Disability question for any researchers/scientists/authors out there??

Do you still publish research papers while on SSDI?
0
yes - 0.0%
1
no - 33.3%
2
not applicable - 66.7%

 
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nasalady
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 2/19/2010 1:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I've got a bit of a problem....I'm quite ill (see signature line for a list of diseases) and in a lot of pain. I've been getting worse, not better, even though I'm on a ton of medication. But I'm still technically working full-time....even though I haven't been in to the office in about 3 weeks. Vertigo has been too bad lately. But my employers are very supportive, and let me work from home when I'm really bad. I am able to get a little bit done, although not as much as I should be doing.

I think about applying for disability all the time! It would be so great just to REST for a while!

But there are a couple of reasons that I haven't filed for disability yet....first, we're pretty much living from paycheck to paycheck right now, so I don't think we could afford for me to be on disability; second, along with my job comes the title of "scientist" which means that my employers pay for me to publish papers, go to scientific meetings in other towns or even other countries and go on observing runs to the BIG telescopes...a lot of them are on top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island in Hawaii (altitude close to 14,000 feet).

You can always spot an astronomer on a plane to Hawaii....he or she is the one carrying the parka! smilewinkgrin

Of course I've been too sick to go to meetings or go on observing runs, so none of that matters.

But I have a lot of unpublished scientific data that I share with some friends/colleagues of mine; we were all on the original telescope proposals together, and a few of us got to actually go to the telescopes and take the data. Several of us are coming up for our annual reviews in a couple of months; we all need more publications to help us have good reviews, but one of these friends *desperately* needs a publication. She's worried that she'll lose her job at the University of Chicago if she doesn't have something published soon!

There's a paper that we were working on that was really close to being finished before I got sick....I'm the first author and I told her that I could try to finish it in the next few weeks and submit it. I owe it to her to try.

I'm worried that once I go on disability I won't be able to author or even co-author scientific papers anymore because Social Security might find out and then pull my SSDI.....does anyone know how that works?

I will apply for SSDI at some point if I don't start feeling better though, even if we CAN'T afford it. Even if I CAN'T author or co-author papers. I just won't be able to go on anymore.
Lyme Disease, AIH, Hashimoto's, "lupus-like" CTD?, fibro, RA, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, degenerative disc disease, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, Doxycycline, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP, Darvon, Morphine Sulfate

autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/19/2010 1:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Nasalady,
Wow - you really ARE a "nasa" lady! What you do sounds so exciting, although I'm gathering it doesn't feel as exciting doing these things when you're not feeling well.

I'm sure not the expert on disability here. I'm stumbling around in that labrynth myself. Straydog is kind of our resident "expert", since she worked in that area for many years, and I'm sure she'll be along soon.

Since I've got some academic background, I can understand where you're coming from - especially the desire to want to continue contributing to your profession. I would think, though, that working full time versus contributing occasionally to papers might be different, although I know I've heard straydog say it can be "risky" to continue working after you receive SSD. Maybe it's also going to relate to whether you are just involved in analyzing data and writing activities, or whether you'd be going off on those trips to Hawaii. And what the basis for your disability is - inability to do physical activities or things like difficulty thinking clearly (which would make it difficult to author papers, etc.). I really feel for you, as participating in our profession can be part of what's brought meaning to our lives.

Hopefully straydog will be along to comment on this.

PaLady

bsjaguar
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 2/19/2010 5:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know for sure but SS could look at the fact that if you are able to sit in front of a computer and write for long periods of time you should be able to work. Heck they may have you at the SS office entering data!
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


Linx
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 2/19/2010 5:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello,

I'm on SSD,SSi and am able to work part-time up to a certian amount per month before they start to deduct from my income. they drop the ssi payment, but keep the SSD. If you call or write SSA they will talk to you about it. Not sure if this helps you or not but thought I would try. I live in N.Y. but I'm sure it applies to the other states.

nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 2/19/2010 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
bsjaguar said...
I don't know for sure but SS could look at the fact that if you are able to sit in front of a computer and write for long periods of time you should be able to work. Heck they may have you at the SS office entering data!


For your information I CAN'T sit at the computer and write for long periods of time. And if you had actually read my post I think that would be clear to you.

I can do things a little bit at a time though. Writing is something that I can do a little bit here, a little bit there, during brief periods when I'm able to. On bad days I wouldn't be able to write at all, of course.

