SSA-Third DENIAL!

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SSDore9240
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 10/1/2008 6:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, It's official...DENIED AGAIN! Suprise, suprise!

I tried to prep myself for the denial but I was still upset when I read the letter.

I am searching for an attny now. Do any of you have suggestions about finding an attny? I need someone who knows about the daily effects of SLE/FM...someone who realizes that yes, I do look fine but I'm not!

I am in Northern VA/suberbs of DC.

Any legal websites re: SLE/FM & Disability?

Any advice would be helpful!
31 year old mom of 1: SLE, UCTD, FM, Arthritis, Reynalds(?), Migraines, Alopecia, Neuropothy(L:Hand & Foot), Int. Bells Palsey, Costrocondritis(?), a bunch of other stuff I don't remember right now and even more labwork I dont understand! Patient at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.
 Plaquinil, Trazodone, Lidoderm, Percocet for now...I hate taking the meds!  Refusing any more Prednisone!


MJLD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 10/1/2008 7:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I am so sorry! I know exactly where you are right now! It's so discouraging. I actually got my SSI without an attorney. I called Congressman's office and they helped me tremendously! I e-mailed them first, briefing them on my situation and then called. They were wonderful. THere are alot of people hear who will be able to advise you about a lawyer! Hang in there and don't give up! God Bless You, Judy

redrose77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 10/2/2008 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I found my lawyer by accident. But I found him as soon as I knew I had enough medical to make the first denial look bad, about 6 months before my hearing and approval. I lived in VA before and was denied again and again down there. Up here MI I was denied once because dss didn't do their jobs right when looking at my conditions and only considered the least of my problems ignoring the rest. They also failed to get records from several of my doctors even though they knew about them and the doctors were ready for the request.

All I can say is it made my life easier to have a lawyer but I also called my senator and representative because the hearing got pushed back and I was in dire straights. You need to be absolutely sure your doctors are on your side in this. Don't give up all hope though, a friend of mine had to wait over 5 years but she finally got disability in VA of course she is deaf and has mental health issues. If you have mental health issues apparently it is easier to get disability in VA for those than physical or with a combo of physical and mental than with either alone. If you look at my signature you will see how bad it got for me before they approved me last summer.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sjögren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, exema
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Tramadol, Singulair, Skelaxin, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Prilosec, lasix, Evoxac, Celebrex, Darvocet when things get too bad, prednisone again, various vitamin/mineral supplements


Bsime
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1298
   Posted 10/2/2008 2:57 PM (GMT -7)   
It took me 2 applications on my own and the 3rd time I hired an attorney who specializes in SSD cases.  I got a decision within 3 weeks and a check within 60 days.
 
I called the local bar association and also checked out their website to find attorneys who specialized in SSD cases.  I interviewed 2 of them and hired the second one.  If the attorney will not take your case that is usually a good indication that he/she feels you cannot win.  They take the cases on contingency and are limited by federal law how much they can be paid.  2 years ago it was 25% of retroactive payments up to a max of $5300.  Hated to give the attorney the money but he was really worth it.  We talked for about an hour on the phone and then met for almost 3 hours.  He prepared all the papers and handled everything.
 
You might post and let people know where you live.  Someone might have experience with a local lawyer.  You do not want one who just practices general law.  I believe it is getting more difficult to get approved.  Keep in mind that the standards are simply that you cannot return to work for 12 months or more and are fully disabled.  If you are young they say that you can be retrained if you cannot return to your former job.  The standards are much lower if you are older....more than 50 and they lower again past 60.  I am almost 66 but was still turned down even when I was a quadriplegic and there was no guarantee that I would ever walk again. 
 
The process is more one of denial and they look for reasons to deny rather than approve.  Unfair but the way the system works.  A lawyer will know up front what will work and what will not in most cases.
 
Good luck.  You have a window to reapply so don't delay.  Otherwise you have to start from scratch.
 
Bill
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
 
Meds: prednisone 5mg, 50mg imuran, Lotrel 40/5mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
 
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
 
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller
 
 


Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7018
   Posted 10/2/2008 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I have found that the timelines vary greatly from state to state. Here in Georgia it is a 24-32 month wait from the time you ask for a judge's review (3rd appeal) until you are scheduled w/the judge. I then got a decision after 45 days, but the paperwork for the financial part and the actual money are not supposed to show up for up to 60 days after that.

If you know anyone who works around or near an attorney, or uses any kind of attorney regularly -- start asking questions. I found a good one from my rheumy's recommendation -- then found the best one by following a reference trail of attorney's. Maybe the local lupus chapter has a list? I don't know, never thought till just now of trying that.

