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  #1  
Old 12-26-2009, 05:02 PM
Quasimodem Quasimodem is offline
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Okay, I Was Turned Down For SSDI By Social Security

The letter of denial is worded so that a close friend of mine said they were "projecting" me, meaning that they expect me to "get better" within a year.

My friend said that Social Security never projects mental cases and recommends I get my local congressman involved to do an inquiry. I will also file an appeal with SS (which I am advised to do within 60 days).

Since they sent this letter on the 11th of December, they can't know that I was recently hospitalized for the suicidal ideations, so that will be included in the authorization form my congressman will need.

One thing though: SS listed ALL the reports they received including one from my attorneys Binder & Binder. What would they have to report since I had not been denied to their knowledge (B&B's, I mean)?

My friend also says that B&B are going to be useless to me in this (projected) case, so if they are, and the Congressional Inquiry/Appeal doesn't work, I'm fucked.

Thanks

Q
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2009, 05:58 PM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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Originally Posted by Quasimodem View Post
One thing though: SS listed ALL the reports they received including one from my attorneys Binder & Binder. What would they have to report since I had not been denied to their knowledge (B&B's, I mean)?
Did you hire B&B before your application was denied? Maybe they preemptively sent SSA a copy of your medical reports.

Quote:
My friend also says that B&B are going to be useless to me in this (projected) case, so if they are, and the Congressional Inquiry/Appeal doesn't work, I'm fucked.
I don't know anything about B&B except that they advertise on TV, which is a red flag to me for attorneys. But you're not fucked yet. There's more than one step in the SSA appeal process. I think the first step is a hearing at the local level before an administrative law judge, and if you don't prevail there, then it's off to federal court.

What made you decide on Binder & Binder? Did they refer you to a local attorney who specializes in SSA Disability?
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2009, 06:14 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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From the experiences of a close friend denied SSDI and two fellow Tertiaries with Barb who are advocates for the disabled, mentally disturbed, and the like, a denial is "normal" -- it's rare for a claim to be sufficiently convincing that SSA will award a claim. (One horror story was the denial of a paraplegic with no office skills, on the ground that he could theoretically find work.)

Appeal. Talk to your lawyers. And don't despair -- most valid claims do get awarded at the ammeals elvels.
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2009, 06:22 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Quasi -

Virtually EVERYONE is denied SSDI the first time around. Seriously. They make you fight tooth and nail.

My husband has been using Binder & Binder. They are, pardon the language, fucking useless. If we get another denial we are firing them and getting real attorneys. I suggest you do the same.

We have since been advised to hire a LOCAL attorney that specializes in SSDI cases.

Don't despair. A denial is, unfortunately, normal. It's outrageous. KEEP TRYING!!!!
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2009, 06:31 PM
freckafree freckafree is offline
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My husband used to be (many, many moons ago) an SSDI disability examiner. When he was working for them, he and the other examiners were expected to deny something like 70% of their cases. They had huge caseloads, which did not favor careful examination of applications.

Definitely appeal and don't give up hope.
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2009, 08:10 PM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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Here's how to get started:

Johnny Isakson - http://isakson.senate.gov/

Saxby Chambliss - http://chambliss.senate.gov/public/index.cfm

Here's what Senator Chambliss says about help with federal agencies:

http://chambliss.senate.gov/public/i...ederalAgencies

AND he says you need to complete this form;

http://chambliss.senate.gov/public/i...acyReleaseForm

I don't know who your Representative is -- you'll have to help us there. Here's a list of representatives from the office of the Governor (with hyperlinks):

http://gov.georgia.gov/00/channel_ti...688171,00.html

Be sure to call these offices as well -- if you can get the attention of one of their aides perhaps they will forward your urgent request up the pipeline and you'll get some real movement here.

Hope this helps. Know that the SSDI guys turn nearly everyone down the first time -- I've seen them refuse people blinded and crippled by ciguatera poisoning, people who had brain lesions from HIV, etc. It's staggering to see how insensitive the system can be. But persevere. Hang in there.