After all, you are able to post comments on this forum....is SS going to look at that and say that you should be able to work?
Lyme Disease, AIH, Hashimoto's, "lupus-like" CTD?, fibro, RA, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, degenerative disc disease, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, Doxycycline, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP, Darvon, Morphine Sulfate

autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com


nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 2/19/2010 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
PAlady said...
Hi, Nasalady,
I'm sure not the expert on disability here. I'm stumbling around in that labrynth myself. Straydog is kind of our resident "expert", since she worked in that area for many years, and I'm sure she'll be along soon.

Since I've got some academic background, I can understand where you're coming from - especially the desire to want to continue contributing to your profession. I would think, though, that working full time versus contributing occasionally to papers might be different, although I know I've heard straydog say it can be "risky" to continue working after you receive SSD. Maybe it's also going to relate to whether you are just involved in analyzing data and writing activities, or whether you'd be going off on those trips to Hawaii. And what the basis for your disability is - inability to do physical activities or things like difficulty thinking clearly (which would make it difficult to author papers, etc.). I really feel for you, as participating in our profession can be part of what's brought meaning to our lives.


Thanks so much for your reply, PALady! I'm very glad that someone understands where I'm coming from! yeah

My illnesses affect both my abilities to do physical activities and mental activities. And I haven't been on an observing run in a very long time. I haven't been to a scientific meeting for quite some time either. I probably will never be able to do any of those activities again.... sad

I figured that it might be risky (if I'm on SSDI) to be involved in a paper....it might be misunderstood, exactly the way that bsjaguar apparently misunderstood my post.

I want everyone who reads this thread to understand that if I am able to do any work on a paper, it is EXTREMELY difficult for me!! I have severe brain fog and memory loss at times, I'm also frequently in excruciating pain; I have vertigo and nausea and headaches and my back, neck, rib cage, feet, hands, etc. etc HURT very badly. Not simultaneously thank goodness, and not all of the time....my various body parts usually take turns giving me grief.

Of course, this is why I'm posting on this forum.

If I do work on a paper on any given day I am fully aware that I will probably pay for it by feeling worse the next day. This is the nature of fibromyalgia....and of the other autoimmune diseases that I suffer from. I know many of you understand how this works. But it is important to me to try to do this.

Yes, it does give meaning to my life; it's part of my identity as a person. I would HATE to give it up completely.
Lyme Disease, AIH, Hashimoto's, "lupus-like" CTD?, fibro, RA, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, degenerative disc disease, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, Doxycycline, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP, Darvon, Morphine Sulfate

autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com

Post Edited (nasalady) : 2/19/2010 11:08:02 AM (GMT-7)


nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 2/19/2010 11:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Linx said...
Hello,

I'm on SSD,SSi and am able to work part-time up to a certian amount per month before they start to deduct from my income. they drop the ssi payment, but keep the SSD. If you call or write SSA they will talk to you about it. Not sure if this helps you or not but thought I would try. I live in N.Y. but I'm sure it applies to the other states.


Thanks for your reply, Linx....I appreciate the info.

I would not get paid for this type of work. Authors of scientific papers have to pay "page charges"...i.e., a certain amount of money per page, to have their papers published in a journal. Well, OK, there's at least one major British journal that does not charge page charges but all of the American ones in my field do.

Which is a whole 'nother problem....how could I afford the page charges if I'm on SSDI?
Lyme Disease, AIH, Hashimoto's, "lupus-like" CTD?, fibro, RA, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, degenerative disc disease, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, Doxycycline, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP, Darvon, Morphine Sulfate

autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com


bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 2/19/2010 12:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Now slow down there Nasalady. I think you took my comment way to seriously. I was only looking at it like SS would. They wouldn't know that you took breaks often or that you had to skip days before your pain levels were too high. All they would see was that you were able to complete complex documents.

