Heather H. said...
I am really starting to doubt myself. I did the SSI/SSDI thing and was turned down. I know it's the first time through, and it's normal to get a denial first and all. Now I feel like it was a huge mistake to have even applied. The Disablity part of it, I don't care if I get that. I would prefer to get the SSI and still be able to work. I enjoy my job, but it is only part time and I can't work very many hours in a day. I haven't tried a full time job in about 2 and a half years. Do I try a full time job and see how it goes? Am I being stupid by even considering it? I remember how tired I was when I was working all the time, and how often I had to rely on my dad picking my boys up from school. I just don't think I can go through all that again.
I know that I will never be "normal" again, but does that mean I don't deserve SSI. In the letter, they tell me that because of my chosen line of work, my medical problems don't prevent me from working a "substantial" job. I am lucky if I make $400 a month, and they tell me that my work is substantial. Or should I just suck it up and let it go? Should I just follow through and see where it goes?
And the thing that gets me is that Social Security didn't even list everything that was wrong with me. They left out the Fibro. They also even said that I have COPD which I don't. I am even wondering if they looked at the right medical files.
Help. I am so confused.
Heather -- a couple of things.
First, are you applying for SSI -- supplemental security income, or SSDI -- social security disability insurance? They're different, and different criteria apply. I'm assuming here - since you're working -- you applied for ssDi...and my comments are related to the criteria for SSDI.
Second, it's quite common to turn people down and use the line, "substantial gainful employment" or some variant of that. The fact that you were working..even part time...was really the only thing they looked at. Their (ill)logic goes something like, "...well, if she is well enough to work and apply for disability, she's well enough to work!" Crazy, I know.
Third, it also is quite common (and again, inexcusable) to not list everything you've disclosed. They (the social security folks) don't accept "fibro" as a "disability", so if you claimed that, they dismissed that right away, too. Again, crazy.
So, what to do? Get a lawyer. Call the local National MS Society (or if there isn't a chapter nearby, go on line and find them). Ask for a referral to an attorney in your area -- one that is trained to work on disability cases. Give the attorney all your records, and have them appeal your case. They'll charge a fee -- but only a small percent of your first check, and only if they win your case. MOST cases are won on appeal.
But do this SOON. There is a time frame in which appeals must be done, or you have to start all over again, and you don't want to do that.
The attorney may tell you to quit your job, for now (if that's at all possible). Once you get on SSDI, you'll be able to work part-time, earn up to (last number I heard was $700/month, might be more now) some set sum (don't quote me on the $700! It's been awhile since I looked at that!), and still get SSDI, so you could go back to work then.
But appeal. And soon! Good luck!
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....