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Aug 23, 2009, 12:22:51 PM8/23/09
to Autoimmune Support Group

Just wanted to bounce the idea for disability off to anyone who
receives this.
I have not effectively been able to work since my official diagnosis
in April 2008 and am currently without a job at all.
Does anyone else receive SSI? Can someone tell me about their
Any response would be helpful.

Thanks, Jenna :)

Hopeful Sojourner

Aug 23, 2009, 4:47:29 PM8/23/09
to autoimmune-s...@googlegroups.com
You need to go online to social security and get the application process started.  Do you have pulmonary hypertension?  If so, you can call ACCESS (google please) and schedule some time with an attorney.  They are totally free for all PH patients and some other diseases.  It is worth the call. 

I am on SSDI and unfortunately it took me several years.  It will be faster for you.  The start date of your disability is the last day you worked in a full-time, 40 hrs / week job.  Be sure to ask the attorney about that.  It will make a huge difference when they decide you case for back money and waiting time for Medicare.

Best of luck and keep us posted.



Aug 25, 2009, 11:30:46 AM8/25/09
to Autoimmune Support Group
I am in the middle of applying and appealing SSI. I submitted my
application online last June 2008. They sent me to a psychologist and
a doctor who does physical examinations. The doctor who did the
physical exam actually told me that he agrees that I am disabled. (I
have Sjogrens Syndrome and RA) In Dec 2008, I recieved a denial and
they listed all of the doctors that they based their decision on.
Strangely enough, the doctor that they sent me to a physical exam was
not included in the list in which they based their decision. I
appealed that denial online and submitted more medical records. In
June they sent me another denial. This month I submitted another
appeal online to request a hearing. I also consulted a lawyer and I
meet with him this week. He told me that the hearing can take up to
one year. I do know that SSI routinely deny applications for
disability and most people have to go through the appeal process
unless they are terminal. It's frustrating that I have been paying
into SSI disability since my first job at age 14 but now that make it
so hard when you need it the most. Good Luck! Marcie


