S.S. disability denial

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by Renae610, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Renae610

    Renae610 New Member

    I applied for my daughter's sake (age 21), and she got denied last week. The legalaide attorney in our county said he doesn't get involved yet but I should fill out a Request for Reconsideration, wait a week, and then call the Disability Determination Service person who was involved in this case to see why more medical records were not used to make the decision and see if there are any questions I can answer. Do I have to pay an expert-lymes attorney to do the job?? I am having enough stress dealing with my daughter's disease right now....

    When I read their "evidence" of how normal they think she is, I am so frustrated by their ignorance. Why wasn't the LLMD's records enough to prove her dysfunction???? Why wasn't a list of nine years of doctoring and my written explanation and their consultative exams enough? What more can I say? Do I have to get the doctors to write more?

    Anyone who has been through this successfully, I would so appreciate your advice. Or is there a previous discussion that I can link back to? Thanks
  2. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    Denial is very common, it's the norm. They're hoping that applicants will become discouraged. So, usually it's recommended to first apply, then, once it's denied the first time, contact an attorney who specializes in SSD. That is what I did, and without the help of a specialized SSD attorney, I would not have eventually won. I would not rely on a legal aid attorney, esp. one who says "he doesn't get involved."

    You do not have to pay any money upfront. Only if you win the case do you pay. In my case, there was a "back" award, and the attorney is paid directly through the court system, one third of that award (there is a limit involved, too). Then, once I began receiving monthly Social Security Disability, the attorney does not take any of that.

    We just have to become warriors for ourselves and our families. But having the right attorney will help a lot.

    There are other threads, esp. on the Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue message board, re: SSD and denial. You can do a search there.

    I also recommend this website: http://www.scottdavispc.com/ Scott Davis is an SSD attorney. He has many helpful articles such as these below.

    Good luck,

    -Articles on Social Security Disability and Various Other Disabilities
    -NEW! Five Reasons Judges Approve Social Security Disability Claims
    -How to Prepare for Your Social Security Disability Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
    -Winning Your Social Security Disability Claim: 15 Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make!
    -How Does Social Security Define “Disability” Anyway?
    -Does having an attorney determine whether you win or lose your Social Security Disability case?
    -Obtaining Social Security Disability: How to Begin the Process
    -Seven Important Steps to Winning Your Disability Case
    -Why it is Important to Persevere in Your Disability Claim
    -How To Talk with your Physician about Supporting your Disability Claim
    -Winning Your Disability Case in Three Words…Frequency, Severity and Duration
    -Five Critical Tips to keep in Mind when Completing Disability Forms
    -Here’s a “Golden Nugget”…win your disability case by obtaining your personnel file from work
    -Winning Your Disability Case with the Help of Co-Workers, Family Members and Friends
    -Obtaining Disability Benefits . . . David vs. Goliath
    -Why it is Important to Address Psychological Issues in your Chronic Pain Disability Case
    -How to Win Your Hepatitis Disability Case
    -Not Filing a Disability Claim is a Financial Disaster Waiting to Happen

    [This Message was Edited on 11/20/2008]
  3. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I too do not understand it, it is obvious from all his doctors' reports he is unable to work as of yet, and hasn't been able to for the past 3 years. We've been told his appeal will likely be coming up soon, finally - unfortunately it does take about 2.5+ years average to even have your first appeal heard.

    I agree with the advice to get a competent SS attorney, they are often worth their money to get the papers in order, etc. Narrative reports from your daughter's doctors are also extremely helpful. Especially if she is seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist, somehow that often seems to carry more weight unbelievably.

    I know someone who had to appeal twice, and it took 5 years despite having a biopsied and confirmed mitochondrial disorder. I have heard of another person (not sure of the disorder but along the lines of CF/FM) that took 7 years to finally get it.

    The only silver lining is they give you the back $$ dated back to when you filed. The bad thing is they do not give you interest on that money! OR retroactive medical benefits money to at lest reimburse some of what's been spent.

    The way our system is set up, imho they just want you to go away and hopefully die. That may sound very cynical, but I've seen too many turned down that were so obviously disabled, including a paraplegic!

    all the best -


  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    it sounds like this was the first turndown after your initial application for her?

    Next is an almost automatic turndown when you ask for 'reconsideration"/"recon".