Oh, try contacting Governor Sonny Perdue's office as well:

http://gov.georgia.gov/00/gov/contac...820188,00.html

Sending good thoughts your way, my dear.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2009, 06:22 PM
dragonlady dragonlady is offline
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A co-workers wife was denied with an inoperable brain tumor. I'm not sure how they expected her condition to improve, but they did. She was already almost unintelligible verbally, and looked like she had suffered a massive stroke. It took two appeals before he took her into the hearing so they could actually SEE what they were talking about.
Wankers.

Don't give up. Sometimes you must insist that the system function.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2009, 07:10 PM
Quasimodem Quasimodem is offline
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Originally Posted by AuntiePam View Post
Did you hire B&B before your application was denied? Maybe they preemptively sent SSA a copy of your medical reports.



I don't know anything about B&B except that they advertise on TV, which is a red flag to me for attorneys. But you're not fucked yet. There's more than one step in the SSA appeal process. I think the first step is a hearing at the local level before an administrative law judge, and if you don't prevail there, then it's off to federal court.

What made you decide on Binder & Binder? Did they refer you to a local attorney who specializes in SSA Disability?
Quote:
Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
Here's how to get started:

Johnny Isakson - http://isakson.senate.gov/

Saxby Chambliss - http://chambliss.senate.gov/public/index.cfm

Here's what Senator Chambliss says about help with federal agencies:

http://chambliss.senate.gov/public/i...ederalAgencies

AND he says you need to complete this form;

http://chambliss.senate.gov/public/i...acyReleaseForm

I don't know who your Representative is -- you'll have to help us there. Here's a list of representatives from the office of the Governor (with hyperlinks):

http://gov.georgia.gov/00/channel_ti...688171,00.html

Be sure to call these offices as well -- if you can get the attention of one of their aides perhaps they will forward your urgent request up the pipeline and you'll get some real movement here.

Hope this helps. Know that the SSDI guys turn nearly everyone down the first time -- I've seen them refuse people blinded and crippled by ciguatera poisoning, people who had brain lesions from HIV, etc. It's staggering to see how insensitive the system can be. But persevere. Hang in there.

Oh, try contacting Governor Sonny Perdue's office as well:

http://gov.georgia.gov/00/gov/contac...820188,00.html

Sending good thoughts your way, my dear.
I got a "my dear" from Tuba Diva! That's pretty COOL to ME!


1. Yes, Auntie Pam I DID hire B&B before the app was denied. I thought (then) it was probably the wisest choice. No, they did NOT refer me to a local attorney,

Apparently, I was wrong to do that.

2. Tuba Diva, I printed out all your info, and we will follow up, thank you!

And thanks to all of you for your good wishes!

Quasi

PS: Note to TB...... scroll over the "light" message!
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2009, 08:34 PM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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Originally Posted by Quasimodem View Post
1. Yes, Auntie Pam I DID hire B&B before the app was denied. I thought (then) it was probably the wisest choice. No, they did NOT refer me to a local attorney,

Apparently, I was wrong to do that.
Maybe, maybe not. If you're not comfortable with B&B and what they've done for you so far, contact a local attorney, see if they can help from here on.
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2009, 09:28 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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While an impairment must have lasted or be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months (20 CFR s 404.1509), in more than 20 years of reviewing disability determinations I have never heard the term "projected" used. You might well be served at getting some better counsel than you currently enjoy.

There certainly are plenty of local counsel in all regions of the country eager to handle Social Security disability claims (tho they may not all sport the stylish headwear of the guy in B&B's ads!) If you are unable to attract a lawyer, it may say something about the strength of your claim.

Whatever else you do, if you wish to pursue this by all means exercise your administrative appeal rights within the time required. Otherwise, the decision you presently have becomes final and unappealable. (20 CFR s 404.905)
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  #11  
Old 12-28-2009, 11:29 AM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Quasi -

Virtually EVERYONE is denied SSDI the first time around.
This has been my experience also. My sister-in-law, who has chronic-progressive MS and is almost completely paralyzed from the neck down, was denied SSDI the first time she applied. You can't give up.
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  #12  
Old 12-28-2009, 11:30 AM
FalconFinder FalconFinder is offline
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Make sure you file your reconsideration in the time allotted! It took me to the third reconsideration (ALJ hearing) before I got disability.

