Running the Social Security Disability Maze.
I have read many great posts on this site about applying for SSD. I was just approved for it and thought I would share my experience and how I went about getting approved. I was the only bread winner in my family and being dxd with 3 auto immune diseases was devastating to me both medically and financially. With the economy the way it is I was terrified I would lose our home. I was awarded Long Term Disability from my job, that covered the current bills, but I had only 9 months of medical coverage before I would termed from work and be on my own for medical insurance. With my Rituxan infusions running $12,000 each, I would not be able to stay afloat for long. I applied for SSDI last July, financially it would be a bust as my LTD would decrease my payment by the same amount, but I would gain Medicare. Its not likely another insurance company would touch me
I read many horror stories of waiting for years for a court date, or using lawyers who then demanded a hefty price for representing you. I sifted through 100’s of websites promising immediate results (again for a price) or just plain scams that would quite obviously take advantage of you and leave you hanging. I am a stout patriot and decided to place my faith in the United States of America and the fact that the program is there to help her citizens. I had 24 years of continous work under my belt, and just could not do my job any more. With this in mind I applied online, I wrote myself many notes beforehand by researching the SS site. I hit them with everything I had, no matter how minimal it seemed. I got all my doctors behind me 100% as well. Within 2 months I was denied… The reason? We agree you are disabled, BUT you may not be within 12 months.
Well, I was not a happy camper, but I still had faith in the system. I read on many many sites where you are nearly always denied on your first attempt. So I decided to go it alone, with no lawyer on my appeal. I filled out the appeal online as well. This time I did all the same things, got my docs going on it, hit them with everything I had, and decided to bring in the big guns. I emailed or went to the office of every Congressman and Senator that represented our area. I found them very open to help, and recieved dozens of letters and calls from them as they asked for info from the regional supervisors and state offices. This time I was sent to a Ortho doc of their choice. I held nothing back, every ache and pain, all meds, I was with the doc for an hour. The following week my case supervisor called me and asked me all the same questions the Ortho doc asked me! Two weeks later I had a deposit in my checking account that covered me from the day I applied! I am still thanking the congressmen and senators that pushed it so hard for me. And my faith in the USA is bouyed even further!
Good luck to you if you are applying, stay positive and be ready for a long haul.