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SSDI is not interested in your illness or your doctor's notes, progress notes or anything that anyone except the occupational therapist says. I went before my ALJ and was denied not because I'm not disabled, but because the OT found 1 job that he claimed I could do, cleaning houses (I spent 25 years as a manager at FedEx Express). So I called Merry Maids, the largest cleaning company in my area and was told "We call them cleaning ladies, not cleaning men"...when I pressed further it was explained that men want women to clean their houses and women dont want strange men in the home when they are alone.
I have been waiting 5 years, had my denial appealed and have another ALJ hearing on Jan. 10. The laws governing SSDI are either not enforced at all...are partially enforced based on the judge or are totally ignored, as in my case, by the judge. By the way, this judge who is deciding your future could just as easily be arbitrating a pension dispute so I wouldnt get too confident. If you are dying, you still may not be approved. My advice...try to work if you can. If not, I'm sorry There's nothing else to say.
I have applied for disability numerous times but this year will be the first time that I've appealed. Now my case is being looked over by the "Appeal Council" because I did not agree with the appointed judge's denial decision. I remember being told by 2 state appointed psychiatrist/therapists (one that I had seen twice and he was surprised that I was still fighting for disability) that I should not only be on medication for my anxiety and depression but that I AM disabled and should receive disability. However, as I was told, mental disorders aren't taken seriously when it comes to SSA and I can't say I'm surprised. You can dress yourself? You're fine. You can leave the house and go to the store? You're fine. You can count to 10, spell backwards and know what year it is? You're fine.
To have state appointed psychiatrists say that there are people who DON'T receive disability, who should be on it and people who DO receive disability, who shouldn't be on it, tells you all you need to know. It's almost like they've stereotyped people with mental disorders as, uneducated, unstable slobs and that's simply not true. Just because someone LOOKS like they're keeping it all together, doesn't mean they don't go home and lock themselves in their bedroom to cry. It doesn't mean they don't go weeks without talking to people simply because it requires too much energy and it surely doesn't mean they're not disabled just because they can get up in the morning and put on a t-shirt. Those same people who look happy on the outside, have taken their own lives because they really weren't as happy as they looked.
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I applied for disability three times and appealed three times and was denied three times. Third time I applied I was told I was not considered to to be disabled. Unfortunately employers didn't agree. Thus I couldn't get a job and support myself and my two children. Something has to change and I don't know how-to change it.
In 2012 I started this processes. Not only the hell I have gone through everyday 8 years all the doctors, meds, PT 3 times and everything else. My conditions just gets worse. The waiting in between dragging on till I run out of credits. Just recently get I don't got enough credits. 98-12 I had 59 they went 09 to 19 stating I only had 16 needing 40. Everything I've going through and was cheated discriminated by attorneys and failed me. Life isn't fair but they take the cake. Didn't expect a lot of back pay or to be judged by looks that I'm not scum. I was given a diploma, went out, achieved with covered up learning disabilities doing manual labor. Now I'm physically and mentally destroy. I have to say my disabilities started in 2018 to get SSI to live if I get it. Thanks for making thing worse.
SSA disability examiners don't care about you. They just go thru the motions. This program is run by non-caring examiners. Just a program that needs revamped from top to bottom. Get rid of the old and bring in the new. Very corrupt program for older citizens.
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My initial thoughts were to give it three stars, but, in light of the reviews here and observing my brother-in-law go through the process and dealing with LTD, I had it easy with the SSA. I was told the initial review would take two to three months and I would likely be denied. It took eight and I was denied. I filed for reconsideration. I was asked to see an SSA psychologist. I have a physical injury. I thought it was odd. He listed my medications and confirmed I used a hearing aid. Then he gave me a memory test. That was it. A few months later, I was told by the service I used that I had been denied and would have to apply to go before a judge. I heard nothing from the SSA. I became discouraged and procrastinated. After being prompted by the service, I filled out the paperwork.
Two days after my sixtieth birthday, I was checking out my bank account online. The day after my birthday, two lump sums were deposited to my account. I called the service to see if I had been approved. They checked with the SSA and said there was no news. A couple of weeks later, I received a later stating that I had met the medical qualifications for disability but that I had not yet qualified for the non-medical criteria. About three weeks later, I received the award letter. I was told that I had almost no chance of being approved at the reconsideration level and would only be approved if there was a mistake, yet I was approved. All in all, it took about a year.
If you call the SSA, you have to wait an hour or more to talk to someone. If you go to their offices, it is about the same wait. The waiting is annoying but understandable. There are a lot of people. They have always been courteous and professional. I have nothing but good things to say about the people I have dealt with.
