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My disability case is kinda hard to follow but I will make some bullet points on dates and ect.
I was in Iraq May 2005 when my disability occured. Rocket blast that messed up my back and later on PTSD followed.
Here are the dates I best remember about my disability, when I filed and where I am now.
23rd May, 2005 (Onset of disability) sent back to the States for treatment
31 May, 2006 (Spinal fusion of L4/L5/S1)
June 2006/February 2007 (No Duty/Limited Duty)
February 2007 (Terminal Leave) from Military
April 1st, 2007 (Medically Retired from Military)
November 2007 (Filed for SSDI)
Mid 2008 (Denied SSDI, filed for reconsideration)
Mid 2009 (Denied Reconsideration) ask for Appeal
18th August, 2010 (ALJ hearing) with lawyer present.

How long does it take for a ALJ to decide on someones case? As of today its been 52 days and I have yet to hear anything back from anyone.
My lawyer has not returned my calls (called twice) in the past 2 weeks.
Just wondering if this is a good sign or even a bad sign if it is taking this long on a decision. At the first and second level, I was denied and notified within a month from DDS decision.
What is the average wait time from the ALJ if you have been denied and the average wait time if you are aprooved?
Thanks for any help.
Thank you for the replies so far. It gets so frustrating when you get denied, denied again and then bring it before a ALJ for a hearing just to wait longer for a decision again.
I just wish that those folks from DDS and even the ALJ could live with someone for a week to see first hand what the person disability is causing them at home and what it is costing them to get buy each day. I have sold most of what I own just to get bye and I am going out of my mind wondering why it takes so long. What has me mad more than anything is the fact that people who should not even be on SSDI gets it and those who are in need of it are denied. I know someone who says she has back problems but refuses any type of treatments but for the past 5 years that I have known her she has had 3 more kids. She gets SSDI, refuses treatment and keeps having kids doesn't make sence to me. Sometimes I feel like throwing in the towell because of it all. Tired of just getting by and the fear of not having a roof over my head anymore. SSA needs a big overhaul indeed but the ones who are not disabled and collecting are the ones who make it bad for the ones who are in need of SSDI and hence why we are denied.
Hi tlwright! I'm in Florida so my timeline may be a little different from yours but here it is:

September 2007 put on oxygen because of hypoxemia for an unknown reason

June 2008 was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis

July 2008 called to make an appointment to make a SSDI claim

October/Nov 2008 was denied, hired a lawyer and then filed for Reconsideration

May 2009 was denied again so we filed for an ALJ hearing

March/April 2010 received notice for a hearing on May 26, 2010

July 29, 2010 received a Fully Favorable decision

Mid-August received SSI backpay

September 2010 received 1st SSDI monthly payment

Last Friday received SSDI backpay


So as you can see not every case nor state is the same. I've heard of people waiting 6+ months and still get a fully favorable decision.

It all has to do with how many writers are available and how many cases they have to write.

Be patient, I know I was going nuts during those 2 months. It even got to the point of me waiting at the box for the mailman, LOL. Ironically my letter came when I slept in that day and saw it laying on my loveseat, go figure.

I totally agree with your last post, but just think of it this way......If they can get it then it should be a walk in the park for you.

Good Luck!!
Have fun with the granddaughter. Today is day 55 for me. Too bad that the SSA doesnt have a disability chart for SSDI for going crazy while waiting for SSDI decision.
If that was the case, alot of people have won that cse.
Talk soon.
Hello all, new here. I had my ALJ August 23rd. Had bench descision fully favorable, was told by lawyers I'd receive decision letter within 10 business days. Nope! Called SSA and was told lawyer was way off. Could take up to 60 days. Received decision letter October 12. But that's it. Lawyer told me I was approved for SSDI & SSI. Would get x amount per month. Just Called local office last week for update and was told Iam only approved for SSI and the monthly amount is hundreds less than what lawyer stated. Called lawyers office (Hoglund in MN) was treated rudely for asking about descrepencies asked to speak with my lawyer and no call back 2 weeks later! Even though I won, my lawyer has been awful. Since it was a bench decision (hearing lasted maybe 5 minutes) and the vocational worker never spoke. Leads me to believe because of the severity of condition it was no brainer for ALJ.

