US Government Information/SSI appeal: hearing

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Question
Hello, we got a lawyer who handles SSI appeals. I've provided a bunch of medical records that show severity of my son's mental illness, but the lawyer thinks if my son is not seeing a psychiatrist right now it will give the judge an impression that the condition is not severe enough to seek treatment. Is it really the case? We stopped going to psychiatrists and therapists after 12 years because the medications and therapy were not working for my son, but the medical records from all those years show severity of his condition. Does he have to see a psychiatrist or seeing a therapist is enough?

Also my son has never attempted to get a job as he was getting worse over the years and hardly leaves his room anymore. The lawyer believes it is better for his case if my son attempts work and finds he cannot last. The lawyer says never to have tried employment is not helpful and is suggesting that my son apply for any job and just wouldn't show for interview as he wouldn't be able to. Just wanted to know your opinion on this.

Thank you!
Alex

Answer
Alex,

I apologize for the delay, butI have never been involved in a hearing case so I did not want to comment without the support of someone who has been involved in hearing cases.

This comment is from an acquaintance that works as an advocate in OHA offices in OH.

The attorney probably knows the judge.  Old records are significant with the final diagnosis, but something that records the current years to justify the continuing disability is important.  When you are at the hearing stage you want current information by a physician to validate the disability.  I understand the parents reasoning, but if he were my client I would have current treatment and current GAF score by psychiatrist.  

I know the judges vary considerably on how they see and decide cases.  I had a case that I worked as a supportive advocate and there was no work history, but current psych records.  She won her case because I could verify she lost her home due to a mental disability and provided current psychiatric records.   The psychiatrist carries more weight then the therapist to some judges.

I hope this helps.  

Darlene

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Darlene Oldendick

Expertise

Social Security retirement planning and all questions about Social Security eligibility and entitlement.

Experience

Worked for the Social Security Administration for 33 years

Publications
http://www.socialsecurityadviceonline.com

Education/Credentials
33 years employment with the Social Security Administration

Awards and Honors
Many outstanding performance awards while employed at the Social Security Administration

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