How did you apply for disability?

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2009-08-20 21:25:56 -0500
Started 2009-08-08 16:30:02 -0500

I know many of you are on disability and I was wondering what was the process you took to get it. How long did it take? What kind of things qualified you to claim disability? Did your doctors cooperate with the paperwork?

Lots of questions, curious about how it gets done.

30 replies

wolfettia 2009-08-20 21:25:56 -0500 Report

My doctor told me it was time for me to retire I was 38 at the time. This was after a 18 wheeler hit me and injured my back, plus add type1 diabetis with complication,mental disorders, neuropathy, heart problems. I tried doing it myself, got denied then hired a lawyer. Took me 1 1/2 to get my disability. The judge looked at my lawyer and asked why was i here, it should've been accepted the first time and wished me luck, told me to try and enjoy my early "retirement". I wish I could still work, I loved my job as a animal abuse officer/vet tech.

Celia - 38478
Celia - 38478 2009-08-14 13:20:58 -0500 Report

Wow I am so happy this came up. My friends and family have been pushing me to apply for SSI. Now I know where to start. I will keep checking to see the up dates and I will update where I am with this. Thaks Ce

Vicrgreen 2009-08-16 02:22:22 -0500 Report

Keep in mind that SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSD (Social Security Disability) are two seperate programs although they are both administered by the Social Security Administration. I had a friend, who died several years ago, that was getting both because the amount of the SSD was not enough to bring hiim up to the Federal Poverty level of that day and time. He did not get full SSI but he did get some. Don't know if they still do that, but keep it in mind to check out.

Also, each state is different and each has different programs. Be sure to check with them. Here in Alaska, depending on how much your SSD is, or if you get SSI, you get an additional $362 (for which there has been no COLA in over 10 years) and if you qualify for either SSI or SSD you may, depending on income, qualify for Medicaid.

In OR there is no state supplemental payment but if you are declared disabled by the Social Security Administration you get state medical aid, by whatever name it is now known.

My daughter lived in PA and she said she got some minimal amount, I seem to recall she said it was something like $6 from the state but she was covered for the medical there, too.

Be sure to check into the state programs, particularly the medical portions of them.

Good luck with your claims, all of you.

christine s
christine s 2009-08-14 12:34:34 -0500 Report

Wow it is funny how this just suddenly appeared. I just found out yesterday that I was denied SSI… I am upset beyond belief. I have mental illnesses such as Depression, anxiety, Borderline personality disorder, Bipolar 2, Agoraphobia… then my other illnesses Fibromyalgia, diabetes, 2 herniated discs and syncope. I pass out anytime I do house work or just dusting. My BS has been in the 200's at all times and it really is aggravating me; I just feel that the government has no idea what all of us live with because they are healthy and do not care; They get paid wheter they approve us or not. I feel it is discriminating how many of us live like this and they can give two bits about us… And to try to get an appeal we have to wait sometimes up to 3 years for it… That is absolutely ridiculous. I feel if we pay into it we should beable to get our money disabled or not. Do not get me started at this I have bad ill feelings over their crap and as for their dr's do they not understand what our dr's write… It is almost as they feel our dr's have no training or certificate what makes SS dr's better than ours???? The length it takes to get approved is absurd and I can not believe that those who are dealing with their illness has to be reminded through SS that we are not that sick I would like to see them handle living in pain sickness and anything else that we live with. Okay I will get off my soap box I am done I am getting ready to fill out all my papers so that I can wait forever to get an appeal oh well keep fighting do not let these brain sucking absurd hoity toity idiots get the better of you just keep reminding them that you will not stop until you get your justice. For those that are still fighting lets keep updating what we are doing and how far we have gotten since we filled. Good Luck

lisah - 55368
lisah - 55368 2009-08-20 08:55:59 -0500 Report

I was reading your note, and seen that your bs have been in their 200's…mine for the last 7 months have been in the 300-400 range. Even now with 2000mg of metformin a day, it's still that high. wonder what SSA would say if my doc puts me on an insulin pump plus oral meds?

