I was recently approved for SSDI. The way I went about it is: I first filled out the disability application forms online. I then called Social Security to set up an appointment for a interview, which was required. Now I could have this interview done either by phone or in person. Our Social Security Office is not very far from my house so I went to the office.
At the interview the gentlemen looked over my application and told me that I did a wonderful job of filling out all the questions. I went into lengths about how my Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy had changed my life. I mean I needed to use a lot of extra pages to complete what I wanted to say. I was told to answer the questions as if it is the worst day with my RSD. I also went into not just the physical aspects of the RSD but also the emotional part of having a chronic condition and not being able to work.
Next came the waiting the game. I filled out my application papers in May of 2008. In August I received a letter stating that they wanted me to see one of their doctors. Then a couple of weeks later I received another letter telling me that the appointment with their doctor was canceled. So I called my case worker from Social Security to see why it was canceled and if that meant bad news for me. She told me that she could not legally answer those questions. She did however tell me to relax and be patient. That a decision would be made very soon.
Again I then waited.
In the middle of October I received a phone call from the gentlemen that conducted my interview with me at the Social Security Office. He was calling to tell me that I was approved.
I need to back up for one minute so that I can make something clearer. I first applied for SSDI right after I was diagnosed with RSD and realized that I would not be able to return to work. But I was denied. I believe that was because I was not off of work long enough and that I was just recently diagnosed. This was in December of
2005. I did not appeal their decision and I just left it alone. I was also getting a monthly check through the state because I was a state employee for 22 years where I taught at a technical college.
Then this past May my doctor told me that I should apply again for Social Security Disability because my RSD was getting worse and in her opinion I would never get any better than I am, which is not great!!
Ok, back to the phone call. This very nice man from Social Security wanted to call me with the decision and not let me wait for a letter from them. He said that he did not want me to worry anymore. I thought that was so wonderful of him. He also told me that they had decided to use my first application (the one from 2005). Since they did this it meant that I would immediately be able to get Medicare. I was crying because I would once again have health insurance. He also told me that since they went back to the first application that I would receive back pay starting from the first day I was unable to work, which was November 2, 2005. My husband was home at the time I received this phone call and he couldn't tell if it was good news or bad news because of my crying.
I hope that this is of some help to you and I sure hope that you are able to have the success that I had with this process. It was nice that I did not need to use a lawyer so that I did not need to pay anyone. But I have heard that having a lawyer is a good idea should you get denied and want to appeal their decision. I was also told that about 70% of the applications Social Security receives is denied on the first try.
If you have any other questions I would be happy to answer them. Oh one more thing you may be wondering and that is my age. I am 49. I turned 49 on November
Good luck!!! I will be praying that you all get approved and have it happen quickly