Have patience and make sure you fill out all forms and to the best of your ability. It's a long and torturous process, but they are trying to weed out the fraud (as best they can) and that may be one way they do it.

Expect to be denied a second time and make sure you file that reconsideration in the proper time-frame, as well.
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  #13  
Old 12-28-2009, 04:28 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is online now
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If you don't mind my asking, what about the idea of moving to Germany?
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  #14  
Old 12-28-2009, 04:51 PM
Gfactor Gfactor is offline
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1. Most of my close friends think they know a lot about all sorts of legal things. Most of them are wrong. It sounds like your friend, well-intentioned as they might be, doesn't have much of a clue about SSDI, although they probably are a great friend.

2. I would ask what your lawyer says about it, but that's the wrong approach. Let me take a different tack instead. Find out what your lawyer says about it--and then for the sake of all things holy, keep it to yourself. No need to post it here.

3. If you want a second legal opinion, by all means get one--not here--but get one from a lawyer. You can discuss B&B's opinion with the other lawyer, but once again, it's bad idea to do it here.

4. Some of the advice you are getting in this thread is good (especially about continuing the reconsideration and appeals process in timely manner) but still, the best advice you will get will come from your own lawyer. If you aren't confident in the one you have, get a different one.

5. While my experience in Social Security law pales in comparison to Dinsdale's, I'll also echo what he said. "Projected," isn't a meaningful term, which means your friend does't understad the letter. Call your lawyer.

Last edited by Gfactor; 12-28-2009 at 04:54 PM..
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2009, 09:00 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Quasi -

Virtually EVERYONE is denied SSDI the first time around. Seriously.
Feel free to believe whatever you wish based upon your personal experience. But nationally, the DDS initial allowance rate is around 35-36%.

(I found 2003-05 data quickly, and did not care to try to find more recent. Sorry, no link possible. So feel free to disbelieve me if that makes you happier.)

The amount of ignorance that exists concerning Social Security - and the regularity with which that ignorance is bandied about as fact - is truly amazing.
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  #16  
Old 12-29-2009, 04:03 PM
bobkitty bobkitty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
The amount of ignorance that exists concerning Social Security - and the regularity with which that ignorance is bandied about as fact - is truly amazing.

From here:

Quote:
During Fiscal Year (FY) 2006, 163,659 people applied for disability benefits through Social Security (SSDI) in the state of Ohio. Of those people, 73.4 percent had their claims initially denied. That means that Ohio has an initial approval rate of about 27 percent, which was lower than all but four other states (Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee), with the national average at about 36 percent. At the reconsideration stage (which immediately follows the initial application for those who decide to appeal), only about another 11 percent are approved in Ohio, which leaves 62 percent either flatly denied or headed for the hearing process.
(bolding mine)

Sure, *nationally* the approval rate is 36%. But Ohio and four other states (one of which Quasi lives in) have a less than 27% approval rate. Are you saying it *surprises* you that the perception is that 'virtually everyone' is denied on initial application?

How about we look a the appeal process, which is where that 64-73% remainder end up; from here:

Quote:
Last month, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue announced that for the first time in a decade, the agency ended its fiscal year with fewer pending disability hearings than in the previous year. It closed FY 2009 with 722,822 pending hearings a reduction of more than 37,000 cases from its 760,813 hearings pending at the start of the fiscal year. Processing time for cases also improved over the same period, dropping from an average of 514 days in FY 2008 to 491 days in FY 2009.
In Quasi's state, appeals take between 750 and 828 days (second paragraph in that link).

Really, you're 'amazed' that people 'bandy about' this perception? When only between 1/4 and 1/3 of the applications are approved, and it takes two to four years ON AVERAGE for an appeal?