Inkaddiction 2009-08-12 22:55:25 -0500 Report

I did try on my own at first, I was turned down twice, the key to getting the lump sum down the road if have youre approved is keeping your case open, if you get a denial, file an appeal and have them go over it again, if you keep getting denied, keep filing appeals so it keeps your case open…I couldnt get anywhere so I finally gave up and did the lawyer thing, I have to say, I was a little annoyed at the *5000.00* they said they would charge me actually turning into 13,000 when I gave them all the paper work, but I was just happy its over
I had the same problem with a good work history, my onset at 40, and one Dr who said I could work, not sure who he was seeing as a patient, but it wasnt me, I was a mess! Keep your paper work, keep on top of all your dates so you know things are still open, good luck

DawnFL 2009-08-11 23:30:30 -0500 Report

I have been dealing with Social Security for disability since 2004 when I was hit by an 18-wheeler. Don't try it alone because they set you up for failure. Doctors seem afraid of the agency too and are not all that helpful. On top of that, they will send you to their own doctors who are paid to reject you. You will hear about how you get rejected automatically…it is true.They don't want us to get our money. Now I have an attorney as of July. I am down to the last appeal/hearing. They owe back to six months after you file your application. Why do they hold six months back on you is anyone's guess. Make sure you see the right type of doctors too because they will reject you for all reasons. Also watch them like a hawk and don't be complacent.

Go to and read up but seriously…get a social security attorney. They do not charge unless you win. They say there is a backlog of about 3 years if you are lucky though supposedly they are trying to fix that. They can't fix themselves so I doubt they can do anything positive. I even had a state Senator helping but nothing scares SSA. If you are applying just because you are diabetic you probably need to have it so serious you are near death. I am deaf in one ear, level 5 carpal tunnel in both wrists, disk injury to neck, mid and lower back and more. I fall down without warning and to be on my feet 15 min means burnng, throbbing pain for the next 24 hrs. They tell me I can still do my job as a secretary. I handled supplies etc. How do I take accurate messages or answer the phone when I am deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other? I can't hold onto things without dropping and cannot remember anything anymore. In one ear and out the other as they say. I am not stupid but am disabled whether they call me that or not. All their abuse and who pays for the agency…OH YEAH, you and I.

In July I had to go to a ear, nose and throat doctor for SSA. He verbally abused me like you would not believe including talking about my FREE check from the government I was trying to get. That was only one of many things he said to me. He also tried trickery in the test. I've worked 40 years for that so so called FREE check that barely will pay my rent and electric. I will still be grateful if I get it because right now I can't work or find work and have NOTHING.

Good luck…don't try on your own. The paperwork is not difficult it is the agency and the games and screwups they play and do. Earlier this year they found my file in the desk of a guy who retired last November. See what I mean? They drain you emotionally. The lawyer gets nothing until you win and then it is a set fee. It will be worth it and I am sorry I did not do it a long time ago. I will be paying the same price as if he had gotten me this far. Remember…2004 is when I was injured.

GabbyPA 2009-08-12 08:28:13 -0500 Report

Yeah, that is disgusting. I am not seriously looking for myself, though it has crossed my mind. I am still able to work, I still want to work. But to be honest, one of my fears is that when I am at an age or point to be asking for my money won't be there for me. Without getting too political, I am just wanting what is mine, and leaving the system. It is such a mess, as many of you can attest to. What a bunch of crock they put us through to get back what is ours. They should have a lump sum option and allow us to take what we have paid into the system whenever we want and then let our money work for us in a savings or 401k or some other investment WE choose. It is supposed to be a temporary system anyway, and we should not still be dependent on it, but that's the government for you.
Any way, thanks for the information. It is all very helpful and I do appreciate it.

cyncyn 2009-08-12 09:13:21 -0500 Report

I agree with you! Another reason, why it is so hard for some, is so many have cheated the system! When it comes to back injuries, my state will fight you, tooth, fang and nail! In my case, the last SSA judge, who presided the case, said…"Why are you here today, you should have been granted this years ago"! She actually actually looked at ALL my records. My back and neck, have been put back together with metal plates, rods, pins, screws and bolts! What Avera said about their "experts", on other jobs, they do that! No joke! They kept telling me, there were jobs in other states, that I could do. Plus, the one judge even quoted…"I don't care if you have no arms or no legs, there is a job, you can do! You are not disabled!! This is no exaggeration!! I guess, I am somewhat lucky, because my attorney found a loophole, and they are paying me, according to what I was paying in, at the time of injury, which was quite a bit, since there was a lot of overtime, at the time. I was a workaholic at that time!
Good luck, if you ever need to apply, or if yu know someone, who has too.
Good luck to anybody, who needs to apply!


