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Partial Disability?

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I believe there is such a thing as partial disability. You can get total disability for a limited time and then can get partial disability and your benefits get adjusted in relation to the income you make. The military also has a system of determining percent of disability and will pay benefits based on how disabled they determine you are. It is all quite complicated and maddening to be in those systems and in my experience, requires someone to help maneuver through it.



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Hello Barefut,


Disability, SSD, is when you absolutely cannot work at any job anymore. That said, Jill is correct but first, you have a six month period during which you cannot work at all. After that six month period, if you are accepted for SSD, and that is a big IF, you can collect for a time and then, if you feel you can, take a job which will earn you no more than I think $900 per month. If you earn more than that amount they will take it out of your SSD.


If after collecting SSD you feel you can return to work, you let them know that you are attempting to work. For a nine month period, you can earn as much as you want plus the SSD, before it starts to affect your benefit. You only have one chance to do this.


The disability process is long and difficult, although I navigated it successfully and was approved without trouble nearly four years ago. I was lucky and did not have to retain an attorney although others on the site have had to do so. Being a single mother it was very hard to have no income for six months during the approval process, and I pretty much lived on credit cards during that time, which I am still paying back. I was too sick to care at the time!


Talk to your doctors before doing this to make sure they are on board, but the decision is ultimately yours as to whether you can no longer work. If this is what you are considering, do your research first!


Good luck,


Mary in Philly

Diffuse sclero; diabetes; hypertension; GERD with Barrett's

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Hi Barefut,


The Social Security Administration has a Disability Planner on their website and we have a great page on Disability Resources. There are a lot of resources, including state and local programs, medication assistance, and so on. It's a matter of finding them and making sure you qualify. Sometimes that can be as simple as a change in wording on an application. I've mentioned my friend who died of chronic progressive MS before. She got some benefits by simply agreeing to have an indwelling catheter, which meant she required skilled nursing care.


Best of luck and warm wishes to anyone contemplating applying for disability,

Jeannie McClelland

(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager

(Retired) ISN Blog Manager

(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide

(Retired) ISN Artist

International Scleroderma Network

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Thanks Jill, Jeannie and Mary ~


I was kicking around the idea of working part time but I can't live on part time wages. My full time hours are starting to wear me down. I read all through the disability requirements and I'm sure my doctors would be on board to help me qualify.


I did visit the page here and go to the link and read a bit. Some of it was confusing. Aparently I need to have worked for 5 out of the last 10 years to be eligible? Or have earned 40 points? I don't think I'd be eligible even if I qualified as disabled. I also don't think my benefit would be squat since I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 of the last 11 1/2 years.


I also don't think my employer would be on board to keep me as part time when they need a full time person. That brings up another question: I know sclero is protected by the Civil Disabilities Act - would my employer have to keep me as a part time employee if my doctors said it was in the best interest of my health to cut my hours?


I guess it's a mute point if I can't live on part time wages anyway. Just looking to the future and thinkin' 'out loud'


Thanks ladies,

Take care,



Serena Justis

ISN Blogger

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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As someone who was turned down for Social Security Disability because I did not have enough work credits (like you, I was a stay at home mother for a large number of the years prior to becoming disabled) I can tell you that the Social Security Administration is iron clad when it comes to that rule.


My children (now 16 and 18) both have Aspergers Syndrome as well as being ADHD, my son's is mild but my daughter's is severe and it just was not cost effective to try to work and pay for special needs day care for when they were not in school. I would have made just a little less each week than the cost of the daycare!


This did not matter to Social Security, they have no lee-way in their requirements.


The fact that I had been on workman's compensation for 500 weeks (my state, VA, allows 500 weeks for checks then it stops no matter what) and am still disabled and unable to work due to my injuries at work combined with medical conditions makes this all very frustrating.


My suggestion to you would be to contact your Congressman and State Representative on the phone and in letters and tell them of your situation. If you are looking at trying to get disability in the future then you need to start as soon as possible in contacting them to get them up to speed on your case so that when you do go for disability they can fight for you.


The sad fact is that stay at home mothers and fathers are often left in this situation if they become disabled and at times it can and does feel like a punnishment for staying at home to raise your children instead of hiring others to care for them as you work.


I have been in contact with my own representatives and Congressman because of my situation, being on workman's comp 500 weeks then the checks stop and I still can't work but not having enough credits from work before my injury date to qualify. There are thousands like me and they hear from people weekly who are struggling with nowhere to turn.


The fact is, the laws have to change. With the economy as it is they are afraid to push for reform because it is not a popular idea to increase spending on what they call "social aspects", but they are working in the background to get the wording and fine print done so when it is put forth into the legislative body there is a good chance that the changes will happen.


Warm hugs,


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