My advice is not to game the system; be honest. Have realistic expectations. Know the rules. Above all else, be PERSISTENT. Be nice when you talk to them. Using a service such as Allsup improves your chances. They will provide a lawyer as needed. You do not need a lawyer for the initial application nor for the reconsideration. You do need one to go before a judge. A service will explain step by step how to fill out the application. It will explore other issues you might have for the SSA to consider. It will ensure your application covers all the possibilities.
The SSA has a re-enactment video of an actual case. Watch it and listen carefully. One thing it mentions is that if you claim to be in pain, you had better be taking prescription pain medications and seeing a doctor regularly. Discussing it with a former SSA approver after the fact, he told me that your likelihood of being approved increases significantly after you turn fifty. It improves vastly more after you turn sixty. I was approved the day after turning sixty. He said that you wouldn't be taken seriously if you claimed that you couldn't do anything. On the other hand, don't claim to be Superman.
I get a message from SSI saying I need some paperwork regarding my application. I called back every day for two weeks and left messages with no return call! I finally get him on the phone and he tells me he never heard back from me and has tried to reach me and put my case on hold.. He is a liar! Then I asked if I could come in and settle the issue and give him the paperwork, and he says, "Oh you can’t see me" and gave me a fax number for the documents...any bets on him saying he never received the fax.
Where do I begin? My husband suffers from front temporal lobe epilepsy with brain damage. He fought eight years, after getting denied twice. He was promised $40,000 in backpay. Finally, last year, he won. They took four months to give him a MONTHLY check of $23. Then it was $150. Then his SSI hit and he started getting a decent amount of money. However, they LIED to him and ARE CONSTANTLY LYING TO HIM about when he is going to get his $17,000 SSDI backpay! First they told him it would be 60 days after his approval. THIS IS A LIE! Then, they told him it would be after his third payment. ALSO A ** LIE! Then they told him that it would be “No later than January 3rd.” ALSO A ** LIE! Then they gave him $2313 of his SSI backpay, in hopes of making him shut up. Then they told him his SSDI would be in “On May 11th, guaranteed.”
Right before May 11th gets here, we realize...Wait a minute, the 11th is a SATURDAY! So when the money was not in, obviously, we called on Monday. The very sweet lady said that it would be “No later than Thursday.” ALSO ANOTHER ** ** LIE! We called Thursday and they said they did not know why someone would tell us any dates because they were not going to give me my backpay AT ALL! THE PAYMENT CENTER MYSTERIOUSLY CANNOT BE CONTACTED FOR ANY REASON! SOMEBODY AT THAT PAYMENT CENTER HAS ** ME UP! I have contacted every government agency in the US to get through and NOTHING HELPS!
I applied for disability in 2012. I had been unable to walk for about 5 years. I was falling down and bashing my head and body a lot. Their Dr’s could not find anything wrong with my legs so the judge at my hearing put in writing I was fat, lazy and a fraud. That was the end of July 2015. Two months later I had many strokes. One month later my first heart attack. They discovered a blood clot the size of my stomach was cutting off my blood flow to my legs and crushing my organs. S.S. still denying my claim. Another heart attack. 2 major surgeries still denied. Lost everything. Sold everything of value. After one year in the hospital I finally got approved. But lost all Back pay. And currently can’t afford to live anywhere in the county and owe huge amounts of money. I had zero doubts before I became ill.
I have a listed condition and I met the listing based on the SSDI guidelines. The SSA even wrote in both denial letters, "although your condition is serious..." but then they added, "we don't expect it to last 12 months" so that they could deny my claim. My attorney filed 2 requests for on the record decisions, submitting more medical records each time. He also included my approval letter from my LTD company, approving me as disabled in any occupation.
They still ignored my request for OTR. I have to do the hearing by video in a few months. They seem to have ignored my treating physician opinions entirely, yet I filed in Jan 2017, 2 months before they changed the regulation so they would no longer have to give the treating physician opinion the weight. I believe they continued to ignore my OTR request so that they could force me in front of a vocational expert. They are doing this to me, in spite of the fact that my doctor wrote a residual functional capacity form stating I needed breaks every 1 to 2 hours in an 8 hour day and could be out of work for months at a time with no warning.
What possible work will they fabricate that I am capable of doing under those conditions. In my 2 prior denial letters, they stated I could work as a bus monitor or a kosher meat inspector. I am college educated and have only ever done white collar work. I have moderate to severe cognitive impairments resulting from brain atrophy. After 11 knee surgeries, cervical disc replacements and lower back surgery, I tore the cartilage in both hips. I don't think I could be a bus monitor and only Ranbis can be kosher meat inspectors.
I am also over 55, worked most of my life aside from a 2 year period where I was awarded a fully favorable decision on my SSDI claim. My condition is permanent and likely to only worsen further, as I age. There is no cure. They could have just approved me at the listing level and freed up the ALJs. They are breaking their own policy guidelines in ignoring treating physician opinion on claims filed prior to Mar 2017, in their zest to deny claims.
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