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Disability Insurance


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#21 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:09 AM

Hi CarriePan,

 

Good luck with your Social Security hearing. One of the things the judge will probably be interested in is exactly what your symptoms are, and how those symptoms prevent you from working *any* full time job. 

 

Social Security doesn't just consider the occupation that you are inclined or trained to do. You should talk to your attorney right now, before the hearing. Tell them you are nervous and ask for their advice.

 

Do not feel like you need to "play act" or "act sick" with them. You know what I mean, the voice some people put on when they are calling in to work sick, but they aren't really sick, they are just pretending to be sick so they think they have to sound like they are on their death bed?  You know how phony that is, and so do the disability judges.  They know you can be very ill but still talk in a normal voice, be kind and pleasant and respectful, and sit in a chair just like you normally would.  For example, don't limp if you don't normally have a limp, and don't use a cane if you don't normally use a cane, etc. They have all of your medical records and they surely won't be fooled by anything even remotely along those lines.

 

By the same token, you don't need to go out of your way to "act healthy".  And I am sure you know what I mean by that. Like when you are going to a party, and nobody there knows that you are sick, and all you want to do in the whole world is just blend in and hopefully even make a new friend.  So you put on heaps of makeup, have your hair specially done, send your clothes to the dry cleaners so they can be ironed for a change, and wear heels that absolutely kill your back, but you are going to sit in a chair anyway so you only have to worry about your entrance and exit.  Then you take all your pills and try to remember to smile, smile, smile and act like you don't have a care in the world.

 

That is just as phony as the call-in sick routine. It is fine for strangers and can help expand your social circle when you are ill, but that is probably *not* the phony baloney that your attorney will want you to trot out for view by the judge.

 

The judge is going to want facts. Your medical record should help an awful lot there. If you really and truly are really and truly sick, you shouldn't have any problem answering any question thrown your way.  Tell the truth -- without spit-shining it for the most "positive" spin and without exaggerating your ills to the point of absurdity, either -- because you will be swearing to it.

 

And plan something to help you de-stress afterwards.  A meal out, a bubblebath, whatever suits your fancy.  We'll be thinking of you, and sending good wishes your way.

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#22 miocean

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:32 PM

Hi Carr,

 

Good luck next week. I don't have any advice except don't fuss over your physical appearance. As we all know, looks can be decieving.

 

I qualified immediately due to kidney failure but I know how hard it is for some people. I have a friend with a different illness that took years and many appeals before she finally qualified.

 

Am I right in thinking since you are going before a judge you have a lawyer? My friend went before the same judge several times and was always denied. When her lawyer finally asked for a new judge she qualified a few months later alhough she never did appear that last time. Her payments were retroactive to a certain time and her lawyer told her should could appeal that and go even further back but she decided not to.

 

So, don't give up. Please let us know how things work out.

 

miocean


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#23 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 08:49 AM

Hi CarriePan,

 

Have you had your disability hearing yet?  If so, how did it go?

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#24 CarriePan

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 02:12 AM

Hi~

 

mio, glad to hear you qualified so easily but sorry for the reason. 

 

The hearing went well I thought. My attorney said it was pretty much a no-brainer win. But we all know nothing is certain. The judge asked me all the questions. I answered honestly and wasn't nervous at all. The judge was the nicest one we could have gotten (per my attorney).

A couple days ago I received a call from my attorney that the judge had made a decision and it was being sent to the writer. Keep your fingers crossed :nervous:

Carr~


CarriePan :fairy:

#25 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 08:44 AM

Hi Carr,

 

I'm glad to hear that your hearing went well.

 

I crossed my fingers for you but I have to admit that it makes typing a bit challenging. :emoticon-dont-know:

 

So I really hope you receive the decision very soon!

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#26 CarriePan

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 10:20 AM

Hi~ Got a letter today stating that the ALJ determined that I meet the medical requirements for SSI.   That's the good news. Bad or iffy news is that I might make too much in child support for me to get any financial help.  Does anyone have info on if your only income is CS and loans from someone else, is that counted as income?  Frustrating! :nervous:


CarriePan :fairy:

#27 Sweet

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:28 PM

Congrats on the first part! And sorry, don't know the answer to the second part. 


Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
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#28 CarriePan

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 04:28 PM

Thanks Sweet ;)


CarriePan :fairy:

#29 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:36 PM

Hi CarriePan,

 

I may be wrong, I often am, but there are two different issues here. One is the difference between SSI and SSDIB. 

 

SSI is specifically for low income so they would probably count all your income sources, including child support. 

 

SSDIB (Social Security Disability), which is what I am pretty sure you are going through, limits the amount of money that you can earn from working a job, but it does not have any limitation for "passive income", such as from child support or investments, or loans.

 

Therefore, my best guess and hope is that congratulations are in order for you! :emoticons-yes:

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#30 CarriePan

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 02:38 AM

Shelley, I'm fighting for SSI :nervous:  This whole process is so messed up. You are classified as being disabled yet you need to fight for help...I just don't get it!


CarriePan :fairy:

#31 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 10:09 AM

Hi CarriePan,

 

Check with your attorney. I've read some sources online that say child support is not counted for SSI, but I can't vouch for them as being reliable sources and I didn't see direct mention of it on the SSI website and they have a variety of income exclusions.

 

Logically, you'd think that the income is intended for the child's support, not yours, so that it would not be counted, but SSI is also a needs-based program so it is different in a lot of ways from SSDIB.

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#32 CarriePan

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:28 AM

Hi,

 

So I called the number on my full approval letter to SS. I left a message because it went straight to voicemail. The message says...please leave ONE message and I will get back to you within a WEEK!  Seriously?? This is for determining the monthly payments if any.  I find this rather disturbing since they are playing with our lives. Shaking my head. :wacko:


CarriePan :fairy:

#33 CarriePan

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:46 PM

The caseworker called today! Yippee! She said she will mail me a letter stating how much money I will get and when it will begin. Could this be GOOD NEWS?? :emoticon-dont-know:


CarriePan :fairy:

#34 Joelf

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:02 PM

Hi CarriePan,

 

I'm in the UK, so I haven't been able to give you any helpful advice (Amanda's explained very well exactly how our system for disability allowance is worked out) but I've got fingers and toes crossed for you, hoping that you have good news coming very soon!! :yes:

 

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#35 CarriePan

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 07:35 AM

Thank you all for the encouragement and kind words. As we all know this is rather frustrating. Hope you all are doing well.


CarriePan :fairy:

#36 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 08:39 AM

Hi CarriePan,

 

I've been crossing my fingers and toes for you, for a few days now.  It makes it a bit challenging to walk and to type, so I sure hope you get some good news in the mail soon!

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#37 Kamlesh

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 02:09 PM

Ron, thanks for the booklet. I just downloaded and will help me a lot.

 

All, really good discussion.


Kind regards,

Kamlesh


#38 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:36 AM

Kamlesh, are you dealing with disability issues now?

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#39 CarriePan

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 10:09 PM

Hey Shelley, Still nothing as of today. Wow they sure take their time don't they??? Ya think it's good news if they are taking this long on the money part of it??

Carr~


CarriePan :fairy:

#40 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 07:55 AM

Hi CarriePan,

 

If you provided them with direct deposit information, it's possible you might notice a bank deposit before you receive an approval letter.

 

I've heard that it generally takes a month or two, sometimes even longer, to receive the letter after an ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) hearing.

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.