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Social Security Disability


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#1 barefut

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 09:03 AM

I just contacted the leading attorney in my area who specializes in SSI and was told I need to apply and be denied before they will do anyting for me. Are there attorneys who help you apply?

I am at a crossroads as to whether I should pursue an appeal with long term disability or just go ahead and apply for SSI. I could use some advice on that too. Even starting the application process for SSI seems like a daunting and overwhelming task for me. Surely there is someone who can help?

#2 enjoytheride

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 04:09 PM

The disability forms are on the Social Security website- you can certainly start there. Just starting them establishes a protected filing date but doesn't commit you to actually sending the papers to SSA. When you finish that form you can use the internet to set up a phone or office appointment- what ever you want. Then an SSA representative will contact you to fill out the rest of the forms.

Just remember that you are trying to establish that you are prevented from working due to your condition so be detailed and explain what syptoms keep you from doing what things. For instance, if you have pain, does that keep you from walking? If so, how far can you walk? How long can you sit without having to take a break. ETC. More words are better- you have to explain to people who will never see you, what keeps you from working. Don't just assume it's clear.

There are no trick questions- despite what you've heard, the point is not to deny the claim but actually to approve it. Don't rely on your doctors to provide this sort of information. Most doctor's offices simply photocopy the patient notes and send it in. If your doctor is willing it would help to have him send a letter (in addition to all medical records,) detailing what things he's observed that keep you from working.

Are you filing for SSI or SSA? There is a difference. Also anything you do for yourself will save you big bucks- lawyers take a certain percentage of any benefits due you.

Thousands of people do this everyday, so you can see it is not as hard as you might think.

BTW if you are asked to provide medical records and you decide to do this, make sure you get ALL of them. If you send in just a couple and it doesn't prove your case, SSA can deny benefits based on what you sent without getting more records. If you don't send any with the paperwork, SSA is required to get them all if they can.

#3 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 02:42 AM

Hello Serena

Here in the UK we've just had a change of government and they've already targeted the benefit system for change, wouldn't you know that one of the benefits I get is the first on the list, in addition I will be reviewed next year in respect of the other benefit I get. Yesterday I declared that if they wanted me to jump through hoops for the benefit being changed they could keep it.

I have an understanding of the dread and weariness that comes upon you at the thought of challenging the benefit system, it makes you want to give up before you even start. It is worth remembering though that we have worked for a number of years and have contributed to society, not just financially, so we have an entitlement, well I think so anyway!

Take care.
Amanda Thorpe
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#4 CraigR

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 02:14 PM

I hope you have better luck than me! I was denied initially, then appealed with a lawyer. The lawyer cited the statute law regarding scleroderma and Sjogrens. It was completely ignored. They basically told me that if I have two arms that work, I'm not disabled.
My medical issues:
Scleroderma with Raynaud's, pulmonary hypertension and extreme fatigue.
Disease made much worse by a bout with Burkitt's lymphoma, mainly from heavy chemo that included an autologous stem cell transplant.
Peripheral neuropathy in my feet
Sjogren's syndrome

For them ignore statute law regarding these diseases seems incredible.

I figure this explains why there are so many TV and radio ads for disability lawyers. My experience is that it is the only way to get benefits. It takes a year or so, but you get a hearing before judge. I'm hoping a judge will follow the law...

Good luck - but don't get discouraged if the going gets tough

Craig

#5 Honey

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 04:31 AM



I was diagnosed with systemic sclerosis in January, 09, and I applied for social security disability in May, 09. I am a fitness instructor teaching group exercise, and needless to say my ability to teach strength and cardio classes came to a screeching halt.

I was approved in August, 09. I consider myself blessed.

Kindest regards,
HONEY

#6 CraigR

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 10:30 AM

Honey,

Wow! you are blessed. I think my request and appeal have gone to a civil service worker that would rival General Patton!

Can you move your arms? (Yes) Can you stand? (yes). Then you can't be disabled!!!

Craig