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Old 02-22-2016, 09:21 PM   #1
PurpleFoot721
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Hi all,

I don't venture onto this part of Neurotalk all that often, as I spend most of my time over on the RSD/CRPS sub-forum.

For those who do not know me, I had surgery last January to fuse both the subtalar and tibiotalar joints in my ankle after a 12+ year old injury ended up leaving me hobbling around with a cane with a high amount of swelling by the end of the day. Oh how I miss those days. Today, I spend most days in severe, constant pain from CRPS in not just my right ankle and foot, but now both legs, (entire right, and thigh to just below the knee on the left), both shoulders and into my left hand. I spend my day with my leg elevated to keep fair blood flow to my ankle, otherwise it turns purple and the pain gets worse. I do not know if the surgery caused the CRPS, if it was caused my a broken toe a few years back, or if it just happened over time with the high amount of trauma that I sustained years ago.

Thankfully, my husband, sister-in-laws and Mother-in-law all convinced me to file for SSDI and SSI as soon as surgery was recommended back in October of 2014. I did not qualify for SSI. I had too many assets, which has helped us get through financially for the last 16 months and is the only reason that we have made it along this long. Thursday, I finally received a call from my lawyer letting me know that my hearing in front of an ALJ has been scheduled for April 20th.

I am meeting with my lawyer on Thursday to review everything. I just want to ask everyone here if there is anything that I should know for either Thursday or come April. Any advice is very much appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:50 PM   #2
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It sounds like you have it pretty much under control. Don't hesitate to ask questions of your attorney.

If you are up to it, you may want to review some of the "stickies" on the forum.

Did the attorney have you get anything from your docs, other than your medical records?

Wishing you the very best. Let us know how the meeting goes with your attorney.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:46 AM   #3
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Thanks Hopeless,

Although I am only a little nervous about my hearing, it's always nice to hear the experiences of others who have already been through the process. I just want to be as prepared as possible. I started reading through the stickies on this board last night, but figured that asking others wouldn't hurt.

The only thing that my lawyer has asked me to get from my docs is just to talk with them and make sure that they do not have any problems with submitting documents when asked. So far, I have not had any problems with that considering the medical problems that I have. They all just want to help me as much as they can.
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Old 02-23-2016, 02:03 PM   #4
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PurpleFoot,

that sounds severe. I relate with you, my left ankle does not retain weight long due to a degradation of the soft tissue and muscles.(I have spent many years in bed and it's depressing to say the last vs being active and out in life) Not sure what the long view is but it seems to me a cane or wheelchair without the body's natural healing ability. Depending on the type of jobs you can do or what you did before and where you're at now you should get fairness in a judgment. Though remember how people are. I was in a chat room and they were knocking all disabled people in the same category. There seems to be a sort of hatred and blame toward disabled people as well. Regardless of the money they paid into the system for these very reasons. I hate when someone says entitlement(when what am I entitled to my own taxes?)

I would tell the truth, I would share my heart and soul. That's what I did... Some said no and other's said yes. I think when I finally met a Doctor who forced me to bare my soul cause I don't like to talk about my pain openly. I got the yes I needed. Unfortunately not the healing... Medical records and what they see and believe should give you a yes. I think! Laying in bed is no life and I pray you get better, though I don't know you. Believe me I know that type of pain. There are some good judges and good people out there in the System. There is hope and we all deserve help.

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Originally Posted by PurpleFoot721 View Post
Hi all,

I don't venture onto this part of Neurotalk all that often, as I spend most of my time over on the RSD/CRPS sub-forum.

For those who do not know me, I had surgery last January to fuse both the subtalar and tibiotalar joints in my ankle after a 12+ year old injury ended up leaving me hobbling around with a cane with a high amount of swelling by the end of the day. Oh how I miss those days. Today, I spend most days in severe, constant pain from CRPS in not just my right ankle and foot, but now both legs, (entire right, and thigh to just below the knee on the left), both shoulders and into my left hand. I spend my day with my leg elevated to keep fair blood flow to my ankle, otherwise it turns purple and the pain gets worse. I do not know if the surgery caused the CRPS, if it was caused my a broken toe a few years back, or if it just happened over time with the high amount of trauma that I sustained years ago.