GabbyPA 2009-08-09 14:09:53 -0500 Report

Wow, and Thanks.
This is all great information. To be honest, I am really just curious. I am still healthy enough to work, I just can't get a job. But we went to an independence Expo this weekend and Social Security was there so I just wondered about how so many of you got it, survive on it and so on. Thanks, good things to keep on file for down the road....IF we still have it.

Vicrgreen 2009-08-09 14:24:02 -0500 Report

How you manage to live on it is a whole other topic. In Alaska with the extra $362 from the State those on SSI have just over $1000/Mo to live on. There are other programs to help, like low income housing, if you live in a city, and then there are food stamps, which are now issued on a debit card. SSI pays $624, regular Social Security varies according to yor earnings and number of quarters you have worked. Every year there is a COLA, which helps some but doesn't seem to take into account the cost increases of fuel, which exceed the average cost of living increases for other categories of things.

My cousin, in her late 80s frequently says that "Old age is not for Sissies." Neither is trying to live on disability income, not counting the problems with living with a disability from every other standpoint.

PAT L 2009-08-09 16:31:29 -0500 Report


lisah - 55368
lisah - 55368 2009-08-10 13:15:55 -0500 Report

I had an episode in Nov of 2007, where the nurse in the hospital said that I may have had a light heart attack where the heart muscle healed on it's own. My triponen (cardiac enzyme) level was elevated, which shows something going on in the heart. I moved to be closer to my brother in Jan of '08, ended up in the hospital due to chest pains. In April of 2008 I went for a doc visit and he called an ambulance and had me taken directly to the hospital because of my bp. while at the hospital I told him about my left hand (pinkie and ring finger, and palm) feeling like it was asleep all the time. I also told him about my hands and feet going numb (falling asleep) if I sit or stand too long, or if I have my elbows bent (like you have to have for typing [I did data entry for a living]). He told me to file for disability. I did and was turned down, and am now in the waiting period of the appeal process. My blood sugars are very high, I just got approved for Medicaid, and my doc is talking about possibly putting me on an insulin pump. My sugars have been running high due to the fact I had no insurance and no money to pay for meds, so they are gonna try me on metformin (2000mg daily) and 20u lantus nightly. I've been to the neurologist who says I have sleep apnea, as well as 2 different types of neuropathy. 1. peripheral (?) and 2. a neuropathy that has to do with my elbows. I spoke to him about my disability and he said he doesn't see why I wouldn't get it. Does anyone know if these problems alone are classified as disabling? I have been hospitalized on more than one occasion because of high blood sugars and chest pain. I have an appt with a cardiologist this month to figure out if I have a heart problem or if it's all in my head. LOL

DawnFL 2009-08-14 11:14:27 -0500 Report

Gabby…if you apply just with diabetes and are not losing limbs etc you have a fight on your hands. They had a backlog even of cancer patients which I find disgusting. Anyone with cancer should be approved no questions asked.

I am like you, if I could find a job I could hold onto I would do it but with the economy there are no jobs even for healthy and younger people with more skills. Kids coming out of school have more to sell these days. We may have experience but no one cares. If a chimp could do the job he would get it for bananas. I know I can kick butt as an employee but physically I can't do what they need and they want 200% when I can't offer even 100%. I had a county job and was let go in 7 months because I just couldn't physically be as fast as they demanded or do what they wanted which I never claimed I could do. Short-term memory loss is one of my ailments and to memorize codes even just with age sometimes is hard enough. I tried and I hope that didn't work against me. I stood 9 plus hours a day in agony to earn a living but it wasn't enough to keep the job. Physically they did me a favor but financially I have been living in terror ever since. All I have is 98 a wk employment and only for 6 more wks. My ex has informed me he is not paying anymore though I have things in writing. That won't write out a rent check though and fighting takes time. Yes, the money is no bargain but honestly, after taxes I barely brought home much more working 50 hrs a week. We did not get OT we were on salary. I will be so grateful if I win the amount due me. I know it depends on your work history and what you earned so I am happy with what I would get. Each year you get 4% cost of living added supposedly. That will be something. I will take whatever I get because it is better than zero. In July before FL finally paid unemployment due in Feb, I was down to a half a box of spaghetti in the house for food. As diabetis we know that is not health food. I've also swallowed my pride and applied for help. I got a letter today for $75 a month for food and info on how to get money off my phone bill with my local carrier. I am waiting for Medicare but because I have not been called disabled by SSA yet I may not get that. I asked for whatever I can get. If they would pay my rent I would gladly give it back IF I win. I doubt that will be paid but anyone out here like Gabby and me have to do what we must. Anyway in FL that has not tried to do stuff, drop me a line and I will be glad to tell you what I have learned about disability, DCF assistance etc. We also have the 211 line in FL at least. That is the United Way who can tell you about other things you may get help from. They ask what you need help with then direct you.

