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  1. #1
    IC Friend DanaW's Avatar
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    Exclamation Had my day in court finally! (long post)

    Hi Everyone!

    It has been a long time since I have posted here but, wanted to let you all know how my day in court went and to ask the "experts" ,who have already won their disability benefits, what they think about my case!

    Ok, I applied for Disability back in April 2004. I was denied 2x and then told to wait for my hearing which they told me would take up to 2 years. Unfortunately, my income was needed for my family, so we ended up going into debt further, including a $25,000 second mortage with a high interest rate bc of our recent credit rating going sour.....anyways, my hubby had to work 2 jobs and we were still not making it.....getting further into trouble. I have 2 kids ages, 12&14. Well, last Aug. I decided to try to work a part-time job and started cashiering in a grocery store. I did not work more than 30 hrs. mainly worked 20-30 hrs. per week. I was a non-functional mother during this time. Could not clean my house etc....could not do anything but, sit in my recliner after hours and actually had to sleep in my recliner every night due to all my health problems, IC being the most severe. My IC was the main disability that I was applying for. I also have OsteoArthritis, Hypothyroidism, low Adrenal function, Fibromyalgia, Depression, I am sure i am leaving out a few things. Anyways, I had no choice but, to try to work. I lasted almost 8 months. Meanwhile, I got my hearing date of May 3, 2007 and I contacted my caseworker from Binder and Binder and explained my situation. They were told last fall that I went back to work part-time and they said nothing much about it. I thought really that bc I went back to work that I bascially lost my disability case. Threw it out of the window and was going to continue to suffer thru working and my non-functioning life. I have been on Pain Narcotics Maintenance for over 3 years and even went to a Pain specialist for a year to get to my current, long term dosing. Anyways, my B&B lawyer said that I could possibly get back pay from before I went back to work. So, I didn't have any hope of winning either way but, was so saddened that I may have ruined any chance I had to get full benefits. Well, my lawyer did her research and found that because I had to quit my cashiering job due to more problems (end of April) (hyster. June 26th) and my bladder condition became unbearable again, she said I have a chance of winning full benefits, afterall. They would consider my part-time work as a temp. work attempt or if that didn't "qualify" it would be considered something else. Anyways, I went before the judge last Thursday. Apparently, my Urologist wrote a "letter" to my lawyer "stating I was permantly disabled" I didn't even know he did that. The only letter that he wrote from before, about 6 months before the last letter, stated he could not determine if I was permantely disabled. Well, the judge wanted to know "why" my Uro. changed his mind in 5 months. I told him it was probably due to the dr's trying every treatment options and I failed to recover. I have been on Pain medicine therapy only and there is no other treatments to try. They only treat my pain level now. So, he seemed to take that explanation as ok, bc he didn't go any further into the letter. Ok, then, the judge wanted to know why I quit my job and I said that I could no longer work bc of the worsening condition of my female issue, hence hysterectomy scheduled on June 26th and a worsening of my bladder condition. Now, all this time during the hearing, there was a "Vocational Expert" sitting there listening to this.....Before I could go any further into ALL OF MY DISAB. and how it affects my work/life situation, the Judge asked the "vocational expert" if he had any questions for me? The vocational guy said he did have a couple of questions....."He asked me how often I go to the bathroom". I told him, every 15-20-30 minutes (depending on stress level of that day) and he asked me how long I am in the bathroom? I said anywhere from 5-10 minutes bc sometimes I ---he said that I didn't have to explain any more.....The judge asked also asked me about this current job and the bathroom trips. I explained that they reassured me that I could use the bathroom frequently bc there are enough people to cover for me when i do use it. But, the major reason I had to quit this job was bc they downsized their work force due to financial problems (Walmart opened up!) and that I did not have the work force to cover for me anymore.......The judge asked the "vocational guy" if I was employable with having to use the bathroom so frequently, and the "vocational guy" said, "there are no jobs" and no, there she is not employeable". Well, the judge then basically stopped the hearing......I never got to explain anything else at this point. The judge did say he wanted to determine how my working for 8 months was either a "temporary work period" or some "other" thing and it was a matter of seeing my last pay stub and my W-2 from 2006. He also wanted to know if I had a Q-2 from 2005, which I said no, I couldn't work in 2005, but, he said for me to make sure there wasn't any. The judge said he wanted those items faxed to him. I said, no problem. Then, the Vocational guy smiled at me. They thanked me and that was it! I walked out of the room with my B&B lawyer and I asked her what just happened and she said, it is good! Basically, they determined that I cannot gain employment due to my frequency of bathroom visits. But, they still have to figure out the 8 months that I did work, part-time. I said, "so I won"? She said, it looks good but, wouldn't go any further, which I undersand she can't. Well, unfor. I haven't talked with my lawyer since bc she is still out of state doing hearings with other clients. But, she did act like I won it.....So, I just talked with my caseworker from B&B and had just faxed the items requested. She said that it looks good too but, it could take 3-6 months for a DECISION still. I am totally floored at this point bc I am now in LIMBO, broke etc.....with no extra income again, and no REAL ANSWERS! So, can anyone tell me what they "think" will be the outcome? I am not worried aobut he 8 months that I did work but, I have from March 2004 to Aug. 2006 that I did not work. So, it sure would be nice to get backpay from that. Or, if not that, at least my measly $700 disability benefits, monthly. I know you cannot tell me for sure what you think happened but, any opinions would be welcome! I do think my case is GOOD for ALL OF YOU who are going thru this process bc you can tell your lawyers that our frequency of bathroom visits, does makes us UNEMPLOYEABLE. Period! I hope my case does help some of you win your case. My only fear is that the judge did stop before I had a chance to explain anything further about my IC condition. The fact that I cannot sit for longer than 20 min. at a time etc.....nothing else was said about it. I just waited so long for this hearing and I would be HIGHLY upset if this DOESN'T go my way, you know? I just want this frustration, fear, and desperation to go away. I actually cried all that day because it was such a relief to get this hearing over with and to have some hope that I won. But, to have to wait maybe 3-6 months to know for sure? That is going to be unbelieveable! Need some guidance and reassurance, please!!! Thank you so much for reading this jumbled mess of a post! Sorry so long!

