Ohhhh...now I understand. This is very common. My friend never expected to get hers so quickly and didn't hire an attorney (strangely her step-daughter is an attorney, but not in that field). She knew from her son's experience that an attorney would not take the case until there had been denials first. They get paid from back-pay and won't get too much if they start and you get it immediately. Mine took the case after my two denials. The hearing was basically all she did, but I was happy to pay her for that because she was able to explain to the judge what looked like a lie on my part. It was because I was on leave with pay, then short term disability, then leave, then short term, then both. That sounds insane, but I was under the Family Leave act and because it ended, I was in jeopardy of loosing my job. I was actually placed on contingency leave (which prevented me filing for my medical retirement) without notice. Thank God I had retained a lot of leave and could go back into pay status, which ment I could not be on contingency leave. It's complicated and made it look on paper that I was actually working because I was drawing a paycheck for leave hours off and on for a long time. I had decided short term disability would give me about 5-6 months to recuperate while preserving my leave....it turns out that I just didn't get well and had to retire.
It mention this because these things would have never popped into my mind when thinking about applying for SSD. I did get my medical retirement (because I had worked almost 20 years for the state) and had paid in all of that time. The state determines if you can work doing the same job or one of equal salary, benefits, and promotional opportunities and if not, then you are granted medical retirment (assuming you have dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's). After that, I was able to use the paperwork and documentation to help complete my SSD application and give data to the attorney. I didn't even have a person at the hearing to decide what type of job I might be able to do, since I had obviously already presented this information to the state. The judge was great!
They did surprise me by asking me how many times I had to stop (and I wasn't driving) on the way to the hearing. It shocked me because I wasn't prepared for that. I had stopped three times. He asked me to explain why I felt I was disabled...which was emotional for me and after a few minutes, he stopped me as it was graphic information. I was granted almost immediately after that.
I was also extremely pleased to find that my child (under 18) was automatically entitled to SSD benefits on my disability. It has been a Godsend for her education. They send out a document about a year in to ask you to certify how much of the money (for the child) you saved and how much you spent on taking care of the child. I claimed (in truth) that I had spent all of it taking care of her (especially because it pays her tuition, uniforms, food for school, and transportation for school). It also helps with the cost of caring for a child on a regular basis. This will end at 18, but it's a blessing until then!
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, Vision Issues & much more.....