Social Security Disability

Options
Rocquie
Rocquie Member Posts: 869 Member

I just finished my online application for Disability benefits. What an ordeal--I see why people hire attorneys for this. Monday, I filed the Application for Benefits and printed out some instuctions about what information I would need to file the Disability Report. Tuesday, I assembled, compiled, and recapped medical information. Doctors names and addresses, medical record numbers, lists of medications, medical tests, surgeries and procedures. Dates for everything!

Tuesday night, I couldn't sleep. Looking at all those medical records and reading about what I have been through, brought it all back and made me cry and gave me nightmares.

Today, I submitted the Disability Report. One of the first questions was something along the lines of, "Do you have a condition that will likely cause you to die"? I really struggled to answer that question. Of course my doctor has never said, "you are going to die". And I am in remission, so no, I don't think I am close to dying from lymphoma. But the fact of the matter is: I have cancer. So, I relectantly answered "yes". Now I'll probably have nightmares again tonight.

A message popped up instucting me to call my local SS office after I had submitted the report, telling them I got the message, and they may be able to expedite my application.  I guess I will call them tomorrow.

As hard as this is, I know I can't work now. I am an accountant and I'm sure I don't need to tell you I'm not as mentally sharp as I was before 8 rounds of R-CHOP. There is no way I could do my former job right now. It took me days to apply for disability! And even though, we have excellent insurance through my husband's work, I also know I don't need to tell you this is a very expensive disease we have. With all the co-pays and deductibles, I have quite a tab! And with our income reduced by half for almost a year, we are really starting to struggle. We have wiped out our savings and have also borrowed against the equity in our home. Not good.

Wish me sweet dreams tonight and patience for the wait I'm now facing?

I hope everyone is well today,

Rocquie

 

«1

Comments

  • Shoopy
    Shoopy Member Posts: 210
    Options
    Money

    My wife's been telling me 'not to worry' about the finances.  If it were only that easy.  High deductible health plans, reduction in pay, plus all the other bills (including a college bill for a daughter) all keep coming in.  It does suck!

    My wish for you, Rocquie, is that you find peace tonight and are swept away to your favorite dream spot tonight.

    While it's almost impossible to 'not worry' about the finances...I firmly believe that we'll eventually be provided for.

    Warmest hugs,

    Karl

  • Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3
    Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3 Member Posts: 3,815 Member
    Options
    I know...

    Rocquie,

    I used to work in a social security appeals court. I will not say in what capacity (I was not a judge -- I will say that much).

    My observation: applications are almost NEVER approved on first application, and a lawyer is (tragically) almost always needed.  I hope your response from them is more reasonable and kind. It may be that better educated applicants like yourself, who submit very detailed and documented applications, have an easier time.   Some cases do get approved without a lawyer.  The disadvantage of using a lawyer is, of course, that they take a percentage of your award, usually for a substantial amount of time. Social Security Disability law is almost the racket that Personal Injury law has been for many decades.

    max

  • Rocquie
    Rocquie Member Posts: 869 Member
    Options

    I know...

    Rocquie,

    I used to work in a social security appeals court. I will not say in what capacity (I was not a judge -- I will say that much).

    My observation: applications are almost NEVER approved on first application, and a lawyer is (tragically) almost always needed.  I hope your response from them is more reasonable and kind. It may be that better educated applicants like yourself, who submit very detailed and documented applications, have an easier time.   Some cases do get approved without a lawyer.  The disadvantage of using a lawyer is, of course, that they take a percentage of your award, usually for a substantial amount of time. Social Security Disability law is almost the racket that Personal Injury law has been for many decades.

    max

    Thank you, Max

    I appreciate any information or tips you may have as a former insider. Smile I will appeal for myself if need be. My very well-spoken husband can also help me. I really don't want an attorney to be making money because I became unable to work! (We have lawyers in the family so I am not trashing them across the board). And yes, I think disability attorneys are in the same league as ambulance chasers.

    Cheers!

    Rocquie

     

  • allmost60
    allmost60 Member Posts: 3,178 Member
    Options
    Social security Disability

    Hi Rocquie,

     I was denied as Max said, but was approved once I hired a lawyer. If memory serves me right he got 25%. I also had to wait 18mo's even with a lawyer before I was finally approved. I did get back pay for the 18 mo's, but we really had to budget during the wait time. I remember the mounds of paper work I filled out before I hired the lawyer, and also the tremendous stress it caused. I pray for you to get approved quickly! When I have stressful nights I shut everything down,T.V, etc and just quietly ask God for strength. I hope you can get some rest and peace until you hear back with your claim. Best wishes...Sue

    (Follicular NHL-stg3-grd2-typA-Dx 6/10-age 62) In remission

  • jimwins
    jimwins Member Posts: 2,107
    Options
    Hi Rocquie

    I hope you had a good night and some of the worries washed away.  I have been very fortunate that my disability was approved fairly quickly and I have long term disability through my work.  Even with that, I have eaten up most of my small nest egg/savings to pay for COBRA premiums until Medicare kicks in.  I haven't even started researching the Medicare stuff or filling out the necessary paperwork for that.  I also took on a roommate to help with expenses.   I refinanced my house to take advantage of lower interest rates and reduce my mortgage payment.  Like all of us I suppose, I've had to make changes in my lifestyle to get by but i have a roof over my head, food to eat, and can afford the occasional $2.50 cinema near where I live :).  

