View Full Version : Finally Fully Favorable

09-05-2007, 03:44 PM
I just got my Fully Favorable Decsision today!!!!!


I guess persistance does pay off after all. I was really ready to give up this time, but held on to a thread of hope.
So everyone fighting, keep at it, there is light at the end of the tunnel ;)

I filed my claim in April of 2003, and am just now makin it.

09-05-2007, 08:25 PM
Congratulations. I filed in february of 2003 I got a call from my attorney last week he said my case is now being put on the Judges calendar. Unfortunately he said he thinks it wont be until November before I get my hearing. I'm so nervous can you give me any advice for the hearing?


09-05-2007, 08:56 PM
This was my second hearing, and there were a few things that my attorney told me to do that really helped the judge to believe me.

When asked a question, even if from your attorney, answer looking at the judge. Dont over answer questions, because they can ask more questions to get information, but if you offer too much info it cant be taken back.

Dress clean and neat, but dont dress like your going to a job interview. Just wear what you normally wear everyday. Ask your attorney for a list of the most common questions asked, and then write the answers down. You might say the answers out loud a few times so that you are comfortable with them. Let your attorney see your answers a few days before the hearing, this way he can help you answer truely and correctly and not go off on a long tangent.

If I can think of any more I will get over here and post it up.

Above all dont worry to much, as that usually cause us more pain :winky:

I wish you all the luck in the world, and will be prayin for ya. :hug:

11-11-2007, 07:00 PM
I am very happy for you that you won your case.Your situation sounds similar to mine.I applied for ssdi 2003.Was denied intially and at the reconsideration.
Waited until 7-07 to have my ALJ hearing.The decision was unfavorable!
My medical files were shuffled from one hearing office to another because they kept changing which office my hearing would be held.
My medical exhibt didn't have all my records.
My attorney filed an appeal to the review board.Now I am waiting once again.

What was the time frame from the ALJ denial to hearing back from the appeals
counsel?And then how long after that until your 2nd hearing?
Just curious what I might expect.
Thanks MC

11-14-2007, 11:52 AM

I heard back from the review board in march, and they gave me 90 days to submit new medical records etc. This was about a year from the first hearing. Then I got a letter about 30 days before the hearing to be held in august. The decision came about 2 weeks after the hearing, and was dated august 30.

I have received the SSI back pay, and got a notice of award for the SSDI, but they say they are sending another after calculating, and deducting for the state disability I received in 02 - 03. I did call for information on medicare, and they told me what the ssdi backpay amount will be.

The amount I receive from ssdi isnt the amount I hoped it would be, but I can live with it. I had a 10 year blank spot in my earnings where I took in foster kids, and didnt pay into social security.

One of the things that really helped me in the hearing was that they called my son in and asked him questions. He gave me the ride there, and we didnt know they would call him in. It was hard for me to hear the answers he gave because I never realized how much he missed the old me.

That is when I lost composure. As I broke up from what I was hearing, and looked around the room at everyone. Their faces showed true concern, and they asked if I needed a moment. I told them no, I would be alright, it was just hard to hear from someone else. I really never realized how much our disabilities effect those around us.

I hope your hearing comes fast, and that they decide in your favor. Dont give up. I know it is hard to live, but well worth the fight. :)

11-14-2007, 11:55 AM
That is so great Allen , congratulations!!:D:D

11-14-2007, 01:52 PM
Congratulations Allen : Good to hear some positive news.

Thanks for sharing Jeffn. :)

11-14-2007, 03:21 PM
congrats! I am waiting on my letter and check now!

11-14-2007, 08:09 PM
To MC : You may want to go down to the Social Security Office and request a complete copy of your file or have your Attorney make that request for you.

This would give you the opportunity to review your file and make sure the medical evidence meets one of the Social Security Disability Listings.

I have four file boxes of medical reports plus 3 legal binders all tabbed and dated and I keep a running file on my desk top.

It is very important to keep a hard copy of all information you provide the SSA.

Don't get blind sided or sucker punched. Be prepared be pro active know what's in your file and keep your own hard copy.

I know it's hard when your sick and not feeling well.

Good Luck: Jeffn

PS: Looks to me like you have the opportunity to make sure all your i's are dotted and your t's crossed. I would take advantage of this.

