New to applying for disability but not new to pain, back injury, etc.
My lawyer says that in my state it will take approx. 15 months to get approval. He said they always deny the first two times and then you get your scheduled hearing before the judge.
What is everyone's experience with this, especially anyone in my particular state?
Thanks so much!
It does take a long time, they want you to quit.
I applied in May of 07 and had my hearing today and won, the Judge gave me an on the record decision with out even asking. I won for spinal issues.
Make sure you have your medical records. All of your MRI's ect...
Hi, Deb. I live in California. I applied for SSDI in early 06/2009, after it was clear that I wasn't going to make it back to work. I applied online and then had some documents taken down to the local SSA office to complete my file (e.g. my birth certificate, my last pay stub). The SSA representative was extremely nice and helpful. I was very meticulous with respect to filling out the application (I estimate that it took me almost two full days to complete the online forms and proofread the information before submitting everything to SSA). I only followed up with the Disability Determination Services representative twice: once to submit the "Daily Activities Questionnaire" form and another time to confirm that all of my medical records were received (they were, but it took about a month and a half for all of the records to trickle in). Last week, I received a phone call from the SSA local office. I was approved. Just like that. In less than three months.
I was very surprised that my approval was granted so fast. I'm in my early 30s, and I have a college degree. Based on all of the negative posts that I've read on various message boards, I was extremely apprehensive about being denied at the initial application stage. If you believe half of what you read on these forums, you would think that a denial is a foregone conclusion. When I found out that I was approved, I wasn't ecstatic; rather, I just felt a tremendous sense of relief.
My disability is related to my right knee. I had a failed total knee replacement last year, and the metal implant was removed in January 2009. There was a very nasty staph infection involved, and the long-term result is that I have a cement spacer instead of a right knee (I had two separate staph infections in the knee as a child, so the joint was in awful shape to begin with). My right knee doesn't bear any weight, and I can only move around using two crutches. My right leg is stuck in a fixed extended position (similar to a fusion, but not nearly as stable). If it should happen to get infected again (there's no reason to believe that it will), or if I experience any further structural problems with the spacer, the leg will be amputated above the knee. Needless to say, my right leg hurts whenever I move it (I keep it wrapped up tight in an immobilizer most of the time).
I applied for and was approved for SSDI solely on the basis of my knee problem. Everything that's wrong with my knee is congruent with the language in Listing 1.02 in the SSA Listing of Impairments. I have no mental problems and no other debilitating physical issues besides the knee (believe me, the knee is enough -- ever try to get in and out of the shower on one leg?).
Deb, I hope everything works out well for you in your dealings with the SSA. I am certainly no expert on the SSDI application process (actually, I knew next to nothing about the disability system before I had to have my knee removed). However, if you have any questions about my experience, feel free to ask. Good luck to you!
I live in California . I started my application process online for Social Security . SSA mailed me more paper work to fill out too . They also needed names and addresse's of all the medical Dr's I had seen , and signed medical release forms . I did everything to the best of my knowledge and ability .
It took three months to recieve my first deniel letter. I was not discouraged though. Because , by the time I sent in all my paperwork to SSA, and it getting denied at first, I had become sicker. I had a certain amount of time to submit reconsideration forms . this time I added the new conditions and what had happened in the last several months since I orginally applied. within a couple of moths after submitting the reconsideration papers, I was approved. However, My claim was pulled for a review .this is done in a different state and delayed my claim. I also found out that my claim could be denied at this review process. I was on pins and needles , not knowing what was going to occur.
About 6 weeks later, I was in the hospital. I called my bank account to check my balance , being a single parent and in the hospital I was very concerned about my finances. This is when I learned that a large amount of money was deposited in my account. Backpay .
I recieved my offical approval letter a week later. I won my claim on the second level, a reconsideration.
Have very specific docurmentation ready on your claim, and submit all the names and address'ss of the doctors who have treated you . Important evidence , it is not so much as what the disabling condition is, it is the amount of severity , the condition causes a person in daily life, and if it is long term.
Sometimes, I think people make the mistake of believing their claim will easily be won because it is on the SS list of impairments. However, it is not true . SS looks at everything with a fine tooth comb.
It is correct however, that their is a much higher precentage rate of approved claims at the Judge's level then any other . Do not give up or start over. It is discouraging to have to wait so long . But, sometimes, it does not always take that long to win your claim.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond.
Mikeybucs....I also applied online, it took me two days also and I consider myself pretty computer savvy! Thank goodness I am a very detail oriented person and really had all the info they wanted at my fingertips (this is Workers Comp so I have copies of everything) I am not sure how someone could do it if they were not organized! I can see how some people would get very discouraged and just give up (which is what they want). I had to go to the SS office to take some supporting documentation and the lady there looked at what I had done online and along with what I had brought, the application was perfect, she said. She told me she had never had anyone do it all right the first time. Wow, it sounds like you have quite an injury. I imagine you also have lots of chronic pain that goes along with that?
Mscat40....thanks for all the encouraging words. Sounds like California is the place to live if you need disability! It seems that you and Mikeybucs had fairly quick turnaround times!