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Questions Answered by Thomas Carter O'Brien
1 Answer | Asked in Social Security for Pennsylvania on
Q: The Appeals Council started reviewing the decision issued by the ALj. Why are they reviewing the ALJ decision ?

I never asked for an appeal . Is it protocol for the Appeals council to review the Judge decision . Does this mean it was denied for them to review out of the blue? Thank you

Thomas Carter O'Brien
Thomas Carter O'Brien
answered on Dec 27, 2021

The Appeals Council can either review an ALJ decision because you requested the review, or they can review decisions of their own volition. In their review, the most common outcomes are to either agree with the ALJ decision, or they can remand the decision back to the ALJ for them to fix any... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Social Security and Appeals / Appellate Law for Tennessee on
Q: My ALJ disability claim was denied and my lawyer doesn't file beyond that level. Should I give up, continue on with

New lawyer or start over as I'm still having an increase of issues/surgeries?

Thomas Carter O'Brien
Thomas Carter O'Brien
answered on Jul 9, 2020

That's not an easy question to answer without more details. Further appeals focus more on the application of the law to your case as opposed to "not seeing the facts your way". As such, the quality of the written decision and the way the judge conducted the proceedings are of... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Social Security for New York on
Q: I was told because I am disabled that I don't have to pay child support is this true
Thomas Carter O'Brien
Thomas Carter O'Brien
answered on Jul 30, 2018

Not necessarily, and I would recommend you speak with an attorney local to you. SSI funds may generally not be garnished to satisfy child support obligations, but Disability funds may not be afforded these protections. Both programs require proof of disability. Additionally, an individual under... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Social Security for Texas on
Q: How is the waiting period for SSA benefits calculated if the claimant is self employed? The specific math.

SSA determined I became disabled July 10, 2015. My SSDI benefits started Jan. 16, although I didn't start receiving the money until March 2017.

I know that SSA says the waiting period for determination is five full months below SGA. However, they asked me for six months of info. What... View More

Thomas Carter O'Brien
Thomas Carter O'Brien
answered on Jul 30, 2018

The 5-month waiting period is described in CFR § 404.315. The relevant part of the regulation states that benefits will be payable after you have been disabled for FIVE FULL (emphasis added) consecutive months. This five-month waiting period begins with the first full month in which you were... View More

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