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    applying for S.S. disability
    shania09 posted:
    I have never done this before, so I need some advice. They want to know whether or not my pdoc would say I couldn't work. What would be the conditions for something like that? Why couldn't someone work? What info do they want? I haven't worked in 2 yrs. Any other info ya'll can give me will be greatly appreciated !!
    Just be yourself............Everyone else is already taken.  
           The biggest mistake you can make is being afraid to make one...
    ddnos responded:
    Social security defines disability as inability to engage in what they call Substantial Gainful Employment (SGA) because of physical or mental reasons that has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. What they define as SGA is, "We use the term "substantial gainful activity" to describe a level of work activity and earnings.
    Work is "substantial" if it involves doing significant physical or mental activities or a combination of both. For work activity to be substantial, it does not need to be performed on a full-time basis. Work activity performed on a part-time basis may also be substantial gainful activity.
    "Gainful" work activity is:
    • Work performed for pay or profit; or

    • Work of a nature generally performed for pay or profit; or
    • Work intended for profit, whether or not a profit is realized.
    To read more, go to and click on disability

    Bottom line is they have to have documented proof that you have not been able to work or will not be able to work for at least 12 continual months - that proof is typically given by your pdoc and any other doctor or professional that can attest to that fact such as a tdoc or general practitioner. I didn't have a pdoc at the time when I initially applied for disabilty, but I was seeing an ARNP and at that point, for 7 or 8 years - she had all my medical records sent to Social security, which is ultimately what got me approved. They had sufficient record of up to 8 years of treatment, meds tried, appts for mental health reasons, etc.

    During the application process, they ask you to give them all of your doctors names, phone, address and they send them forms to fill out. They were waiting on the info from my ARNP, so I just had to keep bugging her office until they got it done.It was literally a week or two later that I was approved.

    Good luck

    Were it not for hope the heart would break. Scottish Proverb
    shania09 replied to ddnos's response:
    How long did u wait before u were approved? I I have had aloy of different docs,.sometimes I couldn't afford to go. I have been going to 'teaching hospital' so I was going to many different doctors., I didn't really have a PCP. Same with the pdocs to. Since I have been in michigan for 10 yrs, I saw about 5 or so different pdocs and been to many tdocs. This why I have a really hard time trying the talk threapy. What can I do about getting med records?
    Just be yourself............Everyone else is already taken. The biggest mistake you can make is being afraid to make one...
    ddnos replied to shania09's response:
    I was approved in 9 months.

    RE how to get your med records - first, you talk with your current pdoc about this to see if he/she would write a letter on your behalf. But since you have been to several diff docs, it's not up to you to gather the records, but you do your best in getting all the names, addresses, and phone numbers of those docs that you can and you submit that to Social Security (when you get application) I have found that applying for social security disability is easier to do by going to your local social security office and have them walk through the application with you. That way if there are parts you may not understand, they can explain.

    Also, check out the following link - it's an adult disability starter kit, a checklist of things to have ready for applying in person or over the phone, and worksheet you can complete that asks for names of pertenant doctors, medications, any medical tests, etc You will need all that information whether you fill out application at home, do over the phone, or in person, so it helps and speeds things up if you can have it prepared ahead of time.

    If you want to do the application at the social secuirty office, I would call first to make an appointment or you could end up waiting for hours.

    Oh, back to med records - if you are going to include any names that you aren't presently seeing, it would be helpful to call thier office to let them know they will be getting paperwork from social security re you applying for disability. I don't know how much or how far back they go re doctors, but it would help to let them know you are applying. I don't know if social security will just request your records for that doc or if he/she would need to write a letter. More than likely, records. Of course, you have to sign a release of information.

    I'm sure this sounds overwhelming, but it really does sound worse than it is.

    I can't guarntee to be able to answer your questions, but go ahead and ask if you have any more.

    Were it not for hope the heart would break. Scottish Proverb
    pixe5 replied to ddnos's response:
    Hey Debbie,

    Maybe I'm blind, but I don't see that link that you are talking about!

    midge6869 replied to ddnos's response:
    Well, this may be a stupid question, but how bad off do you need to be to apply for disability? Do you need to have been hospitalized? Sorry if this question upsets anyone. Was just wondering especially since I was let go from my last job. Thanks for any help.
    ddnos replied to pixe5's response:
    Hey Pixie

    If you're talking about the link for the starter kit, ummm, you don't see it becasue I forgot to paste it. lol ooops! here it is:

    Sorry about that. But that link is found within the link, click on Disability that's at the top of the page, and you can find lots of other info as wel..

    Were it not for hope the heart would break. Scottish Proverb
    ddnos replied to midge6869's response:
    Hi Midge

    No, you don't have to have been hospitaliized to qualify for disability - you have to be considered disabled according to social security definition, which is that you are not able to hold down a job of grossing a minimum of $1000 a month, and at time of applying, you either have not, or will not be able to do so for at least a consecutive 12 months. All of the above being for either physical and/or mental reasons.

