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NFT: Does anyone know anything about Social Security Disability?

Tom [Giants fan] : 7/13/2017 5:37 am
I have two doctors, an orthopedic and a neurologist who tell me I could easily be on and probably should go on disability. I have a degenerative spine where I have arthritis up and down my spine and stenosis. The stenosis is causing all kind of nerve problems. There is pain in my back and up and down my left leg. I also have MS which causes me to randomly fall at any given time plus seizures. But I hear that you don't get much and it is taxed. Plus, you can only make a certain amount on a part time job if you are even capable or working. Does anyone know or is on disability if you would be willing to share? I don't really think this is a feasible option for me or I would have to sell my house. I've been working in pain and discomfort this long I never thought about doing this. I'm only 46 so being the home the rest of my life or only working part time sounds boring.
Hey Tom  
Tom from LI : 7/13/2017 6:19 am : link
Sorry to hear that..

SSD is not an easy thing to get accomplished on your own and almost everybody gets denied on the first attempt to enroll for it.

My wife has a similar back issue and has gone through 4 back surgeries in the last year and is on slow mend recovering from a double fusion in April.

She had to quit her job working in child care back in October 2015 because she could no longer perform the job safely or comfortably. She has tremendous pain tolerance and could not do it any longer. May 2016 to April 2017 she had 4 surgeries to correct the issue.

So we filed in November 2016 for her to receive benefits with a date of October 31,2015 as the first disabled date being that was the last day of work.

You have to give up 5 months with no benefits once approved.
So that would be from your initial date.

my wife is meticulous with paper work and we have everything documented. The SS interviewer was impressed with the level of detail she provided them, records and all.

we thought no problem getting approved, but we were wrong.

We were denied for both benefits. One we knew we would.. because that is for low income people.. to provide food and immediate relief. (our household income was too high) We understood that.

The other denial was because they said she could still be working. It was like they didn't even check into the documentation. It was like an automatic denial.

So now we filed for a hearing on Jan 13th. We are still waiting and I hear it takes a year to get a hearing date.


We are only looking to cover the time she cannot work..hopefully she will be able to get well enough and go back to work soon. She misses working with the kids.

Log into ssa.gov.

You can see what your benefits would be if disabled. you can file from there.

Good luck to you!
Consult an attorney specializing in this area  
Mike in NY : 7/13/2017 6:40 am : link
Social Security is ambushed with illegitimate Pro Se claims that I swear they are like the insurance company in The Rainmaker denying every claim initially. Having an attorney who they know will challenge the denial does appear to get a little more serious consideration (still likely gets denied initially, but better chance of succeeding on appeal). The biggest hurdle, as has been alluded to here, is the RFC. It does not measure whether you can return to your previous job, but rather can you return to any job in the economy, no matter how unrealistic it is if you wanted to live in an area that is expensive to live in like Long Island.
Tom  
ctc in ftmyers : 7/13/2017 6:51 am : link
My wife is on SSD and had been.

Get a SSD lawyer to do it for you. It's worth the money as you will get it the first time through. You still will have to do much of the work. The fee isn't that much considering.

The lawyer set us up an appointment. We went in the the interviewer asked if we had a lawyer and we said yes, so and so. He actually pulled out a different form. She was approved in under a month.

Be advised there is a time limit on when you can apply. It was 5 years from the on set of your disability. I do believe since you are still working it doesn't apply to you.

I can't stress getting a SSD lawyer enough if you want to avoid the horse and pony show. After all you're dealing with the federal government.

Good luck



Like CTC said, get a lawyer  
Diver_Down : 7/13/2017 7:33 am : link
that specializes in SSD. It is not automatic that you are approved the first time like CTC mentioned. His case is the exception. The majority are initially denied with or without representation. But through the appeals process is when the representation is critical. Regardless of how meticulous you might be with your record-keeping, without representation, you will likely be denied on appeal. For whatever reason, the representation cases are given credibility.

The process can take up to 2 years. If you are working during that time, it won't help your case. If approved, you will receive an initial lump sum covering the duration of time while you applied, and they can even go back 18 months from your initial application date if they determine the condition existed before.

