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Treating Psychiatrist Opinion



A bit of history first - I applied for SSDI in March 2008 and was denied by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in June 2010. Even though I had an outstanding IMO, the ALJ gave it very little weight as he stated it was a paid opinion. In researching how ALJs are supposed to give medical evidence weight, the treating physician is supposed to be given the greater weight. This was not possible in my case, as I had switched VA regions and was being bounced around between contracting psychiatrists. It was not until I had a problem that I was finally referred to a senior permanent psychiatrist - unfortunately only one visit before my ALJ hearing and the previous psychiatrists did not they knew me well enough to write a letter to SSA.

Today, I had a visit with my psychiatrist and I mentioned that I am still awaiting word from Social Security Appeals Council. I told her that the ALJ gave my IMO very little weight and no one at the VA was willing to write a letter. At this point she stated "It is my belief that you will never be able to work again, due to the stress entailed. We have worked too hard to get you stabilized to have someone entirely ignorant of your condition telling you that you need to go to work". So I asked her if she would write a letter stating such and she told me she would!!!

So now I have scheduled an appointment with my lawyer to see if:

1.) It is too late to send additional documentation to the Social Security Appeals Council without losing my place in the pile!

2.) If I should re-apply for SSDI with the new evidence; which is a possibility using the new medical opinion from TREATING psychiatrist and the hospitalization that were ignored by the prior ALJ. You are allowed to re-apply while waiting for Social Security Appeals Council to review your first denial. HOWEVER, I do not want to risk losing my original filing date, if I get SSDI on reapplying, and then having my appeal approved by the Appeals Council.

3.) Filing a complaint against the original ALJ due to selectively ignoring evidence in my claims folder. I have my denial of reconsideration where it lists hospitalizations in my claims folder that were NOT used by the ALJ in making his decision, stating that there was only one hospitalization of record.

I may be waiting, but I am not waiting patiently. I will find out more after I meet with my lawyer on January 6th.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Its never to late to submit info that would help your claim and bravo for a VA shrink willing to do something extra for their patient.

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Sorry to hear of your continuing frustration with SS - it truly is criminal how they operate.

They discounted my Primary Care doc's letter because she is only a Nurse Practitioner. Her letter wasn't great anyway.

I was lucky enough that my VA neurologist (on contract thru a local hospital) wrote me a great letter and this was given weight.

Keep fighting! :smile:

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The judge must think that all doctors are whores which is what most doctors think of lawyers. Does the judge think doctors work for free and that only free opinions matter. The doctor that does SSD exams gets paid by the state which has an interest in saying "NO". The SSD judge gets paid does that mean his opinions carry little weight. I think these judges are just stalling. They must be acting on orders from above. They have a backlog as well as the VA.

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