Second Time Around with SSA - Denied Again!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by petemora, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. petemora

    petemora Member

    I got a letter yesterday from Social Security telling me that they have denied my second application for disability benefits.

    I first applied in November 2005, requested a reconsideration, was denied, requested a hearing, had a hearing before the ALJ in January 2008, was denied. That file is currently with the Appeals Council in the State of Virginia.

    I reapplied for benefits in July, 2008, and received a letter yesterday denying my application. Anyway, I was SO GLAD I got the letter in 2008 as 2008 was an awful, awful year for me. Perhaps 2009 will be better.

    To prepare for this denial, my husband and I refinanced our house for another 30 years so, basically, we will never pay it off. But at least we can afford to stay here, for now. At this point in my life, 53 years old, I will presume I won't get Social Security until I retire. Oh, well, I guess life is not fair.

    I try to count my blessings. I have the most wonderful husband in the world, I have two beautiful daughters, and six grandchildren with another one due any day now. I have been blessed in so many ways, if I don't receive my financial entitlements, oh, well....

    I hit the jackpot with LOVE!

    Blessings to you all for the new year!

    Janice P.
  2. BlueSky555

    BlueSky555 New Member

    I am so sorry that you were denied again. Will you have the opportunity to go to the appeal council hearing, if that's what they will have? I surely hope so and please don't give up; I would think that's the claim that you should win and receive your backpay. I feel so bad for you; I don't understand why you didn't win at the ALJ Hearing; did you get a "not so good" judge?

    Either way, I do hope you will win one of them, favorably your first claim.

    You're right; you are blessed with love; the most important of all.

  3. petemora

    petemora Member

    The ALJ I had was truly the ALJ from Hell! She obviously had her mind made up way before the hearing even started. In my denial letter, she commented that I wore pierced ear rings and had my hair cut twice in one year. She was so sarcastic during the hearing that I actually cried during more than half of it! My husband wanted to punch her in the nose!

    I am going to make a formal complaint against her, but not until my first case is finally decided.

    Thanks for your support!!!!

    Janice P.
  4. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    I am so sorry that yet again you received a denial. It is such a disappointment to all of us who have applied and continue to wait. I always hope that as more and more people become aware that there will be more understanding for the ways we suffer.

    Can I ask what illnesses you listed when you filed?

    Blessings to you as well!
  5. victoria

    victoria New Member

    She really does sound like the judge from hell. My son's SS hearing is coming up, his first, in a few weeks. I am worrying already, as I know it's even tougher when one is young. I will keep my fingers crossed for you, and hope the first decision is favorable as usually it's a bit easier when you're in your 50s... but I'm sure so much has to do with the judge's attitude.

    Can I ask why you filed a new application when you haven't yet gotten the decision from the first appeal from the first hearing? I though one had to wait or it was a good idea to because it could otherwise change the date they would consider you 'disabled' due to their regulations/time limits, but don't really know.

    all the best,

  6. petemora

    petemora Member

    I listed Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which causes Insomnia, Fatigue, Depression, Headaches, etc.

    I think the biggest problem my husband and I have with everything is that we take it personal and really, we shouldn't, because they are judging the disease and not our character (at least that's what we tell ourselves!)

    Janice P.

  7. petemora

    petemora Member

    I had non-legal representation for the first application and decided I would get an attorney for the second application.

    I met with an attorney in July, while still awaiting the decision from the appeals council, and he said we should apply right away, using a new disability date of the date AFTER the ALJ decision. He said if we eventually win our appeal, our second application just disappears, and that if we lose the appeal, that our new application would have been started.

    I went to see the attorney in July because I wanted to be prepared for whatever happened. He is now representing me against the long-term disability insurance company that cut off my benefits in October. And, he is also representing me on my second application for Social Security disability benefits.

    I am SO GLAD I had him lined up early. He is a great guy and really knows what he's doing....

    Janice P.
  8. BlueSky555

    BlueSky555 New Member

    I'm sorry you had a mean judge; it just doesn't seem fair that you've been through all of the sickness, worrying, aggravation and depression, then in just within about 30 min. to an hour, someone makes a decision on your future; that quick and then boom! Like you didn't have enough on you already. I've heard that some of the judges are mean, hard to deal with, etc. I suppose I was very fortunate to have a good judge. I could tell he's a fair man and he even asked me questions and I answered them. I could tell that he was wanting to talk to ME and get my feelings on what had been going on in my life within the last couple of years. I wish every judge was just like him; he was so easy-going and didn't seem to have a mean bone in his body. My attorney had told me, prior to the hearing, that there was one judge that she hoped we wouldn't get; she said he was "tough" and I honestly am not sure I would have received a fully favorable decision if we had him.

    Well, I'm glad that you now have a good attorney; that will help tremendously. Maybe; just maybe, your attorney might figure out how you might be able to go back and get your backpay from the first filing; it wouldn't hurt to ask.

    Good luck to you, Janice,

  9. momof27

    momof27 New Member

    When I got my letter I got so upset I got all my medical records and sent them to my local ssI office I got my check In two months
  10. kellygirl

    kellygirl Member

    Hello, I havn't been around for a long time and your post was the first I clicked on. I was told that they based my denial on the fact that I also did office work in the past. (I mostly worked in direct care)

    Anyway, what they don't know is I had to quit the office because I couldn't keep writing with the arthritis/tendonitis, I cannot tolerate the stress of a bully for a boss, I had a fear that I would not remember the simplest things when the phone rang, etc.

    It is hard because CFS/FMS/MPD are disorders that are unseen. If they could only see us when we try to get out of bed in the morning with the fascia pain. I dread the morning sneeze, it hurts.

