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Social Security Disablity and SSI claims June 14, 2005 8:07 PM

Howdy Folks: Here is a little information for those of you who are looking into applying for SSDI or SSI or are in the process of applying for these Social Security benefits. First off, when you first apply, 90 percent of all applications will be denied. They do this because of those 90 percent of application, 60 percent will give up at that point and not go forward with it. I encourage you not to do that. Keep fighting for your benefits. Now you will apply for a reconcideration. In this process about 60 percent of those will now be denied a second time. 40 percent now give up. But we should not do this. At this point you will apply for a hearing before a administative law judge. But I suggest that at this point before applying at this step, you see a lawyer who specializes in Social Security cases. Do not be concerned on the cost because in these cases, the lawyer does not get paid unless you win benefits. And when you do get your benefits, the lawyer can only get 25 percent of your back pay or $4,000.00 which ever is less. With the help of a lawyer, 95 percent of folks will win their benefits at this level. The other 5 percent will not win till the next step which is at the federal court level. The main issue here is when you apply, if you get denied, do not give up. Keep fighting for your benefits. Don't let Social Security Win what they want, and that is for you to give up even when all medical reports truly shows you are disabled. Michael  [ send green star]
 
 July 03, 2005 2:39 AM

Osiyo and thank you MIKE!...out of my three children suffering with siezures....only one got SSI....I tried to apply for my youngest daughter and was denied.........now I am going for reconsideration.........and I am going to fight...Its a true shame people who reallly need this have to fight to get it.......when I applied for my son he was approved right away.......when I applied for my daughter she was approved but than because I worked they denied it..........so I went for a second try and was denied again......we will see what happens next I will keep you updated......thanks for the info and for saying those words.........Dont give up!....dohiya my friend

Tanena

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To Tanena July 03, 2005 12:28 PM

I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.  I hope these folks will put a stop to it for you this time around and approve your SSI for your daughter.  This is one of the things that really do get to me with the SSI program.  They don't care if the person really does meet all the guidelines for approval for SSI, but will deny them because someone else in the household is making money that would put them over the limit they allow to be made in the household.  The same applies for a married couple.  If one is disabled and can't work, the one who is disabled can't collect SSI if their spouse is working and bring in over a certain amount of money.  This is just not right.  The one who is disabled wants and needs to feel that they are helping out the best they can to bring money into the household.  This is just something else in the SSI program that really does need to be changed.   You can get SSDI without this problem, so why should SSI be any different.  To me, it is just discrimanation against a person who is married.  One of another reason why you find so many people with disabilities getting divorced, but still live together, just so that the person with the disablity can collect their SSI benefits.  Just not right at all in my opinion.  And the same should go for our children.  If the child is eligible for SSI, they should get it no matter what the parents income is, although I would agree to limit the amount if the parents made more then $100,000.00 a year for a married couple with one child.  Cost of living is high no matter where you live and that child deserves the best medical care they can get also.

Michael

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 July 03, 2005 4:42 PM

Osiyo Mike, You are right about that...if you are separated or divorce you have no problems and that is crazy...and not right at all........my ex collects SSD from an accident at his job and if he were still with us...Im sure my son wouldnt get SSI either...They truely need to change the laws for SSI..People do not ask to become disable...you are either born with a disablity or something happens in your life where you need the help.......This is truly a shame and is one of the reasons most people do not follow through with getting SSI or SSD....I wonder what our politians are doing for those who have disabilities cause I dont see much of a change....dohiya

Tanena

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Queston July 03, 2005 4:46 PM

Osiyo again Mike, I even wonder if most married persons or those with children who collect SSD know that they can also claim their children...I did this and my children get half of what they pay their father....I noticed if you dont ask questions nothing will be given to you at Social Security.....and that is a true SHAME!

Tanena

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Asking Questions July 05, 2005 11:09 AM

This is so true with not just Social Security and SSDI or SSI, but with a lot of other programs that are available for the disabled and those living on a limited income.  These people never come right out and tell you about these programs that are offered, not only to you, but for your children as well.  Even though the program is there, you have to be the one to ask about it or they just tend to not tell you the program exist.  This is just not right.  They should ask that question in this case with SSDI or SSI, do you have any children under 18 living with you?  If so, the children are eligible for what ever program it is they have to offer.  I hate that.   Its the same with the local phone companies, that I have in another topic folder, for the Lifeline credit.  If you don't ask to be put on it, even if you tell them you are disabled, they will not tell you the program is there and you are eligable for it.  You have to be the one to ask to apply first.  Its just not right.

Michael

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New Policy for application July 29, 2005 10:04 AM

Soc. Security Revamps Disability Benefits By MARY DALRYMPLE The Associated Press Tuesday, July 26, 2005; 8:24 PM

WASHINGTON -- People seeking disability benefits from Social Security can expect to spend less time waiting for a decision under changes rolled out Tuesday on the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Social Security Commissioner Jo Anne Barnhart said people who are clearly disabled could be approved for benefits in as little as 20 days under the new procedures, which the agency expects to start putting into action next spring.
   
The rest of the roughly 2 million people who seek disability benefits each year can expect to spend less time working through the process for appealing decisions when benefits are denied.

"Everybody recognizes that there's a need for change and we need to improve the process," Barnhart said in an interview.

The Social Security disability insurance program pays cash assistance to people who cannot work for a year or more because of a disability. To qualify, an individual must have worked long enough, paid Social Security taxes and met the criteria for disability assistance.
More than 11 million people, including some family members of disabled workers, receive benefits.

Among the changes, the new procedures will screen applicants for cases of clear disability that can be quickly approved for benefits by a special unit.
For other applicants, the changes replace a step that sent cases back to a state agency for review if the state agency had denied a claim.
Barnhart said that state review rarely overturned a decision and is considered a "rubber stamp" by many.

Under new procedures, the claim would be sent to federal reviewing officials, a standardized unit within the federal Social Security system.
Barnhart said the federal review means many applicants could get a more meaningful reconsideration of their claims more quickly.

The new process also establishes a unit of medical and vocational experts available to those evaluating disability applications at all stages of the process.

When designing the new system, the Social Security Administration determined that it could take an individual 1,153 days to move through the entire application and appeal process if the claim had been denied at each step.

Combining the new procedures with an electronic system that alleviates the need for Social Security officials to mail paper files around the country, Barnhart said that process should shrink about 25 percent.

The Social Security Administration plans to publish proposed regulations for public comment on Wednesday and issue final regulations by the end of the year. The administration expects it will take a couple years to implement the new system throughout the country.

On the Net:
Social Security Administration: http://www.ssa.gov


Peace, Keith O
American RSDHope
www.RSDHope.org

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The Big Wait... September 23, 2005 7:45 AM

Hi Mike, and Hi everyone!  I'm Linda, and this is my first post.  I applied for disability back in March of 2004, and am now waiting for ...'da Judge'...and it has been a lo-o-o-ng wait.  I have no income, can't work, and I'm SO-SO-SO tired of waiting.  But God has been with me throughout, and I'm still afloat.  Hopefully, my case will be resolved soon, I hope before Christmas.  You've just got to hang in there, you know?

LINDA

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 September 23, 2005 4:15 PM

God helps those that help themselves and one way to help yourself and get the process speeded up is to contact one of your senators and request that they "look into" your case.  If SSA feels that a senator is interested in your case it's AMAZING how quickly the process goes.  I did it.  It REALLY worked for me.  [ send green star]
 
 September 23, 2005 4:43 PM

Hey, thanks, Nanette, I will write a letter and see what comes of it!  I sure appreciate that information.  I'll let you know what happens.  Great!

LINDA  

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 September 23, 2005 4:51 PM

Check your local phone book... Your senator might have a local office.  It's faster if you call and more personal, therefore harder to ignore.  My fingers are crossed and a prayer candle is burning.  [ send green star]
 
 September 23, 2005 5:09 PM

Linda, good luck and I hope the suggestions above are helpful to you.

Nanette, did you get a hold of Barb?  You really should! She could let you know how to set up a petition for the gov. or sen. of CA! That would be better than a care2 petition. More power I think. Hope you are all doing well tonight. Rage

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 September 23, 2005 5:13 PM

I emailed.  She hasn't responded.   [ send green star]
 
 September 23, 2005 5:35 PM

Thanks Nanette and Rage, I so appreciate the help.  I'll look up the number now and see if they take weekend calls tomorrow.

Be back at ya!!

LINDA

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Linda September 23, 2005 8:01 PM

Linda:

This is the longest period of time waiting is at the hearing levels.  They usual take about a year from the date you first apply for the hearing to the date of the actual hearing.  The good part is that 90 percent of people win their cases at this level so you have a very good chance of winning here.  And they do have to pay you all the way back to the month when you first applied for benefits, so your back pay will be a big one.  Just hang in there best you can.  Your in my thoughts and prayers.

Michael B.

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In a Holding Pattern September 23, 2005 8:16 PM

Hi Mike!  Yeah, the company representing me has a lawyer, and he said that it usually takes a year or LESS, and it should happen soon.  I hope.  And if I re-applied, it would probably take longer than my current claim.  So, I wait.  Hopefully I'll still have some money left after I pay off the bills that went to collections, and the friends who have been so kindly helping me stay afloat by paying electric, storage and a few meds.  It's still really, really tight, but I'm sure that's no news here!  Thanks so much for all of the advice from this group.  You guys are great!

LINDA  

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Senator letter September 24, 2005 7:18 PM

Hi guys!  I wanted to tell you what I have done.  I took Nanette's advice and contacted Senator Bill Nelson via email last night and pleaded my case.  Now another 'holding pattern'!  I'm curious to see if I get any response, and when I do, I'll let you know what's up, okay?  Thanks for all of the good advice, I sure do appreciate it!!

LINDA

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 September 25, 2005 12:41 AM

A follow-up phone call or snail mail letter about Wednesday would be great now.  [ send green star]
 
 September 25, 2005 12:52 AM

Hi Nanette!  Thanks for the tip!  He wasn't in the phone book, so I went onto the web and found him, after having a fist fight with the search bar!!!

LINDA  

 [ send green star]
 
 September 25, 2005 7:59 AM

Nanette, Barb is sick right now. I'll e-mail her again and see if she got your message. Sorry. She really does know her sh*t though! people.  [ send green star]
 
 September 25, 2005 4:50 PM

Linda,

Rage,

 [ send green star]
 
HI! September 25, 2005 5:32 PM

Hi Nanette!!  Those search engines are a pain in the butt!!  I asked it to search for Florida Senator Bill Nelson, and it gave me a hard time, really!   I ended up going to Florida Government and went from there.  GEEZ...

LINDA  

 [ send green star]
 
gotcha... September 25, 2005 5:35 PM

...thanks, Nanette.  That post sure looked silly there!!  [ send green star]
 
 September 25, 2005 5:36 PM

I have a GREAT search engine in my favorites.  It's called Ixquick Metasearch.  I use it all the time.  Check it out, sweetie.  [ send green star]
 
Thanks September 25, 2005 5:43 PM

I'll copy that and try that next time, thanks, Nanette!

