I got injured in Oct of last year and became unable to work since. I did therapy, pain management, (nerve blocks, cortisone shots, etc.), and ended up having back surgery (Discectomy) in March, 2013. I applied for SSI and SSDI in April, 2013. I was denied SSI due to "too much income", and approved for SSDI. However, SSA moved my injury date ahead 8 months to June, 2013. They claim the evidence provided by my doctor in June 2013 shows my condition was disabling at that time. What happened to the doctors' reports from Oct 2012 to June 2013? During those dates, I was either in PT or recuperating from back surgery, but most importantly, unable to work full duty. Adding the SSA 5-month waiting period, I won't see my first disability benefit until Dec '13. Will I be able to appeal this decision?
I just noticed that on the "Notice of Decision" form, on the section that states: "The following evidence was used in evaluating your claim", only 2 medical records were listed. There is no mention of a 3rd medical record (dated Oct 2013 to Feb 2013), and where I initially seek medical treatment. Could this be the reason SSA did not considered Oct 1012 as my AOD date? Shouldn't all the medical records received, (hospitals, clinics, etc), be listed here? Thanks for all replies.
Social Security Lawyers
You can appeal the decision. You normally have 65 days from the date of the decision to appeal it. The appeal will probably be a Request for Hearing. Normally, you can do a hearing online. In these instances, they usually do not allow you to do it online. You will have to do it by mail. You should mail it certified mail, return receipt. That way, you can prove the dates you file the appeal.
I would go ahead and do the appeal, but you have to be aware of the following. If you eventually go to a hearing, the ALJ can reverse the prior decision and you can lose everything. On the other hand, you may be able to get the back pay. One of the issues will be whether the medical records show that you were unable to work prior to June 2013. That will depend on your age and the nature of your work for the 15 years prior to the time you stopped work. Age is a major factor in this instance. If you are over 50, and all of your work has been standing for the 15 years prior to October 2012, and now you are limited to sedentary work (if you are over 50 there are instances where you do not have to prove you cannot work at all. You simply have to prove you are limited to sedentary work.), They can award disability.
You should hire an attorney immediately so that the appeal can be done in a timely fashion. After you do the appeal, he will have access to the medical records we had access to. Both of you can then make a determination whether it makes sense to go forward or simply accept the benefits as is.
These comments are not intended to be legal advice. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I agree with my brother at the bar that this is more appropriately directed to a SSI/SSDI attorney.
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Social Security Lawyers
The new trend by Judge's is to approve claims but change the onset date, or to flat out deny more claims. two years ago 65-70% got approved; Now about 40% get approved by judges and many get "approved" like you did - with an amended or changed onset or starting date. And, it gets worse - appeals on SS cases, to the Appeals Council, win or get sent back for hearing only about 19% of the time. So, the chance of winning is very small. And, as someone mentioned, the Appeals Council could send the case back and the Judge could deny everything, so you have some heavy risks involved. I suggest getting a copy of you file and meeting with an experienced Social Security attorney to review it - to see if there is anything significant to appeal.
You may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact your local legal aid office if you cannot afford an attorney. If there is a law school in your area, you may contact their legal clinic as well.
You may also contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is www.nosscr.org.
In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.
Their link is: http://www.nblsc.us/
I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
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The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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