    When I applied for disabilty, I had never been hospitalized, and have never since been hospitalized. When I applied, I had only been out of work for 6 months (technically) because I was put on paid administrative leave in April, got last check in Sept, applied in Oct - so as far as money was concerned, I was still getting a pay check up to only 1 month prior to applying and was still approved. I didn't think I would get approved because in the application, there is an extensive amount of it that asks if you are able to function in regular house hold things such as eating, cleaning, dressing, etc. I was able to take care of myself in that way, but those weren't rhe reasons i was applying. Mentally, I was no longer able to hold down a job. I was able to go back to work 6 years later, then 5 years after that, had to be reinstated due to medication induced problems - missed work for 6 months, then was able to go back part time until thi past june, my place of employment folded due to lack of funding. I was still on disabiltiy when workig part time, which is allowed, as long as you don't make more than a certain amount. So I am still on disabilty and will be until I am able to go back to work.

    Were it not for hope the heart would break. Scottish Proverb
    Anneinside responded:
    There are several things that have to be proven through your records from doctors. You can read all about the requirements at I am on disability and have been for about 3 or 4 years. I applied after I was on disability from work for a year. Luckily I had disability insurance so I had an income. There is a minimum waiting period for your first check of 5 months. I was approved immediately and started getting income five months later. One thing I was surprised about is that you don't qualify for medicare for the first two years. I had COBRA insurance and was able (just barely) to pay the premiums so I had coverage for those two years. If your income is low enough you can qualify for medicaid immediately after being found to have a disability according to Social Security.

    My psychiatrist and psychologist were the ones who said I needed to leave work and get on disability. You need to have a doctor or doctors who believe you can't work. I believe I was approved right away because I had been on disability before and tried to go back to work and it didn't work; support from my doctors; records going back about 6 years; many hospitalizations.

    Good luck on your quest.
    pixe5 replied to Anneinside's response:
    Hi Anne,

    The crazy rules for getting Medicare that you were talking about really hit a nerve for me. Waiting two years is bad enough, but then SS told me I didn't qualify for MediCal (Medicaid). So I went several years of having trouble getting my meds paid for. There were times when my dad was paying $500 a month for my meds and then I found out, guess what? All I needed to do was apply for MediCal directly through Social Services!!! Argh!!!

    Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for what I have, but I tell you I get sick of these crazy mind games the government puts you through. How the hell am I supposed jump through all these hoops when I'm sick!

    And now my sister is trying to get disability herself and I hope she has a better time than I did!

    pixe5 replied to ddnos's response:
    Thanx Debbie! I'm trying to get info for my sister.
    ddnos replied to pixe5's response:

    I know this doesn't help you know, but if you or anyone you know should need this in the future, there are several good programs out there where you can get free medication if you qualify, which you would have.

    I had a 3-year period of time where I was not covered and couldn't afford to pay for my own meds, so looked on-line and found a free-medicine program and I got 3 months supply of meds sent to me every 3 months for the entire 3 years!

    A couple of the programs are: (i used this one at the time)

    Were it not for hope the heart would break. Scottish Proverb
    shania09 replied to ddnos's response:
    Thank everybody!!! Especially u ddnos! I will have to dig in the depths of what is left of my memory and figure out where I went to and when. I was orginally diagnosed with BP when I was 8 yrs. I hope they don't want that info. My mom passed away back in October so I have no idea where I was living at the time! I am sure I will have questions later, so I will be pestering u later ddnos!! lol Take care everyone!
    Just be yourself............Everyone else is already taken. The biggest mistake you can make is being afraid to make one...
    mommaange1 replied to ddnos's response:

    Can you still work while you are still on disability? I keep getting conflicting answers and different dollar amounts you can make. I have been afrain of losing my diability
    ddnos replied to mommaange1's response:
    Hi momma,

    Yes, you can work while on disabilty - but it has to be part time because you can gross no more than $1000 per month and still recieve your benefits. Let me clarify that.

    1. You can earn up to $720 per month w/o your benefits being afffected.

    2. Once you start to earn over $720 and over $1000, what's called the "Work Trial Period (WTP) starts, which is a 9 month period where you can earn as much as you can and still be recieving your benefits. They also give you a 3 month grace period, so really, the WTP is one year.

    3. After this 1-year period is over, you still have whtas called an extended Period of Eligibility, which means for the next three yeras, if you earnings fall below $1000 any given month, you will be givin your benefit money that month along with your paycheck.

    4. One can stay workig part time and recieving thier disability check forever as long as the earnings don't exceed the SGA (Substantial gainful activity), which is $1000

    5. There are ways to have that SGA raised individually. One way is by deducting expensies that you have that you need to enable you to go to work. If you need meds and have to pay, then you can deduct that expense, therapy, transportation, etc. So if my monthly expences are $200, then my SGA (amount I can earn) be cause $1200 instead of $1000.

    6. Another way to increase the SGA amount is by having a subsidy, which is something your boss submits to social security that says to the effect that he is paying you the same wage as anyone else in that position but requiring less in certain areas due to your disability. THe boss has to give a certain percentage of subsidy, like if he says you are doing 20% less, then you add that 20% to your SGA. If you have a 50% subsity, 50% of $1000 is $500, so what you would be alloweed to earn would now be $1500 instead of a $1000. Make sense?

    7. As an extra safegaurd, once you have sucessuflly moved into the workforce full time and are no longer recieving benefits, within 5 years after your disabiltiy benefits end, you can still be expiditely reinstated if need be, as long as it's for the same reason you were originally on disability. They give you 6 months immediately of Provisional Benefts while they are determining your reinsttament.

    I probably gave you more answer than you asked for, but hopefully didn't confuse the heck out of you. lol

    Were it not for hope the heart would break. Scottish Proverb

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