anyone self employed? Disability Appeal

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ephemera, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. ephemera

    ephemera New Member

    Anyone here self employed & getting SSDI?

    My initial application was denied in December without consideration of my medical problems. Have CFS/FM & hypermobility with tons of documentation (5 years of medical records), plus I'm well under the limit for income. I also have the qualifying quarters & have paid into the system. And, the local SS interviewer told me if I was working for someone else there would be no question as to my getting pproval.

    I have an attorney. He couldn't understand how I could be denied without further consideration of my health just because I supposedly can work up to 3 hours per day. Those 3 hours are at the most 45 minutes here & there through the day (sometimes, other days not at all), not continuous & not productively as I've got to redo my work to be sure my brain fog hasn't made my words unfathomable. Plus with my pain & sensory overload I can only work by myself in the dark without any nearby noises.

    I'm going for my appeal & will be completing paperwork in the next 2 weeks. Just wondering if anyone else who is self employed has had this run around.

    It certainly isn't right (dare I say fair?) as I have a home based internet business that has a history of 13 years. I don't have to commute, don't have to get dressed beyond my comfies, recycle & don't pollute, & contribute to the greater social good. I'm not wheelchair bound nor bedridden, but with my hidden disabilities no one would hire me & I doubt I could even be accepted as a volunteer as I can't show up on someone else's schedule.
  2. sofy

    sofy New Member

    and got it first time, no lawyer.

    I had to abruptly close my business, cuz like you I had slowed down, spaced things out until I was just completely used up and couldnt even deposit my checks. I just sat there and looked at them not knowing what to do next.

    I had a doc who told me I had to file for SS. If he hadnt told me to Im not sure when it would have occured to me.

    He went to bat for me and I know he sent in favorable doc reports. I never read what he or any of the other docs said but I was granted it first try so its not just your being self employed.

    I suspect its the fact that your type of self employment allows you to do it 15 minutes at a time, or whatever, and that make you still able to work for yourself in their eyes.

    The fact that you cant work for someone else is probably not counted unless you can prove you can no longer work for yourself either.

    They arent looking for what you cant do but what you can and you are still running a business that brings in money.

    You have to turn it around and look at it from the other side and then perhaps you will be better able to see what to do.

    Good luck

  3. minxlinx

    minxlinx New Member

    I was self employed and got SSDI on my first try. I worked reduced hours for at least a year before I filed my application. I eventually realized I was only hurting myself by trying to stay in business. Everyday was just a bit harder to work, and I became so unreliable that even customers I had for years ceased to do business with me.

    I live right outside New Orleans. Summer was my slowest time so I took most of it off. I thought the time off would do me some good, and that I would start again in the fall. Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina had other ideas. I evacuated and returned home two weeks later. I couldn't even make myself think about working anymore. So I finally did what I should have done long before and applied for SSDI.

    I agree that your problem may be that you are still working, even if its in a very limited capacity. Like you my business was web based so I never had to leave the house. I strongly suspect I would not have been approved if I were still working at all.

    I'm not an expert, but I would seriously consider closing the business for 6 months and filing again during that six month window. I stopped working in June, applied in October and was approved in January after seeing their doctor in November.

    Good luck!
  4. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    I focused on how much sleep I needed in a day (including a nap in the afternoon), my cognitive problems and all the mistakes I was making doing bookkeeping and web design, my allergic reactions when trying to work in other offices (candles, air fresheners, copy ink, etc), and how little housework I could handle.

    I was working 10 hours a week when the judge awarded disability and he seemed pleased that I was trying to keep going in spite of all the problems. But obviously it wasn't gainful employment. I also had a note from my vocational rehab counselor that I'd worked with stating that I was very motivated and enjoyed working, but just wasn't physically capable at the time.

    I'm sure that carried some weight and then both my primary care doctor and my specialist said that I was totally disabled. I wouldn't even mention volunteer work...the focus is what you are able to do to earn money.

    I made a list of jobs that I had done in the past and told why I could no longer do them, and then made a list of the hypothetical jobs that I figured the occupational expert would try to say I could do and answered those, too. When my husband was temporarily disabled after a car accident they tried to say he could work for a home security company staring at monitors all night. He couldn't even sit for 10 minutes in church!

    I think initial applications are hardly ever read. Fortunately in Colorado the appeal goes straight to a hearing so I didn't have to wait terribly long.

  5. ephemera

    ephemera New Member

    thanks everyone for your help.

    the thought of closing down my business definitely is a bummer... partly I think it's the reason why I haven't been totally depressed

    say it ain't so...
  6. ephemera

    ephemera New Member

    I would appreciate any other input. thanks

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