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Old 07-09-2011, 01:59 AM   #1
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Question SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

Hi All:

I had no idea where to start this thread as this is my first post, so I trust the Moderators to move it, should it be required.

This feels odd spilling my guts to anonymous strangers but here goes. I have been disabled, as declared by both social security and my employers insurance company, since around 2002. I was declared disabled due to major depressive disorder which was subsequent to a catastrophic illness which caused me to run a fever for three years. I was not expected to live and was told by two specialists I would die..and soon. That was 10 years ago or so. My physical illness is gone, but as a result of running fever for three years, things just haven't quite been the same for me. I have a letter from my psychiatrist stating I will never work again and have had 3 psychiatric hospitalizations since 2002. I barely manage in a home environment but do try to attend Church about three times a week. Here's the rub. I'm on a fixed income and gas is expensive. I can ride my motorcycle, a Harley to and from Church and save money. However, I am concerned that either my employers insurance company or social security will try and yank my benefits if I'm seen riding a motorcycle. It would appear that this would not be a problem in my case, because it's not like I'm disabled due a hurt back or whatever. But these guys are bureaucrats, bean counters and procedure followers looking to trim fat wherever they can find it. I am on psychiatric meds, four of them and see a shrink routinely.

I really would appreciate some input on this one. I am disabled, clearly. And I need some help with this, if someone would kindly reply, I would be most grateful.

Cheers.

 
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:58 AM   #2
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

Hello there, and welcome to the HealthBoards.. we are happy you are here.

I hope I can offer you a bit of support and encouragement. We have some things in common, first being that we both live in America's Finest City of San Diego. I am also disabled, and have been for many years.

Although I am not a specialist in disability rules, I do feel quite sure that you are fine riding a motorcycle, without fear of losing any benefits. If you want to verify this, I am sure your social security office could answer with authority.

I do not believe that with our SS disability we have folks out watching us, to see if we are not "acting" disabled. I think that is more common with employers and short term disability claims. Besides physical issues and mental issues are completely different, and without knowing the terms of your disability, who could report you

I actually have a friend who is a motorcycle rider, disabled due to a lung transplant. He has a handicap placard that he hangs on his handlebars of his bike! He gets some funny looks, but it is perfectly legal. We have always thought that was pretty funny.

As long as your medication does not impact your abilities to drive (or ride, in your case), you have a valid license, and insurance, I don't see any reason why you can't ride your bike anytime you like.

Good luck to you,

Janet

Just to make 100% sure, you might call SS and ask...I would be interested in what they say in fact.

 
Old 07-09-2011, 06:51 PM   #3
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

I'm kind of jealous u have a Harley.. i love em like crazy. Anyway, I think u are fine too. I don't know if u have SSDi or SSI. Or if u also have a car too.
The only thing I see that could be an issue is if u had SSI and also had a car. Since SSi is also income based they will take into account that a Motorcycle and a car are vehicles. and the asssets of these will be over SSI limits.
If your on SSDI then that would not be an issue. As long as you are physically able to drive and are mentally capable despite your disablites it should not be a problem.

 
Old 07-09-2011, 09:09 PM   #4
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

SS likely won't be watching for anything like that. If you have LTD through work it is possible they do more close monitoring. If you are out solely due to psychological problems and are riding the motorcycle around town for errands, church, etc it should be fine. LTD might question you are showing more and more leisure use of the motorcycle if your medical records show an inability to function daily. I myself worry about being seen doing anything that is at all leisure.

If you are using it as a means or local short distance transportation it seems reasonable. Keep in mind that many disability case managers see depression as a disorder that, if severe, makes daily functioning difficult. They may see (and I'm just saying this to talk from the other side) that your motorcycle is a leisure activity. If you've been keeping the Harley and are worried about gas mileage, would you have the means to buy a prius or honda FIT?
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:39 PM   #5
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

Interesting thread. Hi Knotakid and welcome to healthboards. I have some personal comments but will wait until tomorrow before posting them. I am trying to work on my sleep hygiene and it is now time for me to turn the lights out. This is a good disability board Knotakid. I post on several others (not often) but this one is the best IMO.

Last edited by BlueSkies14; 07-10-2011 at 09:17 AM.

 
Old 07-10-2011, 08:41 AM   #6
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by mscat40 View Post
I'm kind of jealous u have a Harley.. i love em like crazy. Anyway, I think u are fine too. I don't know if u have SSDi or SSI. Or if u also have a car too.
The only thing I see that could be an issue is if u had SSI and also had a car. Since SSi is also income based they will take into account that a Motorcycle and a car are vehicles. and the asssets of these will be over SSI limits.
If your on SSDI then that would not be an issue. As long as you are physically able to drive and are mentally capable despite your disablites it should not be a problem.
LOL @ Mscat. I had a motorcycle (not a Harley) when I became ill in 08. I sold it b/c I thought it would be dangerous to try and ride in the condition I was in at the time.

Last edited by BlueSkies14; 07-10-2011 at 08:42 AM.