Thankfully, my husband, sister-in-laws and Mother-in-law all convinced me to file for SSDI and SSI as soon as surgery was recommended back in October of 2014. I did not qualify for SSI. I had too many assets, which has helped us get through financially for the last 16 months and is the only reason that we have made it along this long. Thursday, I finally received a call from my lawyer letting me know that my hearing in front of an ALJ has been scheduled for April 20th.

I am meeting with my lawyer on Thursday to review everything. I just want to ask everyone here if there is anything that I should know for either Thursday or come April. Any advice is very much appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:41 PM   #5
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i had a hearing back in 2005, so thats 11 years ago now. try not to be too nervous, though i am sure that you will be somewhat nervous. you will be asked questions by the administrative law judge. Answer directly and to the point and try not to add things that are not being asked about, unless it is a general question such as what do you do during the day. be ready for that question. also they may ask you how you got to the hearing that day if you are claiming that you cannot get around well. Look the judge in the eye when you answer the questions. dont be afraid to ask the judge if you can stand for a while if you start to get uncomfortable sitting for too long. you may have to explain why your illness limits your ability to work. this would include the effects of unrelenting pain, the limits on your ability to sit, stand, walk, kneel, bend , climb, etc, being easily fatigued by pain, difficulty concentrating, the effects of your medications etc. whatever pertains to your particular situtation.

dont over dress or look too good make up wise. be truthful. for some people it is very hard to tell people actually how unwell they feel, how limited they are. it can be upsetting. dont let those kind of feelings prevent you from communicating why you cannot work.
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:33 PM   #6
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Thank you both for your thoughts. From the sound of things, I should do fine come April. The truth is after all what I was planning to tell. I am sure that my lawyer will fill me in on some additional things that I should know when I see him later on in the week. I am still a little nervous, especially when I see that the ALJ that I have been appointed to only gave 16 favorable decisions out of 46 based on the report that is available through the SSA. It was from 2012, and does not say anything about the cases that he has heard, but makes me nervous none the less.

Thank you all again. I would still like to hear from anyone else who would like to share their experiences as well.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:47 PM   #7
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Ask your attorney if a Functional Capacity Evaluation would be beneficial. It would help document your inability to sit and stand for periods long enough to work even a sedentary job at the SGA level, which will in all likelihood be the most important thing you need to prove. Your doctor/s can then use the test results to fill out RFC forms if they haven't done so already.
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Old 02-24-2016, 12:28 AM   #8
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I would suggest you start your research by reading this link for the 5 Step Sequential Evaluation Process: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/oidap...Evaluation.pdf

RSD/CRPS is not a Listed Impairment but there was a ruling regarding it, so it's important to read as well: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Ho...-02-di-01.html
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:12 PM   #9
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Thank you Lit Love. That helps a lot. I think I read the ruling and even informed my lawyer some time back, but I will make sure I read it again, as well as read through the other link you posted.

I think I may have just had a functional capacity evaluation done today as part of my psychological evaluation for the SCS trial, but I am not entirely sure about that. I will ask both my lawyer, as well as the psychologist that I saw today to see if that was included in part of that evaluation today.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:53 PM   #10
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No, it was not a functional capacity evaluation today. I was originally supposed to have that done on January 10, 2015, at 7 am, but I had surgery the day before and was still in the hospital. They sent out a notice dated 12/23/2014, but were closed between Christmas and New Year. I finally reached somebody on the 5th of January to notify them that I had surgery scheduled for the day before and was still expected to be in the hospital. For some reason, it was never rescheduled. I will bring that up tomorrow with my lawyer.
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