Should i appeal or get attourney?

Pavetim

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I am being MEB'd and i found out I could apply for SSDI which I did and got denied because " I can work, I can do somethings" should I appeal I am a helicopter mechanic by trade, been in for 18 years and cannot do my job anymore. I have to be in an office and even thats getting hard. I planned on doing maintenance when i got out but that's not an option now and 18 years wasted training lol. Pretty much all plans and backup plans failed due to my back getting worse. I'm not understanding how they mean i can work, sure anybody can work, i can sit and sharpen pencils all day but can't do work i have been trained for.
 

Chaps_Z

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Everyone, even those without a job, has trouble getting approved for SSDI without a lawyer.

Getting approved while active is not impossible, but difficult to say the least.
 

Jason Perry

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Getting approved while active is not impossible, but difficult to say the least.
Not sure I agree on this point. Many folks get approval for SSDI while on active duty. I specifically comment because I worry that such statements or input may discourage folks from applying/appealing. The standards are what they are and if you objectively qualify, you should pursue this benefit. It is often granted. However, the corollary is true- if you can engage in substantial gainful activities, you may be properly denied. Until you apply (and, if denied, you appeal), you won't get an answer. The value of the benefit is something that makes pursuing it makes sense in cases where the issues are clear or "close enough."
 

Chaps_Z

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if you can engage in substantial gainful activities, you may be properly denied. Until you apply (and, if denied, you appeal), you won't get an answer. The value of the benefit is something that makes pursuing it makes sense in cases where the issues are clear or "close enough."
1) I certainly would never discourage anyone from applying.

2) The SSDI approval rate is 36%. "Often" appears to be subjective. I would rate that closer to difficult than easy.
 

Jason Perry

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1) I certainly would never discourage anyone from applying.
The problem with forums and input on threads here is that people sometimes read things and decide not to apply for benefits or compensation that they might be due. I see more problems with folks not seeking benefits over seeking benefits that they clearly don't warrant. I would rather folks apply if in doubt, over not applying at all. This is the reason I commented on your post...I worry that folks (who are often already discouraged), won't bother to apply for what they are due. I can't count the number of cases I have come across that involved people missing out on benefits they are due because they did not bother to apply.

2) The SSDI approval rate is 36%. "Often" appears to be subjective. I would rate that closer to difficult than easy.
Not sure where that figure is coming from, but, I would not out of hand discount it. That said, the number/percentage is meaningless for the folks that clearly qualify and, worse, don't apply (or for the folks who clearly don't qualify and get rejected). As I always say, the facts and circumstances of each case are what matters for the resolution of the individual claimant.
This relates back to what I wrote above. There are way too many cases I come across where folks pass up applying or pursuing benefits that they are clearly due because of being discouraged somewhere along the way. The standards and criteria are what are important and if the claimant meets the criteria, they should apply. (This is a similar to an issue that I come across all the time in my law practice...people ask, "what is your 'win' rate." I discourage making any decisions based on that....if I claimed (which I don't) a 99% win rate, that is not important or does not matter if the person falls into the 1%. It is not a good way to base decisions on. In every case, the analysis should be driven by the facts and circumstances of the individual case as compared to the legal standards).

I just caution about citing percentages or likelihood of success based on numbers that may have no relation to the individual cases. Quick example. When I was serving as Soldier's Counsel at the TX PEB, I came across many cases where the PEB found back conditions unfitting but assigned a 0% rating based on lack of "mechanical" limitation of range of motion. The PEB refused to rate based on pain. I argued in every case that pain needed to be accounted for under VA regulations and the Deluca case. I lost every time at that point in time on this issue. Two years later, the DoD and the Army acknowledged that pain was required to be accounted for and rated. Every case where I raised that issue was ripe for a successful appeal by operation of law. However, if you looked at percentages at the time of adjudication, the success rate was 0%. But, those folks who appealed based on this issue have a 100% success rate. Same thing with PTSD minimum rating of 50% for unfitting conditions. I argued this at the time. I raised it before it was "settled law." http://www.pebforum.com/threads/army-times-article-on-rating-ptsd.2478/
 

Warrior644

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I am being MEB'd and i found out I could apply for SSDI which I did and got denied because " I can work, I can do somethings" should I appeal I am a helicopter mechanic by trade, been in for 18 years and cannot do my job anymore. I have to be in an office and even thats getting hard. I planned on doing maintenance when i got out but that's not an option now and 18 years wasted training lol. Pretty much all plans and backup plans failed due to my back getting worse. I'm not understanding how they mean i can work, sure anybody can work, i can sit and sharpen pencils all day but can't do work i have been trained for.
In my opinion, you need to try to get an understanding of "exactly" why your SSA SSDI application was "denied" at this particular point in time. Indeed, this can be performed by either your own research with ordering a copy of your SSA SSDI case file from your local SSA Field Office. Or, via the assistance of a seasoned SSA attorney.

