By the way, we generally don't take on the cases of claimants we know to be terminally ill. We tell those folks to file the claim and expect to be approved quickly. This claimant had other very serious health problems at the time we took on the case in 2017 but had not been diagnosed with cancer. This case has been stuck at the initial and reconsideration levels since 2017. We were hoping he'd be approved not just from the time the cancer was diagnosed but from the date he stopped work in 2017 which is why there's the discussion above about onset date.Forgot to mention that there is a NOT2 [some sort of notice letter, I think] in file showing you are the attorney. ____ did call me back but it’s still a mess. No one can figure out why you aren’t showing on the screen when a phone call is made and ____ can’t fix it.Not only that, the entire thing is a comedy of errors, actually, more like a tragedy.While nothing seemed obvious to ____, we eventually found a screen that shows decision made 2/5/19 that clt [claimant] met 13.02 [which is for cancer] as of 2/15/2017 (which it the onset we wanted). BUT, there’s no notice of any kind. The case at DO [District Office] just shows “closed.” Doesn’t show it as being at the payment center. But doesn’t SSA have to send it to PC [Payment Center]? He said, “yes.” So, if it’s closed at DO and you didn’t send it to the PC, how is supposed to get to PC? Silence. I need an answer. If he’s assigned, wouldn’t he need to send it to PC? He said call the PC. What if I call and it’s not at PC? He says call back. And say what? Speak to whom? He couldn’t say.____ mailed a new NOT2 showing fee agreement approved today, but date of onset still says 10/18. And something called a Dickle screen that shows medical onset of 2/15/17 and a copy of the 831 from the recon.If he knows all of that, why can’t he fix the system?When I hang up and call back, the DO says there is no 1696 on file. No one seems to know what to do about it. Clearly, it has been in their possession. I have a letter from DDS 1/2019 acknowledging the 1696, we have the NOT2, we have the acknowledgment of the 1695.I called the PC, 205-801-____. ____ says nothing is in queue. The program they work from, nothing in there “enterprise wise.” She says DO has to send the case there.I called ____ , the supervisor. Ext ____. Left a very long and detailed message. I will be surprised if I get a return call and if I do not, I’m not sure where to go from here.
The sort of delay that happened here doesn't happen often. When it does happen, it usually happens to people who are really, really sick. Someone at Disability Determination really wants to approve the claim but runs into a lot of resistance. It appears to me that this happened at both the initial and reconsideration levels. Finally, after the cancer diagnosis, the resistance faded and they're approving him but we're not absolutely sure that they're going back to 2017. That date issue may be part of the problem or it may just be a systems problem. We don't know.