your old claim. You must also tell Social Security in your second application that the onset date of your disability was within the timeframe covered by your first application (or for SSDI, within 17 months of the initial application).



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