The SSI/SSD Help Guide for Dummies (which includes me)

Questions, answers and discussion relating to insurance and Social Security.

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The SSI/SSD Help Guide for Dummies (which includes me)

Postby powerlineman » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:03 pm

Here is my experience with Social Security Disability and maybe this can help you.

1.) First thing you'll have to do is file and its probably best to do it online or over the phone instead of going to the Social Security Office if its as bad in your area as it is mine. They'll do a full application over the phone. Will take a few minutes but its better than sitting all day hurting then going back to deal with their b.s.

2.) Expect to get a denial letter. If I had to guess off the top of my head probably 98% get turned down right away. They hope you will quit and drop your appeal, so that they wont have to pay out. Dont get discouraged or down because even I was turned down with the same evidence the judge approved me with.

3.) As soon as you get your denial letter APPEAL IT, and more importantly GET A LAWYER! They cant charge you up front, but can get a set percentage of your backpay if you win the case. If you lose, you wont owe them a thing. The government sent their cut to my lawyer and the rest to me so you wont have to fool with it. Here in Alabama the percentage was 25%. Some states differ. Call your State Bar Association and they should be able to tell you what is the largest percentage they can charge because one tried to charge me 50%!!!

4.) Make sure your lawyer knows EVERY doctor that you have visited so he/she can get all the ammo you need for the appeal. My lawyer had files back to 2003 on me when I wasnt even disabled. The lawyer will ask you to sign waivers so he/she can get your medical files so make sure you sign the papers so he/she can get your case. You can even call your doctors on your own and get ALL your records if you wanted and wouldnt need the lawyer in case you wondered. Some people charge, some dont, and some will ask you to write a letter with your name and social to prove its you and you want the records.

5.) Stay on your lawyer so he/she doesnt forget about you, so they'll try to push the case through. I was told there was almost up to a year backlog and my lawyer was dead-on. So dont always think they are trying to screw you because of the long wait.

6.) You can even call your Senator and ask for help for free. They have people that will file on your behalf to help you get SSD/SSI. Mine was backed up 7-8 months so I went ahead with the lawyer. But most Senators have websites and a simple email will get the ball rolling, just make sure you add your full name and address in your email to the said Senator. The help they can give differs by state.

7.) Dont be crazy and go golfing and parasailing or something stupid like that because they can follow you around and try to discredit you. I'll admit I've done a stupid thing or two because I hate to sit around and do nothing. But if you're caught they can nail you for fraud and you'll have to pay everything back they've ever paid out. You know what your body can and cant handle and keep it at that.

8.) When court comes around dont be worried. My situation I was in a room with my lawyer and a clerk that handled the audio and the closed circuit t.v. with the judge who was 45 minutes West of me at the time. That helped me settle down because it is nerve racking no matter where you see the judge. I was asked by my judge what was wrong with me, what my life was like BEFORE I was disabled, how did I handle the transition, what pills I take a day, what life has been like since I became disabled, and things like that. You'll be nervous but its simple questions with simple answers. Just tell them the truth and most judges like it when you give an objective thought about yourself. I told him I tried to exercise and all of that and he took it into consideration.

9.) Dont always expect a judgement "at" the hearing. They actually have 90 days I think, but they can rule at anytime. You might get a bench ruling or you might have to wait the 90 days through the mail. You can appeal the ruling and go back to court as well.

10.) Most of all be patient! Its hard to do I know and its very easy to give up. You fight for something that is available to any American citizen. Dont feel embarrassed about filing. If you win, go to your tag office and they'll give you forms to send to your doctor to get Handicap cards and/or tags. The cards were free to me and I got 2 of them. The state just wants proof the doctors say you would have trouble walking long distances. Helps a ton, trust me. Never fail to let you lawyer or us anything so you can get help. Alot of us here have fought and won and some are STILL fighting sadly. Dont backdown and fight till the end. We'll always have your back as will your lawyer as he wants to be paid :P

Hope this can help some.
SM only (C2-T1, T10-T12)-Cervical Post Operative Radiculopathy-Degenerative Disc Disease-Anxiety-Depression-Chronic Fatigue-Osteoarthritis-Bulging Discs (T5-T7)-Sarcoidosis-Spina Bifida
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Re: The SSI/SSD Help Guide for Dummies (which includes me)

Postby kathymichelle » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:36 am

My experience was totally different.

1) Call your local SS office and make an appointment - ask what you need to bring. And make sure you bring your any assistive devices that you require.
2) Be on time - be yourself. Be prepared to answer questions and take your pills - show your discomfort - your intake person follows your case through from beginning to end - at least in AZ they did.

3) Take breaks through the interview process
4) Have a detailed list of ALL doctors that you have seen /treated you for your condition no matter how minimal. Emergency Room Visits, eye doctors, I mean everyone that has seen you.
5) Conditions you have all the way to high chloresterol.
6) Employers and dates of employment
7) Birth certificate - prove who you are with Driver's license or passport

After you have the doctor list and facilities where you were treated at for the last 5-7 years you will have to sign medical releases - you are unable to obtain those medical files yourself as they feel you could make changes to more favorable outcomes for yourself.

Ask any questions and make sure you keep notes and take your significant other with you.

I think that's it for me for the first part.

Next - you will within 10 days receive a denial letter for SSI which is typically a denial for everyone if you have over 2k in any type of assets. Don't be alarmed this normal.
Within the next couple of months things will start happening - you may get send out for "consultative exams" for both physical and mental exams. They may or may not be with someone that is SM or CM qualified - you can however request your own doctor that can slow down things. I was originally with a chiropractor but the luck of the draw got be an internist that knew of CM and SM and my surgeries.

