View Full Version : Wondering about disability (US)
03-15-2013, 11:22 AM
I left the corporate world about five years ago when my daughter was a baby and was planning on going back to work when she got to be school aged. I worked in IT which involved a lot of time running around, long hours and regularly lifting 40 ~ 50lbs as a regular part of the job.
But then I was diagnosed with lupus. For the past year of so, the flares have been constant and between the episodes of fatigue, chronic pain and now experiencing muscle weakness, I don't think it's possible to meet the lifting requirement, much less the long hours. It was pretty shocking to realize that I don't think I can resume my normal line of work, which I had over 6 years of experience in. Is disability (US) an option? Should I try for it anyway?
03-15-2013, 11:31 AM
It is an option. I was approved in 2010. I applied with the help of a rep(not lawyer as most won't take the case until you are denied at least once and some until you are at the ALJ-Administrative Law Judge level)
You need to check into it and make sure that you have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI as they only go back 10 yrs. If your wc have expired and you have a spouse that is working you likely make to much for SSI. The SSA will run both and see if you do qualify for SSI. If you are home now and thinking about doing it I would check locally for a rep as the paperwork is tremendous that they have you fill out and there was no way I personally could have done it on my own..some of the forms get sent over and over too.
It is up to you to decide if it is right for you. I cried when I decided to do it but knew i could no longer do the work I had been doing and I loved my job.
www.SSA.gov is the social security link and www.ssdfacts.com is a disability web message site with forums of really great people who have been approved,are going thru it,in differnet denial stages,etc and it offers a ton of info on the process and actual scannings of letters that members have received so you can view them. It is free and full of really nice people who have a lot of information about the filing,wait,how to do forms,etc hope it helps.
Lupus is one of the Blue Book(what conditions they consider disabling) conditions.I filed under it with a Sjogrens overlap,Fibro and Migraines.I only had records from one Dr(my rheumy)it was 4yrs of treatment and I wasn't sent to see any of the SSA drs to evaluate me. My Dr didn't even write a letter of support. It can be done and if you are home anyway-that is where most get stuck-if you apply when you are working or go back to work during the process they are going to deny saying "Oh well you are working now or you decided you are well enough" and that really is hard to disprove...they don't care you are broke they want to know how the illness has impacted your ability to funciton in your day to day life enough so that you can no longer work any job...not just the one you had but any gainful employment.
It's hard not to get discouraged but you just have to refile and continue on. Like I said I wish you the best and check on your work credit still being valid-you need to start there.If they aren't and your spouse makes too much for SSI then you will have no further claim.
I wish you much luck in whatever you decide.
03-15-2013, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the information! I will start the process going and see what happens. I know so many people get denied but better to have tried than not, I suppose. I've been putting it off because coming to terms with how debilitating the fatigue and now the pain and weakness is... it's just a lot to take in. It is such a kick in the gut :(
03-15-2013, 07:20 PM
Google centers for independent living for your area. I work for one in Montana and one of the things we do is help people apply for disability. No charge. They understand the disability application process very well and can be extremely helpful
The majority end up getting approved but end up needing an attorney and end up getting denied at least once and usually twice so don't give up. The above info is correct. It will most likely be SSI, which in some ways is better because you don't have to wait 2 1/2 years for the Medicare. You get Medicaid right away. Apply online and go for it. If you get denied get a SS attorney. You don't pay them unless you win and it comes out of back pay (a %).