 [ send green star]
 
 October 04, 2005 4:22 PM

hi everyone,

I want to know can anyone tell me what steps I can take to override a decision that Social Security made. Here is what happened; Social Security said they paid me benefits five months to early. I started getting it 2001. This stuff has just came up after my husband got approved for benefits (he doesn't get medicare until April 2006) first I lost the few dollars I was getting from SSI and medicaid; now they took my SS until March 2006; now they say I have to pay my own premium for medicare which they left me with no money to do that with.

I already had a promble getting my very expensive pain meds plus the other umpteen meds I'm on for various conditions. I wanted to know does anyone know how I can and should handle this, and have anyone else been faced with this? My husband has been approved and start his benefits next month.

Thanks

 [ send green star]
 
Erion October 05, 2005 10:30 AM

Erion.

To start with I guess it depends on if you are eligible for SSDI or SSI at this time.  If you are, then what you should do is to call them at 1-800-772-1213 and explain to them the situation, and ask for a waiver. If you are not approved for a wavier, then you have the right to ask them to restart your benefits and have them take out 10% each month out of your check till its paid back.  Legally, this is all they can do if you are eligible for SSDI or SSI, they can take no more then 10% out of your monthly checks till you have paid them back in full.  But usually, in most cases, those who apply for a waiver are approved for that waiver and don't have to repay it.  But don't know how they figure that out if they were to have paid you before you were actually eligible for benefits.   So we can only go on if you are eligible for benefits at this time.  So if you are, then call and ask for your benefits to be restarted, ask for the waiver, and if not approved for waiver, let them take out 10% of each check till its paid back, at least that way you will have your medicare payments paid for out of the check also and not directly out of your pocket.

Michael B.

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 October 05, 2005 11:23 AM

Thank you Michael,

Yes, I qualify for Social Security and I did fill out the wavier, but they said they was taking it for the 5 months they paid me too early, but gonna call them.  We got the letter that they was taking it for the 5 months the day after we got the wavier form to fill out and we sent the form back the next day. I wanted to see what options I have. They said I would get it back in March 2006 after the 5 months, but anyway thanks so much for the information!!!

Erion

 [ send green star]
 
Your welcome October 05, 2005 6:23 PM

Your very welcome, Erion.  I would surely call them and make sure they got the waiver you sent them.  And also talk to them about this, because legally since you are eligable for SSDI or SSI, If they do not approve the waiver, they are only suppose to take no more then 10% of your benefit amount each month until they are paid back in full.  They can only take out more then 10% if you sign a form telling them that it is ok for them to take more then that out.  So either way, they need to restart your benefits back up for you.

Michael B.

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Some really good adviece here and great support, too November 04, 2005 2:21 PM

     In the opening entry on the top there is really good advice about the statistics and seeking help with an attroney before going to see the administrative judge.

  PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU FILE YOUR APPEAL BEFORE YOUR TIME FOR APPEAL RUNS OUT THOUGH, OR  YOU WILL HAVE TO START FROM THE BEGINNG AGAIN!!!

        LEARNED THIS THE HARD WAY  

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 November 04, 2005 7:50 PM

Wolfgram, You not alone, I did that myself the first time around, and I promised myself to help others to not make that same mistake.  This is why it is so important that when you get that very first notice of denial, you need to apply for the reconsideration within that first week, so you can keep things moving as quick as possible.  If you get the denial on the reconsideration, call and make that appointment with a lawyer who specializes in Social Security Law, that same day if at all possible.  It is so very important to have all the paperwork files with Social Security in a timely manner, and the actual first appeal for the Adminisative Law Judge will look a lot better if you let the lawyer fill out the request for you and get all the necessary paperwork in order to fight your case for you.  By doing this, you have such a large and better chance at winning at this level.  But you don't have a lot of time, so push to get all request file in a timely manner.

Michael B.

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 November 04, 2005 9:43 PM

I missed the orginal date for my appeal because I was convinced that I was NOT disabled and did NOT need help and by jove I was going to WORK! (I actually was pushed into refiling my the second time by Voke Rehab and I was very mad at them over it.) Yeah, that plan kind of fell through, especially when I had to stop taking my Lamictal due to a sudden allergy and have been unstable ever since.

After I was denied the second time I got a lawyer to help me. Make sure you get a reccomendation from someone! I had tried two other lawyers, plus Binder & Binder before I found a good lawyer. From that point on she filled out all the paperwork for me. If I got anything in the mail I called her and she'd take care of it. She really thought I was going to have to go all the way to a judge because of my age. We got lucky and I won on the recon.

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 November 05, 2005 6:57 AM

You are not alone Kara.  Many others think that after being denied the first time around that they have no choice but to try and go back to work, but they just have to stick with it, knowing that fighting for it will be worth it, and that once your approved, they have to pay you back to the date you first applied.  If you drop it, then you miss out on checks that could have been yours if you would have kept on fighting for it and let it go to the point that you have to start back at square one again.

Here in your case, since you mentioned that it was the people at Voc Rehab that told you to apply for Social Security.  Normally, its nice to have someone be able to tell you that you should apply for Social Security, but its not really necessary, and doesn't mean you will win just cause someone tells you that you need to apply.  But here is a little secret that some are not aware of and why it was a good thing when your Voc Rehab person tells you to apply.

First, when you apply for Social Security, they have another division in the State make the determination on if you are really disabled under the Social Security rules.  When they say, No your not, then you are denied, then you apply for reconsideration, and it goes back to that State office for them to redecide your case.  If once again they say No, you are denied again.  Now, when you apply for a hearing before the Administrative Law Judge, guess where your file goes for the person who will fight on behalf of Social Security.  Nope, not back to that same State Agency, but it goes to your local Voc Rehab office.  When you get to the Administrative Law Judge hearing, you have you and your attorney if you have one fighting on your behalf, and Voc Rehab fighting for Social Security behalf.  Now if Voc Rehab are the ones who told  you that you should apply for Social Security, its more apt that before it even gets to the hearing date, you are going to be approved, because Voc Rehab is going to show the file where your worker feels you are disabled and that you can't return to gainful employment, so you are almost 98 percent known your going to win your Social Security at that level if it is those folks at Voc Rehab who tells you to apply for Social Security in the first place.

Michael B.

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 November 05, 2005 2:53 PM

Micheal,

That's quite interesting to know. Even when I had applied the original time I kept looking for work because I was determined I could work. I forget who had my apply the first time, maybe my therapist?

Anyhow voke rehab made the call and set up the second appointment for me to re-apply. I was denied and got my lawyer for the recon. She thought we would have to go all the way to a judge, so maybe that was prevented by voke rehab calling them for me.

Is it just me or does SSA waste a lot of money by forcing so may people to go through so many hoops and recons and applications to eventually be approved?

 [ send green star]
 
anonymous Ugghh... November 19, 2005 2:25 PM

I embarassingly allowed my appeal time to ellapse for my 2nd appeal because I wuz very sick & let it go...so, now i'm @ the beginning also  ! I can't even believe I wuz denied twice, but, I guess everywhere is different. I have read some great tips here, thnx all!

Peace & Prayers, C.C.

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NOVEMBER 19, 2005 SATURDAY November 19, 2005 2:40 PM

Hi Mike, and all!  I did what you and Nanette suggested earlier and got in touch with my senator re my disability settlement.  I did hear back from the senator, and am still waiting to hear again after I sent him the signed form allowing his office to investigate my claim.  It's been a year and 17 months so far, and this is my second go-round with this.  The first time, I had filed myself, at the advice of the company that's representing my claim.  I was denied, and then they entered the second claim, on which I have been waiting.  The reason I'm letting you know this, is because of all the help you and Nanette gave to me, and also to let other folks know that they have to stay on it and not let it go, even if it takes so long.  I sometimes feel that it will never happen, as it has been so long, but since I can't work, and have no income, this is what I must get in order to survive in the future.  The senator knows my feelings on the injustice of the system when it comes to people getting the funds that they are entitled to after a lifetime of working, and in spite of the fact that I've been treated like a third-class so-and-so, I will not give up and fold.  This settlement is my right, and the best I can do is to let others know about my situation also, and hope that it will encourage them to stick with it and don't let the system beat you down.  I hope to do something in the future that will help change this injustice and allow people to access that which is rightfully theirs without all of the embarassment and put-downs and other stuff that is designed to make you give up.  Now, I have long-winded myself, and will hush up.  BUT, FOLKS, DON'T GIVE UP,  especially when you've invested so much of yourself and your time and efforts into getting your just due!!!!  Thanks for the space here to spout off and speak my mind...

LINDA

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 November 19, 2005 3:30 PM

Kara:

No, you are not alone in this.  It is just the way the system is set up.  So as I said in the opening post here, of 100% of those who apply for SSDI or SSI only 10% will be approved, 90% are denied.  Out of those 90%, 60% give up right then, while the other 40% do ask for a reconsideration.   This is one of the reasons they do that, to save them money and try and get people to give up and go back to some type of work thinking they don't have a chance of being approved, yet they shouldn't do that if they are truely disabled.  They should apply for the reconsideration.  Here again, out of 100 % who do apply for reconsideration, 60% will be denied and 40% will finally be approved.  Now here again, another 40% will give up at this stage unstead of going on to the Administrative Law Judge hearing.  Now at this level, of the 100% how do file this, 90% will be approved at this level, especailly if they have the help of a experienced lawyer.  So it does take a lot of time to get this far because there are many who do go to this level, and their usually is only 1 Judge who handles all the cases in most states.  It is because of it taking so much time that so many just seem to give up because they are so worried that they are not going to get their benefits, and when they find out they can't work, they have to go all the way back to the beginning and start all over again.  So I always say, if you are disabled, and you can't work any gainful employment, you need to file your claim and make sure you appeal each step you are denied, and after and if you are denied the reconsideration, then is when you need to get a lawyer dealing in Social Security Claims, as it is worth it and you are more apt to win at the Administrative Law hearing.  And it does help having the backing of Voc Rehab since they are the ones who fight on behalf of Social Secuity at the Administrative Law Judge Hearing, and if Voc Rehab things you are eligable for SSDI or SSI, then they are going to tell the Judge that and you will win the case then.

For anyone who is still in the process of getting approved for SSDI or SSI or both, let us know when you are worrying about things or have any questions, and those of us who have answers for you will be more then happy to help you through this sometimes long waiting periods.

Michael B.

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 November 19, 2005 3:33 PM

Linda:

I am so glad you have taken our suggestions and I really think this is going to help you out.  It does take time though, but will be worth it in the end for generally your Senator can make sure you get your Social Security Benefits, and the right amounts, and will be paid back to when you first applied.

Keep us posted.

Michael B. *carefrog*

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 November 19, 2005 6:11 PM

If I had to go back in time and re-apply for the very first time again there is one thing I would absolutely do differently. I would get a lawyer from the get-go.

CC, my orginal denial/application SSA messed up big time. I let the appeal time relapse as I was convinced I could work, at least part-time. Ha! (Maybe I could have, but my illness excaberated when I suddenly became allergic to Lamictal out of the blue and had to go off it.) Anyhow my voke rehab forced me into reapplying and I was SO mad at her because she was supposed to help me work (and this was before the med mess started again). I was denied again the second time (much to the shock of all my doctors) and then got a lawyer. She was awesome and on my recon I was approved, with my disability determination date being Dec 1, 2001 (when I was 21) and my back pay to be dated back to Feb of 03, a year before I filed the orginal application for benefits.

Of course they are all messed up again. I got a letter saying they are taking away over $8,000 of my retroactive money ebcause of income I had at the time. Um, what income? So I still don't know what I'm getting in back pay and I don't know what my actual payments will be. I swear, every day I get something from SSA in the mail changing thier minds again.

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re social security November 19, 2005 6:39 PM

My doughter has been denied ssi I got the bad knews today in the mail. She has done everything  and even went to the doc where ssi paid for it. I guess that didn't work eaither and she is 14 yrs old.

I myself get ssi and was trying to put her on my case what should I do to get her on my case maybe when I applyed for it I just applyed for her and she was under learning disablity.

I'm upset right know that thay denied her ssi. think this has been the 3rd time I think that I have applyed for her.

TC

Rene

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Daughter November 19, 2005 11:53 PM

Rene,
I think you should talk to your caseworker.  You may find that since you have a daughter you are given a stipend for her as well as yourself.  Especially if you are on SSI or Adult public assistance in your state.   The caseworker should know what to do and if you are given a run around then try for an advocate,  I'm not sure what state you are in so don't know the right terms for your state.
Good luck,
Marcia
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 November 20, 2005 10:10 AM

Rene:

I also agree that the first step here is to check with your worker at the Social Security office.  In most cases, when you do have a child, once you get approved for your SSI, that is taken into consideration and you usually get more benefits because of having a child that is under the age of 18.

As for applying for herself, that also is hard with her only being 14, as in most cases they would want you to apply to have her added to your own case if she is not already.  And here again, if she is not, it is going to depend on what her disabilty is.  I know you mentioned that she had a learning disablity.  Although that is still a disability, a learning disablity is one of those that is exteremly hard to get approved for.  But at this point, the first thing to do is to check with your worker and see if she is already on your case, if so, that is why she is being denied, because she is already being covered, and if not, what they recommend.  Also if she is not on your case, remember you can always file for the appeal and get a lawyer who deals in Social Security Cases.  These lawyers only get paid when and if you win so they are not going to take a case that they know they can't possibly win, and if they don't think they can win the case, they will tell you why and all at no cost.

Michael B.

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anonymous  November 29, 2005 9:47 PM

And I have filed an appeal for my disability to be reviewed as they have not deemed me fully disabled and not fully eligle for all benefits. Florida stinks. I will be my own layer this time as I have all of the medical evidence and Senator Bill Nelson helped me get my case remanded back to the SSA Administrative Law Judge. Just a little diddy from me.  [report anonymous abuse]
 
 November 30, 2005 7:01 AM

Dreama:

You go get them.  I know you can do this.  Sometimes it gets to me when you know a person has enough evidence to show that they are truly disabled, yet they have to fight so hard to get the benefits that they truely are entitled to receive.

I know how much you work for all of us and how much you have learned along the way in doing so, and because you have had the help from your Senator, I know you are very able to do this on your own.   And I do wish you good luck and hope that you will win your benefits this time around.

We all just have to know when we need to have a lawyer or representative to help us out and not be afriad to ask for the help.  Sure it cost us 25% of our back pay or $4,000 which ever is less, but for those without legal background and not knowing the laws inside and out of the Social Security System, its well worth having a lawyer to help you out in order to get your benefits.

Michael B.

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 December 17, 2005 4:30 PM

In this posting is a copy of a letter I got that another member wrote to their senator to get help as they are still waiting for a hearing date to be set for their disablity case.  They wanted me to share this letter with you so that those who are in this process and feel that they need to write their own senator for help might have something to go by.  Of course you would have to change the information within the letter to fit your own situation, but its a place to start for those that are unsure how to say what you want to say when asking for help.

Office of Senator Bill Nelson


225 East Robinson Street, Suite 410


Orlanda, Florida 32801


ATT: FRANK J. DETOMA



Dear Senator Nelson,


When I sent an email to you several months ago, I was in pretty bad straits. In those 2 months since, my situation has worsened. My email explained to you about my disability claim that was submitted by McDeavitt and Associates, the firm representing me, to the Adjutant Judge on April 6, 2004. I have heard not one word from the judge's chambers to this date. I was terminated from my employment in February of 2004 because my disability leave had run out and I was unable to return to work. This was due to the fact that I had broken bones in both of my feet, sustained at work, from osteoporosis. My life partner was supporting me after that, but when he passed away in his sleep at home, not only did I lose the love of my life...I also lost my sole means of support. Randy was a veteran, but his benefits started early, and since we never married, I was unable to access his benefits. Then in quick succession, I lost everything: health insurance, auto insurance, telephone, bank account, credit cards...everything! All of my bills have long gone into collections. I have lost all of my credit, and will probably never see that again in my life. Now I know how people can lose everything in the blink of an eye, forever having their lives changed. The ONLY reason I am not homeless right now is because of Randy's wish that I be allowed to remain in this apartment for the remainder of my life should anything happen to him. Luckily, his family is respecting his wish, and they are very kind to me. However, all of the friends and relatives who have been helping me to barely stay afloat are in tightened circumstances of their own now, and can no longer help me. Now I am faced with the power being turned off, losing my auto insurance, my cell phone (which is needed for emergencies), and any non-food stamp items necessary for daily living. If I didn't have the food stamps, I would be starving.


All of this, Senator Nelson, all of this, because my disability claim has not gone through yet. It has been 18 months since my claim was submitted. That is a very,very long time to go without, Senator. I have worked all of my life, and expected to have this for me when the time came. That time arrived in February of 2004, when I lost my job and found that I could no longer work because of my disabilities. I am including a list of these, as it takes up too much room in a letter. I am denied financial assistance from the county because I have not been legally deemed Disabled. I am unable to get county or local assistance with my bills, because I cannot show "that I can maintain" each month thereafter. Literally, I have been denied assistance because I am rock-bottom poor. The fact that I have a place to live is against me as well. Also, I have gone through 2 hurricane seasons without resources to stock up on food and supplies. I survived, but with some damage to my residence. I have repairs that are minor, but cannot make them. I never applied for FEMA because I figured there were others who needed it more. I'm not like those that cry for compensation when none is really needed. I injured my leg during Hurricane Wilma...I live in Palm Beach County, very hard hit...and with my diabetes, I have been having a lot of trouble with it, but I didn't go running for aid or compensation. My leg is still healing, and it has been almost 2 months now. I have Health Care District now, and consider myself extremely fortunate, but it took such a very long time to get even that. I got a bad infection in my leg from that wound. I cannot afford bandages, Senator Nelson, and have been using paper towels for bandaging. I had to borrow bathroom tissue just last week, so that I would still be able to keep my one box of kleenex. Now I must consider borrowing more, it has been a week!! Why must I be suffering like this?? This is not FAIR! This is not RIGHT! I have been waiting and waiting and waiting. When is my government going to stand up for me? Not everybody else any more...when is it going to be my turn to get that which is truly mine, but which is being kept from me? When can I live like an American citizen again, a human being, with dignity?


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 December 17, 2005 4:34 PM

I must say with complete honesty that this system is the worst I have ever encountered in my whole life! My government is denying me help that is free to immigrants, while I have spent my whole life in this country. I am a citizen, they are not. I have nothing, they have everything they need and more. I cannot get assistance, they get it with no hesitation. I must ask for your honest opinion, Senator Nelson...do you see the injustice that is so blatantly obvious to me? I am disabled without a doubt, and my doctors will say so without hesitation. However, I must be declared 'legally disabled' before I can "enjoy" the benefits of being such. That is up to the judge, whom I am awaiting an appointment with. There is nothing I can do... believe me, I have investigated... because I am in no danger of "foreclosure", which I am told is the only thing that will move my case forward.

Senator Nelson, I refuse to accept this. I am not a piece of nothing, to be ignored, refused, denied, turned down, put off, and forgotten!! I am a United States CITIZEN, a hard worker all of my adult life. I'm productive, patriotic, proud, independent, not a beggar nor a criminal, and a good person...and look at how I am being treated by my government. I am asking for your help, Sir, because I refuse to be treated in this manner any longer. I SHOULD NOT be at this extreme in my condition, and at this stage of my life. I deserve the RESPECT of my government. I should NOT be forgotten. I should be allowed the "pleasure" of being able to scrape by on my disability pension. Yet I AM being denied, I AM being forgotten, I AM being disrespected by my government! This is a DISGRACEFUL SHAME. SHAME ON A GOVERNMENT WHO FORGETS IT'S OWN!!!

Senator Nelson, I am asking you to please help me to just be able to scrape by, Sir, that is all I am asking for...to be able to scrape by on my deserved disability payments. How can this be too much to ask?? Can you please tell me?? I do need your help. I do hope that you will understand and respond and help me to achieve this small thing, which means my whole world.

Sincerely,

Name of person removed for their privacy

cc's: Veteran's Administration; Senator Mark Foley; Representative Mary Brandenburg; Senator Mel Martinez;

Representative Clay Shaw; Representative Alcee Hastings; Governor Jeb Bush; President George W. Bush
 [ send green star]
 
 January 07, 2006 3:12 AM

Hi to all.  Thank you to everyone here for all the info.  I have been denied 2 times and now going for the 3rd try.  I have a friend with MS that is on her 3rd try as well.  I feel as though there is something wrong when all the evidence is there and SSD won't help you.  All of you have been a big help, I almost gave up.  HUGS~~Joanne  [ send green star]
 
 January 07, 2006 8:47 AM

Joanne:  You are most welcomed, and you hang in there.  This is a tough system, but we just can not give up, we have to keep fighting for what is ours.

I hope that you have a lawyer helping you out as it sounds like you need one to get you through and get it approved for you.  If not, make sure that it is one who specializes in just Social Security Cases.  The important thing to remember is the lawyer only gets paid if and when you win and you get your back pay check, then they only get 25% of your back pay or $4,000 whichever is less plus expenses, and these expenses do not include the lawyers time, expenses are just for getting copies of medical reports and phone calls.  Lawyers fee is that 25% of your back pay.

Michael B.

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anonymous Disability Rights Links/Laws January 11, 2006 5:24 AM

I have had these links in my files and thought some of you may find them helpful.  They may have been posted here someplace before and I apologize for the duplications.  Candice
 
Disability Secrets - The purpose of this site is to distribute information that, typically, is impossible to get from the person taking your claim for SSD and SSI benefits. In essence, applying for disability and SSI benefits might as well be a secret process since Social Security does not try to make this information clear or even understandable
 
ADA Homepage
 
 
 
 
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund - Founded in 1979 by people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF) is a national law and policy center dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities through legislation, litigation, advocacy, technical assistance, and education and training of attorneys, advocates, persons with disabilities, and parents of children with disabilities.
 
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) - Site also has tests you take which are same ones used in psych evals. I took it several times to see how it these evals really work. You should try it and find out for yourselves. It is interesting.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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anonymous  February 28, 2006 2:40 PM

Yes, it was form my Calling All Disabled, Medicaid,ss, and Medicare Recipents and please take all that you need for here from ther as I am leaving as owner of that group and will contact Care2 to have it closed of just let it die.  More replys and posts in here and in mine I have to beg and pead to to detriment of my own health, yes geez I am very sick also.

I will stay at Care 2 but let go of group ownership of my disability, enough already of the non-responsive form group memebers.

May you all be blessed and Michael can yopu please delete any of my Medicare Rights Center's postings? Thank you my brother and this is for real and I am done iwth my disability forever! Dreama

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 March 01, 2006 6:55 PM

Dreama Sis:

You know that I feel bad about you leaving your group, but I also have to know that you are doing what you feel is best for yourself also.  You have put your heart and soul into that group and gave it more then 100 percent even during times you were so sick you shouldn't of even been on the computer, all in the name of helping others, and God is blessing you over and over for that.

I will NOT delete your postings on Medicare and the Medicare rights group that you are a member of the board for, because these things are all to important for the disabled, who need that information.  Just wish and keep praying that more people who need help with Medicare would take advange of this wonderful group who does have about all the answers to any question you might have, and if they don't, by george they will get it for you and call you back and give it to you.

Just remember, to me, Your happiness is most important, and I am sure others feel the same way. We have to do what we have to do to be happy, yet help out in ways we feel we would be more helpful without having other members getting upset because we are trying to do things with our groups that is making the group a better place.

God bless you Sis.

Michael B.

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 March 04, 2006 9:09 PM


Judy has received 25 new, 61 total stars from Care2 membersJudy has been awarded 14 butterflies for taking action at Care2 Judy M.
NEW PETITIONS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY February 20, 2006 5:38 PM

Dreama asked me to open this topic folder and start adding some of these petitions for Social Security so here goes.

Social Security Disability Reform Petition: www.petitiononline.com/SSDC/petition.html.

A Law Suit against Congress to Save our Social Security and other Trust funds from being looted! www.petitiononline.com/nariman/petition.html.

Repeal of Social Security Government Pension Offset and Windfall: www.petitiononline.com/ssoffset/petition.html.

Let Congress Go First! Petition: So if those who want to privatize Social Security are really looking out for us, if the believe that we need to "save" Social Security and that Bush's... www.petitiononline.com/tbtm2005/petition.html.

Danielle's Law Goes to washington Petition: The proposal is in fact a modification of the Socail Security Act. The facilities that house the nation's 4.5 million developmentally disabled citizens also... www.petitiononline.com/rt123456/petition.html.

I signed all of these as I posted them, Judy     

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anonymous  March 23, 2006 9:06 PM

Hey Mike, don't feel bad about me giving up that group as I did it for two years and covered too many heavy issues. Now I will soon open a new group here at Care 2 for just the Disabled and Medicare Rights. My other group will be kept alive somewhat with the help of many. IT IS SO IMPORTANT that mis-information not be given out in groups as peoples lives and health are at stake. I sure read a lot in many disability groups and it so saddens me.

Hi ya Wolfgram and Rage, in those infamous words,"I'll be back" ooops that' the Terminator, LOL! Much love and many blessings and Mike I will answer your email to me as soon as I can, promise! Dreama

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Widow's Benefits March 23, 2006 9:17 PM

3-24-06, Hi, Michael, here is an update on the status of applying for Widow's Benefits.  My application is going in for review for appoval or denial, but I am not waiting for their answer, have forwarded there recent response to me to my attorney to review and see what they can do to properly assist me in this matter.  Time will tell what will happen in this matter.  As for giving up, Absolutely NOT, these are benefits that should go to individuals whose spouse has died not to be denied just because of other loop holes that seem to be out there, and regularly used by Social Security.  Am looking for a response from my attorney as soon as she/they are able to review the application, which was taken by telephone the other day.  Fortunately, my signature is not on any of their current papers, which could be helpful for me.  Will keep you updated.  Kaye  [ send green star]
 
 March 24, 2006 7:44 AM

Thank you for the update, Kaye.

I keep praying that you will get your approval, award letter soon, because you so do meet the eligablity requirements to collect Disabled Widower/Widow benefits from Social Security.  It is just the matter of which would pay you more, from your own Social Security, or that of your spouse.  For they always do check both and grant approval for the one that gives you the most benefits in most cases.

Keep up posted.

Michael B.

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Another Tip for you March 24, 2006 8:20 AM

Hello Everyone:

I had a friend on AOL who has got to a point where they could not work anymore, so they have applied for SSDI and SSI benefits.  They have now gotten an attorney and do understand when they win their case that they have to pay the attorney 25% of their back pay.  In the mean time they are getting what is called "Disabled General Assistance" from their local Social Service Department.  They had signed an agreement with them that when they win their Social Security case that they would pay the Department of Social Services back the money they have gotten while they were waiting to get Social Security.  So he thought that when he won his SSDI or SSI or both, that by the time he paid his lawyer their 25% of his back pay, and paid Social Services, he would not have much left even though he is only getting around $100 a month plus $80 a month in food stamps.  So I had to explain to him how that works, and thought I would share it with all of you in case anyone else was going through the same thing if you live in a state in which has a "Disabled General Assistance program" or even just a General Assistance program.

When you get these type of benefits while your waiting for your Social Security Benefits.  How this effects your back pay benefits.  First when you have an attorney, you need to let them know you are getting these benefits while you are waiting for Social Security.  Especailly if you are getting "Disabled General Assistance", for that will also help your case some.  Plus they will know you are getting these benefits, because it does effect how much your attorney will get paid when you win.  First of all, you only have to pay Social Services back for the money amount you get, not the amount of any food stamps.  Your attorney still gets 25% but not of the whole back pay check.  It works a little like this.  Lets say you win your case and you get back pay amount of $3,000.00.   Now in the mean time you have gotten $1,000.00 from Social Services, so you have to pay them back $1,000.00.  The lawyer then would only get 25% of your back pay amount, which now would be from an amount of $2,500.00.  For they minus out 50% of what you have had to repay Social Services back.

I was living in Michigan when I got my Social Security case won, and I was getting "Disabled General Assistance" from Michigan Department of Social Services.  My Social Security back pay was $5,480.00.   While waiting for benefits, I had gotten a total of $1,400.00 in benefits from Social Services, so my lawyer got 25% of $4,780, because they had to minus out 50% of the $1,400.00 which was $700.00.

So I got $5,480, paid Social Services back, $1,400, paid to Social Services, So I paid the lawyer $1,195, as the 25%, plus $61.00 in fees for copies of medical reports, which left me with $2,824.00 for me.  And I can tell you, it sure was worth it to have the lawyers help.

Michael B.

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Wow March 25, 2006 6:20 AM

I have been reading the post and cannot believe how SSI is rejecting the applications!!

We filled out my husbands application and I sent every copy from every doctor and he got approved right away.  I did not know that they really deny people. 

I shall keep you all in my prayers. 

Myla

 [ send green star]

 
 March 25, 2006 9:36 AM

Myla.   I am so glad that your husband was lucky enough to be one of the few people who do get approved the first time through in this process.  And this does happen.  10% of all applications do get approved on the first time.

Michael B.

 [ send green star]
 
Hello March 29, 2006 10:59 PM

Wow that is appalling that such a small percentage get approved quickly.  That does not make any sense.  If people have medical proof then they should approve them immediately.  It is a shame that some of our government offices do not do their job fully to help those that are disabled or handicapped.

Myla

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 April 04, 2006 11:49 AM


Myla has received 78 new, 97 total stars from Care2 membersMyla has been awarded 273 butterflies for taking action at Care2 Myla A., I'm really glad your hubby got approved so quickly.  Did I miss the post where you said what his disability was?

When I applied for my hubby he was approved in three weeks.  I think that must be a state record (though not a national record- my brother got my other brother approved in three DAYS!!!).  I had applied for myself about six or eight months earlier.  Since then, my hubby lost a two-year fight and died, and I'm still awaiting a hearing decision on my own application.  They have a list of prequalifying conditions.  If your condition is on the list, you're approved.  If it's not, you're pretty certain to be denied.  That's why 90% of us sit and wait- hoping we have people who love us enough to take care of us and do our best to survive.

 [ send green star]
 
anonymous SSI/SSD April 04, 2006 12:02 PM

I am on SSI/SSD.  For my disability I was actually on pretty fast.  I got on in just 10 months, no outside assistance or lawyers.  I also was only denied once.  I applied for SSI, but approved for SSD as well, since I had tried working.  My disability is very hard to prove as a dilbilerating condition.  I got on with just Chronic Major Depression.  I had a review last year and was approved again.  But this time the psychologist they sent me to, added Borderline Personality Disorder with the diagnosis.  My anxiety was so high, cause I have an extreme phobia of drs especially psychologists, but he didn't ask a lot of questions. 

Jamie, Allen, and JC-SD

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 April 05, 2006 8:51 AM

I have to agree that it is a shame that only 10% of people are approved on the first go around.  On the second step, only 20% will be approved.  The majority of people, 75% will win their case at the 3rd level, which is the Administrative hearing in front of a administrative law judge.  Especailly those who have a lawyer who specialize in Social Security.

One of the reasons this has happened, was about 20 years ago they went through a period of a few years where so many people where losing their jobs, and as their unemployment was running out they would apply for SSDI or SSI benefits, and the system at that time was so open and easy that 80% of people who were not even really disabled in the first place were getting onto SSDI benefits and or SSI benefits.  It took almost 10 years before the government figured things out and had to make corrections to prevent this from happening again.  So those of us who really are disabled end up having to pay for it in the end by being denied a few times through, as this is their way of weeding out those who really are not disabled enough, for they will end up just dropping their case and go back to work.  They see that those who are really disabled will keep pushing forward.  And of course this is why they allow you to get back pay to the first month that you applied for.  It use to be back then if you got approved, you only got benefits starting from the month in which you were approved, not when you applied, so that was one of the better changes when they made this necessary change to keep those who are not disabled off the SSDI and SSI programs.   It is so unbelieveable on how many people try to defraud the system and collect benefits that they truely are not eligible for.

So when one does get approved the first time around, they have to feel themselves lucky, because this just does not happen very often any more.

But I still would recommend that once you have been denied the second time, that before you apply for the next step, which is the hearing level, that you get yourself a lawyer who specializes only in Social Security Cases, because with their help, you are almost sure to win at this hearing.

Michael B.

 [ send green star]
 
disability April 07, 2006 8:43 AM

I want to thank all of the people who post to this group.  You gave me the hope and determination to keep trying with my disability claim.  I went to court yesterday and was awarded benefits after more that two years of claims and hurry up and wait!

Michael, is so supportive and provides such an inspiritation.  I especially thank him.

Hugs to all..........Linda B

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 April 07, 2006 4:34 PM

Your very welcome Linda, and I am so happy for you.  Another victory one, and another time where it shows if we just keep fighting for the benefits we are really eligible for, we will win them in time.  You have to be proud of yourself, and give yourself a pat on the back for not giving up and hanging in there.

Michael B.

 [ send green star]
 
4-7-06 Friday April 07, 2006 6:49 PM

Hi Michael and everyone!!  Mike knows already, because I wrote to him when I was still in total shock, but I wanted to tell you all that on April Fool's Day, I received confirmation from the judge that my claim had been "fully approved" for S.S. Disability...AHHHHHHHHH!!  Sorry, had to do that!!  After two years, well, actually after three tries, which comes to three years, FINALLY THE NEWS!!  Now I am waiting for a letter to tell me what to do next and what will be happening next.  One of these day, one of these days...I will finally be receiving my first disability check in the mail, and my life shall be back to as normal as it can get.  No Randy to share this with, but I feel that he knows.  It's been a long time, to say the least...I'm just too happy that it is finally almost over.  I say it that way because I won't believe it until I get that first monthly check.  Then I think I 'might' be able to relax...I FINALLY WON !!  Do not ever give up, write to your senator if you feel it has been too long of a wait, or write to him if you feel you shouldn't have to wait...the sooner the better, in my mind.  I am sooooo broke right now, it isn't even near funny.  I am sure that I will be able to last until that check starts coming, but it is going to feel very strange starting over...yet again.  I felt that way when Randy passed away, and it took a long time to get to where I am now in recovering from that...I frankly don't think I ever shall.  I found Care2, and being here has saved my mentality and given me a purpose, with my job and my new friends.  Oh my.....

Mainly, I just want to stress...do not give in, do not give up, keep fighting...we should not have to do this, I know, but if we didn't we would be God knows where.  The judge that handled my claim went further back into my medical history than I EVEN expected...and he deemed that I had been disabled for over a year before I filed my claim.  This man was on my side.  I have found out that there are nice and fair people behind the bench who get sick of shyster lawyers who do nothing for their clients but sit and wait for the claim to be approved so that they can claim their so-called 'earnings'.  This was just in my case, and is not meant to point at other attorneys who actually DO  work for their clients.  Mine didn't, and the judge knew that.  I have one more fight, and that is to  ensure that this man does not benefit from my two years of pain and misfortune, when he hasn't lifted one hand to help me in ANY WAY.  I guess I got me a dud!! 

So, there it is!!  I'M FINALLY THERE !!!

LOVE, LINDA

 [ send green star]
 
 April 08, 2006 10:17 AM

Linda M.

Thank you for your posting.  I sure hope that others who are just starting at the beginning of filing for SSDI or SSI or both will see from you and Linda A and others who have posted on this site just how much it is worth fighting for the benefits we truely are eligable to receive.  

This seems to prove the theory that at the start, the people making the decision do not review a persons complete medical history, but do only look at that part of it which you feel is making you disabled.  They don't look at how that disablity effects you with other medical problems you also have.  This is why it is so important that when you first file, tell them every medical problem you have, not just those you feel are bad enough to get disability.  But if you have to go as far as the Administrative hearing, at least the Judge does review your entire medical history as a whole, and then can deside from that if you are or are not disabled.  90% of the time, they will rule in your favor from this hearing.  And as you can see from Linda M, post, they can also deside that you are and have been disabled from a time period well before you even filed for your disability.  And then when they do, Social Secuirty must pay you back pay to the date the Judge tells them you became disabled.

We are with both you Linda's for we know the waiting time now to get your checks started seems like a long time, but usually takes about 45 days from the time Social Security gets the notice from the Judge that you have been approved.  Once in a while it will take an additional 15 days, but not very often.  In some cases, you will even get your first monthly check before you get the back pay check.  But you should receive a notice from SS telling you what the amount of your checks will be, what the amount will be for your back pay and when you should expect them to arrive.

Michael B.

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4-8-06 Saturday April 08, 2006 10:31 AM

Thanks for that information, Mike...I'm patiently waiting...but I can't wait, at the same time...lol !!!

LINDA     

 [ send green star]
 
 May 10, 2006 8:48 PM

Hi, this is my first post here, other than the daily "clicks".  I applied for SSDI close to 15 years ago but it was denied.  Now, I am much, much worse.  I have Deepvenous Thrombosis in both legs, causing such edema, that one leg= I thought I had two boils near my ankles, and the Dr. said, NO.  Said that my legs were as full as they can stand, that they are puckering up, feeling to the touch on those spots feel like boils, only they are really weepy.  I was in a hit-and -run car accident, where the hospital that saw me THEN didn't notice that I have "Pooling blood behind my leg, knee, groin, and ankle-- but till this year, my lyphatic system is completley messed up & can't excercise to lose all of this weight (30 lbs.) makng me 285 lbs now!  HELP!

  I used to mountain clmb, now I cant spend more than 4 minuters standing on my legs.  And I don't have a car,   HELP! One other thing, is I'm hypertensive, epileptic, and bipolar/manic depressive. Where/how can I apply for SSID? I am in Prince Georges' County, MD, USA, but in the past, but I saved up just %100 before I had to leave my job, which makes my "assets" too high for any public assistance checks because I can't get around well.

  Sincerely,

   Leah DosSantos

   leah2saints@hotmail.com 

 [ send green star]

 
 May 11, 2006 9:38 AM

Leah:

Thank you for asking your question here, and I hope that I can give you the answer your looking for.

First of all, it sounds to me as if you would qualify for either SSDI and or SSI benefits.  As long as you have enough credits from while you were working you should be able to get SSDI.  It never hurts to apply for it anyways.  And best of all, you don't even need to leave your home to apply.   Just call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and tell them you want to apply for SSDI and SSI benefits.   They will take all the information over the phone, then will forward your file to your local social security office and have your assigned case worker call you on the phone to finish the application.   Before you call, make sure that you have all your doctors names, addresses and phone numbers available to give to them so that they will be able to contact your doctors and get all medical reports needed.  Make sure you tell them about all your health problems, not just those you think would get you on SSDI or SSI benefits.  Tell them everything you have.

As you may have already read in these threads, the majority of people do get denied the first time around, but don't just drop it when this happens, go to the next step and ask for a reconsideration.  If you get denied at this time around, then I would seek the help of a attorney who specailizes in Social Security Cases, and let them file for the hearing before the administrative law judge.  Generally with the help of this attorney, 98 percent of people get approved at this level.  And the lawyer only gets paid when you win, and then only gets 25% of your back pay or $4,000 which ever is less.   So don't wait any longer, get on that phone and call and apply right away.   And keep us posted on how things go, we are here to help support you though this processes and any other way we can help you if we can.

Michael B.

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2 Questions May 19, 2006 8:34 AM

Hi gang! I am applying for SSI and I need to know, can I work while this process is going on? I know your claiming you cant work.. which I really cant... but my kids and I will be homeless if I dont do something... Also my other question is about how much SSI do people get per month? Thank you Penny  [ send green star]
 
 May 19, 2006 2:02 PM

Penny:

Sorry to hear that your family is having problems financially.  This makes it so hard I know.  I am also having problems to a point that I might have my electric service turned off next week because having problems finding help from agencies in my area.

Anyways, to answer your questions,  First of all, if you have applied for SSI, if you were to work at all, it would not look good on the file, and you most likely would then be denied, for you are right, when first getting SSI, you need to be able to prove that you are disabled enough that you can't work.  Once you have been on it for a year, then they will allow you to try and go back to work and not lose all your benefits right away, but to get on it, you have to be able to prove that you can not and are expected not to be able to work at all for a period of 12 months or longer.  So basically, No, you can't work while applying for SSI.

For your other question.  The most you will receive on SSI from the federal government is $603.00 a month.  But in some states, the state also includes a state payment, and that payment varies from state to state, and some states don't pay anything at all.   Although in your case, you maybe able to get a little more because you have children, and if you are a single parent, usually if you are approved for SSI, your children will get some also in some cases.

Hope this helps.

Michael B.

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Thanks Michael May 20, 2006 9:00 AM

That helps a lot! Except, I need the money to support my kids,NOW... I dont know what to do...I keep getting fired because I am too sick to work..but now I have a few job interviews and maybe I can fake being normal for a while... Geez, I just dont know.. Thanks tho- God Bless-  [ send green star]
 
Working and applying May 21, 2006 10:01 PM

Penny, I know that lots of people have to work while they wait for SSI or SSDI to start, it may be the only way to survive, however perhaps you could consider one of the following:  Applying for welfare as you are unable to work, Apply for interim assistance which is provided at a tremendously low rate for people waiting for disability to kick in, Contact a local church or your own if you attend to see if there is any way they can help with food, clothing, transportation, housing, etc., Check with local agencies like Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Social Services, etc.  You don't have to be a member of their church to get assistance if it is available for your needs.  (meaning if they have a program that you qualify for and if they still have any money left).  If i think of anything else, I will let you know.  Hopefully this is a bit of help, I know its horrible waiting for disability determination.  It took 18 months for me, and i was lucky, my dad owns the building I live in so I didnt end up on the street.  The interim assistance did kick in, 2 months before I finally got a lump sum payment from the 18 months.  I ended up with a lawyer and suggest that if you can you try to get one as soon as feasible.  Also if you are in dire straits you can contact your local representative and congressman/woman.  They sometimes can pull strings that work very quickly, --sometimes not.  With all my best. 
Marcia
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LEAP May 21, 2006 10:07 PM

Michael,
You have the best info I have seen, and do a great job explaining it.  One suggestion for you,  Maybe talk to the Electric Company about LEAP--Low Income Energy Assistance Program.  The limits are fairly high in comparison to some other programs (at least here in AK) and you might get some temporary relief from the bill because you are applying.  I know its a long shot, but worth a try anyway.  Keep  up the good work.  Marcia
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 May 22, 2006 8:54 AM

Thank you Marcia.  I was able to get some help through Community Services LEAP program and they have paid all of the bill for me except the last $100 of it.  I am waiting on a returning phone call now from my church to see if they will pay the last $100 of it for me.  I know they will if they have the funds available, just have to wait and see now and keep prayers going hard.

I hope others also know that the LEAP program is one that is available in ALL states in the USA, and if they do have problems making a bill, they are there to help.  If your not sure who your local area people are that use the LEAP funds, usually you can call the State office of LEAP and they can tell you which agency in your area handles LEAP funding.

Michael B.

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 May 22, 2006 9:02 AM

Penny:

As Marcia has given you, what she said is true, and this is where I would start for right now.  Go to your local Social Services Department or Human Health Department which ever covers your area, and apply for a General Assistance program for the Disabled.  They usually will give you some Assistance, and the way it works is that they will have you sign some papers to agree that when you do win your SSDI or SSI case, that you will pay them back with your back pay check you will get.  Depending on the amount of money they provide to you, you may or may not have to pay it all back to them.  You should also be able to get Food Stamps to purchase food with, and this you do not have to pay back at all, and with SSI, you should be able to keep Food Stamps even when getting SSI.

If you have problems with getting the money to pay utility bills, and rent, they should have emergency programs there and with other agency in your area to help you pay for these things while you are waiting on Social Security.  

All I can tell you is to please, if you get a denial notice from Social Security, do not give up.  Keep fighting, and go to the next level.  Once you get to the level of going for a Administrative Hearing before of Law Judge, then get a lawyer who specializes in Social Security Cases.  It will be well worth it in the end, and you only have to pay them after you win, and they get paid 25% of your back pay or $4,000 which ever is less.  And if you do have to pay back Social Services, the lawyer gets 25% of what is left after paying off Social Services first.  So that helps saves you money there too.

Keeping you and your children in my thoughts and prayers.

Michael B.

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LEAP Success May 24, 2006 4:02 PM

Michael,
I am so glad you were able to get some assistance through the LEAP program.  That is just awesome.  Hope that the church or other option comes through too.  If not, try the local religious charities like lutheran or catholic social services.  It makes me feel better knowing you will have some help.  Blessings
Marcia
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 May 24, 2006 7:54 PM

Marcia  [ send green star]
 
anonymous  August 14, 2006 9:12 AM

 We Have the Answers

Link For Social Security Website That Has All Answers to any Questions.

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anonymous My 2 cents! October 10, 2006 4:50 PM

I Myself am disabed now due to Nerve Damage from surgery, it is permanent , I am on all kinds of pain meds, very expensive I might add and also 5 cortizone shots in my side every month to add nerve blocks. I have had 5 surgeries in a years time, all for tests and to fix a fistula. More pain, Due to the fact I was in bed almost 6 months, I now have high blood pressure, High Sugar count and might as well consider myself diabetic, due to the prednizone I have to take for my severe asthma, and have been taking for years, and also the 5 shots are cortzone, My legs have horrible bruises, and I bruise easy now, can't drive, watch everything I eat as I have developed IBS also, and it is severe enough to be chronic as all my ailments are. I cannot walk far, bend with out the pain making me almost sick, sit long, turn to my right side, so cannot drive anymore, or do half of what I used to. I live alone and very independent. I like the other ones have been living on nothing for a long time, thanks to friends, my savings, my taxes, my morgage on house that I am going to lose soon if no money comes in, I live in Wisconsin where we can get food at food pantry, I get fuel assistance, applying for discount phone, and I had my home weatherized by SWWis. CAP who also gave me a new fridge which I needed as mine was so old and also central air, as my Dr said I needed it for my asthma, All certainly appreciated. Now for SS and SSI, I did apply late , as I thought I could work too, but found out I coundn't, And of course was denied the first time, I should of applied way sooner than I did like right after the first surgery which was for gall bladder, and was so bad had to cut out of my intestines, but after first denial, I called my lawyer and then we refiled and was denied again, Then he said we are going to court and have gottten more info, and my declining health, Since this has started I have had many infections and like the IBS , and fistula, always something new. Now we have no court date set, my lawyer is waiting on my surgeon, not the one who damaged me. Who is know for his mistakes and rough surgical procedures. So here I stil sit, no money , depression is awful but am on meds for that too, anxiety also . I wonder what is to happen as Nerve Damage is new and they do not concider it a disability. Live in my world for one day, is what I would like to tell them... But I am keeping the faith, I am not ignorant to the fact of health, I was a nurse years ago, and also have a certificate in Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy. So I can also help with my conditions, IBS is only controled by you so that is at least one thing I can do for myself. My Drs say the only thing that keeps me going so well is my attitude. You have to think positive. But after waiting so long and now facing a major loss of my house I worked for - for years and the work I have put in it, I makes me so slck to lose it. My banker has been an angel, as my friends. My kids are not able to help , So do not ask. My oldest daughter just had a baby , and the other paid for my plane fare out there, So that is something to keep me going too. Thanks for listening, I do hope the best for everyone. I have joined the Pain Foundation to help people realize the horror and signifigance of it, And how it can affect your life. Maybe one day , SS will catch on. Blessings to all, Cher
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 October 12, 2006 8:55 AM

Cher:

This is so true, that Social Security likes to take there sweet little ole time unless it is us who owe them money.

It sounds like you should have no problem once you get before a administrative law judge, but it is getting there.  In most cases, it takes almost a year once you have filed all the paperwork for the hearing in their court.  How long ago did you apply for this hearing?   Do make sure that you notify your lawyer every time you see any doctor for anything so that they can get a copy of the medical record, every little bit helps.

You might be able to in the mean time if you have not already, apply for Medicaid in your state.  Also some states have a general assistance program for the disabled, that you can apply for, and they normally have you sign paperwork that once your social security benefits start, that you will pay them back out of your back payments check for any money assistance they give you.  You do not pay back for any Medicaid or food stamp assistance you can get.   This is at least something to check into, and if you can get that, then I am sure the lending place will work with you on getting your house payments caught up.  For they would rather have you paying what you can then to have to foreclose and not be able to sell the home.

Keep us posted on how things are going, and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Michael B.

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anonymous SSD/SSI November 08, 2006 2:22 AM

Thats interesting thats the norm for receiving benefits.  I applied in May 2001 and got on in 10 months (Mar 2002).  I never had the assistance of an attorney or any agency help.  I was approved for SSD and SSI.  I first got straight medicaid,  then 18 months later I got Medicare (Oct 2003).  I was approved to have both medicare and medicaid.  I now have medicare prt D.  You may wonder what my disability is and how I got on so fast.  I am diagnosed and disabled by Major Depressive Disorder.  Its confusing, where many wouldn't consider my condition disabling, esp to be approved so fast to get on SSI/SSD.  I have already have had a review, and am currently on SSI/SSD.  Where others whom seem to be much more disabled, take much longer to get on even SSI.  My own sister had tried for years off and on, even before she was 18.  Most would consider her to be far more disabled and longer established to be known as disabled than I would be.  She had to have help of an attorney and the state program.  She has ADHD, learning disability, developmentally delayed, depression and juvenile epilespy.  A friend of mine has bee appling for years as well, and still trying to get on SSI.  She has much more problems than me too.  Yes, I live with depression and can tell you its disabling, but with the world today, how can one person with depression can get on so quickly while others with much more severe documented disabilities take longer to be approved?

Jamie M.

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 November 25, 2006 1:31 PM

Jaime,

it's my understanding that SSI and SSDI are two different programs.  SSDI is for people that have enough work credits for the past ten years and SSI is for the people that don't.

You mentioned that you were approved for SSD and SSI.  What were you refering to when you wrote SSD?  Because I really don't understand how someone could get both from Social Security.  or is SSD from your state or a past employer?

Mira the confused

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anonymous SSD/SSI November 25, 2006 1:55 PM

Sorry to have confused you, Mira.  SSD=Social Security Disability.  I had some work credits, but not enough for a living allowance.  So, SSI supplements my income.  I still get a total amount as most get on straight SSI.  I only get $378 from SSD and $245 from SSI.   I also get TANF (Welfare) for my son.  Since I am raising him on my own, with no support from the father. 

Jamie and JC-SD

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 November 26, 2006 4:32 PM

Thank you Jamie for trying to clear that up for our members.

As yes, any of us who have worked long enough to have enough credits can get SSDI if approved.  And if the amount of our SSDI benefits is less then what SSI allows, then we can also apply for SSI benefits and able to collect the difference.  As for a single person getting SSI for just ourselves, the most SSI will pay currently is $630 per month.  So if you were getting SSDI benefits and your monthly amount was less then $630 a month, you can apply for SSI and most likely will be approved for the amount of the difference.  This $630 does not include any state payment amount that some states pay to their SSI people.

You are just one of the lucky few Jamie who do get approved so quickly.  About 1 out of every 1,000 application get approved that quickly.  The rest of us have to fight to get our benefits, and they do this to help keep those who really are not disabled from getting benefits, and they know that 50 percent of people will give up after the first denial, which helps save them money. 

This is why we can't say it enough to those who are still waiting to get approved for SSI or SSDI benefits.  If you do get a denial, don't give up, file for the next step in the appeal process, and get yourself a lawyer for sure when you get to the third step, for with a lawyers help, you most likely can win at that level, and the cost is not really that much, and you don't pay the lawyer unless you do win.  And then the amount is only 25 percent of your back pay check.  So you still end up with 75 percent of your back pay.

Michael B.

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 November 26, 2006 5:15 PM

I sent my application in at the beginning of October. Have had some confusion from the Disability Determination office over the questionaire on my previous jobs. I filled it out online when I filled out my application. They sent it to me in the mail to fill out, so I called my caseworker to see if I needed to fill it out again. He said no, that he found the online one. Now I just got a letter saying that I didn't fill it out.

I have to call first thing tomorrow morning about this.

I am hoping and praying that I am approved by February when my short term benefits run out, or within a couple months after. If not, we will lose our house and everything else.

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 November 28, 2006 5:38 PM

Good news! He has my employment report after all. And I started physical therapy (gait therapy) today. Phew! I'm exhausted.  [ send green star]
 
anonymous Thanks Michael. November 28, 2006 6:43 PM

Sorry I have not answered you, I was back in hosp. with pain.
Yes I do tell my lawyer every time, and also one of my Drs. ask if we could not add depression to the cause. Since it is worse now with all this , so will see.
I filed myself first a yr ago, Then my lawyer took over and
when I talked to him last time he said it was still a long wait.
Which I have no money and bills to pay so that wait is killing me. Wisconsin does not have any med. aid or food stamps unless you have kids living at home or over 55, and that leaves me out.
They do have general relief for 3 months each year.
So will have to pay that back.
Have applied to drug companies for drugs as they are so expensive and that is why I ended up back in hosp, as I run out of one and the pain was too bad to tolerate.
Also now have a new thing going on with passing out. So Dr says he has no idea and if it happens again, go directly to hosp. , I hope not getting seizures from something now.
The pain has gone into my spine now and affecting my legs and arms. So getting around is getting very difficult.
But hanging in there. Not going to lay around.
My banker is going to work with me, and my kids are going to start paying the house payment the first of the year when my daughter goes back after maternity leave. So that is a big help and a wonderful gift from them.
But not sure how long can hang on, give a good shot.
Really going to work on that Pain Advocacy after the first of the year.  Until you have been there you don't know.
And scared the judge will not understand. 
Guess will wait and see.  Blessing to all here and hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.   Cher
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 November 29, 2006 9:09 AM

Valerie:

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you on this.  If you got this letter asking for this information from the Disablity Determination Office, then you really do need to fill that out and send it in to them.  For this information they send for is for their workers to verify the facts that they have if any on this.  Everything we give to Social Security on our case does not always make it over to the Disablity Determination Office, for they are a seperate office all together.  So when you get anything from them, you need to fill it out and send it back in.  Failure to do so can result in them denying your case because you failed to send back in any information that they have requested.  You are always better off sending in something more then once if requested just to make these folks happy.  In many cases, like my own, I went through the first time and then the reconsideration, and had to fill out the same questionaire sent by the Disability Determination folks both times even though they would of had the report from the first time.  So if you still have that form they asked for you to fill out, I would fill it out and send it back into them right away.

Most are not aware of the fact that the Disability Determination Office is a part of Vocational Rehabilitation Office in your state and are not a part of Social Security.  They just do the part to determine if you are disabled enough according to the Social Security rules.  So sometimes they do send out these forms to verify the information we have already suppied to them, and failure to provide that information can give them the right to deny your case.

Please keep us up to date on how things are going, and if we can be of any support, just let us know.  That is what we are here for.

Michael B.

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 November 29, 2006 9:27 AM

Cher:

Sorry to hear that you have been back in the hospital.  I sure do hope you are feeling better then you were and that they can keep your pain under control.

I hope that you can get some of these drug companies to help you out until you can get insurance, either Medicare or Medicaid to help pay for your drugs you need.

I know a lot of states now have a limit on how long they will help a person or family out if the main provider is able to work.  You should be able to get food stamps depending on your situation, but I would also apply for Medicaid too based on your disability.  With Medicaid and Food stamps, they have 45 days to either approve or deny those benefits, and you can also appeal their decision if they say your not disabled enough and get before a administrative law judge quickly.

Yes, I would also get your lawyer to add the depression on to your case as part of the disability case.  All he/she would need is the paperwork from your doctor stating you have depression now because of your medical problems.  That would be a big help to your case as well.  The more you can add to a case on your medical problems, the better your chances are of winning your case.

I know it takes a long time to get your case before the administrative law judge for your hearing, but as I said before, this is where over 90 percent of people do win their case, for at least the judge will review your medical file in its entirety and not just bits and pieces of it like the Disability Determination folks do.

So many people could win their cases right away if the Disability Determination folks would review our medical files in its entirety instead of only looking at the part of it of which we are claming a disability on.

We are here to help support you through all of this, so let us know if we can be of any help to you, for we do care, and most of us have been through all this, so we know what it is like waiting.

Michael B.

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anonymous Sending in all the paperwork November 29, 2006 9:52 AM

This very problem happened to me when I was 18 yrs old.  My father had just passed away and I was approved for Survivors Benefits through SSA.  I was told I could only get the benefits til I was 18 or graduated from HS, whichever came second.  I turned 18, 6 months before I graduated.  But once I graduated from HS I told them several times over the phone and even sent paperwork stating this.  I kept receiving payments.  I figured maybe since I was going the college, I was still elible.  But once I got married 4 months later, the payments finally stopped 2 months after that.  Then a couple years later I got a statement that my tax returns will be garnished by them for the overpayment.  I was unaware what I could do to fight them.  This went on for a couple years, when I couldn't work anymore and applied for SSI/SSD.  When I was approved, I asked about the overpayment, they said nothing was on the record about it.  So I thought it was erased.  Then last year I got a statement saying they were going to take my whole SSD check away to pay for the overpayment.  This time I fought it, since I had a child to care for and was already hard on the budget, esp. if I lost my largest check, which was $378.  The first time through the mail they denied my cause.  But then the case worker at the office had me come in for an appoitment about the overpayment.  I got in, the case worker apologized for the inconvience, but she felt the overpayment shouldn't have happened in the first place and it was completely their fault and that I couldn't afford to pay it back.   Since I sent in all the paperwork stating I graduated from HS.  All the paperwork I sent in was in my file.  So, the lady dropped the overpayment.  Sorry, for being so long, but lots of paperwork is important to back yourself up, when something happens.  They need lots of physical documents, even then it might be overlooked.  So, always send in the paperwork to SS, no matter how many times you have to do it. 

Jamie and JC-SD

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 November 29, 2006 4:52 PM

Michael:

When I spoke to him on the phone on Monday, he went on the computer and says he DOES have it, so I don't have to fill it out again. Yay! It took me several hours to do, so I am very happy about that.

Now I am off to do my physical therapy exercises. Youch, I'm sore and go back in for another work-out tomorrow.

Thanks for the help, all!

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 December 01, 2006 5:29 AM

In my experience, since both me and my daughter are disabled...They always deny SSI the first time. You just can't give up. If you have to and can possibly afford one or find one who will do it getting paid afterwards, get a lawyer who deals with this alot. Thanks for addressing this very important issue. River  [ send green star]
 
 December 01, 2006 12:09 PM

Janet:

You are correct, that in 90 percent of all cases, they do deny benefits on the first go around.  But we should not get discouraged when this happens.  We need to apply for the reconsideration as soon as possible.  The sooner the better.  If you get denied the reconsideration, which will happen about 50 percent of the time, then this is when I always suggest that you get a lawyer who specializes in Social Security Cases and apply for the hearing before the Administrative Judge, and do this as soon as possible because it can take a year or longer to get to the hearing.  But never ever give up.  We must keep fighting for our benefits, and remember no matter what, when you do win your benefits, they have to pay you back to the month you first applied, and or the Judge can change it so that they have to pay you back even further if in their judgement you have been disabled even longer, but they can't make the time any shorter then the month then you first applied as long as you file for appeals in a timely manner.   And because of the way the law is set up so that your lawyer can not collect unless you win your back pay benefits, and then they can only collect 25 percent of your back pay, its worth spending that 25 percent to have their help at the hearing for 95 percent of people will win their case at the hearing with the help of a lawyer.

Michael B.

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 December 01, 2006 12:12 PM

Valerie:

I could be understanding what you are saying incorrectly, but I want to make sure that I am giving you the correct information.

The way I was reading your post was that the letter asking you to fill out the employment record came to you from the Disability Determination Bureau and not from Social Security.  As you said, you filled out that form online when you applied for Social Security Benefits.  Everyone can do that when first applying for benefits.  But what I was trying to say is that if the request for this information came to you from the Disability Determination Bureau, then what they are doing is to verify this information, and you do need to fill it out and send it back into them.  Failure to send back in any requested information from the Disability Determination Bureau is cause of having your application denied for failure to comply with sending them information.  I have many times had to fill out the same information over and over again before I got approved, and then during regular reviews I have to fill out that information again.  They do this to make sure there is nothing we are forgetting to put down and to verify the information we have already supplied to them.  Your worker at the Social Security office cannot tell you not to send in something requested by the Disability Determination Bureau.  Until a decision is made, you can expect to get some paperwork to fill out over and over again during the first go around and the reconsideration process, and you have to fill it out each and every time or you will be denied benefits for failure to do so.

If the request for that information came to you from the Social Security office, then you would be correct and no further action would be necessary.

This is why I tried to let people know that Social Security people and the Disability Determination Bureau people are two separate offices, two different set of government.  So everything you supply to one does not always get shared with the other.  So even though Social Security does have this information, that does not mean that the Disability Determination folks have that information, and in this case, they want it, or if they do have it, they are looking to verify it so you do need to fill it out and send it back in.  We don't want you to be denied benefits for failure to comply in giving requested information. 

To help you in the future, fill out these forms and then make a copy of it before sending it in, that way if you get asked again for it, you can fill it out much quicker by referring to your copy.

Michael B.

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I just applied for the second time December 02, 2006 6:34 AM

Hi,

I just applied for Social Security disability for the second time.  I have read all the posts which have been helpful.  The first time I applied, I was denied and tried to work but work failed because of my disability.  Now I have to wait again for another decision.  Hopefully I am approved this time around so I don't have to go through the lengthy appeals process.  I also went to the public aid office since I have no money left and said that they could only give me food stamps for now until Social Security made its decision.  I was wondering if there were any other agenicies or charitable organizations I could go to get finaincial assistance to pay for my bills?  What I have in my bank account will only last through the end of this year so getting assistance is an urgent matter for me.  Any help or information or suggestions would be helpful.  Thanks.

Mike

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 December 02, 2006 12:12 PM

Michael:

This situation is so hard now days as states are getting tighter and tighter with their budgets.  Most states to have a type of general assisance program to help people who are disabled without a time period of how long they can receive those benefits, but here again, you have to prove to them your disabled, and most times you will be denied the first time around, so then you put in for a hearing on it, which will be heard before an administrative law judge.  At least with these cases, you will have the case heard within 40 days of applying for the hearing, where it takes well over a year on Social Security Benefits.  So this is the first thing to do, is get the food stamps, and ask if they have a general assistance program/ medicaid for the disabled.

Also when you need help with things such as utilities, you should have access to organizations in your area such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army and few others who can help pay some of these bills for you.  You just have to show that you have no income coming into the household and can't afford to pay these bills.  Look up in your local phone book for your local social service agencies.  

You can also call your state government information office and get the phone number to the department that handles LIHEAP and CEPA funds and they can tell you which agency in your area handles helping paying utility bills under those programs in your area.  It is usually handled through the department of housing and community affairs office if your state has one.

In the mean time, hang in there the best you can, and if you do get a denial, don't give up.  File for the reconsideration or which ever the next step is right away.  And remember, for your best help, once you are at the point of applying for the Administrative Hearing before a Administrative Law Judge, find yourself an attorney who specializes in Social Security Cases.  With their help, you are more likely to win your benefits at this level, and you don't pay him/her unless you win, and then only 25% of your back payment, so you will still have 75% for yourself.  So its well worth their help.

Keep us posted.

Michael B.

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anonymous For Michael Barth December 02, 2006 3:21 PM

I went to the IL State website and found that you should qualify for GA benefits pending your SSI. 

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

http://www.dhs.state.il.us/ts/fss/generalassistance.asp

General Assistance

Administered by Office of Family Support Services

What is the purpose of this program?

The General Assistance (GA) program provides people with money and limited medical care to help take care of themselves when they do not qualify for other cash programs administered by the Department of Human Services (DH. If a person has children and the family does not qualify for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the family might qualify for GA Family and Children Assistance (GA-FCA). A single adult or a married adult without dependent children who does not qualify for Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD) might qualify for GA Transitional Assistance (GA-TA).

DHS runs the General Assistance program for people who live in Chicago. Outside Chicago, some local governmental units receive state funds and run the program based on DHS policy.

Who can receive these services?

To qualify for General Assistance (GA), a person must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or meet certain requirements for noncitizens.
  • Not be eligible for money from any other DHS assistance program. But, if the reason they are not eligible for TANF is because they failed to cooperate or received a lump sum payment, they are not eligible for GA either.

For GA Family and Children Assistance (GA-FCA)

  • An 18-year-old child who lives with their parent(s) and who is not eligible for TANF because of the parent's income or assets, is not eligible for GA-FCA.

To qualify for GA Transitional Assistance (GA-TA), DHS must decide that you are not employable. To be considered not employable, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Are 55 or older and have had little or no income during the past year.
  • Have a serious disability and an application or appeal pending with SSI.
  • Have to take care of another person in your home because of that person's physical condition.
  • Are homeless because of a court-ordered eviction or domestic violence, or because of a fire or a natural disaster that happened in the last 6 months.
  • Are under age 20 and you attend high school or an equivalent vocational or training school full-time.
  • Regularly take prescription medicine to control seizures, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
  • Are temporarily unable to work because of illness or incapacity.
What Services Are Offered?
  • Money to help meet basic needs, such as food, clothing, housing, etc.
  • Limited medical assistance.
How are the Services Provided?

If you live in Chicago, you may apply for General Assistance at a local office that serves the area where you live. Use the DHS Office Locator to help find the nearest DHS Community Operations Local Office. A person who applies and is determined eligible for benefits, receives them through Illinois Link. Illinois Link is an electronic system that lets a person use a plastic card, similar to a bank card, at grocery store terminals and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). The card may be used to withdraw money from the GA cash account. A person may choose to have their GA cash benefits deposited directly into a bank account, if they do not want them deposited to an Illinois Link account.

If you live somewhere other than Chicago, go to your local government unit to see about getting help from the General Assistance program.

A person who gets GA may also get Food Stamps, if eligible. A person who receives Food Stamps may also gain work experience and earn cash by participating in Earnfare.

More Facts About the GA Program
  • The GA-FCA cash benefit amount is determined by the area of the state in which the family lives, the number of eligible people in the household, and whether the case is adult only, adults and children, or children only.
  • Adults who receive GA receive limited medical services. Children who receive GA-FCA also receive all provided medical services, including hospitalization.
  • Hospital services are not provided for a person who receives GA-TA, unless an SSI application or appeal is pending and eligibility is based on a finding of disability.

For more information . . .

Contact the DHS Help Line:
1 800 843-6154
1 800 447-6404 (TTY)


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SSD STIPNED December 14, 2006 11:05 AM

Hello all, I am new and I was wondering if you had ever heard of SSD STIPNED, I am trying to get my ex to pay 7 years of back child support for my two children he is on SSI/SSD lives with his mother and flies around the country twice a month visiting his "girl friends" CSE will not even go after him, and SS isn't listening to me. I don't know what i can do and I am struggling as a single mom with two jobs. Anyone have any advice? thanks Butterfly

 [ send green star]
 
 December 14, 2006 6:28 PM

Amanda:

Yes, I have heard of SSD Stripned before.  But what this actually is for is when a person who is collecting SSDI benefits or regular Social Security Retirement benefits has 10 percent of their check withheld by Social Security in order for the federal government to collect back federal taxes that are due the government.

They can also withhold 10 percent of a persons check if for some reason you received an over payment so that they get paid back the over payment.   There is no other time in which a Social Security Check can be garnished.  

Based on this type of situation, most all states, Human and Services Department will give you AFDC benefits without them having to go after the parent to collect child support payments, due to the fact that the parent is disabled and unable to work and their sole support is Social Security Benefits.

Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and hope that your state Human and Services agency can start getting you AFDC and food stamp benefits, along with Medicaid for the kids.

Michael B.

 [ send green star]
 
reply December 15, 2006 12:32 PM

my ex has been on SSD/SSI all his life i guess he tells me, though he did work up until he was in high school . So I am not sure why the judge is sending me to court to fight with him, do you have any clue  [ send green star]
 
 December 15, 2006 2:07 PM

Amanda:

I only have a guess on this one, but I have a feeling that in your state, that even in these cases, you have to go to court to win child support payments, and then your ex can show to the court that his only source of income is his Social Security.  Then the judge can be able to show the Department of Human Services that he can not pay child support, so that the Department of Human Services can then pay you AFDC benefits without going after him for payment to reimburse them what they would give you for the kids.

To me, it is such a scam, just another way our government can make more money off of us by making us have to pay for a lawyer, and court cost and filing fees and everything else that has to be done in cases like these.  Would be so much easier for him to just show them his award letters from Social Security so they would know he can't afford to pay child support and so they could give you those AFDC benefits without having the court order him to reimburse them.

I will keep you in my thoughs and prayers.  Keep us posted on how things are going.

Michael B.

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Social Security Disability Backpay January 07, 2007 7:03 PM

Blog: Social Security Disability question  EditDelete


I applied for social security disability in 2005 and was denied, I reapplied in july 2006 and was approved will I be paid back pay?
I think I orginality posted this in the wrong place, sorry  [ send green star]
 
anonymous  January 07, 2007 8:34 PM

No. You must appeal the original denial and continue to appeal all denials in order to get back pay from the original file date.

I applied in 2005 was denied but appealed. I will get back pay from the date I applied as long as I continue to appeal all denials. Hope this helps.

Kansas

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 January 07, 2007 9:14 PM

If you reapply and win, you will only receive backpay starting from your last application date.  That's why it's important to go through the Reconsideration process when you are originally denied although they may try to convince you to reapply.  It can cost you thousands of dollars AND it moves back the date by which they must have completed certain steps of the process, meaning that it can take you far longer.  When you reapply, it's as if you had never applied before as far as the dates they use.

 [ send green star]
 
Just got my January 07, 2007 9:34 PM

2nd denial in the mail yesterday--my daughter wisely reminded me, as I was getting very depressed, that only means we are one step closer to being approved.  Contacting my legal rep in the morning to send the appeal--fingers crossed everyone--I have also been at this since 2005.  Hugs to all  [ send green star]
 
Appeal January 08, 2007 5:48 AM

The first time I applied I was denied untill after my surgery then the laws changed and I could not apply because I was NOT a US citizen (I was in the process of it) I decided to try go back to work and I did ok for 2 year but like4 years later and a second surgey left me with severe nerve damage called RSD/CRPS through my body and when I applied again I got it first time.

My daughter has been on disability since shewas 1 yr old now 15yrs old last year they took her off it I appealed it and 1 1/2 years later she won the appeal and got all the back money back. Just keep on appealing and if you have an attorney that should do the trick but mostly have lots of doctors records that helps.

I would suggest to anyone to just keep appealing your case

 [ send green star]
 
 January 08, 2007 4:22 PM

To Lynn C.

Now that you have won your benefits, you will receive back pay to the date you last applied, which is July of 2006.  In order to get it back further then that, you would have had to keep applying for the appeals each time you were denied.  Failure to apply for the next step of the appeal process you end up giving up those benefits.   So in this case, if you applied last in July of 2006 and just won your benefits, then you will be given back pay to July of 2006 only.

For Carrie T.   Hang in there Carrie.  We are all here for you and we will be praying that you will be approved this time around.  Keep us posted, and if you have any questions, ask away and we will do our best to answer those questions we have answers too, and if I don't know, I will do my best to find the answer for you.

Good luck.

Michael B.

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I applied-went to court and still got denied... April 03, 2007 12:36 PM

I applied for disability and ssi back in may,2004 and was denied. Hired an attorney,did a reconsideration and was denied....Finally.. went to court and just got the decion back on monday and was denied....Even though the social security doctors and my doctors said I was not to be working and all.....I wonder if the judge took this all into consideration or not ??  I called my attorney and told them the decion that was made and they are supposed to call me back....All my family tells me to appeal this,but I am over fighting this almost been 3 years....I am not working and I can't do anything....I have a lumbar degen. disc diease along with other things and they don't care....I would have never went for this if the caseworkers and all told me that I should...I don't know what to do???Has anybody been in this up to this far??? If so please let me know..??

Thank you,

Aimee .T.

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 April 04, 2007 3:02 PM

Aimee:

I know this is got to be so very hard on you.  After 3 years of this and still getting a denial.  But it is so important that you do not give up.  Let your lawyer file for the next step.  Remember each time you go and see a doctor, even the ER, have a report sent to you and your lawyer so that it can be sent on to be put in your folder for the next Judge.

What a lot of people do not understand is that Social Security uses your State Department of Vocational Rehabilation Department to work for them to help get the cases denied.  So it is important that we get our state Department of Vocational Rehabilation to say we are disabled and can't work also.  So if you have never been to them, you might want to call them and make an appointment to talk to a case worker, and explain the situation to them, and hopefully if you can get them to agree that you are not employable, then you might be able to win your benefits quicker.

So sad when I see someone who falls into that 5 percent of people who have a lawyer to help them out and they still get denied at the Administrative Hearing Level.  And as a general rule, this only happens when the Department of Vocational Rehabilation shows a good case of that they feel you can do some type of gainful employment.

We will pray that you can win your benefits at this next level.  Just very important not to give up.  Do not give them that pleasure.

Michael B.

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denied???because of imcome?? July 19, 2007 1:30 PM

Hi there, i was reading all the post on here, and you know back in  99, i was getting SSI, and then i got married too a miltary man, and they took it from me, well over the years my hearing has gotton soo bad, that now i have 3 little babies, and another one on the way, and soo i appiled for SSI,and they denied me because of my husband income, well they sent me some papers, to apply for Social Security Disablilty and i have yet too hear anything from them, and its been about 2 months!,i was wondering if any of you have be denied because of this?and what you think i should do next if they denie me??thanks christina  [ send green star]
 
 July 19, 2007 9:24 PM

Your big "crime" was getting married. We are disabled after all. why should we have the right to live and be happy like anyone else? For a long time I could not get SS because I was living in my mothers house. Because of that they expected her to pay my way. I could not get my own apartment because I didn't have the money and I couldn't get the money because I didn't have my own place. If I ever chose to get married I'd loose benefits again and end up saddling my husband with unbelievable debt because I was foolish enough to be born with a health problem I can't help. It's disgusting how this country treats it's disabled. Worse than old people, children, and even criminals. The only real solution is for us all to keep pushing for government paid universal health care for the whole country like every other civilized nation.

Sorry if I soap boxed but the system makes me sick. I really hope you get your benefits Christina.
 [ send green star]
 
 July 22, 2007 1:56 PM

This is such a problem for many, because they do not know the current rules under SSI and they get married and then find out they lose their SSI and possibly their medicaid because of their spouse income.   And yes, that is the way it happens with SSI.  For SSI is and does go by the total income coming into the household.  So you not only would have to be disabled, but the total income coming into the household has to be under a certain amount, currently its $630 a month.   This is not the case with Social Security Disablity, for that does not go by your income.  But you can only collect that if you have worked the last 5 out of the last 10 years in order for you to have enough credits on your record to collect it.  Here also is another problem for you.   You are allowed to use the credits on your parents Social Security file up and until you get married.  Soon as you get married, you can no longer use your parents credits.  You lose that for life as soon as you get married.   So if you have not worked the last 5 out of the last 10 years yourself, then your application for SSDI will be denied.

We have been trying hard to get congress to change the rules for SSI so that only your own income will count against you and not that of others in your household, and with SSDI, to get rid of that rule that when you get married you can no longer collect under your parents credits if your parents are deceased.  I am sure it will take us seveal more years before we get this done and put into place.  In the mean time,I do and will keep in you in my thoughts and prayers and hope that you can meet your needs.  Do go ahead and apply for medicaid in your state anyways, because you maybe able to collect that even though you are married.  It is worth a try.  And remember if you do get denied the medicaid, you can also apply for a hearing there as well and I suggest you do so and not give up.

Michael B.

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 July 22, 2007 2:03 PM

Well here is thing, my kids have medicade, but i do not, with my husband bring home almost 3,000.00 a month, but that is not alot with three babies, and another one on the way, ive been hard of hearing my entire life, and just recently its gotton soo bad, that i cant work anymore, i used too be a housekeeper at the hampton Inn but quit do too my hearing being soo bad, so ive work off and on for about 3 yrs, but thats it. I turned it all the paper work about 2 months ago, and recently ive called them too see what they have got, and they told me they just now got all my doctors information on me, soo where do i stand now??? soo if they denie me should i appeal it???  [ send green star]
 
 July 25, 2007 11:01 AM

Christina:

To start off with, if you have applied more then a month ago, then you should not be denied on the bases of not having enough credits.  For when you do not have enough credits, they do not even look any further into your application, they just deny you right then and there.  Although you say you have only worked in the last 3 years and then it was off and on, most likely what is happening is that they are seeing if you are eligible by disablity and to claim it off your husbands Social Security.  For as long as he has worked for the past 5 years out of the last 10, then you claim off of his file.

So when you get a notice, and if they deny you on the bases of disablity, then yes, appeal for the reconsideration right away.  Most likely you will be denied the first time around at least.  If after filing the reconsideration you are denied once again, then before you file for the hearing before the Adminastrative Law Judge, you should seek the help of a lawyer who specializes in Social Security Cases.  This will not cost you anything unless you win, and then they only get $4,000 or 25% of your back pay, whichever is less.  So it will be well worth getting their help.

Keep us posted on things.  We are here to help and support you the best we can.

Michael B.

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 July 25, 2007 11:03 AM

I have closed this thread and opened a new one as this one was getting a little bit long and takes a long time to load for those who are using dial up service.  Please look for the new Red pinned thread and post your questions or concerns about Social Security Disabilty or SSI claims there.

Thank you.

Michael B.

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