Friend sinking waiting for Disability

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Bambi, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    I would appreciate any advice on how to
    comfort and help my friend. She is on her
    second try to get Disability. They told her that she would have an answer and that it was required that they give her
    the answer within 60 days. Yesterday was
    60 days, they say the judge has been out
    sick for a week and has her papers since
    he had to change some errors he had made
    on them. At her hearing the judge was very hostile, argued with the Disability
    doctor when he said she is NOT able to work and why, was totally negative toward her with every question and made negative
    remarks throughout her hearing. Her husband has been on Disability for years
    and now she needs it also, so they are
    living (if you call it that) on his payments only. Everything is about to be
    shut off, the Disability office told her
    yesterday that there are "lots of people
    in your situation out there"..big help. They can't give her a date when the judge
    will be back or when he will have her
    paperwork in. I would help her` financially if I could but I honestly just can't. If you had this same sort of
    situation and finally got your payments,
    WHO did you call, WHO did you contact??
    I don't know what to tell her. She called
    her Senator yesterday and they said he will call her back..who knows if he will.
    To make things worse if she gets the payments she and her husband of MANY years will have to divorce since in Florida they will make too much for both
    to get their Medicade and neither one of
    them can live without their medications.
    She is naturally going crazy over all this. Any advice you might have that I can pass on I would really appreciate it!
    Hugs, Bambi
  2. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    With her utilities I guess there are
    several places there that help with
    payments, she did call all of them
    and they are out of funds. She went to one place for food and I know pride isn't going to feed anyone, but
    she was so embarrassed and ashamed (without reason I realize) but she said the food was stale and pretty much unusable on top of her feeling so bad about (in her words)"having to
    beg for food" that she's just not going to go back. She can't get food
    stamps because she has a car (for now) that she "should" be making payments on. I know she will have to
    swallow her pride on the food part, but the utilities will go off. Has
    anyone called their Governor or Congressperson and had any results? I
    feel like she almost resents my husband having a job, not intentionally at all, but gettin any
    advice from me feels like it's coming from Rockerfeller to her I think. I
    just feel so helpless and bad for her, she's always helped others but
    as is typical noone is there for her
  3. Lana56

    Lana56 New Member

    Your friend may be able to get help for food,mortgage or rent,and utilities so some things can get paid.Maybe she can call the town office where she lives.I am in NH and know there are services for people in her situation.If she is waiting for an Administive Judges decision it may take time and she could get another denial to appeal.I do hope things happen fast for her as it is so hard to need help and all you do is wait,wait,wait.Call some office in town or a social service office and see what help is out there .If they could get some financial help it will give them some relief.Good luck and I am praying she is approved for disability. Lana56
    PS.very soon!!!
  4. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    I know in Arizona we used to have
    Social Services and I'd forgotten all
    about them. I will ask her if she's
    thought of them. Here we also have
    a Community Refferal number you can
    call that gives you the name and number of about anything you are looking for, not just social services. I will suggest she see if there is some sort of number like that there. So far from what I've heard if I was in dire straights I don't think I'd want to be in Florida. It may just be her community
    too though, or maybe she just hasn't
    approached the right places. I'm pretty sure Catholic Social Services
    might know who she could call also.
    It's harder now than ever since the
    charities are getting fewer donations
    all over the country and more people
    are needing help. I don't understand
    the Disability stuff I admit, but it
    seems if there's a 60 day period before they tell you the result of
    your hearing SOMEone should be answerable for doing it in that time
    period. I've heard people say rightly
    that this is an "insurance policy" we pay for and not some welfare program.
    Any other insurance that didn't pay
    you promptly would be up for a hassle. Some of the things I hear makes me feel like they just wish the
    disabled would just give up and die.
    It shouldn't be that way in a country
    that is so open and willing to help
    others from foreign lands. Whatever
    happened to charity begins at home?
    It's just so sad. Thanks again. Bambi
  5. Tunes

    Tunes New Member

    Hi Bambie,

    Where in Florida does your friend live? I live in Pasco County, just north of Tampa. The lawyer I had down here, sent me to Suncoast Spinal, who charged much less for health visits, while all the disability was going on. Of course prescriptions, don't give any of us a break without insurance. Unless .. we write to the manufacturer and sometimes they will send some. So I've read.

    Calling her Senator is a positive thing to do. Bring in every government official you can, and what they care about is the "vote" and will get on their proveribial ball! What about going to one of the Canada places which sell medications? I've even thought of that, even though my husband now has insurance coverage on me. Between the two of us with Rx's, the co-pays even get tough to meet at times. Before I had insurance, I paid the pharmacy $189.00 for nine pills of Imitrix. In the end, I could not take it! That's simply just plain out of site. All those on "the hill" should stop there bickering and get some advantageous results for us all. God .. they are paid enough and give themselves enough raises! Sorry .. I'm off on a mission statement! I get p'oed!

    Food pantries and food kitchens can help.
    Church's may help. St. Vincent DePaul is caring.
    Check local government avenues, for any assistance they may have. There may be one of them that offers help.
    Food Stamps? If qualify. That's a rigamarole, but worth it if they qualify due to low income/expenses.

