Disability, anyone?

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+Lyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1304
   Posted 8/29/2010 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Surely there is someone out there who could tell me/us a bit more about SS Disability?  (is there any other type?)
 
I will try to be brief as possible (have looked up some stuff)
 
1) Most important question:  How is the amount received determined?  How much might one receive?
 
2) I am currently working full time. Currently living life as best I can. Outward appearance may appear fine, but it is at a great cost to me:  pain, emotional problems (depression & anxiety), cognitive problems. 
 
3) I am currently under Dr's care for all problems, except that I have not yet seen ortho specialist for my back, (only chiro) altho I have X-rays (and interpretation) proving my spine is a disaster:  severe rotoscoliosis, degenerative disk disease, fused disks, pelvic unleveling, advance spondylosis, and much more.
 
I have Lyme, at least 2 strains of active babesia infections, chronic EBV, possible active HHV6 infection, along w/ the spine problems. I am in treatment for 'major recurrent depression', altho it has not been 'recurrent' since my tick bite -- it has been constant.  Also being treated for anxiety.
 
I cannot stand on my feet for any length of time.  Physically, I can perform my current job, because I work at a desk and during hours of a court shift (I'm a court clerk), I am permitted a stool. 
 
What interferes in this job are my cognitive issues, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain and fatigue.  
 
4) I understand it can take months to begin receiving benefits. Would I be permitted to work until then? Or would that prove I CAN work, even tho it is a great cost to me: pain, cognitive and emotional?
 
I am having serious problems at work which are actually not related to my infections, except the cognitive issues do play a small part. I am planning on moving to my parents' state next year. I feel so sick that I know it will take me an entire year to accomplish this, but it will require more money than I will have, so not sure how I'll figure that part out.  If I could survive on disability until I am settled there and find suitable work, that would help tremedously.
 
Anyone know about these things, please? I am not sure how long I can survive my current job and feeling pretty desperate at this time.
5) I am almost 57 yrs old.  1 year may be enough, depending on how Lyme treatment progresses.

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35859
   Posted 8/29/2010 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi +Lyme!
Some states will issue "Temporary Disability", but since that is a state to state thing, a person would have to look up this info for their own state.

This link will take you to the area SSD calls "How much work do You need?"
Here is a quote from that page
"The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dqualify2.htm

This link will take you to SSD's benefit calculators:

www.ssa.gov/planners/benefitcalculators.htm

I don't know about any certain state disability, but I do know with SS Disability you will be denied at least once, unless your life is in imminent danger. Realized that this is NOT saying they don't believe you, it's that they need to get those people who they don't believe have a very good chance of living much longer on the payroll. Most lawyers who deal with disability cases won't even take your case until you have been turned down 2 or 3 times. Just keep those appeals going!!

I would suggest that you look into the state disability first. I think most of the time they only pay for short-term disabilities. What about unemployment?? If you could talk with your boss, maybe he would agree to lay you off???? That would kind of kill two birds with one stone.

If your state doesn't offer state-sponsored disability, then you might be forced to work until either you move or until you get qualified, if so be sure to document how you got through all of this (by giving things up, not going places simply because you couldn't function, ect.) and what you had to do in order to keep working ( a note from your doc would help also).

Of course if you chose to quit your job, you will have to explain that & just how you managed to get by. Beware though, if you rely on your parents for anything, you will find yourself explaining to SS why that situation can't continue. It is actually very hard to get past this point if you rely on anyone (other than state programs, food stamps & such) - be cautious what you do.

Hope this helps some +Lyme!!

madrivergirl30
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 8/29/2010 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I have a different opinion and experience from what Traveler posted. I was 27 when I got sick and applied for disability shortly after. I contacted a lawyer while my application was pending and was told I would likely be denied because: 1) my age; 2) my education, and; 3) my lack of a diagnosis at that time. The lawyer advised me to call him after I was denied, and of course most disability attorneys only get paid if they win the case for you. Surprisingly, I was approved with no questions asked...so it isn't necessarily true that all people get denied at least once.

I think the fact that I'd been at the same job for six years, was in my final semester of college, and had a stable life prior to becoming disabled was in my favor. Also, I had stopped working several months before applying - I had absolutely no idea that this was going to be a lasting and disabling illness...I'd planned on returning to work...

