Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Applying for Social Security Disability and other Hobbies.

Well, here's the package right next to my MacBook.  There's the envelope, the letter telling you that you must return the letter, and the pages of stuff that you have to supply answers for in order to receive benefits that you've already paid for in the system since 1981.

The Ponzi scheme called Social Security worked quite well for the Greatest Generation (please do not think I am not knocking the program as it was originally intended - for retirees, widows and orphans [like my mother, my sister in law and her kids]) as those folks didn't do much except hold it together during the Depression, beat fascism to death in WWII, and built the world's strongest economy ever and eventually drove the Communists out of business.  Now, though we Baby Boomers are rolling in the money and and since we cut back on the amount of kids we had, and the jobs that were here now aren't,  there's not going to be enough money for our kids and grandkids in the system to support everyone eligible as it now stands (less and less people paying more and more into the system).  But that's somebody else's problem.

I wanna get mine.  I was going to write "I wanna get what's coming to me", but since I already am a bipolar 57 year old male with MS, I don't want to push whatever luck I may have in standby too far. Its easy in this world to really piss off Karma.

We've gotten by on my wife's job and my retirement and I was content to do so, but when we had a meeting with our financial guru, she insisted that I should look into disability benefits (Social Security Disability - SSD)  Per the Social Security website:

"Disability" under Social Security is based on your inability to work. We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if:
  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
Since just about everything you do ends up in death whether you were planning for it or not, I've always wondered if everybody in the nation is eligible.  The condition that ends in death is life.  I know, easy analogy.  Now the tricky part is, how to qualify.  Since I don't use a wheelchair, or walker, and I don't "look sick", its slightly harder to prove. So you tell your life story in pen and on line, the pen part is sixteen pages, the online only six.  The on line version can get your application started and you'd begin at: 

There's basic stuff here - who are you, where are you from, how long since you last worked, who was the fourth Marx brother, where are your car keys right now, all the things that government programs have wanted for decades.  After the simple application comes the Adult Disability Report (there's a great amount of info for a child's application for SSD on the site as well)..still online, and this one asks for height, weight, the names of your doctors, tests run, and all prescriptions, medical release so that the Social Security worker can contact physicians, and then work history..

Did you ever, if you are employed, think about the things you do all day.  How much time is spent doing whatever it is you do for the length of your workday.  Ever crouch? 

Spend your day like that?  Because all you hear from the other cubicles is "Incoming!" and bam, another case on your pile.  Eventually they find you under your desk and you're back to sitting there until there's a lull and you start crawling toward the elevator (Please be specific as to how much crawling you do per day). Now I'm three years away from a place that I did this work so I'm guessing, what did I do all day?

On the Adult Disability Report, there's a small section for education, and then a space for remarks.  I literally could not think of anything.  How do you describe MS? So many different factors, it slams into each life with a deck of cards, and then deals out what you get.  The bosses at DSS liked whatever I did, so I must have done something.

So I left it blank, and sent it off via InterWeb, and a few days later, right after Thanksgiving, there was a packet with a 16 page questionnaire in the mailbox. Now you could fill that out or there was a simpler version on line.  I recommend taking the time to fill out the longer version, pen to paper. When you have an illness that's not written all over your body, you've got to be able to communicate the inner turmoil your brain and nervous system are in everyday.

Naturally, if you need help completing forms, get it.  The Social Security Administration can assist.

So the packets are gone in the mail, and the guiding rule is about 120 days for a decision.  Maybe by March 2014. 

I never thought I'd actually be able for this, after all those years of telling my clients to apply for this and that, and showing them how.  Now here I am, joining many others in the waiting pool, and being told by someone "You look great!"

1 comment:

  1. I am a 51 year old, who has had MS for 22 years. The last 2 have given me "a run for the money". MS doesn't necessarily mean a cane and walker. It is on the "list" for SSDI, so you should be approved. I have been able to 'exhale' since being approved and receiving payments. I do keep my social security yearly report near me, to remind me of how many years I "paid" into the system. Good luck.