I am 19 years old. I have buergers disease (a progressive arterial disease)
I also have irregular blood pressure and heart rate due to the disease and now showing signs of depression and other psychological traumas due to the disabling disease ive come down with at such a young age.
Small tasks are becoming very difficult, I cannot stand or walk long distances without extreme pain. My legs and feet and hands randomly go numb and fall asleep alot. Im becoming weak, its hard to excercise. I used to be very athletic and outgoing, now I am just the opposite. I am broke, facing being kicked out of my home if I cannot help pay bills. I need some type of financial aid. This is America right? Do I qualify for disability benefits or are they going to just brush me off and turn their back on me. Anybody with advice please let me know...i can answer any questions to help your opinion
You can look at the Social Security Disability website and see if your condition is listed. They have their guidelines posted. But a lot of conditions aren't officially listed, yet you can still be found disabled.
You might look up a lawyer in your yellow pages who specializes in getting SSD and call and chat with him on the phone. Describe your condition and ask if it sounds like you have a case. They only take cases they think they can win, since they don't get paid if they don't win for you. Call a couple of them. There's no charge to talk to them on the phone.
Thankyou for the advice. I have looked at the website and my condition is not listed because it is a rarely diagnosed disease. It takes alot of proof and testing to be diagnosed with it, and i have gone through all of them unfortunately. I havent spoke with a lawyer yet, I chatted with a rep from binder and binder through e-mail but they couldnt tell me much. I think I will take your advice and call a few lawyers in my area. How do I know if they specialize in SSD or do I just have to call and find out??? either way thankyou for your help.
Hi Tony....Sorry about your illness, it must be tough, especially for someone of your age and abilities prior to becoming sick.
Your post made me think of something, so I went through my folder I have from five years ago when I first was applying for SSD myself. BTW, I was able to gain approval on the first attempt, so I guess I'm one of the lucky ones.
From the booklet from Social Security, Publication #05-10029, January 2003, it states:"The number of work credits you need for disability benefits depends on your age when you became disabled. Generally you need 20 credits earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you became disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits. The rules are as follows: Before age 24-You may qualify if you have six credits earned in the three-year period ending when your disability starts". It then goes on to explain about older workers.
Even though it doesn't look too good for someone of your age, being someone over 40 years your senior, I would advise you to somehow retain the best attorney in your area that handles Social Security Disability cases. A lot of them don't charge for the initial consultation, so go see them a see if they are willing to help you. The government has set it up, that when an attorney handles your case and wins, they are paid a set percentage of 25% of your award. Be ready to lose your initial application, but your attorney should then immediately appeal it. It may be a fairly long process for you, because of your age, but ask your attorney for advice on how you can "get by" until you hopefully receive a favorable decision from a Labor Judge.
Good luck to you, and I'm sure others here will also have some advise to help you in what you can do.
Last edited by RetiredDirector; 02-29-2008 at 01:17 PM.
Tony, I looked up "lawyers" in my yellow pages and found a lot of ads stating that they specialized in SSD. There was also a separate listing in the lawyer section for disability lawyers.
I called three. The first was a crock who talked too much for his own good. He clearly was a lawyer who would represent anyone and be ready to lie for them. He told me that I would need to be careful in case someone wanted to videotape me, so no one would see me doing something I said I couldn't do. I was offended! I told him they'd be welcome to video tape me anytime, as it would only confirm every word I said! Both of the other lawyers I called were very knowledgeable and helpful. Both talked to me for a good 15-20 minutes, and both said they believed I had a good case and would be willing to represent me, but that I should apply on my own for the first try. After I got my denial, I called a personal advocate that a friend recommended. She only takes 10-15 cases a year and talked to me for quite a while. She is willing to take my case, but she also wanted me to do the second try on my own, as she said she wouldn't do anything differently from what I would do myself, and she wouldn't want me to have to pay her for that. Her fees are the same as the lawyers, 25% with a cap of $5400 or something close to that. I also called the last lawyer back, and he didn't return my call for 5 days. I didn't tell him I was thinking of using the advocate, just filled him in on what the denial letter had said. He gave me some advice, agreed that it was reasonable to do the reconsideration on my own, and suggested asking my doctors to fill out a functional capacity form. He said he would send it to me, but over a week later, it still hasn't come. This is really confirming for me that the personal advocate would be better to represent me. The lawyers have so many cases, I would just be a number and it will take a lot longer. But talking to a lawyer might at least give you a good idea of whether you have a good case. You might find a really good one. I did like the two lawyers and would happily use either one of them if I hadn't found this advocate.