    Regarding the disability application, there may be organizations that can advocate for you at little or no charge.  Shorlty after I applied, I researched some of those firms we see advertised on TV and saw lots of complaints, etc.  I hope you get approved first time around and have to avoid all the hassles.

    Anyway, hope this finds you in better spirits today.  Battery is running out on my Kindle so I gotta go for awhile :).

    Hugs - Jim

     

  • ellamenno
    ellamenno Member Posts: 142 Member
    Options
    jimwins said:

    Hi Rocquie

    I hope you had a good night and some of the worries washed away.  I have been very fortunate that my disability was approved fairly quickly and I have long term disability through my work.  Even with that, I have eaten up most of my small nest egg/savings to pay for COBRA premiums until Medicare kicks in.  I haven't even started researching the Medicare stuff or filling out the necessary paperwork for that.  I also took on a roommate to help with expenses.   I refinanced my house to take advantage of lower interest rates and reduce my mortgage payment.  Like all of us I suppose, I've had to make changes in my lifestyle to get by but i have a roof over my head, food to eat, and can afford the occasional $2.50 cinema near where I live :).  

    Regarding the disability application, there may be organizations that can advocate for you at little or no charge.  Shorlty after I applied, I researched some of those firms we see advertised on TV and saw lots of complaints, etc.  I hope you get approved first time around and have to avoid all the hassles.

    Anyway, hope this finds you in better spirits today.  Battery is running out on my Kindle so I gotta go for awhile :).

    Hugs - Jim

     

    Rocquie

    You wrote:

     

    "A message popped up instucting me to call my local SS office after I had submitted the report, telling them I got the message, and they may be able to expedite my application.  I guess I will call them tomorrow."

     

    This a very good sign

  • illead
    illead Member Posts: 884 Member
    Options
    Just thinking

    I wish the best for you too.  It's the pits to have to deal with beauracracy.  Sorry you have to go through this when you could be having a better time being a survivor.  Just a thought I should have said a long time ago but just didn't think about it.  Probably many of you know, but when Bill was first diagnosed, we got a special medical cut on our PG&E (gas and electric) bill.  Since MCL is considered incurable, he'll have it until it dies.  It takes at least 1/3 off our bill every month.  That might be something a lot of you may take advantage of if you haven't yet.  Continued best wishes to you Roquie.....hang in there, Becky

  • anliperez915
    anliperez915 Member Posts: 770
    Options
    Hi Rocquie,
    I'm really sorry

    Hi Rocquie,

    I'm really sorry for all your struggles...I'm also on SSI and since its based on my husbands income it has been a struggle! This past year was the worst for us, I don't even know how we made it :/   This year things haven't really changed and to tell you the truth I'm so tired of being on SSI that sometimes I just want to cut everything. Not that it would make it better but they just have us so limited with our income, my hubby can't get more than what they have for a limit, it really is frustrating!!! I like you graduated with my BA in Accounting but didn't get a chance to work or get any experience in the field because I got dx 6mo. after, and now I don't have the brains for it :(    When I applied for disability the hospital that I was going to had some Social Workers that were Angels, they filled all the paper work and all I had to do was sign...I got approved in 3 wks, I really think they thought I didn't have a chance considering my other illnesses. Thank God I'm still here! :D

    I really hope you get approved quickly and that you get a good Social worker, that also has to do a lot with how fast you get approved! Sending you lots of positive energy!!! And please try to stay calm, the stress won't do any good to your health...take care sweet lady, my prayers are with you!!!

    Sincerely,

    Liz

  • Rocquie
    Rocquie Member Posts: 869 Member
    Options

    Hi Rocquie,
    I'm really sorry

    Hi Rocquie,

    I'm really sorry for all your struggles...I'm also on SSI and since its based on my husbands income it has been a struggle! This past year was the worst for us, I don't even know how we made it :/   This year things haven't really changed and to tell you the truth I'm so tired of being on SSI that sometimes I just want to cut everything. Not that it would make it better but they just have us so limited with our income, my hubby can't get more than what they have for a limit, it really is frustrating!!! I like you graduated with my BA in Accounting but didn't get a chance to work or get any experience in the field because I got dx 6mo. after, and now I don't have the brains for it :(    When I applied for disability the hospital that I was going to had some Social Workers that were Angels, they filled all the paper work and all I had to do was sign...I got approved in 3 wks, I really think they thought I didn't have a chance considering my other illnesses. Thank God I'm still here! :D

    I really hope you get approved quickly and that you get a good Social worker, that also has to do a lot with how fast you get approved! Sending you lots of positive energy!!! And please try to stay calm, the stress won't do any good to your health...take care sweet lady, my prayers are with you!!!

