My SSDI hearing is fast approaching, April 25. I’m very anxious about it and overwhelmed with anger and frustration with my attorney. He’s being a real jerk.
My doctor and SSA both determined my date of onset as August 2004, after the birth of my second child. I didn’t know I had a problem then, but looking back I can agree that my onset was after his birth. I had experienced two years of nonstop stress and emotional trauma, which ended with my newborn almost dying during birth and then suffering from failure to thrive for 6 weeks, and the sudden unexpected death of my grandfather just 3 weeks after he was born. It was a lot to deal with.
It all makes sense – now.
So during a recent meeting with my attorney I expressed to him that I wanted to change the onset date I put on my application to match what the SSA and my doctor both said. I had one 3 month long job in 7 years, but according to the SSA even though it was three months it was still considered an unsuccessful work attempt.
When I started trying to discuss it with my attorney (a man) he sort of did what men tend to do to women, he stopped listening. I am assuming he felt that because he is an attorney he knows more than I do. I got so angry I think I could have spit fire!
As I was making this request he told me he would not put in a request to change the onset date, because it would guarantee a loss. What?! If my work history shows the SSA that my successful work attempts halted in 2004, and my doctor concluded the onset being August/September 2004, then why on earth is my attorney being such an ass?
I thought he was supposed to represent me.
Changing the date of onset would make a difference in my payment by over $300 per month. It’s not just chump change we are talking about. It is important to me for him to do this but he still refuses. I just don’t get it.
Anyway, he starts going over my “successful work attempts,” one being my childcare center that was open for about 6 months. Wow. Okay, so because I had no choice to work there even though I didn’t make any money, that was a successful work attempt. Substantial gainful activity means you made a certain amount of money, I had made I think $1500 in 6 full months. That was NOT a successful work attempt.
Reason number two he listed was because I had “earnings” for 6 months in 2010 and I worked from November 2009-March 2010. That means I worked four months and I had a successful work attempt. Here’s the deal on that one.
I started November 30th, which means I worked one day in November. I left on March 3, 2010 due to psychosis. That means I worked one day in March as well. that means I had 3 full months of ‘substantial gainful activity’ according to SSDI standards. The problem here is, that one job lasting 3 months does not count as a successful work attempt by SSA guidelines and standards. This guy still states firmly that I worked for two full quarters, when I didn’t! I had gone on short term disability when I left March 3, which technically gave me ‘earnings’ for an additional 3 months (we all have to pay taxes!) but I was not working.
The more I tried to explain these things to him the more angry he got with me, basically telling me no, I was wrong. Even though my doctor and the SSA both determined an onset date of 2004, he will not file the petition to change the onset date.
What the hell am I supposed to do now? Just accept that he is an asshole and take a $300/month cut in my benefit amount?
Sheesh. Talk about frustrated. This man knows my many problems and he is just determined to stress me out even more and make my life hell. No offense to the good guys out there, but I really hate it when men only half listen to me because I may not be as “educated” as them. *sigh*
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Last reviewed: 22 Mar 2012