Thankyou so much Emily and Director. I have called lawyers before for other reasons and they acted similar to the way you are describing, plus I have always been skeptical about these underground type of law firms. But I plan on contacting somebody this week using the advice I have gotten here. If you could, please elaborate on this "personal advocate" I just did a search but cant seem to find much on them.
Once again thankyou 2 everyone taking the time to give input it is appreciated and needed...
Last edited by moderator2; 03-02-2008 at 11:31 AM.
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If you do anything at all please find a lawyer that specializes in disability law. I would think you qualify but please get a lawyer so you don't have to apply more than once. Very few people win the first time around unless they have legal counsel and at your young age I am sure you will have troubles. There are many things you will have to do before you apply and one of them is for your doctor to fill out special paperwork and if he doesn't fill it out correctly you will not even get to first base. I am sorry for your current medical condition I hope you have parents or someone that can help you retain a lawyer.
Tony, I know there are companies that act as advocates. One is Allsup, which I only know from reading here on the board. The woman I talked to works independently. I don't think there are many people who do it like her, and I'm sorry, but I don't know how to find them. This woman was recommended by a friend who won her case on the first try with her help. (She doesn't usually assist on the first application, but my friend had some severe problems that made it impossible to do the initial work herself.)
I was just wondering since you are still young, would you qualify for SSI as well as SSDI? Just a thought for you to look into. Obviously, if you get a lawyer, they will know what to apply for and will probably apply for both. At least that is what my lawyers did.
Tony, just something to keep in mind and I think you'll find this out on your own. My experience was that attorneys will tell you to handle the initial phase or the filing for benefits on your own, as there is nothing they can do for you, that you can't do for yourself. Translation: We won't make any money on initial phase if you are approved.
Attorneys get their set 25% of your back pay when filing for appeals, etc. When you finally win, the attorney then gets a cut. On the first filing phase, they don't.
TonyMill88, are either of of your parents drawing from social security, either SSDI or retirement, or is one of them deceased? If so, you might qualify as a Disabled Adult Child, and be able to draw half of their benefit amount. This doesn't affect the parents benefit.
Without enough credits on your own, you may be stuck with either SSI or DAC. But continue to keep really good medical records, because if you can prove you were disabled before turning age 22, even when you're 30, 40, or 50 years old you could still make a case for being a Disabled Adult Child and draw from your parents disability or retirement after they start receiving it. My son is 25, and he missed the DAC filing deadline by one year. He has been drawing SSI because he had no work credits, but we had the records to prove his disability started before age 22, and he has just been approved for DAC off my SSDI benefit. It took two years to do it, but now he has a much better benefit than from SSI.
These are all great things for me to know. I talked with a lawyer/advocate and they told me I have to be under a doctors care. I just set up an appointment. Once my doctor fills out the slip stating i DO have buergers disease the lawyer told me to contact her again and she would help me file the claim, she knows I have little knowledge of this system and I have little parental support either so she has been kind enough to go out of her way, and she told me she believes I will get the benefits I need. This is all good news for me. And unfortunately (and fortunately) my parents are still working and probably will be for a while. I have medical records of all the testing I had done but that is not enough, but I will continue to keep records as suggested. Thankyou all for all of your help...I will keep everyone up 2 date.