SSDI ALJ Hearing

AvnSgt

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Registered Member
#21
So, one thing just occurred to me about my remand, according to my representative there is a possibility for a decision with out a new hearing. Now, does this mean good/bad, the new decision rendered must be accepted. And, if bad, I guess then it is back to the AC, because I guess that would mean the ALJ failed to follow the special instructions from the remand, without having a hearing. Any thoughts, I guess I will need to consult my with my representative. But, outside of that.
 

AvnSgt

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Registered Member
#22
While I would like to have my SSDI issue closed out and finished in my favor before the start of the new year, I don't foresee this happening with the holiday season upon us. So, I guess it is time to buckle down again, and hope for the best until this issue is put to bed.
 

AvnSgt

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Registered Member
#24
Today I received a Notice of Supplemental Hearing from my local ODAR office. I am a bit confused by the use of this term, as when I have heard about others receiving a remand with the judges decision vacated, the hearing would be held "de novo."
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Veteran
#25
Today I received a Notice of Supplemental Hearing from my local ODAR office. I am a bit confused by the use of this term, as when I have heard about others receiving a remand with the judges decision vacated, the hearing would be held "de novo."
What does your attorney have to say about this?

Will your attorney be present or play an active role or anything?

V/R,
nwlivewire
 

AvnSgt

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#26
What does your attorney have to say about this?

Will your attorney be present or play an active role or anything?

V/R,
nwlivewire
Haven't had a chance to speak with her yet. Left a message for her to get back to me, so I hope to hear from her by the end of the week. But, I must say supplemental has a very different meaning and tone from de novo.
 

AvnSgt

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Registered Member
#27
@nwlivewire - Spoke to my rep this afternoon, and it seems the use of the supplemental hearing is due to my case being returned to the same judge. That being said, she also mentioned that because of the remand from the Appeals Council, the judge cannot deny me based upon the logic he used in the last hearing. He would need to find some other reason supported by evidence in my file to deny my case.
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Veteran
#28
@nwlivewire - Spoke to my rep this afternoon, and it seems the use of the supplemental hearing is due to my case being returned to the same judge. That being said, she also mentioned that because of the remand from the Appeals Council, the judge cannot deny me based upon the logic he used in the last hearing. He would need to find some other reason supported by evidence in my file to deny my case.

Well now. This is an interesting change.

Hopefully to your favor!

Let's hope the ALJ changes their decision and awards you your SSDI.

I mean, if the first judgment is being returned, I hope the ALJ gets it right this time and does not render another "lame brained" denial.

Maybe the ALJ needs to apply for SSDI if they can't render proper and legal decisions anymore.

Or at least get a full brain scan to see if they are OK.

V/R,
nwlivewire
 

AvnSgt

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#29
I was able to get my hands on a fairly excellent bit of information.. :D A guide to attacking the VE's testimony. I can thank my wife, as she is a paralegal, who was able to obtain this document through her connections. Now it is here for everyone to read, and maybe it will find its way into the permanent resources at a later date. Anything, to gain an edge on the system is welcome in my mind. ;)
 

Attachments

AvnSgt

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#30
So, after patiently waiting out the holiday, I was suppose to receive a RFC, for my migraines from the paralegal working for the lawyer. After the mail went, not new RFC paperwork, and I am now T-Minus 14 business days before the hearing, since the 1st of December is now at a close. Albeit, if I did not take a proactive approach today, and go to see my lawyer, I would have never gotten this paperwork.

So, to complicate things even more, I need to turn this paperwork around with 13 business days, on the clock, where the normal turn around time is 20+ business days. Chances of success, next to 0%, as nothing ever move through the VA system that fast. Things look grim, but I have to give it a shot.
 

AvnSgt

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Registered Member
#31
Just got off the phone with the VA Patient Advocate, at my local VA Hospital, over some documents that my PCM might need to complete for SSDI. Only to learn that, not long ago a legal change occurred, and apparently the VA no longer will complete these documents for Veterans. So, I guess this is just another way the VA tries to stick it to us. I am at my wits end for this issue, and the best PCM I had retired. Now it seems the continuity in my care has just been broken.
 

AvnSgt

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#32
So, I had my Remand Hearing yesterday, and I have had sometime to reflect on what transpired.
Upon the opening of the hearing, the ALJ directed a written statement concerning his original findings about my ability to work, to the VE. The VE, was quick to respond, that the ALJ original findings were incorrect.

After this occurred, the ALJ posed a hypothetical question, "Could the individual be a fry cook, in the fast food industry?" It was at this point the VE's initial response was, "yes." However, the lawyer quickly proposed, a hypothetical, surrounding my conditions, upon which, the VE withdrew, and eliminated all previous work, with the exception of a job I preformed directly after I left the military service, which was a subcontract administrator.

The VE held contention over preforming duties, as a subcontract administrator, and continue to call the position complex, every time lawyer my would pose a hypothetical question about the position. It was not until the lawyer address being off task more than 20% of the time, and attendance, did the VE concede, on this issue.

