My husband, children, and myself live in Rhode Island. Husband has not been able to work in 5 yrs. I am a hospice nurse and is the only income coming in. We have 2 children, mortgage, and all the other bills (electric, heat, taxes, food expense, etc.). My husband has a genetic disorder that is a called multiple endocrine neoplasia. There is no cure. It's genetic.
His body makes tumors throughout his body. He has a pituitary (brain), had parathyroids removed due to tumors in 2014, and had tumors in the pancreas which in 2014 had 3/4 of his pancreas removed and is now a insulin-dependent diabetic. Takes 60 units of Lantus twice a day, which is really a high dose of insulin. Tumor found in the right lung. Multiple conditions: hypercalcium (causes frequent kidney stones), pulmonary hypertension (on meds for), sleep apnea (needs a CPAP machine when he sleeps at night since he frequently stops breathing), edema (swelling in legs and hands due to pulmonary hypertension), hyperthyroidism (on med Synthroid), bulging discs in his back (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar) causing daily back pain, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, hemorrhage in his brain and seizures. This is just a few of his conditions. He applied 2 yrs ago and has been denied 3 X's.
My big concern is SSI does not follow the law/guidelines. The 3rd time we had to go to court. The state-appointed MD never even physically or verbally spoke w / my husband to assess him. MD review my husband's case briefly before he was entering the court. Had made multiple mistakes when asked questions about my husband's condition. Then when our lawyer questioned state MD, he frequently had to apologize. He hadn't realized meds husband was on and his medical background.
Now during the hearing the state MD (Dr.) got up. Asked judge to be excused. He had another case to attend. The MD did not hear the entire case/hearing d/t his ignorance of leaving in the middle. The judge told him, "Ok." The state MD did admit, "Judge, his is very complicated and I can't answer some of your questions because this isn't my specialty. But John will need to be followed closely and have frequent blood work and tests." The reason I know this exact statement made was I was in the courtroom during the hearing and was taking notes. I wanted to correct the state MD many times he was wrong. Since, I have a registered nurse for 19 yrs and have knowledge in my husband's case.
Our lawyer said prior to going in I am not allowed to say anything at all. I found out my husband had a right to have any witness in the courtroom and speak on his behalf. Judge never even asked if he had any witness. State vocational tech even stated there is no job my husband could do due to my husband had multiple MD statements/assessments that was submitted to the court w / my husband's disabilities and conditions (statements by his endocrinologist, neurologist, PCP, surgeons, specialist out of state at Massachusetts General Hospital, neurologist, etc.).
I finally received a letter in the mail yesterday w / judge denying my husband. Even stated in his letter he didn't take in consideration "any" my husband's MD's statements/assessments. But states in his letter he took in only the state-appointed MD. This is the MD who left in the middle of the hearing to go to another hearing, I feel my lawyer did not be aggressive enough to represent my husband. When I spoke to her about it she apologized and stated if my husband didn't get a favorable decision this time, she would need to refer him to another lawyer since she doesn't know what else to do.
It's clear my husband is completely disabled. I don't understand how the judge could override and not consider any of his MD's reports/assessments. Does anyone what I should do? The judge obviously did not follow the laws and guidelines the SSI has. What do you think to help guide me and any laws you may know of that could help me present to SSI for this next appeal, which I hope we still have as the rights my husband has as everyone else? The MDs and lawyer are speechless that his wasn't approved since this a complicated case that clearly shows in all medical records he is disabled. State of Rhode Island is the good old boy network, meaning it's a small state and some people / state reps / lawyers have connections. Please can anyone advise or make suggestions? I am falling behind in all my bills/mortgage. I have been working overtime to see extra patients but is not enough to get by. Thanks.