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Old 10-01-2010, 04:28 AM   #1
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why is it so hard for people with ms to get ssdi

why is it so hard for people with ms to get ssdi

 
Old 10-01-2010, 06:58 AM   #2
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Re: why is it so hard for people with ms to get ssdi

Welcome. Part of the SSDI problem is that each state varies in their efficiency. Kansas ranks at or near the bottom. I was lucky to be in California in 2002, have a helpful counselor at my local SSA office in CA, and I did my homework.

Homework helps. Go to the SSA web site. I found a checklist for SSDI and MS. There are criteria for MS that pencil pushers at SSA require. Print this list off and work with your doctor to assemble the package of paperwork according to the SSA. I was approved in less than a month. I dropped my package off at my local office and 2 weeks later I had an interview.

The counselor at the SSA office even advised me on filing for my state disability insurance. In CA they deduct a premium each month for disability insurance. It helped fill the gap until the first SSDI check arrived.

The hardest part of the whole process was the homework and the 2 year wait for Medicare.

If I can help further, please ask.
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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Re: why is it so hard for people with ms to get ssdi

I first applied for SSDI in 2003, but did not file for reconsideration when my app. was rejected (advised by a lawyer than since I had a part-time job, they would automatically reject me). SO. I toughed it out for a couple more years but it got really bad so I tried again. They wouldn't reopen my previous application because I hadn't been seeing a doctor regularly. The lapse obviously meant I got better?! (DUH! My not working regularly meant there was no money for doctors, let alone meds!) SO. June 2005, I reapplied. I got in touch with a lawyer who specializes in disability. On his advice, I kept requesting reconsideration until FINALLY, I went before a judge in July 2007! A real person!!!

The whole proceeding took about half an hour. After YEARS of trying -- go figure. When Social Security's own occupational specialist concluded that even though I had qualifications and experience, I wouldn't be able to work full-time, M-F, that was that. I was immediately approved. Received a huge check (even with the deduction for my lawyer!) within a couple weeks and started getting regular social security in August. I qualified for Medicare by the end of the year. SO.

I think it takes so long because each submission goes through a checklist -- if you answered a certain question a certain way, your paperwork goes into the "no" pile? The WHOLE is not looked at until you get with a real person (ALJ)?

So the moral of the story is to perservere?

 
Old 10-04-2010, 08:20 PM   #4
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Re: why is it so hard for people with ms to get ssdi

I, fortunately, was approved my first time. Although, I didn't do it alone. I had a company called ALLSUP represent me. They were great. I'm not sure what they charge though, as my union, hired them for me.

Corby

 
Old 10-05-2010, 08:01 AM   #5
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Re: why is it so hard for people with ms to get ssdi

I think there is a law that says lawyers and reps. can't take more than 25% of your settlement. Period. I figured that 75% of something was a lot better than 100% of nothing!

 
Old 10-05-2010, 12:35 PM   #6
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Re: why is it so hard for people with ms to get ssdi

I believe the amount is fixed at a $4000 flat fee for the attorney which is deducted from the initial lump sum payment.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:15 AM   #7
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Smile Re: why is it so hard for people with ms to get ssdi

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSJayhawk View Post
I believe the amount is fixed at a $4000 flat fee for the attorney which is deducted from the initial lump sum payment.
Yes that is correct. It took me 2 1/2 years to get SSDI and a judge to order it. That is the max a lawyer can charge you. Its a percentage of your settlement up to that max amount. I hired a leading law firm and they handled the appeals process for me. My disablility insurance company actually paid for the lawfirm and I did not have to. It was to their advantage for me to hire a good law firm since my SSDI payments were deducted from insurance payments. They win 93% of their cases.

The ironic part of applying for SSDI was the fact that all of the Dr.'s I saw were supporting me for SSDI including the ones SS sent me to. The court had an additional two Dr.'s review all of my medical records and they also agreed that I quailified for SSDI. As soon as the second Dr. said that the judge slammed his folder shut and said he was ruling in my favor. He latter issued his written findings and accused SS of not following the guidelines as my hearing before him was not neccessary because if they had followed the guidelines they should have approved me. It took another 6 months for them to process the paper work. So three years latter I actually got a check and back wages which caused me some sleepness nights worrying about the tax consequences of the large payment. I had to return most of it to the disability insurance company and you can deduct that from your tax return. I was scared the judge would say no by just looking at me. I appear to be completely normal when you see me.

In my case they just kept denying me and I feel they were hoping I would just go away and not finish the appeal process. They were wrong!

Another interesting question I had was would I have to go through this process again latter with SS suddenly denying me again say 2 years after the award? The law firm said no, I would not have to go through it againl. It been three years now and SS has left me alone. They have questioned my income though, but thats a different story.

My advice is to hire a good disability lawyer.

 
Old 11-08-2010, 05:13 AM   #8
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Re: why is it so hard for people with ms to get ssdi

Because MS is a diagnosis of default--there is no specific test that is absolutely definitive of MS, so the legal system has a problem with it. It's never black and white. Lots of "wiggle room" means there may be another explanation. Whatever the problem is may not be permanent, see?

I never heard about a $4000 flat fee. I was understanding it was 25% of the back-pay. That's how mine worked anyway. But I got a payment of $12K, so the lawyers happened to get $4K... Hmmm?! Doesn't matter! It's DONE!!

 
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