View Full Version : BROWNEYEDGIRL NEEDS YOUR HELP & ADVICE, PLEASE
01-17-2008, 07:01 PM
Well, I've lost my job and I'm freaking out (with hives no less) and it has been suggested that I go on social security disability. If you know about this process, how long it takes, how sick do you have to be, and everything in between.
I'm scared because I've been hospitalized 3 times in the last six months with blood clots in my lungs. I don't think I have the physical strength it takes to do anything, my cognitive function is severely impaired...and I'm feeling lost and on the verge of hopelessness (not my usual self as you can read).
Any advice, or words of wisdom? My boss said that he didn't think I could do the job any longer.
Tears running down my face,
01-17-2008, 08:20 PM
I can't help with the disability question, but know that I read your post, and I'll be thinking about you.
Good luck, sweetie, and hang in there!
01-17-2008, 10:57 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your job. I was there last year; I was let go because of being "stressed and emotional" when projects were due. It didn't matter that I crawled from my bed to the bathroom for 3 days straight due to Lupus dle/sun exposure.
My rhuemy at the time told me to work "part time"; so I found a part time position. It relieved the work related stress; but created a financial stress. It has unfortunately taken a financial toll on our family; although I physically can't work full time.
I have checked into disability and was told from the date of filing a claim it takes 2 years. There is an association named NOSSCR with an 800 number that refers people to attorneys in your immediate area whom specialize. You could probably google NOSSCR and get the phone 800 number. The other option you may have is to check into State Disability and see if you are currently eligible for the maximum one year allowance. Again, I am so sorry.
Everything happens for a reason; hang in there. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope the above information will help you out.
01-18-2008, 06:42 AM
I'm so sorry, Browneyedgirl! I'm no help either with the Social Security issue, I know Saysusie has good info on that. Sometimes it does take a long time, but some manage to get through the process in a matter of months.
Did your company have Long Term Disability Insurance? Call your Human Resource department TODAY and ask about that - it could be that you could have some benefits coming in from that.
Sending you prayers, thoughts, cyber-hugs and all the emotional support I can.
01-18-2008, 08:10 AM
Hugs, big tight ones, Browneyedgirl. Being lost... words from us can be your bread crumbs...we will help you to find your way.
Like the others I really have no info either on SSDI except...if denied, appeal, and hire an attorney. Or hire one from the get go. Disablity attorneys by law have a flat fee. If the case is approved they collect. If not, you owe nothing. The fee is collected from the retroactived SSDI date applied. Flat fee amount? I don't know. If approved you will get the remainder of the retroactived amount, backpay.
Inform your doctors this is the path you decided to take. Ensure their exams notes are detailed to assist in a possible first attempt approval. I've read Lupus is on the list as a disease approved by SSA, so ensure that any small detail of your illness is not left out.
Also, if classified as disabled by doctors, not SSA while owning a home you should be able to get a property tax break.
Telephone, while being disabled I believe that service is free. Basic phone service.
Electricity at a lower rate.
This little bit I know comes from sister who also resides in Seattle area. She also was on some type of assistance. DSHS I believe and she was single. They provided her with rent assistance and food credit card.
Also you may qualify for SSI.
I am sure you've been to this site, but just in case...http://www.ssa.gov/d&s1.htm
Don't be scared...soon this will pass too,
01-18-2008, 11:36 AM
I am so sorry to read about your current position. I was there exactly 4 years ago. I had worked for 6 months using my walker, and at times with a PICC line in my arm for IV infusions. Still, I was shocked, scared, and hurt when the time to quit came.
Social Security Disability can be applied for ON LINE. You can begin the process TODAY. Even while checking with your company about disability (excellent suggestion). One word of caution: if you sit down to fill out the application, and you do not finish it, they will stop the on line process and send you papers in the mail to complete it. This may not be a problem for you, but I had huge, deep sores on my fingers (from Raynaud's), and my dominant (writing) hand was grossly swollen. Typing would have been much easier for me, but once I tired and exited the on line process, they would not let me resume it that way. I thought that was terribly unfair. Also, the suggestion of telling your doctors what you are doing and suggesting they document all the elements of your illess is EXCELLENT. My doctors did not do that (I just did not know to tell them), and they neglected to put a lot of things that would have helped me so much. The forms are many, and you will feel you have told them every thing about yourself from birth on (pretty much), by the time you finish, but you don't need an attorney, until denied (often on the first application). My attorney charged flat fees based on how far he had to go with appeals. The big thing is to get it started. They will not go back to when you first got sick, but only from the day you actually apply.
