5 based on 5 reviews

17 Comments

  1. LMA says:

    I had a hearing before her in July of 2016. Yes, she did ask a lot of questions, very specific ones, and I tried to answer as honestly and truthfully as I could. Yet despite the massive evidence placed before her, she denied me and it has caused disastrous consequences for myself and my husband. My husband is totally disabled, too, and we are living on 475.00 (his SSI) per month now that I cannot work. I have re-filed for help, but am in fear of losing our home before something gives, or before I even get a decision.I have a personal diagnosed history of 2 heart attacks, 3 coronary stents due to coronary artery disease, degenerative disk disease and one past back surgery, arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder and major bouts of recurrent major depression. In May of this year I fell, resulting in a fractured clavicle and torn tendon of my right rotator cup. Yet after 5 days hospitalization, I returned to work, in great pain, as it was a hot, hard job with heavy lifting, not knowing at the time that my collar bone was fractured. I was summarily dismissed 2 weeks later, and was replaced by a 19-year-old. Of course they did not tell me it was due to my health, but I knew, as hard as I tried, I simply was not able to keep up with the work pace anymore. I explained all of this to her. I also went to Vocational Rehabilitation, but my counselor closed my case, stating she wishes she could help me find placement, but she simply felt that by my medical record, there was no job or training into which she felt she could safely place me. Now, I know that judges are required to follow stringent laws and rules, but I wish I were able to ask Her Honor is she ever truly takes into consideration what kind of havoc her decisions wreak on the lives of those who truly want to be able to work, but who simply cannot do it anymore. I am scared, and I feel there is no place left to turn. I just want to be able to stay in my home, and to pay my bills.

  2. Lawyer representing SSA claimants says:

    Oh, and to the person who posted 11/20/2012 and said that the vocational expert found you excluded from gainful employment – I think perhaps there’s a misunderstanding there as well. Vocational experts typically respond to hypothetical questions about persons with the claimant’s age, education and work experience, but with various types of limitations. Normally at least three different hypothetical questions are asked and, yes, the goal is to find a hypothetical individual who most closely matches the claimant’s work-related restrictions. The vocational expert never gives testimony about whether or not YOU, the claimant, can or cannot engage in “substantial gainful activity” work. However, it is not uncommon for the expert to identify at least one of the hypothetical people as having no work available to him or her in the national economy. My guess is, the hypothetical individual the ALJ found closest to your situation was NOT identified by the vocational expert as having no work available to him/her, which may have been the basis for your denial.

  3. Lawyer representing SSA claimants says:

    I’ve been a member of the bar for over 30 years, and one who has represented claimants in Social Security cases. First of all, to the law student who posted 3/22/14 – by now, you may be practicing law, and no doubt are a bit more seasoned. To speak so disrespectfully about a judge you don’t know, and to suggest she should be disbarred, is not appropriate – especially since you apparently are not familiar with the Social Security law’s definition of disability. To the rest of you, I am sympathetic, honestly, but I hope that none of you had attorneys or other representatives – if you did, they may not have explained the applicable law to you as carefully as they should have. While your treating physician’s opinion is entitled to great weight IF he/she points to objective medical evidence (tests, etc.) and limits his/her opinion to how long you can sit/walk/stand, how much you can lift, and other points of work-related function, other than simply saying you are ‘disabled,’ it is not entitled to weight if all your doctor says is “my patient is disabled” and there is no indication that he/she has even reviewed Social Security’s definition. The law’s definition of disability is not the one you find in the dictionary, or what you think of as disability as an average citizen. In reality, the Social Security law is slanted in favor of the claimant, believe it or not. BTW – my experience with Judge Hodges is that she is fair, courteous, and knows the law. I suspect those who are displeased with her here are those who disagreed with her decisions. If so, appeal them – don’t complain about her just because you don’t agree with her outcome.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I don’t think she follows the procedure she is supposed to. I have been seeing my doctor every 30 days for 18 years, yet she said in her decision that she placed no credibility in my treating physicians. I was well into a six-figure salary, and I’m not so stupid that I would rather have $2000/mo than $10000/mo. I had a major heart attack in which I had a 95% blockage in the left coronary, and a 90% blockage in my right coronary. The only reason I survived, and this was said by 2 cardiologists, was just so happened that I lived next door to the local ambulance service and stumbled in there before I lost consciousness. If I had waited 10 to 15 minutes for paramedics I would have never survived. Judge Hodges said in her decision that the stenting was successful, and therefore there were no remaining issues with my heart. After showing my cardiologist that, he said “that is the most ludicrous statement I have ever seen!” I still have a 65% blockage that can only be reached by open heart surgery, and all doctors said that my best course of action was to treat the remaining blockage with medication, and to “hang it up”. However, she stated that I could do a job as long as I could sit and stand at will, takes breaks as often as I needed one, and as long as my employer placed no pressure to perform at a pace that I could not tolerate. I am over 55, and even the courts VE said I was limited to sedentary work. Even going by the “grid rules” I am considered disabled.

  5. Content says:

    I personally have sat in front of her to here my case. I found that she was very polite and formal. She knows exactly what she is doing. She was very engaged and interested in hearing my testimony. She asked lots of questions and gave me her undivided attention. I did have a lawyer with me just because I wanted to make sure I was treated fairly after reading horror stories about these hearings. I have not had a decision yet from my hearing but I have no doubt she puts a lot of consideration of the medical facts, testimony, and overall assessment of one’s character in her decisions. Regardless
    Of a favorable decision, if I am given one, I thought she was very professional and fair.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Her denial rate is approximately 15% higher than the national average….?????

    Has there ever been any kind of an investigation about a possible motivation for denying claims?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow….I am a law student reading this and it is pretty disheartening. A judge that disregards medical evidence? Isn’t that the basis for determining whether or not a disability exists?

    This so-called “judge” should be disbarred. Personal opinion should not enter into it. A judge is required to make a decision based on the evidence provided.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.