Common Crazy Med Crap Index
Part 4: The Interview & Consultative Examination | SSDI/SSI Index

Table of Contents (hide)

  1. 1. Try Again
  2. 2. Lawyer-Up

1.  Try Again

This being said, it’s very likely your SSI/SSDI claim will be initially denied, as about two-thirds of all claims for mental illness and neurological conditions are. But do not give up! The next step is the Reconsideration Process, in which they have a different set of examiners decide your case — you can submit updated documentation and an explanation as to why your denial is incorrect. If denied, they will list all sources that were used in the determination. Did they exclude one or more of your medical sources? Were the dates listed corresponding to each listed medical source correct? You need to make sure that they get ALL medical sources that you have (especially recent documentation). Were the reasons why you are not disabled incorrect? Did they overestimate your abilities? Did they undermine the severity of your impairments? This needs to be addressed in a letter for the Reconsideration Process and can serve as the basis for an appeal later. In this appeal letter, feel free to include any medication changes, changes in your condition, appointments since you last filed (with name and address). Also, feel free to refer to yourself in the third person. Be sure to file a Reconsideration appeal as soon as possible! Again, keep copies of the Reconsideration form and any letters that you write with it — you should type this letter and sign and date it. And again, send this forms “certified mail, return receipt requested.”
Note from Jerod - if you’re applying for SSDI, just get a representative now. Most people file a reconsideration themselves and 87% of all reconsiderations are denied. The attorney I hired put me in that lucky 13%. If you’re applying for SSI it’s unlikely you’ll find anyone who will take your case at this point, so you’ll have to do it yourself/have a friend or family member continue to help you.

2.  Lawyer-Up

If your claim is still denied, you can then appeal before an ALJ (Administrative Law Judge), who will decide if you are disabled. If it reaches this point, you will need an experienced attorney—one who has experience dealing with mental disabilities and the SSA. Your local SSA office has a list of attorneys available to help you. You can also visit National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) to locate an attorney in your area. You generally don’t have to pay the attorney until s/he wins---and the cost is 25% of your retroactive pay, up to a maximum of $6,000. If no back-dated benefits are awarded, the attorney will not receive a fee; nor is s/he permitted to ask you for one. The SSA has to approve your attorney and the fees that s/he charges.
Once again I cannot say enough good things about NOSSCR and the attorney I found through them.

It will take about a year from your denial to get a hearing with an ALJ scheduled. If the ALJ denies your claim, there are further appeal processes you can take. These days it may take even longer.

In some states, the Reconsideration process is eliminated completely, and instead, one can appeal directly to the ALJ. These so-called “prototype” states are Alabama, Alaska, California (the Los Angeles area), Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York (Brooklyn and Albany areas), and Pennsylvania. I have no idea what the status of this is in 2012.



Oh, and in the meantime, keep a journal of all the MEDICATIONS, you take---name, dosage, frequency, for what condition, side effects, dates started/stopped and why, med changes. Also, keep of journal of all your appointments with a name and address and your treatment regime. This way you give can a journal to your attorney when you need to.

By the way, if you mention, or your medical records show, that you abuse drugs and/or alcohol, you will have a harder chances of getting benefits. This would require the use of an experienced attorney. SSA regulations specifically state that one cannot be found disabled due to drug or alcohol abuse. Now this does not mean that one cannot be found disabled if one uses drugs or alcohol. The question becomes: Which symptoms are due to the mental condition? And which symptoms are due to drug/alcohol abuse? And which symptoms/conditions would still remain if the person refrained from using drugs/alcohol? Best advice — refrain from abusing drugs/alcohol.



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Common Crazy Med Crap Index
Part 4: The Interview & Consultative Examination | SSDI/SSI Index

If you have any questions about SSDI/SSI or similar issues, there’s a part of the Crazymeds forum devoted to insurance, drug prices, applying for disability, etc. Medication Costs, Insurance, Disability & Assorted Issues - It Costs How Much? with the topic Q & A On The SSDI Approval Process.

Applying For SSDI/SSI: Part 5 What to do If You Are Denied Benefits by Bryan is copyright © 2004
Author: Bryan. Date created: 24 October 2004 Last edited by: JerodPoore on: 2016–04–18





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Almost all of the material on this site is by Jerod Poore and is copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Jerod Poore. Except, of course, the PI sheets - those are the property of the drug companies who developed the drugs the sheets are about - and any documents that are written by other people which may be posted to this site will remain the property of the original authors. You cannot reproduce this page or any other material on this site outside of the boundaries of fair use copying without the express permission of the copyright holder. That’s usually me, so just ask first. That means if want to print out a few pages to take to your doctor, therapist, counselor, support group, non-understanding family members or something like that - then that’s OK to just do. Go for it! Please. As long as you include this copyright notice and something along the lines of following disclaimer, I’m usually cool with it.



