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Help me prepare for my SSI hearing please

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I am so,so scared.My lawyer said the judge is a former prosecutor and is basically going to terrorize me.She's going to try to call me a liar on everything I've said and my drs have said.My hearing is November 9th and approaching way too quickly.I have no one to go with me,my best friend said she's had enough of court and I don't want my parents to know all the details of the case.I have to take the bus there,all alone,which terrifies me.Then I have to take the elevator to the 10th floor,and I hate elevators.I'd rather walk up the 10 floors,but I know my asthma is not going to let that happen.I have to be there an hour early to prepare with my lawyers.He doesn't think we're going to win.He says they'll even attack me about my ds,saying if I can care for him I can care for other children with special needs.I'll have to explain every little thing,explain how my parents and even my ex help me every day.Explain even why I don't drive.I'm so afraid I'm going to break down sobbing in the middle and make it look even worse on myself.Gotta go get my ds off the bus,but if anyone has any advice I'd appriciate it very much.Thanks.
post #2 of 36
I've never have gone through a SSI hearing, what would it be possible to write down notes/answers ahead of time so you have something you keep you on track?
If you don't mind me asking, why does your lawyer think you'll loose the case?

What a nerve wracking situation, I wish you the best.
post #3 of 36
No advice, but . I just filed and am waiting to hear how many rounds of denials I'm going to have to go through and if I have a chance at the end. I'm sorry you drew a bum judge for your hearing. My only thoughts are that it's ok to cry, as long as you can pull yourself together enough to say your piece in time, and that it might help to write down possible questions they'll ask you and your answers ahead of time, and rehearse, so that you don't feel so caught off-guard in the hearing.
post #4 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thank you.This is my 3rd time being denied,which is why it is a hearing now.My lawyer doesn't think I'll win simply because I was using marijauna for the fibro pain.Even though this is a medical mj state.I don't have the card,and my dr's not too into it,so I can't get it unless I can find a new dr who will give me the paperwork,and I don't want to go dr hopping.I really like my dr.I recently quit,in case they drug test me at the hearing.I know they're going to ask me how I get it(I never pay for it,someone else always does,there is no way I can afford it,but I don't want to tell them who that someone is,yk?).This is all because a former therapist wrote that's my whole problem.She was very unproffesional in other ways,and actually referred me to the therapist I see now,for drug treatment.If anything the mj was helping me.Now I'm in pain most of the time again.My current therapist does not see an issue with me smoking at all,and she's a drug and alcohol treatment provider.She wishes she could get me the card.

I'm also afraid for the appointment the lawyer set up for me with their dr.The dr called me up very angry with me for missing an appointment I didn't know I had,no one called me and told me.Now I have to tell this man my life story on Monday,and pay an additional $350 on top of the 25% the lawyer is already going to take out of my settlement.And if I don't win,I still have to pay,and they want $50 a week when I only get $567 a month(my ds's SSI).I'm just so scared.
post #5 of 36
I don't really know what to offer, as I"ve never been through it. Just applied for my son and we were denied. I appealed and never heard back. I figure it's not even worth trying to get a lawyer involved b/c their reason for denial is b/c we were denied for financial reasons.

First, I am a little confused; you receive ssi for your son and you are trying to get ssi for yourself now? why are you being asked to pay $50 per week? You mean you got a settlement for yourself and you are being asked to pay it back or?
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by muldey View Post
I am so,so scared.My lawyer said the judge is a former prosecutor and is basically going to terrorize me.She's going to try to call me a liar on everything I've said and my drs have said.My hearing is November 9th and approaching way too quickly.I have no one to go with me,my best friend said she's had enough of court and I don't want my parents to know all the details of the case.I have to take the bus there,all alone,which terrifies me.Then I have to take the elevator to the 10th floor,and I hate elevators.I'd rather walk up the 10 floors,but I know my asthma is not going to let that happen.I have to be there an hour early to prepare with my lawyers.He doesn't think we're going to win.He says they'll even attack me about my ds,saying if I can care for him I can care for other children with special needs.I'll have to explain every little thing,explain how my parents and even my ex help me every day.Explain even why I don't drive.I'm so afraid I'm going to break down sobbing in the middle and make it look even worse on myself.Gotta go get my ds off the bus,but if anyone has any advice I'd appriciate it very much.Thanks.
Good luck with your hearing. My ex-brother in law was also born with Tetralogy of Fallot...he had his phrenic nerve severed during one of his surgeries as a child and only 50% of his diaphragm was working properly. He was denied the first time he applied and up until surgery in Nov 2005 to replace a valve in his heart, he had worked a full time job which was why he got denied the first time. He got approved the second time he applied. After he left my sister, he went on to produce a fourth child with his new girlfriend......and that's all I'll say about that.

Good luck with your hearing.
post #7 of 36
What is your diagnosis? Fibromyalgia?

If fibro is your only diagnosis, you probably do have an uphill battle. It is often misunderstood by doctors, let alone lay people like a judge. To get SSI, you have to prove that you cannot work because of your disability. If you are self-medicating with alcohol and/or drugs, that is usually seen as a problem. If your current therapist can vouch for you, that would help.

Try not to be anxious. Your lawyer will probably go over the types of questions that you will need to answer. Answer honestly and try to stay calm. Good luck!
post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Essie View Post
I don't really know what to offer, as I"ve never been through it. Just applied for my son and we were denied. I appealed and never heard back. I figure it's not even worth trying to get a lawyer involved b/c their reason for denial is b/c we were denied for financial reasons.

