Originally Posted by Ironbutterfly
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 !