Been gone a while......

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Broken Medic
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/10/2008 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
  But I'm back! My Mother took ill and went to be with her for a week. Funny, but I just realized I was gone a week, and all I had to do was pack a few bags....and go. No vacation request from work. No guilt trip from work. Hmmmm, I like that a lot!!! Anyway, she has a multitude of medical problems and in her twilight. So, of course whenever she, or my aunt, calls...I'm off. I just hope I can continue to do that.
   OK kids, the last time we left Broken Medic, he was going in for his Rhizotomy on the lumbar spine. Well, it's been a month and no REAL noticeable change. Still got pain, and still hoping that I will wake up one morning soon, and Viola!!! Pain is now a 1or 2!! Yeah!!! Party!! Well, I can dream...can't I sad
     However, there is some good news. I got notification form the Social Security Admin. that I have been APPROVED for SSDI. Whoa....what a shock! I have been told by at least a dozen folks that I won't get approved the first time I apply. "Just count on getting a lawyer, and trying to make the second application stick." And I don't really know what the percentage of first time approval is....and I guess, don't really care at this point. But I do know that I am ONE LUCKY PERSON, according to the statistics. I don't know what I did the the other guy didn't do. But I have googled many coversations, blogs, and forum posts on the subject of being approved for SSDI the first time around.
     I believe, after reading 30 or 40 pages of research, is that it may have to do with the way I filled out the applications. I wrote out all the applications I had to fill out in my own writing. Not typed. I know that sounds a bit corny. But that is my thought. I actually found 10 reference's on that same thought. Maybe it's a bunch of crap. But if someone takes the time to write it all out...maybe that shows a bit more of a heart felt comittment to be yourself in the app. and more genuine. Also, I wrote it out using things like, "As I write this I am thinking of having to get the heating pad out before I continue." or "I am currently in bed while I am writing this portion of the app, as I could no longer tollerate the pain from being in the sitting position to long." And throughout the application process I tried to use my own thoughts and words for a definition of pain, or describing incidents. In the midst of filling out the multitude of applications and forms, my Wife's uncle called me and we talked for a while. Unfortunately he has applied for SSDI twice and has been denied....twice. But I was welcoming any advise I could get. So, as I was looking down at my handwritten paperwork, uncle was telling me of the importance of having the forms and Applications typed "perfectly" as his Lawyer told him that the SSA is very picky on approving these apps, and that the ones that are typed, and neat are more likely to be accepted. He told me that if I take the time to type these out, it shows a dedication that the SSA appreciates. Hmmmm. maybe that's true. I really don't know what they (SSA) want in an application. Or even if it REALLY matters HOW you fill the derned things out!
     I was in utter amazement. I am still in shock, and keep looking at the letter to make sure it still states that I am APPROVED. What a relief. Just one more thing not to worry about anymore. I remember that my LTD folks (Hartford) stated that whatever SSA pays...or doesn't pay....that they (Hartford) will make up the difference to make sure I continue to get the same payment per month as I am getting now.
     The letter I received from SSA stated that I have to contact me SSA rep about my "4" minor children as they may be able to receive benefits. Anybody know how that works? I mean, say from my work history, SSDI pays me $1900 a month. Does the children's bennies get included in that amount (the $1900)? Or is there a deposit into an account for the kids that matures at 18 y/o? I ahve been told that they (the kids) can get bennies, along with mine, to equal and not exceed more than $2800 per month. Is that saying that my monthly benefit payment may be $2800? My kids are ages 15, 5, 3, and 2. Anyone have a clue on that?
     WEll, I'm done for now. Sorry about the short Novel. But I have a lot on my mind. Here's hoping ya'll were pain free today and are currently sitting in a Hot Tub sipping on a glass of wine. Take Care :-)
If pain is truly "Just weakness leaving the body," Then I'm the Friggin Terminator! ;-)


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/10/2008 4:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,Broken,
Welcome back. I wish you could be reporting better news about the rhizotomy, but perhaps in time it will change. Nerves - oh, those pesky nerves of ours. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. LOL

I was very interested in your SSDI story - and first let me say congratulations! As one who may be applying in the near future, I certainly would love to find the key(s) that open that door the first time around. I would have a hard time really hand writing out a lengthy story, though, because my handwriting would become illegible. But I do see how your including precise details of how this affects all areas of functioning is important. I also keep hearing that what your docs write is critical. And from what I've seen in the past in looking how doc's offices can mess up records and forms (my medcal leave stuff got all screwed up by my surgeon's office) I can see why things can drag on until an attorney has to make sure all the words are exactly what SSDI needs to see. In your review of people who have been approved on the first try, how much emphasis was placed on that? And how many had an attorney? My sense is that most attorneys will just prolong the process so that their settlement is more.

Anyway, back to you. I'm sorry to learn about your mother's illness, but it is nice to know you can be with her without worrying about work issues. And that don't have to face ongoing SSDI hearings!

