Sorry I need to vent on my friends social security hearing. Please if anyone has any advice or insight it would be greatly appreciated.
First a little about my friend: he is 48 and for the past 13 years he has been living in extreme pain. He has an autoimmune disease, cervical disk surgery, herniated discs in his lower back; he suffered a stroke and has peripheral neuropathy, ADHD and severe anxiety. He has been going to the doctor for 13 years one doctor he has been seeing every second month and the other he sees every month, yes every month. His medical records are very compelling.
The day of the hearing he was a nervous wreck he literally has to stand and walk around every couple of minutes and sit, he did this throughout the hearing and it is very obvious he is in pain all the time.
We were walking into the courtroom and as we were walking in the judge looked at him and asked “what can we do to get you back to work”? He said he would love to go back to work if he was physically and mentally able. We all sat down and the tension in the room was so thick that you could cut it with a knife. The judge asked the attorney to start and the attorney did not hear her and the judge asked her to start again. The attorney made an opening statement and the judge cut her off and asked the VE if he looked at the medical records and if there were any jobs he could do. He said yes and came back with a hotel maid and account manager???? She then asked if a hypothetical person with a certain amount of limitations could perform this work and he said yes. The judge then asked if a person that could lift no more than 2 pounds could sit and stand throughout the day and take unscheduled breaks and lay down for a couple of hours at a time if there were any jobs and he said yes, he could be an alarm monitor. Everyone in the room looked at him like he was an idiot. Then the judge asked him what his qualifications were and he said uh, uh then he asked the judge “my qualifications and she said yes your qualifications. The VE went over his qualifications and then she looked at the attorney and asked if she had any questions. The attorney asked about the limitations according to the RFC my friends doctor filled out which by the way said he couldn’t use his hands, he would have to sit and walk every couple of mins, he could never stop, bend, crawl etc and he would need a break every 30 mins and he would need at least 4 days a month off. The attorney asked the VE if there were any jobs available for such an individual and he said no. The attorney asked my friend to describe his pain and symptoms, he was describing in detail about his headaches, his problems with his hands and neck pain and he has to use the bathroom several times a day, the judge interrupted him and said there was nothing about headaches and there is nothing about his bladder problems. Well he responded that he got the headaches from the neck pain and she interrupted and said well didn’t you tell your doctors? he said he told his doctors. She also said there was nothing in the records about the bathroom problems and there are medical records that state this but she didn’t want to see it. She asked him about his daily activities and he said he watches TV and walks around he also daydreams a lot. She said is that it, and said it again with an attitude. She asked if he cooked he said he ate microwave food and pre made sandwiches. She asked if he drank anything and he said bottled water. She got pissed and said “BOTTLED WATER” she said how do you open the top. He told her he uses a top that has a straw on top like a sippe cup, she said who fills it up, and he said my friends do. She was harping on the attorney about jobs and asked her with my limitations of concentration the judge kept on asking that over and over. He does have a problem with concentration. Then the judge went over some of the medical records and said look at this one. It says he feels better and his pain is at a 4 out of 10, the attorney spoke up and showed her about 5 records that said he was not doing well. The judge kept on bringing up the fact of the one visit he felt better out of the 100 plus visits where he felt bad or worse. She then asked my friend if he had anything to say and my friend was clearly rattled and said no. The whole hearing the judge was speaking in a rude tone and would cut everyone off. The attorney told my friend it sounded like it was up to his testimony and his doctor’s statement vs. the social security doctor; she said it did not look good.
Are the judges supposed to be rude and not let you speak without the fear of being yelled at? What do you think my friends chances are? Please any feedback would be appreciated.