Just to let everyone know, it took me two and a half years to get my disability and they never even looked at the fact that I had severe Fribo. I had to get a lawyer, denied 3 times, which is their regular tactic and then go before a Judge and be totally humiliated and a week later, based on 2 herniated disks, they gave me disability. There was not one word of Fribo mentioned. Yet I received back pay but never could figure what the lawyers were doing for me, since my old medical records, of the disk problem, was what they based it on. And I paid them $5,000.00 for filing papers! People beware. It will take 2-3 years if you are under 50. 1-2 years if you are 50+ and at least 1 year if you are 60. They do not want to pay for this condition because so many are still blind to this illness/disease. You may have better luck with a secondary condition, as I did. And don't give up. They hope you will, based on the time frame. I even had to file bankruptcy the month after because it took so long. Also, they can not touch your award money if you do file for bankruptcy.
Wow, the system is really terrible! I am sorry you had to deal with that.
Thanks for the warning. I am in my 40s and have mental illnesses that keep me from functioning normally - I am thinking it's time to apply to SSI, but now I am worried.
Thanks for sharing your story,Debra!
I have a previous work history, but after being laid off due to budget cuts in 2005, floudering around unhappily in Corporate America and doing some part-time work that was even more stressful for me, I decided to seek disability payments.
It IS a daunting task, but anything worth doing takes a lot of dedication and energy. I didn't let the long, dragged out process get me down and just knew the journey would end in my favor. Good for you for sticking it out and thanks for the tips!
I've also become aware of programs that can help someone with disabilities continue to keep their services and benefits and still have a small business. Check out an agency I'm a part of, The Power of the Dream. We are based in N.C., but can connect peopel with disabilities with resources--such as Vocational Rehabilitation business plan help, to get people with disabilities working in a business designed around their abilities and interests and build their professional supports around it.www.thepowerofthedream.org
I am going to be applying for disability this month. I am not sure how this process works - any advice would be appreciated!
I know they turn you down a few times just for fun.
I realize the original post was a few years ago but I thought I'd make mention of a point raised earlier.
There's a difference between SSI and SSDI.
Apply for benefits if you:
[*]are age 18 or older;
[*]have worked and paid Social Security taxes long enough to qualify; and
[*]have a medical condition that has prevented you from working or is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months or end in death.
SSI on the other hand:
[*]The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.
[*]SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits.
More info here: [url=http://www.ssa.gov/]SSA home page[/url]
I operate a disability help "resource site." I'm disabled due to end stage renal disease (kidney failure). I created this site to help other disabled folks search for available benefits due to their disability, low income status, and/or impairment. There is no cost involved to search my site's information so please check it out, you may find something that will help. Join the forum if you would like to ask a question or contact me here.
A note also about the disability process. The decision to grant your disability request will differ from region to region across the USA and sometimes from judge to judge. The qualifications for disability is often ruled upon differently. My wife applied for disability due to fibro, chronic pain and arthritis. She was granted SSDI w/o having to go through the appeal process.
The one thing which always helps your case is to have a paper trail from your doctor. Have test results, procedures, labs, findings, etc. They will be very interested in those when determining your application. Make sure you visit your doctor regularly. If you are having trouble paying for visits, find a free clinic or apply for financial assistance through the hospital/clinic you visit.
My site: [url=http://www.disabilityhelpsite.com]Disability Help Site[/url]
Sorry about the html in this post. I can't figure out how to get it to work right.
Dave, thank you for your really great help. I had a long phone interview with the SS people and we determined that while I don't qualify for SSDi based on my (lack of) income/work history, they are going to send me ahead with SSI.
So the next step is that they are going to track down my info, then send me some booklets to fill out, and then set me up with one of their counselors to meet. They have 120 days to do this. I will keep everyone updated!
Dave, going to check out your site. And know that you can't post links here until you have at least 50 posts.
Hi Jill, sorry to hear that you don't have enough work history to qualify. Hope SSI will help. It most likely won't be much $$$ though.