Your monthly SSD will likely place you at or near the poverty level. If you have another income earner, then you will be fine. If you opt to work while earning SSD, then you will need to ensure the work doesn't impact your disability. i.e. If you state that you are unable to lift 20 lbs, and then with your part-time job are found to be lifting 21 lbs, then your disability claim may be revoked and they can pursue back-pay for all money received.
My  
bc0312 : 7/13/2017 7:45 am : link
wife is on SSDI because she is epileptic. We were denied the first time but appealed and won the 2nd time (without a lawyer). However, the amount of money she gets is very low ~$1200/mo because of my income. If you work, SS will reduce your benefits by $0.50 for every dollar you make after the first $85. There is also a 9 month work trial period that you can earn income without risking loss of your benefits but after that, your additional income is capped at ~$750-$1100 depending on your situation.

It's all very confusing
Do you  
Rick5 : 7/13/2017 9:15 am : link
have long-term disability insurance through your current employer? As others have mentioned, SSD won't be enough to live on unless you have money from other sources.
Also, sorry Tom.  
Rick5 : 7/13/2017 9:16 am : link
That really sucks.
my condolences Tom  
Giants86 : 7/13/2017 9:31 am : link
My brother works for the Vermont disability office.
I will reach out to him and then post what he says.

Good Luck
Tom  
PaulN : 7/13/2017 11:11 am : link
I am sorry to hear this. I have the same situation, I have had 4 spine surgeries, 2 on my back and 2 on my neck. I have total disc replacement on two discs in my back, and I am fused from C3-C7 in my neck. my discs simply disintegrate, I remember the first time I had neck surgery and asked if I had a bulging disc, or worse, he said "what disc" there is none. It was bone on bone, I also have spinal stenosis like you.

Bottom line was that I was able, with the help of epidural injections and medications, to keep working until I was 55 years old. I was also being told that I should think about the possibility of going on disability, they knew how bad it was.

Bottom line was that my company was having a layoff, I went into human resources, told them about my situation and asked if they would be willing to give me an early retirement package, they got back to me and offered me 9 months full pay and since I had 29 .5 years of service, they gave me a 1 year add on, so I could get full retirement, I could start to collect that immediately since I was 55. So I had 9 months of full pay, plus my retirement, which is about 1/2 of my base pay, not quite but close.

So I took the chance and put in for disability without a lawyer, my main problem with work was that I was in a lab, and on my feet almost constantly, I was not able to stand for more then 15-20 minutes at a time without being in severe pain, and that is exactly what I told them.

I also had all my past records, which I did have to contact all the past surgeons and doctors I had worked with. I only asked them to fill out the questions that the social security office asked them honestly, period, nothing more.

I was approved for disability in 5 months. I want to give you one warning though, adjusting from working full time my entire life, I worked unstopped for 35 years, since I was 20 years old, I went to high school, then a 2 year program for medical lab tech. Then worked for 35 years in the plastics field, got a job offer as a medical lab tech after a company that hired me for chemical lab tech offered me a great position with a good salary and future, so I stuck with it, for 35 years in the field.

My point is I never realized how hard it would be, I have done volunteer work, I worked as a consultant for 5 years for the company that I worked full time for the 30 years. I was pretty depressed for a long while, I traveled, I taught, I was at the top of my field, I was the company trouble shooter. So I had a great position, think long and hard before you make this decision, going to a lawyer is a safe way to go, but the way for them to make more money is to drag out the case longer then you would like, if they wrapped your case up in 5 months, they would not make much money at all, and they are under strict guidelines as to what they're fee is, so dragging the case out is the only way to increase their fee.

I only tell you these things to give you a picture of my situation, your situation sounds different than mine, so think carefully, talk to your loved ones about your decision, talk to your doctors, you will need their help when the time comes, and above all, make the decision that is right for you, if you wanted to contact me for more help, I would be happy to help you in any way I can. Good luck to you my friend.

Get an attorney right away.  
BigBlue2112 : 7/13/2017 11:14 am : link
Sucks to have to go that route.

Back in 2013 I had stage 3 cancer. within a two year span I had 3 surgeries and 3 different rounds of Immunotherapy (similar to chemo). I was so weak and knocked out from treatments I could barely get out of bed some days, let alone work a job.

