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Old 02-09-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
kacklebird kacklebird is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: BALT, MD USA
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kacklebird HB User
Re: Is it possible to qualify for disability

Hi Sophie,

I too have SLE and am now on disability. I worked for 3 years after being diagnosed, but finally had to stop due to feeling so sick and being in pain. I applied for SSDI approx 2 months after I had stopped working. It is a long drawn out process and be prepared to be denied. It's rare that anyone is approved on the first review unless they're terminal/dying. It's a shame though that they make you go through all of these hurdles. I believe too that they hope people will give up after being denied. After I was denied twice I then hired an attorney. He then contacted my local Congressman who contacted me. The Congressman's Representative also called me to go over some things and then my records were re-submitted and I got an On the Record Approval within 2 weeks after the Congressman got involved. If you do end up not being able to work apply for the SSDI. Your rheumy or PCP must back you up too as they will be filling out the paperwork for the SSDI. I think I was waiting for close to 2 years before getting approved, but I knew this was the norm and was told by all of my Lupus friends that this is how it typically is for the majority. Living with Lupus is a nightmare. I hate to sound negative, but it truly is for many of us. I loved working and was very active, but now I'm just a useless nothing as I call myself. It's too hard to do much of anything when you're sick. Some people seem to have breaks in between flares, but I haven't found that yet in my case. Sooo, make sure that your doctors will back you up as you will need them to. You can apply for SSDI on line or you can call to make a phone appt with them. I did the phone appt when I applied. When I got my first denial letter they said the reason they were denying me was due to my age and education level. What in the world does your age or education have to do with how a person can function when they're sick. I think it's a disgrace that the system works against many who truly need disability and that have worked hard their entire lives. I don't know your situation, but if you really feel that you're too sick to work then I would get the ball rolling only because it takes a long time to go through the process. There is also a website that is called Social Security Disability Coalition. You can join that group and read the gazillion postings from people who have been denied, been waiting, been approved, etc. There is also a lot of helpful information from this site in terms of disability. I think it's worth checking out. So hang in there and don't give up in terms of fighting SSDI if you get denied once you have applied. K?

Take care