Jul 30, 2015

Texas ALJ Draws Fire For Belittling Vet's Claim Of PTSD

     Let me give a hint to ALJs based upon a lot of experience.Whether an individual develops PTSD after being exposed to stress has more to do with the individual's psychological makeup than to the nature of the stress. Some people don't develop PTSD even though they are subjected to incredible stress. Others develop PTSD after exposure to what most people would regard as only moderate or even mild stress. People who suffer from bipolar disorder are six times more likely to develop PTSD, which suggests to me that there is a genetic propensity to develop PTSD.
     In any case, the individual who is the subject of this newspaper article was certainly subjected to considerable stress.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

This judge has consistently been one of the top 10 - 20 ALJs with highest denial rates. For decades. Hope SSA shares what their investigation yields and reacts similarly to other outliers who may abuse disability applicants. In addition, for anyone who may consider the claimant at fault or exaggerating his PTSD, it is not about a claimant’s allegations. This is about the dignity ALJs are charged with when conducting their hearings.

Anonymous said...

Since social security will NEVER get rid of these type of judges, until there is cry so loud that the government forces them to "early retirement"

Anonymous said...

It would appear that the claimant's PTSD was not severe enough for the VA to find him disabled. Our standards are stricter than theirs. I would think perhaps a CDI investigation might be in order. This claimant has had 7 children since his disabling incident..

Anonymous said...

...because people with PTSD are incapable of sexual intercourse with their significant others. Welcome to the Fourth Reich.

Anonymous said...

Whatever your opinions on the Social Security Disability system are, claimants and attorneys who appear before ALJ's deserve to be treated in a professional and courteous manner. The vast majority of ALJ's I appear in front of as an attorney, whether they are high or low granting judges, behave in such a manner. Those that consistently conduct themselves unprofessionally and abuse claimants, attorneys, experts, or Social Security staff, should face discipline. I agree with the comment above that SSA does nothing about these judges.

Anonymous said...

VA SCD ratings are pretty useless as probative evidence vis-a-vis SS DIB. Everyone in this game knows that. Yet, 100% SCD rated claimants, who are already getting significant income from the VA, get to jump ahead of others in the SS adjudication line even though there are claimants who are losing homes and unable to pay for even basic needs, and having to wait 2 years for a hearing. Thank you politics. As the backlog grows, this disparate treatment just becomes more galling. That being said, any judge who is concerned over how one got PTSD, instead of just looking at the symptoms and functional limits, is a fool and trying to play doctor.

Anonymous said...

There can be few better signs that an ALJ is unfit for their job than insulting a claimant. It is evidence of ignorance, possible prejudice, and certain poor judgment.

Johnny Cash said...

Despite being disrespectful, this incident is just another example of what happens daily in hearings all across the country where ALJs play doctor. this particular one just took it to a different level in voicing his ignorance of psychological disorders on the record and pissed someone off.

Anonymous said...

I think and idea would be for everyone to contact their congressmen and tell them to get rid of the ALJ level all together, along with reconsideration. Replace the ALJ level with medical doctors. End of confusion and incompetence.

Anonymous said...

I recant the comment I made at 10:02 PM. There are some ALJ's that do their jobs, so it would not be fair to punish all of them (i.e. get rid of the ALJ level) because of a few bad apples.

Anonymous said...

It was important for this vet to get a diagnosis of ptsd in order to get benefits. No benefits for a personality disorder-preexists service. Even before 2010 everybody I worked with at the VA knew there was a drive-through window to get a ptsd diagnosis- now it is even easier. All you have to do is walk in and say 'nightmares, flashbacks, hyperstartle' and the diagnosis is yours. While I don't agree with the alj making it an issue at the hearing, vets like this do a grave disservice to those who actually experienced something that was capable of impacting their psyche.

Anonymous said...

Replacing ALJs with doctors would not end the confusion and incompetence, 10:02 -- surely you've read DDS medical consultant review documents?