On the advice of others on here and other places on the internets, I am going to contact local State Rep / State Senator. Whatever amount the judge decides for lawyer I will dispute! I may be disabled but I, nay all of us deserve RESPECT and to be treated with dignity!
My 2nd time through the process. When delays occur, my advice is get local Reps involved, especially if you have served. Hope you get good news and soon. God Bless you for your service!!
I think maybe what is taking long is them working out the payment. I called my lawyer when I received my back pay to back sure they got paid and ssa had took the money out for their part before i received my part. It only took 8months for my decision it was won in the reconsideration stage.After that It took a month then I received my back pay so everything went quickley. Your's is probly at the payment center are something. I think your lawyer gets paid first. Did you ever get that paper from ssa around your birthday stating how much you would get if you become disabiled? that tell how much credit you have . ssdi is based on how many working credits you have. I'm not good at all this but other's on this site are. I don't think you can fight not paying your lawyer. I would just be happy you won and move on from there in your letter it states when you will be up for review again based on how severe your disabiliy is (first review 6-to 18 months, every three, are 5 to 7 years. It will be on your notice of award letter. ) I know their were things I didn't like about my lawyer but I was so happy I got approved that I moved on. Its waisted engery to fight on something your lawyer has no control over the ssa decides base on your records how much you will get and when. Just when your up for your review find a differnt lawyer and don't recommend anyone to the one you had thats the best way I think to handle it. But that just my opinion. Congrats on winning. Hope everything works out for you. I'm keeping my finger crossed for those expectily the vets that have to not only fight for our freedom but for their own personal freedom as well.
[QUOTE=tlwright;4342366]My disability case is kinda hard to follow but I will make some bullet points on dates and ect.
I was in Iraq May 2005 when my disability occured. Rocket blast that messed up my back and later on PTSD followed.
Here are the dates I best remember about my disability, when I filed and where I am now.
23rd May, 2005 (Onset of disability) sent back to the States for treatment
31 May, 2006 (Spinal fusion of L4/L5/S1)
June 2006/February 2007 (No Duty/Limited Duty)
February 2007 (Terminal Leave) from Military
April 1st, 2007 (Medically Retired from Military)
November 2007 (Filed for SSDI)
Mid 2008 (Denied SSDI, filed for reconsideration)
Mid 2009 (Denied Reconsideration) ask for Appeal
18th August, 2010 (ALJ hearing) with lawyer present.

How long does it take for a ALJ to decide on someones case? As of today its been 52 days and I have yet to hear anything back from anyone.
My lawyer has not returned my calls (called twice) in the past 2 weeks.
Just wondering if this is a good sign or even a bad sign if it is taking this long on a decision. At the first and second level, I was denied and notified within a month from DDS decision.
What is the average wait time from the ALJ if you have been denied and the average wait time if you are aprooved?
Thanks for any help.[/QUOTE]

Sorry to hear what you went through.

It was almost three years for me to get approved.

Since you served our country and were hurt while serving I think you should have been automatically approved in my opinion.

There is no rhyme or reason to any decisions they make. My first denial came in 3 months. I appealed and it took them a year to deny the appeal. Then it took 16 months for me to get a date for a hearing. After the hearing I received approval in two weeks. Two weeks after that I got my backpay lump sum.

It's a year since I started receiving checks and they are still holding money they shouldn't and I am the one that has to jump through hoops to get someone to look at the computer to fix the problem.

Good luck with the approval. Mine was for the back. Had the same fusion surgery you had. Also Narcolepsy is part of my claim. I think what helped my decision is the Neurologist said I would need frequent naps during the day. Plus I'm on alot of heavy duty pain meds. Let us know when you get your results.
Oh it would be great to get positive news today of a decision.
Today is the Marine Corps 235 Birthday (Formed 10 November 1775).
Getting a letter of approval today would be great.
I still do not know why the SSA uses the word (Award Letter)?
Its not like we found a lost dog or cat or something.
How can you be awarded something when you have paid into SS?
They should use the term (approval/denial leter) because that is what it really is.
The word (award) just sounds like something you will give a child or a dog for doing something good. I would like to think of us as adults and we are being compensated for our disabilities and not awarded.
Awarded also sounds like we try to injure ourselfs so that we can get (awarded) for having a bigger injury.
Thank you all for the kind words and support.
I am now thinking of a General that we had while we were in Iraq. This General would have won the top (award) if he was ever going to apply for SSDI.
I remember being with my MGYSGT twice and seeing this General trip over a sandbag that has been in the same place holding down communication wires that were lying on the ground.
I told my MGYSGT that this General would trip over his own shadow.
The next time, the same General walks into a wooden movable sign and trips again.
I told my MGYSGT that the Generals name shouldn't be (General McMillian but his name should be instead General Mishap). My MGYSGT got a good laugh out of that one by saying "SSgt Wright, your crazy"! I never seen anyone trip as many times as this General did.
Just wish I was back in again because the Marine Corps I loved, knew, and most of all I felt save because that was everything I did know. It was my comfort zone. Civilian life I wasnt prepared for at all.
The only thing I can really find is national numbers for each level.
100 people apply at initial level which only 35 or 35% will get approved. The remaining 65who were denied, 31 of them will ask and go to the recon level in which 4 will win, 8 will no longer pursue to next level and 19 will ask for a hearing.
The 19 who ask for the hearing only about 66.6% will win at this level (12) and 7 will be denied.
Can not find any stats about the % won or lost by having a lawyer or not.
Most lawyers are only going to say that they win 80-90% by having a lawyer.
Still, people win without lawyers so what is the stats on that?
If the above 12 won at the ALJ level then by having a lawyer then 10 won with a lawyer and 2 won without a lawyer.
As for the 7 who lost at the ALJ hearing then it would be like 1 lost with a lawyer and 6 losses without having a lawyer.
So, about 60% of people hire lawyers for the hearing stage while 40% do not.
Again, this is national stats that I have compiled together.
So far for me its been 12 weeks and 2 days or 86 days since my hearing but who is counting? I am, lol!!!
Maybe the above numbers can help someone who is either thinking about getting a lawyer or not.
Have read more that people should hire lawyers and not those advrocracy (spelling) groups since you will be working with someone local and not many states away.
A local lawyer is going to know your judge unlike some group out of state representing you over some camara during the hearing.
Its a good thing that I keep my hair short otherwise it would all be gone by me pulling it out. I still dont know how people managed to get by with the crazy wait time for a decision.
O.J Simpson murder trial didnt take as long as someone going for SSDI and OJ won his murder trial.
Murderer found innocent in about a year and a half, a person with a disability has to wait 3years or longer and still wait for a decision. That does not make much sence to me. Too bad Johnny Cochran died or I would have gotten him as my lawyer "If my client cant work in anyway, the state must pay". Kinda like that "If the glove dont fit, you must aquit".
All and all I am doing good, just trying to keep depression from kicking in.
I know thats the truth. I really think the decision has already been made. I Really think based on your back problems I really think you should get approved. I mean it seems like the stats are in your favor but again this is ssdi and you know its a whole different world. Things are so different with each case. I'll be hoping and praying for you hang in there I think this is the week you will find out.:angel:
My husband and i are struggling to just exist on his SSDI income while waiting for my decision. We have had to go through the embarrassment of getting free food when possible from the local food banks, but that's what it takes to survive. i also signed up for as many patient assist programs as possible to get free brand name medications. just look up the medication you are on and fill out the application, and have a doctor fill it out. I have also had to go to the free/cheap clinics, and they don't take me seriously, but i keep bugging them, because i demand to be treated like a person.

