ssi approval granted !!

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tsitodawg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 845
   Posted 5/4/2008 1:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I received one of the most shocking letters today, my approval letter for disabilitly after only 4 months of the trying for it.  After all of the horror stories that I have heard and read here, I was expecting the process to take anywhere from 2 -4 years.  I have been very blessed to have been on long term disability through my employer for the past 3 years and would not have applied for federal disability if it was not required through my long term process.  My employer took all of the stress off of me by hiring a law firm to handle everything, probably because it will save them a lot of money in the long run.  The law firm told me to expect to be turned down atleast 3 times and to expect to go to a hearing, because many of the approval specialist do not know a lot about crohn's and will deny it multiple times.  They applied for me and I was denied about 3 weeks later.  They then did the first appeal and I had not heard anything back from social security until today.  about 2 months ago, my lawyer called me to see if I had heard anything, but I told them that I hadn't.  My case had been switched to a different lawyer after the first application and the new lawyer did not have the forms to find the answer for me, so I sent him the form for release, but had not heard anything else out of him.  I figured for sure that the long time passing without any word, mean't that I had been denied a second time.  Then this morning, I went to get the mail and saw the letter from S.S.I.  I figured it was the denial, but about fainted when I opened it and saw that I had been approved for full benefits.  They are also going to send a check for back payments. 
For those of you that have been denied, this just goes to show that you have to stick with it.  I know that one thing that my lawyer said would help me though, was that promethius test results that helped give a firm diagnosis.  He said that a lot of people have not been fully diagnosed and apply, which makes it very hard for them to be approved. 

belleenstein
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 5/4/2008 4:30 AM (GMT -7)   
What a relief for you. I live in Canada and faced the same situation. My insurer pulled the plug on my return to work program after a year and a couple of setbacks and determined that I met the standard for the change in definition that usually has to be satisfied after two years. Once the insurer bailed so did my employer. I was devastated at the time cause I was losing a career I loved and had excelled at for 25 years. Then came the demand that I apply for Canada's national public disability pension (CPP). I expected to be turned down flat. I just don't think of myself as that sick. I mean the standard that has to be met is much more stringent than that of my private insurer. So like you, I was simply dumbstruck to receive a phone call three months later from the medical adjudicator notifying me that my file had been approved. I broke down in tears -- and they were not tears of joy!
But a year later I am so thankful that my docs, my employer and my insurers forced my hand.

How have you been since you went on disability? I find my disease activity is about the same, but my misery level has decreased dramatically. When I have a bad day now, it is a bad day not a bad month. I can just allow myself to be unwell instead of using force of will to keep going. I'm recovering more quickly and having fewer really bad days.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.


dragonfly137927
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2527
   Posted 5/4/2008 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Congrats on the approval.  I was approved after 3 months myself, 1 week prior to my letter and call from SSDI I saw a lawyer for the 1st time about it since reading stories on here and my MDs telling me the same.  Since my lawyer went on vacation after work the day I saw him he had not done any work on my case yet therefore he didnt charge me anything. 
Dx with Crohn's 1987, symptoms as early as 1984.
Temp iliostomy February 2007, reversed June 2007, Ovarian cysts, migraines, allergies (incl food allergies) , oral allergy syndrome (diff than true food allergies), Asthma, Gall Bladder removed 1999, Inguenal hernia 1987
 
 
 


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 5/4/2008 8:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Dragonfly - I remember your story about that. I am so glad you didn't get charged anything. I figured you wouldn't but was still concerned none the less.
26 Year old married female law student.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid.  For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn.  I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13.  I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium.  Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I alos take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.
 
 


Sugarmarie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1205
   Posted 5/4/2008 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Cool good for you yeah yeah yeah yeah
Confucius say : He who goes to bed with itchy butt wakes up with stinky finger.

Words of wisdom: Never trust a fart

:) Sugarmarie A.K.A. Poopy Pants :)


Crohn'snme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 734
   Posted 5/4/2008 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow Good For you! I was denied, sick and it was alot of work. I'm so very happy for you. Individuals suffering with Crohn's shouldn't be expected to work and deal with the stress and anxiety of this disease. You rightfully deserve it. I just wish many others would recieve the same decision. Take care of yourself and enjoy getting well!

Crystalxxx2007
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/4/2008 7:57 PM (GMT -7)   
To tsitodawg/ or anyone else that can answer:

I am new to these boards. I am curious what you need to apply for SSI benefits and what do you need to be truely diagnosed? Is it possible to do it without a lawyer?

I was diagnosed in 2002 after a cat scan, emergency surgery resection, and 10 day hospital stay. I am on Sulfazine and Lortab (used to take Asacol & Vicodin).

