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Hello (possible trigger)
melly2210 posted:
I am sorry I haven't done this sooner, but it's been one of those weekends. I have bp2, GAD, PD, and PTSD which all exist with a host of other issues, the largest being a seizure condition which I cannot afford to see a neurologist. I'm wait listed, though, with the SE Epilepsy Foundation and hopefully that will be addressed soon.

I have 2 wonderful boys, ages 13 and 9, whom I lost rights to back in October of last year following my self-commitment in Aug-09 for suicide stabilization. I was promised at the time that would "never" happen. The court never bothered to interview me or any of my treating physicians, and my ex counted on my inability to fight in court to regain those rights back. I am limited to supervised phone calls as a result. My youngest asks no less than once a week when he is going to see me again. And my oldest has just given up. The ex's new wife has even put into writing, in an email to me, that I "threw them away" so I can only imagine the tone that carries over to my children. Right now, they are my sole reason for pushing forward. And I fear loosing that glimmer of hope of being able to see them may push me over the edge. Some days I seem closer to that than most.

My living situation isn't better. Between the seizures and the bp2, I am looking at possibly being homeless within the next month. And I worry about that too. My pdoc insists I am improving - that I am not as "reactive" as I was a month ago. But you know us, we shift and do it fast. I departed an abusive relationship to get me where I am today, staying with a friend and time is ticking on that too.

Well...that's my current story...there's more. But that's enough for today. Thank all of you for your warm welcomes so far!
appyannie responded:
Have you applied for disability? Also some county mental health systems provide housing programs. There are also community housing programs through HUD due to the efforts to assist people through the economic crisis although these are much shorter term than mental health housing. These might help offer you some options for stabilizing your housing and financial situations then you can focus on other things.

melly2210 replied to appyannie's response:
I have applied for SS Benefits. I'm on the second round now. Problem is that I can mask symptoms to strangers (what a concept, right?) so when I hit the psychological exam, I am fidgeting and obviously under immense stress. I answer the question and ONLY the question. Nothing more, nothing less. Basically when they denied me the last time the psychologist who did the exam looked at me after finishing the report and said, I am sorry but they're not going to qualify you. You can communicate what is wrong; you're intelligent; and my favorite in that discussion was "you very obviously need help you are not receiving." I collapsed into a heap and cried on his couch at that point.

I am not working and haven't been able to since May of 09. My anxiety has been through the roof. I haven't really been stable all through that time save maybe a 6-8 week span. And then something happens to me and I crash. So HUD only helps people with incomes. And I can't get myself into a program for a mental health program with housing assistance as they are all full. I've tried and asked. It's one of those catch 22 situations.
fuzzer29 replied to melly2210's response:
OK, you first move with SSDI benefits is to get an attorney, don't put it off any longer. They actually can't charge for any services unless they win. That is a federal law, but there are a lot of places that charge anyway- don't hire anyone who does that and is not clear about what their percentage of your settlement they get. I don't remember what that is, but it IS federally capped at a low percent. Don't submit anything else until you have a good attorney that you are comfortable with. Sometimes you can get into a program as long as you have an active SSDI claim and an attorney. Make sure your attorney can offer a rebutal (sp?) to the eval you got and get another one with a pdoc or tdoc who is qualified to do SSDI evals, but make sure they do not do them as their primary income, or that often. Maybe your own pdoc can give all the paperwork he or she has on your condition/s. If your pdoc has enough evidence to the contrary of the eval done for theSSDI claim, then the judge will disregard that one. I've been through this process fairly recently. If you want to talk in depth about this, then email me whenever, OK?
No matter how high the throne, there sits but an ass. -Voltaire
hereinmyhead responded:
Melly, I'm not sure what state you live in, but can't you at least qualify for medicaid? If so, then you should be able to easily go to a community mental health clinic. Also, most states have additional programs for mental illness. I live in AZ, and here they separate out those who they deem to be "seriously mentally ill", so if you're on medicaid, you also qualify for housing assistance, food stamps and some other things (I'm not suer what all). AZ isn't known for being especially compassionate - they only offer services for mental illnesses because they were forced to because they receive the federal funds, were sued in court and ordered to provide those services for SMI residents. Up until just recently, they provided assistance to any person SMI, even those without medicaid. I don't know if all states put people into categories like that. They didn't where I used to live.

Also, might you possibly qualify for help from legal aid?

If you hire a lawyer or an advocate (like Allsup, for example), you're much more likely to win, because they know how to do all the right paperwork and get the sources and information that SSA looks for when they approve applications. I had no clue. Just filling out the initial application took me weeks, and I still had problems remembering important details. Once I retained an atty, the legal assistant helped me get all that I needed for SS to look at and evaluate. None of what I provided to the lawyer was "new" information, it was the same info, but better detailed in describing my disabilities.

Here's a link to a lawyer's blog. He specializes in SS cases and has articles on almost anything you'd ever want to know. I hired an atty in my own state, but I don't think there's a question about disability that this guy doesn't address.

melly2210 replied to fuzzer29's response:
I have retained an attorney as of last week for the SS claim. The cap, in case anyone is wondering is 25%. I researched the guy and he wins 90% of the hearings he goes to. I also lucked out because he is heavily involved with the SE Epilepsy Association too. Not that he can move me up their wait list, but that he understands the impact that has on me physically as well. He'll be able to explain not just the bebilitation from the MH side but that side as well. He's also trying to reopen the old claim instead of basing it just on the new claim and adding evidence to that. So we shall see how that goes. I've already asked him about hardship claims as well, but so far I haven't even received the standard anxiety forms as of yet. I overheard a conversation as I entered the office about how the local social security office is loosing and misfiling paperwork for lots of his cases and that he's sure he's not the only one.
melly2210 replied to hereinmyhead's response:
In Florida, to be eligible for medicaid you have to have primary custody of your kids, be pregnant or be an illegal immigrant (they're just now pushing for legislation like the recent one passed in AZ but I doubt it will go through. Too large of a Hispanic population to allow it.). When I went through the first claim, they did offer "temporary" medicaid while the social security claim was being investigated. But I was told that any bills I was incurring would be tallied and if my claim was denied I would owe that money back to the state immediately or be arrested for medicaid fraud. Scared, I said no thank you. Right now, I honestly don't give a rat's butt. So I am going to call again and ask for that to be reopened as an option. They can come and get me and toss me in jail if they want. It'd be a roof over my head and 3 meals a day.

As far as legal aid is concerned, they kindly explained to me the process for filing the counter claim to have the order lifted. They also said that a written statement from my treating physicians would not be accepted and they would be required to appear in court. Since it takes them approximately 5 days to return calls in emergency situations (ie: allergic reactions, severe depression bordering with ideation, etc), it means I would have to subpoena them all as well which costs even more money. As for pro bono representation, they advised me they don't do that for cases like this. Ridiculous, huh?
hisdestiny63 replied to melly2210's response:
I live in FL too, and I have full medicaid coverage. My son has a different insurance than we do. It is based on income (medicaid). I also go to a mental health clinic in my area to see a pdoc and get my meds. You can also have your case expedited, speak to your attorney. My case is being expedited because I faxed final notices from all my utilities that were going to be shut off. Just re-read your post, what medicaid is telling you is that you can't get full mediciad coverage. You have a share of cost plan thru medicaid. In other words, you have to have $500.00 of medical bills paid from out of your pocket before medicaid pays anything (that was hypothetical) there is no "temporary medicaid".

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