Social Security Benefits

bdee
bdee Member Posts: 304
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Is anyone on this board getting disability benefits from Social Security? If so, how hard was it to get? Did you use a lawyer or on your own?

Thanks,
Debbie
«1

Comments

  • scouty
    scouty Member Posts: 1,965
    Easy just took awhile
    I signed up as part of a requirement for my long term disability plan with my employer 4 years ago. The key is having your doctor on board with the reasons why you can't work, specifics things really seemed to help mine.

    I applied on line first then did a phone interview and filled out a form they mailed to me. I took a copy of forms to my oncologist and we discussed what to say (he completely supported me) so we were in sync. He then filled out his forms and sent them in. I applied the first week of August 2005 and was told it would take about 3 months. The first week of October I got a letter in the mail telling me I had been approved and they backdated the payments to the first of the years (even when I was getting short term disability pay from my employer). I had gone out on short term disability a year earlier and that lasted 52 weeks. I was in a pressure cooker of a job having to lay people off and still get the work done. Chemo brain killed my ability to keep up with IMs and the 200 plus emails I got daily while the neuropathy in the hands made typing on a keyboard (my lifeline) very difficult. I decided I needed to concentrate on ME for the first time in my life.

    It was actually easier then what I had to do for my employer!!! Don't let the stupid commercials on TV scare you, my experience was very easy and straightforward. I was so surprised I called my oncologist and asked if he was hiding something from me!!!

    FYI, luckily I had never had to take unemployement or any other payments and had been paying into the "pot" since I was 16 (I was 50 at the time and stage IV). I'm not sure that had anything to do with it but thought I should mention it.

    Let me know if I can help in any way.

    Lisa P.
  • PamPam2
    PamPam2 Member Posts: 370
    social security
    As soon as found out the colon cancer had metastized, they approved it. I was able to do it all over the phone, they had sent me the thickest packet of paperwork to fill out, I contacted SS, they assigned me a caseworker, went there, she filled it out for me, then another caseworker did same over phone when found out there were mets and was approved quite quickly. Hope it goes as easily for you.
    Pam
  • kimby
    kimby Member Posts: 797
    SSDI
    Debbie,

    What stage are you? Stage IV crc is 'on the list' of automatic approval. I filled out my application online, they called for more info, I faxed them more stuff....all a big pain but not difficult I guess. From the date of my online application, I was approved in about 33 days, the next month a got a check for all the months they said I qualified and the next month my benefits check began. It was quick and simple. If you are not stage IV however, the process is much more difficult and complicated. I recommend you listen to someone else in that event. :)

    Good Luck,

    Kimby
  • bdee
    bdee Member Posts: 304
    kimby said:

    SSDI
    Debbie,

    What stage are you? Stage IV crc is 'on the list' of automatic approval. I filled out my application online, they called for more info, I faxed them more stuff....all a big pain but not difficult I guess. From the date of my online application, I was approved in about 33 days, the next month a got a check for all the months they said I qualified and the next month my benefits check began. It was quick and simple. If you are not stage IV however, the process is much more difficult and complicated. I recommend you listen to someone else in that event. :)

    Good Luck,

    Kimby

    Thanks
    Thanks for your help. I am Stage IV with seven tumors left after surgery. I cannot take the full amount of 5fu because it was killing me faster than my cancer. My husband is too scared to try it on our own, so we are going through Binder and Binder. My daughter works for a lawyer and she's telling me how hard it is to qualify.
  • bdee
    bdee Member Posts: 304
    scouty said:

    Easy just took awhile
    I signed up as part of a requirement for my long term disability plan with my employer 4 years ago. The key is having your doctor on board with the reasons why you can't work, specifics things really seemed to help mine.

