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At my ssdi hearing the judge changed my onset date of disabilty and discussed with my lawyer at the hearing. Did I win?

Quakertown, PA |

At the hearing the judge asked me a few questions and had me tell my story. He then wanted to change my onset of disabily date and discussed it with my attorney and they agreed on a new date. There was also a VE there who was never even questioned. Does all mean I more than likely won? My said he thinks it was favorable. I would like your opinion on this. I called SS today and they said it could take 2.5 months to get the answer. The wait is really stressful. I dont' understand why they called in a VE and never even asked her anything.

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

While I cannot guarantee you that you will receive a favorable decision, things certainly look to be in your favor.

If your attorney and the ALJ were discussing a later onset date of disability, it may mean that the ALJ found something in your medical records that he/she believes is supportive of disability - could be an MRI or another diagnostic test that the ALJ found persuasive. There may be other reasons why your attorney and the ALJ discussed a later onset date, but, most would be seen as a "good sign." Of course, if there were/are issues with earnings or unemployent compensation - you will need to discuss these potential issues with your attorney.

If the VE did not offer testimony, also a good sign. In a nutshell - the VE is there to take hypothetical descriptions of someone just like you (age education, work experience, etc) and a series of restrictions that the ALJ lists. After the ALJ lists the restrictions, he/she will ask the VE if the hypothetical person could perform any jobs with those restrictions. If the VE did not testify, he/she could not offer any jobs for the VE to consider.

Here is my suggestion - talk to your attorney and ask him/her why he/she thinks the outcome will be favorable and answer your questions. There is no better source for information on your case.

I hope this was helpful to you and I hope that your attorney is correct!

Andrew W. Norfleet, Esquire Helping disabled individuals throughout Pennsylvania. DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania and is personal in nature, not professional in nature. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality



Thank you so much for your reply. Prior to the hearing my attorney explained to me that the date I put as onset I was 48 years old and its harder to get SSDI below the age of 50. He told me there was a chance the judge might change the date to when I turned 50 which is what he did plus 3 months. During that month which is 11/2011, in my medical file there was a big note by my doc that said severe IBS. I've had every test in the book to rule out anything else and recently a GI specialist ruled it as definitive Post Infectious IBS. This all started in 2007 after a trip to Mexico and its been a nightmare ever since and only gets worse with time. The recent tests showed Barrett's Esophogus which was in my records to the judge as well. My primary doctor put down I would have to miss 4+ days a month of work. After the hearing my attorney said he felt it was favorable because the judge discussed the date and did not ask the VE any questions. I am unable to reach him now. I found this site and wanted to see if your opinion was the same as my attorney's for the same reasons. I'm just upset that it can take so long to find out. The waiting isnt' easy....My attorney said he recently had a client who had his letter in a week after his hearing. I wish I was one of those! Thank you again so much for your insight. The one thing my lawyer did tell me is the judge I had is a real tough cookie and denies more people than he approves..I hope I'm one who got approved.

Andrew W. Norfleet

Andrew W. Norfleet


You are welcome. I understand that the wait can be frustrating. Hopefully - you will be getting good news!!


You never know the outcome of a hearing until you receive the written decision. Based on the information you provided, it sounds promising but the best person to answer your question is your lawyer.

This answer is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to be legal advice.



Thank you! :)


You should really discuss this with your attorney, he or she would be in the best position to assist you.

Stew Crawford, Jr., Esq.

Crawford law Firm
A Full Service Law Firm serving Pennsylvania & New Jersey

Philadelphia Area Office
223 North Monroe Street
Media, PA 19063


All information provided in this comment is intended for informational purposes only and does not, by itself, create an attorney client relationship. Without the benefit a personal consultation to exploe all of the facts of your legal problem, the information in this posting may be inaccurate and for that reason it should not be relied upon. If you wish to consult with an attorney, or have any questions concerning this comment, please feel free to contact our offices through any of the above contact sources.


Based on your descriptiopn, I would guess that the result will be favorable. However, I have certainly had hearing I thought had gone well only to be followed by a denial. Note that no one here is willing to say for certain. The best your lawyer can do, the best we can do, is guess. Your lawyers guess is the most edcuated. I would listen to your lawyer and try to be patient. I know it is a difficult wait, but wait you must. Good l;uck.

This answer to your legal inquiry is based upon the limited facts stated in your question. Accurate legal advice is based upon an exchange between a lawyer and a client. The lawyer can then ask about other facts that may change or confirm the answer. Without that exchange, this reply should be considered limited in value. You should rely on this answer only at your own risk. Direct consultation with a lawyer is always recommended. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answering attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania and all answers are given pursuant to Pennsylvania law, unless otherwise indicated.



I understand...thank you very much for the reply. I really appreciate it! :)

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