Anyway not familiar with CoverFlorida…go to and look for the little yellow block that says CoverFlorida. It is health insurance for the uninsurec. Two plans…I had to take BCBSof FL plan I because can't afford more. $60 a month for my age of 57. $199 includes hospital but I can't afford. They can't turn you down but can wait a year to cover pre-existing though not sure what yet. I just got diagnosed with diabetes.I need a specialist for SSA and without any coverage it will cost between 250-350 but now it should run me a third of that. The doctors agree ahead of time to take certain amts. It is not wonderful but will be better than it would have been. I can't win my cawse without a good doctor so it is a gamble and hopefully investment.

Thanks to all of you enduring my babbles. I don't feel so alone anymore than I did before I found your site.

Jipwhip 2009-08-09 11:09:44 -0500 Report

I agree with what Vicki and Cyncyn said.The first thing to do is to contact the Social Security Administration. You can do this online here is the website address . I filed for disability and six months later I received it. I had doctors who were really good at filling out the paperwork and who worked with me. But I know of several people who are still fighting to get disability.
When I received my disability I got back pay from it. I had been out of work for over a year when I was approved for disability, so I got about seven months worth. The only reason I got that much was because I waited awhile before filing for disability.

Vicrgreen 2009-08-09 14:14:41 -0500 Report

Actually, you get back pay from the month you apply. How long you did or didn't appy has no bearing on the amount you receive. Neither does how long you have been unable to work. Only when you applied.

States used to do something similar. In Alaska you were given a portion of the eventual $362 that they pay for Adult Public Assistance, which is what they call the State Component of Disability Assistance. When/if you were accepted as disabled by SSA (Social Security Administration)they gave you the balance of what they would have paid had you received the entire amount. Which meant that you got a lump sum from the State and the SSA. In the meantime you were covered with Medicaid, assuming you met lack of income guidelnes (max holdings of $2000, not including your home and 1 vehicle).

DawnFL 2009-08-14 10:58:22 -0500 Report

Must be the state you are in…SSA states right on the site that they hold six months. Maybe it changed but it is six months from the date of the application and TWO years to get medical after you win. Unless you are 62 or older that is. I am so near yet so far away. Five years to retire and can't wait that long for money to live on.

I keep hearing different stories so I am guessing states differ even though it does not say that on the website for SSA. Confusing which is why you need to call an ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY. They will take their fee whether you call them now or for the last appeal so let them earn it. I did all the work until now and still will have to pay. They say 25% but my atty had paperwork that says max of 6k and then up to an additional 6k possible for other things that are needed to be done. That is like travel, faxing, phones etc. My two accidents had those run under $300 so I expect around that amount or less. Some must have the atty or whoever go to them so I can see how you could rack that up to another 6k with the prices per hr. Anyway, it should be much less than I expected though SSA allows UP TO 25% and states that in writing to you. They will approve that ahead of time so be advised. It is worth it…don't be a dummy like I was…don't contact SSA…I consider them the ENEMY now…I had one nice woman but have dealt with uncaring screw ups during other times who can't even do an address correction after two years, who lost my file and found it in a drawer of someone who retired 8 months earlier (so my claim sat) then they rushed my claim because I had a Senator's office watching out for me and they skipped a step, made a judge mad thinking I was stupid and he was going to throw my whole case out this year. DOCUMENT everything and keep copies of everything. If you don't send certified, take it and wait and get a copy stamped and signed as a receipt. If I did not have all of this my case would be back to square one and money due me since 2005 would be GONE! Sorry but if you file then do it right. Then your lawyer can watch and make sure he meets deadlines. They tend to give you 60 days to reply and fight a decision. If you do it alone and they lose it you are on your own without a lawyer helping. I was anti-atty but since I found mine I feel like a weight was taken off my shoulders.

Anyway who won right away, congrats…not all disabilities are as obvious and I know many are worse than mine. I am not upset some win right away and if you do I am sure you deserve it. We all do if we are not fakes.

