Initial application for SSI

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Harley Diva
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 3/19/2007 10:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I thought I would share some tips for SSI application process. I will do this in three seperate posts as the process has three potential decision stages. There is the initial application. The reconsideration which is the first appeal. The hearing level, which is when you go before an administrative law judge. Today I will start with the initial application. This will be specific to auto immune inflamitory diseases.
First the Social Security System is designed to be accessable to everyone. Lawyers do not get special treatment. You can do alot to help yourself through this process. There are two programs available there is SSD {social security disability} and SSI {supplemental security income}. The difference is that SSD is and entitlement program as you have paid in and are intitled to the money if disabled or reach retirement age. SSI is a poverty level program and you must meet the medical criteria and income criteria. For SSI you can not have over a certin amount of money in the bank.
1. You must be expected to be disabled for at least one year. Call and make an appointment for an intake interview at the social security office. They will look and see if you have worked long enough to apply for the SSD part if the amount of money you are expected to get is less than the SSI amount set by you state they will concurently that an SSI application. The application looks the same and you only fill out one for both programs. If you are unable to go into the office for medical reasons they can take the application over the phone. They will set a date and time for the office interview or phone interview.
2. The day of your appointment. Take your completed signed for to the office. I would bring any supporting letters from your physicians. Please take all the contact information for hospitals, labs, clinics and physicians. Make sure if you have been treated for deppression or are seeing any therapist to include that info also. If you are using any assistive device such as a wheelchair, cane or walker bring a prescription or letter stating you use an assistive device from you physician. If the condition meets their listing for presumptive eligibility the intake worker will let you know.
3. The person taking the application will not be making the decision on your case. The completed package will be forwarded to an analyst. The analyst will be collecting records and information and will make a decision on your case. That decision is then forwarded to their physician to be signed off. The record is ten sent back to your local office. You will becalled in to verify and set up payment information. In the case of SSI to verify financial eligibility.
4. Comply with all requests from the analyst. You may be sent to thier doctors for evaluation. Make sure you attend all scheduled appointments. The analysts phone information will be on the bottom of the letter. Comunicate with the analyst if you have new information. Such as hospitalizations or changes in your condition. You will be sent a questionaire. Fill it out and send it back within the ten days! A friend or family member may be also sent one. Makesure they fill it out. If you do not comply with this they make a decsion without needed information.
I hope this helps...If you want next time I will do the reconsideration process then the hearing...Stay well
Harley Diva
....RA, HPT,  drugs: Sulfasalazine, MTX, prednisone, bp meds

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   Posted 3/20/2007 4:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Diva, we LOVE YOU! Thank you so much!
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   Posted 3/20/2007 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Diva. Just one questions at this point. Does it make any difference if you do the initial intake via phone or in the office? I've heard that in some states, you must make an appearance at the local office, but I know that here, in NY it can be done via phone.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
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Harley Diva
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 3/20/2007 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   
No problem Ducky. I worked as an SSI advocate for five years and have done hundreds of cases. I have also been to over 200 hearings. I'm glad to share any info that may help.

In addition I know it is confusing but most states had SDI. That is separate as social securtity is a federal program. The SDI program is for people who are working and have paid into it (not every job takes our money for it) It is State Disability Insurance. You must apply for it through your physicians office as they have to fill out a form for it. The benifits reach a maximum in one year. So it is designed to help with shorter periods of time off work. For example my spouse had an accident and was out of work for 6 months and we collected SDI over that period. It paid 2/3 of his salary but was tax exempt. So his pay only changed a few dollars. There are time restrictions and you need to apply when employed or looking for work. In my state you must be off work for at least 8 days and have paid in at least 300.00 in deductions. Check your work pay stubs and see if your employer has done this deduction. This is a good thing to know if you are short of sick leave at work. Call and check with the state disability office to find out the process for the state you live in.
Harley Diva
....RA, HPT,  drugs: Sulfasalazine, MTX, prednisone, bp meds

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 3/20/2007 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   

Harley what is your autoimmune inflammatory condition? I have Chronic Sarcoidosis and have been turned down on my first attempt at SSD. I am filling out the other paperwork now for the appeal. I also obtained an attorney. I need to get the process going a little faster as we are having $$$ problems.  I have to limit my dr appts to no more then 2 a month and I have 8 specialists besides my PCP. Just trying to keep up with the meds has become an issure.


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Harley Diva
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 3/20/2007 4:10 PM (GMT -7)   
A couple of answers. first it does not make any differance how you apply. The person taking the application does not make the decision. I tink in an effort to be accessible to all disabled people the SSA office in every state has some sort of accomadation.

Second I have RA and If there was any way to speed up the process for SSI I would be a millionaire! There isn't. The analysts have an ever growing caseload and I have seen the time for granting a case go from two months to at least six months. This is very frustrating to the person who has bills pilling up.

The only way to speed up your case is to become a good case manager. You will need to do the leg work to get letters of support from your doctors. You need to stay in contact with the analyst. Submit any new information or case updates to him or her. Ask what is slowing your case down. Sometimes they are waiting for records from a doctor or hospital. You can call that office or agency and lite a fire under them. Remember the squeeky wheel.
Harley Diva
....RA, HPT,  drugs: Sulfasalazine, MTX, prednisone, bp meds

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 8/21/2009 9:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi! Harley, and everyone!
I can't thank you enough! I have finally, after 33 years of working as a nurse and teacher, come to the realization that I can't keep working, and am starting the SSDI process when I see my rheumy in Oct. Your info is greatly appreciated.

God knows, even if I don't....
CNS Lupus 2005, APS, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
Meds: Plaquenil, Neurontin, Thyroid, Piroxicam, Aspirin, Atenolol and Norvasc, Prednisone 5mg daily and Paxil, Ambien every night.

artist guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 2/26/2010 5:26 PM (GMT -7)   
hey guys Iam from crohns forum, but Iam on sdi starting mid march, but I have my first appt. with ssdi this wed. but i have filled out the form which in it self a joke my form plus 25 pages of my medical tests, to dr's i see to what 1 day at work was like with crohn's and what a psychological effect having a disabling disease is, plus side effect from medications. my form filled plus I've written 25 pages extra, and have old charts, the more you do and bring the more ssa is likely to look at your case differently, withmore thought

artist guy

Lily Silver
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 4/14/2017 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
excellent info here!!

in case helpful...

There are two different kinds of Social Security disability.

They have different rules and different ways to qualify.
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