SSDI AJL Hearing, Denied

327Grunt

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Hey guys. So, Im 100% P&T, combat vet. PTSD, TBI plus other various issues. 36 years old going on 106. Major memory, anger, anxiety and concentration issues, ect ect. Most of you guys know the rest.

Anyway, Denied once, appealed, denied twice then waited months for my hearing. A year long pile of crap, and just saw on my online SS website that I have been denied.

The Hearing:
So the guy was respectful enough during the hearing, thanked me for my service and all that. I had my issues written down on a piece of paper so I wouldn't forget them. I was holding it together pretty well, shaking like a leaf (anxiety sucks) but felt I was articulate enough to get my points across. My "lawyer" said I did well and was credible. The vocational expert was on the phone, said i could have been a marksmanship instructor, rural postal delivery or document prepairer. Lawyer got her to admit that there were no jobs for me for someone who would would be "off task" so much ect.

Judge finished with "for better or for worse, for what its worth, thank you for your service". Ha.

Why they even had to go the "off task" route is beyond me because even my medical records fit the Blue Book PTSD descriptions to a "T". This is ludicrous. Im pretty pissed right now. I just got wind of this. I wish i could sustain gainful employment. I was in the reserves for several years, but that barely qualifies as "part time"... hell, I mostly did that to keep fooling myself into feeling kinda "normal". So here I am. Financial hardship. Looking at doing an appeal. Meanwhile, some 20-something year old gets approved who has hurt-feelings and "fybromyalgia" or some damn thing. This judge is known for being a prick though, from a local lawyer in my area and has a 35 or so % approval rating. They sent me 8 hours away, even though Spokane is less than 2 from me.

The Lawyer:
I used "American Disability Alliance". They were kind of hamfisted the whole time about various things. They didnt follow up with me about records (supposedly they got them all to the SSA but Im not sure) and towards the hearing date I called..... they had missed the previous 6 months of treatment records! They farmed my case out to some local lawyer, who seemed pretty decent. I felt he could have been more aggressive for me, but who knows.

Lessons Learned:
Not sure yet. I can tell you this sucks. All of it.

Pretty pissed about the whole thing. I have a family of 5. Im in financial hardship. Guess Ill try an appeal. Trying not to lose hope.
 

Boats_

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Don't lose hope brotha, the only way you fail is if you stop trying!! I hope that they get you and your family the benefits that you need and are entitled to! Best of luck to you
 

327Grunt

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Ive since switched lawyers to someone I can work with face-to-face and he has a lot of experience working with vets both on the SSA side and the VA side. He also actually seems to care, which surprisingly, helps immensely. So often I feel like Im fighting these battles all alone. Trying to shield my wife and kids from the stress and struggle.

We filed the appeal yesterday. The judge broke so many rules it seems. He completely ignored my PTSD, that if you read my VA description of it, almost perfectly mirrors word-for-word what the SSA's Blue Book description is. Its like he just decided to completely pretend it did not exist. Tried to bring up a bunch of stuff I used to do from a few years back, out of context and also out of the time frame of my claim. Tried to say I was basically "exaggerating" my symptoms during the hearing. I was very amped up and on the verge of a damn panic attack, so I was shaking pretty bad, but I held it together. Serious business, you know? All sorts of things he put in his decision. I felt like he was questioning my integrity and character and that pissed me off the most.

Hoping at least for a remand of the decision, plus, no matter what we are switching the case over to the city where I should ACTUALLY be going so hopefully I wont have to see this jackass ever again. They sent me 8 hours away for the first one, fully knowing that I moved. They sent me mail at my new address for crying out loud!

So, we'll see how it all goes. The weight of this and other life issues are crushing my soul. I feel like I just walked 1000 miles with a 125lb ruck... and I still have to take the objective.
 

oddpedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Lifetime Supporter
Registered Member
It will probably be another year or two before you get back in front of a judge if the Appeals Council grants the remand. The SSA just has a higher standard to get approved and there is so much bias involved, it literally could be anything I highly recommend following Jonathan Ginsburg to be more prepared next time what this vid, please.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJkR5-IPIKE
 

327Grunt

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
It will probably be another year or two before you get back in front of a judge if the Appeals Council grants the remand. The SSA just has a higher standard to get approved and there is so much bias involved....
Thank you for the input. In regards to the video content, in being that VA records are somewhat long, repetitive, ect- cant a good lawyer help mitigate this by highlighting important areas of the records and things like?
 
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