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Couple of questions

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Unread 01-07-2013, 07:17 PM   #1
Ironbutterfly
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Default Couple of questions

How many folks here had a college degree and got approved for SSDI? Hubby has a degree but has never worked in the field of his degree.

Also- when filling out application, question was asked if you supervised anyone. We answered honestly- which was on occasion, seasonly hubby would have to tell manpower, tem workers what to do for a month or so. But he never had hiring, firing, evaluation responsibilites. Just do this, do that to get thru the day and the heavy seasonal busy time.

How would that effect the alj decision if they say, oh you have supervisory experience and you can be a manager, etc...

Hubby doesn't want to take my suggestion that we should get a letter from his boss showing his job description and stating he was not a supervisor. We have an atty and I want to tell atty about his, hus doesn't think we need to mention it, ugggh.

Have alj hearing in a few months and want to make sure this is addressed incase it comes up...

Anyone out there with supervisor background, but got approved?
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Unread 01-07-2013, 09:40 PM   #2
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I did......but it took 3 years and an ALJ decision to get that approval. I'm sure that it didn't help that I was only 39 when I became disabled and 40 when I applied for SSDI.

I guess I'm on your husband's "side" on this. It's not that I think a note from his previous boss saying his job was generally not supervisory in nature would hurt, I just don't think it would do any good/prove anything useful.....therefore would be just a big waste of time and effort. That is just my opinion, others may feel differently. I think your focus should be on proving that he is not capable of doing ANY SGA, not quibbling about the specifics of a past job. Your quest would be trying to show that he couldn't easily find work as a supervisor because of his past resume. You need to prove he can't do that work, or ANY work, because of his disabilities. For example, if he can only be out of bed and functional for an hour or two at a time and then must lay down and take meds that affect his ability to concentrate and make important decisions, it doesn't matter that he could POSSIBLY supervise (if he was found qualified by an employer) others in that hour or two of "quality" time ......he CAN'T supervise them or do any kind of SGA for the next several hours when he must lay down and take those mind altering meds. That's why he couldn't do SGA.

I understand that you are just trying to be thorough and cover all the bases.....he is lucky to have your support and help.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 07:10 AM   #3
Ironbutterfly
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Originally Posted by finz View Post
I did......but it took 3 years and an ALJ decision to get that approval. I'm sure that it didn't help that I was only 39 when I became disabled and 40 when I applied for SSDI.

I guess I'm on your husband's "side" on this. It's not that I think a note from his previous boss saying his job was generally not supervisory in nature would hurt, I just don't think it would do any good/prove anything useful.....therefore would be just a big waste of time and effort. That is just my opinion, others may feel differently. I think your focus should be on proving that he is not capable of doing ANY SGA, not quibbling about the specifics of a past job. Your quest would be trying to show that he couldn't easily find work as a supervisor because of his past resume. You need to prove he can't do that work, or ANY work, because of his disabilities. For example, if he can only be out of bed and functional for an hour or two at a time and then must lay down and take meds that affect his ability to concentrate and make important decisions, it doesn't matter that he could POSSIBLY supervise (if he was found qualified by an employer) others in that hour or two of "quality" time ......he CAN'T supervise them or do any kind of SGA for the next several hours when he must lay down and take those mind altering meds. That's why he couldn't do SGA.

I understand that you are just trying to be thorough and cover all the bases.....he is lucky to have your support and help.
You are right- I am an Analyst(work) so I tend to get buried in the 'details' and hypothetical angles....Thanks for your feed-back. I do appreciate it..We have good attty firm so I need to sit back and let them drive LOL....
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Unread 01-08-2013, 11:13 AM   #4
echoes long ago
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if his boss is willing to write that letter i would get it done and hold onto it. you never know what you might need later and the person who is going to write it now may not be with the company or willing later. Once you have the letter you have it. you wont have to persue it and perhaps not be able to get it. Finz is dead on about what needs to be shown, but the supervisory part may be part of that or may not be, at least you would have what you need. Ive gotten important letters from people who i thought would be around for quite a while but moved on and it paid off for me.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 12:17 PM   #5
LIT LOVE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironbutterfly View Post
You are right- I am an Analyst(work) so I tend to get buried in the 'details' and hypothetical angles....Thanks for your feed-back. I do appreciate it..We have good attty firm so I need to sit back and let them drive LOL....
It's not that you shouldn't be proactive. But it is a major project to delve into what is really needed for an individual approval, since there are so many variables. But guessing at what you think is important isn't always helpful and you can call attention to something that would be easily overlooked by the ALJ or the Voc Rehab specialist, by mistake.