 
Old 07-10-2011, 09:49 AM   #7
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knotakid View Post
Hi All:

I had no idea where to start this thread as this is my first post, so I trust the Moderators to move it, should it be required.

This feels odd spilling my guts to anonymous strangers but here goes. I have been disabled, as declared by both social security and my employers insurance company, since around 2002. I was declared disabled due to major depressive disorder which was subsequent to a catastrophic illness which caused me to run a fever for three years. I was not expected to live and was told by two specialists I would die..and soon. That was 10 years ago or so. My physical illness is gone, but as a result of running fever for three years, things just haven't quite been the same for me. I have a letter from my psychiatrist stating I will never work again and have had 3 psychiatric hospitalizations since 2002. I barely manage in a home environment but do try to attend Church about three times a week. Here's the rub. I'm on a fixed income and gas is expensive. I can ride my motorcycle, a Harley to and from Church and save money. However, I am concerned that either my employers insurance company or social security will try and yank my benefits if I'm seen riding a motorcycle. It would appear that this would not be a problem in my case, because it's not like I'm disabled due a hurt back or whatever. But these guys are bureaucrats, bean counters and procedure followers looking to trim fat wherever they can find it. I am on psychiatric meds, four of them and see a shrink routinely.

I really would appreciate some input on this one. I am disabled, clearly. And I need some help with this, if someone would kindly reply, I would be most grateful.

Cheers.
Personally, I think the bike should not matter. You are simply using it as a cheap, economical mode of transport. I agree with what Spine said. SS probably does not give a hoot unless someone calls SS and reports you. Ppl have been known to do this for spite. Your LTD carrier might OTOH take a different viewpoint and this discovery could possibly cause them to scrutinize your claim and/or require more frequent proof for continued disability benefits. LTD Insurance companies must pay legitimate claims and they do but make no mistake despite what anyone tells you, these companies are primarily in business to make money. Less claims = more profit. Personally, I would limit the bike riding to a min. With human nature being what it is, I can see someone saying that if he is really that depressed, why is he out and about town riding a Harley and enjoying himself. Here is the thing that most ppl on disability fear altho most ppl will not come out and say it. We all have this fear. Once you go out on SSDI and/or LTD, most claimants fear in a way of getting better altho most do not wish to remain sick. For example, you are 55 years old. You are approved for LTD and SSDI. You know that these insurance policies will pay you only for as long as you remain disabled. If you reach a point where your medical condition improves to the point of not being considered disabled anymore, your health is better yes but your disability income stops. You now find yourself at an advanced age, your health might be improved, but now you have no income. It is one helluva dilemma that very few ppl wish to think about but they know this in the back of their minds. I mean who is going to hire someone again at these advanced ages given our medical histories. The reality is most ppl try to stay on disability ( LTD and SSDI) and I don't blame them despite any medical improvements. Even with medical improvement, getting kicked off LTD/SSDI with no income now, no employment would throw anyone back into a deep depression and thus you are really sick again with no income.

 
Old 07-10-2011, 03:34 PM   #8
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

I have been on SS disability for about 17 years, and any changes in my condition are only brought up on my three year reviews, that's it.

I personally do not see any connection between riding a Harley and depression. We all need transportation, and if that is your choice, ride it! I drive a 1962 Chevy truck that is much more difficult to drive than any modern vehicle, but I would not trade it for anything else, although my parents have done everything imaginable to "make" me get rid of it.

There are times when my physical condition makes it impossible to drive it, which is actually quite often these days, but when I can, I do. Mostly my condition is related to the medication I take that rules driving out. But I am the one who makes the choice when those times are, no one else should have any input on that. The thought of someone feeling the need to report anything about their opinion to anyone in authority, is just sickening to me.

Once we have been declared disabled by the rules that apply to everyone, we are disabled until such a time that our doctors feel otherwise at the time of our review. What ever you choose to do to get around, or to make yourself feel better is what you should be doing, in my opinion.

See ya at the beach!

 
Old 07-10-2011, 03:48 PM   #9
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by writeleft View Post
I have been on SS disability for about 17 years, and any changes in my condition are only brought up on my three year reviews, that's it.

I personally do not see any connection between riding a Harley and depression. We all need transportation, and if that is your choice, ride it! I drive a 1962 Chevy truck that is much more difficult to drive than any modern vehicle, but I would not trade it for anything else, although my parents have done everything imaginable to "make" me get rid of it.

There are times when my physical condition makes it impossible to drive it, which is actually quite often these days, but when I can, I do. Mostly my condition is related to the medication I take that rules driving out. But I am the one who makes the choice when those times are, no one else should have any input on that. The thought of someone feeling the need to report anything about their opinion to anyone in authority, is just sickening to me.

Once we have been declared disabled by the rules that apply to everyone, we are disabled until such a time that our doctors feel otherwise at the time of our review. What ever you choose to do to get around, or to make yourself feel better is what you should be doing, in my opinion.

See ya at the beach!
I agree writeleft. Just b/c you are disabled, you should still be able to enjoy life. You just have to be really careful with the LTD. I don't think SS (SSDI) cares like Spine mentioned but he has both SSDI and LTD income that he has to be concerned about. The LTD folks play by a different set of rules.