Jipwhip 2009-08-15 18:08:07 -0500 Report

Yes, I know it takes two years to get medicare. I read this on the SSA site and numerous health care personal have told me the same thing. You do not get the medical for two years after you first get disability.
Not all states do anything like Vicgreen said. Because I know how much I should have gotten based on what the SSA told me I would get per month. I received more than that amount.

cyncyn 2009-08-08 23:27:11 -0500 Report

Everything, Vicki discussed is correct. Now, in my state,it took my 10yrs. to get mine. In WV, they fight you until you are close to 50yrs old. I was told,…I had too good of a work history(24yrs. in the same place), to much education, and my age.! I had very excellant dr. reports and all. They kept saying…You can be re-trained to do something! My dr. said NO ! Also, here, you used to get a lump sum, from when you signed up, now, you only get paid back 1 year, and they make it impossible, without a attorney, that specializes in SSD. Hope this helps!

Avera 2009-08-09 01:18:56 -0500 Report

What cyncyn said about the "Age" thing is true. They tend to fight everyone below 50 unless the Disability is severe. This is NOT a written rule, it is just something that they do. The least amount of years that they have to pay someone Disability the better for the goverment.

My fiance, who died in 2004, had applied for Disability. He applied for it concerning several things. He happened to die in the hospital from a complication related to Diabetes. Six months after he died, he got a letter from SS turning him down for the 4th time saying his condition was not severe enough even though it was severe enough to kill him or indirectly cause his death. I do not draw Disability myself. My experience with it comes from my fiance's fight to get it at age 48.I learned that your ability to hold any job is not defined according to where you live such as small town, town with no industry, total farm country and ect. They have an enormous list of jobs available in the United States. If you could do any of the jobs on that list,,,whether you have that type of job in your area or not, determines if you are capable of working. This is even if a particulr job is 1000 miles away from your home or not.

The age thing is NOT something they just come out and tell you, but from interviews with people it does make a difference.

In what ever area that you live in, there is a panel of people who review your application. These people usually serve on that panel anywhere from 1 to 5 years. It is these same people who you are interviewed by each time you reapply if turned down. They hold these interviews in your individual state capitals. You do have to attend them unless you are totally bedridden. And even though it is not supposed to be so, if they take a dislike to you or just don't believe you, don't like your lawyer, or just don't think you look unhealthy can make a difference.

It may sound to you as if I am telling things that are NOT true, but they are.

Getting Disability from an individual state is actually easier, however, every year you have to reapply, submitting a mountain of paperwork, and see only the state's chosen doctor's to examine you at your expense. For Federal Disability they usually only review your case every 4 or 5 years according to individual disabilities. This means on the state level even if you got your disability because you lost both of your legs and both of your arms, you still have to reapply every year to prove your limbs did not grow back. I kid you not.

Also, with Federal Disability, the amount of money you have to pay for Medicare is reviewed each year especially if you are paying nothing or only a few dollars. AND,,,while they are reviewing this (usually takes 3 months) the whole amount that you would be paying for the Medicare will be deducted from your monthly check while the review is going on. NOW,,,you do get this money back after the review if you qualify, but meanwhile your check is at least 90.00 or more less each month.

OK OK, I have ranted enough. But, I have SEEN people go through this. It sickens me. Here you have a person who cannot walk and rarely goes out having to do a mountain of paperwork to prove once again they are sick. Copies of bills of all kinds are required and some even have to be notarized according to your sickness.

ok finished. Sorry to write so much.

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2009-08-09 01:43:37 -0500 Report

Great information from the friends above. My MD decided I couldn't work no more. I sign up for disability. They say it takes 6 months till notice. I did allot of running around. Like getting copies from all MDs and documents of medical records. I ended up doing alot of calling, xeroxing and mailing records and info I didn't even know I had. I had a wonderful MD that I think went out of his way to get me it. I received mine in those first 6 months that I had applied. I was very lucky. I have friends that are ill and it has been years and still not on.,,,,Debe

DawnFL 2009-08-14 10:47:58 -0500 Report

FYI each state is a bit different. Here in FL it was SSA that told me how far back my claim went and I was shocked it was earlier than I had realized by a year. Then my attorney put it back another six months because it goes by how much you worked. I am 57 today and you are right…if you have a brain they don't get that you can't work. I'd rather be able to make what I did then settle for what they pay but I cannot work and no one will hire me for the same reasons…work history too good and OVER QUALIFIED they call it which means older I think. If I don't mind if you pay me $10 an hour then why are you worried. It pays the bills which I have nothing to pay with now. I am terrified…if being scared and sick to your stomach about keeping a roof over your head counts then I should have been approved. We have 10% unemployment here and many places even use interns from all the colleges. Short of moving what do I do?