All rights reserved. No warranty is expressed or implied in this information. Consult one or more doctors and/or pharmacists before taking, or changing how you take any neurological and/or psychiatric medication. Your mileage may vary. What happened to us won’t necessarily happen to you. If you still have questions about a medication or condition that were not answered on any of the pages you read, please ask them on Crazy Talk: the Crazymeds Forum.
The information on Crazymeds pertains to and is intended for adults. While some information about children and adolescents is occasionally presented (e.g. US FDA approvals), pediatric-specific data such as dosages, side effects, off-label applications, etc. are rarely included in the articles on drugs or discussed on the forum. If you are looking for information regarding meds for children you’ll have to go somewhere else. Plus we are big pottymouths and talk about S-E-X a lot.
Know your sources!
Nobody on this site is a doctor, a therapist, or a pharmacist. We don’t portray them either here or on TV. Only doctors can diagnose and treat an illness. While it’s not as bad as it used to be, some doctors still get pissed off by patients who know too much about medications, so tread lightly when and where appropriate. Diagnosing yourself from a website is like defending yourself in court, you suddenly have a fool for a doctor. Don’t be a cyberchondriac, thinking you have every disease you see a website about, or that you’ll get every side effect from every medication1. Self-prescribing is as dangerous as buying meds from fraudulent online pharmacies that promise you medications without prescriptions.
All information on this site has been obtained from the medications’ product information / summary of product characteristic (PI/SPC) sheets and/or medication guides - which is all you get from sites like WebMD, RxList, NAMBLA NAMI, etc., the sources that are referenced throughout the site, our personal experience and the experiences family, friends, and what people have reported on various reputable sites all over teh intergoogles. As such the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for real medical advice from your real doctor, just a compliment to it. You should never, ever, replace what a real doctor tells you with something from a website on the Internet. The farthest you should ever take it is getting a second opinion from another real doctor. Educate yourself - always read the PI/SPC sheet or medication guide/patient information leaflet (PIL) that comes with your medications and never ever throw them away. OK, you can throw away duplicate copies, but keep at least one, as that’s your proof of purchase of having taken a med in case a doctor doubts your medical history. Plus they take up less space than a bottle, although keeping one inside of a pill bottle is even better.
Crazymeds is not responsible for the content of sites we provide links to. We like them, or they’re paid advertisements, or they’re something else we think you should read to help you make an informed decision about a particular med. Sometimes they’re more than one of those things. But what’s on those sites is their business, not ours.
Very little information about visitors to this site is collected or saved. From time to time I look at search terms used and which pages they bring up in an effort to make the information I present more relevant. And the country of origin, just because I’m geeky like that. That’s about it. Depending on how you feel about Schrodinger, our privacy policy should either assuage or exacerbate your paranoia.
Crazymeds is optimized for ridiculously large screens and browsers that don’t block ads. I use Firefox and Chrome, running under Windows 72. On a computer that sits on top of my desk. With a 23 inch monitor. Hey, at least you can make the text larger or smaller by clicking on the + or - buttons in the upper right hand corner. If you have Java enabled. Like 99% of the websites on the planet, Crazymeds is hosted on domain running an open source operating system with a variety of open source applications, including the software used to display what you’ve been reading. As such Crazymeds is not responsible for whatever weird shit your browser does or does not do when you read this site3.
Crazymeds now uses a secure server, but it is not so secure that you can discuss anything having to do with nuclear power facilities, air traffic control systems, aircraft navigation systems, weapons control systems, or any other system requiring failsafe operation whose failure could lead to injury, death or environmental damage. Just so you know. So if you’re mentally interesting and have a job that deals with that sort of thing, talk about said job elsewhere. Otherwise feel free to discuss your meds and brain cooties.
No neurologists, psychiatrists, therapists or pharmacists were harmed in the production of this website. Use only as directed. Void where prohibited. Contains nuts. Certain restrictions may apply. All data are subject to availability. Not available on all mobile devices, in the 12 Galaxies Guiltied to a Zegnatronic Rocket Society, or in all dimensions of reality. Hail Xenu!

‘Everything is true, nothing is permitted.’ - Jerod Poore


1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.

2 Remember kids, Microsloth operating systems are like TOS Star Trek movies with in that every other one sucks way, way more. With TOS Star Trek movies you don’t want to bother watching the odd-numbered ones. With Microsloth OS you don’t want to buy and install the even-numbered ones. Anyone who remembers ME and Vista knows what I mean.

3 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?* I don’t even need my big-ass rant any more. Heartbleed has made my case for me. And that’s just the one that got all the media attention. The very nature of an open source operating system makes security as much of an illusion as anonymity on teh Intergoogles. Before you flip out too much: the domain Crazymeds is hosted on uses a version of SSL that is not affected by the Heartbleed bug. That’s one of the many reasons why I pay a lot of money and keep this site on Lunarpages.

* Yes, I know I’m using open source browsers. I also test the site using the now-defunct IE and Safari browsers. Their popularity - and superiority - killed IE and Safari, so that’s why I rely on the open source browsers. It’s like brand vs. generic meds. Sometimes the generic is better than the brand.


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