The emotional Consultative exam was tougher for me and the testing that they do rattled me and I guess I failed since I have a Representative Payee for my SS pay.
About the five month mark I received a phone call from the original intake person at the original office where I had the original application and he inquired about my direct deposit and was it all set up. I advised that it was and could he tell if I was approved or not. He said he couldn't say for sure since it had gone to "Quality Review" and he said approvals typically went there for a double-check to ensure that all the paperwork was in order. That slowed down my money being dropped into my account by 30 days to the day.

All in all, from start to finish - it was 6 months from application to direct deposit with back pay.

They say that 65 percent are approved on the first pass.

Good luck and be an advocate for yourself - you can do this! Make sure your records are good and your doctor is on board with your application - makes all the world of difference.
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Re: The SSI/SSD Help Guide for Dummies (which includes me)

Postby chrisw » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:26 pm

You seem much better off than many of us. I don't have the physical/mental capabilities to do all that. I guess that's why ny neighbor got it for being fat and I get rejected. You gotta be realatively healthy and of sound mind to get approved.
SM, Chiari 0 (Rosner), Diagnosed 8/08 after car accident 6/08, Vitamin D deficent
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Re: The SSI/SSD Help Guide for Dummies (which includes me)

Postby razzle » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:41 am

document doccument and save copies of everything , even milage if you have to travel to your dr. even if its a asprin .Recipts etc etc I mean everything .I also beleive in going into the SS office too so that they may see how it effects you. Also getting all your medical records your self and take in hand to the office visit . Always use SM as your main illness. I got awarded the first time too. Good luck to everyone applying. R
Once you choose hope, anything's possible.

Roz( Razzle51 or Rosalyn
Iowa
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Re: The SSI/SSD Help Guide for Dummies (which includes me)

Postby princesk8 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:39 am

I don't think I can apply because my husband and I both work. Even if I stopped working, I think he makes too much for me to collect, but we need both of our incomes to get by. This is so frustrating. Is there anything else I can do to get help?
Chiari 1 7 mm & Syrinx C5-T10. Scoliosis(22 degree L & 20 degree T curve). 2.4 cm Arachnoid Cyst at lower left occipital lobe. Bulging Disk C5-C6, C6-C7 & L5-S1. Early facet arthrosis L2-L4. Mild inferior foraminal narrowing L4-S1
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Re: The SSI/SSD Help Guide for Dummies (which includes me)

Postby razzle » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:30 am

It doesnt matter what your husband makes . He can make a million dollars . Its you , if you have enough work credits .r
Once you choose hope, anything's possible.

Roz( Razzle51 or Rosalyn
Iowa
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Re: The SSI/SSD Help Guide for Dummies (which includes me)

Postby tennesseewalker » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:53 pm

My lawyer sent a letter with the application that said in very large type "Please forward this application directly to SSD as the payments I receive from my private disability insurance carrier render me ineligible for SSI." He said that saves months.

Also noteworthy, SS sends a copy of your application to your doctors for verification of your condition.
Mary
Genetic CM/SM (me, my son, my twin sister and both of her daughters), RSD of right arm.
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Re: The SSI/SSD Help Guide for Dummies (which includes me)

Postby the 4ks » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:55 am

My hubby is the one with CM/SM and luckily he was approved the first go around for disability. We got denied SSI right off the bat.

There was tons of paperwork that we had to do, it seemed like it was the same questions over and over again. Make copies of everything you send to them.

When it was time for us to see their Dr. I asked if we could instead see our Dr. since he knew what was going on and at least knew how to pronounce syringomyelia. :lol: They said that we could see our Dr. so that's what we decided to do. In fact we went to our general Dr. and had him fill out the paperwork, then we went to the neurologist and him fill out the paperwork and then we went to the neuro surgeon and had him fill out the paperwork. We covered our bases.

We went to the local SS office to file. I remember we had a wreck on the way...someone rear ended us :x which wasn't very good since Ken had surgery 2 weeks before that.

We were both very surprised because we don't have very good luck.
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Re: The SSI/SSD Help Guide for Dummies (which includes me)

Postby powerlineman » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:41 pm

princesk8 wrote:I don't think I can apply because my husband and I both work. Even if I stopped working, I think he makes too much for me to collect, but we need both of our incomes to get by. This is so frustrating. Is there anything else I can do to get help?


Like razzle said it does not matter what you make to get on disability. SSI it does, but you would rather have SSD anyways as it pays more. SSD does not go by money in the household, etc., it goes by your medical condition only. Even if you are told you wont get it, apply anyways. I was told "no chance" as well and 2 years later I was approved "on the spot" by a judge and granted full back pay and everything else.
SM only (C2-T1, T10-T12)-Cervical Post Operative Radiculopathy-Degenerative Disc Disease-Anxiety-Depression-Chronic Fatigue-Osteoarthritis-Bulging Discs (T5-T7)-Sarcoidosis-Spina Bifida
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Re: The SSI/SSD Help Guide for Dummies (which includes me)

Postby kriver48101 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:34 pm

I live in Michigan and I started from the very beginning with a lawyer. A friend told me that almost everyone will get denied the first time if you don't have one. I have been waiting for an answer for a little while and it would be about 6 months in a few weeks. But I had a request for one of their doctors to see me. Is this the last step before they decide? I'm very nervous. I get nervous and emotional and I have anxiety and depression not to mention constant stiff neck and shoulders since my decompression over 10 years ago and it seems to be getting worse with each year.
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