Again, welcome back.

PaLady
p.s. Sorry, I don't know anything about the benefit issues for your children. The sssa.gov website should give some info., but I'll be someone else here will come along with more info.

Lindaloo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 8/10/2008 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Just wanted to add that I got my social security the first time as well and I had help from my daughter. We filled out the forms by hand and I was approved within six months of my initial application. What I'd like to add is that we filled out every question with quantitative and qualitative answers. We were very specific and often had to be redundant the way the questions are asked. But we were diligent and it worked.

Congratualtions to you ,Broken. I'm very happy to hear of your good news!!

By the way, welcome to the forum. I'm so glad you are here!


Lindaloo
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.
 
Linda


Broken Medic
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/10/2008 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   
PAlady said...
Hi,Broken,
Welcome back. I wish you could be reporting better news about the rhizotomy, but perhaps in time it will change. Nerves - oh, those pesky nerves of ours. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. LOL

I was very interested in your SSDI story - and first let me say congratulations! As one who may be applying in the near future, I certainly would love to find the key(s) that open that door the first time around. I would have a hard time really hand writing out a lengthy story, though, because my handwriting would become illegible. But I do see how your including precise details of how this affects all areas of functioning is important. I also keep hearing that what your docs write is critical. And from what I've seen in the past in looking how doc's offices can mess up records and forms (my medcal leave stuff got all screwed up by my surgeon's office) I can see why things can drag on until an attorney has to make sure all the words are exactly what SSDI needs to see. In your review of people who have been approved on the first try, how much emphasis was placed on that? And how many had an attorney? My sense is that most attorneys will just prolong the process so that their settlement is more.

Anyway, back to you. I'm sorry to learn about your mother's illness, but it is nice to know you can be with her without worrying about work issues. And that don't have to face ongoing SSDI hearings!

Again, welcome back.

PaLady
p.s. Sorry, I don't know anything about the benefit issues for your children. The sssa.gov website should give some info., but I'll be someone else here will come along with more info.
  Sorry PAlady. I suppose it was a bit presumptious to believe that all our friends on this forum could use a pen or pencil for that long without extreme pain. I would say in reply then, to have someone do the writing for you. I don't really think it would matter if.....Wait!! as a matter of fact, YES, find someone else that will help you with the writing part. They ask you during the application if you have someone else helping you. And telling them that "Ms. So-n-So is helping me with the writing, as I am unable to use a pen or pencil for more than 10 minutes." Don't lie, but it sounds like you wouldn't be. And those are the kind of things that will help. Also, the Doctors notes and such are very important. And even more, is the fact that you followed ALL the Doctor's orders. I am on my 6th Doctor. And I had one of them have me go and get an MRI, although I had just had an MRI 3 months previously for a Surgeon. I do know that the medical board for the SSA look at how you followed orders from the Docs. Someone that doesn't do as the Doc says, will not get a good review. Guaranteed!! I have heard that from a number of folks that I have talked to about the application process. I do not really know what the Lawyers have to offer in the process. I was told time and again that I would not get approved on my first attempt. Even from my rep form Hartford Ins. (My LTD ins. through work). Everybody just seemed to be so sure. But when I looked at the questions, and saw that they wanted a short story on what, why and how, the injury, or sustaining pain was relevant enough to deserve SSD benefits. I took that as my opportunity to appeal to them in an open forum. I layed it on thick in a few areas and was hoping to get a tear in the readers eye.
   Lindaloo,
       Congrats on getting the bennies on your first attempt. I was also approved in the later part of my 5th month from filing my fiirst form. Man what a relief!!!! And Yes! I agree with you in regards to being thorough and even repetitive in your answers. I seriously went into this thing like it was a do or die situation. I did not want some lawyer in the mix. Some of the questions are repetitive. BUT DON'T JUST REPEAT THE LAST THING YOU JUST WROTE!! Be diverse and midful of the real meaning of their questions. It's just like those story problems back in American Lit. in College. They are trying to see how much your heart is in this. And I believe that folks that don't get approved on the first attempt get complacent in this area. Be diverse, and be dramatic. You just can't "Fill in the answers." Think about your answer. I did my first app on-line. And they give you a password. So you can just walk away at times and think about your answer. Just be specific, be truthful, and most of all, amke sure you have your game face on. They have to BELIEVE that you're hurting. Not just read it. PAlady, good luck on your application, and I hope this helped. Lindaloo, you were right on as well. Take care!!!
If pain is truly "Just weakness leaving the body," Then I'm the Friggin Terminator! ;-)


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/10/2008 7:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Broken, but I didn't say I couldn't write - just that it would be illegible! I've worked with a lot of government programs and know some of the people who work in them. I still believe the biggest factor is what your doctor(s) say and how clealry they say it. Because without that no matter what you say you'll never get approved. But I'll ask questions if I need to when I get to that point.

Thanks!

PaLady
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