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Social Security Disability

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by anthony, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. anthony

    anthony MyPTSD Admin Staff Member Premium Member

    Social-Security-Disability.

    A Veterans Story

    I am a Desert Storm 100% service-connected disabled veteran, and a friend suggested that I could also get SSD, but I didn’t think I could because they are both federal checks. Well, a person can’t get full checks from two federal entities, but if you are interested, I can talk about how I applied for and won SSD in 30 days (yep) and get a full VA check and a partial SSD check. Without a lawyer.

    Drown them in medical records of proof.

    How I got Social Security Disability in 30 days:

    I already had received 100% service-connected disability from the US federal government for physical disabilities from Desert Storm. I got an application from Social Security, which is about 25 pages long. I made a copy of it because my husband and I filled out the copy and made corrections on the copy, then I had my husband help me fill out the original because one of my disabilities concerns my hands, so it would have taken me months to complete a 25-page form. Don’t give up! It’s very important when you go in for your personal interview to tell the Social Security interviewer that you could not physically fill out that darn form by yourself, and why you could not do it. If you just give up, Social Security will never know why you never applied. The form asks some very personal questions. Don’t be shy about writing on the form that you often have arguments at work with authority figures or that you have been fired from multiple jobs. If that is the truth, then it is just a fact, and the facts can help your disability case. Put on that 25-page form everything you can think of; add pages if you think it will help your case, of incidents where your PTSD (in our case in this forum) has caused you trouble at work, in your close relationships, trouble with the law, caused you to seek counseling, ended friendships or change your residence. Every piece of information helps show the government more evidence.

    Next, they wanted me to give them a list of every doctor I had visited in the past 5 years, with names, addresses and telephone numbers. Instead, I went back ten years, and then sent out requests for medical records to every single one of them. Luckily, I had made copies of my medical records from Desert Storm, and, although that had been more than ten years before, I made copies of what medical records I had and gave that stack to the Social Security office free (they appreciated that) as added proof that my medical condition was very long-term. Here’s a hint: When the Social Security office has to pay a doctor’s office to get your medical records, they are less willing to do so, and they put your file on the bottom of the stack. When you can make a phone call for them or get the records, if you can get them free or cheaply, do that. Find out if your doctor’s office charges Social Security per page before you open your wallet unnecessarily, but do Social Security a favor if you can.

    If you have had an argument with a doctor and that is documented in your medical records, add that to this pile and to the 25-page form as evidence if you consider that argument a part of your PTSD. Copies from medical journals with highlighted sections may also be helpful. The higher the stack of paperwork evidence you show up with for your interview, the more impressive. Go to the interview with someone who knows you very well and who can corroborate what it is like to be around you. They ask about your daily life: sleeping habits, do you eat on a regular basis, what medications do you take and do you take them, can you dress yourself. The interviewer also reads how you interact with the person you came in with. Then can you hold a job, what stopped you from keeping your last few jobs, would you be willing to try to work part time with the help of vocational rehabilitation training (never turn down assistance!).

    This is how I answered: I tried to work full time but I took too much time off for sick days after the car wreck and my employer threatened to fire me, so I quit. My physical therapy was more important to me than that job. When I recovered, I took a part time job, but the man who hired me to do a sit-down job, which we agreed I could do with my disability, ordered me to go to the shipping area and lift 70 pound boxes, and I had to choose to either injure my spine again or quit that job. We had an argument and I quit. I took another part time professional office job where the employer expected me to leave work to babysit his children and take care of his personal problems. I quit that job, too. This type of evidence shows Social Security that I did not give up, I kept trying to work, but that I had bad employers. Who hasn’t? Always say that you are willing to work. Social Security will not make you take a job, but they do want to see you say that you are not a deadbeat looking for a check in the mail. It’s important to show Social Security that you want to be a productive member of society, to pull your own weight, and that you are grieving that you can no longer do that, and that you now have come to the conclusion that you have to ask for help. That is a hard thing for you to do, ask for help. But that is exactly what Social Security is there for. There is no shame in asking for help.

    Luckily, all Social Security interviewers have kleenex boxes on their desks. On that 25-page form, list all the meds you have tried for depression and PTSD and what side effects they had, why they didn’t work. List any hospitalizations related to PTSD, depression, any psychological conditions at all. When you have everything you want to say on that copy of the 25-page form, then transfer it to the original. Gather all your medical records and call the doctors’ offices to make sure they sent the records to Social Security per your medical records request, and good luck at your interview.

    About a week after my interview, I received a form in the mail from Social Security asking me about my activities of daily living: can I bathe myself, can I feed myself, etc., and before I could complete it, I got a phone call from Social Security asking for my checking account information so that they could begin direct deposit payments. It was 30 days from application to approval.
  2. jencoop

    jencoop New Member

    Social Security has long been imagined to be a good investment, on balance. Many people, for much of the agency's history, have gotten more than they paid in in disbursed Social Security benefits. However, a recent Associated Press analysis revealed that it's not the case anymore.
  3. Solara

    Solara VIP Member

    I'm not quite sure what you're advocating...? I believe you're referring to retirement benefits as opposed to disability benefits. HUGE difference (if its true!)

    Social Security has been a godsend to many of us. Without it I would either be living on the streets or be a financial burden on my family. I'm sure others can say the same.
    Froggie and TheBubzilla like this.
  4. Rumors

    Rumors VIP Member

    Solara she is in fact referring to SS. For years, many received payments that exceeded their contributions over their career span. It was a 'bug' in the system but has supposedly been fixed. SS is great but horrifically mismanaged by our government. Anything that large just has to be a cluster.
  5. Solara

    Solara VIP Member

    Yes, BUT I believe a political discussion should be taken elsewhere when many of us depend on it to survive.
  6. Rumors

    Rumors VIP Member

    Uh, ok. I don't think it was intended as political discussion nor to say that SS wasn't needed. It was a comment by jencoop about how many got more than they paid in but it has now been corrected.

    The topic is in the discussion forum, it was created in 2009, and in my opinion her comment wasn't political. However, I would imagine that being a participant in the Social Security system would make for a touchy subject since it is under fire often. I do not think there was any disrespect intended for the recipients but a generalized comment of how poorly the system has been mismanaged, not by you, but by others who are in charge of seeing it runs properly. That is not a slam against those who need the system for survival, those of which the system was designed for.

    Best wishes.
    JustBe likes this.

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