I know living on a very tight fixed budget has changed our way of life. We were never use to living well to begin with but after going on SSDI, frugality became an everyday necessity. Living frugal can be a good thing though, it prepares your mindset for tough(er) times down the road.
Thanks for the heads-up on the html thing.
Hope you find my site useful.
Thanks, dave. I will find out about my first attempt at an application in may. I can really just hope it all goes through properly. I am used to living on nothing. So anything i get will be a goodness.
I got my packet o' questionnaires two weeks ago. It took about eight hours, maybe more, to fill all that out. I am pretty pleased with the information i was able to relate, however, and i worked on it with my case manager
She feels i have presented a good case and a lot of information, and that i have a good chance.
I am still waiting to get my appointment to see the government shrink, though. They are behind in getting this out to me.
Thanks for the update, Jill. I would like for you to document your experience all the way through because I'm betting there are many, many people who are going through the same thing. Your struggle has been very real and very frustrating for all of us to read about. Thank you for sharing with us.
Thanks, Jeannetta; I will continue to do so. I figure, as you say, that it can only help others through the process. And it also helps me to write it all down somewhere.
I was surprised at how interesting the process was in filling out the questionnaire. I thought the trip down memory lane (they go 15 years back) might disturb me. Instead it really did clearly lay out to me just how long and consistently i have had a problem.
Just an update to say there is no update. My case is still pending.
Finally! I had my psych evaluation with the dr who makes recommendations to the DES. It was an hour long and was both a good experience and very stressful. I will go into more details later - wanted to at least put in this quick update.
Oh, and I also experienced a problem with DES losing important paperwork. Weird. Must be very disorganized in there.
Make copies, keep backups, and follow up on everything!
Jilly, from what i have seen, almost everyone is initially denied at first, and then after they go through an appeal process they may get disability. I have yet to meet someone who is on SS disability who did not have to appeal.
thought i would mention this to stress the importance of keeping copies of everything. Make sure you fill out each and every item they give you to fill out. Carefully watch your mailbox and stay in frequent communication as needed. It is a very long process, but one that can really lead to an improvement in peoples lives once they get through it.
Lisa, according to the DES information, 39% of people are accepted in the first round. I really hope I can be in that percent; it would be wonderful to be able to have more than $10 a month to spend on non-utilities. I am having to be really creative (which is fun but not a perfect solution) in my frugality to get by.
Last wed I called to follow up with the psych evaluator and see if they ever got my SSI information packet. They had finally received it that day, over a week AFTER my appointment with him.
Tomorrow I will call again and see if he has made/sent in his dictation yet. I just figure I will make follow up calls to SSI every wed to make sure nothing in my case will fall through the cracks.
If i get denied this round, it takes at least one year and sometimes up to SEVEN to get accepted.
39% is definitely hopeful! I think a lot of the issues come from people not knowing how to fill out paperwork properly. As an experienced writer, you have an advantage. You also know how to follow-up. That is what it takes!
My personal experience sounds skewed.
I receive SSI Disability
Most people here don't get it on the first try
My mental health therapist help me a great deal with the paper work she came with me when i applied
good luck Jilly
Thank you, Rosie! And let's hope so, Lisa.
My update: i called the SSI shrink Wed and found out that my dictation had been sent out Monday. This all took a lot longer than anyone anticipated, since the shrink got my paperwork a week late, and then I guess got behind with his other volume of projects.
My next step is to call DES and see if they actually received a copy of the dictation. I also need to request a copy of it for myself.
The trick seems to be to follow up on every. single. step. of the. process.
I want DES to have every factor at their disposal when the day comes to make their determination.
They received the dictation. It was not in my favor. I was turned down.
Now i need to start the appeals process. I am devastated.
Don't give up, or feel too down. From the statistic you sighter above, that means that 61% don't get SSI on the first round.
Have you looked for an attorney or other help for the appeals process?
My case manager is the best help I could ask for, and it's free.
I just don't know how I am going to live now. The appeals takes at least one year. At least! As it is, the only utility I still have on is electric, and that's because I am getting assistance on it. I am not permitted to work and apply for SSI.