11-16-2007, 12:08 AM
Thanks Jeff,
After my Alj denial letter and before my lawyer filed the appeal....
I called ssa to request a copy of my file.A few days later I went to the local ssa office.I was given a CD of my file.
It was exactly as I thought.Medical records up to a certain point.Almost as if the records stopped shortly after the reconsideration before the hearing.
No wonder I was denied.
I also have a audio of the Alj hearing on that cd.My attorney didnt seem very pleased with that!I am not sure why....
The appeal has been filed to the council in virginia.I hope that this battle will
soon be resolved.I appreciate your interest and compassion.MC

11-16-2007, 10:25 AM
To MC: Sounds like your on top of this issue.

One of the strategies I learned during this 4 year process was to get my Congressman involved and request a inquiry on why my claim had not been processed in a reasonable amount of time.

I gave my Congressman aid a copy of my Favorable Decision Letter and a one page cover letter. Your file is then stamped under congressional review so everyone who see your file knows that they are now under the microscope.

This is something you may want to think about as the SSA has already dropped the ball and the ALJ made a decision without reviewing all the medical records.

This strategy may help expedite your hearing date and will let the ALJ know that his work is under Congressional review and no longer behind closed doors. Making a decision on the record without reviewing all the medical evidence is not smart and I would use this error the ALJ made to my advantage.

You can also have your Attorney request a Decision on the record when you re file your medical records this may also help.

I would ask your Attorney if your disability meets one of the Social Security Listing in the SSA Blue Book ?

No fun being walked around the block when your disabled.

Hope these suggestions help and I hope you win.

Take care Jeffn

11-16-2007, 09:26 PM
Just wanted to say I finally got a court date this month and was given a favorable decision from the judge. I had applied in 1999, denied, appealed in 2002, denied, appealed and in 2003 got a attorney. And finally after four years got my court hearing and won.
The advice given here is excellent. Be sure to keep up with your medical records and keep going at it as long as it takes. I have borrowed money to live on and had yard sales and hobbies money to help, but it has been a real struggle to deal with illnesses and depression caused by illness and not being able to work. I wish anyone going through this process the best of luck.

11-17-2007, 05:10 PM
Thank you everyone for the great advice and encouragement.
I think I will write my congressman.Maybe that will also speed up the process
at the appeals council in Virginia.
I'm sorry for all the others that have been and are going through this.
Congrats again Allen and Jeff.Keep me in your thoughts.MC

11-18-2007, 04:32 PM
I'm so glad to hear you've "won"...what you paid into!
Is rediculous the way they deny people who can't even stand or sit like normal people.

When I went before a judge after years of being turned down, the judge asked me questions...
I was terrified, nervous AND having bouts of diarrhea, had to excuse myself...
here I was on "trial"...and I'm running off to the toilet!
But what can you do?
SSI people sent me to a Fibromyalgia specialist for second opinons.
He's pretty well known here in my area and everyone loves him as his bedisde manners are the greatest.
HE's very thorough, attentive and takes time to answer your questions.
BUT...he felt I could do SOMETHING to do for work and wasn't favorable towards my getting SSI...
I was devastated by what he'd written as there was no way I could work!
My muscle and joint pain was reason enough, not to mention the fatigue and brain fog.
I was making near 6 figure income selling real estate, was a top selling agent until one day....sigh...
The intestintal pain and constant diarrhea controled how my day went on top of the fatigue and muscle pains.
Why would I NOT want to work? I loved my job and enjoyed every moment of working until I became too ill.
The judge looked directly into my eyes, then asked me what I thougth of the FM specialist...he asked me this
"Tell me about your visit, what did you think of him?"
How could I say otherwise...the FM guy WAS very nice and I really liked him!

So I told the truth, stating I'd found him to be very freindly, informative and understanding...
but I was confused and shocked that he thougth I could work when I'm so ill..
that I didn't think he understood the big picture of what my life has been and
there ARE days when I look somewhat normal and can pull off looking like a normal person for just a short time,
but no one see's me when behind closed doors.

I exclaimed that I've worked my entire life, began with helping my mother while she worked,
then as a teen worked every waking hour...that I was ALWAYS a hard worker, until I became ill overnite.
When I finished stating this...I really felt I was losing because I was honest in saying
the FM guy was very proffessional and knowledgable but I didn't agree with his findings.
The judge began mumbling something then banged his gavel on the desk.
I couldn't hear what he was saying and my attorney was whispering to me as he smiled.
Thinking the worst I had no idea what he'd said and was told it would be months of reveiw after this hearing...but was not my case.
The judge has said he found me to be 100% honest and agree'd with my Rheumatologist that I could not work
and decided right then and there in my favor! Unheard of as it always takes months of review AFTER this hearing!

