The last time I wrote about my struggle with Social Security over whether or not I qualify for disability, they had to reschedule a hearing because the doctor who was supposed to give expert testimony after a review of my records had not received the disc the records would be on.
Well, we finally had the replacement hearing on Tuesday morning. Normally, I would have posted about it by Wednesday, but the whole “May the 4th be with you” thing caused me to delay writing the post. Intuitively, I knew I needed to wait.
Thursday afternoon my lawyer called us. Since my wife is taking vacation time, she was the one who answered the phone.
First, let me share some of my initial observations about the hearing on Tuesday. The court clerk/typist who usually works in the office I sit in was visible on the video feed sitting in the office with the judge. She had been replaced locally with a woman who had a less-than-professional bearing. For one thing, knowing how to touch-type myself, I observed that she (the replacement) was going to have trouble accurately typing anything with finger nails that extended 2″ beyond the end of her fingers.
Anyhow, we had the hearing, and the judge seemed pleased with how smoothly and quickly it went. My lawyer was nearly ecstatic over how easily she got me to give the specific answer that she needed when she asked me certain questions about my history.
So, when she called me on Thursday afternoon, I was almost thinking that she’d been told we finally won. Still, intuition said the party was premature. It was right.
My lawyer had just spoken with the judge, who could not apologize profusely enough for what he had to tell her. In nearly 20 years of work as a lawyer, she’s never experienced anything like this before. There exists no record of the hearing Tuesday. We had a video conference call with the Judge in his court room, but not one minute of it was recorded. The typed transcript was not “suitable”.
For some reason, when my lawyer told me all of this my memory flashed to the judge stating before we officially started the hearing that they had 6 cases back-to-back. Thus, my first question to her was, “Did this affect all of the cases they had on Tuesday?”
Yes, it did. They are scrambling to reschedule ALL of them for as soon as possible – probably at least 3 months, could be as long as 6.
Stay tuned, we’ll be back after this commercial break.
(sorry, I just had to throw in that old television announcer line)