i also buy food from Angelfood ministries sometimes. Check the web and see if there is a location in your state. if not, there may be similar programs near you.

one big difference is that i live in a relatively cheaper cost of living state than you do, so the money goes further.

i hope you will keep up the fight, and i know it's hard, but try to hold the anger down when dealing with these people. i let them see me cry, as that seems to work better than showing anger. it's not always easy to do, because i am boiling inside.

We are all here for you, so keep posting and keep us updated, ok? i may be getting bad news in the mail from my hearing any day now, and i will be here crying on everyone's shoulder if that happens. But, i have already started an appeal letter, and i am collecting my records, even from years ago, and i am even typing up statements of my medical and psychological history. Since i have memory problems, I just add to the documents whenever i think of stuff.

God Bless and keep us posted, ok?
LOL, I just wrote like a page here and it didnt get posted. Im still here. I was posting some info from my unfavorable decision here but for some reason it didnt get posted. To make it fast for now, I will put down some things that I have learned here first then later I will write about why I am saying what I am saying for. I am going to fight this and my lawyer says I do have a excellent case now since he now has the paperwork. The things I hope others will do from now on so that it doesnt bite them in the butt in the long run is this,
When seeing your Dr or the SSA Drs, PLEASE be specific in every detail that you give them and just dont give them general answers.General answers like sometimes is WAY TO OPEN for interpetation, Dont say things like loud noises scare you, that again is to general. Be specific in what sounds, like jet engines, fire crackers and ect... is being specific. If they ask if you think about suicide, dont say sometimes, tell the truth about how often. Sometimes to them might mean 1 a year while sometime to you might mean 1 time a week. Remember, you are fighting for SSDI and anything that can be used against you they will use against you. They do use your (General Answers) against you since they are open to interpetation. The more specific you are in describing things then its not open for interpetation. I will write later about why I say the above, it will show how they use things against you for not being specific.
Sorry I have not been around for awhile but have been busy getting everything together and making sure everything is together for when my lawyer appeals the ALJ unfavorable decision that was made on me.
Missing documents and ect... and you only have 60 days to appeal the ALJ decision.
I learned today that the appeals process takes place in Falls Church, Virigina and it can be anywhere from 1 year to 2 years for the appeal councel to even look at your appeal.
I originally filed for SSDI back in October of 2007 so that has been 3 years and 3 months so far going thru all of those levels just to be denied.
Today, I finally decided to write both of my Senators to see if they can get my appeal processed any faster or not. I do not know if they can help or not and I do not know if it will even hurt me for contacting them.
I dont have another 2 years to sit and suffer and do nothing. I will keep everone posted as to what happens with me since I contacted Senators Danial Akaka and Danial Inouye. The only good thing about those two are the facts that they are both military veterans from WW II and work with veterans who have issues.





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