Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Amending SSD Onset Date


          An incorrect onset date can result in a loss of Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits.  A 47 year old former correction officer retained me after her application for SSD benefits was denied.  Her application said that she became disabled on May 29, 2010 (the “AOD”), and she told me that she was advised to pick that date based on a conversation with a Social Security representative. 

            After interviewing the claimant, I learned that her work attempts had ended well before May 29, 2010.  I filed an on-the-record (“OTR”) request for a favorable decision that contended the claimant’s back, knee, arthritis, and hip problems prevented her being able to work.  I obtained reports from the claimant’s orthopedist and rheumatologist explaining why the claimant’s medical conditions prevented her from being able to engage in full time work on a sustained basis.  Additionally, I asked that the claimant’s AOD be amended to reflect a September 2009 onset date.

The OTR was approved today as of the amended September 2009 AOD.  The effect of the amendment is that the claimant will be entitled to receive eight additional months of SSD benefits.  The reason the Social Security representative selected May 29, 2010 as the AOD remains unclear.  This illustrates one of the many reasons why it frequently makes sense to have an attorney handle an SSD application.

1 comment:

ADosageOfReality said...

I cannot even begin to tell you the nightmare I have had with my SSDI and SSI claim based upon the local SSA office entering my AOD incorrectly.

Upon the day of application, I submitted September 2001 as my AOD because that was the last day I worked (last day of SGA), but the SSA employee entered November 2009 as my AOD. November 2009 is simply my protective filing date and has no other significance to any event. I immediately questioned the submission of November 2009 as my AOD, but the local SSA employee told me "it was an arbitrary date and would be corrected/updated later on." Almost three years later and at the beginning of my second ALJ hearing, my AOD was STILL incorrectly written as November 2009 (this was even after I had written six complaints and the AC even remanded the first ALJ denial with instructions to correct my AOD to September 2001). Every one of my denials were initially based off of this incorrect AOD.

I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2003, but even then my SI joints were fused in addition to several lumbar vertebrae. My date last insured is December 2006, so the shear fact the SSA had my AOD written as three years AFTER my DLI should have thrown up red flags to begin with.

I am currently on my second lawyer and unfortunately neither lawyer seems to grasp the importance of this huge clerical error with my AOD because neither of them made any arguments about this issue during either of my two ALJ hearings. So for me, the incorrectly written AOD has created a domino effect in which has caused my claim to still be active after almost 4 years.