The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2007
    Posts
    3,826

    Default Applying for Disability

    Has anyone done it? I was told that the routinely turn everyone down the first time. Is it advisable to hire a disability attorney from the get go? I would appreciate any wisdom, resources etc that anyone can share. For what it's worth, person needing to file is in California.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012
    Posts
    3,352

    Default

    They do routinely turn almost everyone down the first time. Persevere, with or without an attorney...keep filing appeals. Final judgment will be made by a magistrate or judge. The process can take a couple of years but if award the disability, it can be retroactive to date of disability.
    Ride like you mean it.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2006
    Location
    on and off the bit
    Posts
    4,441

    Default

    I was glad to see your thread, since I nearly started one myself yesterday with the same question. My app got denied the first time so I tried again and am
    currently in the process of trying to find an attorney to help with my appeal on my second application. The local Soc. Sec. office sent me a list of legal organizations that "may" be able to help -- of course none of them can ... so now I have got to find one on my own. The one I talked to before told me very different things about payment than the Soc. Sec. Admin. itself told me, and since the Soc. Sec. Adm. is the one that decides ...
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012
    Posts
    3,352

    Default

    I went thru the process without a lawyer and was awarded "disability". Joy.

    It was the requirement by my employer who PUT me on their long-term disability. I would have preferred to modify my job but they didn't want to do that. They would have paid me my benefit $$ but I was required by them to apply to SS to the last degree. Employer's issue was to have the gov't pay part of the monthy $$ benefit.

    It can be done without an attorney. Keep filling out forms. When you go before the magistrate, keep it short. Answer only what is asked. Be professional, not emotional. For instance I was asked how many miles I drive per week. I had just computed that a few days before, out of curiosity about how far I had fallen. So I had the answer: I said 30 miles. And left it at that.

    You're not trying to keep secrets...the magistrate appreciated not having to deal with a lot of wishy-washy emotional answers, long, drawn-out answers. At the end, he said I did a better job of representing myself than an attorney could have.
    Ride like you mean it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2007
    Posts
    3,826

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    They do routinely turn almost everyone down the first time. Persevere, with or without an attorney...keep filing appeals. Final judgment will be made by a magistrate or judge. The process can take a couple of years but if award the disability, it can be retroactive to date of disability.

    It surely would be great if it can be retroactive to the date of disability. I was under the impression that that isn't how it works. So I hope you are right!!!

    Also I wonder if having an attorney makes the process go faster (months vs a year plus?)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    1,052

    Default

    I guess I was fortunate, I got it first time no attorney.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 12, 2002
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,825

    Default

    Good luck. Been trying to get it for my brother for years. He functions on a 1st grade level at 36 years old, but apparently he's fit to hold a job that would pay him enough money to live. The judge found 1, over an hour away from where we live, a bricklayer. A few issues with that. We'll just start with the fact that my brother can't live alone, can't drive, can't manage money, is gullible enough to hand his check over to anyone who asks or spend all his money buying people things that they "need".

    We've gone the lawyer route twice now, but the first one messed up the appeal filing so, now, if my brother does ever get disability, it won't roll back to when he first applied, but will start from when he had to reapply due to the lawyer screw up. The 2nd lawyer has yet to be available for any of the appointments, so I'm still waiting to see how that one will go. It doesn't look promising.
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 21, 2013
    Posts
    831

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mukluk View Post
    It surely would be great if it can be retroactive to the date of disability. I was under the impression that that isn't how it works. So I hope you are right!!!

    Also I wonder if having an attorney makes the process go faster (months vs a year plus?)
    The doctors you list on your application will be sent a form they have to complete and return stating their opinion on your ability to work and your limitations. A functional capacity exam (for physical disability) is needed. Your primary physician can order one and will know which physical therapy locations perform them. They typically cost about $1200. Once approved, the reimbursement is retroactive to the date of application. An attorney is not always necessary, as I did not have one and have received SSD since 2010.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2007
    Posts
    3,826

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RacetrackReject View Post
    Good luck. Been trying to get it for my brother for years. He functions on a 1st grade level at 36 years old, but apparently he's fit to hold a job that would pay him enough money to live. The judge found 1, over an hour away from where we live, a bricklayer. A few issues with that. We'll just start with the fact that my brother can't live alone, can't drive, can't manage money, is gullible enough to hand his check over to anyone who asks or spend all his money buying people things that they "need".

    We've gone the lawyer route twice now, but the first one messed up the appeal filing so, now, if my brother does ever get disability, it won't roll back to when he first applied, but will start from when he had to reapply due to the lawyer screw up. The 2nd lawyer has yet to be available for any of the appointments, so I'm still waiting to see how that one will go. It doesn't look promising.
    That sounds like an absolute outrage. It sounds like the judge needs to hear from an expert regarding your brother's condition. I hope you will prevail. Almost tempting to call the local news to do an expose' though I can see why you wouldn't want to.

