17 September 2009

Dots for Nora, Nots for Ray

Nora, who is schizophrenic, is puzzled about why Ray's SSDI application took so long. Ray applied in 2006, and only this month received notice from an administrative law judge that the previous SSA rulings had been overturned. Ray should start receiving his benefits next month. "Why the hell did it take so long?," Nora inquires. "Lots of reasons. Vague or conflicting information from different doctors. When I appealed for reconsideration, the worker reviewing my case ignored SSA's own descriptions of my disorder and turned my down flat. I guess Major Depressive Disorder is a fairly recent addition to their disabling mental illnesses list. "Then the ALJ hearing didn't get scheduled for 23 months. There was a shortage of judges, then one of those judges died. When Obama took office, they assigned more judges to this area to get the SSDI appeals cases caught up. When I finally go into to see the judge, he tells me that Cincy Psych has not updated my records for over two years. I almost gave up several times along the way." "Wow. I didn't go through any of that. I just showed up, and the lady looked at some stuff the doctor sent her. She asked me if I still saw dots, and I said yeah, afraid so. Then she said okay, you're approved." "Sounds like your doctors were really motivated," Ray says ruefully. "Hell no. They were psychiatrists."

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