Winter.. fist day of and I am meeting with an ALJ | Lupus Forums at The Lupus Site
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Winter.. fist day of and I am meeting with an ALJ

Discussion in 'Social Security / Disability Benefits' started by Jennannshear, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Jennannshear

    Jennannshear Registered

    So December 21st.. Winter solstice.. I am meeting with the ALJ via video conference. . . My first time ever doing this and I am nervous. My husband is dropping me off and will pick me up with I call him. I am heading in alone. Any advice? Maybe some do's and dont's?

    I am not very good at showing my "weakness" - and I know I hate to let this ALJ know exactly how Lupus affected me and how it still does.. why its not possible to work. I need an honest answer.. my sister asked why I dont work a few hours during school hours... the honest answer to that is that even when I have energy to do a few hours a day, I am worse off the next day.. and because my daughter has TS and now my son who just turned 8 is also shows signs of TS, what LITTLE time I do have alone, I sleep.. nights are not sleep-able.. ya know.. IF the ALJ does ask me, do I tell him this? Because it is a huge part of my life.. it is my "job". I know I have 9 days before that meeting but I am so trying to think of how to respond.. I am not good at it!! UGH:eek:
  2. cally

    cally Registered


    I'm on the other side of the pond so can't help specifically. All I would say is be completely honest about how your life is affected, and think about how you are on your worst day when you are describing it.

    Good luck and I'm sure someone else will be along with more specific help.

    Cally xx
  3. KarolH

    KarolH Registered

    Jenna when you mention ALJ are you speaking of a Judge to determine if you get SSDI???
    Sorry I am confused but once I know I can surely give you advice.
    I just want to make sure we are on the same page....sorry. :)
  4. Jennannshear

    Jennannshear Registered

    Hello.. yes an "administrative Law Judge" is who I will see tomorrow. I am crying tonight.. just nervous. I have had a week from heck.. and well my Lupus is flaring hardcore.. so I guess if there ever was a time to stand before a judge, it would be now..I wont have to think of my worse, since I am sort of in it now.. I am so depressed lately and fighting so hard to come out of it. A dear friend asked to come along but I said no.. I think I just hate people seeing me exposed.. i dont like it. I have my id ready and some papers too. My doctors all get weird when I bring this up so as far as doctor notes all go, most are generic and not specific to my needs...
  5. KarolH

    KarolH Registered

    First of all I want to say Good Luck.
    Second....if your profile picture is one of you then you are such a beautiful woman. (Hope this makes you smile)
    I really do not think you need any words of wisdome Jenn.....especially since your at your worst right now.
    Tell the story, in your words and do not mix them. Speak from the heart and do not play the need to.
    Put it on the line and let this Judge know just what your up against.
    Please know i will be thinking of you tomorrow and waiting for a update.
  6. Jennannshear

    Jennannshear Registered

    Ok I feel like I will just be sick to my stomach - which is good right? AHHHHHHHHHH (thanks.. I can do lots of things with my computer and cam LOL)
  7. KarolH

    KarolH Registered

    Thinking of you and post a update when you can.
  8. Jennannshear

    Jennannshear Registered

    Well I am home.. It was way quicker than I anticipated! I grabbed my walker and headed out to the building and up to the 11th floor.. That elevator was quick but for me it felt like forever. I had to sit outside this room and listened to a lawyer talk with a woman about her case - all the time wondering if maybe I should have had one with me??? It was really too late. They called me in, I sat in front of a desk with two mic’s and a speaker.. The woman told me I would have to stay seated.. (ugh) and use only “yes and no” to answer unless asked further questions… so he did the swearing in and so on.. He asked the basic questions, like what my name is and address.. He then began telling me about some information that he had and went on to ask me why I had a walker.. There were a few times I felt confused and lost but he would rephrase the questions. He did ask me if I had issues with sleep. I said yes and explained to him that even when I am able to sleep, my daughter has TS and I am not sleeping. He wanted to know if she was in school.. I said yes.. He asked if I slept during the day and I said not usually due to insomnia. I told him the truth.. At some point the said that he has everything he needed from me.. He did ask about my adductors and the snapping .. As I had kept having to pop and move around. At the end he asked if I had something to add and this is what I said:

    “Please bare with me.. I am not one who likes to show weakness or emotion. I have a walker and at times I would rather suffer inwardly with pain then show the world I am weak. I am tired all the time - but I have responsibilities to my children. There are days that I do feel -ok- and on those days I try to do things but eventually suffer that evening or the next day.. Its been like this my entire life and in 2009 I over did my body and have been suffering and paying that price. I don’t need money, I just need health care coverage. I do not drive. I don’t have a license and I miss working. I miss working and cleaning. I miss walking and I am envious and angry with those who can. I am seeking counseling because of the anger and bitterness. If I could work today I would do so. There was a time when I could walk for miles and today that is not an option. I long for that day. I am here simply for health care coverage..”

    The woman gave me tissues as that was the first time I cried.. He smiled at me and said “I want to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday.. Please take care.” and THAT WAS THAT !! The lady handed me a cd with every documentation they had. I was sad to see that my main doctor - that I have known for years - did not send anything but a positive ana test.. I did have many reports from my lupus doc and a few others to support how much I have been struggling.. I did get to see my report from meeting with the SSI doctors. That was a complete joke.. No where in that work do they talk about my struggles and pain, all its states is that I am dressed appropriately, that I am well groomed and intelligent.. So my advice, I guess you need to look like scum.. And talk like it. The physiologist felt I could benefit from counseling and should go on to maintain a productive life, mentally.

    If I had advice to give to anyone upon meeting with a judge, would be to bring a list of your symptoms.. I had it down.. All of it and most of it was touched upon.. However in the moment, I lost key arguments.. I think I will fax more to him .. If its not too late.

  9. luci

    luci Registered

    I hope you find out their decision soon. Sounds like you did a wounderful job for yourself. Keep us posted.
  10. KarolH

    KarolH Registered

    Well Jen your GP was a major disappointment....shame on him.
    I think you will be fine and feel the judge was able to look at the entire picture since other doctors wrote on your behalf.
    Did they say how long before you receive word that you won or lost?
    I think going by yourself was not a bad idea. If you get denied again then a attorney is a must.
    Keep us posted and rest up tonight.

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