Would you feel better if Broomstick had used "an extremely high number of cases" as a qualifier instead of 'virtually everyone'? She may have been using a bit of hyperbole in an effort to make Quasi feel better, but considering her situation- and the examples brought up in this thread- isn't that understandable?
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  #17  
Old 12-29-2009, 04:07 PM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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Originally Posted by bobkitty View Post
Sure, *nationally* the approval rate is 36%. But Ohio and four other states (one of which Quasi lives in) have a less than 27% approval rate. Are you saying it *surprises* you that the perception is that 'virtually everyone' is denied on initial application?
And since I echoed the comment, I'll point out I live in one of those other states with a lower approval rate than Ohio.
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  #18  
Old 12-29-2009, 04:13 PM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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So you think 75% = "virtually everyone"?

Must be that new math.

Believe whatever you wish.
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  #19  
Old 12-29-2009, 09:45 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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They turn down everyone the first time. Always appeal. Always appeal.
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  #20  
Old 12-29-2009, 10:26 PM
samclem samclem is online now
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Originally Posted by The Second Stone View Post
They turn down everyone the first time. Always appeal. Always appeal.
After all that has been demonstrated above, why would you write "they turn down everyone the first time?"
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  #21  
Old 12-29-2009, 10:34 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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I was approved right away. It may have been due to the fact that I had already been on State Disability (and used it up) for a year before applying for SSDI. Plus my case was very documented.

Last edited by running coach; 12-29-2009 at 10:34 PM..
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  #22  
Old 12-30-2009, 09:07 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
I was approved right away.
No you weren't!

The documentaton (and the severity of your condition) is what mattered - not the determination by any other governmental or nongovernmental agency. 20 CFR 404.1504.

As hard as it might be to believe, not every single individual who applies for SS disab benefits satisfies the statutory/regulatory requirements for disability. And, whether you like it or not, the relevant question is not whether you believe you are able to work, but whether you meet the legal requirements for disability.

Nor does every single applicant - even those whose condition might be sufficiently severe to satisfy the requirements - submit sufficient evidence with their initial application.

Moreover, it is critical that individuals be found disabled before getting benefits, because (with few exceptions) once someone is on the rolls they are on for life (or until they qualify for old-age bennies), unless it can be shown that they medically improved. If they were not disabled in the first place, it can be - uh - difficult to show that they improved such that they are no longer disabled.

And would this be the appropriate place to note the existence of a schedule of presumptively disabling impairments which insures that at least some of the worst off folk are awarded benefits without delay?

But I guess the government ought to just award everyone who applies indefinite benefits anyway...
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  #23  
Old 12-30-2009, 10:27 AM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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After reading all of this, I have to keep wondering how the blankety blank my ex-wife was ever approved for SSDI for mental illness issues.

"Can't work in public", yet she loved to hang out at the Mall of America and work at the Renaissance Festival.

Anyway, old crap.

Hope you get through the appeals process with lightning speed and get approved, Quasi!
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  #24  
Old 12-30-2009, 10:30 AM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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A system that turns down the overwhelming majority of people first time around -- including people in desperate need -- a system that has over 700,00 pending cases left to adjudicate at the end of every year -- that's not a system to be proud of.

I think a lot of those turndowns are not based on anything but hope that the applicant will die before the appeal comes up, two or three or more years down the road. Since they reflexively turn down people with brain tumors and similar -- I knew people who died of cancer, people who died of complications of AIDS waiting on disability -- none of us should be surprised.

In fact the criteria is mysterious. I've also known people who really weren't all that bad off and would have been able to work except they never did a useful day's work to begin with, they got approved on the first shot. This includes people I knew were small casino style scam artists, drug addicts, etc. They got approved for relatively minor situations while other people I have known that couldn't carry themselves across the floor got told to take a hike, they could surely find some job of work to do, don't let being blind and having seizures stop them.