    Dana
    (Wisconsin)
    DanaW

    "Don't quit when the tide is lowest, For it's just about to turn; Don't quit over doubts and questions, For there's something you may learn."

  2. #2
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    Gosh, I just dont know! I wish I could say but I really just dont know. It is great that your lawyer thinks it went well. Also, that the vocational expert said there are no jobs you can do since you go to the bathroom so much. The only part that worries me is that you worked. Even though they are counting it as a work attempt, since you worked for 8 mo, they may count that against you. I havent heard of anyone getting it that worked, that's why I say that. HOWEVER, most attornerys will NOT take your case if they dont think you will win. And obviously, they know the ins and outs much more than we do! SO, that is GOOD! Also, if your atty thought it went well, that is good! I hope and pray that you get it! Although the judge told me the day of my hearing that I was approved, it took 3 mo for me to get the letter and back pay. But, I have heard that like everything else, it varies alot from case to case.

    I wish you the very best of luck! **crossing fingers and toes**

    Hugs,
    Amy

  3. #3
    ICN Member Berkshire Road's Avatar
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    I'm thinking it will go your way. They are just figuring out what your 'date of disability' is, so they can calculate your backpay. Your lawyer is being conscientious by not giving you odds on the outcome; if she told you you won, and by chance you don't, you could possibly sue her. Also Binder would probably fire her. So she has to be careful. But, I think what the vocational expert said is very telling. Just hang on, you've made it this far.
    Je vous souhaite de la joie, de la bonne santée, et tout ce qu'il y a de bon dans la vie.
    Wishing you happiness and good health, and all the best out of life.

    Peace, Carolyn
    ___________________________________________________

    Laura (11), Susannah (12 1/2) and Maman (that's me!), North Wildwood NJ, September 2007


    On the Beach with IC

  4. #4
    IC Friend DanaW's Avatar
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    Carolyn

    Carolyn,
    That is what I think too. The hearing was stopped as soon as the vacational guy said, no, there is no Job that will allow that or whatever......then, it was the judge who asked for those items so that they could determine what my part-time work was labeled or whatever. There were 2 different situations that it could be and the judge said it would go by what I made during that time? I think I made either a tad over or just a tad under.....what is allowed, I think $860.00 in 2006. I suppose they go by gross?? Which is so unfair. Another way for the government to get our money! sigh

    Now, my lawyer actually allowed me to hug her afterwards and she did state that they just have to determine which way my working those months, fell under which definition. I could care less if I don't receive any money from those months...I am not expecting it. I just want the back pay and my monthly benefit. Period. I deserve it. I have been thru HELL, like everyone here.....I cannot see how they can go back and say, No, you don't qualify,,,,when the vacational guy says, I don't? What do you think?

    Dana
    DanaW

    "Don't quit when the tide is lowest, For it's just about to turn; Don't quit over doubts and questions, For there's something you may learn."

  5. #5
    IC Friend DanaW's Avatar
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    Amy

    Amy,
    Thanks for your thoughts and well wishes.....I so wish i had been able to hold out for a little longer. It was horrible trying to work and function outside of work. I couldn't do anything outside of work and my health deteriated even further bc I did work part-time. Now have to have a hysterectomy, am anemic and now have suspected Pernicious Anemia. (low B12) So, I did get worse during this work period. Thanks again,

    Everyone else,
    Anyone who is going thru this process, somehow try to "make it" even if you have to move back home or live with someone....whatever it takes! I knew my decision to try working would be bad....but, I could not loose our house and my husband's constant guilt trips and bad moods became too much to bare.

    DanaW
    DanaW

    "Don't quit when the tide is lowest, For it's just about to turn; Don't quit over doubts and questions, For there's something you may learn."

  6. #6
    ICN Member patricia1's Avatar
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    The vocational expert is what helped my case. Stating that there were no jobs I could do. I also found out that day from the Judge that I was consider Disabled and won. But it still took from November to Middle of Feb. before I got any money for SSD. They do take there sweet time.
    God grant me the serinity to withstand the days ahead!!!

    My myspace link...
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    Patricia

    In Memory of My Father (Lawerence) 1/25/2007

    Procedures:
    Interstim Sept 2001
    1st InterStim Removal May 2005
    2nd Interstim Implanted May 2005
    2nd InterStim Removed March 2007
    Hysterectomy 1999
    Tubes Tied 1997
    C-Section 1996


    Me and my kids


    Taylor (my daughter) Me and my daughter My son Cody and Taylor

  7. #7
    IC Friend DanaW's Avatar
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    Patricia

    Patricia,
    So do you think that the only reason the judge didn't say the same was bc of my working that period of time and he still needed to determine how to handle that? It did sound like the same thing happened to me as it did to you? Did they also ask you about bathroom breaks? Or was it something else?

    Thanks,

    Dana
    DanaW

    "Don't quit when the tide is lowest, For it's just about to turn; Don't quit over doubts and questions, For there's something you may learn."

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by patricia1 View Post
    The vocational expert is what helped my case. Stating that there were no jobs I could do. I also found out that day from the Judge that I was consider Disabled and won. But it still took from November to Middle of Feb. before I got any money for SSD. They do take there sweet time.
    There is an automatic 4 month waiting period before you get your first check.

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