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help! Admin Hearing re Termination of SSDI tomorrow


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I've been on SSDI since early 1994.

I applied for DVR services in April 2004. I've been receiving DVR services since Feb 2005 and have been in school. At my DVR intake, my caseworker asked if I'd received my ticket to work yet and when I said no, she said that was fine, I could go ahead and fill out the paperwork required to assign my ticket to DVR.

I am one of those freaky loner math / science people and have been taking math / science classes. I don't interact with people well. (ie I have been lurking on this board under various user names since Jared was running it)

Shortly after this, I got a disability review notice. I filled everything out and returned it.

Winter 2006 I got a termination letter. Once I got discharged from the hospital (I absolutely snapped) I started compiling appeal info.

I was sent for a psychological and a psychiatric exam. I can't repeat more than 3 digits backwards, can't remember 3 words over a period of 5 minutes and have no idea who our governor is or who was President before Clinton. But I can count backwards from 100 by 7's and interpret stupid things like "what does the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" mean?

Based on this kind of info, disability determination concluded that I was cognitively intact. (Hello? MATH PERSON. I can count backwards by 7's in my sleep) I likely underreported on my written description of my ADL's. I have an 11 year old daughter and don't want some self-righteous government employee to decide that I am not competant to care for her or manage my own money.

According to my pdoc, I can be high-functioning in a very narrow range of jobs, all of which require the 'leave me the fuck alone' accomodation.

I have held 27 jobs in 17 years.

Activities of daily living.

At this time I am only managing to bathe 3 times per week, I cook less than that, I do laundry every 2 weeks (which seems ok until I mention I have 1 pair of jeans and 3 shirts), my phone service gets shut off every other month, my electricity got cut off last Friday and I had to pay late fees on my rent. I rented a cello last year for my daughter and have never managed to return it and last time I read a statement from the music place my total bill was over $200.00. I make it to my first class about twice a week (it is Mon - Thurs) and even then, I only catch the last 15 minutes or so. I just, I don't know. I can't cope. I can't do it. I hide. I've taken to locking myself in the bathroom at home and picking at the nail beds of my thumbs for extended periods of time (or until child or boyfriend come looking for me). The only things I do consistently are take care of the cats and brush my teeth.

If ANYONE has any suggestions for how to deal with these people, please let me know. I suck at communication. (as if that statement surprises anyone who's read all this BS)

Thanks,

Cheryl

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If ANYONE has any suggestions for how to deal with these people, please let me know. I suck at communication. (as if that statement surprises anyone who's read all this BS)

Thanks,

Cheryl

Check out here there might be a resource there that helps. I am not an expert on this stuff, so I have no other advice, but good luck.

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I just spent two hours with the DDDS hearing examiner. I don't know whether I should start drinking or take a shower.

I did get to look at my file. The CE report from the psychiatrist they sent me to confirmed I had bipolar 1 but that I did not meet the criteria required for disability. The CE from the psychologist stated he doubted I was bipolar at all. In his expert opinion I have avoidant personality disorder. Based on these reports and the DDDS interpretations of my medical records I am physically and mentally fit to perform the functions of any and all jobs I have held in the last 15 years. I laughed when I read this. I had spinal fusion surgery in 2002 (complete with rods & screws) because I'd broken the bones that hold my spine together at the L4-L5 levels; the vertebrae continue to slide apart to this day yet according to them I could even return to being a bike messenger if I so desired. I've never had the MMPI or the WAIS III. I did have some immediate memory test.

I thought one of the factors they were supposed to consider was how many jobs I had over that 15 years, was I fired, did I quit, did I get along with coworkers, did I get along with authority figures. I'd written a job history which showed 21 jobs over 15 years and that I'd been fired from about a third of them. I also included some nifty little highlights like the time I told the president of the company to go fuck himself, the time I invited a female co-worker to 'step outside' with me so we could settle some dispute physically and the time I actually grabbed a male co-worker by the collar of his shirt and screamed "give me one good reason I shouldn't kick your ass right now!". I get paranoid at every single job, feel I'm being singled out for persecution and that any disciplinary action I am subject to is God tormenting / testing me. (yes, I am one of those who thinks God has a vendetta against them. or else I had really bad karma in my previous life)

Examiner said no, this info not pertinent.

I gave the examiner the letter from my p-doc connecting the dots between my case history and thier criteria as listed in the blue book, a statement from my dvr worker saying I am nowhere near as together as I appear, a QEEG interpretation showing the persistence a major affective disorder despite being on lamitcal and an array of antidepressants. My S.O.'s testimony about my ADL matched mine so we shall see.

During the interview I caught myself fidgeting, rocking back and forth, staring at the table, crying and picking at the beds under my thumbnails with a staple (horrible nervous habit). All I want to do is get enough education to get a job suited to my skills, abilities and limitations. I certainly don't to be this poor for the rest of my life.

