Toni, the position that Will is in right now is exactly why I think he should get a lawyer who is versed in Social Security Disability/SSI. They do not charge unless he wins...then it's a set amount...I believe it was 25% of what I got. Medicare, not Medicaid, has a 2-year waiting period. Since they took over 2 yrs. to approve me, I got it right away after approval...and it was actually retroactive by a couple of months.
When I was approved for SSD (not SSI...that is for minors or adults without enough work credits), I had gone back to work after 18 mos. of not working...just waiting for their decision. My aunt helped with my expenses that year-and-a-half. Since I had little income, my rent was very low. This housing has been a blessing for me. Finally, my aunt said that she didn't feel that I was going to be approved, and couldn't continue to help me financially. So that is when I went back to work...but only about 15 hours a week. It became more and more difficult for me, and by the time I was finally approved I was down to about 8 hours a week. The money I made in that 7-month period was not considered enough to live on by SS, which is why it didn't hurt my case. I had been working P/T since '93, when I was diagnosed with hep C. That is one reason my payments are so low. However, there are many who get much less than that.
As for Medicaid, I didn't qualify for that until I had been approved for SSD...and it's only Medically Needy. However, the fact that they pay my Part B premium and drug premium helps tremendously. Medicare covers most of my medical care at Mayo/St. Luke's. What isn't covered is picked up by Mayo's charity foundation.
I do believe that I would have had a much harder time getting approved for SSD if I had been younger. In fact, I had started drawing Soc. Sec. at a reduced rate at 62, and worked for a couple of months. It was at that point that I applied for SSD and stopped working. I continued to receive the SS payments during that time. When it was switched to SSD, it just converted to the higher amount.
I can appreciate your difficulty in raising 3 kids essentially alone. I only had one--but I separated from my husband when she was 2. He paid $35/wk. (child care cost) for 3 wks., and then drank his way into the hospital. I never pursued support after that. I just didn't want to go through the hassle for such a small amount, though I certainly could have used it, but he was never involved in her life.
My heart goes out to you and Will. There's an answer out there somewhere. I do believe that persistence pays off. They try to make it hard for people to be approved, and are banking on them just giving up. Please do give consideration and thought to my suggestion of obtaining legal help. It won't cost a thing up front. It's best to get a recommendation through friends or family, though--not one of those lawyers who advertise on TV.
It's still freezing here! It was 28 when I left this morning for my appt. with the surgery P.A. The wind is making it feel even colder. The office is in St. Luke's and it was cold in there, too, on the first floor where I go. It's supposed to start warming up tomorrow. I had the Steri-Strips removed and got a new Rx for Miralax. Don't go back for about 6 wks. I had lost 3 more pounds, and I'm being told I need to gain weight. However, I'm not purposely losing the weight--just can't eat as much anymore, or anything rich. I was overweight when this whole ordeal began and now only need to lose another 4 or 5 lbs. to be at the right weight for my height (5 feet) and age. When I was in my teens and 20s, I weighed around 100, but I think it's best to be a little "fluffy" in older years...otherwise, I'd just look scrawny.