First, I am a little confused; you receive ssi for your son and you are trying to get ssi for yourself now? why are you being asked to pay $50 per week? You mean you got a settlement for yourself and you are being asked to pay it back or?
I recieve SSI for ds,and the hearing is for myself.I'll have to pay back my lawyer's dr fees,which is $350 if I lose my case.The lawyer wants $50 a week for that.If I win,the $350 comes out of my settlement.
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebunny View Post
What is your diagnosis? Fibromyalgia?

If fibro is your only diagnosis, you probably do have an uphill battle. It is often misunderstood by doctors, let alone lay people like a judge. To get SSI, you have to prove that you cannot work because of your disability. If you are self-medicating with alcohol and/or drugs, that is usually seen as a problem. If your current therapist can vouch for you, that would help.

Try not to be anxious. Your lawyer will probably go over the types of questions that you will need to answer. Answer honestly and try to stay calm. Good luck!
Fibro isn't my only diagnosis,I'm also bipolar and have severe depression and anxiety.I wish my lawyer would go over the questions ahead of time,but he's waiting until an hour before the hearing.I really wish I could switch lawyers,as I'm not too happy with him.I may try calling to get an idea of the questions,I'm just so scared.I was just so nervous at our last meeting that I didn't ask anything I wanted to.
post #10 of 36
If you have bipolar, you should be able to get some help, including help with housing after your trial. I hope your lawyer is playing the bipolar card, and not the Fibro card.

I hope you are getting medical treatment (meds) and counseling. This will make your case alone.

My son has bp and I have been concerned about his future..I looked into how he would be able to get help, and basically he will be able to as an adult.

I wish you so much luck, but living without the MJ right now will hopefully help you in this case. If you aren't smoking, then you have nothing to worry about during your drug screening.
post #11 of 36
Why did they say you were denied before? I would assess that and try to focus on the opposite of why they denied you. Also, I think it depends a lot on the reason (s) they gave for denial. I would think that with your dx's and your son's dx (he is dx'ed w/bp too?) it would be really hard to work and definitely impossble to work FT. In that case, I don't know if they denied you b/c of financial reasons or not enough of a medical reason. Anyway, I would focus on WHY you need the ssi. Try not to get stuck in the fear mode, try and focus on the image of your ds and how much he needs you and how much he needs you to be present to help him. Maybe that will get you in "eye of the tiger" mode and help you look in the face of fear.
post #12 of 36
here's a little something i learned about ssi/ssd hearings: as long as it's apparent that you cannot do the things that humans are entitled to (be pain free, sleep for a culturally accepted amount of hours (say 8 hours) every night without waking, prepare food for yourself for every meal, hold a job, clean your home, bathe alone, have sex regularly, enjoy recreational things) then they must technically legally declare you disabled.

so go in there and tell the judge: i don't sleep, i'm in pain all the time (or whatever your physical ailment includes), i need physical help to meet my basic needs, sex is physically difficult due to my body problems, i don't get to do anything i enjoy anymore, etc. be specific about what you used to do but can't anymore. say "sir" or "ma'am" to the judge if you feel comfortable doing so. be polite, respectful, make eye-contact and answer in a simple and straightforward manner.

it actually is a great help if you have the people who meet your needs at the hearing too. the judge will usually ask them questions about your condition and what they do to help, supporting your claim/case all the more.

i hope it all works out good for you mama!
post #13 of 36
Thread Starter 
My hearing is today,and I am panicking.I haven't slept at all,soon I have to take a bus by myself for an hour ride,then try to figure out where the hearing is(I have the address but I'm confused as to which way to go from the bus stop),take an elevator(which always sends me into a panic) to the 10th floor,meet with my lawyer,and finally have the hearing at 9:30am.It's not over form there either,I have to take the elevator again and the bus home.I am so so scared.I'm wearing comfortable clothes,I have my ipod for the bus.Going to try to eat my fav breakfast and hopefully calm down a little.Poor ds woke up when I got up,so I hope he can handle school today.
post #14 of 36

How did it go? 

post #15 of 36

Wondering how it went. How are you doing?

post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 

It went ok,I won!I was so scared and anxious.The judge wasn't mean at all,she was actually very nice.She asked me a few questions,my lawyer asked me a few,and that was about it for the questions.Then the dr that was there testified,said I qualified under something in a blue book,said my mj use was not relevent,and right then the judge awarded me benefits,which I should start receiving around Christmas.They owe me 2 and a half years of back payments.My kids will actually have a good Christmas this year!I won't have to worry about my electric or gas being shut off,and I can pay back all the money I owe everyone.I'm just so glad it's over!

post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by muldey View Post

It went ok,I won!I was so scared and anxious.The judge wasn't mean at all,she was actually very nice.She asked me a few questions,my lawyer asked me a few,and that was about it for the questions.Then the dr that was there testified,said I qualified under something in a blue book,said my mj use was not relevent,and right then the judge awarded me benefits,which I should start receiving around Christmas.They owe me 2 and a half years of back payments.My kids will actually have a good Christmas this year!I won't have to worry about my electric or gas being shut off,and I can pay back all the money I owe everyone.I'm just so glad it's over!


post #18 of 36

Congratulations! That's wonderful news!!

post #19 of 36

That's awesome!

post #20 of 36

Congratulations!!! We just went to my disabled son's SSI hearing last week and I had to fax all his medical records from his therapists and bipolar doctors...You wearn't kidding about nerve racking..It went fast and I think we will win too...I am glad everything worked out for you.

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