If you or hubby has the time, I'd suggest researching the process, and spend lots of time at the SS website. Even reading federal cases can be very informative. Searching through Janke's posts is a very good idea as well.

Reread Finz's post btw. It's excellent.

Can your husband stand and/or sit in a work environment for several hours per day? The first ALJ I saw lowered the threshold from ft work to pt work--could I work enough hours to meet the SGA level? (He was a temp ALJ and made several errors, so I'm not sure if this was irregular.)

Good luck.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 12:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by LIT LOVE View Post
It's not that you shouldn't be proactive. But it is a major project to delve into what is really needed for an individual approval, since there are so many variables. But guessing at what you think is important isn't always helpful and you can call attention to something that would be easily overlooked by the ALJ or the Voc Rehab specialist, by mistake.

If you or hubby has the time, I'd suggest researching the process, and spend lots of time at the SS website. Even reading federal cases can be very informative. Searching through Janke's posts is a very good idea as well.

Reread Finz's post btw. It's excellent.

Can your husband stand and/or sit in a work environment for several hours per day? The first ALJ I saw lowered the threshold from ft work to pt work--could I work enough hours to meet the SGA level? (He was a temp ALJ and made several errors, so I'm not sure if this was irregular.)

Good luck.
No, he can only sit or stand now 30min....he paces in the house. Can't sit and watch a movie, football game, etc...just constantly has to get up and walk...this is 1.5hrs post spinal fusion with rods. When he orig applied; it was like 7mos postop and he could sit or stand 2hrs top. He was denied as they felt he could do sedentary work I believe...His pain has significantly increased month by month to where it's now 30min sit, stand, etc.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 02:11 PM   #7
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That needs to be documented in a RFC. Even with that done, I think the sticking point could be not enough recovery time between the scheduled surgery and the hearing date.
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Unread 01-08-2013, 11:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironbutterfly View Post
No, he can only sit or stand now 30min....he paces in the house. Can't sit and watch a movie, football game, etc...just constantly has to get up and walk...this is 1.5hrs post spinal fusion with rods. When he orig applied; it was like 7mos postop and he could sit or stand 2hrs top. He was denied as they felt he could do sedentary work I believe...His pain has significantly increased month by month to where it's now 30min sit, stand, etc.

I believe that's where your focus should be.....on those limitations. I want to add a small caution here though.....be very careful about describing limitations.

Describe his fidgetiness, make sure the judge understands that he MUST change position frequently to help manage his pain/stiffness/spasms. Explain that the need to change position comes on suddenly and his pain increases markedly if he doesn't change position once he feels the need. You'll want the judge to know that he used to be able to tolerate one position for up to 2 hours last year, but was unable to work then. Now it's even worse and he must change position much more frequently. I might say something like, "His limit now is USUALLY about 1/2 hour, sometimes a bit more, but often even more frequently."

What you don't want to have happen is to tell the ALJ that his limit IS 1/2 hour and then have the ALJ notice that he is sitting, and does not appear to be in extreme discomfort, during the hearing that goes on for 45 min, 1 hour, or more.

We've all heard of cases about people who abuse the system......people who collect SSDI and do construction work under the table. Some people do wildly exaggerate their symptoms/limitations to get "free money from the government." The judges HAVE to be on the lookout for that.

I think it's important to be clear about limitations, but be careful not to say things that might lead a judge to suspect that issues have been exaggerated in ANY way. I wouldn't say he "must change position every 30 minutes" unless he changes position exactly every 30 minutes. Otherwise, I would say something more like, "His limit now is USUALLY about 1/2 hour, sometimes a bit more, but often even more frequently."

And remember for hearing day......if he feels he has to get up and move around during his hearing, he should (with an apology and explanation to the judge) or if he takes extra medication to tolerate the hearing, he or his lawyer should make the judge aware of that too.