    Also it sounds like you should sue the first lawyer.

    Also i



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2011
    Posts
    1,273

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zuri View Post
    The doctors you list on your application will be sent a form they have to complete and return stating their opinion on your ability to work and your limitations. A functional capacity exam (for physical disability) is needed. Your primary physician can order one and will know which physical therapy locations perform them. They typically cost about $1200. Once approved, the reimbursement is retroactive to the date of application. An attorney is not always necessary, as I did not have one and have received SSD since 2010.
    It is retroactive if a certain amount of time has passed, if less than that period of time you do not get back pay.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    693

    Default

    I got Social Security disability the first time I applied over 20 years ago without a lawyer. I did use a book by a lawyer about applying for disability that went into great detail about how to answer the questions. Like emphasizing that while I might still have been working I was TOTALLY unable to do any housework too, none, no vacuuming, cooking or cleaning, since I was too weak and exhausted to do anything but work and commute.

    I was surprised I got it the first time I applied. I think the key was in describing how my disability affected my whole life, how I just could not do much of anything that normal people can do as a matter of course.

    But in many cases lawyers are worth their weight in gold. It is a stiff price to pay but that is the way the system is set up.

    I am disabled by Multiple Sclerosis. The main thing that prevents me from doing stuff is overwhelming exhaustion that begins 15 to 20 minutes into ANY activity unless I am lying down in bed. Then I can last a little longer.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 12, 2002
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,825

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mukluk View Post
    That sounds like an absolute outrage. It sounds like the judge needs to hear from an expert regarding your brother's condition. I hope you will prevail. Almost tempting to call the local news to do an expose' though I can see why you wouldn't want to.

    Also it sounds like you should sue the first lawyer.

    Also i
    Well, the issue is that the judge won't speak to me or let me answer any questions. She spoke to my brother, who thinks he can do anything- Can you make meals for yourself? Yes. Can you balance your checking account? Yes.

    If putting metal in the microwave and burning grilled cheese so badly that it catches fire counts as being able to cook for himself, then yes, he can. If telling me that his card "won't work", and I check to see that he's overdrawn, again, counts as balance a checking account, then yes, he can.

    Filing new paperwork to deal with that matter, again. It's a comedy of errors to say the least. If I ever speak to the new lawyer (recommended through DADS), we'll see how we progress this time.

    The neighbor across the road had no trouble getting disability, on his own, for ADHD though, so there is hope. >.>
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    2,775

    Default

    I hope I can address the questions brought up. I worked for SSA for 34 years, the last 10 or so were spent directly with the Administrative Law Judges who heard the disability appeals.

    "Disability" is defined as the inability to perform substantial, gainful activity due to a medical condition, or combination of conditions, expected to last at least 12 full, consecutive months (or a condition expected to result in death).

    Disability benefits come in two forms -- Social Security disability insurance, where the wage earner is "insured" for benefits (paid sufficient FICA/SECA taxes), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is based on an individual's financial status. Some qualify for both types of payments, and others qualify for one or the other.

    Retroactivity is somewhat complex. There is a five month waiting period for disability insurance, starting with the date that disability is established. During that period, no benefits are payable. However, benefits can be retroactive for 12 months from the date the application is filed. SSI is retroactive to the first day of the month, following the month in which the application was filed.

    Social Security disability insurance also makes one eligible for Medicare coverage, but only after that individual has received checks for 24 months. SSI generally brings Medicaid coverage, though that can vary by State.

    I think its fair to say that most individuals are denied at the initial level, though not because of any "quota" system. You are dealing with individuals who are trying to fit a square peg into a square hole, and whose allowance decisions, rather than denial decisions, are the ones that are intensively reviewed.

    There are some national "disability firms", such as "Binder and Binder", who can assist you with your claim. I can only speak from my experience, but in the office where I worked, these legal groups had no better luck representing people than the local lawyers. In fact, the local attorneys sometimes had a much better idea of how to present a case to a particular judge.

    Representing yourself can be problematic, and most judges will spend considerable time at the outset of a hearing, explaining your right to representation and the difficulties encountered when you are unprepared for what happens at a hearing. Generally, though not always, there will be a "Vocational Expert" (VE) present at the hearing. After the judge has reviewed your record and listened to your testimony, he/she generally poses a "hypothetical" scenario to the VE, asking the VE if jobs exist for an individual with certain physical or mental limitations. Sometimes, numerous "hypothetical" scenarios are posed.