    So, I, too, am appealing and I will do what I can and leave the rest to God.

    I had been approved years ago in the '80's when I first came down with the CFS with the mono. I eventually went back to working direct care and school in the evening.

    Then, last year, after surgery on my knee in a work-related injury, the anesthesia, I believe, triggered all of these symptoms I have now, with the pain. After the surgery, I had the flu 2x while recovering and bronchitis! My immune system was affected by this simple surgery.

    I was told that SS throws out the claims the first time in most cases hoping that the person doesn't come back.
  11. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I am so sorry you were declined. Have you ever checked the website called ""? Before my brother applied for SSDI in California he read that site for a couple of weeks. He believes it really helped.

    I was very surprised he was approved in a few months from the first time he applied. Either he is much sicker than I realize, or was incredibly lucky. Anyway, this site has some really good information. I understand it is not uncommon to be declined a few times before being accepted. I would imagine the economy is not helping and the poor people who need help are being pushed away if possible.

    Our state is bankrupt and cutting benefits left and right. Anyway, I wish you the best.
  12. dsmith5259

    dsmith5259 New Member

    Hang in there! I was denied by the judge. I fired my attorney (I felt the judge and attorney was working against me) and got another attorney. He stressed that I needed good documentation from my rheumatologist showing that I was unable to work. He sent me to a physiologist who had me do all kinds of tests and who determined that the pain, memory, and depression caused me to become disabled. Also, I requested a handicapped parking permit due to the pain in my legs and not being able to walk very far. I copied the request for the permit from the doctor and included it in the paperwork. The more times that I was denied, the more depressed I became. The attorney knew exactly what needed to be done to get approved. It took me over 4 years to finally get it, I had to start over after the judge denied it as far as the back payments went. I did not get it for the whole time. I also contacted Senator Smith (I live in Oregon) and ask for help with getting it. I was panicked as my medical insurance was ending and Blue Cross denied me coverage for health insurance as I am at the doctor at least once a month. I told Senator Smith's office that I was going to be without insurance and in a few days that attorney called me and said that the new judge would ok my claim if I would agree to forgo the first 2 years on back payments. I agreed as I would be able to go on Medicare immediately, which was my main purpose in applying for SSA. Luckily, for us, my husband's salary was enough for us to live on. I have know that some people end up living on the street waiting to be approved. It is on average 650 days for approval here in the state of Oregon to get approved.

    My advice is to keep trying, send tons of paperwork, (my attorney said he has a bankers box full of medical paperwork on me), contact your Senator for help, go to the doctor at least every 2 months (advice from my attorney), and see a physiologist if you can to build your case. Also, it seems that the magic age is past 50 to get SSA. I hope this helps you. Good Luck, I know how it feels to be told that you can work when you can't and that you would be glad to be able to work. It makes you feel useless. It also adds stress which makes you physically ill from the stress.

  13. kellygirl

    kellygirl Member

    Thanks, I will check that out!
  14. victoria

    victoria New Member

    By the way, for what it's worth, if you've been assigned a judge for an upcoming hearing, or just had your hearing, you can find his/her record of denials and approvals at:

    no matter what part of the country you're in.

    I just checked the name of the judge assigned for my son's case, he's been on the job for 3 years and his denial percentage rate has gone from 8% to 17%! I'm not sure what to think of that, so hard to say, altho I guess over 80% approval may mean that he does take time to listen, at least most of the time? Sure hope so.

  15. petemora

    petemora Member

    Very interesting.

    I checked my ALJ's approval/disapproval rating. Her approvals are right around 50%. Her denials are around 30%.

    Wow -did I have rotten luck, or what?
  16. petemora

    petemora Member

    I am SO SICK of this broken system.

    I checked my work history with Social Security, and I have paid in for 36+ years. I am now 53 and in my 11th year of CFS. I haven't been able to work for about 3 1/2 years.

    I have decided I will be happy in 2009 and beyond, NO MATTER WHAT! I will hope for the best, life is not fair, etc. etc.

    Thanks, BlueSky!
  17. petemora

    petemora Member

    I think my personality is being held against me.

    I've only been going to the doctor 3-4 times a year because my co-pays were $150 each time. Plus, what is the use of going if there is no change? That is how I had been thinking.

    I come from an abusive home (very abusive) and I am not very vocal when I have complaints, probably because I was never allowed to complain as a child.

    Anyway, my local clinic has an assistance program for middle-income people like my husband and I who have insurance but the insurance doesn't cover much. Anyway, here I am, at my age (53), applying for financial assistance for the first time ever to cover my co-pays. We were so lucky, we qualify by about $800/year!!!!

    From now on, when I go to the doctor, I won't have to pay anything out-of-pocket. That will help so much!

    I've had two EBV tests done (very high results!) but not much else. My doctor and I are both fairly conservative - we both KNOW I have CFS - and he is treating me with Lexapro, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Ambien and Melatonin.

    Can you elaborate on what was in your medical records that was so convincing?
  18. petemora

    petemora Member

    The only suggestion I can think of is: try to get an attorney to help you right from the start! And, hope for the best, but don't count on anything!

    Good luck to you!

    Janice P.
  19. petemora

    petemora Member

    I had surgery in 1995 and I have never been the same since! I, too, believe the anesthesia triggered my illness.

    I first got sick with CFS in 1998 and was able to work (but not much else) until 2005.

    I am hoping for a remission so my husband can retire.......

    Good luck to you!

    Janice P.
  20. petemora

    petemora Member

    It is almost impossible to prove a negative, i.e. I can't work.

    Since I think anesthesia triggered my CFS when I had surgery in 1995, I will check out the protocol you mentioned.

    Thanks a lot!

    Janice P.

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