So always be 100% honest even if you feel will hurt your case.
It paid off in my case.
The judges words were "I'm awarding you this because I find you to be totally honest"....
wow and I was afraid to speak the truth but I did.
If I had tried to discredit this guy...would have cost me everything.

Sadly...I've gotten much much worse and my health has continued to decline over the last few years.
I was hoping I'd "snap out of it" and be able to go back to work one day.
I loved my job...it defined who I was and being "on top" all the time boosted my self esteme.
Most days I can't even get out of bed now...but I thank God I have a loving and supportive husband.
I feel so bad for many of you who struggle and are turned down time after time and desperatly in need of this money you paid into.
You can only trust in God...put this in HIS hands as He will take care of you and provide all your needs.

I have the hope in a much better life here after and thats what helps me live with this pain 24/7....
A life that won't include pain or suffering ever again.
I know its not easy...life is not fair as long as we live on planet earth will always be this way.
Blessings, cheryl

11-20-2007, 12:59 PM
Cheryl you are 100% right about being honest. I believe I won because the judge believed what I said, and the first judge I saw straight up called me a liar. So he didnt believe me at all. I really do think almost the whole decision is based on if the judge believes you or not.

I am so glad to hear you have won.

But I am sad to hear you have gotten worse. I too hoped for a bounce back, but alas, just getting worse also.

It was interesting reading about your work history. It is close to the way I grew up, and also in the way it ended. At a very young age I began work in my grandmothers restaurant, earning 25 cents a day. I complained about the low pay, but was told that it is a lot of money back in her day, and to learn how to save. I worked around my neighborhood weeding, mowing, etc, and even worked at a carwash for a time.

Worked my way up to the top of my field in casino's, and was enjoying a perk filled life until one day the doctor said oops. I also wouldnt have left my profession to chase after this measily income, I mean come on! The life we live now is sooooo much better :rolleyes:

I do hope you get to feelin better :hug:

12-09-2007, 04:07 PM
I applied for ssdi in August 2004 I finally had my hearing this past August I got fully favorable decision. I got denied twice before hearing the alj approved me at my hearing which my lawyer said was rarely done. I started receiving my monthly payments in October, but I still haven't received my backpay for some reason. I called ssa three times but still can't get my backpay. Has anyone else had trouble getting their backpay. Thank you

12-12-2007, 12:17 AM
hi allen that is some great news for you.... it was a long hard battle or war for you ...and you came out a winner... it truly gives me hope that there is some justice in this world..congradulations!!!! moonstar :D
ps.. thanks for giving me something to smile about.. :wink:

12-12-2007, 02:31 PM
Hi moonstar,

Life is so much better with a little income coming in. I thought I was never gonna win, and wanted to give up sooo bad. But realize that giving up will only hurt me, not them. So I kept at it, and would have kept at it as long as it took.

Keep fightin!! There really is a light at the end of the tunnel even though you feel like it might be a million miles away.

Connus I am still waiting on the ssdi part of the backpay also. They are deducting the state disability I received back in 02/03. Even though they sent me an award letter that shows all of the deductions, and how much the backpay will be. They say they will send me another letter explaining in more detail, and will be followed by the actual backpay. I was kinda hopin they would get it to me by christmas, but I will just celebrate christmas, and every other thing needing celebrating when it finally arrives.:D

Good luck to all, keep at it, dont give up!!

Hope everyone has a merry christmas!

12-13-2007, 11:02 PM
You are correct, LTD can (and often does) refuse benefits even if a person is collecting SSDI, as they each use their own criteria when deciding a claim.
They are supposed to factor in the weight/credibility of a favorable SSDI decision when deciding claims, but rarely do.

I've been on SSDI and LTD for many years now, my problem is that as soon as my dependent aged out from collecting off my SSD record (which in turn means the LTD carrier now has to pay much more) the carrier suddenly decides to cut me off regardless that my health situation is much worse than when I went on claim years ago, as well as very medically documented. Of course they deny the increase in benefit amount has anything to do with the denial which is common for them to do.