There are lots of community agencies to help with everything from utilities, to food, clothing for the kids (if you have any), rental assistance, etc. Look for Salvation Army, Large Church Organizations, etc. Those two will know of other agencies to refer you to, also. The level of assistance is dependent on the income you have (from husband?), versus what your basic needs are. I am on huge amounts of medication with big dollars in co-pays, so that was a consideration.
Keep a file of everything you do. Even if it is just a big brown envelope. Just something to keep all your stuff together. The process itself is so tiring, you don't need to be running around looking for stuff (another thing I learned the hard way).
How long does it take? Well, the two years from application is actually quite accurate for many people, but you can speed the process up by making sure your medical records document the difficulties you have with pain, weakness, confusion, things that interfere with ability to get to a job and perform any kind of basic duties. That is where the hold up is generally found - the records are too sparce on data to back up the patient's claim. Don't despair, though. You have a lot of things in your favor going in - all these people are giving you great advice to get your process going!
My heart goes out to you, as you go through this. It hurts in so many ways, I know, but you will eventually be in better shape, as the stress of all this begins to settle and allow your body to rest and recouperate.
If I read correctly, you are in the Seattle region? If so, one place that I know has all sorts of assistance programs is the South King County Multi-Service Center. They are terribly hard to get in to see (you have to call numerous times a day, trying to get an appointment; the recording will tell you all the appointments are full, but one may open up an hour later - don't give up!). They can give assistance with power, gas, water, and some other things. Also, if you call the power company and tell them about your illness and losing your job, and that you are trying to get in to get assistance, they can work out your utility bill with you (my husband works for PSE - I know this from the inside - teehee). Don't pay things you don't have to! Save your money for the things that you can't get help with! Another big agency in this area is St. Vincent De Paul. You do not have to be Catholic. They help everyone they can, no matter the religious affiliation.
I feel like I have rambled forever, but I have been where you are, and I wanted so badly to reach out to you and help you through this.
Hope I have been of some help. You will be in my prayers.
01-18-2008, 03:40 PM
First, I am so sorry to hear that you are in such a scary situation! I know there are many of us who are struggling with the issue of how to work while being ill and how to manage finances while our incomes shrink because we can't work the hours we did when we were well.
I am in the process right now of applying for Social Security Disability. You have already received lots of wonderful advice, but I would add two other items. First, go to the LFA website and purchase a book called "Disability Workbook for Social Security Applicants". This book is written by a disability attorney and explains the whole process, what "disabled" means, and what you will need to do to prove your disability to the Social Security Administration. Second, check your local yellow pages under Disability Advocates. I have one who is helping me complete the application and it has been a godsend. When you're sick to begin with, going through the application process can seem Herculean.
Best wishes to you, fellow Lupie.
Pretti in Pink
01-18-2008, 04:24 PM
I am here with you in spirit, pryaing for you and feeling your hurt. You have always been such a great source of strength and encouragement that I wish I had some of your uplifting words to spew back to you. But, I can say, keep your head up, don't let go of your faith, and GOD does not make any mistakes, know that when HE closes one door, HE opens up another and puts a little something in the closet to go along with that :D
It might just be that this is what you need to get your health back on track. Know that I am praying GOD to whisper in your ear that you are not alone and that this is in his plan. I also pray that you don't lose hope, your health improves and you spirit continue to soar with it.
Stay strong and keep us posted so we know you're hanging in there. Cyber hugs and love you way.
01-18-2008, 05:32 PM
oh girl try and stay strong we are all here for you and wish you lots of hugs and kisses all ova! muah
01-18-2008, 07:52 PM
Browneyedgirl, you should be feeling lots and lots of warmth from the outpouring of support I've read here...and I want to add mine to that. Big, warm 'cyber-hugs' to you my friend. I'm so sorry - - yet another loss, and how hard they all are - how they all add up. You've received a lot of wonderful advice on how to proceed towards SSDI. I have a local support group in my area, and some members are on disability. Some were approved right away - no denials, no appeals needed. Some had to appeal and wait it out. The advice to find a disability advocate to help you complete the application is really sound. A friend of a friend is just such an advocate, and she has helped many people navigate those treacherous waters. I hope you can locate someone like that in your area.