Any info will be helpfull!
Crystal ~ Joshua Tyler 11*6*01
,,,,,

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sesm
(___|___)sesm
And a baby sister on the way!
Katelyn Marie due 1*08


Gloriousm84
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 5/4/2008 10:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh man I just did my appeal about 2 months ago since I was denied...the reasons being because I can sit, stand and stoop for adequate periods of time, and interact with others. I dont know what that has to do with anything but whatever. Literally after I recieved my denial letter for benefits they changed the list of things you needed to get it just for Inflammatory Bowel Disease....and I pretty much have every one of the pre-reqs. I need it so bad...I am a college student, and owe about 10,000 in medical bills since being in the hospital four times equaling a month stay, an ileocecal resection/appendectomy, port placement, 7 CT scans, and soo many doc apts and tests. Really would like to get help paying for this.
Congrats to you though! Lets hope I also get approved/
Diagnosed: 2003, age 18 (had issues with it since I was 12)
Meds for crohns: Remicade every 6 weeks, 6-mp, Nexium (GERD)
Other medical issues: Hereditary Spherocytosis (hemolytic anemia) iron deficient anemia, polyarthralgia, ovarian cysts, Migraines, GERD
Surgeries: Spleen, Gallbladder, Tonsils, Adenoids, foot of terminal Ileum, Appendix, Ileocecal valve, bit of colon


tsitodawg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 845
   Posted 5/5/2008 1:01 AM (GMT -7)   

Thank you all for your responses, I am still in a little bit of awe that this is all happening.  It has been a very humbling experience and I am finally admitting to myself that a little help is not the worst thing.  Before I was diagnosed, I was somewhat of a workaholic and love the feeling of coming home from a hard days work knowing I had done my best.  While I was so grateful for the support that my employer gave me with their long term disability, I always held out hope that I would be returning to work the next week or the next month.  3 years later, I am now accepting the fact that I can not work right now.  I have been on the max dose of remicade and methotrexate every month and week for 3 years and had to be taken off of it all last month.  I have tried humira, 6-mp, steroids, asacol, and just about every other crohn's medication out there with little or no success.  My crohns has been a weird case in which all of the manifestations of the disease have been the arthritis, pain, bleeding, nausea, D., body inflammation, but never would just show up in one place enough for a biopsy.  They would do scope after scope and see the inflammation, but never get a positive biopsy.  Eventually, after having my appendix and gallbladder removed, I was hospitalized for 3 weeks and diagnosed through the pill cam.  Still, 3 years later, they still can not get the disease to settle enough in one place long enough to get a positive biopsy.  They have had the positive promethius test and all the blood work show the right markers, so they have a positive diagnosis finally.  Now, my G.I. has taken me off of all my meds in order to get that biopsy.  He figures that the high dose of remicade that I was receiving monthly has been suppressing the disease just enough to not allow it to settle.(isn't that what is is supposed to do?)  It has been a terrible month off of the remicade, but the remicade was now only working for about a week.  So, the news of the approval was very needed.

Sorry that this is so long, but I wanted to answer all of the response questions that I had.  As for the process of the application, I am probably not the best one to ask because my employer had hired a law firm to do everything for me.  I do know that before you apply, you really need to make sure that all of your doctors are on board with both the diagnosis and your applying for disability.  You want to make sure that what you put on your application matches what they are putting.  YOu also need to be very honest in what you put about your situation.  Too many people try to make their situaton seem a lot worse that it really is, and the S.S.I. people can see through the B.S.  Don't sugercoat it either, just be honest and make sure that you make copies of everything that you send in.  When I was talking about my hobbies, I was really hesitant to include all of them, but I went into detail about what I like to do on my good days and what I can't do on my bad days.  My wife did not want me to put down that we like to go trail riding on our 4 wheeler, but I included it so that they can not come back and get me for fraud or exaggerating my situation down the line.  All in all it did not hurt me and my lawyer thought that they would appreciate my honesty. 


Sugarmarie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1205
   Posted 5/5/2008 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I have a question for you when you say they are going to send a check for back payments how far back do they go from the time you applied to the time it was approved???. I am asking for a friend going through the process now.
TIA
Confucius say : He who goes to bed with itchy butt wakes up with stinky finger.

Words of wisdom: Never trust a fart

:) Sugarmarie A.K.A. Poopy Pants :)


belleenstein
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 5/5/2008 8:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tsitodawg: I presume that you will continue to receive ltd from your private insurance as well? I, like you, think that being honest is the best policy. When I was involved in my return to work plan after my surgery, I was working weekends and evenings because I couldn't always fulfill the hours stipulated in my GRW plan, during the week. I was using accrued vacation days and sick time for all my appointments (three and a half hours away) and for those days that I was so sick I couldn't come in at all. So the people handling my claim had no idea how difficult the return to work was. My employers were just noting that I had fulfilled the hourly requirement for each week, but not how I was making up those hours. I almost lost my disability because my insurers, quite rightly, said that I was managing my return to work just fine.

I was, however letting my rehabilitation consultant know and it was when he began pressuring me to increase my hours that I objected. The letter I wrote was absolutely brutally frank. I outlined how difficult it was to plan a regular work day because the disease activity was completely unpredictable. I wanted accommodation to work part time and flexible hours. Throughout the whole process I always expressed a desire to continue working.

I wrote the letter the middle of July and on August 7 I was hospitalized with an obstruction and placed back on disability. Meanwhile the letter had reached the case supervisor. A full review of my case management was done with my employer (apparently they handled the reporting all wrong) and despite my efforts to begin the return to work process again, by December the decision had been made to reclassify my claim as permanent disability, which allowed my employer to terminate me because I wasn't prepared to go back full time.

I still worry that my private insurer is going to reassess the file at some point in the future and deny my benefits, but it has been a huge relief.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.

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