    Sincerely,

    Liz

    Local Office

    I spoke with an agent (or whatever they call themselves) in our local social security office on Friday. We was super nice and seemed very eager to help me. He went over my application with a fine tooth comb, then double checked and triple checked it. He found one date I had overlooked and added that. He stated that my paperwork is now flawless. I'm sure this process has saved a delay. He expects I will hear something within 3 months. Of course that could be "NO". Now I just wait. 

    Thanks Karl, Max, Jim, Ella, Sue, and Liz for your support and your kind responses. I have so much to be thankful for and I am.

    I hope everyone is enjoying a peaceful and positive Sunday afternoon.

    (((hugs))) to all

    Rocquie

     

  • girliefighter
    girliefighter Member Posts: 232
    Options
    Rocquie said:

    Local Office

    I spoke with an agent (or whatever they call themselves) in our local social security office on Friday. We was super nice and seemed very eager to help me. He went over my application with a fine tooth comb, then double checked and triple checked it. He found one date I had overlooked and added that. He stated that my paperwork is now flawless. I'm sure this process has saved a delay. He expects I will hear something within 3 months. Of course that could be "NO". Now I just wait. 

    Thanks Karl, Max, Jim, Ella, Sue, and Liz for your support and your kind responses. I have so much to be thankful for and I am.

    I hope everyone is enjoying a peaceful and positive Sunday afternoon.

    (((hugs))) to all

    Rocquie

     

    GOOD LUCK

    Rocquie,

    Good luck with all of this, I applied in March when I was diagnosed and was denied..It said because my condition wasn't expected to last more than 12 months and I wasn't expected to die. I too also answered yes, that I was expecting to die from my condition. I just found out 2 weeks ago, that I was denied, if that gives you a time frame that it could possibly take. In fact, I have been denied for any kind of help at all, I was lucky enough to find a Cancer Foundation that pays for everything over and above what my healthcare doesn't.However, their pay is slow, so my stuff has all been put in collections and ruined my credit. It is actually quite depressing how people lose everything they have, because they got sick(not like we asked to have Cancer).

    XXXOOO

    Carie

  • vexed
    vexed Member Posts: 10
    Options
    Rocquie said:

    Local Office

    I spoke with an agent (or whatever they call themselves) in our local social security office on Friday. We was super nice and seemed very eager to help me. He went over my application with a fine tooth comb, then double checked and triple checked it. He found one date I had overlooked and added that. He stated that my paperwork is now flawless. I'm sure this process has saved a delay. He expects I will hear something within 3 months. Of course that could be "NO". Now I just wait. 

    Thanks Karl, Max, Jim, Ella, Sue, and Liz for your support and your kind responses. I have so much to be thankful for and I am.

    I hope everyone is enjoying a peaceful and positive Sunday afternoon.

    (((hugs))) to all

    Rocquie

     

    Good luck Rocquie!!

    Hi Rocquie,

         I have been reading this site for quite a while, but I'm usually too tired to get involved in the conversation.  I have a very rare, slow-moving lymphoma that (thankfully) has not caused me great suffering (most of the time!!) but generally leaves me fatigued. 

         Before becoming ill, I worked in a technical job for Social Security for decades at one of the 8 large payment centers. In order to get Social Security Disability, you must have a condition that is either expected to last longer than 12 months or expected to be fatal, and the condition must make you unable to perform substantial work. This is what the law says. 

         The vast majority of cases that are denied failed in the  review process because of inadequate medical evidence.  Either the doctors could not be bothered to fill out the forms fully and completely to describe the condition, or they failed to attach full medical documentation to the Disability Reports.  I hate to tell you how many forms I've seen denied where the doctors gave a vague description of the patient's condition so that the Disability Reviewers could not tell how bad things are, or just as stupid, the doctors filled out the forms fully then fail to support their statements with evidence from medical tests.  

         Unfortunately, you are going to have to stay on top of your doctors to make sure they submit all the forms and copies of all the tests.  Try to get copies of whatever the doctors submit so that you know what is going on. (This will definitely help you if for any reason you are denied.) Social Security and the State Disability Determination office in your state are supposed to obtain all the paperwork but it would be to your benefit to keep in touch with them to see that everything was properly submitted.  