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Syndrome, SAD, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Piroxicam, Plaquenil, Prednisone(was 15mg, now 8mg), Cellcept, Xanax, Trazodone, Boniva(3mth shot), Wellbrutrin SR, Valtrex
Links: DIAGNOSING LUPUS (4 of 11), LUPUS INFORMATION, LUPUS RESOURCES, Donate to HealingWell, Drug Interactions


Bsime
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1298
   Posted 10/2/2008 8:14 PM (GMT -7)   
The SSD program is federal but the adjudicators and the administrative law judges are all state based so there is a huge difference in how efficient the programs work from state to state.



The first 2 applications go to state adjudicators who, on advice of state appointed doctors, evaluate the applications and make a decision to approve or disapprove. Most applications get disapproved. The national stats are that only about 1/3 get approved on 1st application but only 10-15% on the 2nd.



The reconsideration, or the 3rd application, goes before a state appointed administrative law judge. Some states like Georgia have a ridiculous waiting time of 2-3 years. Other states are much better but I have heard that there is a shortage of judges overall and an increase of applications. The whole process for me on the reconsideration was only 3 weeks and I got the money within the 60 day time limit. Even so, about 2/3s of 3rd applications get approved.



It pays to be persistant but most need an attorney.



It does make a difference which attorney you hire. Your suggestion to ask local people in a lupus support group is a good one. I have recommended my attorney to several local people who have all had success.



This SSD program is going to get more difficult due to economic conditions. It is unconscientable that Georgia has such a long wait to hear a case. Those who deserve this benefit will have even more difficulty getting it approved in the future. I know from personal experience how stressful this process is at a time when you are struggling with an illness. None of us wanted to be sick.



Bill

Post Edited By Moderator (Lynnwood) : 10/3/2008 8:13:56 AM (GMT-6)


Serina
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 431
   Posted 10/4/2008 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I too know how you feel each time you are denied.  I admitted to a mental illness on my third try, and got the benefits.  I think it is easier to get approved with a mental Illness.  I didn't want my mental illness to be the deciding factor, but I believe that it was.
 
I have seen SSA turn down some interesting people.  Bill as a quadraplegic, and still got denied is unbelievable.  I was wondering how approval changed from state to state, but now I know.  the judges are all state people, probably paid to find reasons to deny cases.
 
I would get an attorney as quickly as possible and reapply.
 
With many prayers and much hope for you in this  process.
 
Hester
Lupus diagnosed 1996, Heart by-pass 1998, breast cancer 2000, stroke2002, vascular surgery 2005, heart attack in 2007, and had a stint put in, Sjogren's Syndrome 2008
 
******
aspirin, multivitamin, Arthrotec , Meclazine ,  plaquinil, Metoclopomide, Doxepin , Metoprolol, synthroid,  Amlodipine, Crestor, Lasinopril, Plavix, phenagrin,  Restasis  


SSDore9240
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 10/12/2008 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your suggestions. I have had no luck with attnys here in Manassas, VA but the Lupus Foundation has given me some leads in DC. I will attack those this week...thanks
31 year old mom of 1: SLE, UCTD, FM, Arthritis, Reynalds(?), Migraines, Alopecia, Neuropothy(L:Hand & Foot), Int. Bells Palsey, Costrocondritis(?), a bunch of other stuff I don't remember right now and even more labwork I dont understand! Patient at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.
 Plaquinil, Trazodone, Lidoderm, Percocet for now...I hate taking the meds!  Refusing any more Prednisone!


Serina
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 431
   Posted 10/13/2008 3:34 AM (GMT -7)   

Sometimes i wonder if they are all in it together.  Conspiracy;)  this battle you have of fighting the social security program is a long and tough process.

I was told by a friend who used to work at the SSA office up town, that the first application for disability payments is an automatic denial, unless one is incapacitated and cannot walk, or do anything for one's self.  Each time we reapply for it, makes us closer to the approval.  Hopefully this approval will come to you soon. Wish I could do more to help.

Hester

 

SSDore9240 said...
Thanks for your suggestions. I have had no luck with attnys here in Manassas, VA but the Lupus Foundation has given me some leads in DC. I will attack those this week...thanks


Lupus diagnosed 1996, Heart by-pass 1998, breast cancer 2000, stroke2002, vascular surgery 2005, heart attack in 2007, and had a stint put in, Sjogren's Syndrome 2008
 
******
aspirin, multivitamin, Arthrotec , Meclazine ,  plaquinil, Metoclopomide, Doxepin , Metoprolol, synthroid,  Amlodipine, Crestor, Lasinopril, Plavix, phenagrin,  Restasis  


Bsime
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1298
   Posted 10/13/2008 5:45 AM (GMT -7)   
SSD is a process of denial.  Actual stats are that 2/3s get denied on first application and 85-90% denied on second application. By the 3rd try the odds go up sharply to 65% approval. 
 
