View Full Version : Applying for Disability

10-05-2014, 12:42 PM
Well, the other day I finally did what I feared I'd eventually wind up doing, and filled out the paperwork for Social Security Disability.
I've been agoraphobic all my life (for those who don't know that term, it's fear of open spaces, and large crowds). Over the last 25 years, I've tried just about every job you can imagine; fast food, grocery, hardware sales, data entry, and for 20 years I've been a computer technician in various locations.
The fact is, I can't do much of anything; most places require you to be in warehouse environments, or crowded buildings, or out on the open road. Even fast food places are out, because once things get busy, I feel trapped, and end up with that "I must leave now" sensation.
Medications for this condition exist, and I take them, but they have the effect of impairing motor skills, and leaving me drowsy. That, and they cause cluster headaches in higher doses. So, I'm going to hang up the towel. I'll still work as I can, maybe set up a small PC repair shop in my basement. But in this area, that won't bring in enough to live on by itself.
I can't feel sorry for myself; I've worked harder at fighting this than most would have, and I've at least been somewhat successful. But the last few weeks I've had to take meds just to get out to hunt, or to the shooting range. And you know it's bad when you've got to push yourself just to go hunting!
I'm only 42, and I've got a good list of fairly inexpensive hobbies, so I can keep myself entertained.
BUT, I will need prayer, as it's frustrating. I don't like the rules that go along with the the disability system, and I would much rather be out in the field, whether that's the work field or the hunting field.
Naturally, I'll still be on here, as I return home from just pushing to get outdoors and fight the tendency to become a recluse. I thank God I started hunting when I did, and that I like to fish as well, or it would be too easy to sit at home, watching TV or playing video games all day.
I still consider myself blessed, as I've got family nearby, and good friends who understand.

10-05-2014, 03:19 PM
Sorry to hear of your situation. Hope everything works out for you. I think with SS disability, you cannot be able to do any job so your pc repair work may be an issue.

10-05-2014, 03:25 PM
You can do some work while on SSD; during the determination process, they limit to $1070/month. I know one person who's quadraplegic and works part time, but he's limited to part time.
I could pretty much only do the PC work out of the house because, well, that's all I can do, and there's just not enough such work to live on.

10-05-2014, 03:34 PM
I will be praying for you and your situation. I am going through the process now also and mine is at the review level as it has been turned down twice. I would suggest that you write a letter to your state senators and representatives as I did, it does help to speed up the process some. I have both state senators and one representative looking into my case now.

10-05-2014, 09:25 PM
Hardest two years of my life were when I was trying to get disability. Ended up getting turned down, appealed, denied again and I said that is enough. Their answer, at 48 I was supposed to go back to doing the job I did in my 20's, doing manual labor for a few dollars an hour.

The process grinds you up, depresses you, and spits you out. Even if you win you are likely going to face a long hard slog up out of the depression pit.

Don't give up, be strong, believe in yourself. This is WHY the system exists. You paid into it, you deserve to use it if you need it.

If you have a couple of doctor's willing to back you up your chances are good. Mine stabbed me in the back behind the scenes, wrote a letter that sunk me.

And find a GOOD attorney who specializes in Social Security.

Good luck!

10-05-2014, 09:33 PM
Sorry to hear of your situation. Just don't let the illness or the system get you down...just keep going.

I will add you to my prayer list.

10-06-2014, 10:39 PM
Thanks for all the prayers; I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me. I've overcome a lot over the years, and I've done more than I knew I could. But for whatever reason, this is something where just facing my fears isn't the permanent fix I had hoped it would be. Every few years, I have a sort of relapse, where I can no longer function as well as I was.
The last few years have been good, but 5 years is the longest I've been able to go without a relapse, and even that has had some very rough times. I'm really not all that depressed. I wish I'd been able to go longer, to work more than I have. But I've been blessed with faith, friends, and family, who are my pillars.
So any pity party is going to have to involve cake and balloons.

Wayne Smith
10-07-2014, 09:01 AM
At your first denial there will be instructions for appeal. Fill out that paperwork and kick it upstairs, this is an automatic issue for something as unusual as your Dx. You will probably be denied the second time. It then goes to a board and you will need representation, a SS Disability lawyer at that point. The more complex or unusual the situation the more likely you will be denied unjustly. I have had cases go before a judge who essentially reamed out the SSD people and ordered it accepted. In other words, persist and don't give up. It can take years, but you will be back paid to the date of your first application.

How much you can earn without interfering with your disability is a variable and I think it is related to how many quarters you paid into the system.

I'll be praying for you. It is likely you will be in for a long haul and disappointment. Don't let it get you down, get up and fight again, until a Judge decides.

10-07-2014, 12:51 PM
I have been through the process of SSD. My claim took seven years. Your case will be tough. SS says if you can earn around $17000 per year in any profession you are not "disabled". SS will claim you could take up a profession outdoors, like a Heating -Cooling technician. You will be turned down twice written and then you get an appeal before a ALJ. If you have been working within the last two years, it gets tougher. My advice is get a lawyer that specializes in SSD. Also get a letter from your doctor(s) that says you are totally disabled and that your condition prohibits you from working in any vocation. Keep all paperwork in an orderly manner. You will be required to provide the same information several times over several years. The SS process is unbelievable and expect anything from them.

10-07-2014, 09:06 PM
Yeah, in my case, they can't even claim I can work outdoors. Right now, I can work if it's in a small space within 5 miles of my house, but if that small space becomes crowded, I have to leave. I can't even go into the woods right now without heavy doses of sedatives. This means that, in order to even go hunting, or to the shooting range, I have to try getting there first, and if I've had to take too much of the prescribed medication just to get there, I'm effectively stoned out of my mind.
If people could bring their stuff to me (assuming that I could get all the proper permits to convert my house to a business), then I'd still have to deal with the fact I live in an area where the population density is too low to make a living. Over the last two years, I've done independent work on computers, and netted approximately $5000/year in doing so.

10-19-2014, 11:28 PM
get a good lawyer who deals in this every day.