    I applied on line first then did a phone interview and filled out a form they mailed to me. I took a copy of forms to my oncologist and we discussed what to say (he completely supported me) so we were in sync. He then filled out his forms and sent them in. I applied the first week of August 2005 and was told it would take about 3 months. The first week of October I got a letter in the mail telling me I had been approved and they backdated the payments to the first of the years (even when I was getting short term disability pay from my employer). I had gone out on short term disability a year earlier and that lasted 52 weeks. I was in a pressure cooker of a job having to lay people off and still get the work done. Chemo brain killed my ability to keep up with IMs and the 200 plus emails I got daily while the neuropathy in the hands made typing on a keyboard (my lifeline) very difficult. I decided I needed to concentrate on ME for the first time in my life.

    It was actually easier then what I had to do for my employer!!! Don't let the stupid commercials on TV scare you, my experience was very easy and straightforward. I was so surprised I called my oncologist and asked if he was hiding something from me!!!

    FYI, luckily I had never had to take unemployement or any other payments and had been paying into the "pot" since I was 16 (I was 50 at the time and stage IV). I'm not sure that had anything to do with it but thought I should mention it.

    Let me know if I can help in any way.

    Lisa P.

    Thanks
    Thanks for your help. I am Stage IV with seven tumors left after surgery. I cannot take the full amount of 5fu because it was killing me faster than my cancer. My husband is too scared to try it on our own, so we are going through Binder and Binder. My daughter works for a lawyer and she's telling me how hard it is to qualify.
  • jenben59
    jenben59 Member Posts: 136
    Me too.
    I've heard a lot of people complain about Social Security. When I had my brain tumors it was approved immediately. I paid my insurance though COBRA for two years because it was excellent. After it ended, Social Security kicked in with absolutely no problems. I think the people that have truly handicapping conditions, cancer, etc. don't have problems getting Social Security. The ones that want a free handout is another story. (Oh, my hand hurts, I pulled a muscle in my back and can never work again. Stuff like that.)
  • Shayenne
    Shayenne Member Posts: 2,342
    jenben59 said:

    Me too.
    I've heard a lot of people complain about Social Security. When I had my brain tumors it was approved immediately. I paid my insurance though COBRA for two years because it was excellent. After it ended, Social Security kicked in with absolutely no problems. I think the people that have truly handicapping conditions, cancer, etc. don't have problems getting Social Security. The ones that want a free handout is another story. (Oh, my hand hurts, I pulled a muscle in my back and can never work again. Stuff like that.)

    I....
    ...didn't get much, they based it too much on my hubby's income, and since he makes too much, I can't get anything unless he gets laid off or something, otherwise, they won't also give me anything because I been a stay at home for 10 years, and not worked in awhile.
  • kimby
    kimby Member Posts: 797
    Shayenne said:

    I....
    ...didn't get much, they based it too much on my hubby's income, and since he makes too much, I can't get anything unless he gets laid off or something, otherwise, they won't also give me anything because I been a stay at home for 10 years, and not worked in awhile.

    Donna
    They don't even collect info on your hubby's income for SSDI. That was for SSI most probably. Not the same thing. It is based on the amount of social security you have paid in, so it really sucks if you were a stay at home mom and didn't get enough years in. I was, too but due to boredom I always had supplemental income from owning small businesses. Then I went back to work sooner than most - like the minute the youngest was in school full time.

    I hate that you and others don't qualify because you took excellent care of your family. I have a very good friend who stayed home with her 4 kids and was diagnosed with canzer when her youngest was 7. She was unable to work through treatments because they were done inpatient and she had a bone marrow transplant. Treatment took a year, recovery from the treatment took at least a year and the radiation therapy left her with permanent lung damage and congestive heart failure. She is just not able to work full time and can't qualify for SSDI either because she didn't work enough years.

    I just started on SSDI in January and keep finding myself on Monster.com and entrepreneurial websites. I have plans for my next business and want desperately to go back to work. Everyone thinks I should wait until I can make it through Walmart without finding a bench to rest on or stand long enough to cook my family dinner. LOL Daily liver radiation could be part of my treatment again come August or possibly liver resection. I think I'll at least wait that long.