Once you've secured support from social security, you can think about whether or not you are able to work a little. One of the woman in my local support group has a willing employer who allows her to work 5 or 10 hours a week, when she can, which doesn't affect her SSDI. She still feels involved, and it gets her out of the house. Maybe you'll be able to find something like that - but probably not now. Now you'll need to rest and use your energy for the task at hand - the SSDI application process.
Know that we're here for you - just as you've been for all of us so many, many times. We love your insightful and caring posts, Browneyedgirl, but now it's your turn to just let it out.
Keep us posted, dear friend.
01-18-2008, 08:03 PM
OH MY GOODNESS, MY HEART FEELS LIKE EXPLODING... Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom, I care so deeply about all of you and that you have come to my aid, means so very much to me.
I will take all the advice you have provided me and will promise to move forward from this day on....isn't it amazing how we are so tied to being "comfortable" in our lives....the assurances of a steady paycheck, a roof over our heads, a warm place to sleep.
I went to the doctor today and she agreed it was probably the best thing to do...as I have missed more days than I have worked.
I am so thankful for this wonderful warm and loving website. Hands down, this is such a powerful and positive support in my life and I thank you all.
....and this too shall pass - I just might need to hold your hand while I make through this valley.
sick n tired
01-18-2008, 11:54 PM
I am praying for you........I am so sorry..I am in that boat and trying to see what to do. The worry can be daunting, but I do agree, This too will pass. It is somewhat comforting when I read that, He will never put more on us than we can handle. Sometimes I wonder if that is true because ...in our weakness he makes us strong ...and will never leave us nor forsake us.
Understand, I am not just spouting platitudes, this is the only thing that gets me through the day, sometimes. It is a comfort to know no matter what that God is there.
Know that I am praying for you
01-19-2008, 01:01 AM
I thought I would jump on and see if there were any more "love" notes and I read yours. I too have a very deep and abiding love for my Lord & Savior and to Him I forever belong. Thank you for caring, for sharing, for showing up here tonight, it means everything to me.
Nighty night - love you all,
Pretti in Pink
01-19-2008, 08:21 AM
Prayer changes things, our girl is coming back around. :lol: Just wanted to chime in this morning and wish you a great day.
01-19-2008, 02:13 PM
Hey My Southern Belle,
Thank you for the sweet wishes, thoughts and prayers. Now that my eyelids are swollen shut from crying so much, and my lips look like they have power injected juice in them...and my hair is 32 ways of awful....I ought to go grocery shopping and see if I fit in (smile).!!
I think that I'm tired in my soul, my energy source is having a hard time charging me into anything right now....does that make sense? I understand that this is the beginning of a new chapter in my life...I'm feeling unsure of what's ahead for me...you know?
Well, I've been cleaning like the world's gonna end at 5:00 o'clock and it feels good to sit for just a bit. That nervous energy is the only time the cobwebs get dusted out of the house (hee hee hee).
I love you all...THANKS MY SISTER FRIENDS!! You are the very heart of me....LOVE, HUGS, AND KISSES!!!
I think I"ll clean the fridge...on second thought - not such a good idea for an emotional eater (could be trouble).
Thanks again.....love ya,
01-19-2008, 03:23 PM
I'm sure that things work entirely differently on this side of the 'pond' so i don't have any words of advice on claiming disability etc but I think everyone else covered that pretty well already!
I just wanted to add some love and hugs to the pile for you and let you know that I too am rooting for you to get better and get through this with a smile still in place.
I'm not particularly religious for many reasons but your comment about needing us all to hold your hand through this valley made me think about the verse 'Footsteps in the Sand'.
"During your times of trial and suffereing,
when you see only one set of footprints in the sand,
it was then that I carried you."
I thinnk that that right there is what this site is all about or me. When I feel like I can't take another step the people here seem to carry me as they are you right now!
Keep your chin up high!
01-20-2008, 09:54 AM
I am so sorry that it took me so long to respond to your post. I've been a bit down and out this past week and took to the bed for most of the weekend.
You've been given excellent advice, support and love and I just wanted to add my support and love to the mix.
I lost my fight for SSI, denied twice (once outright and once on appeal). It was, as you said, a lengthy, arduous process where I was constantly told (by the opposition's doctors, of course) that it was "all in my head" and that I wasn't sick enough to be considered disabled, and blah...blah...blah...!