It's a disgusting litany of human suffering. What's Quasi supposed to do, live on air?
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  #25  
Old 12-30-2009, 11:21 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
I think a lot of those turndowns are not based on anything but hope that the applicant will die before the appeal comes up, two or three or more years down the road.
Quite an accusation. Would be especially impressive if a huge organization supposedly as inefficient and ineffective as Social Security were able to keep such a nefarious policy secret.

I have no intention of defending the time it takes SS at any step of the review process, and apologize if I ever suggested as much. For years, SS has talked about making various changes to reduce delay and to improve the reliability of decisions made at earlier steps in the process. While the current situation may be far from where it ought to be, my understanding is that at least some limited, modest improvements have been made over the past decade or so. Of course, that understandably provides little solace to someone who perceives themself as in dire need of benefits.

Sorry, but I don't feel like looking up the readily available info as to recent improvement attempts and their success or failure.
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  #26  
Old 12-30-2009, 01:41 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
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Originally Posted by Gfactor View Post
5. While my experience in Social Security law pales in comparison to Dinsdale's, I'll also echo what he said. "Projected," isn't a meaningful term, which means your friend does't understad the letter. Call your lawyer.
And *MY* experience in Social Security law pales next to GFactor's.



But his advice is exactly right. Follow it.
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  #27  
Old 12-30-2009, 02:29 PM
becks2cents becks2cents is offline
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I posted my thoughts about how terrible it is that a person who is genuienly disabled, not only has to deal with a disabling disease, but has to also deal with all the bureaucracy, paperwork and time that it takes to just get basic human needs met in this country in Quasi's Hey Everyone's thread.

It's bad enough that a person gets so ill that they can barely function and then be expected to have the energy, emotions and money to fight for what they've paid into their entire working lives, with no choice on out part to pay into it or not. Sad, just sad.

I'm also not an expert on SSDI, but I've seen and read enough cases to know, way too many people suffer while fighting the system.

Just wanted to post one case I came across from an Alzheimers forum that discusses this. In this persons case it worked the first time and this is what they did. Hope it helps.

"I am sorry that you are dealing with this. My husband is 57 and was diagnosed 4 years ago. He went on LTD after working at the same place for 37 1/2 years. I applied for SSDI at that time and we received it within 6 months. He did have a diagnosis at the time. It helps to have a diagnosis. I know that this is not the average and have heard of a lot of people having to wait a long time. It helped by having a contact at the Social Security Office locally and faxing all of his medical records and test results to them. This excellerated the process by them not having to request it from the doctors and hospitals. I think that is what helped me the most was being proactive for him. You can file on line and find a local office there also. Call and get a name of a person that you can deal with. That is what I did. Alot of the time it is hard to get through on the 1st of the month or on a Monday. Good luck! You will be in my prayers."

If nothing else Quasi, we are all wishing you the strength, and in some gentle ways, pushing you to keep going.

In my thoughts always, Becks
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  #28  
Old 12-30-2009, 02:30 PM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
And would this be the appropriate place to note the existence of a schedule of presumptively disabling impairments which insures that at least some of the worst off folk are awarded benefits without delay?
Just wanted to point out that I ran across something that makes me think presumptive disability only applies to SSI (Title XVI), not DIB (Title II).

But it is not something I ever need to deal with and am too lazy too look it up right now.
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  #29  
Old 12-30-2009, 02:48 PM
Hey Hey Paula Hey Hey Paula is online now
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Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
I was approved right away. It may have been due to the fact that I had already been on State Disability (and used it up) for a year before applying for SSDI. Plus my case was very documented.
My husband was also approved right away. He too had been on California SDI for a year, and had a solid diagnosis, and his case was well documented. It helped that all of his medical care had been through Kaiser so we didn't have to hunt down medical records from multiple doctors and facilities.

Three years later he had to be reevaluated or reassessed, something like that. By then, he was a participant in a study of his rare disease at the National Institute of Health, so his disablity was even more well documented. That was seven or eight years ago, and he hasn't had to go through that again, thank goodness.
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  #30  
Old 12-30-2009, 02:55 PM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Sorry for monopolizing this thread (but I'm REALLY bored with what I'm doing!) I wanted to point out a couple of things that I'm sure you all know, but that often go unsaid and impress me as a little curious.