    Anyways, I got way off track once again.

    Kimby
  • Shayenne
    Shayenne Member Posts: 2,342
    kimby said:

    Donna
    They don't even collect info on your hubby's income for SSDI. That was for SSI most probably. Not the same thing. It is based on the amount of social security you have paid in, so it really sucks if you were a stay at home mom and didn't get enough years in. I was, too but due to boredom I always had supplemental income from owning small businesses. Then I went back to work sooner than most - like the minute the youngest was in school full time.

    I hate that you and others don't qualify because you took excellent care of your family. I have a very good friend who stayed home with her 4 kids and was diagnosed with canzer when her youngest was 7. She was unable to work through treatments because they were done inpatient and she had a bone marrow transplant. Treatment took a year, recovery from the treatment took at least a year and the radiation therapy left her with permanent lung damage and congestive heart failure. She is just not able to work full time and can't qualify for SSDI either because she didn't work enough years.

    I just started on SSDI in January and keep finding myself on Monster.com and entrepreneurial websites. I have plans for my next business and want desperately to go back to work. Everyone thinks I should wait until I can make it through Walmart without finding a bench to rest on or stand long enough to cook my family dinner. LOL Daily liver radiation could be part of my treatment again come August or possibly liver resection. I think I'll at least wait that long.

    Anyways, I got way off track once again.

    Kimby

    I was....
    ...working at my new job for 5 months, after going to school for 2 years to get my Associate's Degree for Medical Office Administration. I loved my new job, but had to quit after 5 months because the chemo just wore me out too much, I couldn't even do the familiy Medical Leave Act because you had to be there for a year, and then went to Soc Sec, who did say, even though I worked since I was 18, put money in Soc Sec for years and years till I was 33, stayed at home 10 years to raise my 4 kids, was diagnosed with this stupid disease at 43, I was out of work too long to collect a thing, I was angry, I mean what about all that money I did contribute while I worked all those other years? it was just stupid.

    I plan on going back to work I hope once the treatments are over, if anyone will even hire me. My old job I still visit, and wants me back, but I can't right now, but we'll see what happens when I get the treatments done. It sucks I can't qualify for any income.

    Hugsss!
    ~Donna
  • Nana b
    Nana b Member Posts: 3,030
    Shayenne said:

    I was....
    ...working at my new job for 5 months, after going to school for 2 years to get my Associate's Degree for Medical Office Administration. I loved my new job, but had to quit after 5 months because the chemo just wore me out too much, I couldn't even do the familiy Medical Leave Act because you had to be there for a year, and then went to Soc Sec, who did say, even though I worked since I was 18, put money in Soc Sec for years and years till I was 33, stayed at home 10 years to raise my 4 kids, was diagnosed with this stupid disease at 43, I was out of work too long to collect a thing, I was angry, I mean what about all that money I did contribute while I worked all those other years? it was just stupid.

    I plan on going back to work I hope once the treatments are over, if anyone will even hire me. My old job I still visit, and wants me back, but I can't right now, but we'll see what happens when I get the treatments done. It sucks I can't qualify for any income.

    Hugsss!
    ~Donna

    Just going crazy myself
    My surgeon suggest that I go on LTD for my next three months of chemo but I am scared of letting my job go. Plus where would I get medical benefits from? My husband is basically unemployed with only substitute teaching jobs bringing in money.

    I have worked all my life, and now that I have cancer I could qualify for 60% of my LTD, but what if after the next 6 chemo treatments I get to NED (wish!!!) and don't qualify anymore for LTD or SS?? I would have to find a job in this terrible economy, then what if I have a relapse before I qualifiy again for FMLA? I would lose my medical insurance and my job. This is all too scary for me.

    I was in he military 15 years, I wonder if VA benefits are available! I keep saying I will think about this tomorrow, but tomorrow and going back to work is approaching soon.