          And everyone's right about the lawyers.  The lawyers basically win and get paid in most cases because their clerks very carefully assemble all the medical reports and all the medical evidence.  Also, the lawyer's clerks are much more effective in threatening doctors to fill out complete medical reports and submit copies of all tests. It is usually just a case of dotting every 'i' and crossing every 't'.  (The only time when you really need the lawyer is when the condition you have is vague or hard to detect and therefore the lawyer really has to argue with the judge that you are sick even though the evidence is inadequate---most lawyers don't want these cases; they are really hard!!)

           As long as you check with Social Security to make sure that doctors submitted complete copies of medical tests along with medical reports where the doctors fully describe your condition and how you are prevented from performing your work, you should get an approval (but there are no guarantees; remember you are dealing with a large agency and errors can occur!!)

            By the way, the person you were in contact with at the local Social Security office was most likely a "Claims Representative" (or his boss, an "Operations Supervisor").  My job was similar in rank, but I was at a payment center.

            I wish you the best of luck.     Les

  • jimwins
    jimwins Member Posts: 2,107
    Options
    vexed said:

    Good luck Rocquie!!

    Hi Rocquie,

         I have been reading this site for quite a while, but I'm usually too tired to get involved in the conversation.  I have a very rare, slow-moving lymphoma that (thankfully) has not caused me great suffering (most of the time!!) but generally leaves me fatigued. 

         Before becoming ill, I worked in a technical job for Social Security for decades at one of the 8 large payment centers. In order to get Social Security Disability, you must have a condition that is either expected to last longer than 12 months or expected to be fatal, and the condition must make you unable to perform substantial work. This is what the law says. 

         The vast majority of cases that are denied failed in the  review process because of inadequate medical evidence.  Either the doctors could not be bothered to fill out the forms fully and completely to describe the condition, or they failed to attach full medical documentation to the Disability Reports.  I hate to tell you how many forms I've seen denied where the doctors gave a vague description of the patient's condition so that the Disability Reviewers could not tell how bad things are, or just as stupid, the doctors filled out the forms fully then fail to support their statements with evidence from medical tests.  

         Unfortunately, you are going to have to stay on top of your doctors to make sure they submit all the forms and copies of all the tests.  Try to get copies of whatever the doctors submit so that you know what is going on. (This will definitely help you if for any reason you are denied.) Social Security and the State Disability Determination office in your state are supposed to obtain all the paperwork but it would be to your benefit to keep in touch with them to see that everything was properly submitted.  

          And everyone's right about the lawyers.  The lawyers basically win and get paid in most cases because their clerks very carefully assemble all the medical reports and all the medical evidence.  Also, the lawyer's clerks are much more effective in threatening doctors to fill out complete medical reports and submit copies of all tests. It is usually just a case of dotting every 'i' and crossing every 't'.  (The only time when you really need the lawyer is when the condition you have is vague or hard to detect and therefore the lawyer really has to argue with the judge that you are sick even though the evidence is inadequate---most lawyers don't want these cases; they are really hard!!)

           As long as you check with Social Security to make sure that doctors submitted complete copies of medical tests along with medical reports where the doctors fully describe your condition and how you are prevented from performing your work, you should get an approval (but there are no guarantees; remember you are dealing with a large agency and errors can occur!!)

            By the way, the person you were in contact with at the local Social Security office was most likely a "Claims Representative" (or his boss, an "Operations Supervisor").  My job was similar in rank, but I was at a payment center.

            I wish you the best of luck.     Les

    Thanks Les

    Thanks for the information, Les and welcome to the site (you've been here awhile).  Please feel free to come here and chat anytime.

    Thanks again,

    Jim

  • Rocquie
    Rocquie Member Posts: 869 Member
    Options
    vexed said:

    Good luck Rocquie!!

    Hi Rocquie,

         I have been reading this site for quite a while, but I'm usually too tired to get involved in the conversation.  I have a very rare, slow-moving lymphoma that (thankfully) has not caused me great suffering (most of the time!!) but generally leaves me fatigued. 

         Before becoming ill, I worked in a technical job for Social Security for decades at one of the 8 large payment centers. In order to get Social Security Disability, you must have a condition that is either expected to last longer than 12 months or expected to be fatal, and the condition must make you unable to perform substantial work. This is what the law says. 

         The vast majority of cases that are denied failed in the  review process because of inadequate medical evidence.  Either the doctors could not be bothered to fill out the forms fully and completely to describe the condition, or they failed to attach full medical documentation to the Disability Reports.  I hate to tell you how many forms I've seen denied where the doctors gave a vague description of the patient's condition so that the Disability Reviewers could not tell how bad things are, or just as stupid, the doctors filled out the forms fully then fail to support their statements with evidence from medical tests.  

         Unfortunately, you are going to have to stay on top of your doctors to make sure they submit all the forms and copies of all the tests.  Try to get copies of whatever the doctors submit so that you know what is going on. (This will definitely help you if for any reason you are denied.) Social Security and the State Disability Determination office in your state are supposed to obtain all the paperwork but it would be to your benefit to keep in touch with them to see that everything was properly submitted.  