-A lot of people talk as tho SS is simply a retirement savings paln, complain that they would have done better if they had invested there (and their employer's) contributions themselves, and ask how much will be left when they need SS. As this thread shows, SS is far more than simply a retirement system, and one never can be certain exactly when they are going to "need it." Yet folk seem to believe that somehow this "safety net" can exist with no one paying for it.

-When created SS did not include disability, SSI, survivors, child's, etc. Folk often urge that SS should be reformed, but curiously they never seem to urge reduction or elimination of the programs they personally benefit from (or expect to).

-Altho you must be insured to receive DIB, there is no link between the lifetime bennies you will receive and the amount you paid in. Just saying, a 25 year old can become disabled and draw DIB for 4 decades - many times his lifetime contribution, after which he draws old age. I'm no math expert, but if that is a possibility that we believe socially desireable, then doesn't it seem as tho some people are necessarily going to have to draw out substantially less than they paid in?

Just a couple of things I wanted to say. I truly wish that everyone quickly obtains the benefits they deserve.
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  #31  
Old 12-30-2009, 02:59 PM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Originally Posted by Hey Hey Paula View Post
Three years later he had to be reevaluated or reassessed, something like that. By then, he was a participant in a study of his rare disease at the National Institute of Health, so his disablity was even more well documented. That was seven or eight years ago, and he hasn't had to go through that again, thank goodness.
Continuing disability review. Going to happen again periodically - how often depends on various factors. Keep up with the documentation.

I'm sure it is inconvenient, but I think you can appreciate that it is necessary. I hope I don't shock you if I assure you there are people who willingly continue to accept DIB after experiencing significant improvement - or even after returning to work.
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  #32  
Old 12-30-2009, 03:48 PM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
Sorry for monopolizing this thread (but I'm REALLY bored with what I'm doing!) I wanted to point out a couple of things that I'm sure you all know, but that often go unsaid and impress me as a little curious.

-A lot of people talk as tho SS is simply a retirement savings paln, complain that they would have done better if they had invested there (and their employer's) contributions themselves, and ask how much will be left when they need SS. As this thread shows, SS is far more than simply a retirement system, and one never can be certain exactly when they are going to "need it." Yet folk seem to believe that somehow this "safety net" can exist with no one paying for it.

-When created SS did not include disability, SSI, survivors, child's, etc. Folk often urge that SS should be reformed, but curiously they never seem to urge reduction or elimination of the programs they personally benefit from (or expect to).

-Altho you must be insured to receive DIB, there is no link between the lifetime bennies you will receive and the amount you paid in. Just saying, a 25 year old can become disabled and draw DIB for 4 decades - many times his lifetime contribution, after which he draws old age. I'm no math expert, but if that is a possibility that we believe socially desireable, then doesn't it seem as tho some people are necessarily going to have to draw out substantially less than they paid in?

Just a couple of things I wanted to say. I truly wish that everyone quickly obtains the benefits they deserve.
I hope you know I am not in any way upset with you -- in fact, I appreciate the contributions you've made here.

You are no doubt correct that people really don't know or understand this subject -- many (if not most) Americans do assume something or someone will step in to help them in catastrophic times. As to whether that assumption is a fair one that's something for another thread, not this one.

Don't most people who live to collect Social Security get far more than they ever put in as well? I know lots of older people who would heartily disagree on that and who would tell you not only is this what they're entitled to, it's not enough and they should get still more. Again, not for this thread but similar entitlement beliefs.

My own experiences in this have been while helping other people in these dire times in their lives -- situations that can lead a carepartner to have many discussions with many kinds of people with many job titles. Often when dealing with these people -- medical personnel, insurance agents of all kinds, the wall of bureaucracy that gets involved in the process -- the road is tortuous and difficult. "Because if we made it easy people would take advantage." Because these things are just hard, I guess.