    What's terrible... is that I am just getting my strengh back from having surgery, and chemo is scheduled for next week.
  • tiny one
    tiny one Member Posts: 465
    Disability
    I applied was turned down. I now have a lawyer. It is a long process. My next step will be a hearing. This can take up to 1 year. I think it's been 6 months already. It depends on each person's curcumstance. There's alot of paperwork involved also.
  • bdee
    bdee Member Posts: 304
    SS
    What kind of cancer do you have? My SS case worker called me this morning and seemed to think I'd get my first check in around two months.
  • kimby
    kimby Member Posts: 797
    bdee said:

    SS
    What kind of cancer do you have? My SS case worker called me this morning and seemed to think I'd get my first check in around two months.

    bdee
    I'm not sure who you were asking this of. This isn't the most user-friendly messageboard sometimes. I have stage IV colon canzer and had my approval in about a month and my check the next. I was also working at the time and they approved me from my date of diagnosis. I worked for 18 mos. I was an independant contractor so my circumstances are different than most, but approval is based on the 'compassionate care' list and so is the expedited approval.

    Kimby
  • drmrgirl47
    drmrgirl47 Member Posts: 129
    SSD
    Hi, I applied for social security disability online. I had my operation in January of 2004. Stage 3, rectal cancer. Followed by chemo and radiation. A few weeks later I applied online. I remember filling out approximately 150 pages. I was so thorough. I had all kinds of records and info they requested. Shortly after that, I received my checks. So I have to say I had no problem. I did not use a lawyer.
  • eyeswideopen
    eyeswideopen Member Posts: 3
    tiny one said:

    Disability
    I applied was turned down. I now have a lawyer. It is a long process. My next step will be a hearing. This can take up to 1 year. I think it's been 6 months already. It depends on each person's curcumstance. There's alot of paperwork involved also.

    new at this but have opinion w/ssi-ssdi
    Hi tinyand all hope no one minds me jumping in here but tiny"s comment struck me,let briefly say Im sorry you all have cancer I dont have cancer but the lack of good doctors but my story comes to life 26 yrs ago while giving birth to my first child.I have five now but after 2 reconstructive surgeries my doc say he cant fix so he"ll just put whole in my stomach and call it a day Im freak out about this and very much welcome it also because I have so many problems with everything down under and have been under so much pain and discomfort but the thing is my docs are acting like this is my fault so if you all believe because I really dont have cancer and this isnt the place for me I will understand but I very much want to be a part of others who have ostomy lleostomy I not even sure what the doctor is going to do I do know that it will be permanent and that I wont have use of the rectum,but what brings me to here TINY is I filed ssdi -ssi first time in 94 and again in 2004 been in front of a judge once and due to go back in front of the judge by sept,2009 so its been a long journey but the news of more surgery my bring it on faster and I have a lawyer but anyway again I really hope Im not embarrassing my self again and hope I finally found my online family you guys sound like really caring people godbless and hope to talk with all again
  • kimby
    kimby Member Posts: 797

    new at this but have opinion w/ssi-ssdi
    Hi tinyand all hope no one minds me jumping in here but tiny"s comment struck me,let briefly say Im sorry you all have cancer I dont have cancer but the lack of good doctors but my story comes to life 26 yrs ago while giving birth to my first child.I have five now but after 2 reconstructive surgeries my doc say he cant fix so he"ll just put whole in my stomach and call it a day Im freak out about this and very much welcome it also because I have so many problems with everything down under and have been under so much pain and discomfort but the thing is my docs are acting like this is my fault so if you all believe because I really dont have cancer and this isnt the place for me I will understand but I very much want to be a part of others who have ostomy lleostomy I not even sure what the doctor is going to do I do know that it will be permanent and that I wont have use of the rectum,but what brings me to here TINY is I filed ssdi -ssi first time in 94 and again in 2004 been in front of a judge once and due to go back in front of the judge by sept,2009 so its been a long journey but the news of more surgery my bring it on faster and I have a lawyer but anyway again I really hope Im not embarrassing my self again and hope I finally found my online family you guys sound like really caring people godbless and hope to talk with all again

    Welcome
    We tend to welcome all here, but I think you'd find more ostomy help at the United Ostomy Association of America. www.uoaa.org They have a wonderful message board full of surprisingly magnificant people. We'll be glad to help where we can, but as you know, there are many reasons people end up with an ostomy. I can't think of a single situation that isn't addressed at uoaa.

