Do any of you have SSI?

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tkelly3287
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 142
   Posted 1/20/2007 9:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I am thinking about applying for disability b/c I don't think I can go back to work. I'm curious if anyone has done it and if so what do you think of the process?
 
Thanks
 
Theresa confused

rhondab
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 1/20/2007 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Theresa!

I'm not on SSI nor have i applied for it, but as i understand the process is very long and tedious. I seem to remember hearing it takes about a year to get approved and may come with several denials prior to u'r approval. Of course that's just my memory at work..and it's not too reliable. ;) Others here are more familiar and i'm sure will be along soon to offer input on this.
rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*


Kimber
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 1/20/2007 11:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Theresa!
 
   My husband has SSDI, but the process is pretty much the same.  We were lucky in the regards it only took five months for him to get approved.  It is possible for it to go quickly, but in most cases it is a very long process of denials and appeals.  If you plan on going through with it, all I can suggest is to apply as soon as you are eligible to do so and be prepared for A LOT of paperwork and answering the same questions over and over.   Also make sure your doctors are aware that you are filing and are willing to support you.  I think that it itself made a huge difference in his getting approved so quickly.  Best of luck and if you have any specific questions, I'd be more than happy to try and help.
 
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uppitycats
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 1/21/2007 7:53 AM (GMT -6)   
tkelly3287 said...
I am thinking about applying for disability b/c I don't think I can go back to work. I'm curious if anyone has done it and if so what do you think of the process?
 
Thanks
 
Theresa confused
There are two different plans that you might be eligible for -- SSI, and SSDI.  They're both designed to provide supplemental income for people with disabilities, but the eligibility requirements are different. Unfortunately both are full of lots of paperwork to be filled out -- by you, by your doctor(s), sometimes by other family members, and others along the way.
If indeed you think you cannot go back to work, you can simply call your local Social Security Office (they're both administered by the Social Security Administration) and ask which you might be eligible for, assuming you qualify.
If you've worked for at least 10 years, and contributed to the Social Security program (through payroll deductions), you would be eligible to apply for SSDI: Social Security Disability Income, or SSDI.  If you haven't worked that long, it gets more complicated, as there are some age considerations, employment considerations, etc. that may -- or may not -- make you eligible for SSDI, even if you haven't worked that long.
SSI -- supplemental security income -- is designed for low income folks. You have to have few assets, no other income coming in to your family, and if you do try to work part-time, you'll greatly risk your SSI payments.
SSDI is NOT "means tested"...meaning you can have other income and investments coming in to your household, without jeopardizing your SSDI. You can work and make substantially more income and still get SSDI than you can if instead you're getting SSI.
 
But for BOTH programs: It's not enough for you simply decide you "can't go back to work". They'll both test you for employment capacity -- and they'll decide if you are able to perform any "gainful employment" -- whether you're actually eligible for, or trained to do, a job.  They'll interview you, sometimes your neighbors and other family members, and certainly your doctor. He'll need to agree with you that you are not able to return to work, and be able to provide a convincing argument to the Social SEcurity folks that you are not able to perform "any meaningful gainful employment".  They'll require you to be examined by a doctor of their choice, and sometimes require you to submit to psychological examination.  Should you jump all those hurdles and become eligible, there is a significant waiting period before you get your first check, and then a two  year waiting period before you'd be eligible for Medicare.  (I think you'd get medicaid earlier on SSI, but I'm not certain of that.)
While some folks are able to get through the process on the first attempt -- they've carefully filled out their paperwork, their doctor has, all the i's are dotted, all the t's crossed -- many others find they have to go through the appeals process, and hire an attorney to convince the social security administration that they should be eligible.
 
You might want to go to the social security administration website. You can see (and download) the forms there, and see if indeed you might be ready to apply.
 
Presumably you've exhausted all "remedies" offered at your work -- used up your sick leave, your vacation, taken days off through the Family Medical Leave Act (if your employer is eligible for that), applied for and used short - and long-term disability (if available) and still think you are unable to return to work?
 

...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


tkelly3287
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 142
   Posted 1/21/2007 4:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow thanks so much for the info.... I have not worked full time since having my daughter. Giving birth threw me into a relapse. I am only now slightly recovering from it. My symptoms are pretty harsh as of late. I have serious migraines and fatigue and numbness. I talked to an attorney today and he said on average 9 months to 2 years, but with my medical history it sounds like I am a good canidate. Your info uppitycats was pretty much the same as his... Thanks!!!

Motown John
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 475
   Posted 1/21/2007 6:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Sunday p.m.
 
Good evening, Miss Theresa:
 
I have been dx'ed with MS since 1987.  I was able to work umtil about five or six years ago.
 
I do not know if was male ego that prevented me from applying for SSI disability, but I was getting sicker.
 
For me, it went well.  But from what I hear, I am in the vast, vast, vast minority.  I live in MI, and the MI Multiple Sclerosis Society has a board member who is an attorney who will help you file gratis.
 
When you are approved, you are given a chunk of money up front.  The MS Society woiuld help you and NOT take the standard 1/3 of that first chunk which all standard attorneys do.  But....if you need the expertise of an attorney, and they get you approved, the fee is worth it.
 
I had a 15 minute meeting with the MI attorney, she gave me some tips, I got all the records from my neuro, filled out form, and was approved.  The time...about four months.
 
Great luck to you.  You might want to check with your state MS Society, ask them for a refferall....
 
I don't suppose you live in Michigan, do you?  If so, my attorney could help you.
 
All the very best.  John

Motown John
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 475
   Posted 1/22/2007 7:25 AM (GMT -6)   
...and all the things that Uppity spoke about, testing you to see WHAT kind of jobs you can do, never happened to me.
 
Great Luck.  John

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 1/22/2007 7:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Motown John said...
...and all the things that Uppity spoke about, testing you to see WHAT kind of jobs you can do, never happened to me.
 
Great Luck.  John
Just to be clear, nobody does "test you to see what kind of jobs you can do". Rather, they might decide that -- while you can't do the job you've been doing for years (and have training and expertise to do, for example), you CAN work at something else.  I've dealt with people who were factory workers for years, who were told that they could perform a "desk job" -- even though they had NO training, no experience, no ability to do such work.  But the social security office "decided" they could still "work at gainful employment", and so were denied benefits. (They won on appeal.)
 
Sometimes a person's age is helpful here: if you're already older -- like, in your 50's, when you apply -- the standards of "gainful employment" seem to be applied less harshly.  I don't know how old you were, John, nor how disabled you were before you finally applied, but both of those factors would have weighed in, in their decision.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


mesea
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 1/22/2007 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I get ssi and work parttime. Everything that has been said above is true. However no one mentioned medical expenses. With SSDI You get medicaire. I don't know much about it, but my brother and other people I've talked to have seem trouble meeting medical expenses even with this help. With SSI you get MEDICAID. This differs from state to state. In my state Medicaid only covers 5 scripts. 2 of which can be brand names. This is a real hardship and many times I have to do without 2 or more of my medications because I can't afford to get them. I hate to sound negative because it does help a lot. I only pay $3 a month for my Avonex which is a $1500 script. My advice would be to check this out very thoroughly before making this decision.

BYE!!!

Sheila
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