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Disability


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#1 Peggy

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 02:11 PM

I am contemplating if I should go on disability? I am finding it impossible to work as I seem to spend most of my days on the couch down for the count. Has anyone filed for disability for scleroderma as the cause, and if so, how much of a hassle was it? Did you have to appeal it or was it approved right away? Did you need a lawyer?

It doesn't seem that this fatigue that I have is leaving me much choice and I know that if I were to have this monkey off my back knowing that a check was coming may help.

Thanks in advance for any advice or help.

Peggy

#2 truman

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 06:22 PM

Peggy:

I'm presently on temporary disability, but have been researching the possibilities of permanent disability.

If you get on the State of NJ website, which is where I'm from, they have a listing of categories for disability. Auto immune disease is one. The hitch, is that you have to have two major disabilities under your illness due to that autoimmune condition which limit you for any type of work.

I'm sure hiring a lawyer would lessen the possibilities of being turned down, but remember that from the time the paperwork is filed and any decision is made is generally eight months (and that's without a lawyer). So, if you have any compulsion to file, do it now if you plan on not being able to work in the near future.
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#3 KELLYB.

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 06:46 PM

Hi there Peggy!! I know what your going through, we probably ALL do. People don't understand what it's like to be physically exhausted by 9 - 9:30 in the morning. It's definitely not fun, and leaves you feeling completely disabled on it's own. So, I will tell my disability story. I applied for disability in Sep. '05. That was 13 months after my first hospital stay, at which time, I had pneumonia & pericarditis. I had symptoms of Sclero for years before, but didn't want to ackowledge something was "wrong" with me. I worked as long as I could. Ultimately, I had to quit about a year after that first hospitalization. Anywho, I filed in Sep. '05, recieved a letter of denial a couple months later. I was told about a local agency who did legal aid at little or no charge, (if they found you had a strong case). So, I made an appointment, and the lawyer notified me that week that he would represent me. He told me at that time that it would be a looong wait. And it was!! I finally had my appeal hearing last month on the 18th. At that time, we had all of my new medical records, all hospital stays, and ER visits. My lawyer said that he thought that was all the judge needed to make his decison. After about a 45 minute interview/overview, he asked for everyone besides my lawyer to leave the room, & wished me good luck. A few minutes later, my lawyer came out and said that he made his decision in favor of disability. He also said that as long as he has been doing this, NEVER has a ALJ rendered his decision on the spot. So, at 31 years young, I was officially considered "disabled". Bummer. I believe that as long as you have present and ongoing problems resulting from the Sclero, if the disease is staying & playing an active part in your life, and you have documents (med. records, hospital stays, ER) I can't see how they can deny you. I do suggest to anyone who is thinking of filing, especially if you are already having major problems, stop considering filing, and DO IT!! It takes FOREVER!!

I realize that this was kind of a longy, so I do apologize. Good luck to anyone out there who is going through this process, stay positive!!

Good luck to you Peggy, I do hope you start feeling better. Take care. :)

Kelly B.

#4 peanut

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 07:29 PM

Peggy,
I started disability. It can take a while to go thru so it's always a good idea to start it before you're in dyer need. I was told it would take me a minimum of 6 months after the tons and tons of paperwork. Right now I'm on my work disability - I always recommend that people look into their employer to see if they offer disability or FMLA to help ease the transition of disability. It also may take up to 2 years to get Medicare, so hopefully you have something to get you through that. I have my husband's insurance and Cobra.

As far as a lawyer goes... well it's up to you. If you have PH you can contact ACCESS and they may provide a free lawyer. I did mine without a lawyer, but not without help.

SSD List of Impairments may give you a good idea of what the govt. considers a disability. Just remember they also consider a combination of symptoms.

Take care,
peanut

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my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

#5 bunny pomar

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:16 AM

I filed for disability four and a half years ago, on my own. After being rejected three times I finally got a lawyer, that was to years ago. I finally had my hearing in August and just got a fully favorable acceptance. Now I have to wait two months fo find out what my benefits will be. The one thing I don't understand is that I have now been eligable for medicare since '05. Does anyone know what this means for me retroactively?

Bunny

#6 debonair susie

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:28 AM

Hi Peggy,

As soon as I was diagnosed withSclero, etc, my dr wanted me to quit working and go on disability. She did ALL of the paperwork as soon as I digested the fact I was really not going to get better. Anything I was to do, I did... some paperwork, and the phone interview. I didn't even have to have the physical that's usually required. When the phone interview was over, the interviewer told me it could take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. For some reason unknown to me, the first check was in the bank, along with the prorated check... in two weeks.

Maybe your dr would help you with the medical paperwork?

I really think it's a shame when there are those who physically cannot work anymore... yet cannot qualify for disability.

(BTW, I'm on permanent disability. My dr TOLD me I absolutley will not EVER be able to work again).

I wish you the best of luck with getting disability.

Big Hugs,
Susie
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#7 bloominacres

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 10:38 PM

Hi Peggy,
I filed right after I was officially diagnosed in June of 04, was denied in November and appealed. Took til May of 2005 and then I was approved. Make sure your doctor is on board and keeping extensive notes. Also when you fill out the paperwork, they really do not give you enough room to explain what is going on. So add some note paper. I typed out my responses and ended up with 4 pages typed. That was on my appeal that I did that. So start that way. Keep good notes on what is happening with you and how this stupid disease affects every part of your daily life. Get down to the nitty gritty so they have no choice but to understand. BTW, I did not use a lawyer, but would have if my appeal had been denied.

Good luck and warm hugs.
Mary B.

#8 Gidget

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 03:57 AM

For anyone contemplating disabilty and can afford it, my advice is to do it. I have been on my employer disabilty for the past 11 months and it has made a tremendous difference in being able to manage the disease. Had I still been working, I would not have been able to concentrate on taking care of me full-time. I have since applied for SSDI and have been denied and am following the appeals process. For me, my biggest concern will be lack of insurance as my Cobra will be up in 10 months or so. So, if I manage to get the SSDI, then I will be eligible for medicare which will take care of my health insurance worries. Again, stess is an aggrevator in this disease and my job had alot of stress -- so for me the not working has been just as helpful as any of the medications that I take. Good luck. It is hard living on a reduced salary. Regards Gidget.

#9 MicheleM

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 02:09 PM

Hi All. I have a Disability handout in a PDF format that I received from my sclero support group. If you would like me to send so you can read to help you understand some of the disability requirements please email me. It's way too big to put on the forum board - it's 12 pages and written by a lawyer.
Soft hugs your way,

Michele

#10 bahaboyga

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 07:26 PM

Wife applied and was approved without a proplem. We live in Oregon ( not sure if that makes any difference)

Good luck


Bahaboyga

#11 Sheryl

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 02:12 AM

bahaboyga, I sure would like to know what the symbles of your IM name stand for. I like it. It sound like a dance. Some exotic, rythmic chant. Humm! Oh! Welcome to our little family. Keep us informed on how your wife is doing and how you are coping with her situation. We don't often get the sposes feelings or thoughts. We all need to know if we are emotionally or physically draining our families. Glad to have you aboard. Sheryl
Strength and Warmth,
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#12 LisaBulman

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 03:12 AM

Hi,
I applied for disability and had to fight for it. Two appeals and then a lawyer. My case was set to go to courtbut the judge looked at my case and approved it without even seeing me. :) I was so excited. I just received a letter two months ago letting me know my case was up for review. They asked me to fill out a questionaire and return it. Once I filled it out with all of my new excitement that has happened over the past few years, I recieved a latter back last week that said there is no reason to contact my doctor and undergo a formal review and my benefits will continue as usual.

It might be a fight, but it is worth it. From the time I filed to the time I was approved it was about a year. Each case and state can vary.

Bunny, I think the only thing that would matter is if you didn't have any type of health insurance during that time. If you didn't then your claims could be paid by medicare. You will probably receive a retro active payment check as well.:) That could be very nice!

Hugs,
Lisa
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#13 bunny pomar

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 06:46 AM

Lisa, thank you for the information. I have private insurance now and it is very expensive. Medicare and a supplemental insurance will sure cut costs. I am looking for to the retroactive payment from three years back.

Bunny