I am still able to function also but not for 40 hrs per week. I was considering volunteering at the senior center a few hours per week just to get out of the house and feel like I was accomplishing something besides housework but decided against it while I am in the process of filing for SSDI. As far as I know when you are in the process of filing you cannot be employed at all. After you start receiving SSDI you can work part time and earn up to a certain amount.
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 2/19/2010 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
So what you're saying is that I probably should not be involved in any paper-writing during the period after I stop working while I'm in the process of applying for SSDI? But that I might be able to collaborate on the occasional paper after I am approved for it. Well, that makes sense....thanks Jag.
Lyme Disease, AIH, Hashimoto's, "lupus-like" CTD?, fibro, RA, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, degenerative disc disease, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, Doxycycline, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP, Darvon, Morphine Sulfate

autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13470
   Posted 2/19/2010 4:44 PM (GMT -7)   
NasaLady we have had several discussions here and you can do a search to pull up info on SSD. Also, SSA.gov is the official website to get great info on whether a person is eligible for SSD. It can be a very long battle for most. The key is to not give up and keep moving forward if you decide to take that direction. Also, you need your drs behind you 500% saying you are disabled.

SS offers a work for program for people that are on SSD and feel after they have been on it a while they may be physically capable of doing some kind of work. It would be your best interest to go to the website and read the particulars on working and drawing SSD at the same time. There are limits on many things including how much money you can make before SS penalizes you.
 

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 2/19/2010 4:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm definitely disabled, that's not a problem. My doctors are behind me in this...whenever I decide to pull the trigger. I was not asking anyone in this forum if I am eligible. Neither was I asking for information on SSDI that may be found on the SS website. I have read all portions of their website, several times. As I've already stated, I would NOT be earning money by publishing papers in scientific journals.

What I would like to know is: are any scientists or researchers here in this forum who are on SSDI yet have continued to OCCASIONALLY publish papers?? Has this ever been a problem for you?

Thank you.
Lyme Disease, AIH, Hashimoto's, "lupus-like" CTD?, fibro, RA, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, degenerative disc disease, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, Doxycycline, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP, Darvon, Morphine Sulfate

autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/19/2010 9:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Nasalady,
I can't answer your question for you as I'm not yet on SSDI, but I will be looking for any one who can. But my hunch - and it's just that, a hunch - is that no one will be able to give you a definitive answer. You mentioned above (sort of jokingly, I think) that would SSD think you could write prof. papers if you were able to post on a forum like this. Honestly, I think that's even possible. I think I also read somewhere about being careful to not even volunteer anywhere, because they could look at any activities and take that into account. I wanted to sign up to volunteer at a local animal shelter, and won't do that in any formal way until I'm way on the other side of this SSD stuff - and even then, may not (course, I may not be able to do it, as I can't do a lot of what they need with the animals).

Like you, I hope to somehow, someway still be able to keep my hand in my profession, even if I can't work. Maybe via a little writing, teaching a CE workshop now and then, or something along those lines. I'm 60 years old, and it's probably going to take me awhile to get SSD, but after that I have to find some way of doing meaningful activity in my life. I don't know what that will be, and it likely will be for little or no money, but if I find something that makes me feel like I'm able to use all I've learned and experienced, I'll fight my buns off to do it!

Let me know if you learn anything more on this issue, ok?

Thanks!

PaLady

nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 2/20/2010 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi PALady,

Yes, I know what you mean.....I wasn't being totally serious about SS watching for you to post on forums, but it does make you wonder!

I suppose if I tell them I'm having neurological problems and have trouble typing etc. then I post on forums, it could (potentially) be a problem?? Because, as Jag said, SS doesn't know that I have to go slowly, and re-type words because I transpose letters or that sometimes I can't even proofread my post because of my double vision problems, etc.

Anyway, it's probably a good idea to NOT engage in any such activities as volunteer work or writing a paper while in the process of trying to get SSDI. I just wonder about afterwards....after all, writing a paper is rarely something that one would do alone; it's generally a collaboration, so it may be argued that you can contribute something to a paper and should be included as an author even if you are no longer able to do active, 8-hour per day, 5-days per week jobs.

I will definitely let you know if I find out anything else! Please keep me updated too!
Take care,
JoAnn
Lyme Disease, AIH, Hashimoto's, "lupus-like" CTD?, fibro, RA, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, degenerative disc disease, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, Doxycycline, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP, Darvon, Morphine Sulfate

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Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7019
   Posted 2/20/2010 2:24 PM (GMT -7)   
My situation is very similar to yours. Research & publishing for years, and then...

I was advised by both my Social Security attorney AND my private Long Term Disability attorney that continuing to publish, however minimally, could indicate that I was able to mentally (and to some extent physically) operate at a level consistent with my pre-disability work... a no-no.

