Vent - Disability Backlog!

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TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 9/30/2008 2:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I haven't been around for a while. I read all the time, but since I can't sit for long without hurting writing anything really isn't happening.

In November 2006 I applied for Social Security Disability. It took me three months after I had to quit my job, to realize I wasn't going to be able to go back. I had even taken a "break" from my job, hoping to recuperate, get my energy back and go back to work doing a job I loved. I spent three or four days crying when I realized I had to accept that work wasn't going to be in my future for a while.

Being 26 I was told by quite a few that I would be denied just based on my age. Of course I was denied, right now I am at the point where a judge reviews my case and makes a decision. The last time I spoke to SS was in March, when I wanted to make sure they had everything they needed, and to find out what time frame we were looking at for appeals. I was told 6-7 months. I also asked the gentleman there whether or not I was allowed to add new information to the case as they had found another disc blown in my spine, and some other new fun stuff. I was told no.

When I first filed all I put down was "Ruptured and Fused L4-L5-S1, nerve pain from that, and chronic costochondritis" as my reasons. Of course that's not everything - adding degenerative disc disease, failed back surgery syndrome, neuropathy, chronic back spasms, another blown disc, and all the other new fun stuff, I was debating between stopping the appeal and applying again, or waiting to see.

So - since I hadn't heard anything since March I called today. I got good news and bad news. The good news is that I was wrongly informed I cannot add any new evidence. I will be able to add all the new information, as well as "lay statements" from friends/family (I think they called them lay statements) giving their view of what's going on. Which is great - because I now have a whole slew of crap I can share with them. The bad news - my weight went from 6-7 months to 21-36 months to get in.

That's where I got pissed off. I'm lucky enough that we scrape by with what my husband makes. There are medical bills that get paid, and those we can't, and it's always "I guess we can give up ___ to make things work". I wouldn't have applied for SS if we didn't need the income, and the medical help. It's been almost two years since I applied and we are still waiting to find things out, and it might take two to three more years before we get news! I can't imagine what it would be like if I was alone, or a single parent, trying to get by with my pain and no money. I know there are so many people out there like that! People who don't get by. I thought this system was put in place to help us, I mean we pay into it our whole working life, it shouldn't be this hard to get what we put in back out! I know that the people out there with fake problems, or who say they are premanently disabled because of hang nail, make it take even longer, I'm just upset about all this.

As it is I feel bad enough not bringing in an income, and not being able to keep the house clean and always cook and stuff. It was easier when I kept thinking soon a judge will see what the disability people didn't want to and we'll be able to pay all those old bills and have help with medical stuff, that date just got pushed back indefinitely. I mean if it went from 6-7 months to 21-36 months in six months, I'm afraid what will happen in 20 months! I have plans to write my new elected official when they take office, but I know of nothing I can do! I feel helpless here, waiting, and then to add the financial burdens as well, it just sucks.

I gave up a job I loved, that I looked forward to doing, and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I would work if I could, and I'm just pissed and upset that they can't see that. I know they aren't mind readers and so many people do abuse the system, it's just frustrating.

Sorry for the vent.
Tammy
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

Dx: Degenerative Disc Disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, IBS-d, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1, Bulging/Ruptured L3-L4, Sciatica, Neuropathy, Costochondritis, Reflux, Gastric Bypass Surgery 12/6/07
Rx: Kadian 50mg - every 12 hours, Percocet 5/325 - up to 4 daily, Baclofen 10mg - 3 daily, Amitriptylene 200mg - at bedtime, Prevacid Solutabs - 1 daily, various vitamins.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 9/30/2008 5:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Tammy,
Please don't be sorry for writing anything! I'll soon be one of those people in the waiting line and I'm alone, so I'm scared myself. But I'm quite a bit older...not that that's going to pay the bills any sooner.

My first thought was do you have an attorney? Maybe that would be a good thing to consdier, although I've had bad experiences with them, and they will take a percent of the back award as their pay. But a consultation is likely free, and you could see if there was anyway they could move this up for you. I think there's a member here (straydog?) who's had a lot of experience with this, so maybe she'll add some info.

And I think I have read of some people who have had their SSD expedited by going through their Congressional representative and if you're in a district where there's a close election, either person might be wanting to do things right after the election to help out constituents (although someone newly elected probably won't have staff and such set up right away). I know you'll have to give them medical information, but it's worth a shot come January! Hey, if your representative gets re-elected, I'd show up right after election day. Just make sure you keep copies of all your records, paperwork, etc. as things can get lost anywhere.

