Continuing Saga on my SSD case

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Seagull, Apr 4, 2003.

  1. Seagull

    Seagull New Member

    My case has now been classed as having a "Congressional Inquiry" status. Without my knowing, that is. But, because of having this status, my case has now been red-flagged by the local SSA office here and put ahead of other cases for special detailed handling, according to the caseworker I spoke with this morning. (I have to chuckle over the fact that for the last month and a half, I have been leaving messages for them, which were not returned. After getting the congressman involved, though, it was she who called me this morning!)

    It is interesting to note how I received this congressional inquiry status -- it was totally by accident, on my part at least. I had received my denial on Feb 11th, from the Disability Determination office in Austin. I called them to find out where my file would be sent so that I could request a copy of it (I wanted copies of the med records their letter had listed), to refer to when I worked on my reconsideration paperwork. I was told the file was returned the previous week back up to the local SSA office here.

    So, I called them. After finally reaching a woman clerk some two weeks later (at the end of Feb), who insisted I had no right to the med records ("because you didn't pay for them", she told me), I explained that the regs gave me the right to have a copy of the file. Then she said that I would have to come in person to make the copy myself, because no one there was going to do it. I explained that, because I am physically disabled, I have to use a scooter and their building is not accessible, so the regs did say that I could request that they make the copies for me for that reason. She still refused, so the conversation ended there.

    I then called the SSA office in Falls Church, VA for help in how to get my copies. The clerk there said that they were required to provide me the copies if I was too disabled to go for them myself and he recommended I call my congressperson to intervene and request the copy for me. He did not tell me that it would give me any special status.

    So, I did call the local office of my congressman and explained the problem to his nice secretary. I told her that all I was asking for was a copy of my current file to be sent me for now, so that I could effectively complete the reconsideration papers before the deadline. Well, she made one phone call to the local SSA office and that, apparently, is what created the congressional inquiry status.

    I do now have a new attorney, so he is going Monday to pick up the copies for me. (The same caseworker just called me again to let me know it is now ready for pick up and could I give her the name of the person coming for it, please?)

    The whole thing seems so strange in view of my only wanting a copy of a file, but if it can help my case in any way, then I am grateful. Maybe they will even take a closer look at the nonsense that occurred at my last hearing -- which was a kangaroo court, to say the least, with a very bad-tempered and biased judge who even intimidated my previous attorney! (I decided to take advantage of my new "status" and request copies of both my previous case files -- which she said she would be happy to request for me from Baltimore right away. It will take a few weeks to get those, though, which I can understand. I am hoping the info in them can help my new attorney.)

    Anyway, we shall have to see how things work out. :)

    BTW, I found a very helpful website that spells out a lot of the SSR regs for disability. Do a search for:
    Social Security Disability Hearings, Ray Timmermans. His site is packed with great info and suggestions.

  2. Seagull

    Seagull New Member

    I have found that each SSA clerk I have dealt with is either extremely nice or extremely nasty. I guess that must be the way bureaucrats work.

    For example, when I had a problem getting through on the only phone number I had for the local SSA office (this was before I finally called the congressman), I called the 800# to see if there was another phone number for the local office that I could try.

    I reached a woman clerk and asked her if there was another number for the local office I could try. Instead of just giving me the new number, she wanted to know why I even needed to talk to anyone in that local office! I explained that I was trying to get a copy of my file.

    She then told me they would not have the time to make such copies anyway and I would have to go in person to do it myself! I tried to tell her about my physical disabilities which prevented me from doing that, but she kept cutting me off saying that was my problem, not theirs! I finally just told her that I needed to talk to my caseworker about my SSD file and that I was only getting a constant busy signal with the number I had, so would she please just give me another phone number if there was one. She then tells me, "Look, I know that you hate all of us, but here is the number." I was astounded by her rudeness and told her, before I hung up, that it sounded like she might be a good candidate for SSD herself, for mental problems! :-O

    Thank heaven, the guy in Virginia was the nicest clerk who pointed me in the direction of the congressman.