Now I wait. And start planning my next appeal.

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Loon-A Tik wrote:

I don't know about in this circumsance, but can you get a lawyer who won't get paid unless you do?

and i don't understand why they're kicking you off of SSDI. that's just insane.

In this circumstance, it is different. If you hire an attorney, you have to pay the attorney up front. I don't know if the SSA has to approve the fee or not. (You would have to call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to find out.)

It would be a bit more difficult to find an attorney to take your case, but I would recommend calling the NOSSCR (National Organization of Social Security Claimants

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Gun Street Girl wrote:

I just spent two hours with the DDS hearing examiner. I don't know whether I should start drinking or take a shower.
I suggest taking a shower---and lay off the booze---good advice for us mentally interesting folks! Especially folks of the bipolar species.

I did get to look at my file.

Good. That's your right if you are denied.

The CE report from the psychiatrist they sent me to confirmed I had bipolar 1 but that I did not meet the criteria required for disability. The CE from the psychologist stated he doubted I was bipolar at all. In his expert opinion I have avoidant personality disorder. Based on these reports and the DDS interpretations of my medical records I am physically and mentally fit to perform the functions of any and all jobs I have held in the last 15 years. I laughed when I read this. I had spinal fusion surgery in 2002 (complete with rods & screws) because I'd broken the bones that hold my spine together at the L4-L5 levels; the vertebrae continue to slide apart to this day yet according to them I could even return to being a bike messenger if I so desired. I've never had the MMPI or the WAIS III. I did have some immediate memory test.
That's interesting. Of course a pdoc or psychologist is not supposed to take into account your physical impairments or limitations. When you read your denial from the DDS interpretations of your medical records, did they include your records that showed evidence of your physical impairment? In making your appeal, you need to mention the specific reasons why you cannot return to your former job of bike messenger on a SUBSTANTIALLY GAINFUL BASIS---mention all the physical requirements of the job and how your condition prevents you from doing this---hopefully you can get a letter from your doctor verifying this, too. Also, were all the jobs you had in the last 15 years "substantial gainful activity"? And could you perform them now at the current "substantial gainful activity" dollar amount for the year 2006? What about other less demanding jobs (such as sorting socks at a conveyor belt) at SGA level? I mention this because the first step is whether you can perform your past work at SGA level, and then whether you could perform other jobs at SGA level. Also, as I mentioned in my other post, the SSA ignored regulations by not performing psychological testing. It seems as if this practice occurs frequently (especially with the CDR process) in an attempt to save money. It seems especially necessary in your case, since the SSA's chosen pdoc's diagnosis contradicts the SSA's chosen psychologist! Also, it seems interesting to me that the CE pdoc wrote that you did "not meet the criteria for disability". My understanding is that the guidelines specifically state that the purpose of the CE is NOT to "decide" whether you are or are not disabled, but rather to help gather information about work-related limitations to help make a determination. (I'll try to find the link that mentions that, and I'll post it.)

I suggest hiring an attorney (see my other post for information on how to find one) and have him/her get a copy of all your medical records and your DDS file, and mention my points to him/her. A good, experienced SSA disability attorney will be very interested in this particular case!

I thought one of the factors they were supposed to consider was how many jobs I had over that 15 years, was I fired, did I quit, did I get along with coworkers, did I get along with authority figures. I'd written a job history which showed 21 jobs over 15 years and that I'd been fired from about a third of them. I also included some nifty little highlights like the time I told the president of the company to go fuck himself, the time I invited a female co-worker to 'step outside' with me so we could settle some dispute physically and the time I actually grabbed a male co-worker by the collar of his shirt and screamed "give me one good reason I shouldn't kick your ass right now!". I get paranoid at every single job, feel I'm being singled out for persecution and that any disciplinary action I am subject to is God tormenting / testing me. (yes, I am one of those who thinks God has a vendetta against them. or else I had really bad karma in my previous life)

Examiner said no, this info not pertinent.

That's interesting. I thought that the CE content report was supposed to include employment history and such. But if the only employment history was before you were approved for benefits, and you have not worked any jobs (nor attempted to work any jobs) since you began receiving benefits, perhaps that information is no longer relevant.

I gave the examiner the letter from my p-doc connecting the dots between my case history and thier criteria as listed in the blue book, a statement from my dvr worker saying I am nowhere near as together as I appear, a QEEG interpretation showing the persistence a major affective disorder despite being on lamitcal and an array of antidepressants. My S.O.'s testimony about my ADL matched mine so we shall see.
Did you also have your pdoc send the DDS a copy of the same letter from your pdoc (as well as updated medical records), as well as a letter from your DVR worker, as well as your QEEG interpretation? You could even send these yourself, but it would be best to have the sources send a copy, being sure to address it directly to the DDS, along with your full name, SSN and DOB. You should even contact the treating sources themselves and have them send the records. Be sure to follow through! Get someone else to help you, and get a copy for yourself!