From everything I've read, the SSDI system is horribly backlogged, although they were supposed to be hiring more people to work in the system. You're right, though, we work so hard for that and to have to wait years and years is ridiculous.

Vent anytime!!

PaLady

ladyred
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 9/30/2008 7:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Tammy I am so sorry to hear all that you are going through, it is so sad that we  have paid into ssi and welfare all our working lives and when we need it most we have to jump through hoops to get any help.  It is a down right disgrace.  I am going through that with welfare now, I applied for food stamps about 7 weeks ago and I am still trying to get that sorted out every time I go or call they need more info life a stack of med records arent enough! And Im single with 4 kids to raise.

I would right to your sentor now and not wait till after the election, they want to either be re-elected or there party to elected.  I know because I just had my sentor expidite by immagrationg visa for my fiance to get over here fasted because of my condition.  He did and about 2 weeks after contacting him it was aproved.  I think now is the time to act.

I would also concider what Palady said and seek a lawyer, another one of my pet pieves here now is that you have to get a lawyer involved in everthing now of days, think there are the only ones making money any more.  And we wonder why our system is so messed up, add in all the money hungry lawyers and well you get the picture.

I really wish you luck and hope you get it all sorted out.  You want to contact your us senator.  Most of the time you dont talk with them directly they have someone is charge of managing all the request put for them and they act on the sentors behalf, but if you provide all the info they will act on it and I really do think now is a good time.

Hope it all works out for you and wish you the best

Lara


ELderLy
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 10/1/2008 10:54 AM (GMT -7)   
  We are in it for the long haul. Scumbags can get welfare and con the system, but when us spineys need the help in the form of SSI or disability when we justified in having it, freekin takes for ever. I started SSD two months ago and the paperwork is overwhelming. I have my PM doc working for me so its helping using terminolgy they are most likely familar with. I cant work anymore. Whos gonna hire me when im on so much medication? Thats a libilitity for a company i would think. Ive been a tradesman all  my life and with all thats going on you cant teach this ole dog new tricks nono

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13473
   Posted 10/1/2008 1:37 PM (GMT -7)   

Tammy, sorry I haven't been on in awhile. But my crohns disease is in a full flare and I feel awful.

Tammy this is going to take some leg work, but honey you need to get together all of your new medical evidence and send a good legible copy to your judge. Actually you basically need to update them totally with all new medical records that they do not have. That is to include written reports of any testing as well. Do not rely on your drs offices to do this for you, it won't happen, they will back burner you. You cannot rely on SS to write your drs for current medical records either, as they are just not equipped to handle this. I am on SSD for crohns disease, I was awarded benefits on my initial application. I provided SS with every single medical report, all medical information I did it myself. That way I knew they had current medical at all times. Bombard them with paperwork kid.

Now, I am not sure where you are in your claim, I am assuming you asked for a Reconsideration of the initial Denial. Your next step would have been to Request A Reconsideration of that Determination. Are you still at this stage or have you Request A Hearing Before an Adminstrative Law Judge? This is the pecking order of SS to get to a hearing. Also, SS for quite a few years hired these Vocational Experts to sit in on the actual hearing. At the end of the hearing the judge will look at VE and say, "is there any kind of of work for this person based on education & age"?  These VE can either help your case or kill it. I do not believe they should be in the process personally.

The backlog for SSD is so horrendous in every state. Texas where I live brings in visiting judges to help with the backlog, but I have not seen any improvement yet.

Now, once you have forwarded copies of all medical records to SS, call your local congressperson's office. Talk to them about what is happening with your SS claim. Explain to them the length of time it is taking on your case. Give them a very brief explanantion of your medical conditions. Ask them to assist you with SS. The day you make this call Tammy write out a brief outline of where the case sits in SS's office, same with your medical conditions. Be sure to point out that you are not able to do ordinary daily tasks for yourself or in the home.

By the way I have many years experience in dealing with SS claims. Give your congressperson a chance to do some calling before jumping out to get a lawyer. When its time to get a lawyer, be sure he handles nothing but SS claims. There are attys out there that handle nothing but SS. Do not bother with a jack of all trades and master of none ever when in need of a lawyer.

