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Old 02-21-2012, 10:28 AM   #1
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working with a disability

My husband had a below the knee amputation 11 yrs ago. He was on state disability for one year after and then returned to working full time. He has had two operations, related to amputation problems, in the last three years which he was on disability for 3 months. He is having a lot of pain because of an ill fitting prosthesis. He does electrical work and is on a ladder a good part of the day, this causes considerable pain and fatique. My question being if he could apply for ssdi while he is still working or does he need to be off work completely before he does this?

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:12 AM   #2
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Re: working with a disability

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Originally Posted by jl824 View Post
My husband had a below the knee amputation 11 yrs ago. He was on state disability for one year after and then returned to working full time. He has had two operations, related to amputation problems, in the last three years which he was on disability for 3 months. He is having a lot of pain because of an ill fitting prosthesis. He does electrical work and is on a ladder a good part of the day, this causes considerable pain and fatique. My question being if he could apply for ssdi while he is still working or does he need to be off work completely before he does this?
He has to be off work,he cannot work at all during the whole process. If he works he will not win ssdi. Remember he is trying to get ssdi because he cannot work anymore, and as far as his amputation it will be hard to win because he was working with it. How old is he because there are men comming back from Iraq with both legs missing and working at a job. If he is under 50 he might want to talk to a ssdi attorney and get there opion. He should of tried to get ssdi when it happend with him working so long with it it is going to be hard to get ssdi if that is his only problem.

Last edited by vann04; 02-21-2012 at 11:14 AM.

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:41 PM   #3
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Re: working with a disability

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Originally Posted by vann04 View Post
He has to be off work,he cannot work at all during the whole process. If he works he will not win ssdi. Remember he is trying to get ssdi because he cannot work anymore, and as far as his amputation it will be hard to win because he was working with it. How old is he because there are men comming back from Iraq with both legs missing and working at a job. If he is under 50 he might want to talk to a ssdi attorney and get there opion. He should of tried to get ssdi when it happend with him working so long with it it is going to be hard to get ssdi if that is his only problem.
Vann summed it up great. I also think that SSDI will be extremely difficult for him to get unless he has some other medical issues related to why he is no longer able to continuing working. Not impossible IMO but just a little harder now. The thing about SSDI is that it only pays for total disability. If they determine that your husband can't do electrical work anymore but can do other work, they will deny him. His age could play a huge factor in whether he might be able to adjust to other work. Also, IMO, it will be critical to get backing from his doctor if he decides to pursue SSDI. "Disability" under Social Security is based on your inability to work.

1. You cannot do work that you did before
2. SSA decides that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s);
3. Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

I think you can easily prove 1 and 3 but #2 will be the kicker. Also, your husband must stop all work like Vann said. I know what they say about being disabled and working below SGA but any work in this case will be a detriment to his SSDI claim.

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
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working with a disability

Van and BlueSkies are right. Your husband has to be out of work.

~Belle~

Last edited by Administrator; 02-24-2012 at 12:42 AM.

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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Re: working with a disability

Also check if his employer offers any Short Term Disability or Long Term Disability. STD and LTD can help during the period of applying for SSDI.

The key to any kind of disability will be medical proof about "what changed" leading him from being able to work to being unable. So he'll want to mention all his complications to every doctor he sees from now on to build up a solid history of his complaints, condition worsening, impact on his job, etc
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:27 AM   #6
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Re: working with a disability

Hopefully, he has been seeing his doctor regularly since the amputation.

@jl824, don't let anyone discourage your husband from applying. The people on this board have all been thru this process or are currently going thru it and it is a very aggravating process, not hard, just a real PITA. I commend your husband for working as long as he did with the amputation. How old is he if you don't mind me asking.

Last edited by Administrator; 02-24-2012 at 01:30 AM.

 
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:10 AM   #7
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Re: working with a disability

my husband is 54

 
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:55 AM   #8
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Re: working with a disability

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Originally Posted by jl824 View Post
my husband is 54
Is he still working full-time jl824, albeit struggling. If he did stop working to apply for SSDI, can y'all survive financially for about 2 years, give or take a few months, without his income? I know it would probably put one helluva strain on your marriage but could y'all survive the wait?

 
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:11 AM   #9
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Re: working with a disability

Your husband clearly has a visible physical disability which can not be ignored. He is 54 years old and that will make getting SSDI a lot easier than it would if he was 10 years younger. I also think if he applies and his case gets to the ALJ level, any judge is going to commend your husband for working as long as he has with the amputation. It sounds to me like you guys are still undecided about what you are going to do. How much difficulty is he having struggling to work now?

 
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:24 PM   #10
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Re: working with a disability

He'll likely be easily approved if medical records show ongoing increasing problems with pain and other symptoms such as limb breakdown which can require amputation revision (removal of more of the limb or skin and muscle grafts) . Having worked for years after amputation may play in his favor if now there has been breakdown in the functionality of the remaining portion of the leg. No prosthesis is perfect and many will experience disabling symptoms later in life. And, also playing in his favorite is they type of work he's done (physical). If he had a desk job then SS may wonder why he doesn't use a wheelchair if having prosthetic related problems. But his job can't be done from a wheelchair. I don't think he should have applied for SSDI 11 yr ago if he was able and willing to go back to work. If anything he's shown here did it for 11 yr but now limb pain and dysfunction are increasing in severity and stopping work is the only option. They key will be records showing symptoms ongoing and increasing in severity and frequency to the point of dysfunction that's incompatible with physical labor. A doctor saying continuing full time work involving weight bearing will continue to cause problems and potentially lead to inability to use a prosthesis for any extended period, with records to prove it, will support his claim.
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Last edited by SpineAZ; 02-22-2012 at 12:29 PM.

 
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:39 PM   #11
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Re: working with a disability

I think he has to stop trying to work and just apply for SSDI. This is how I view your husband's disability. I am sure most ALJ's will see things like this too.

Last edited by Administrator; 02-24-2012 at 01:31 AM.

 
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:55 PM   #12
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Re: working with a disability

I don't think we could make it. I am also on ssdi for the last four years, my check is only $750 a month. There is a possibility that his boss could give him a less physical job.

 
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:08 PM   #13
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Re: working with a disability

His benefit is likely higher than yours if he's had substantial continual earnings over the last 11 years. The current max is around $2300/mo. There is a calculator to estimate SSDI benefits. http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/AnypiaApplet.html


Does his employer offer any kind of Short Term or Long Term Disability benefits?
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:45 AM   #14
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Re: working with a disability

I am not sure if his emplyer offers short or long term disability

 
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:58 AM   #15
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Re: working with a disability

He'll want to check with HR/Benefits. And if they offer it he should ask for a copy of the plan for each. Use the excuse of "after taxes we're meeting with a financial planner and he wants copies of all the benefits plans, so can I get any plan documents for disability benefits, life insurance, and the current medical plan? "
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