In retrospect, I received SSA SSDI federal disability compensation while on military active duty for nearly two years while simultaneously being processed thru the DoD IDES. As such, I was approved for SSA SSDI within 76 calendar days after SSDI application submission albeit prior to my official acceptance into the DoD IDES MEB/PEB process. That said, it is definitely possible to receive SSA SSDI compensation as a military active duty member.

To that extent, I would strongly offer to please continue your SSA SSDI pursuit as a "Wounded Warrior" while on military active duty via the official submission of a SSA SSDI appeal. Whether to pursue via your own accord or with the assistance of a seasoned SSA attorney will have to be your decision to make. Nonetheless, no SSA SSDI appeal submission shall mean an automatic continued denial of any future potential receipt of SSA SSDI compensation. Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

Pavetim

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Well my appeal was denied. They said i can work and be on my feet most of the day even thought the duty limiting report I submityed with appeal said no standing longer hat 1 hr and as tolerated. Don't know if she was an idiot but I talked to a lawyer and she said you cant get ssdi while on AD cause I work 40 hours per week and my income is over the limit. Is there something that I can show to say I can get it? I hear tons of you get ssdi while still active.
 

Warrior644

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Well my appeal was denied. They said i can work and be on my feet most of the day even thought the duty limiting report I submityed with appeal said no standing longer hat 1 hr and as tolerated. Don't know if she was an idiot but I talked to a lawyer and she said you cant get ssdi while on AD cause I work 40 hours per week and my income is over the limit. Is there something that I can show to say I can get it? I hear tons of you get ssdi while still active.
Indeed, it saddens me to read that your SSA SSDI appeal was denied.

Maybe the attached SSA Disability Benefits For Wounded Warriors (SSA Publication No. 05-10030, dated January 2018) can be of some assistance. To that extent, please review the information starting on page 3 entitled "How does military pay effect eligibility for disability benefits?" Also, view the SSA information via https://www.ssa.gov/people/veterans/ for any potential assistance. Take care!

Thus, I quite often comment that "possessing well-informed knowledge is truly a powerful equalizer!"

Best Wishes!
 

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chaplaincharlie

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It can and has been done. My wounded warrior advocate encouraged me to apply and I thought it was ludicrous. She insisted, I acquiesced and viola; benefits were approved.

So appeal. Get an attorney and fight for benefits if benefits are due.

But remember SSA disability standards are very difference than DoD or VA standards. Being unfit by DoD or awarded VA compensation alone are not sufficient. The SSA standards are published, so read them and write y our claim to the standards.
 

tony292

PEB Forum Veteran
Get a good attorney. I was denied my first time simply because I took ten days leave at just the wrong time when they sent me a form to sign and I had exactly ten days to reply...

So about 8 months later I applied again, just happened to be out for about 5 months at the time and was approved. My approval hinged upon meeting the SSDI blue book criteria for my neurological condition, blue book listing 11.12. Specifically. I saw an independent neurologist who confirmed I met the listing criteria and this I was approved without having to go through the painful step of going in front of an ALJ.
 

Pavetim

PEB Forum Veteran
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One last question. After listening to you all and actually doing more research i filed the application wrong. I answered questioms based on my job title now and not on my actual afsc. I am a helicopter crew chief but am doing admin duties now and on duty limiting so i think that's why they said i can work. But if I answered on my afsc I can't do the job anymore. In this case should i file new application and use the correct info now that I am wiser, or just wait for a hearing? I'm trying to fund a good lawyer here but nobody seems to even know the law and how to deal with military even though its a military town
 

Hangingupthehat

Registered Member
Although it was been a while for me, I wasted so much time wondering whether or not I should get an attorney....after 2 denials....that by the time I FINALLY hired an attorney
I could have already been past the nightmare... if I would have just hired one after the 2nd denial. I saw my attorney ONCE....during the "trial". And never again.
 
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