Now, I know this was a remand hearing, and the ALJ's decision was vacated, but the ALJ made a statement during the opening of the hearing, that evidence was already on record from the previous hearing, and he did not want to waste time, hearing the same evidence over. So, it was apparent, he was not having a "De Novo" hearing. With that said, I have a sense that this might be going back to the Appeals Council, as it really seams this ALJ is sloppy with his work.
 

AvnSgt

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#33
So, once again the same ALJ has denied my claim. I have not yet, sat down to fully dissect the reasoning he used for his decision. However, one quick thing I can note is, even-though testimony was heard from the VE, on hypothetical situations, none of the VE's testimony concerning those situations appears in his reasoning. So, it would appear he has disregarded the VE's testimony, or he made a choice to use only that which benefited his position, instead of recognizing the VE's testimony, as a whole.
 

AvnSgt

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#34
Just received a copy of the closing argument from the second hearing with the same ALJ. I suppose it should not shock me, but the ALJ failed to follow the special instructions issued by the Appeals Council. Once again, the ALJ decided to issue his own lay opinion, instead of adopting that of a licensed practicing physician.

I will the documents for everyone to read and learn from once I redact all sensitive information.
 

AvnSgt

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#37
Avn Sgt

I'm disappointed to hear that the ALJ did not find in your favor.

Mike
Thank you Mike. But, I think the greater disappointment is found in the system, when an ALJ ignores instructions from the Appeals Council. This does a dis-service to any and all who are going through the process.
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Veteran
#38
So, one thing just occurred to me about my remand, according to my representative there is a possibility for a decision with out a new hearing. Now, does this mean good/bad, the new decision rendered must be accepted. And, if bad, I guess then it is back to the AC, because I guess that would mean the ALJ failed to follow the special instructions from the remand, without having a hearing. Any thoughts, I guess I will need to consult my with my representative. But, outside of that.
I find this ALJ decision an odd one.

The ALJ I had asked the same question yours did to the vocational "expert" - basically what work/occupation was I "qualified" to perform. I remember he replied to the ALJ and said "laundry sorter" and some other work occupation I had never heard of.

BUT, my ALJ also asked a follow-on question to that one to the "expert"- using my disabilities as a hypothetical, could that person actually perform that work. The "expert" then bowed his head, looked down at the table in front of him and answered "No" to the ALJ.

My lawyer didn't really have to argue my case to the ALJ. Looking back, it seems to me the ALJ that I had knew the Grid lists my case fell under, asked questions from the expert that clarified to the ALJ's mind whether I met the factors in the occupational/work grids for disability, and rendered a decision that was favorable to me based on the answers from the occupational "expert". The questions the ALJ asked of me were basically questions used to verify I still met other Grid qualifications not associated with the work/occupational skill grids.

Looks like you need to appeal this decision.

And get another fresh set of eyes to hear your case.

nwlivewire
 

AvnSgt

PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
#39
I find this ALJ decision an odd one.

The ALJ I had asked the same question yours did to the vocational "expert" - basically what work/occupation was I "qualified" to perform. I remember he replied to the ALJ and said "laundry sorter" and some other work occupation I had never heard of.

BUT, my ALJ also asked a follow-on question to that one to the "expert"- using my disabilities as a hypothetical, could that person actually perform that work. The "expert" then bowed his head, looked down at the table in front of him and answered "No" to the ALJ.

My lawyer didn't really have to argue my case to the ALJ. Looking back, it seems to me the ALJ that I had knew the Grid lists my case fell under, asked questions from the expert that clarified to the ALJ's mind whether I met the factors in the occupational/work grids for disability, and rendered a decision that was favorable to me based on the answers from the occupational "expert". The questions the ALJ asked of me were basically questions used to verify I still met other Grid qualifications not associated with the work/occupational skill grids.

Looks like you need to appeal this decision.

And get another fresh set of eyes to hear your case.

nwlivewire
You are certainly right, and it is already back in the Appeals Council. I am just awaiting a letter from them concerning the acceptance. However, the that really gets me is the ALJ ignoring special instructions from the AC. How is an individual suppose to get a fair and non-discriminatory hearing, when the judge is already showing bias to begin with, by choosing not to follow the ACs directions. This type of issue angers me, because I me other Veterans each time I am at my local VA Hospital where I hear similar stories about problems they face.
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Veteran
#40
You are certainly right, and it is already back in the Appeals Council. I am just awaiting a letter from them concerning the acceptance. However, the that really gets me is the ALJ ignoring special instructions from the AC. How is an individual suppose to get a fair and non-discriminatory hearing, when the judge is already showing bias to begin with, by choosing not to follow the ACs directions. This type of issue angers me, because I me other Veterans each time I am at my local VA Hospital where I hear similar stories about problems they face.
I am totally with you on this.

Another thing I've noticed is the broad swing or latitude ALJs seem to have on the types of outcomes they render.

Just from this website, I've read outcome decisions that run the gamut. There doesn't seem to be much consistency up at that level.

So I hope you get a different set of eyes and ears on your next round.

This system is a pathetic mess and people starve to death or lose everything they have earned over a lifetime - and for what good reason?

Because they got sick or injured?

Isn't this what SSDI and SSI is for? For the elders, or for the sick and injured who have paid into this system all their working lifetimes?

SMH - WOW!

nwlivewire
 
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