Okay, I Was Turned Down For SSDI By Social Security

The letter of denial is worded so that a close friend of mine said they were “projecting” me, meaning that they expect me to “get better” within a year.

My friend said that Social Security never projects mental cases and recommends I get my local congressman involved to do an inquiry. I will also file an appeal with SS (which I am advised to do within 60 days).

Since they sent this letter on the 11th of December, they can’t know that I was recently hospitalized for the suicidal ideations, so that will be included in the authorization form my congressman will need.

One thing though: SS listed ALL the reports they received including one from my attorneys Binder & Binder. What would they have to report since I had not been denied to their knowledge (B&B’s, I mean)?

My friend also says that B&B are going to be useless to me in this (projected) case, so if they are, and the Congressional Inquiry/Appeal doesn’t work, I’m fucked.



Did you hire B&B before your application was denied? Maybe they preemptively sent SSA a copy of your medical reports.

I don’t know anything about B&B except that they advertise on TV, which is a red flag to me for attorneys. But you’re not fucked yet. There’s more than one step in the SSA appeal process. I think the first step is a hearing at the local level before an administrative law judge, and if you don’t prevail there, then it’s off to federal court.

What made you decide on Binder & Binder? Did they refer you to a local attorney who specializes in SSA Disability?

From the experiences of a close friend denied SSDI and two fellow Tertiaries with Barb who are advocates for the disabled, mentally disturbed, and the like, a denial is “normal” – it’s rare for a claim to be sufficiently convincing that SSA will award a claim. (One horror story was the denial of a paraplegic with no office skills, on the ground that he could theoretically find work.)

Appeal. Talk to your lawyers. And don’t despair – most valid claims do get awarded at the ammeals elvels.

Quasi -

Virtually EVERYONE is denied SSDI the first time around. Seriously. They make you fight tooth and nail.

My husband has been using Binder & Binder. They are, pardon the language, fucking useless. If we get another denial we are firing them and getting real attorneys. I suggest you do the same.

We have since been advised to hire a LOCAL attorney that specializes in SSDI cases.

Don’t despair. A denial is, unfortunately, normal. It’s outrageous. KEEP TRYING!!!

My husband used to be (many, many moons ago) an SSDI disability examiner. When he was working for them, he and the other examiners were expected to deny something like 70% of their cases. They had huge caseloads, which did not favor careful examination of applications.

Definitely appeal and don’t give up hope.

Here’s how to get started:

Johnny Isakson - http://isakson.senate.gov/

Saxby Chambliss - http://chambliss.senate.gov/public/index.cfm

Here’s what Senator Chambliss says about help with federal agencies:


AND he says you need to complete this form;


I don’t know who your Representative is – you’ll have to help us there. Here’s a list of representatives from the office of the Governor (with hyperlinks):


Be sure to call these offices as well – if you can get the attention of one of their aides perhaps they will forward your urgent request up the pipeline and you’ll get some real movement here.

Hope this helps. Know that the SSDI guys turn nearly everyone down the first time – I’ve seen them refuse people blinded and crippled by ciguatera poisoning, people who had brain lesions from HIV, etc. It’s staggering to see how insensitive the system can be. But persevere. Hang in there.

Oh, try contacting Governor Sonny Perdue’s office as well:


Sending good thoughts your way, my dear.

A co-workers wife was denied with an inoperable brain tumor. I’m not sure how they expected her condition to improve, but they did. She was already almost unintelligible verbally, and looked like she had suffered a massive stroke. It took two appeals before he took her into the hearing so they could actually SEE what they were talking about.

Don’t give up. Sometimes you must insist that the system function.

I got a “my dear” from Tuba Diva! That’s pretty COOL to ME!

  1. Yes, Auntie Pam I DID hire B&B before the app was denied. I thought (then) it was probably the wisest choice. No, they did NOT refer me to a local attorney,

Apparently, I was wrong to do that.

  1. Tuba Diva, I printed out all your info, and we will follow up, thank you!

And thanks to all of you for your good wishes!