          And everyone's right about the lawyers.  The lawyers basically win and get paid in most cases because their clerks very carefully assemble all the medical reports and all the medical evidence.  Also, the lawyer's clerks are much more effective in threatening doctors to fill out complete medical reports and submit copies of all tests. It is usually just a case of dotting every 'i' and crossing every 't'.  (The only time when you really need the lawyer is when the condition you have is vague or hard to detect and therefore the lawyer really has to argue with the judge that you are sick even though the evidence is inadequate---most lawyers don't want these cases; they are really hard!!)

           As long as you check with Social Security to make sure that doctors submitted complete copies of medical tests along with medical reports where the doctors fully describe your condition and how you are prevented from performing your work, you should get an approval (but there are no guarantees; remember you are dealing with a large agency and errors can occur!!)

            By the way, the person you were in contact with at the local Social Security office was most likely a "Claims Representative" (or his boss, an "Operations Supervisor").  My job was similar in rank, but I was at a payment center.

            I wish you the best of luck.     Les

    Vexed

    Les,

    I feel very honored that, after being on this site for 2 years, you have made your first post to me. You have provided some valuable information for me and also for anyone else who searches the site on the subject of Social Security Disability. I am heartened by the things you say here. I know that my oncologist is both very pro-active and extremely thorough. I know from my own care and I have heard others say this about him.

    My infusion nurse has given me copies of his "dictations" in case I needed it while out of town. He outlines my case from the very beginning, lists each treatment, problems I've had, and more on each one. Some things I read are scary to me. Once I was a little offended when I read "Appearance: appears chronically ill". I thought, well that's not a very nice things to say!

    As of my last visit, about 3 weeks ago, he still lists my ECOG Performance Status as a 2 (Ambulatory and capable of all selfcare but unable to carry out any work activities. Up and about more than 50% of waking hours). I just noticed that and looked it up as I was filling out my Disability Report. I have never discussed filing with him, but I will when I see him again in about a month.

    I'm glad you have come out to talk with us. Now that I know you are here, I am very interested in following your case. Will you keep us posted of your progress?

    Thank you so much for the information and I wish you all the best. . .

    Big (((Hugs)))

    Rocquie

  • allmost60
    allmost60 Member Posts: 3,178 Member
    Options
    Rocquie said:

    Vexed

    Les,

    I feel very honored that, after being on this site for 2 years, you have made your first post to me. You have provided some valuable information for me and also for anyone else who searches the site on the subject of Social Security Disability. I am heartened by the things you say here. I know that my oncologist is both very pro-active and extremely thorough. I know from my own care and I have heard others say this about him.

    My infusion nurse has given me copies of his "dictations" in case I needed it while out of town. He outlines my case from the very beginning, lists each treatment, problems I've had, and more on each one. Some things I read are scary to me. Once I was a little offended when I read "Appearance: appears chronically ill". I thought, well that's not a very nice things to say!

    As of my last visit, about 3 weeks ago, he still lists my ECOG Performance Status as a 2 (Ambulatory and capable of all selfcare but unable to carry out any work activities. Up and about more than 50% of waking hours). I just noticed that and looked it up as I was filling out my Disability Report. I have never discussed filing with him, but I will when I see him again in about a month.

    I'm glad you have come out to talk with us. Now that I know you are here, I am very interested in following your case. Will you keep us posted of your progress?

    Thank you so much for the information and I wish you all the best. . .

    Big (((Hugs)))

    Rocquie

    Thank You!

    Hi Les,

     Thank you so much for this detailed information. If you don't mind, I am going to copy and paste this post to my documents for future sharing when someone has a question about Social Security Disability claims. I was born with Klippel Feil Syndrome, but was able to work for 33 years before finally finding it too hard to continue doing physical demanding work. The reason I was denied right up front was because it is a rare birth defect and Social Security needed detailed documentation of what this birth defect consisted of. Once they had the detailed information my lawyer provided,the Judge granted my disability immediately. He actually apologized for my long wait time for approval, but said this was the first claim he had ever seen with Klippel Feil Syndrome, and was sure the delay was because of the rarity of the birth defect. So, you are right about needing detailed accurate information. I hope you continue to do well with your slow growing cancer and can maybe check in from time to time letting us know how you are doing. I understand the fatigue...sometimes it's just too tiring to correspond on a daily basis. Take care, and once again..."Thank You".

    Best wishes...Sue 

    (Follicular NHL-stg3-grd2-typA-Dx 6/10-age 62) In remission

  • vexed
    vexed Member Posts: 10
    Options
    allmost60 said:

    Thank You!