Aug 28, 2011, 7:06:31 AM8/28/11
to autoimmune-s...@googlegroups.com
I believe i have some useful information that can save you a lot of stress. I did it bit different..or i got very lucky. I hired a guy that use to work for SSI and got frustrated with all the people who were denied but clearly needed the money etc. So he quit and started helping the disabled. 
  He got my SSI from the date I hired him to about 3/4 months! I had filled out all my paper work originally on my own and was turned down. I also kept remembering doctors that had been in on diagnosing my diseases. Also I was forced into applying for it by my husband....we had separated and he just cut me off until i did apply for disability. So I easily came to conclusion that hiring someone after my first denial was worth not having to deal with the stress of it all. 
 If you are sick right now than hire someone...it is worth giving up 5% of your settlement , seriously worth it! But if you feel okay and are decent writer than by all means go ahead and try to do it by yourself. I actually have a friend who did just that and got it! So it does happen but very rarely and he was over 56 years old so that helped. 
 Okay since I hired a guy who worked for SSI he knew their rules. One is that after 55/56 yrs old it gets easier to be get SSI and when you hit 60 even easier because you are much closer to retirement and receiving social security. 
  Since I do not know your age or what diseases you may have I am just going to give you all the information I can think of that may help you. So sorry if my answer gets long..try to keep as short as possible. 
  Other thing he told me was to not ever use one of those nonprofit places...usually online or by phone. I actually tried one that a person i knew was using. This particular one you saved 2%, she eventually had to hire my guy after 3 years of them telling her she was going to get in the next month or so...that was after they been denied 3 times including her court dates...which she had to go to by herself and was denied again. So when i called them, they told me that i could not apply for disability because it had been 10 years since i had last worked. 
 I almost did not apply  because of their answer....but i called SSI on the phone and was immediately corrected that it was not true.  The man i hired told me that this is frequent about those groups because they have interns and newbie attorneys who really do not know SSI law , kind of learning as they do your case...so they just are not worth it. In fact i tried another group and they told me after I had started filling out paperwork that there was no way I would ever get SSI. My case was not strong enough according to them....so much for their great knowledge!! 
So twice they were wrong!! And I know of other people who same thing happened as to the woman i spoke about above....they wasted years and eventually hired an attorney locally and won but wasted all those years. 
   So that person who said call ACCESS...i just call SSI and see if you qualify for many of the benefits that I had no idea we could get depending on your income level  and other information. In fact, if your husband, partner died there is survival benefits...that same woman above after all those years , she never once actually called SSI , when she finally did they told her since her husband had died she could get survival benefits starting right away! So she is still waiting on her SSI but at least she has now has some money coming in. 
  He(guy i hired) also told me that the TV attorney companies that are nation wide or cover number of states frequently will  not fly the attorney you have been working with when your court date comes up leaving you without representation. He said only reason seems to be they are too cheap to fly their attorneys. 
 When you call SSI they can tell you is available to help you in your area. It will mainly be attorneys but you may get lucky and find a person like I did. I found him in the yellow pages in Attorneys/disability. I also found him under disability in yellow pages. If there is only attorneys he said try to hire one that just handles disability cases. You want someone that really knows the laws and hire someone you trust or feel good about. He said also you have the advantage of dealing with him in person. They can see how you do not feel well and you can get sense about them. You want them on your side as much as possible was his point and not just sugar coat his language to you. 
  I googled ACCESS like one person suggested... I never could locate them since ACCESS is a huge dental company...but the fact that she said they would help you for free means this is one of those online over the phone companies i was trying to warn you about. I am sure that some have helped people but it is not worth waiting years when you could get it in less than a year. Or all the other problems of not really knowing the law...sure they can say to you over the phone anything and you have no way of checking them out....why stick with someone local.  It is not worth the stress they can eventually give you and not worth saving the money. My guy was worth every penny i paid and he has helped a few people i referred him too and they all feel the same way. 
  Another way to find a good person to hire is through your doctors or ask in the waiting rooms. Once i hired my guy ..i did about nothing else...yes i had to give him some additional Doctor's names but he even looked up their addresses etc for me. So if you get a decent person...you should not be doing hardly anything. Of course, you will have to supply him with doctors names and all original information SSI needs...that is why if you call them ..they will tell you where to go online or they can mail you the forms to fill out...but you might as well start  it and get as much done. like i told you...i did try to just see if i could get anywhere on my own...so i had filled out all the original forms. 
 Also what Thomas said was not true...and this is a great example if you do try and handle it yourself of how you are going to be told different answers etc by different people even at SSI. I was part time when i left my job and they used my last date. I also had gone part time because of my disease and doctor's letters in my work file as well as my health files. So maybe that is why they allowed my last date to be counted. 
  This leads to when you speak to people at SSI document your conversations and dates they give you to have stuff in to them. Even if you try on your own the first time do this...it can help whom ever you hire and it was life saver since SSI people want you to make mistake so they can say adios...at least it seemed that way to me.  More than once my documentations of whom i spoke with, our conversation and deadline date saved my butt. So as your writing it down repeat it back to them so you know for sure you got it right and you can say you repeated it back to them. 
 The two nicest SSI people were the original woman i spoke with on the phone when i first got my disability rolling and she went over all the other things i might qualify for..as well as mailing my forms and setting me up online as well. The other nice person was when i did my in person interview at the local Social Security office. I felt great shame about applying and she was so nice and at the end said that i should get it  and that i should not feel shame about applying for it..that it was for people like me who really are sick.  I know i got lucky from what other people have said though.
   The person who said that she had to see Social Security Doctors....I think either she is mixed up with her state disability or she has never gone to doctors and been diagnosed. I never saw any doctors other than my own. 
Speaking about your Doctors...tell them that you are applying for disability. Hopefully all of them will agree that you should be on it. They will be receiving letters and pull copies of your file with them and they will fill out some kind of form asking if they feel you deserve it  or not.  I know this because the woman above  whom i have spoken about a few times and is still waiting to get her disability was turned down because her GP Doctor said that she should not get it because she is addict. So they (your Dr's) can make it easy for you or break it. That is why it is best to speak to them about in person with them so you have no surprises. Hopefully all your doctors feel you deserve it. 
  I think i covered about all i can remember ...i am really tired so hope my sentences make sense to you and apologize if any do not. I wrote it all out and Google made me do it all over again because something changed since i have been on this forum. 
  OOH when you fill out your forms for disability list all the things you may have wrong with you..like i have SLE lupus with RA involvement, Fibromyalgia, depression, PTSD, hernia ...you getting the picture? Because all of them do play a role in how you feel...sure mainly the autoimmune is the biggest hassle in my life but they all make my life  not easy. And when they ask average day...make it like not a bad day...i know i tend to minimize  it a lot...feel like a whiner but here being a whiner is going to get you disability.  Be as detailed as you can too. Try to remember all the doctors who have worked on you for this disease etc. That was hard part for me because i just got disability few years ago but have had SLE for about 30 years.  Back than it was not well known so i went through a lot of tests and doctors for them to diagnose it. 
 Definitely call Social Security as soon as possible and get it all going....you can hire someone or look for someone while you are filling out the paperwork. Personally...i think it is better in one way to do the forms not on line....or write out notes on paper than put it all together. I was adding doctors after being denied ..because i realized i should include counselors as well. Also, i know some of the questions...like the time line for how i was diagnosed...i had to let it come to me over a period of time..was just too long ago. so do not feel bad if you keep changing it....guess my point is  do not rush it to turn them in...take as much time as you can to feel it out as completely as possible to your advantage. 
  well i wish you luck...i hope all this mess of email to you does help you out....if i can help any more please feel free to ask and i promise not to be long in answering lol!!  i am trying to remember all the info he told me because it was so useful to many people..
OH point he also told me how he got my disability so fast...is that what he did was he found a previous case of someone getting disability with same diseases as me...once he has that ...then my case was made. Hope this makes sense to you. So in one way...if you have rare disease it is harder because maybe there is no previous case law of decision in favor...but does not mean he cannot make that argument.But that is why more things you include why you should get it...more chances of case law he can find fine.
 good luck and seriously if you need help ask ...lg


May 29, 2012, 8:11:43 AM5/29/12
to autoimmune-s...@googlegroups.com
Have you got it yet? just wondering  let us all know if you do not mind. Remember that it is normal to be turned down the 1st time. The games they make us play lol!   HOPE YOU HAVE IT BY NOW!! lg
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