Last edited by BlueSkies14; 07-10-2011 at 05:30 PM.

 
Old 07-14-2011, 03:26 PM   #10
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

Man, I really appreciate all the support I've gotten from you guys. I'll keep you posted with any updates.

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Old 07-14-2011, 04:02 PM   #11
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSkies14 View Post
LOL @ Mscat. I had a motorcycle (not a Harley) when I became ill in 08. I sold it b/c I thought it would be dangerous to try and ride in the condition I was in at the time.
when i move to Florida i want to get a Harley my brother has a 05 ultra classic with a ipod player am/Fm stereo 2 way radio. I want to go to bike week in daytona.

 
Old 07-14-2011, 04:10 PM   #12
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

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Originally Posted by vann04 View Post
when i move to Florida i want to get a Harley my brother has a 05 ultra classic with a ipod player am/Fm stereo 2 way radio. I want to go to bike week in daytona.
I hear ya Vann. I would buy me a monster 4 wheeler if I had the money and ride it on good days but I can't afford it. At least, not right now. Maybe, I will get another bike one day. Currently, I am barely using my car. Hope you enjoy the Harley. How much is your brother selling it to you for?

 
Old 07-14-2011, 04:21 PM   #13
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSkies14 View Post
I hear ya Vann. I would buy me a monster 4 wheeler if I had the money and ride it on good days but I can't afford it. At least, not right now. Maybe, I will get another bike one day. Currently, I am barely using my car. Hope you enjoy the Harley. How much is your brother selling it to you for?
hes not I'm going to get myself a smaller and cheaper one he paid over $16,000 for his but since he has had it he put allot of chrome on it and if you know Harley parts there not cheap.This is his 4th Harley.

 
Old 07-14-2011, 07:28 PM   #14
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knotakid View Post
Hi All:

I had no idea where to start this thread as this is my first post, so I trust the Moderators to move it, should it be required.

This feels odd spilling my guts to anonymous strangers but here goes. I have been disabled, as declared by both social security and my employers insurance company, since around 2002. I was declared disabled due to major depressive disorder which was subsequent to a catastrophic illness which caused me to run a fever for three years. I was not expected to live and was told by two specialists I would die..and soon. That was 10 years ago or so. My physical illness is gone, but as a result of running fever for three years, things just haven't quite been the same for me. I have a letter from my psychiatrist stating I will never work again and have had 3 psychiatric hospitalizations since 2002. I barely manage in a home environment but do try to attend Church about three times a week. Here's the rub. I'm on a fixed income and gas is expensive. I can ride my motorcycle, a Harley to and from Church and save money. However, I am concerned that either my employers insurance company or social security will try and yank my benefits if I'm seen riding a motorcycle. It would appear that this would not be a problem in my case, because it's not like I'm disabled due a hurt back or whatever. But these guys are bureaucrats, bean counters and procedure followers looking to trim fat wherever they can find it. I am on psychiatric meds, four of them and see a shrink routinely.

I really would appreciate some input on this one. I am disabled, clearly. And I need some help with this, if someone would kindly reply, I would be most grateful.

Cheers.
I don't think you have anything to worry about. Riding a motorcycle isn't much different than driving, and people don't lose their benefits for being seen behind a wheel. People are asked how they got to their consultative exam- many drive to the appt. Besides, there likely isn't enough manpower for SS to watch every person's move, especially actions that don't prove disabled status one way or the other. The concern is more whether you work or not. But living your life, don't be scared to live your life the way you always have. If you feel you have to look behind you all the time, the fear will only grow not shrink. You can stop riding a motorcycle but what else will you fear? Going to the store? It is common to worry, but you have a right to live your life in the best way you see fit. Being disabled does not mean you can't have an alternate means of transportation. The most important thing is you are getting regular treatment. Many people, once they are on SS, make the mistake of not seeing a doctor regularly.

 
Old 07-14-2011, 07:46 PM   #15
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Re: SSDI, Motorcycles and Psychiatric Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunni123 View Post
I don't think you have anything to worry about. Riding a motorcycle isn't much different than driving, and people don't lose their benefits for being seen behind a wheel. People are asked how they got to their consultative exam- many drive to the appt. Besides, there likely isn't enough manpower for SS to watch every person's move, especially actions that don't prove disabled status one way or the other. The concern is more whether you work or not. But living your life, don't be scared to live your life the way you always have. If you feel you have to look behind you all the time, the fear will only grow not shrink. You can stop riding a motorcycle but what else will you fear? Going to the store? It is common to worry, but you have a right to live your life in the best way you see fit. Being disabled does not mean you can't have an alternate means of transportation. The most important thing is you are getting regular treatment. Many people, once they are on SS, make the mistake of not seeing a doctor regularly.
The SSa dose not have secret police spying on people who are on ssdi the only thing they are looking for is if you are working and making to much they do this by your ss# and your payroll taxes. I've seen people working under the table and making way above what is allowed it wrong but people do it every day.

 
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