If you have financial means to quit your job, I think it would be in your favor to stop working (which will only show that you aren't able to work...no one WANTS to be without income). The objective fact to Social Security is - if you ARE working, you CAN work. I know there is an option to work a certain amount once you're receiving benefits, and there is also a back-to-work ticket program, wherein you are given a trial period to see if you are able to return to working full-time. I don't know any of the details about these programs, but I would at least call and speak to someone at Social Security and see what they advise...

The best thing to do is to get your application in, despite your current situation... If you're approved, payments are retroactive from the time you applied. Keep copies of all your medical records, too!

Good luck to you...

Rachel

Agmaar
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 8/29/2010 9:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't have enough left tonite to do a good write up, so a few notes:
 
do you have short or long term disailbity thru your work?
 
there's some fine print but if you're working and making much you won't be eligible for SSDI
 
every year SSA sends out a summary that has your retirement and disaiblity info on it - maybe you can find it?
 
there is a 5 mo. waiting period for SSDI since it's for long term problems, - so you'll have to be out of work for 5 mo. before benefits can start;  Medicare would kick in I think 2 yrs after your disaiblity date
 
you'll need support from your Drs. and psychologist or psychiatrist;  if you move you'll have coordination problems since you'll need their support for your application and appeals if necessary;  it'd be difficult to go to a new provider and get them onboard for disability right away
 
it's important to list all your medical conditions since SSA tries to give "partial credit" for each one;  if there's not support. med info for each condition, they'll have to send you for an exam;  it's all about documentation
 
you're not disabled by your diagnoses, but by how they limit your ability to work
 
education makes it more difficult to get ssdi since you're more adaptable, age makes you less adaptable
 
if you have severe conditions, at 57 either you'll have to entry lvl skills for a sedentary job or be able to do something very similar to what you've been doing for the last 15 yrs. or you're disabled
 
hope I don't find too many mistakes when I review this tomorrow
 
 

saxmar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 670
   Posted 8/31/2010 7:13 AM (GMT -7)   
+Lyme

I was just awarded Social Security Disability (SSD). GET A LAWYER WHO SPECIALIZES IN SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY! I hope you don't think the use of all capital letter is rude but this is the way to go.

I tried to apply for SSD online by myself. It was just too confusing. When I went to the lawyers office (with my suitcase full of medical records) I sat with a paralegal and we did the SSD application together. He knew how to word the answers. I applied through the lawyers office in May 2009. I was awarded SSD in July 2010. I was rejected in Sept. 09. The lawyers office promptly filed an appeal on my behalf. Needless to say I won, although it took about 8 months to get the hearing.

The lawyers only make money if you win.

I am 55 years old and had not been working since 11/07, (thank god I have an understanding wife.)

Lyme Disease itself will not get you awarded your SSD. However the chronic ailments it can cause and leave you with are recognized as justifiable reasons for getting your SSD. You do need to have been out of work for atleast 6 months in most states.

Remember this. Social Security is an insurance policy you have paid in to.

saxmar

+Lyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1304
   Posted 9/2/2010 7:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, everybody, for all your knowledgable responses! 
 
Between your responses and what I have found online, I have learned that I cannot do this. I just don't have the means. I can't afford to go a week w/o my paycheck, let alone months.  Maybe I will eventually find a way to get some money saved and see what kind of spot I"m in then.
 
I also don't know any way I could survive on the DA income -- I don't know how people do this. That barely pays the rent some places!
 
Yes, I CAN work, but it's really difficult. And at least I'm getting by on my income.  I guess I will just keep trucking along as best I can.  
 
There's a lot of ways that I can (and should) do to help my health and budget.  And I need to get in to an ortho specialist to see what can be done about my back. I can't handle any kind of surgery right now, but am hoping there may be some kind of brace or something to hold it up and prevent a collapse of my spine, which the chiro feared could be a possibility eventually.
 
Thank you again everyone! You have all been so helpful and I deeply appreciate you sharing your stories and information! I also hope this thread is a help to others out there who are wondering these things!
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