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Lawyer to help with Social Security Disability?


ErinNick1
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My husband is currently rated at 70% PTSD.  Last December, the VA wanted to take that down to 50%, even though he wasn't working because of his PTSD.  He appealed the 50% and even asked for TDIU.  We are currently waiting for those claims to be decided.  He also filed for Social Security Disability and was denied last week.  He stated his case to a lawyer who specializes in this type of law and they took his case.  Has anyone ever hired a lawyer to fight their SSD denial?  Wondering what to expect.  Thanks!

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Hi ErinNick1 My understanding is that it is rare that a person will win SSD on the first attempt. You're on the right track. In addition, although SS and the VA are both huge agencies, they have different criteria on disabilities and how to determine someone being awarded. Definately a good idea to try for the TDIU now. If you win one before the other, it is evidence that isn't negative. There are others here who have gone for and received both. Hopefully, they will chime in also. Good Luck.

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I just hired an attorney for my SSDI denial.  It's true that only around 30% of applicants get approved at the first stage.  Had I gotten more involved and had my personal doctors fill out forms and write letters I may have gotten it approved.  The frustrating part is that most people get denied at the reconsideration phase as well but have much better luck when it gets in front of a judge but it can take a year and a half to two years just to get in front of a judge due the the backlog.  

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27 minutes ago, deedub75 said:

I just hired an attorney for my SSDI denial.  It's true that only around 30% of applicants get approved at the first stage.  Had I gotten more involved and had my personal doctors fill out forms and write letters I may have gotten it approved.  The frustrating part is that most people get denied at the reconsideration phase as well but have much better luck when it gets in front of a judge but it can take a year and a half to two years just to get in front of a judge due the the backlog.  

That's what I'm worried about.. that it will take years to fight this.  We already fought for years to get his 70% from the VA.  But I guess if that's what it takes.. 

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I can't remember now how long it took me but it probably took a couple of years back in the 2005 to 2007 time frame. My award was for mental. The mental condition is secondary to other issues. I am still in a fight with the VA for TDIU. Hopefully your cases will go a lot smoother than mine have.

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When I filed my Social Disability I understood very clearly that the first round was doubtful to win.   Second was better, but a majority was won in front of the judge.   I also understood the judges look at 5 things, and you need to ask yourself and be honest to yourself the following items.   When you think about these things ask yourself how will you reply to a judge, and give specific examples of past experiences.1. Are you working?

“If you are working in 2020 and your earnings average more than $1,260 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled.

If you are not working, we will send your application to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office that will make the decision about your medical condition. The DDS uses Steps 2-5 below to make the decision.2. Is your condition "severe"?

Your condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, and remembering – for at least 12 months. If it does not, we will find that you are not disabled.

If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, we go to Step 3.3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?

For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions that we consider so severe that it prevents a person from completing substantial gainful activity. If your condition is not on the list, we have to decide if it is as severe as a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you are disabled. If it is not, we then go to Step 4. have two initiatives designed to expedite our processing of new disability claims:

  • Compassionate Allowances: Certain cases that usually qualify for disability can be allowed as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Examples include acute leukemia, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), and pancreatic cancer.
  • Quick Disability Determinations: We use sophisticated computer screening to identify cases with a high probability of allowance.

For more information about our disability claims process, visit our Benefits For People With Disabilities website.

At this step, we decide if your medical impairment(s) prevents you from performing any of your past work. It is doesn’t, we’ll decide you don’t have a qualifying disability. If it does, we proceed to Step 5.5. Can you do any other type of work?

If you can’t do the work you did in the past, we look to see if there is other work you could do despite your impairment(s).

We consider your medical conditions and your age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If you can’t do other work, we’ll decide you are disabled. If you can do other work, we’ll decide that you don’t have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.”

 https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/qualify.html#anchor3

Using this knowledge and thorough thought in responses will give you an edge how to respond to the judges question.

This is basically how I won my case in 2 years.   I had no expectations of winning in round 1 or 2 and then hired my lawyer for the judge round.   I spent hours thinking how to respond to the questions I believed I would be asked.   Do not be surprised if during the hearing that the judge has a video chat running with a work counselor.  I had one and the judge asked her how many jobs I could do with my medical issue #1, she gave an answer.  Then the judge asked her, out of those number of jobs, how many of those jobs I could do with my medical issue #2?  She replied such and such number.   The judge then asked her out of those numbers how many jobs could I possibly do with my third medical issue.   By that time it was less than 10%.  Judge immediately declared me unemployable.

Good luck

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Even a normal civilian matter in court takes 2 years that is the process. Which for most makes people upset because to them it suppose to be like ordering a pizza from a pizza joint down the road from you. It is not the case.

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