It's been very frustrating to me over the years to do the dance, to do the immense work involved in these things -- and the paper chase is huge, let me tell you -- and then be curtly turned down and given a damned lie on top of it. According to many in the insurance and disability fields the list of ailments that keep people from finding and keeping productive work is minute and does not include blindness, brain tumors, or crippling disease. Having somebody tell you that while you're wiping the ass of the person involved because they can't do it for themselves is infuriating. To finally be approved -- but years later -- with the same paperwork! is no less so -- gratitude mixed with aggravation for all the suffering that happened in the meantime. But it's the only system available and the only thing to do.
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  #33  
Old 12-30-2009, 03:49 PM
becks2cents becks2cents is offline
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Yeah, but, but....

I don't think there are any of us, that have our heads so buried in the sand, that we don't know the reason the process has become so difficult, is because there are many that abuse the system and get away with it.

But when it is so obvious, as the nose on the powers to be's faces, that someone is obviously disabled and cannot financially provide the basic necessites of life for themselves, they should not have to go through such an extended draining experience.

How each one views all this, depends on the situation they are currently in. I've been hearing so much lately from those that are set up, at the moment, with their lives and financial situation in order, that it's the persons own fault if they are in a bad way. They did not get a higher education, did not work hard enough, save or invest money correctly, blah, blah, blah.

Life has a way of snatching the rug out from under us when we least expect it. No matter how hard we've tried to do the right things to care for ourselves, there is always some outside force or people that do have control over us and we can land flat on our faces. Anyone who belives differently, does have their heads in the sand.

Sorry Quas, guess I just needed to vent a little.
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  #34  
Old 12-30-2009, 04:13 PM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
Don't most people who live to collect Social Security get far more than they ever put in as well?
Yeah, that's certainly the official party line. And I personally find it persuasive. And one reason to start drawing as soon as you are eligible. But it depends on estimates as to rates of return - which folk can debate. Takes longer (of course) if you include your employer's contribution as well. But some folk will never be convinced,and will maintain that they would have voluntarily saved as much on their own and invested it in a manner to consistently beat the market...

Quote:
the reason the process has become so difficult, is because there are many that abuse the system and get away with it.
Ya know, there is a lot less intentional "fraud"-type abuse than you might think. Instead, there is a lot more folk who don't know what is required to qualify. And the requirements are pretty strict. It is intended for people who are REALLY fucked up, not just unable to do their regular job, or any job they want to do.

Filings definitely track the economy. When folk get laid off, applications increase. Some laborer who loses his job, its understandable that he doesn't want to work for minimum wage taking tickets at a movie theater - whether or not he'd get hired for that job if he applied. Moreover, just because he might be capable of physically and mentally performing the requirements of some terribly undemanding sedentary job, doesn't mean that any vacancies exist or that any one would hire a middle aged guy with a bad back and a heart condition, instead of some teenager.

Not saying it is the best desireable system, just trying to explain how I perceive it to be. I think there are HUGE opportunities to improve the system. The big problem, however, is that to do so necessarily involves taking something away from someone who feels entitled to it. And politicians pretty regularly hate to make such decisions.

And as far as I can tell, the delays in processing are not because huge crowds of thoughtless or insensitive government drones are dragging their heels. Folk at the lowest levels have pretty crushing caseloads, and many district office employees are WAY down on the GS pay scale. It is a HUGE system, and increasing performance requires resources.
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  #35  
Old 12-31-2009, 08:55 PM
handsomeharry handsomeharry is offline
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Originally Posted by Skammer View Post
This has been my experience also. My sister-in-law, who has chronic-progressive MS and is almost completely paralyzed from the neck down, was denied SSDI the first time she applied. You can't give up.
I think that the usual number of times is three.

hh
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  #36  
Old 01-01-2010, 01:35 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
Ya know, there is a lot less intentional "fraud"-type abuse than you might think. Instead, there is a lot more folk who don't know what is required to qualify. And the requirements are pretty strict. It is intended for people who are REALLY fucked up, not just unable to do their regular job, or any job they want to do.
I think a lot of the problem has to do with what I call, as a shorthand, "druidism (1)." Other proposals include "anti-transparency", "feeding the lawyers" and "the ignorance of others is power."

