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Approved at hearing level..but have some questions and some advice

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Old 08-01-2009, 09:12 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Park City, IL
Posts: 60
Debslol HB User
Question Approved at hearing level..but have some questions and some advice

First I would like to say what an immense help this board has been to me..thank you to everyone who participates. This has been the most helpful place I found in my many searches for answers as I sat in dismay as to why this process was so difficult. you are all s

Now I will tell you I have been blessed by getting my hearing fast...and this is why. In my research, after I found out I was going to be in the hearing phase for possibly years, I saw a post about a congressional inquiry...I didn't hesitate I immediately called my congressmans office with skeptism because it is the government after could one branch of government help me get help from another? I was quite surprised. My attornies office never even mentioned this possibility...why?? probably because they wanted it to go on so they could get more pay. In fact they were even surprised at how quickly I got my hearing...ready for 6 weeks from the time I filed for hearing to the time of hearing. And not only that the nice person that worked at the congressmans office had me follow up with him every two weeks until they knew the hearing was actually scheduled. Now mine is just one case where it did help...The attorney (still in dismay that it happened so fast) said that sometimes the judges can become resentful that you are pushed ahead of the line....but even by this time I was in a wheelchair. Also from what he said it depends on what judge you get. By the time I left my hearing I knew what it was I needed to get approved and I was so afraid that I was going to get denied anyway...but I just got my fully favorable decision and I wanted to share my experience in getting the hearing quicker...I would say that if you are like me and seriously disabled (I have inflammatory arthritis and its in my shoulders, elbows, neck, back, knees and feet) it can't hurt to try the congressional inquiry route. Also I am 49 so the lawyer had advised that if I was denied at hearing level because of the sedentary work rule then I could just apply at my 50th b-day and I would be approved then.

Now the questions...of course I got my letter on a Saturday and there is no one to ask It says claimants date last insured is December 2012 I know this means my work credits...but I don't understand it...does this mean I get reviewed in 2012 or all of my years of work (about 25 yrs) only entitle me to SSDI for 4 years total?? and if I do only get it for 4 years does it switch to SSI and then what happens to the medicare which would equate to 2 years of coverage?? I hear of people who are on SSDI for years once disabled so I am not grasping this part...Thanks in advance for any answers...seems like there is always something to worry about when you are I am wondering how to get all my surgeries in 2 1/2 years which is going to be impossible


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Old 08-01-2009, 11:26 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern USA
Posts: 380
roses4lace HB User
Re: Approved at hearing level..but have some questions and some advice

Congratulations on your quick approval, Debbie! Now for my 2 cents worth -

Ignore the 2012. When one quits work, they are insured until all their work credits "roll off", which is usually 5 years later. As long as the person applies while they are SSDI insured, they can get approved. If one applies after the 5 year period when they have no more credits (as I did), they have to provide doctor records proving the disability began before the work credits rolled off. In your case, it means your credits don't run out until 2012, so there was no question as to whether you were insured or not. This only has to do with whether you qualify to receive SSDI benefits, nothing else.

The "onset date", on the other hand, is very important. It affects when Medicare kicks in, and how much backpay is received. The application date also affects the amount of backpay. Backpay only goes back 1 year from the application date, regardless of the onset date. Since you were approved so quickly, you may not get much backpay, and may have to wait a couple of years for Medicare to kick in.

Now here's something that is confusing. You want your onset date to be 1 year and 5 months or more before your application date to keep all your benefits. There is a 5 month waiting period from the onset date where you don't get the money for those first 5 months.

Example 1. Filed Jan 2009. Onset date March, 2007. Waiting period ends July 2007. They only go back 1 year to Jan 2008 for backpay. So you get all the backpay. Medicare starts Jan 2010, which is 24 months after 1st month of benefits (Jan 2008).

Example 2. Filed Jan 2009. Onset date Oct 2008. They go back only to onset date of Oct 2008. Waiting period ends Feb 2009. So backpay starts March of 2009. Medicare starts Mar 2011, which is 24 months after 1st month of benefits (March 2009).

SSDI benefits will continue until normal retirement age, at which time the same amount of money will still arrive, but from a different pot of money. Instead of disability benefits, it will then be called retirement benefits. Basically, they look at SSDI as giving out the retirement benefits early, since the person cannot continue working.

Sometimes a "review" is scheduled for 3-7 years, just to see if the person is still disabled. To "get" SSDI one must prove their disability. At a review, to "stop" SSDI, SSA has to prove the person is NOT disabled. As long as the medical condition is the same, or at least not improved enough to go back to work, and there are continuing medical records, SSDI benefits should continue.

Old 08-02-2009, 07:49 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Park City, IL
Posts: 60
Debslol HB User
Re: Approved at hearing level..but have some questions and some advice

thank you for the very detailed answer!! this will put my mind at ease..when talking with my daughter last night shes like just worry about its kind of hard to do when you go through this process.

the judge approved my onset date of 3/1/08 so I have 1 yr to wait for medicare however I now qualify for cobra extension of 11 Mos...but I think the payments are going to be too high as now you are considered a risk...I already have medicaid in place but of course none of my docs take it...

At the review time is it as frustrating as it is initially?? and how do they determine when you will be reviewed??


Last edited by Debslol; 08-02-2009 at 08:13 AM. Reason: adding a question

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