IF I win I will get retro back to at least 2006 and earlier if it stands what my attorney told me. They DO hold the first six months of an application according to the SSA website

I did not have diabetes on record until a month ago so it is not for that. They probably think I got it on purpose to help myself. SSA is out for SSA and not for us and their doctors hate us. They work for SSA so don't be stupid like I use to be and think they are there for you. No matter how broke you are you have to have a GOOD doctor for what your disability is. Two MVA's later I find out that hospital physical therapy, chiropractors etc are not recognized and mean nothing. When you get injured, at least in FL they send you to a chiro first…thanks…it did nothing for me and made the law firm and chiro money. When it came time for court I was told the other party would bring in an EXPERT witness, an ORTHOPEDIC person. This from the lawyer who sent me to a chiro not ortho. We all have to watch our backs and with diabetes we know that worse can happen if we don't take care of ourselves. I am hoping to avoid worse and took action to help ME right away this time. Never too old to learn I guess.

Inkaddiction 2009-08-08 18:46:54 -0500 Report

It took me 8 yrs to get mine to go through, even tho I had documentation of my disc problems, mental health issues & diabetes it was still a sturggle, I finally got to the point I hired a lawyer, I was denied still, the second time my lawyer went to the hearing it was approved, but what a nightmare, the ONLY up side to having to wait…is that once you apply, if you are approved 6 months, 2 yrs down the road you will receive back pay from the date you first applied (as long as your application stays active) so you might get a lump sum payment down the road…if you do get a lump sum, be sure they take out taxes, or call the IRS and see how much you will owe on the money

Good luck, and dont get discouraged, find a Dr to work with you, makes it so much easier

Vicrgreen 2009-08-08 23:27:02 -0500 Report

Congratulations on getting it. I have had friends that had theirs go right through and others that had to fight like the very devil, some are still fighting.

Most of my friends who had problems got theirs approved fairly soon after having a hearing, but things may just move differently up here.

I stick by what I said. Keep copies of everything. You never know what they will want another copy of and if you can't provide it, or don't say exactly what you said the first time it can cause incredible delays.

A good doctor working with you is beyond price, yes?

DawnFL 2009-08-15 14:54:27 -0500 Report

yes, document and keep copies of EVERYTHING and if you do not use a lawyer then I would walk my paperwork in when you have to submit it. Have them stamp a copy as a receipt.I have had a nightmare out of the Lake Mary FL office and found out lately that I am not alone. Without my paperwork and receipts I would have lost all that will be due to me as retro. Why should I lose 4 years of back money due to their mistake? Well if you do not document and keep your papers in order it could happen to you. I had a Judge ready to throw it all out and had him think it was my fault when I had PROOF of my paperwork with SSA. Because of the proof my claim was saved. I still say don't try to do the battle alone. There is a saying about the man who represents himself has a fool for a client. Well I did it myself until lately and I admit I was the fool. SSA will twist and make the laws work for them. When you do your forms for a hearing or whatever, there are things you need to document and it is how you word it not what you say…they want certain things that will qualify you and no matter how serious you may think other things are, they do not qualify and SSA just does not care. Good luck…I am hoping to soon be done with all of this and with all of the mistakes that they have made I should finally be OK because it will be with the judge. I played by all of the rules and did what I should and still got disqualified at first…as the attorney has now explained paperwork which I did previously and must do again…I see where the slight differences are. SSA has a section on their site at The site explains what is needed to consider what a disability is. If you must wear slip on shoes because you cannot do tie shoes or if you must walk sideways down your steps…these things matter. Can you put on pantyhose and wear things you could before and can you do it just as easy? Sounds silly but this is what they need to know. Can you clean like you use to clean your house? Do you cook the same or take short cuts because you can't stand for long periods. This is what the lawyer told me that I never realized were deal breakers if not added or answered correctly. FAIR? Nope…true? Yup…Wish me luck please. Two MVAs including an 18-wheeler led me to where I am now health-wise. Oh I helped by eating wrong but this is why I need my SSA Disability now…diabetes was just the kicker.

