I was recently asked how long it takes to get a Social Security decision when the judge sends you to a post hearing medical examination (also known as a consultative examination).
In cases where there is no post-hearing consultative examination, I normally estimate it may take 30 to 90 days to get a decision. A post-hearing consultative examination can mean a longer wait to get a hearing decision. Here are my estimates from the day of the hearing Continue reading What happens if Social Security sets an exam after your hearing
How long you have to wait to get your Social Security disability hearing is one of the most common questions I receive in my Colorado disability law office. Each disability representative has his or her own experience with the wait times. However, you do not have to rely on knowing a disability lawyer to get the Social Security hearing wait times. You can use the same information attorneys use! Continue reading Wait Times for Social Security Disability Hearings
I was recently asked the following question:
The judge at my husband’s hearing said she was going to approve him. She said she would get his letter to him in the next 2 or 3 weeks, but NO letter yet.
Since she approved him during his hearing when will his benefits start?
Continue reading Social Security Judge Told Me She Approved My Disability Case
I was recently asked what it meant that the Administrative Law Judge did not have a Vocational Expert (VE) testify at an individual’s Social Security hearing.
What happens when the administrative law judge does not call the vocational expert to the hearing. Why would the judge do that?
Well, I can’t tell you “why” the judge didn’t have VE. Some judges use VEs all the time, others do not. A VE provides evidence (testimony) about steps 4 & 5 of the sequential evaluation process. Continue reading Is a Social Security disability hearing without a Vocational Expert a bad sign?
My friend, Maine disability lawyer, Gordon Gates, has put together a free e-book, 10 Steps To Prepare For Your Social Security Disability Hearing.
In it, you’ll learn:
- How Social Security reviews cases.
- What you can do while waiting for your hearing.
- How to expedite cases.
- The information you will need to have at your hearing.
Check it out! Download a copy here.
A reader asked:
How can a vocational expert have any say on my disabilities and limitations? I mean, I dont get a VE slip to give to my boss when I’m sick.
If a Vocational Expert (VE) says that a limitation shouldn’t prevent you from being able to perform a job, that doesn’t help you find an employer who will tolerate that limitation in the real world.
So, what do you do? Continue reading What if a Vocation Expert at a Social Security disability hearing is full of it
It is natural to be nervous when preparing for your Social Security hearing. The judge may ask when you worked certain jobs, the procedures you have undergone, which doctors treated you for your impairments or your medications. There’s a lot of facts to keep track of.
Wouldn’t it help to bring a notebook with this information?
Continue reading Social Security hearing: should I bring notes?
This one will make you mad! Social Security frequently has single decision makers (SDMs) complete forms describing what an individual can and cannot do in the workplace.
What’s a single decision maker?
- It’s not a doctor.
- It’s not a PA.
- It’s not a nurse.
Give up? A single decision maker is the title given to the Social Security technician who decides if you are disabled. That’s right! A SDM is a bureaucrat! Continue reading Playing doctor: SDMs in Social Security disability cases
I previously wrote about how to read Social Security’s (previously non-encrypted) cd disks and several articles on how to find information with the Social Security files.
Since Social Security has started provided encrypted Social Security exhibit CDs, many people contacting my office have not been able to access their files. The Social Security encrypted disks are keeping claimants from accessing their data.
First, you have to be running Microsoft Windows. Fortunately, some early concerns about having the encryption system only working in Windows Vista seem to be unfounded. I have been able to access the encryption system in Windows 7. However, if you are using a Mac (like I am) or Linux, you are out of luck unless you virtualize a Windows system.
Let’s go through how to get at those file! Continue reading How to view Social Security’s new encrypted CD disks
I had a great back and forth discussion with one of my readers in the comments about how different evidence affects a Social Security disability case. Here is part of the comment:
If you go to a mental health clinic for disabling mental impairments. They usually score you and document how impaired you are and what your level of functioning is. So, I would think it would be easier getting your case approved for a mental health disability if the mental health clinic has documentation showing you have extreme low level of functioning vs. someone applying for disability for say chronic fatigue or something that is subjective.
There is nothing wrong with this analysis. However, Social Security disability cases are rarely formulaic. Continue reading A perfect recipe for a Social Security disability case?