PS: Note to TB… scroll over the “light” message!

Maybe, maybe not. If you’re not comfortable with B&B and what they’ve done for you so far, contact a local attorney, see if they can help from here on.

While an impairment must have lasted or be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months (20 CFR s 404.1509), in more than 20 years of reviewing disability determinations I have never heard the term “projected” used. You might well be served at getting some better counsel than you currently enjoy.

There certainly are plenty of local counsel in all regions of the country eager to handle Social Security disability claims (tho they may not all sport the stylish headwear of the guy in B&B’s ads!) If you are unable to attract a lawyer, it may say something about the strength of your claim.

Whatever else you do, if you wish to pursue this by all means exercise your administrative appeal rights within the time required. Otherwise, the decision you presently have becomes final and unappealable. (20 CFR s 404.905)

This has been my experience also. My sister-in-law, who has chronic-progressive MS and is almost completely paralyzed from the neck down, was denied SSDI the first time she applied. You can’t give up.

Make sure you file your reconsideration in the time allotted! It took me to the third reconsideration (ALJ hearing) before I got disability.

Have patience and make sure you fill out all forms and to the best of your ability. It’s a long and torturous process, but they are trying to weed out the fraud (as best they can) and that may be one way they do it.

Expect to be denied a second time and make sure you file that reconsideration in the proper time-frame, as well.

If you don’t mind my asking, what about the idea of moving to Germany?

  1. Most of my close friends think they know a lot about all sorts of legal things. Most of them are wrong. It sounds like your friend, well-intentioned as they might be, doesn’t have much of a clue about SSDI, although they probably *are *a great friend.

  2. I would ask what your lawyer says about it, but that’s the wrong approach. Let me take a different tack instead. Find out what your lawyer says about it–and then for the sake of all things holy, keep it to yourself. No need to post it here.

  3. If you want a second legal opinion, by all means get one–not here–but get one from a lawyer. You can discuss B&B’s opinion with the other lawyer, but once again, it’s bad idea to do it here.

  4. Some of the advice you are getting in this thread is good (especially about continuing the reconsideration and appeals process in timely manner) but still, the best advice you will get will come from your own lawyer. If you aren’t confident in the one you have, get a different one.

  5. While my experience in Social Security law pales in comparison to Dinsdale’s, I’ll also echo what he said. “Projected,” isn’t a meaningful term, which means your friend does’t understad the letter. Call your lawyer.

Feel free to believe whatever you wish based upon your personal experience. But nationally, the DDS initial allowance rate is around 35-36%.

(I found 2003-05 data quickly, and did not care to try to find more recent. Sorry, no link possible. So feel free to disbelieve me if that makes you happier.)

The amount of ignorance that exists concerning Social Security - and the regularity with which that ignorance is bandied about as fact - is truly amazing. :rolleyes:

From here:

(bolding mine)

Sure, nationally the approval rate is 36%. But Ohio and four other states (one of which Quasi lives in) have a less than 27% approval rate. Are you saying it surprises you that the perception is that ‘virtually everyone’ is denied on initial application?

How about we look a the appeal process, which is where that 64-73% remainder end up; from here:

In Quasi’s state, appeals take between 750 and 828 days (second paragraph in that link).

Really, you’re ‘amazed’ that people ‘bandy about’ this perception? When only between 1/4 and 1/3 of the applications are approved, and it takes two to four years ON AVERAGE for an appeal?

Would you feel better if Broomstick had used “an extremely high number of cases” as a qualifier instead of ‘virtually everyone’? She may have been using a bit of hyperbole in an effort to make Quasi feel better, but considering her situation- and the examples brought up in this thread- isn’t that understandable?

And since I echoed the comment, I’ll point out I live in one of those other states with a lower approval rate than Ohio.

So you think 75% = “virtually everyone”? :confused:

Must be that new math.

Believe whatever you wish.

They turn down everyone the first time. Always appeal. Always appeal.

After all that has been demonstrated above, why would you write “they turn down everyone the first time?” :confused: