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Disability Insurance

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Hi! The SSI process has been over two years already. Next month I go in front of a judge. This should be fun. :emoticons-clap: 

 

Anyone have insight on what they will ask?

 

I've been denied twice so far. Social Security admitted that I was clearly disabled but my age is a factor.  Why should it matter? I'll be 49 this year and they said if I was already 50 it would make a huge difference.  1 year? Grrrrrr.   What a bunch of baloney...just because we look "normal" doesn't mean we are healthy. 

 

Any suggestions welcomed. :)

 

Carr


CarriePan :fairy:

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Howdy Barefut!

 

Hope you're doing well! When I got divorced my COBRA cost me $680 a month. Cheaper than personal insurance actually. It went up $90 a month in a year. Hopefully my Social Security will kick in. Don't know what I'll do if it doesn't.  This country is messed up on medical insurance.  I thought for sure it was a compassionate disease, but in New York they really don't see it that way. Grrrrrrrr~   ;)


CarriePan :fairy:

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Hi CarriePan,

 

Yes, it's my understanding too that systemic scleroderma is listed for compassionate review. If you haven't already, you may want to order a copy of all of your medical records. 

 

It's very possible (almost even highly likely) that your doctor(s) may have told you that you have scleroderma, but they may not have officially entered it into your medical record. If there is wiggle room, they will sometimes wiggle their way out of entering the diagnosis into the record.  Whether that's to protect you from losing insurance coverage or to protect them from lawsuits, well, that part is anyone's guess. It's also possible that they entered it correctly but their coder did something wrong, accidentally giving you another disease.

 

It also seems to be fairly common for doctors to log scleroderma as just "connective tissue disease" or similar generality, and that would not necessarily fall under the compassionate review.

 

: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.

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Hello All

 

Well here in the UK the current government is now hammering every disabled person it can. Even people previously deemed to be on a disability award for life or for an unlimited period of time are going to be reviewed and of course they have made the review process more stringent, for example, the walk test distance has been shortened so people that previously could not finish the walk test may well be able to do so now and that being the case they should be running up and down the streets looking for work. A person who has been on disability living allowance for 12 years with a lifetime award for a degenerative disease is having their award reviewed. Yeah, I am sure they have spontaneously healed!

 

I don't know how often they are going to review people but my guess is that they will do so as often as they can because thousands of people have already given up their disability living allowance rather than face the stress, aggravation and humiliation of constant reviews. 

 

This government's attitude to the disabled is summed up in this process by the fact that once a person's disability living allowance ends they will "invite" people to apply for the personal independence payment. Invite people as if they have a choice as to whether they disabled and therefore need the benefit, invite people as if they need to ponder their financial need for the benefit. Disgraceful.


Amanda Thorpe

ISN Sclero Forums Senior Support Specialist

ISN Video Presentations Manager

ISN Blogger

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Assistant Manager

(Retired) ISN Email Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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I am diagnosed as having Sclero, Sjogren's, unspecified constipation, CREST. I had all my records sent to my attorney since 2007. I am going in front of the administrative law judge (ALJ) next week and I am a nervous wreck. :nervous: I have been denied twice already.  SS admits that I have all these diagnoses but because my age of 48 is the main factor working against me.  They said if I was 50 it wouldn't be a problem...what the?  Ugh.


CarriePan :fairy:

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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.

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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


ISN Artist

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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:

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