*********

Many of us are on this forum because we are SSDI/SSI applicants or recipients. Our answers and suggestions are often influenced by specific experiences in our own quest for SSDI/SSI approval. Internet or other research also may be reflected in our 'answers.' Because different issues are bound to be more prominent in different cases, what each of us thinks is important, or the 'best' move in a situation, is going to be different. We can have different answers, even to your "Should I do this or not....yes or no" question and no one's answer is 'wrong.' It's all food for thought.

We are lucky to have a few members here at NT who actually have direct experience working (not being an applicant) in this field or closely related ones. I'd pay especially close attention to those answers !

My ramblings in this post focusing on watching the exact wording about limitations might certainly sound like micro managing or be overly focused on a small part of the whole story. I found out in my ALJ hearing that conflicting evidence about my limitations was a big issue in my case, so the issue gets a big focus from me. Sorry if I'm going on and on about something you are already well aware of.

I know it's hard not to worry about the upcoming hearing. Best wishes for staying sane and keeping your hubby from stressing out too !
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Unread 01-09-2013, 10:52 PM   #9
Ironbutterfly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finz View Post
I believe that's where your focus should be.....on those limitations. I want to add a small caution here though.....be very careful about describing limitations.

Describe his fidgetiness, make sure the judge understands that he MUST change position frequently to help manage his pain/stiffness/spasms. Explain that the need to change position comes on suddenly and his pain increases markedly if he doesn't change position once he feels the need. You'll want the judge to know that he used to be able to tolerate one position for up to 2 hours last year, but was unable to work then. Now it's even worse and he must change position much more frequently. I might say something like, "His limit now is USUALLY about 1/2 hour, sometimes a bit more, but often even more frequently."

What you don't want to have happen is to tell the ALJ that his limit IS 1/2 hour and then have the ALJ notice that he is sitting, and does not appear to be in extreme discomfort, during the hearing that goes on for 45 min, 1 hour, or more.

We've all heard of cases about people who abuse the system......people who collect SSDI and do construction work under the table. Some people do wildly exaggerate their symptoms/limitations to get "free money from the government." The judges HAVE to be on the lookout for that.

I think it's important to be clear about limitations, but be careful not to say things that might lead a judge to suspect that issues have been exaggerated in ANY way. I wouldn't say he "must change position every 30 minutes" unless he changes position exactly every 30 minutes. Otherwise, I would say something more like, "His limit now is USUALLY about 1/2 hour, sometimes a bit more, but often even more frequently."

And remember for hearing day......if he feels he has to get up and move around during his hearing, he should (with an apology and explanation to the judge) or if he takes extra medication to tolerate the hearing, he or his lawyer should make the judge aware of that too.


*********

Many of us are on this forum because we are SSDI/SSI applicants or recipients. Our answers and suggestions are often influenced by specific experiences in our own quest for SSDI/SSI approval. Internet or other research also may be reflected in our 'answers.' Because different issues are bound to be more prominent in different cases, what each of us thinks is important, or the 'best' move in a situation, is going to be different. We can have different answers, even to your "Should I do this or not....yes or no" question and no one's answer is 'wrong.' It's all food for thought.

We are lucky to have a few members here at NT who actually have direct experience working (not being an applicant) in this field or closely related ones. I'd pay especially close attention to those answers !

My ramblings in this post focusing on watching the exact wording about limitations might certainly sound like micro managing or be overly focused on a small part of the whole story. I found out in my ALJ hearing that conflicting evidence about my limitations was a big issue in my case, so the issue gets a big focus from me. Sorry if I'm going on and on about something you are already well aware of.

I know it's hard not to worry about the upcoming hearing. Best wishes for staying sane and keeping your hubby from stressing out too !

I truly appreciate your suggestions and "making me aware of" stating his limitations. He did so well with the first fusion but then he declined afterwards which his surgeon said happens in 50% of his patients. I did read here that it is ok to get up and stand etc...So I did mention that to husband.

You try and be honest and tell the truth, then there are those folks out there who do abuse the system. My husband has worked all his life and has lost a sense of himself...now depressed and on medicine for that. If he could work, he would love to do so, but the pain is so intense...and he has high tolerance for it. Even his surgeon is amazed at what he has endured over the years...I am giving this over to the Lord. All we can do...walk this out...thanks again for your replies and advice... you are a treasure
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Unread 01-11-2013, 02:16 PM   #10
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