SS looks for reasons to deny and anything you inadvertently put on the application that can be used to deny your claim will be.  That is why it pays to get an experienced lawyer to make sure you don't say the wrong thing.  There is a legal, bureacratic language and unless you know it you can easily make a simple mistake on the app and get denied. 
 
I know there are cheats but for those who are truly deserving the process is horrible and inhuman.  The current economic situation will not make the process any easier.  I understand that in some states it can take 2-3 years to see an administrative law judge for the 3rd application.
 
Bill
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
 
Meds: prednisone 5mg, 50mg imuran, Lotrel 40/5mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
 
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
 
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller
 
 


SSDore9240
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 10/13/2008 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
The SS process is a tough one. On my first and second apps I became exhausted and gave up. I am trying hard not to let the same happen with this denial. SS is the only option I have at this point. They make me feel as though I dont deserve it. Its a constant battle within myself....I have to keep pushing, for my daughters sake! Without it we cant survive! I have lost everything and have had to adjust to a new way of living! The past few years have been rough, to say the least. Whats next? I have no way of knowing!
31 year old mom of 1: SLE, UCTD, FM, Arthritis, Reynalds(?), Migraines, Alopecia, Neuropothy(L:Hand & Foot), Int. Bells Palsey, Costrocondritis(?), a bunch of other stuff I don't remember right now and even more labwork I dont understand! Patient at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.
 Plaquinil, Trazodone, Lidoderm, Percocet for now...I hate taking the meds!  Refusing any more Prednisone!


puccini914
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 10/13/2008 10:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I just got my first denial last month and have submitted my appeal. I do not qualify for SSD because I haven't worked in 8 years because I was having children. I was planning on returning to work when my children were older, but it was the last pregnancy that brought my Lupus into full bloom you could say. I am now unable to type for longer then ten minutes, write for even less, I'm on hydorcodone or darvocet around the clock, can't stand for longer then 20-30 min. I used to work as a Vet tech and I know that if I tried to restrain a feral cat today someone would get hurt really bad. I know a vet that I'm going to ask to write a letter stating that he would not hire anyone who had limited hand stregth and is on constant narcotics. I meet with a lawyer end of this month. The main reason I'm applying is because I have no health insuance and no insurance company would touch me. I may not have a definite dx, but the bloodwork is there for all to see. We may qualify for SSI and medicaid but that's it and we'll have to really fight to get that. I'm not going to give up on this because medical costs for me are not about to go down and it kills me to spend Close to $200 a month on meds, Rheumy was $180 every visit until I fired him. Luckily PCP is handling things well enough and his visists are only $80. Best of luck to you and don't give up.

Jennifer

PCP DX Lupus and Fibro, Taking plaquenil,  Flexeril,Claritin, Zantac,Ambien,vitamin B-12, multi- vitamin, Lortab.  Homeschooling Mom of 2 boys 1 and 6.  Symptoms: Fatigue, joint pain, heat/sun sensitivity, mouth and nose sores, malar rash, migranes, awful hives, positive ANA, and RF.

 

 


SSDore9240
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 10/14/2008 4:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Puccini,

Your right, cant give up!

Where are you located? Johns Hopkins has worked a deal with me...based on my lack of income!
31 year old mom of 1: SLE, UCTD, FM, Arthritis, Reynalds(?), Migraines, Alopecia, Neuropothy(L:Hand & Foot), Int. Bells Palsey, Costrocondritis(?), a bunch of other stuff I don't remember right now and even more labwork I dont understand! Patient at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.
 Plaquinil, Trazodone, Lidoderm, Percocet for now...I hate taking the meds!  Refusing any more Prednisone!


redrose77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 10/17/2008 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Puccini, a lot of medical schools will work out a sliding scale fee and that usually applies to medications too. Plus in the resources area is a post I made about programs to help you get your meds. Believe me the resources are there they are just so hard to find.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sjögren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, exema
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Tramadol, Singulair, Skelaxin, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Prilosec, lasix, Evoxac, Celebrex, Darvocet when things get too bad, prednisone again, various vitamin/mineral supplements

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