We represent hundreds of clients applying for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) at any given time. It is our job to make certain that we are getting all the relevant medical evidence from our client’s treating sources, so the State agency, which processes the claims, has the requisite information to make a timely decision. Thus, it is very frustrating when, not only do we have to do our job, but we also have to do the State agency’s job for them because/when they are to lazy to do it themselves.
We represent a 61 year old teacher from Atlantic Beach, NY, who was approved for SSD benefits today, but only after we repeatedly called the State agency to ask them to look at the medical evidence that we had submitted. The analyst handling the application repeatedly insisted that she did not have the claimant’s records, even though we had the electronic filing receipts that proved the State agency had received the records. To make matters even worse, we have access to the claimant’s file, and could see the records were in there. My office had to tell the analyst where to look in the file to find the documents that the analyst claimed were not there.
To compound matters even further, the analyst’s supervisor had asked us for a more detailed job description. We immediately provided the description on a Friday afternoon. We called the supervisor the following Monday to confirm she received it. The supervisor advised my assistant that she was no longer the supervisor for that analyst, and required us to call the new supervisor. We waited until Wednesday to call the new supervisor, Mr. Senser, to give him a chance to acclimate himself with the claimant’s file. Mr. Senser said he did not see the job description that we had submitted. Once again, we had to tell him where to look in the file, at which point he miraculously found it.
Apparently, because Mr. Senser was humiliated, he told us that the claimant needed to go to a Consultative Exam (“CE”), despite the fact that the last supervisor agreed to accept a neurological exam from the claimant’s treating doctor in lieu of a CE. In fact, the prior supervisor had also stated that she did not need any additional medical information. However, Mr. Senser professed that somewhere in the medical notes he saw that one of our client’s doctors said she had improved.
We sent a letter to Mr. Senser asking him to identify the notes which supposedly stated that the our client had improved. We also pointed out that even if someone shows some improvement, that does not mean they can work. A coma patient who improves by waking up, but is paralyzed, cannot work.
We called Mr. Senser back a few days later to confirm that he had read our letter. Of course, he was unable to find the letter, until we told him exactly where it was located in the file, that he was responsible for maintaining. Once again, Mr. Senser miraculously found the letter that he had insisted was not in the file. Since he could not even find the letter, he obviously had failed to read it. Curiously, Mr. Senser then represented that he could not remember his statement about the claimant’s notes showing improvement. Instead, Mr. Senser advised us that the claimant had been approved the previous Friday, which was the very same day when he told us that the claimant needed to go to a CE.
One can only wonder how the State agency gets anything done. While there are some good analysts, most are either incompetent, or just don’t care about their work. Consequently, if we do not stay on top of them, and spend our time doing their job, then our clients would still be waiting for their decisions, or even worse, have their claim erroneously denied.
There is no better example of why it is so important to have an experienced disability represent you if you apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Our office offers free phone consultations with offices located in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.
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