    Perhaps you could help with the paperwork which could be involved. We all just love paperwork.

    Lawyer I had here, is the earth shaker and mover. Since I've been on disability since last March, although didn't know it until received award letter in June, it's been an absolute nightmare with the many blunders made by them. It's a wonder the ulcer hasn't been reactivated. I finally called the lawyer, and he made a call to the "local SS office" and wow did I ever get attention from them pertaining to the blundering issues of mistakes they made.

    Again, where is your friend in Florida? This lawyer also has an office in Pinnelas County.

    I've also been treated poorly by the SS office personnel. The ALJ, was nice, but I was a basket case of crying all the time anyway, among the physical issues which were documented, and tests result copies. I nearly blew a gasket with the treatment at the local SS office and I let them know how I felt as well. Wrote a letter and mailed it to several offices, covering all bases, and stated it as it has been. When I was called by one of the local SS people, she asked me to "describe" the individual who was rude, demeaning, etc. I did, and she said .. I'm glad it wasn't me, I wear my hair up all the time. I'd like to know some day, where anybody gets the idea that they are superior to anyone else. Mikie has a way of handling stress. Unfortunately, I'm not there yet and I blow. Take just so much and that's all she wrote.

    Keep after the congressman and senator, write to them. Get it documented in that form. Just a suggestion. One has got to CYA these days.

    Take care and prayers go up for your friend,

  6. fibrotigger

    fibrotigger New Member

    You have gotten wonderful suggestions for where your friend can look for help.

    One thing that struck me and I wanted to comment on it is the way your friend was treated at her hearing. I was treated the same way and it fills you with such frustration and fear, but I did get awarded my disability. So how the judge acts is not necessarily an indicator of the end result. I feel for your friend and will be thinking good thoughts for her and you, both. You're a good friend.

    Gentle hugs,
  7. natrlvr2

    natrlvr2 New Member

    The 1st 3 yrs. I was still married,but then he divorced me and I lived on basically child support for the last 3 yrs.(if I can do it on less than $400 a month,ANYONE can)I did get rental assistance(Section 8 through HUD),food stamps and energy assistance.But noone would help with the BILLS.In the middle of all of this I struggled to keep my sanity with the divorce(he was making up lies and trying to get sole custody so he did nto have to pay child support)and then Social Security kept screwing up my disability claim.They lost my 6 INCH file acouple times!!??There was nothing but problems with everything.I had to fight like hell to just get food stamps.I even had a lawyer and he was making mistakes.argh!I now finally get SSI(still fighting for SSD,another mistake with the last work date-argh!)but I still cannot survive.My rent asst. went down(my portion went from $72 up to $262),my food stamps were taken away and my electric/gas bill doubled and the water/sewer bill TRIPLED.I ain't surviving again.
  8. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    to my friend. I think you ALL have
    been wonderful to offer the suggestions and prayers! I normally hear from her every morning and this
    morning nothing so far. I am so afraid they did shut off her phone, they have been threatening her. Here
    in Arizona we have a deal where you can add from a dollar up to each electric bill you pay which goes to a
    fund for those who can't pay. It's a
    great thing and I think it should be
    everywhere. You don't HAVE to donate but it's so little that a lot of people do. I think it would be a good
    thing to lobby the other utilities to
    do. Especially the phone as anyone looking for work or handicapped needs
    phone access..and for many like myself Webtv is our only access to the outside world and this board. It can mean the difference between a world of lonliness and isolation and
    having people like you to turn to when you need help or would like to
    offer some. But I ramble. Thank you SO much for all the ideas and I am
    just praying something will work for
    her. I don't honestly know if her husband is on SSD and SSI or what, he's been disabled for years though.
    She did work weekends but was only allowed a few hours or he would have
    lost his benefits. Then all of her physical problems from FM through too
    many things to list has put her in this situation. The judge even asked if she could "sell tickets" at events
    I guess. The medical guy from SS told
    the judge she can't use one arm at all and can't sit for the extended
    time you'd have to to sell tickets. The judge repeated the question later
    on. She has a lawyer and he did speak
    up for her at the hearing but this judge has a handicap (don't want to
    describe as it would identify him) and feels if HE can work anyone can. Their main problem with qualifying for food stamps etc. is that she has a car that (may also be taken soon) she is supposed to make payments on.
    It's worth more than the allowed assets although she hasn't had it long enough to have any equity in it.
    It, to me at least, is rediculous that a person has to have a junk car
    that would require fixing all the time to qualify for anything. My car is only six years old and has needed
    expensive repairs soon as
    the warranty ran out of course. Well
    I'm taking up too much space here. Bless you all! Hugs! Bambi
  9. joannie1

    joannie1 New Member

    This is such a terrible system to try and fight. How well I know. I have been fighting it for a very long time. However, your friend could put in a complaint to the chief adminsistrative law judge. He had no right to be rude and obnoxious to anyone during her hearing. And as for her waiting forever. It just seems to be the way it goes with Disability. It is the gov't, they think they are god and can do anything they want to us, especially those of us that are so desperate for help. They know that we need it and they just tend to make us wait on their time.
    I am truly sorry to hear of such struggle and know i am thinking of you and yor friend.