DawnFL 2009-08-14 10:37:49 -0500 Report

Hi sounds like we have many of the same health issues. You just gave me hope and congrats for finally winning. I was stubborn and waited to get a lawyer. I hope they listen to us about getting one because the agency sets us up for failure. IF I am lucky enough to finally win this fall then I will have money going back to Dec 2005. You know they don't want to give it up to me. Yes, a doctor to work with you is a must. I have had no doctors and because of that I can't get my point across. Like car insurance adjusters, they are there to save money for who they work for and not to give it to us. What goes around comes around and I wonder if the ones who agree to make these decisions and do what they do will ever need to be processed themselves someday or a family member. It is too emotionally exhausting and stressful to do yourself. I was stubborn and would not give in until now and feel stupid I waited this long to get help. The lawyers get nothing unless they win so I believe they will lead you the right way. I talked to 4 large law firms and settled for a smaller one who made me feel important. The smaller are hungry and FYI…at least in FLORIDA, you are not necessarily represented by an attorney at the hearing so ask first. I have a case manager and an actual atty. Not to say the case mgr is not good because mine is terrific. He says he loads the gun then hands it to the atty. Watch who represents you expecially with the BIG TV people who are on the TV every channel 24/7. Mine was there but not often. Just enough that I knew the name. They are nicer in person unlike 3 others that do this work.

I wrote on your post because you just made my day. Its my birthday and I am very down because of my cuttent status of income which is none. Thank you for giving me a ray of hope and I hope we can do the same for others with the good advice. I heard you needed a lawyer but did not believe it…well I am here to say that fighting since 2005 I am a good person to ask as are you. You were smarter sooner I think.

Vicrgreen 2009-08-08 18:36:16 -0500 Report

First, contact the Social Securty Administration and say that you want to apply for disability. You might also want to contact your state, depending upon your wok history and a few other things, the SSA can probably advise you.

How you go from there depends on several factors, not least of which is your work history. Your age may enter into the equation as well. That will determine whether you are going to apply for Social Security Disability or SSI (Supplemental Security Income). Both programs are administered by the SSA.

Before you start, or immediately after you get your forms from Social Security, you might want to confer with your doctor whose help will be essential to your establishing the disability. If he agrees that you are disabled he may take the lead in getting you squared away. Unless he agrees that you are disabled you are wasting your time. Find a new doctor who does think you are. There is a great deal of documentation required and your doctor can make or break you.

To be considered disabled you need to have a condition that will keep you from working for a minimum period of time, it was a year and so far as I know still is.

Disability is not a shoe in. My daughter took 4 years to get hers established. She had to reapply twice and attend 3 hearings. I've had friends who got it on the first attempt. A lot of it depends on your doctor and what he says and what referrals he makes to other doctors who also document that you are disabled.

My personal best advice is be sure you keep a copy of everything you submit so that if you have to re-submit everything agrees exactly. One minor change can mean loads of extra work and time, they will want to know which version is correct and why you changed things.

At one time the policy was that when they finally granted the disabiity they back paid through the date of the original application, I don't know if that is still the case or not. My daughter got a large amount of money when she finally got hers established.

Each state has different rules, too, but often if you have an application for disability pending with SSA. (You will need proof) the state will give you some interim assistance until the case is settled one way or the other, they may also put you on Adult Public Assistance, which is the State level disability plan. It is worth looking into. Almost aways the states will pick up your medical, or at least some portion of your medical bills, pending completion of the application. Again, it is local option at the state level. Once your disability is granted you may be eligible for Medicaid, through the state, to cover your medical expenses for your disability…that has a fnancial component so it is not guaranteed either but it is worth looking into.

In any event. The place to start is with your doctor and the Social Security Administration.

I hope this helps. Be prepared to be patient. Be sure you fill out all forms accurately, and, I can't stress it enough, KEEP COPIES OF EVERYTHING.

2009-08-09 04:42:05 -0500 Report

No offense guys but I am SO happy I live in Canada!!!
I had virtually NO problem getting my disability and I don't know how I would cope without it. All I had to do was see my MD, have him fill out the required medical info and send the papers off. they said to give at least a 6 month wait but I was approved in 3.
It was truly a blessed day as I have several health issues, am not able to work and definitely couldn't manage on my own…I live with my 2 retired sisters.
Best of luck to everyone still trying and my deepest sympathies to those fighting to no avail.

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