I know for a fact that the LTD people observe me from time to time, AND do internet searches to determine what I've been up to. I have seen their files, they had to open them to me for a suit I had to file. They *will* find your name on any research papers out there. I haven't, to this point, had them try & use that against me, but they did try to use the fact that my business still has an operational website.

I have to agree that continuing to be part of such a high-level work product is not a great idea while going through the process of obtaining SS disability. However, I also know through experiance that SS does not put the effort into researching what you've been doing that a private LTD company does. Neither SS nor LTD noticed that during the initial disability period I was claiming (while progressively losing cognitive abilities) I was involved as 2ond or 3rd author on about 5 papers (actual work mostly done before disability.).

SS just isn't designed to handle academics! (I guess we don't get sick often enough? lol) SS focuses more on asking what you've been doing and getting documentation from your doctors, often substantiated by inspection from their doctors.

That said, being first author and feeling a responsibility to the lessor authors would definitly prompt me to go the extra mile and at least finish the almost-competed paper you describe.

For me, my initial disability progressed and cognitive function decreased for about 4 years (to *really* bad), so continued research/publishing just wasn't a possibility. Finally a treatment managed to stop and somewhat reverse my brain damage. (At one point I was tested and they told me I'd lost 20 IQ points. lol) Now about 3 years later I recently had the urge to find & read a few papers in my field. I don't know if I'll ever get back to that or not, as understanding & absorbing these papers certainly wasn't what it used to be.

In my field, research moves so rapidly that working a few hours here and there just isn't sufficient to keep up, and none of my papers would have been accepted anywhere if I'd tried to continue - they just would have been behind the times. I don't know if that's true for you or not.

I don't know if I've answered your question or not -- my experienced opinion is:
Can you publish while seeking SS disability? - yeah, if you keep it to work/data collection done before disability, I think you'd be safe.
Can you publish after being awarded disability? You could, and probably not be questioned by SS, but if you are questioned you'd better have drs & documentation showing how slowly you worked...and have the energy to pursue the argument. You will almost definitely be questioned/challenged about it by LTD. So far I've chosen not to risk it -- mostly because I *was* questioned by LTD (due to improved blood results) and it wasn't fun.

Cheers,
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/20/2010 2:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Lynwood,
Thanks - that was a very informative post.

PaLady

nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 2/20/2010 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Lynnwood said...

I don't know if I've answered your question or not -- my experienced opinion is:
Can you publish while seeking SS disability? - yeah, if you keep it to work/data collection done before disability, I think you'd be safe.
Can you publish after being awarded disability? You could, and probably not be questioned by SS, but if you are questioned you'd better have drs & documentation showing how slowly you worked...and have the energy to pursue the argument. You will almost definitely be questioned/challenged about it by LTD. So far I've chosen not to risk it -- mostly because I *was* questioned by LTD (due to improved blood results) and it wasn't fun.


Lynnwood, thank you so much! This is exactly the type of information I was looking for! And I didn't even think about the LTD company....which I should have, because I do have LTD through work and they would definitely be involved in any disability claim I made.

Yes, I too am having serious cognitive issues at times....I just had to turn down the contract to teach my regular spring semester college math class because, not only have I just been too ill physically to make it to all of the class sessions, but sometimes I can't even do simple arithmetic in my head anymore.

It will be a challenge to finish this one paper I'm working on right now because of that; fortunately, as first author I can delegate various tasks to the others (at least ask if they have time to do them) and so will get some help with any complicated mathematical calculations required. Fortunately, much of that work was done before, and so now I will simply tie together the bits and pieces and create a cohesive whole......hopefully! Loss of vocabulary is a BIG problem too. Thank goodness for the online thesaurus! :)

Thank you again for sharing your experiences!
JoAnn
Lyme Disease, AIH, Hashimoto's, "lupus-like" CTD?, fibro, RA, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, degenerative disc disease, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, Doxycycline, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP, Darvon, Morphine Sulfate

autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com


Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7019
   Posted 2/20/2010 9:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Glad I could help. I really don't even know how I stumbled across your question - I rarely have the brain power & energy to look further than my own forums! lol

To be totally honest, I have a hard time reading some of the research I wrote up before lupus!
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

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