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My SSI/SSDI case went from a decision writer back to appeal/hearings office

Astoria, OR |

just wondering what that means. I do have a lawyer and also a Senators office in Oregon helping me with my SSI case. my lawyer and I requested a reconsideration hearing in Jan.2011, it went to a Senior attorney at SSI(June 2011), and then to a decision writer(July 2011),found out from Senate office yesterday(they let me know every month what is going on with my case), that it was sent back to the appeals and hearings office(August 2011,about 1 week ago). I havent seen a judge yet and wondered if that means that I will be seeing a judge or does he have to look over what the decision writer wrote and approved and signed..any info you can give would be helpful. if can just give a round about information to others that can be going through same issue..

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Based upon your post it sounds like you have requested a hearing with an ALJ and if your case was with a decision writer, that is good news for you. (They don't get a decision writer involved to write an unfavorable decision if you haven't had an ALJ hearing.) Based upon what you've said it looks like you may receive an On-the-Record decision, and since the file is back at ODAR you probably should be hearing something soon. "Soon" is a relative term.


  2. 1) Ask your lawyer, he or she should be answering these questions for you before you even have to ask them, that is his or her job.

    2) Sorry, but there is not enough information here to answer your questions accurately - the hearing officer should issue the reconsideration decision if you went to a hearing at the reconsideration level; the senior attorneys are not usually involved with reconsideration decisions; the senior attorneys work either for the Virtual Screening Unit (VSU) or the hearings office (ODAR); usually a senior attorney does not get your case until after you ahve requested a hearing before an administrative law judge - but maybe the congressperson got the senior attorney to reach down to the reconsideration level and pull your case - congratulations; if a senior attorney sent your case to a decision writer that is usually a good thing as senior attorney cannot issue a denial per se without offering you a hearing before an administrative law judge but a senior attorney (VSU or ODAR) can recommend your case for an award of benefits; the senior attorney still must get a judge to sign-off on the approval - generally your attorney would have been in this loop so he or she either neglected to tell you or is out of the loop/not paying attention.

    best of luck to you

    Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.


  3. Since you have an attorney representing you, that person is the one who is best able to answer your question, since he/she is the person who should be best acquainted with the specific facts and status of your case. Your attorney is also the person you have hired, not only to represent you, but to answer any and all reasonable questions you have about your Social Security disability case.

    The staff person at the Senator's office may also be experienced enough in how the SS disability determination process works to tell you what the sequence of events you've written about means in terms of an eventual (could be months) outcome of your Social Security disability case.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Oregon. Responses are based solely on Oregon law unless stated otherwise.

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