FYI-I know you don't want to hear this but, your age is going to be a big hinderance to you. They just don't want young people on SS is all I have ecver been able to think of. If you are breathing they think you can do some type of work unfortunately. I applied once with a back & neck injury when I was in my early 40's, I got turned down. They figured I could do some kind of work.

Hugs, Susie

 

 

 



TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 10/1/2008 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I've edited the whole thing:

First thank you to everyone for the advice, and input, as well as time. Right now I am so frustrated with the way things work, and I feel useless here at home. It seems all that I do is hurt, and cost money for appointments and prescriptions.

Also - a bit more info - right now I am at the stage after my two denials where I am waiting on a court hearing, I'm not sure what stage that is. With those who have mentioned to contact my state reps, would they still be able to help?

Then the fact that when I first applied my reasons for seeking disability were wrote down as "ruptured and fused l4-l5-s1, and nerve pain from them" and "chronic costochondritis". I blindly believed that they would get all the information that they needed from my records and it would be spelled out there for them. All the specific diagnosis such as degenerative disc disease, sciatica, and chronic muscle spasms weren't listed.

Can anyone give me any idea as to how much information to give them? Do I write out my whole history, or just give them my list of diagnosis'? I know it doesn't help that I've been in this stupid flare for months now, and can't think straight.

All the info and help you guys have given is appreciated, and honestly, the more the better!

Stray - my backs been kicking my butt that's why I've been away for so long too. I hope you feel better!
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

Dx: Degenerative Disc Disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, IBS-d, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1, Bulging/Ruptured L3-L4, Sciatica, Neuropathy, Costochondritis, Reflux, Gastric Bypass Surgery 12/6/07
Rx: Kadian 50mg - every 12 hours, Percocet 5/325 - up to 4 daily, Baclofen 10mg - 3 daily, Amitriptylene 200mg - at bedtime, Prevacid Solutabs - 1 daily, various vitamins.

Post Edited (TDoern) : 10/1/2008 4:35:27 PM (GMT-6)


mom9mom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 10/3/2008 12:18 AM (GMT -7)   
I receaved my SSD. the first time I applyed.I don`t know for sure but I think the reason was that I wrote down every DR. that I had seen and why.Then I wrote down every problem that I have even the small stuff.like not being able to remember the words I need when I am talking.I don`t now if this will help you but I will pray for you.I would also like to Know why it takes 2 years to get a medical card? If anyone nows please let me know.
Lost half of my small intestine, Nerve damage to right leg,part of my right hip bone removed,hernia,infection in my back called discites,and depression


kara487
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 10/3/2008 7:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I am sorry what your going through. I do understand your frustration as I am battling for SSD myself. We are just scrapping by my husbands income also. I agree with the others give them as much as medical info you can. Hang in there.
Lortab,ambien,elavil,reglan and neurontin.
 
spinal conditions: Scolosis,herniated discs,spinal blockage,Spinal stenosis,bursitis and arthritis


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13473
   Posted 10/4/2008 12:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Tammy, obtain all medical records that SS does not have in their file on you. SS can tell you what records they have. Then get all of the updated records from the drs. If you have seen any new drs be sure to get a copy of their records, same as with any new testing, obtain written reports.

Then, write a short letter to SS like this;

Enclosed please find a copy of current medical records from the following doctors that I have listed below. These medical records will reflect my treatment for my ongoing disability. In additional to my original diagnoses when I first filed for SSD, I have since been diagnosed with blah blag by Dr Tom, Dick & Harry. I am also enclosing a copy of his records for your review.

1. Medical records from Dr. Joe for treatment from 5-22-05 to October 1, 2008.

Tammy list them as above.

I will be forwarding to your office copies of any current medical records as they are received by me.

Sincerely,

Tammy

Tammy you are waiting on a hearing in front of the ALJ. Now, write you local congressman and explain you applied on whatever date and requested hearing after all of the denials. Explain how long its taking to get a hearing and see if they can get you a hearing set. Explain the financial hardship you are having.

If you need any help let me know. I am having to use my laptop and I have never used it before. I am having to adjust to it, bear with me,lol. Hugs, Susie

Oops-Tammy get a print-out from your pharmacy for all of 2008 and send a copy to SS too. If you can get 2007 even better.

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