Social Security Disability
AnonymousOctober 8, 2011 at 8:58 am
In the last week I was happy to learn that I am now on disability through Social Security. I didn’t want to apply because I had long-term disability through my former employer but I had to to, it was in the fine print. The private insurance disability will still have to pay 10% of what they have been paying until I am 65, if I remain disabled. I applied back in June, so it was three months, my wife says that’s record time. I feel a little less stressed, so I thank the Lord Jesus for his provision. I am sure it helped that I had a burst, compression fracture back in May when I fell down stairs at my in-laws. I am glad now that I had to apply for Social Security.
AnonymousOctober 13, 2011 at 12:14 am
The older one is the easier it is to get SSD, as the govt. tends to assume that anyone over 50 would be considered unemplyable after age 50 (in a new job.) At least that’s what they told me when I got it at age 49, although almost 10 years later I am still unable to work (wear AFOs & use a cane to walk,) hands still bad (type with 2 fingers yet,) but most importantly I need to sleep about 10-12 hours a day to even feel half normal. Congrats on getting disability, as there will be less stress in your life now.
AnonymousOctober 14, 2011 at 11:29 am
Johnny 3, God bless you and your family as you deal with this terrible illness, and I am so glad that He has provided this SSD for your need. You have certainly been through a lot of suffering in the process. Hope things are somewhat easier for you now, and there will be less stress and financial worry.
I know how hard it is to cope with it, almost 58 yrs. old myself. I am trying to hang on as long as possible, and mostly living off my savings now, because I have almost no employment and wages. Hoping to make it to age 65 and my Old Age Pension, but it’s sure getting awfulluy tough to cope. Don’t want the docs to torture me anymore and cause further damage with their ‘tests’, as they’ve already done; and I don’t have resources or transportation for the extensive/expensive medical runaround for disability processing.
Oh well, what will be, will be.
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Social Security Disability
AnonymousAugust 20, 2008 at 8:01 am
Hello to all of you! It has been a while since I have posted, but yesterday was my big day with SS. I had my hearing and was approved. I have spent some time since the hearing thinking about the last 3 years and 5 months, the time since I quit working, and now have some advice for others…….
My symptoms are probably typical for CIDP (if there is typical)…..tingling, numbness, burning, needles, in my extremities, chest, head and face. I also suffer nausea which comes and goes with the severe crushing fatigue. For me the fatigue is what makes me unable to work and with the fatigue comes the nausea.
I first applied for SSD in Jan. of 06 and was turned down twice so I waited for a hearing before a judge for two full years. I don’t know what we would have done without private insurance. I think, that in hindsight, I probably might have been approved sooner if I had put together the documentation that was available to the judge, earlier. I believe that documentation is the key to approval…….that and credibility. The judge used that term several times yesterday.
Other than the normal questions SS will ask you, I provided the following for the hearing.
A statement from both my normal Neuro and GP stating that I had CIDP, that I had permanent nerve damage, that the damage caused severe debilitating fatigue, that the symptoms were most likely permanent, and that I was unable to perform even sedentary jobs for 8 hours a day.
I had statements from my last two bosses stating that my job was a completely sedentary desk job with no physical requirements whatsoever. They also stated that I was allowed to set my own schedule, to take breaks during the day whenever needed, and that I was unable to successfully perform my job even with the special accommodations. It was these work statements that seemed to have more weight with the judge than anything.
Also included were all medical records which showed continuing illness and follow up with my docs. I had one specialist whose opinion was that I should not be disabled, but that was not even mentioned by the judge……the statements from my two managers held more weight than the one Neuro.
The final issue that the judge stressed was credibility……..and this one is hard to quantify. However, and this is unfortunate for younger people, age seems to be a big factor. When you have worked for a lot of years, it seems to me that you become “credible.” He told me that because I had worked and was successful, I had “credibility.” He also stated that my manager’s statements weighed heavily because he had no reason to believe that they were not credible. During the hearing he did not reference the doctors statements at all, but really stressed the letters from my managers were an excellent bit of evidence of my disability.
To summarize I would advise the following:
Document everything…..even keep a daily log of your activities. My attorney did not use my journal, but I had it if needed.
Find sympathetic doctors. You are sick and need a doc that understands. Your docs also need to be willing to go to bat for you and offer an opinion of your disability for the record. I also made sure that each time I visited my doctors that I told them in great detail how my symptoms were progressing. That needs to be in their records.
Get statements from your workplace describing in detail your job requirements and any special accommodations made for you to help with your illness.
For me it was important to have an attorney. It took the load off in preparing the case and submitting any paperwork. It can be done by an individual, but having someone else, who is knowledgeable, doing the leg work is a great relief.
This is a long and drawn out process…..you have to stick with it and not lose hope. And unfortunately, I think it is harder for younger people to convince SS that you are sick. I know it gets much easier at age 55 due to the ability to be retrained, so the younger you are, the more documentation you are going to need.
I hope this ramble helps some of you with what you might need for disability approval,and also to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel…….and it is not a freight train.
Please feel free to ask any questions you might have and I’ll be glad to offer any info or insight that I can.
AnonymousAugust 20, 2008 at 10:14 am
Hutch, excellent info that I know is going to help and support many people here on the forum. I am so glad things worked out for you. I am starting my own documentation although I live in Canada and things will be different to a degree. I think the diary and documentation are key to the whole process regardless of where we live. Great advice to all of us.
AnonymousAugust 20, 2008 at 11:16 am
Thanks for the information. I have just filed and was told by the attorney i hired to expect multiple denials. I have printed out your information though. I am 48, which I guess is good and bad, but bad from a SS standpoint, huh? My other challenge is as we have played with my IVIG frequency I have tried to document some progress with weekly over monthly infusions and that is what is reflected in the doctors records. I know it is going to be an issue because my STD company has questioned any mention that I have more energy, etc. This is a bad week so I probably shouldn’t be writing here, but it is all very frustrating to me. My employer will probably not document much either, you have to be full duty to work there, they won’t accomodate me. So the only documentation will be poof, you are not working and good luck with STD/LTD, etc.
I am very happy for you and would love to report back here that I had progress. I especially like your wording of the fatigue aspect, which is ever so challenging to explain to people. Even typing exhausts my arms after, for example, typing this. Thanks again for the info! Gabrielle
AnonymousAugust 22, 2008 at 8:32 pm
congratulations on your approval. I got approval almost four years ago. The information I provided was very similar to what you talked about from your hearing.
They really don’t want to know much else except how your impairment will keep you from working ANY job. Many people mistake the fact that they couldn’t do their OLD job, but could do something else.
I my case I had a case history with Vocational Rehab., a statewide agency that helps people change careers or whatever due to accident or injury. That agency helped me with paperwork because THEY couldn’t find me work. That matches your judge’s statement about credible information.
I had a pretty good paying job when I worked, and the amount of money I get is so little compared to what I made. A lot of people think that SS disability is easy street. It isn’t. And you have to wait two years before getting health coverage. It can be so devastating.
I hope all has worked out well for you. Anyone else needing some help, send me a note
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