disability requirements

kdbernApril 3, 2004

I am 48 years old diabetic, hearing impaired, have high blood pressure and have had 2 mini strokes. I wonder if I can apply for ssi disability. When I look it up on the internet I just get alot of attorneys. I would like to quit work but financially I would need some assistance. Any body know what qualifies you to apply?

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PeaBee4

Check out the Social Security Web site. It will give you the information as to what you need.

Here is a link that might be useful: Social Security Disability Information

    Bookmark   April 3, 2004 at 9:08AM
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gandbb

Take the advice above. It is a lot of information to wade through, but worth doing. I worked last summer for SSA. The standard is this: Do you have a condition that will last for more than 12 months - and clearly you do and are you able to participate in a "substantial gainful activity". Substantial is not defined as much. You will have to show that you can't work. You will need supporting documentation from your doctor. It would help a lot if your current employer would say that you were unable to adequately perform your duties due to your condition. You cannot apply for this while you are still working. You would have to quit. The back-log of cases is substantial so it would be months before you see a check. You can get paid back for some (not all) of that time, but supposing you quit, wait, and then don't qualify. Could you withstand that financial blow? You will be asked to fill out a form documenting your daily activities. Can you go shopping for food? Can you cook your own meals? Can you do a reasonable job of cleaning your house. If the answer to those questions is yes, then I think you will have a really hard time making a case. An agressive lawyer might work around that - but that's going to cost you too. SSI benefits aren't that high. I would expect you to pay up to a year of your benefits to an attorney. Maybe you can find one who will work for less. You might try going to your local unemployment office for free advice and assistance, but I don't know if they will spend time with you while you are still employed. I know this isn't what you wanted to hear. If SSI were easy, we would all do it. I am not working due to a pretty severe case of fibromyalgia. Lucky for me, my husband is able to support us both. I wouldn't apply for SSI because the answer to the questions about my lifestyle clearly show that I can keep myself and my house clean and functioning.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2004 at 12:18PM
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joann23456

My sister applied for SSDI by herself, and her application was granted within two months. She has serious mental health issues which are well-documented, so the parts about taking care of yourself weren't crucial. She definitely can't work.

She gets only $500-600 per month, definitely not enough to live without extra money or family help.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2004 at 5:38AM
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gandbb

Some conditions are an automatic YES and they are pushed through quickly because they make the local agencies numbers look good. A diagnosis of schizophrenia, as I recall, is an automatic. Bi-polar on the other hand is a tough go. AIDS is an automatic even now that drugs are letting people be pretty normal, but the rules have remained the same. So, again I urge you to go through the information. A friend of mine is diabetic, has a heart condition, some pretty severe problems with healing and can walk only limited distances and only with assistance He is not eligible for SSI because his job does not require him to stand. The nature of your job can have a lot to do with eligibility. At 48 you are likely to be considered young enough for retraining into an easier job. The standard is: Is there a job anywhere in the US that you could perform adequately. If you could only run a sno-cone machine and you live in upper Maine - you would be expected to move, at your own expense, to Phoenix.

Now, nearly all contested claims that work their way up the judicial ladder are successful. The judiciary is way more sympathetic than SSA - but of course it doesn't come from their budget. An experienced attorney can almost certainly get you your money, but you need the resources to wait it out. Another nasty aspect is that the agency knows that by going slow on some claims, that some of the claimants will die and never have to be paid.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2004 at 5:12PM
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downsouth

I am 55 yrs old, diagnosed with degenerative disc disease in 1995. In the mornings, I am very stiff and have trouble getting out of bed. I also have arthritis in my neck and I believe he said spine as well. Now I have something wrong with my hands and the pain is really bad. My shoulders hurt so bad and my arms hurt all over, so all of this pain is probably related. It even runs down my left leg and my left foot feels numb/tingling. It's all on the left side except the right arm and shoulder that I can't raise except to my elbow. My neurologist is doing an EMG test tomorrow. He seems to think all this pain in my hands is coming from the arthritis in my neck, but it could be carpal tunnel syndrome from 25 years of typing. I also have numbness on the left side of my face and my left ear feels numb, as well as the left side of my mouth and around my left eye. The best way to describe it is it feels like I have had a novacaine shot and the effects are wearing off. It also feels like something is crawling on your skin. He did an MRI of my brain about a year ago when I had all these same symptoms, as he said it sounded like mini strokes but the MRI was normal.

Does anyone know if degenerative disc disease is one of the diseases on the list that SS has? I am currently working part time from home (my company is getting ready to close this office so I will be out of a job soon anyway), but I am quitting next week because I can't type anymore. I only worked 10 hrs this week and I was in pain every second.

Is it okay to ask my doctor if he thinks I could qualify for disability? I am on three pain medications and I could never take this medication and drive to work. We could make it on my husband's salary until I was approved, but would definitely need the disability income to meet our budget every month.

Thanks so much for any advice.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2004 at 1:12AM
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gandbb

By all means ask your doctor. You want to know what his response is going to be. You don't have a listed condition. There are very few things that merit an automatic approval, but don't let that discourage you. Based on what you have written about yourself - age, severity of problem, etc. I think you can make a very good case for yourself. Your unemployment office should be able to get the ball rolling for you. You can also begin the procedure on-line.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2004 at 1:12PM
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