I was in between jobs upon diagnosis and was denied over and over again for disability. I got an attorney, had a hearing before a judge about 10 months later and received my first check March 2016. I was lucky enough to move back in with my parents and not have to worry about paying rent/mortgage. For those who do not have that option I have no clue what they do.

It unfortunately is a flawed system. The attorney I had told me that because so many abuse the system they almost deny everyone the first time around to weed out who really needs it and follows up.

There was a great piece on 60 minutes years ago about entire towns that were collecting SSD. I've linked to it below.
60 Minutes - SSD - ( New Window )
Also,  
BigBlue2112 : 7/13/2017 11:22 am : link
The attorney told me that the people who review SSD cases pretty much deem applicants fit to work if the person can sit and me a greeter at Walmart
I don't know what Lawyer you went to,  
ctc in ftmyers : 7/13/2017 11:56 am : link
"going to a lawyer is a safe way to go, but the way for them to make more money is to drag out the case longer then you would like, if they wrapped your case up in 5 months, they would not make much money at all, and they are under strict guidelines as to what they're fee is, so dragging the case out is the only way to increase their fee."

but the fee for my wife was a % not to exceed a certain amount and was in the contract she signed The end amount was less than cut off amount. It's taken out of your first check. Also the fee is contingent on you receiving SSD.

Get the firm in your area that specializes in SSD. The people in the SS office know them and work with them all the time. If they are going to take your case it is a winner in their eyes. They didn't build their reputation backing losers.
PaulN  
ctc in ftmyers : 7/13/2017 12:06 pm : link
"My point is I never realized how hard it would be, I have done volunteer work, I worked as a consultant for 5 years for the company that I worked full time for the 30 years. I was pretty depressed for a long while, I traveled, I taught, I was at the top of my field, I was the company trouble shooter. So I had a great position, think long and hard before you make this decision."

Welcome to retirement.

Everyone goes through it. You are not unique. I took a buy out at 58. That was 7 years ago.
RE: My  
Deej : 7/13/2017 12:14 pm : link
In comment 13526939 bc0312 said:
Quote:
wife is on SSDI because she is epileptic. We were denied the first time but appealed and won the 2nd time (without a lawyer). However, the amount of money she gets is very low ~$1200/mo because of my income. If you work, SS will reduce your benefits by $0.50 for every dollar you make after the first $85. There is also a 9 month work trial period that you can earn income without risking loss of your benefits but after that, your additional income is capped at ~$750-$1100 depending on your situation.

It's all very confusing


Spousal income does not effect SSDI payment levels. It effects SSI payment, which is a different program.
Wow......  
Tom [Giants fan] : 7/13/2017 12:56 pm : link
thanks for all of the great responses. I think I am going to suffer a few more years and try to get a job. I was just laid off June 28th so I'm looking for a job I can do. So many things screwed up right now and having this fight with SS isn't one I want to add at this time.

Thanks everyone!
Tom  
PaulN : 7/13/2017 1:15 pm : link
Good Luck, if you need to talk, just start a thread and call me out, I would be happy to talk about the process, the pros and cons of getting an attorney and to be honest, to try and figure out if you are ready for that. Getting a buyout, having all the retirement age and time of service to back me up, having a home that is 80% paid off, a very low mortgage that I could pay off in full at anytime, having a nice 401K as a backup made it an easier decision, in other words, I did not have any financial problems at all, as long as social security and the pension plan kept paying me. To have financial problems on top of not working would have made the situation a lot worse.
ctc  
PaulN : 7/13/2017 1:17 pm : link
Yes, I realize it now, I never thought it was going to be so hard on me mentally. It's good to know that everyone goes through this process, and it is a natural thing, but boy I would not want to go through year 1 and 2 again for the life of me. Thank God for the 3 grandkids that live right near me.
Tom  
Bleedin Blue : 7/14/2017 7:11 pm : link
My wife got SSDI due to MS we used Sullivan and Kehoe on Long Island. They were great! You should talk to them , you will fill out forms and if both your doctors as you say think you should get it you won't have a problem. SS will definitely deny your first claim, but after you appeal and you're successful they will go back to your original application date and give you your money retroactively. The lawyer will be paid from SS. If you have children under 18, you will have to apply for them to receive half of your benefit. If you get 2000, 1 child will receive 1000 if you have two children each will receive 500, til they're 18. Good luck!
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