    So, stick around and enjoy. But please, check out the uoaa, too.

    Best wishes,

    Kimby
  • bdee
    bdee Member Posts: 304
    kimby said:

    bdee
    I'm not sure who you were asking this of. This isn't the most user-friendly messageboard sometimes. I have stage IV colon canzer and had my approval in about a month and my check the next. I was also working at the time and they approved me from my date of diagnosis. I worked for 18 mos. I was an independant contractor so my circumstances are different than most, but approval is based on the 'compassionate care' list and so is the expedited approval.

    Kimby

    Thanks
    I worked for a while after my surgery and after starting chemo, but I had to stop when "chemo brain" started working overtime. The case worker wasn't sure if they could back pay me to the surgery date or the last time I worked date. Either way, she seemed sure I would have a reply in about a month. I hope that reply means a check LOL!

    Thanks for everyone's answers,
    Debbie
  • idlehunters
    idlehunters Member Posts: 1,787

    SSD
    Hi, I applied for social security disability online. I had my operation in January of 2004. Stage 3, rectal cancer. Followed by chemo and radiation. A few weeks later I applied online. I remember filling out approximately 150 pages. I was so thorough. I had all kinds of records and info they requested. Shortly after that, I received my checks. So I have to say I had no problem. I did not use a lawyer.

    NO PROBLEMS GETTING DISABILITY
    wow... I was blowed away. I went online last nite. Completed about 10 pages of info and when it asked if I was terminal (I am stage IV) so technically yes... It said "stop here and report to your local SS office asap"...okay. I was going to call them the next day but by 9:15am THEY called me and left a message on my recorder saying to come in and they would process me immediately. We were on our way in about an hour later and they called again to make sure I was coming. They just couldn't wait to "show me the money"!!! They took me in immediately... no waiting.... filled out all within 15 min. and said I would be approved within a week. Man.... I still can't believe how easy it was.

    Jennie
  • eyeswideopen
    eyeswideopen Member Posts: 3
    kimby said:

    Welcome
    We tend to welcome all here, but I think you'd find more ostomy help at the United Ostomy Association of America. www.uoaa.org They have a wonderful message board full of surprisingly magnificant people. We'll be glad to help where we can, but as you know, there are many reasons people end up with an ostomy. I can't think of a single situation that isn't addressed at uoaa.

    So, stick around and enjoy. But please, check out the uoaa, too.

    Best wishes,

    Kimby

    ssi
    thanks for your response thanks for the infor . I will check it out I"ve been all over the internet I guess I might been a little craz or just wasnt looking the right direction but whatever yes I will stick around have a brother with leukemia.thanks again
  • bdee
    bdee Member Posts: 304

    NO PROBLEMS GETTING DISABILITY
    wow... I was blowed away. I went online last nite. Completed about 10 pages of info and when it asked if I was terminal (I am stage IV) so technically yes... It said "stop here and report to your local SS office asap"...okay. I was going to call them the next day but by 9:15am THEY called me and left a message on my recorder saying to come in and they would process me immediately. We were on our way in about an hour later and they called again to make sure I was coming. They just couldn't wait to "show me the money"!!! They took me in immediately... no waiting.... filled out all within 15 min. and said I would be approved within a week. Man.... I still can't believe how easy it was.

    Jennie

    Social Security
    My husband filled out all of mine online and he put yes to terminal too. What state do you live in? My state agency called me the next day but they just wanted me to fax in the page where I say they can look at my records. My case worker never said anything about coming right in. She just said we would hear in a month.