There have been times when finding out information about different kinds of Visas to the US, who was eligible, what documents were needed and how to submit them was a matter of spending 5-10 minutes in the webpage of the State Department. There have been other times when it wasn't even possible to find a list of the different kinds of Visas.

Those are just two extremes; in between you have all kinds of degrees. There seems to be people in this world who think that, by making the information difficult to find and/or decipher, they're giving themselves more power. What they don't seem to realize or care about is that they're also making things more difficult for everybody, multiplying the amount of work, and growing ill-will exponentially.

I'm sure that the immense majority of SS workers would be happy to grant disability ASAP to anybody who needs it. But it isn't them who decide how to write the webpages, pamphlets and other information materials. As becks2cents quoted, when the standard materials are obscure your best bet is finding a personal contact, someone who's willing to sit down with you and make sure that you're not missing one piece of paper whose lack will render the whole process invalid. This can be done either directly or by using a local lawyer who specializes in dealing with, in this case, SS: part of their specialization consists on already having those contacts.



1: one of the most-repeated lines of the French comic book Asterix is that certain specialized knowledge must pass only from the mouth of a druid to the ear of another druid. This is because the knowledge in question (the making of magic potions) is for tasks that are actually quite easy to perform; if anybody could get the recipes there would be no need for druids and no control over who did and did not get the potions. "Knowledge is power."

Last edited by Nava; 01-01-2010 at 01:39 AM..
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  #37  
Old 01-01-2010, 02:43 AM
Quasimodem Quasimodem is offline
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Oh, My OG!

Haven't y'all been busy while I was gone???

Honestly, I appreciate all the advice and the vents, but right now, I'm a guy who just turned 60, and can't remember where he put his damn robe 5 seconds after he took it off.

But that isn't YOUR problem, I UNDERSTAND that!

This is just a place I come for advice and (sometimes) answers.

To be honest, this shit didn't start just this past year.

It's been working on me for 5 years, I think.

But how to explain that to people who think you can get "better" within 12 months?

Hell, I've been an RT for 17 years and at least 5 of them have been "compromised" by my mental status!

Would you want YOUR loved one to be seen my ME????


Q
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  #38  
Old 01-01-2010, 04:16 AM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
After all that has been demonstrated above, why would you write "they turn down everyone the first time?"
That is a good question. I have a very good friend who worked in a social security office. She said that they turn down everyone the first time. And they usually reverse it on appeal. This was the office policy of the office of social security that she worked at. That is why I say it.
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  #39  
Old 01-01-2010, 08:40 AM
LurkMeister LurkMeister is offline
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Originally Posted by The Second Stone View Post
That is a good question. I have a very good friend who worked in a social security office. She said that they turn down everyone the first time. And they usually reverse it on appeal. This was the office policy of the office of social security that she worked at. That is why I say it.
I used to work for Social Security, in one of the payment centers. The decision to approve or disapprove any claim for benefits, either disability or retirement, is not made at the local offices. The local offices process the applications and send them on to the payment centers for approval or disapproval. And, while I did not work with disability applications as part of my regular duties, I did see a fair number of files on people who were receiving disability benefits whose applications were approved without need for appeal.

If there is an official policy to deny initial disability applications and require appeal before acceptance, this is the first I've heard of it. Yes, many claims do get denied and then reversed on appeal. Sometimes this is because the initial claim did not include all the pertinent medical data. My own wife's claim for disability benefits was denied because whoever initially reviewed it did not look at the entire file; she had two different conditions, neither of which by itself was sufficient to keep her from working but when combined made it impossible for her to get a job, and upon review this was corrected. Also, we did not bother hiring an attorney, because I saw no reason to pay someone 25% of her past due benefits just to file the appeal forms.
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