    Hi Les,

     Thank you so much for this detailed information. If you don't mind, I am going to copy and paste this post to my documents for future sharing when someone has a question about Social Security Disability claims. I was born with Klippel Feil Syndrome, but was able to work for 33 years before finally finding it too hard to continue doing physical demanding work. The reason I was denied right up front was because it is a rare birth defect and Social Security needed detailed documentation of what this birth defect consisted of. Once they had the detailed information my lawyer provided,the Judge granted my disability immediately. He actually apologized for my long wait time for approval, but said this was the first claim he had ever seen with Klippel Feil Syndrome, and was sure the delay was because of the rarity of the birth defect. So, you are right about needing detailed accurate information. I hope you continue to do well with your slow growing cancer and can maybe check in from time to time letting us know how you are doing. I understand the fatigue...sometimes it's just too tiring to correspond on a daily basis. Take care, and once again..."Thank You".

    Best wishes...Sue 

    (Follicular NHL-stg3-grd2-typA-Dx 6/10-age 62) In remission

    The way Social Security does things

    Hi Sue,

         You have brought up a key element on how Social Security (and most other Federal and State Disability programs) processes Disability cases. If part of a claim for disability appears to be vague or inconclusive, the normal response by Social Security is to deny the claim. 

         When Social Security receives a disability claim, the technical staff begins by asking  a series of questions: First, is the claimant doing substantial work? If the answer is yes, the claim is denied obviously because the person is working; Second, does the claimant have a severe condition that can be observed through medical examination or tests? If the condition is not severe enough or cannot be detected by examination or test, the claim is denied. This is why it is so important for a doctor to fully describe and document the condition in his or her report to Social Security. Third, is the condition listed in the standard lists of impairments that Social Security uses? If the condition is not listed or if the claimant has multiple problems where no one condition is serious, this may or may not lead to denial. In some cases, more information may be requested. In other cases, the claimant will be denied with the judge often granting benefits on appeal.  

         There are many more questions that the staff will eventually ask, but the key thing to realize is the clearer and more detailed the evidence, the greater the chance for approval.

         Thanks, Sue!                                         Les                 

        

  • vexed
    vexed Member Posts: 10
    Options
    Rocquie said:

    Vexed

    Les,

    I feel very honored that, after being on this site for 2 years, you have made your first post to me. You have provided some valuable information for me and also for anyone else who searches the site on the subject of Social Security Disability. I am heartened by the things you say here. I know that my oncologist is both very pro-active and extremely thorough. I know from my own care and I have heard others say this about him.

    My infusion nurse has given me copies of his "dictations" in case I needed it while out of town. He outlines my case from the very beginning, lists each treatment, problems I've had, and more on each one. Some things I read are scary to me. Once I was a little offended when I read "Appearance: appears chronically ill". I thought, well that's not a very nice things to say!

    As of my last visit, about 3 weeks ago, he still lists my ECOG Performance Status as a 2 (Ambulatory and capable of all selfcare but unable to carry out any work activities. Up and about more than 50% of waking hours). I just noticed that and looked it up as I was filling out my Disability Report. I have never discussed filing with him, but I will when I see him again in about a month.

    I'm glad you have come out to talk with us. Now that I know you are here, I am very interested in following your case. Will you keep us posted of your progress?

    Thank you so much for the information and I wish you all the best. . .

    Big (((Hugs)))

    Rocquie

    Social Security Disability

         Hi Rocquie,

         As I said, my major complaint has been fatigue.  So I have often felt below par and not up to being involved in discussions.  At present, I feel well enough to be involved.  I have both lymphoma and a heart problem. My cardiologist says that medical conditions with overlapping symptoms make diagnosis difficult, if not impossible.  On the infrequent occasions when I have had some other scary symptoms and had to go to the emergency room, the doctors have had to play the guessing game.

         Rocquie, your oncologist appears to be like mine; a caring, careful, and diligent doctor.  This should helpful in getting the Social Security paperwork done correctly the first time. And getting Disability on the first attempt makes life easier. 

         The process of getting Social Security Disability is a hard and lengthy process; usually taking 3 to 6 months.  It pays to get it right the first time since a denial can cost an additional 6 to 12 months. (By the way, no money is usually lost, because the date when you first file is one of the criteria used to determine the starting date of benefits.)  Also, many people who file without a lawyer and are denied, often use a lawyer to appeal and that costs them 25 percent of the retroactive benefits in legal fees.

          With an accounting background, I'm sure you understand the need to do the so-called "little things" right. If you get any letter from Social Security asking for a reply, ALWAYS reply, and always make sure the reply is within any timeframe in the letter (usually 30 or 60 days).  In addition to getting copies of the disability forms filed by your doctors, the doctors' notes, and copies of all test results, make copies of anything you send to Social Security. Always send letters or paperwork to Social Security offices via "registered" or "certified" mail with return receipt requested. It costs more, but it will save you a lot of unhappiness. 