    After that is when you need to get an SS att'y, and then you play the waiting game of 2.5+ years. They are allowed to take about 25% of the settlement (back disability pay)...........

    I do know people who have won by doing it themselves or working with paralegals, but most who do go the route of hiring an att'y do win.

    Hope that helps....
  5. Renae610

    Renae610 New Member

    Thank you for sharing this information. Yes, this was my daughter's first turn-down. Should have filed years ago but she's been getting child support up to now and her dad (in his ignorance) told her not to file. As her LLMD said, when she got sick at onset of puberty, she is still to some extent a 12 year old even though her age is 21. So it took a while for her to realize her dad was wrong and I had to file.

    The denial says "there are many types of disability programs, both government and private, which use different rules." What are these???

    I hear we can apply through the state, and it might take only a couple of months to get results. Have you tried that? If so, what happens going that route? Do you get some kind of benefits from the state? I am just wondering how she can be financially helped even if her dad stops child support.

    My other dilemma is that I have been home researching, taking her to doctors, caregiving, but my spousal support is done. How do other single parents work, yet be home and help their lyme-sick kids? I tried one route that helped for 3 months only and not enough help.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/22/2008]
  6. Renae610

    Renae610 New Member

    If SSI won't kick in for another 2 years, and it takes at least 2-3 months for the state to respond in any way and I have no guarantee what they would pay in benefits anyway, then I guess I will have to get a job now, and my daughter's daily needs will not be met. The rules are that she has to be on disability to get PCA (personal care assistant) help paid by insurance. Her dad is in denial about her diagnoses and how much she needs me to help her but he does bring a meal once in a while. He says she can be home and fend for herself. Not true!! I feel by going off to a job, I am causing "neglect" of a vulnerable adult. What else can I do??????
    [This Message was Edited on 11/24/2008]
  7. victoria

    victoria New Member

    "They' put us all in a corner no matter what.

    Depending on what state you're in, you may be able to find some financial or at least charitable help, ie at least for RX, altho you say she has insurance? Does that cover her meds?

    (For what it's worth, for anyone else who's reading this who does not have insurance or has it but it doesn't cover meds-- as long as one's filed for SS AND already turned down, you should at least qualify for free RXs... there are some programs out there, they're always changing so you might need to do a google search.

    We were never able to do this for our son as his meds seemed like they were always changing, + it took up to 6-8 weeks to even get approved for each one. Again, your state may be of help to you with other avenues, tho you may have to hunt one down on your own who knows what to do. His so-called caseworker was an total idiot and of no help.)

    The other pitfall is that SS will often try to tell you that since you're currently helping her, that she is being supported and doesn't qualify for SSI. Of course that is not legally true; regardless, she is considered an adult and you are not expected to make her live under a bridge. Again, this is NOT something they would try to tell an attorney.

    Is there a work at home job you can do where you can take calls, or do personal secretarial type work for someone locally, etc? So much depends on what state you live in re benefits or jobs; I have heard of some 1/2-way decent computerized call center jobs but you have to live in the right state even tho you work at home. And with the unemployment rising, those jobs may be even harder to find.

    I wish I knew what more to tell you. It is a very rough predicament, a huge amount of what was supposed to be for our retirement has gone into medical for our son.

    Please keep me and all of us posted as to what you find out is possible...

    all the best,
  8. Renae610

    Renae610 New Member

    My daughter can't tolerate meds, very hypersensitive. She is on the Cowden protocal of NutraMedix herbs, and she is on other supplements. No insurance coverage for any of that. She keeps a notebook of when she takes the various doses, daily, because she would not remember. But I must keep in touch with the professionals for advice, plus get her groceries and supplies and do the cooking since she is too handicapped to do it herself and very limited in what she can tolerate eating. She can use some Amy's brand frozen dishes, but forgets them in the oven! I have to help her bathe -- too weak to do it or any chores herself.

    I think I'm going to call ex's attorney and/or church tomorrow -- let them know ex is in denial about our daughter's needs, and could they get him to consider continuing spousal maintenance for me to help her? It's all I know to try.

    thanks so much, Victoria. Your son is blessed to have a parent like you!!
    I'll keep you posted.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/24/2008]
  9. Renae610

    Renae610 New Member

    from the Displaced Homemaker program, and they e-mailed me with homeshoring companies that are now recruiting again (they had no openings for hire when I checked). This is what I will try for.