During the interview I caught myself fidgeting, rocking back and forth, staring at the table, crying and picking at the beds under my thumbnails with a staple (horrible nervous habit). All I want to do is get enough education to get a job suited to my skills, abilities and limitations. I certainly don't to be this poor for the rest of my life.

Right, and many individuals with disabilities of all types would love to succeed. Best of luck to you. Hope my information is of some help.

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Thank you. I cannot say 'thank you' enough.

My printer is out of gas presently; I will print everything out at school tomorrow.

Brian brought up some points I muddled over in my original post...I'm not a Luddite but I'm not horribly comfortable with the 'quote' function either.

Ticket to Work.

I applied for DVR before I had even applied for SSDI. I started receiving SSDI while on the DVR waiting list. When I filled out my initial DVR paperwork, IPE, etc., I had to fill out a form assigning my ticket to DVR. I told my worker I didn't have my ticket yet. She told me it was ok, go ahead and complete the form. She did not say anything about cligibility criteria for the Ticket to Work program. Neither the little brochure nor the ssa.org website say anything about eligibility criteria for Ticket to Work. When I received my termination letter I called Maximus in a panic. Maximus told me they had no record of me and that the SSA has to find you to still be disabled after your first review in order to be eligible for Ticket.

Physical disability

My busted back is well represented in my SSA file. There are several years worth of physician, surgeon and rediologist reports which all report spinal instability

Mental Status

My pdoc said the MSQ the DDDS uses was designed to assess dementia and Alzheimer's patients. I dug around and found it is also called the Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire and is a valid measurement of cognitive function in elderly dementia / Alzheimer's patients.

What was this form of argument called in logic? (I took it in 1989. I'm OLD)

If A then B

not A

not B

Thank you again.

Cheryl

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Thank you. I cannot say 'thank you' enough.
You're welcome! I'm happy to share what I know. Unfortunately, I don't know everything about the SSA/disability! Thank you for teaching ME about the aspect of the Ticket to Work program and the "Short Portable MSQ".

When I received my termination letter I called Maximus in a panic. Maximus told me they had no record of me and that the SSA has to find you to still be disabled after your first review in order to be eligible for Ticket.

Interesting to know. I don't know how "old" the Ticket to Work program is. I do know that they introduced it in a few states as a "pilot program", and then they added more states to the program, and then added the last states. As it is now, they automatically send the "Ticket" (yes, it is an actual "ticket", and they are serious about having the beneficiary treat it like a ticket!). The tickets are mailed to those beneficiaries who disabilities and circumstances that the SSA feels are likely to benefit from the program. HOWEVER, participation in the "Ticket to Work" program is completely voluntarily, and you don't have to use DVR---you can use an employment network instead, and MAXIMUM has a list of "EN's" (employment networks) in each area (if one exists in your area) on their web site or by calling. FURTHERMORE, even if you did not receive a "Ticket", if you are otherwise eligible to participate in the program, you can call MAXIMUS and ask for a "Ticket" to have on hand and use when and if you wish.

Physical disability

My busted back is well represented in my SSA file. There are several years worth of physician, surgeon and rediologist reports which all report spinal instability.

This is extremely helpful. Personally, I don't know much about spinal conditions. Is your condition known to be PERMANENT? If not, is there evidence of CURRENT functional limitation? If not, perhaps another CE needs to be performed by an appropriate specialist. If you have an appropriate treating specialist, you could even arrange for that specialist to perform the CE! I believe reading somewhere that the SSA will NOT pay for MRI's, but the SSA will pay for X-rays.

Mental Status

My pdoc said the MSQ the DDDS uses was designed to assess dementia and Alzheimer's patients. I dug around and found it is also called the Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire and is a valid measurement of cognitive function in elderly dementia / Alzheimer's patients.

This is VERY interesting! Because I have heard all the time that the SSA/DDS performs such a MSQ for the CE for the mental exam! But apparently they think that if you perform well on this, then that fact is "evidence that your condition is not disabling"? That is ridiculous! You could have severe depression or bipolar disorder and NOT be able to perform SUBSTANTIAL GAINFUL ACTIVITY in the nation's economy but still be able to subtract 7's from 100 because of good math skills! Maybe you can concentrate on that level, but not in terms of an 8 hour day job! Or remembers 5 words! What if your mental condition was OCD? You might perform REMARKABLY well on this test! What if someone has Asperger Syndrome AND OCD and was severely disabled in terms of capacity for employment, but could perform well on this "silly MSQ"?

I suggest that claimants who are denied (as well as beneficiaries who are facing termination) review their denials with great scrutiny, get an attorney, and bring this up!

What was this form of argument called in logic? (I took it in 1989. I'm OLD)

If A then B

not A

not B

Sorry, I have no idea.

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