    Strange as it sounds if you are not used to it, the judge will end up formulating a physical and mental "residual functional capacity". Say, for example, that an individual suffers from a herniated lumbar disc, a right rotator cuff injury, and an anxiety disorder. The judge may end up asking the vocational expert the following: "Assume an individual of the same age, education and work history as the disability applicant, who cannot lift and carry more than 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; who can sit, stand and/or walk up to six hours during an eight hour workday, but must be allowed to alternate between these positions as needed, as long as she does not leave the work station; who can reach overhead occasionally with the right arm and can occasionally climb, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; who should perform no more than semi-skilled work, requiring up to three months to learn; and who should have face-to-face contact with the general public for no more than one-third of an eight-hour workday". The VE will then try to find jobs that such an individual can perform, and there will be lots of them. An attorney may add additional restrictions to this hypothetical situation, based upon the opinions of doctors or what he/she believes the evidence supports. An attorney may also question the VE about the jobs that were found, asking, for example, whether a worker, while dealing with a customer, would be allowed to sit/stand as often as necessary to relieve discomfort. <sigh> It can be a bit of a circus for individuals who are not used to the scenario.

    Zuri -- I looked at your comments, and wanted to mention a few things. You indicated that the doctors listed on the application will be sent a form they have to complete and return stating their opinion on the ability to work and limitations, but this does not always happen. It varies by State. While a functional capacity exam is a nice thing to have in a case, and Judges will generally ask for a "consultative examination" (paid for by SSA, where a person goes to a physician/psychologist and is examined), also know that a Judge has to weigh the evidence and determine whether it supports the restrictions imposed by a physician/psychologist (whether the applicant's physician or one hired by SSA).

    OP -- I wish I knew CA better and could recommend a lawyer for you. If your friend decides to represent him/herself, he/she MIGHT win the case, OR might not know how to take apart the VE's testimony, where many cases are won/lost. Age and educational background also come into play, as well as your work history. The older you are, and the less education you have, as well as the greater exertional tasks required by your jobs, all weigh in your favor.
    Last edited by twelvegates; Jun. 19, 2014 at 09:47 AM. Reason: clarity
    Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    2,775

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RacetrackReject View Post
    Well, the issue is that the judge won't speak to me or let me answer any questions. She spoke to my brother, who thinks he can do anything- Can you make meals for yourself? Yes. Can you balance your checking account? Yes.

    If putting metal in the microwave and burning grilled cheese so badly that it catches fire counts as being able to cook for himself, then yes, he can. If telling me that his card "won't work", and I check to see that he's overdrawn, again, counts as balance a checking account, then yes, he can.

    Filing new paperwork to deal with that matter, again. It's a comedy of errors to say the least. If I ever speak to the new lawyer (recommended through DADS), we'll see how we progress this time.

    The neighbor across the road had no trouble getting disability, on his own, for ADHD though, so there is hope. >.>
    RTR -- you need to appear as a "witness" for your brother. If you are his representative, you can't be a witness, but otherwise, the judge cannot prevent you from testifying.
    Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 30, 2006
    Location
    Little Rhody
    Posts
    3,911

    Default

    RTR,
    Will your brother allow you to get a POA (power of attorney)? Sounds as though he is quite incompetent. My family had to do this for my elderly mother. Her checking account was in complete disarray as she was buying everything she saw on TV infomercials (BOSE stereos, Bowflex machines (she shuffled along with a walker for Pete’s sake), fad diet crap where they send food for megabuck$, getting involved in pyramid schemes, etc.. All of this left her checking account overdrawn monthly with no money left for food, medicines, rent and other necessities. She was collecting my deceased father's retirement SS.

    Getting the POA allowed my sister and me to manage her money. We took away her debit and credit cards. It was a lot of extra work for us but the right thing to do.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2011
    Location
    East Longmeadow, MA
    Posts
    3,834

    Default

    Excellent post, twelvegates. I did not chime in on this thread although I am an attorney and DID, many long years ago, represent SSDI and SSI clients. It has just been too long a time and I wouldn't want to give outdated or incorrect advice.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



Similar Threads

  1. Intelectual Disability
    By belambi in forum Equestrians with Disabilities
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Oct. 13, 2011, 09:55 PM
  2. Grading of a disability
    By blackhorse6 in forum Equestrians with Disabilities
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Mar. 18, 2011, 04:25 PM
  3. EAP- Who is Applying?
    By neigh.neigh in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 47
    Last Post: Mar. 13, 2010, 12:32 PM
  4. applying for a job:
    By Not So Practical Horse(WO)man in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Jan. 24, 2010, 09:51 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •