• Celeste Celeste
    September 10, 2008
    Can one collect Social Security Disability for RA
    Celeste Celeste
    September 10, 2008

    I was told the one cannot collect disability for RA, especially if you got it as an adult.  Is this true?

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Lene  Andersen
    Health Guide
    September 10, 2008
    Lene  Andersen
    Health Guide
    September 10, 2008

    According to the US else's security website, in order to be found to be disabled, you must meet two criteria: be unable to perform any "substantial work" due to your medical condition and your medical condition and must have lasted one year, be expected to last one year or to result in death. Which means that if you have had RA for a year or more and it has affected your body to such an extent that you can no longer work (although I don't know what "substantial" means), you will most likely qualify for receiving Social Security payments. Because of that is, as far as I can see, the specific condition that is giving you a disability matters less than the fact that the disease or condition makes it impossible for you to work.

     

    The social security website is actually very helpful. They have a section dedicated to disability and there is loads of information on how to qualify, how to apply, how long it will take for the decision to be made, etc. There's a page called Disability Starter Kits and it has a Fact Sheet with all kinds of information, including links to forms and checklist on the information you need to bring to your appointment that can help speed up the decision. Click here for the Fact Sheet and here for the Social Security Disability homepage.

     

  • Brad
    Health Guide
    March 01, 2012
    Brad
    Health Guide
    March 01, 2012

    Hi Celeste,

    You most certainly can collect SSDI for RA. I have been on it for a few years, I am 47 yrs old and was dxd with RA 4 yrs ago. You really dont need an attorney to apply for SSDI. I did it all through the website and never involved an attorney. If you can get it without one, why pay there exorbitant prices? Here is an article I wrote about it some time ago on this site. Good luck! 

     

    Brad

    • Andrea
      March 27, 2012
      Andrea
      March 27, 2012

      Hi im Andrea i have RA,but i dont work.Do you know if i can apply for and disability benefits.

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    • Brad
      March 28, 2012
      Brad
      Health Guide
      March 28, 2012

      Hi Andrea,

       

      I am not 100% sure on that. I do know that benefits are based on money paid into the system over the course of your career. In my case I had to take it at age 44, which gave me over 25 years of work and paying into the system. According to the SSDI website "Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are "insured," meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes." I would click on the link I added above and search the site. Lots of good info on there that can steer you in the right direction! Good luck! 

       

      Brad

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    • Andrea
      March 28, 2012
      Andrea
      March 28, 2012
      Thank you Brad.Im going to click on the link now. READ MORE

FROM OUR COMMUNITY

  • shawn September 11, 2008
    shawn
    September 11, 2008

    NO THAT IS NOT TRUE IM ON SSD FOR R/A AND I ON IT FOR 2 YEARS NOW. IM 47 YEARS OLD. I GOT IT RIGHT AWAY. GOOD LUCK       SHAWN

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    • Pinky
      May 06, 2009
      Pinky
      May 06, 2009

      hello...i applied for ssd for RA and was told  i will hear in 2-3 weeks.  that will be only 90 days since i applied.  do you think that's a good sign??  i constantly think about it and you would be the first person i know of that has applied for RA.  i'm 54 yrs and have it almost 2 years now.  -Janet

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    • sp
      sp
      May 15, 2009
      sp
      sp
      May 15, 2009

      yes, it means they are actively working on your case.  It could mean, they will contact you for more medical info. they usually do. /or schedule you for a doctors appt. RA is in the SSA's "blue book" and if you show any signs you should rec' disability. The doctors appt is easy, basically has you do some basic movements, check joints, asked a few questions. sp

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    • Pinky
      May 20, 2009
      Pinky
      May 20, 2009

      thank you.  well, guess what?  i got the call and i was approved...just 70 days after applying.  i was so grateful.  i guess, like you, i had it for 2 years w/ plenty of medical evidence. 

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    • shawn
      November 08, 2009
      shawn
      November 08, 2009

      good luck pinkey  shawnLaughing

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    • AMMA
      November 22, 2009
      AMMA
      November 22, 2009

      im 19 yrs old with RA, im in stage two and doctors are still trying to get it under control. i would like to get disability aid but dont know how to go about it. i got diagnosed in april and it is effecting work which obvisouley you can relate too...any advice on how to get started sine u have been through it??

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    • jenacyde
      February 16, 2010
      jenacyde
      February 16, 2010

      I'm 31 and was diagnosed in August of 2007. I applied online go to this website, there's a list of all the things you need to have when you apply. I'm still waiting on a decision for mine, I applied in December, I  may still need to see one of their doctors. Good luck to you!

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    • jenacyde
      February 16, 2010
      jenacyde
      February 16, 2010

      sorry, I forgot to post the address. here ya go

      www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability/

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    • Ruthie
      February 26, 2010
      Ruthie
      February 26, 2010

      Well I got lost in the system. I said they could not find me. It has been 2 yrs this month and I just went to their Dr.

      Sent me for 3 xrays. They wanted the 3 worst areas I hurt the worst.

       

      So now I am waiting for the answer. If I get turned down then I get an attorney.

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    • maria
      April 22, 2010
      maria
      April 22, 2010

      im 19 and i was told i have R/A im applying now to recive ssi and i was told right away i could get it i just hope it isn a long process...

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    • Jerseygirl
      July 13, 2010
      Jerseygirl
      July 13, 2010

      Hi. I'm 55 yrs old and have RA for 5-6 yrs now. How much did your work history was a factor in getting SSD approved? I was laid of in 2001 after being at my job for 10 years and had on and off jobs since. I have been seeing my Rheumatologist for 2-3 years.

       

      Edna

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    • John SN
      December 04, 2010
      John SN
      December 04, 2010

      I am 60 years old and I want thank you for your comment.  I makes me feel good to hear good comments for good people.  My question i what records medical of personnal do I need to complete the process.  Again, Thanks.

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    • yvette
      December 22, 2010
      yvette
      December 22, 2010

      I have had RA for one year now. I am 29 years old. I severly have it and my doctors are treating it aggressively. I have a child whom I have troubles caring for either because of the pain, being so tired either from all the side effects of the medications i'm on or the fact that my body has just no energy. but my point is that I have applied and have been denied three times no and they say that with my education I should have no problem doing the work I've done in the past. Note to my education. I have a Bach of science degree and was going to law school until I started getting sick not only with RA, but with type 1 diabeties, and seizures. My previous work was working with  my hand typing for attorneys, and office work or being on my feet. So what work can I go back to. I was fired from the attorney's office while I was in the hospital sick. Their excuse was they no longer needed me due to me having so many medical problems and needed someone reliable. So how do I get SSD or SSI?

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    • Reggie
      March 08, 2011
      Reggie
      March 08, 2011

      I've had R/A for many years now i am now 50 my hands,wrist,hip,legs and neck hurt constantly. I take plaquenil as well as Methotrexate for my R/A. I was also just recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. What are my chances of getting approved?     Reggie

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    • Susan
      February 03, 2012
      Susan
      February 03, 2012

      I am 41 years old and have had RA for 13 years. I was fired from a job of 11 years for the RA in Nov 2011 right after I had surgery on both my hands at the same time and only took 3 days off from work.  This makes 5 surgeries abd none of the medications are working. I tried to find another job but have been unable to. I applied 2 days ago for disability online and it stated it would take at least 5 months. I will probably lose my house before then. I feel like my husband resents me fir this. 

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    • Susan
      February 03, 2012
      Susan
      February 03, 2012

      I am 41 years old and have had RA for 13 years. I was fired from a job of 11 years for the RA in Nov 2011 right after I had surgery on both my hands at the same time and only took 3 days off from work.  This makes 5 surgeries abd none of the medications are working. I tried to find another job but have been unable to. I applied 2 days ago for disability online and it stated it would take at least 5 months. I will probably lose my house before then. I feel like my husband resents me fir this. 

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    • Stephanie
      February 29, 2012
      Stephanie
      February 29, 2012

      Susan, my mom has RA and now I am possibly facing the same fate.  She has been living with it now for over 35 years.  She never attempted to collect SSD, but doesn't blame anyone else for trying.  She was in remission for a 15 year stint until a few years ago when the FDA removed liquid gold from circulation, basically.  It has taken her a few trials, but she is very happy with Enbrel.  She said it's the best she's felt in a very long time and gets rare flare ups and when she does, they don't last very long.  Your husband might resent you for it, sure, but he may need to be reminded of a few things.  You didn't sign up for this, either and also, the vow is "in sickness and in health."  May God bless you and place healing hands on you at your point of need.

       

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    • Stephanie
      February 29, 2012
      Stephanie
      February 29, 2012

      Susan, my mom has RA and now I am possibly facing the same fate.  She has been living with it now for over 35 years.  She never attempted to collect SSD, but doesn't blame anyone else for trying.  She was in remission for a 15 year stint until a few years ago when the FDA removed liquid gold from circulation, basically.  It has taken her a few trials, but she is very happy with Enbrel.  She said it's the best she's felt in a very long time and gets rare flare ups and when she does, they don't last very long.  Your husband might resent you for it, sure, but he may need to be reminded of a few things.  You didn't sign up for this, either and also, the vow is "in sickness and in health."  May God bless you and place healing hands on you at your point of need.

       

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    • Stephanie
      February 29, 2012
      Stephanie
      February 29, 2012

      Susan, my mom has RA and now I am possibly facing the same fate.  She has been living with it now for over 35 years.  She never attempted to collect SSD, but doesn't blame anyone else for trying.  She was in remission for a 15 year stint until a few years ago when the FDA removed liquid gold from circulation, basically.  It has taken her a few trials, but she is very happy with Enbrel.  She said it's the best she's felt in a very long time and gets rare flare ups and when she does, they don't last very long.  Your husband might resent you for it, sure, but he may need to be reminded of a few things.  You didn't sign up for this, either and also, the vow is "in sickness and in health."  May God bless you and place healing hands on you at your point of need.

       

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    • lilly
      January 31, 2013
      lilly
      January 31, 2013

      hello i applied on nov 2,2012 fOR R/A and i also had a blood transf too ..still waiting for a answer.. wish me luck

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    • kuntrygurl1
      January 22, 2014
      kuntrygurl1
      January 22, 2014

      I was diagnosed with R. A. and fibromyalgia,2013...I was diagnosed wth HTN, gout and degenerative joint disease about 8 years ago. I am in the 3rd phase awaiting a hearing...I was told that my case is in the hands of a descision writer and status updated to critical and dire need...can anyone tell me if the ODAR makes descisions without a hearing...i have not been notified of a hearing date. just confused as to which phase the descision writer fall under in the process ...thanks to anyone that may help.

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  • I have no faith in the social security disability system. Am 47, Female and have been fighting for 7 years. list of health problems which most I have had for the past 15 years include:

    Asthma,

    COPD,( down to 70% lung function since being diagnosed in 2/09), 

    R A,

    Degenrerative disc disease,( facing second fusion with rods and have lost 1 1/2 inches of height in past year), 

    Sleep Apnea,

    Fibromyalgia,

    Chronic Fatigue,

    Chronic depression,

    Osteoarthritis,

    Hypothyroid,

    Carpal Tunnal in both hands,

    and this just the tip of the iceberg.

     

    Reasons for denial:

    Too young

    Young enough to over come chronic disabilities

    moderate reflexes

    not on oxygen

    in judges opinion could still be a ticket taker in a city several hours from me. 

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    • chriss
      October 18, 2009
      chriss
      October 18, 2009

      After a year, hubby has been denied. Said that he can perform other work. We had overwelming evidence, medical records dating back to 1997. He was a mechanic all his life. At 48 years old they say he can do something else.

      I had to start working 2 more jobs in addition to my full time job and we still cannot make ends meet. His employer is the one who told him they would not allow him to work sporadically anymore.

      We are in WV, curious what states other people are in. That does play a role.

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    • chriss
      October 18, 2009
      chriss
      October 18, 2009

      Oh let me add in addition to RA

      lower leg radiculopathy

      Cervial HNP with radiculopathy

      Carpal Tunnel syndrome

      Depression

      Anxiety

      Chronic low back pain

       

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    • Jackie
      March 18, 2012
      Jackie
      March 18, 2012

      I don't know where you live but if it is state by state  MOVE!!!!!

      I know that is impossible with your physical problems.  Find some volunteers at some org or school or ????  Get the hell out of hell.

      My sympathies are with you.

      Jackie

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  • sp
    sp
    May 21, 2009
    sp
    sp
    May 21, 2009

    wow..thats great, some states are faster...some are backlogged. They did send me to a doctor...and for 1 xray of my left hand...but i have heard people with Ra having problems getting it.....congrats!!!!

     

    susan

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  • shawn July 20, 2010
    shawn
    July 20, 2010

    YES,  I, myself collect ssd for  R/A   Take care shawn, hang in there.

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  • AmyNickle December 02, 2010
    AmyNickle
    December 02, 2010

    I am 32 and was just recently diagnosed with RA, since I have been diagnosed, I have had four staph infections within 5 months, strep throat every month since Jan 2010, Mono three times since Jan 2010 and I am constantly sick, voice is hoarse all the time...I also have joint pain from tops of my feet in my toes (where my feet swell and I can't even put on my shoes), joint pain in my knuckles and fingers, joint pain in knees, legs, elbows, shoulders...I have two children age 3 and 2 and when I go grocery shopping I can only be there for an hour because by the time I get done with the kids and walking around I can barely walk.  My feet feel like I have been walking on rocks...I feel like no one understands what I am going through.  I can't get out of bed at times, I can't dress myself, I can't pour my kids milk, I can't carry milk, I can't open a jar, and some nights it takes everything I have to pull the blankets up on me.  Yes even blankets are heavy for me.  I was denied disability...If I were to be working right now with all this, I would be fired for all the days I would have to miss to go to the doctor for all the illnesses I have had.  I can't work with a staph infection, strep throat, or mono...plus I use to work as a data specialist and just typing right now is bringing tears to my eyes from the pain.  I have constant pain in my siatic nerve in my back so sitting hurts....I am tired, depressed, have anxiety all the time, plus I have asthma.  Anyway, I am not sure where I will turn to next since I did not get disability. :-(

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    • Ana
      Ana
      December 04, 2010
      Ana
      Ana
      December 04, 2010

      I am currently on STD from work. My manager is getting upset with all the time im away from work! I was on enbrel but plan to get off from it since its causing to much illness, fatigue!! Wondering if I should try to apply for SSD. 

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    • buddygreen
      February 07, 2011
      buddygreen
      February 07, 2011

      Im just 29 and have narcolespy and severe depression and ra. My episodes from the ra cause me not to be able to even walk and the medicine makes my eyes blury and there are alot of side effects.I'm mot aloud to drive at all and my rheumitoid levels in my blood are 22.7 and inflamation levels are 87. I have alot of abnormal blood levels. I have never been in this much pain. I couldnt walk for a month i crawled or my wife pulled me on a blanket. This decease is the worst thing i have ever medicially had to deal with. I filled disability almost two years ago and was denied and i'm still waiting now for a answer.My doctors told me that in my situation it the only option i have .

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    • 21st Century
      April 21, 2011
      21st Century
      April 21, 2011

      Hi Buddygreen,


      First, sorry to hear about your continuing battle with the SSA (Social Security Administration) about collecting benefits. Two years is a long time to wait and being able to collect can't happen fast enough for someone who can't work right now. So without going into an overly lengthy explanation, I'll try and stick to the basics so you might be able to obtain a quicker response.

      First of all, when you fill out your initial application it helps to have your doctor provide as much documentation about your disabilities as possible. What many folks do not understand is that it is not necessarily the diagnosis of ONE medical issue that will determine eligibility (say only your RA), but rather the SSA's assessment of ALL related medical issues. They use what is called a functional assessment for eligibility determination. At one time they used a laundry list of assorted diseases and disabilities to determine whether you could collect. That quickly grew too cumbersome to use and it was discarded. Now it is based on the impact of a person's ability to function for work.

      So you want to make sure your doctor has documented all medical issues relating on your inability to work. Frankly your Dr's opinion will carry the most weight with SSA.  So you want to make sure that he has provided to you or the SSA with as much info as possible. If you have gone to many different doctors, get ALL of them to file that documentation for each of their specialty areas.

      When you fill out the initial application, there are a number of sections, but in reality they are nothing more than a restatement of section one. Inconsistent answers from section to section could result in a delay. If your doctor has not fully completed his portion of the report to SSA-- that could delay a determination.  I have assisted many folks to fill out SSDI apps and sometimes it is a very small item that was overlooked by the medical experts that kicks out or delays the approval.

      If you have been on delay from SSA for 2 years, then you want to contact them and find out what the holdup for processing the determination might be.  Unfortunately it is usually the medical part and unless YOU find out, it might not get addressed.

      So---if there is no issue with the initial application process, a determination is usually made within about 6-12 weeks. If approved, you will start to receive a check the first month after you get notified.  Usually SSA wants you to have a direct deposit bank account set up so they can send you your monthly benefits.  Usually at that time they will also give you a lump sum payment.  This is for every month from the time you first applied until you are approved.  Most of the Folks I have worked with wind up receiving about 10 months worth of payments at one time.

      I have seen in other places on the net that people claim you can't have more than $2000.00 in assets on SSI or DI or you loose your subsidy.  While technically this is true, your SSDI lump sum payment DOES NOT COUNT. You do not have to "spend down" this money, since it was owed to you in the first place and is considered an underpayment.

      IF YOU ARE DENIED—ALWAYS APPEAL!  80% of denials are overturned on their second appeal.  If denied; appeal again. Overturns at this stage are approved over 90% of the time. 

      The other reason to always appeal no matter what you are applying for (or might already be receiving), is that you continue to receive the state or federal service until a FINAL determination is made. For example if you have lost your Medicare benefits and have appealed, the state is required to continue to provide service until that final determination.  Appeals can sometimes go on for a few years.  

      Last, if you continue to have trouble with the SSA, contact your local Center for Independent Living of CIL.  This is an advocacy organization that is run by and for people with disabilities and they can assist you in obtaining your SSDI or help you to fight to get it.  The CILs will do this free of charge to you and will never charge you a fee to act as an advocate on your behalf.  There are over 300 CILs country wide and you probably have one pretty close to where you live.

      Whew!! So much for the short answer---

      Good luck and keep up the good fight!

      Sincerely,
      Chris

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    • ARoseisaRose
      May 22, 2012
      ARoseisaRose
      May 22, 2012

      Hi, If you read this email me at eagleford12@yahoo.com  I would like an update.  All of our symptoms are so similar.  I am 49 yrs. old.  Hope you read this.  Rose

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  • chroniclimitations November 28, 2010
    chroniclimitations
    November 28, 2010

    I am 53 I was diagnosed with TMJ 1997, fibromyalgia in 2001, I injured my tail bone in 2006 I had 8  procedures in the hospital to remove excess liquid in my sacchral joints and steroid injections for inflamation  mobility painit only got worse,My general practitioner told me it was too much and weakened and damaged the joints that only 3 in a year is suggested. I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 12. I have 2 bulging discs  diagnosed in 2009 that the neuroligist would not repair  he knew my insurance was running out, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2009  and restless leg syndrome and have a low oxygen of 70 percent diagnosed with blood test in 2009 I was diagnosed with advanced rhumatoid arthritis  just this months, I have suffered with chronic fatigue for years. I had to quit a physical job in 2007 it was the first physical job attempted in decades my body was so inflamed and I was pulling my legs into the car just to drive my dr suggested I quit could not even make a month. I worked part time in 2009, which was very difficult for me climbing up and down stairs driving there and even getting showered i would come home and instantly fall asleep in a chair fatuiged I have had 3 eye surgeries that i have learned the disease is related to ra first two in the nineties one in 2008. My vision is so blurred first few hours after wakening cannot drive or read then gets better. I am starting a small business in the spring that I will only be able to do a few days a week few hours a day because of my mobility limitations pain and chronic fatigue.The ss sight states you cannot work for one year and  a ss di attorney told me you can work while applying for ss disability as long as your gross is not more than 1,000 a month. I also know people that have been rejected and the refusal letter said still able to find employment making what they consider substantial income 1,000 month worked 36 years as a machinist making 70,000 year  and had 2 failed back surgeries. I have been on anti depressants and anti anxiety meds for a year. I end up in conveinant care for injections when i am stuck in bed for days unable to turn or lift my neck . I fall for no reason. I have been through physical therapy starting in 2001 accupunture massage therapy in 2010 a litni of prescriptions. Those of you the receive ssdi for ra what factor of the disease do you believe got ssdi for you? 

    Anyone know about working pt while applying. My dr got disabled parking plates for me this year.

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  • laurah February 06, 2014
    laurah
    February 06, 2014

    Anything that effects your ability to work at all qualitifes for SS. Even depression (its not easy but I know someone who did it) You need a LOT of medical evidence to support your claim and only 30% of people are approved (just like the insurance company.....its all a numbers game) If you are denied, hire an attorney. Thats really the only way to win quickly. Get a very aggressive attorney who specializes in dissability and SS claims.

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  • terrirwoods September 11, 2012
    terrirwoods
    September 11, 2012

    I have applied twice and been turned away twice. I have now hired an attorney, who tells me this time it could take 8-12 months to get an answer. I have RA, Fibromyalgia, Peripheral Neuropathy, Carpel Tunnel, IBS, Willis Ekbum disease, and degenerative arthritis of the spine.

    I can barely take care of myself, let alone my two sons, 15 and 10.  Some mornings can't get out of bed because my body is so stiffened up.  I am 49 years old and was told the same thing-I'm young enough, my background training and work experience. They do admit I may not be able to do the work I was in five years ago, but I can find a job somewhere.

    Where?  Who wants someone that has to lay on the floor, or crawl up the stairs on hands and legs? Who has to go home to change her attire due to an accident? Or is shaking and jerking around like a Ragdoll on crack? Not to mention the sick time that will be taken due to doctor appointments, procedures and just plain in pain.

    It sometimes sickens me to see others on disability that are just skipping through life when mine is such a struggle.  Not to mention the embarrassment that it causes.  I'm sure my boys teachers think their Mom is just lazy when she can't get her sons up to catch the bus and then can't drive them to school when they miss it.

    So another year I wait. Don't know where we will be by the time this is over. Praying that it will still be in our home.

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  • PA-Suzz May 29, 2012
    PA-Suzz
    May 29, 2012

    I applied for SSDI and was approved within 6 weeks. 

    I have PA and RA .

    Details, details, details.  When they ask, for example: are you able to get to the bathroom.  Don't just say 'yes'....give details on how it is for you, from getting up from the chair, to walking into the bathroom, etc. etc.

    They want to hear how things are for you with the simple tasks of each day.

     

    I hope it helps. and Best of luck.  I've been on SSDI for 18 months now, and am also on a work program within SSDI, so I can work part time at my former job, which I do 100% from home.

    (((Hugs)))

    xo xo

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  • angie May 29, 2012
    angie
    May 29, 2012

    Not true. But it is a process. I applied and was turned down. There are many steps to the process. I have already made an appt with an atty. Also, contact your congressman.... They have a person in their office to help us with this. they should be a great resource for you. Good luck! let us know.

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  • SSDisability July 18, 2011
    SSDisability
    July 18, 2011

    I would suspect whoever told you that it wasn't possible to collect SSDI with Rheumatoid Arthritis isn't the most familiar with the SSDI application process.  Keep well documented medical records.  Hire a specialzed Social Security Attorney.  And make sure to show how you are unable to work due to your RA.  I hope this helps.

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