         The staff of Social Security is less than 40 percent of what it was when I started.  Although some of this is due to computer enhancements, some of it is due to the retirement of the technical staff with no hiring of replacements.  The computers can do the simple stuff (like the majority of regular Retirement cases) but the technical staff must actually make the decisions in any complex cases and in all the Disability cases.  That is why the cases take so long. 

     

          Good luck!                        Les  

  • girliefighter
    girliefighter Member Posts: 232
    Options
    vexed said:

    Social Security Disability

         Hi Rocquie,

         As I said, my major complaint has been fatigue.  So I have often felt below par and not up to being involved in discussions.  At present, I feel well enough to be involved.  I have both lymphoma and a heart problem. My cardiologist says that medical conditions with overlapping symptoms make diagnosis difficult, if not impossible.  On the infrequent occasions when I have had some other scary symptoms and had to go to the emergency room, the doctors have had to play the guessing game.

         Rocquie, your oncologist appears to be like mine; a caring, careful, and diligent doctor.  This should helpful in getting the Social Security paperwork done correctly the first time. And getting Disability on the first attempt makes life easier. 

         The process of getting Social Security Disability is a hard and lengthy process; usually taking 3 to 6 months.  It pays to get it right the first time since a denial can cost an additional 6 to 12 months. (By the way, no money is usually lost, because the date when you first file is one of the criteria used to determine the starting date of benefits.)  Also, many people who file without a lawyer and are denied, often use a lawyer to appeal and that costs them 25 percent of the retroactive benefits in legal fees.

          With an accounting background, I'm sure you understand the need to do the so-called "little things" right. If you get any letter from Social Security asking for a reply, ALWAYS reply, and always make sure the reply is within any timeframe in the letter (usually 30 or 60 days).  In addition to getting copies of the disability forms filed by your doctors, the doctors' notes, and copies of all test results, make copies of anything you send to Social Security. Always send letters or paperwork to Social Security offices via "registered" or "certified" mail with return receipt requested. It costs more, but it will save you a lot of unhappiness. 

         The staff of Social Security is less than 40 percent of what it was when I started.  Although some of this is due to computer enhancements, some of it is due to the retirement of the technical staff with no hiring of replacements.  The computers can do the simple stuff (like the majority of regular Retirement cases) but the technical staff must actually make the decisions in any complex cases and in all the Disability cases.  That is why the cases take so long. 

     

          Good luck!                        Les  

    One question

    Les,

    You have provided some very helpful information to us all, and we can use it. My question is Socisl Security set up so that you will remain on it your entire life? I ask this only because I am a young 37 year old single mother and want to finish my college out, so I can get a career I can function in.

    Carie

  • Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3
    Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3 Member Posts: 3,815 Member
    Options
    vexed said:

    Social Security Disability

         Hi Rocquie,

         As I said, my major complaint has been fatigue.  So I have often felt below par and not up to being involved in discussions.  At present, I feel well enough to be involved.  I have both lymphoma and a heart problem. My cardiologist says that medical conditions with overlapping symptoms make diagnosis difficult, if not impossible.  On the infrequent occasions when I have had some other scary symptoms and had to go to the emergency room, the doctors have had to play the guessing game.

         Rocquie, your oncologist appears to be like mine; a caring, careful, and diligent doctor.  This should helpful in getting the Social Security paperwork done correctly the first time. And getting Disability on the first attempt makes life easier. 

         The process of getting Social Security Disability is a hard and lengthy process; usually taking 3 to 6 months.  It pays to get it right the first time since a denial can cost an additional 6 to 12 months. (By the way, no money is usually lost, because the date when you first file is one of the criteria used to determine the starting date of benefits.)  Also, many people who file without a lawyer and are denied, often use a lawyer to appeal and that costs them 25 percent of the retroactive benefits in legal fees.

          With an accounting background, I'm sure you understand the need to do the so-called "little things" right. If you get any letter from Social Security asking for a reply, ALWAYS reply, and always make sure the reply is within any timeframe in the letter (usually 30 or 60 days).  In addition to getting copies of the disability forms filed by your doctors, the doctors' notes, and copies of all test results, make copies of anything you send to Social Security. Always send letters or paperwork to Social Security offices via "registered" or "certified" mail with return receipt requested. It costs more, but it will save you a lot of unhappiness. 

         The staff of Social Security is less than 40 percent of what it was when I started.  Although some of this is due to computer enhancements, some of it is due to the retirement of the technical staff with no hiring of replacements.  The computers can do the simple stuff (like the majority of regular Retirement cases) but the technical staff must actually make the decisions in any complex cases and in all the Disability cases.  That is why the cases take so long. 