I've been through appeals (always successful and benefits reinstated) in the past always over some BS reason to cut me off, having done so, this time I'm no longer letting their delay tactics work and I'm currently in the process of a lawsuit in order to have benefits reinstated.
The appeal process is just something I no longer have any energy for, that's why my attorney is handling the matter for me.
It's a long story and one I can't get into due to my filing, but I will never let them win as that's what they are hoping for.

12-15-2007, 06:27 PM
Please ignore the reply that I posted above, that reply was actually intended for another thread. Sorry :o it must be the meds :winky:

12-21-2007, 03:39 PM
I received my backpay Dec. 17 thank God. I agree it a hard fight, but don't give up it will happen.:

02-26-2008, 10:40 PM
Well it has been months since I started getting my monthly check, and it was starting to worry me a bit on why no backpay yet. I did try calling the 800 number a few times and got nowhere.

Well today I called the 800 number again hoping something could happen, or they could tell me why it is taking so long....anything really LOL.

This time was the magical time! I was told that my case went into a back log in Nov and came out of it in Jan. She told me I should have been payed already, and did something in the system to get things going again.

Said if I havent received anything by mar 12 to call again, but she is pretty sure things should happen between now and then. I am sooo stoked! She was telling me the back log is out of everyones control, but I should have received everything within 60 days.

It is sooo cool to see others getting the favorable decisions, and all I can say to those still trying to get approved........DONT give up!

It is a long process, but it isnt impossible. I went through 2 denials, 1 alj hearing, and won at the appeals hearing. All said and done it took almoooost 5 years, but the judge took the onset date to july 2001....the actual date I could no longer work.

02-26-2008, 11:11 PM

I jus got approved do you have any idea how long before I would get my first months benefit?


02-27-2008, 03:13 AM
For me it was about 30 days from the approval letter to getting first check. The SSI gave me the first part of the backpay in about 45 days from approval with the rest coming in April.

The SSDI monthly check was about 60 days from the approval letter, and all the checks came before the award letters by a couple of days.

It really thrilled me to see you got the favorable decision. I know you were really worried about the outcome, and was on the verge of giving up. I was also at that point when I finally won...it was a real shocker LOL.

02-28-2008, 06:27 PM
I got a bench decision at my ALJ hearing in August and a letter confirming this arrived about a week later.

I received by back SS in November and monthly checks started then also.

I still have not received an award letter - I received backpay back to 2004 and the amout I received was more than I expected. I keep after the SS about the award letter and they just keep telling me that it has not been wrote :confused:

How long does it take to get an award letter?

02-28-2008, 11:18 PM

While I am thrilled that you were FINALLY awarded SSDI and SSI, I have to say that I am embarrassed and saddened that I system that I fund (I've worked since 1977 with only a 3.5 year break) has treated you so poorly.

Should it be a walk in the park to qualify for disability payments? No.

Should it take just shy of 5 years to get a favorable decision when your doctors are supporting you? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

02-29-2008, 02:38 AM
Should it take just shy of 5 years to get a favorable decision when your doctors are supporting you? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Tell me about it! I applied in 2000, was denied and denied, filed a suit in Federal Court, and only then the Appeals Council, on remand, started coming around to the fact that I was hoodwinked from the start.

At every level of SSA review the opinions of my treating doctors were either ignored or distorted.

02-29-2008, 03:56 PM
I have my ALJ hearing on April 1st (how apropos) My letter from my attorney said I would recieve a judgement in the mail within 30-270 days after the hearing....270????? Are they kidding?? I have been going thru this system for almost 3 years now! I have had nothing but letters of support from my doctors AND from my congressman and just now got a hearing date.....so now it can take up to almost another year to get a judgement in the mail??

And the even funnier part I have fatigue reports and pain reports in my record from doctors who said they "examined" me and I have no idea who they are...read my file perhaps...but noone aside from my own doctors has examined me!

02-29-2008, 08:38 PM
And the even funnier part I have fatigue reports and pain reports in my record from doctors who said they "examined" me and I have no idea who they are...read my file perhaps...but noone aside from my own doctors has examined me!

Those are opinions from SSA-contracted doctors based upon their review of the examination records of your current doctors. SSA sometimes uses them to try to discredit your treating doctors. They tried that with me.

02-29-2008, 10:04 PM
Yeah I get that part...like I said I knew they had reviewed my file....however they typed and i have copies...upon examining the patient...we found...so and so...which is fraudulent they never examined me.. I've been a nurse for 17 years and never have I examined someone that I never met! My attorney was even quite taken aback by that and said he fully intends to point that out during hearing.