I opted for early retirement, sued the County (for several reasons) and my friend and I started our own consulting business where I do 99% of my work at home on my computer. Doing this was very, very scary but we were both fortunate in the fact that we had a second income to fall back on (our husbands).
It was suggested that I try for workmen's comp (especially since my disease began when I was working for the County on an extremely stressful job!). However, I lost that claim also. I guess I am not being very helpful to you, am I? :(
Mostly, I wanted to send you my support, my love and my hope that you are able to find a solution to this problem that will alleviate some of your fears and your stress! I wish you the very, very best and remember, we are always here for you!
Peace and Blessings
01-20-2008, 10:53 AM
How are your spirits today? Hope I can give you a chuckle...
Well, it goes something like this...an old man and a old lady went into the doctor's office to get their yearly exam. The doctor came in and started to get some information from them. He then told the old man that he needed to have a stool sample and a urine sample. The old man, said huh? Then turned to the his wife of 63 years and asked while cupping his ear, "Huh... what did the doctor say, Mabel." She replied, "Oh, Harold, he needs a pair of your underwear."
Enjoy this day...
01-20-2008, 11:19 AM
dang....I had a whole post written out and somehow i lost it.
im sorry to hear about what you have been going thru. And that you are going downhill. you try to find something o grasp onto but it all just slips thru your fingers. Our Lord never lets you go and is always with us(something I always have to remind myself of)
Something that you said has really made sense for me. Being tired in my soul. That is what I have been feeling for quite sometime. To be able to finally put that into words. Yeah, makes a lot of sense.
I will pray that Lord will sustain us both as we travel this road.
01-20-2008, 03:50 PM
Hi Browneyed Girl!
I'm SO very sorry to read about your current situation! :cry: I really wish that I could be of assistance, but I feel so helpless... However, I just want you to know that I'm praying for you and sending you tons of love, support and cyber hugs! Hang in there, girl! I know you can do it!
Feel better soon!
01-20-2008, 04:20 PM
Well, it's Sunday and 3:00 p.m. - and just starting out the day...how's that for sleepin' in? Egads..
Thank you all for your encouragement, and wisdom...and Suze, you did scare me, now I am wondering if the application process is worth the fight. I'll be seeing all my docs in the next week and get their feedback.
Ilovehistory, I've been worried about you - haven't seen your posts for awhile. I hope you're alright and perhaps feeling better now????
I love you all...thank you for being here when I needed to let my fingers scream (smile).
01-21-2008, 10:54 AM
Thank you for making me laugh!!! I needed that!
I did not mean to scare you. No, do not give up the fight! Just because I was not successful does not mean that you will not be. I urge everyone to try, you will probably be denied at first (for some reason, they just do that as part of their process), but DO APPEAL!!!! We are here to give you help and support during the process.
What type of retirement system did you have? Perhaps you can look into that also. But, don't give up before you begin the fight.
Peace and Blessings
01-21-2008, 11:45 AM
Hi Browneyed Girl,
Let your attorney do your fighting, just go to all appointments and ensure the doctors do their part. Detail, details as with all red tape is important.
You inspire so many, and I hope our words reach you like yours do for us. Thank you..now go take them on with lawyer in tow....
I'm requesting lots from up above for you,
01-21-2008, 03:59 PM
Browneyedgirl, absolutely DO NOT be discouraged. I know more than one person who has been approved quickly; others who just remained tenacious and eventually won the day. You CAN do this - as Oluwa says, with lawyer in tow. Remember that you've paid into this system for as long as you've been working - now it's time to count on that system to support you. Fight the good fight...just as you've always encouraged others to do! We're here for you - always.
01-21-2008, 07:14 PM
I'M TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED !
Thanks everyone....I did contact an attorney today and we'll take it from there. Today I was thinking of how blessed I am to have such a loving support group right at my fingertips and in my heart. You guys are the best.
01-22-2008, 08:58 AM
Good For You Browneyedgirl.....fight the good fight and I am praying for you success!!
01-22-2008, 07:42 PM
That's the Browneyedgirl we know and love!!! Keep us posted...
05-09-2008, 05:15 PM
Browneyedgirl...I am hoping you have this tagged, am email sent to you when one replies.
It is me, Oluwa
I wonder so often how you are and I want to tell I miss you....
I miss you, Browneyedgirl...you're always in my prayers.
Tight head huggie,