     

          Good luck!                        Les  

    "Denied"

    Les,

    At the end of the day in a local SS office several years ago, there was one claimant seated in the waiting area, shaking violently. I thought he was most likely on drugs, and approached him. Actually, he was thrashing about from the worst case of Parkinson's I had ever seen.  He was only around 30, and said that he had a very rare case, and had had tremors from toddlerhood. He was there to refile for Disability, since his aunt, with whom he had lived most of his life, was putting him out.  

    He also was scheduled to go to a major university hospital to have brain stem stimulators installed.   He had been previously denied, although he had never worked in his life, and was obviously unable to control any part of his body. He could barely walk, and only with difficulty.

    I saw him about two months later, and said that the Agency was demanding more proof (!!), and that his application "was not going well."

    max

  • vexed
    vexed Member Posts: 10
    Options

    "Denied"

    Les,

    At the end of the day in a local SS office several years ago, there was one claimant seated in the waiting area, shaking violently. I thought he was most likely on drugs, and approached him. Actually, he was thrashing about from the worst case of Parkinson's I had ever seen.  He was only around 30, and said that he had a very rare case, and had had tremors from toddlerhood. He was there to refile for Disability, since his aunt, with whom he had lived most of his life, was putting him out.  

    He also was scheduled to go to a major university hospital to have brain stem stimulators installed.   He had been previously denied, although he had never worked in his life, and was obviously unable to control any part of his body. He could barely walk, and only with difficulty.

    I saw him about two months later, and said that the Agency was demanding more proof (!!), and that his application "was not going well."

    max

    Social Security Disability

    Max and Carie-

        The real name of the Social Security program is OASDI or "Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance".  It is a true insurance program in that it is based on a person's work.  To be eligible for a Retirement benefit, a person must work at least 10 years for a small income.  The amount of a person's benefit is determined by the number of years worked (up to 35 years) and the amount of earnings in each year.

        To be eligible for a Disability benefit, the number of years of required work will be reduced by the age one became disabled.  So, even a person with a very short work history can qualify if they became disabled at an early age.

        A person with the required work history could become eligible for Disability benefits in their mid-20's and continue to get them up to full retirement age (65 to 67). At full retirement age, a Disability benefit automatically becomes a Retirement benfit with no reduction in the benefit amount.  If a person has a long-term disability, a periodic review is made to make sure the person is still disabled.

        Max, most people who are denied Disability benefits are denied for medical reasons.  If a person has a completely and clearly obvious disability, either the doctors did not bother to adequately complete the medical forms or they did not supply the evidence to document the disorder.  The Social Security staff is not allowed to make a medical determination based on how a person looks when they walk into the office. The person with Parkinson's needs a friend or family member willing to demand the doctors do their job. Either that, or he will need a lawyer.

         If the person with Parkinson's is being denied because of the lack of a work history, then he may need to file on the record of a living or deceased parent who has a work history.  If he cannot do either, then he may need to file for the Federal welfare program, Supplemental Security Income or SSI.  SSI Disability has most of the same disability criteria as Social Security Disability, but it does not have any work history requirement.

                                                                         Les

  • allmost60
    allmost60 Member Posts: 3,178 Member
    Options
    vexed said:

    Social Security Disability

    Max and Carie-

        The real name of the Social Security program is OASDI or "Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance".  It is a true insurance program in that it is based on a person's work.  To be eligible for a Retirement benefit, a person must work at least 10 years for a small income.  The amount of a person's benefit is determined by the number of years worked (up to 35 years) and the amount of earnings in each year.

        To be eligible for a Disability benefit, the number of years of required work will be reduced by the age one became disabled.  So, even a person with a very short work history can qualify if they became disabled at an early age.

        A person with the required work history could become eligible for Disability benefits in their mid-20's and continue to get them up to full retirement age (65 to 67). At full retirement age, a Disability benefit automatically becomes a Retirement benfit with no reduction in the benefit amount.  If a person has a long-term disability, a periodic review is made to make sure the person is still disabled.

        Max, most people who are denied Disability benefits are denied for medical reasons.  If a person has a completely and clearly obvious disability, either the doctors did not bother to adequately complete the medical forms or they did not supply the evidence to document the disorder.  The Social Security staff is not allowed to make a medical determination based on how a person looks when they walk into the office. The person with Parkinson's needs a friend or family member willing to demand the doctors do their job. Either that, or he will need a lawyer.

         If the person with Parkinson's is being denied because of the lack of a work history, then he may need to file on the record of a living or deceased parent who has a work history.  If he cannot do either, then he may need to file for the Federal welfare program, Supplemental Security Income or SSI.  SSI Disability has most of the same disability criteria as Social Security Disability, but it does not have any work history requirement.

                                                                         Les

    Great information!

    Hi Les,

     Thank you so much for this detailed information. I can't count the people that ask me questions about the process for SSD benefits. It will be great to have all of this information to share. Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

    Best wishes...Sue