Denied for Goverment or Private Disability Benefits???

RAYT721
By RAYT721 Latest Reply 2011-04-01 18:53:13 -0500
Started 2011-03-31 21:24:49 -0500

First of all, I am a member of various affiliated support sites under the Social Networks for Health Conditions umbrella so while I am cross-posting, I do not mind at all if others would spread the word to the other sites that I won’t be contributing to. I believe this discussion article will find revelence to each of the communities. This is an original article with web links to some further reading that have been noted for more information.

I have read stories from members of various sites about the torture of being denied for governmental and employer’s long-term disability plans and have experienced the situation myself (family member) so I know exactly what you are going through.

I’d like to share this one article link that I found which explains a lot about the governmental disability programs and routine denials:

http://disability-blog.com/category/social-se...

I hope that the link above works or can be copy/pasted to your browser.

When one of my family members needed to apply for long-term employer supported disability, the claim was denied and it appeared the only recourse was to hire an attorney at an out of pocket cost of around $3,000 (although quoted around $1,000 verbally). The process went on and on and was eventually granted for long-term disability.

The governmental disability request was also denied … several times, actually. We ended up seeking the representation from a qualified disability specialist attorney at no cost; however, we did end up with a sizable postage and phone call bill which is clearly stated in the fine print of the contract. (Don’t forget your reading glasses). The denial was also reversed and disability benefits were paid to the disabled party but “quickly” was far from an adjective that I would use.

In a conversation with a customer where I used to work part-time at a Walgreens, I was told about a division of the county government that specialized in helping with speeding along the process. I would encourage any of you facing the red tape of disability denials to investigate your local area for your state representative’s office that deals with disability claims and denials. You have absolutely nothing to lose and their services are completely free. I hope your county government has such a program because a contact to Betty Sutton’s office (Ohio State Representative) had someone on our case within days and a court case in a very reasonable time. Had we only known!

For those of you without disability insurance that may be available through your employer, I would encourage you to look into the program. As we have learned, having the disability insurance does not guarantee acceptance of receiving the benefits. These insurance companies do not want to pay out. Make sure you have the representation that will help you through the legal progress. Consider while relatively healthy and/or younger getting a plan either through your employer or on your own. Most people have a higher chance of becoming disabled than of dying and replacing your income is indeed a financial necessary when the alternative is no income at all during the appeal process, which can take years.

In most cases your disability plan will immediately deny your claim, most especially if the necessary forms are not filled out properly or your disability is not noticeable. The government (and private plans) are often heart set on finding you employment or retraining you but that’s not always practical for all truly disabled people. There are only so many mattress testing jobs out there.

I am not writing this discussion as a lawyer, doctor, social worker or with any credibility other than being a crazy middle aged man who has been in the situation of fighting (and winning) for benefits but the process is a long one and the more people you have on your side, the better for your case.
Please… if any of you have additional tips or tricks or comments on this discussion (positive or negative), won’t you please add to this? I don’t have all of the answers but I am 100% interested in helping my friends get the benefits they deserve.

Our society seems to have so much red tape to combat that proves the age old expression, “knowledge is power.”


9 replies

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-04-01 17:02:16 -0500 Report

First read this discussion from another community Ray. I am copying my reply to this one.
Thanks for the info Ray. I had not heard about a county agency that would assist. We talked face to face with our State Representatives about my husband's PERA denial. It was denied three times by that time. After that, we tried a 4th time and received a denial and "So sue us " letter. Any lawyer who has talked with us about his disability has wanted 1/3 of any future settlement. Plus in our state, Colorado, the court has ruled that the disability insurance company used by the state PERA board has the same rights of a State Agency itself and can basically enact it's own laws.
It is a very cruel and nasty game that disability insurance people play with "transferable skills" and "self reported" problems. There is no test for somethings so many problems get thrown out. Time after time we have talked with others in the same situation of being told that skills used in their former job apply to other jobs that have no basis in reality. Or the other job has the same physical reguirements as the previous one that cannot be met. They ignored his 10 lb weight lifting restriction which rules out many jobs. He was a corrections officer, before that he was a semi truck driver, and earlier worked hot steel into tillage componets. They claim he could drive a bus or taxi. He is not able to passs the DOT physical, so much for a bus driver. Being in a car for over 3 hrs causes pain in his spine from the constant motion that most other people barely notice. Many of those two occupations also rquire the driver to lift luggage and assist handicapped people on and off in their wheelchairs. Often the drive needs to bend at the waist to access a handicamp ramp or check the tire pressure. He has troublebending to check our vans tire pressure. These are just a few examples of how the skills and limits don't match up in reality.
We know people who have managed to get their claim after the 6 to 8 year battle. They are back in the court process as soon as the insurance company appeals the decision. Most have lost during that go around.
Since March 12, 2007 life has felt like an endless tape loop of the scene in The Fugitive, plane gets hit by lightening, then crashes, rolls down embankment,gets hit by train, then topples over into the river, repeat.

Guardianstone
Guardianstone 2011-04-01 09:52:08 -0500 Report

Thank you Ray.
Couldn't see your redirect. (blank page) Using mini opera on my phone & cricket (uck).
Who do you talk to when the lawyers and gov types won't answer your calls? (Govenor, senators, and congress critters.)
Frustrated and sick.
Guardian stone

Guardianstone
Guardianstone 2011-04-01 09:50:38 -0500 Report

Thank you Ray.
Couldn't see your redirect. (blank page) Using mini opera on my phone & cricket (uck).
Who do you talk to when the lawyers and gov types won't answer your calls? (Govenor, senators, and congress critters.)
Frustrated and sick.
Guardian stone

Guardianstone
Guardianstone 2011-04-01 09:49:19 -0500 Report

Thank you Ray.
Couldn't see your redirect. (blank page) Using mini opera on my phone & cricket (uck).
Who do you talk to when the lawyers and gov types won't answer your calls? (Govnr, sentrs, n cong critters.)
Frustrated and sick.
Guardian stone

re1ndeer
re1ndeer 2011-04-01 04:11:31 -0500 Report

I would reccomend finding a disability advocate, sometimes they will work pro-bono. Also, when applying make sure you have all your medical records . This is the most important aspect of your case. Also, get all your doctors to write letters for you to help your case.
This worked for me 5 years ago, when I applied for SSD, and got it on the first try.