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Applying for SSDI- NEED HELP

Amanda S YanisAAmanda S Yanis Posts: 124
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Health Insurance Issues
I started the online application a couple nights ago, and stopped when I got to the work history. I had saved my reenty number page on my favorites, and found out that it doesn't work. Sooo.......I have to start all over again. I had even filled out all the writing about what is wrong with you, and how it affects your life. Which for me was the hard part. Sigh.........

So since I'm doing it all over, I want to make sure I do it right this time. My main problem is that I dont' know what exactly to list as my disabily. Do I just put down that I have a herniated disc?? I'll also be listing the depression and anxiety problems too. I have tried and tried to understand my MRI but I just dont' get it. All I know is that it hurts :/.

Can anybody give me any advice?? (my MRI report is in my siggie)


  • You need to put down any kind of problem you may have. I just received my approval letter last week. It took me three years to finally get it. I also have depression and anxiety due to my chronic pain issues. I have been seeing a doctor and a theropist for the mental health problems for about two years. This also helped with documenting the severity of my problems. All of my doctors were very helpful with helping me get approved. Your doctors can help you or they can hurt you, so it's a good idea tell them that you are applying and would appreciate their help. Just try to be patient, it's a slow process. Good luck.
  • i applyed 2 years ago, been denied, i got a lawer, now i am waiting on a court date. it has been 4 months so far. like bev62 said it is a very slow process.
  • Amanda (and anyone else wondering this very thing):

    The best thing to put on your application is EVERYTHING you are being treated for no matter how trivial you may think it is. Unless it is something like chronic sinusitis (sinus infection) or a cold - anything that lasts a day or 3 would not count. UNLESS you get this at least once a month each and every month.

    Otherwise, you would put such things as: whether you wear glasses or need a hearing aid; headaches that are frequent and severe; neck and/or back problems; heart, lung, kidney or bladder problems or stomach or liver problems; chronic indigestion; knee problems, or any problems with your joints; if you have foot problems, any arthritis; depression or any other mental impairment that you are being treated for. If you are seeing a doctor and/or taking medication regularly, you should by all means mention it.

    Additionally, you should list any and all doctors you have seen for those ailments and who prescribes the medication/glasses/hearing aid you are currently using.

    Also: jobs - If you have worked at many different places, but did basically the same kind of work, I would just describe the job, and in the place that asks for your employer I would put "VARIOUS" and maybe list them on the sheet provided for "additional information". SSA will usually only ask for jobs you've held in the last 5 - 10 years.
    Hope this helps!

  • Thanks for the replies.

    I guess I didn't explain myself good enough. I really dont' know what is wrong with my back. I don't know, I go back and forth on whether to even file. I know it's a long shot, and i really think I wouldn't qualify. Like my mom told me, everyone has back pain at some time or another. I just need to get on with my life, and deal with it.

    Thanks again!
  • So appearently the time I started the application online, it still registered because I have a phone interview on Thurs. I went ahead and finished all the information online after I found that out. So now I guess I've filed for disibility. I still see it as a long shot, but it would help out so much right. Just thought I would update!
  • It is very Stressful and Frustrating at the Same Time. I wonder how it really works. Let's say 2 people have the very same Illness & Dissability. Can one get Approved and One Denied. How does it really work, Does it depend on the Rep handling the case, Doctor, or What? Why do some get denied and some approved and then once they Appeal either get denied again or they finally Approve them for Disability? Why is that?
  • The scenario you described could very likely happen.

    First, it depends on whether the individual has worked and paid in to Social Security for Social Security Disability (SSD). These funds come from the money you paid in to Soc Sec for your retirement (but, the money you pay today is used to pay for people who are receiving retirement benefits today. It's not your own personal account).

    It also depends on your level of income and any assets/resources you may have at your disposal. If you have low or no income (this amount varies per household and depends on the dynamics of each home - how many adults, how many children, their ages, etc.). This is for the state program known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The money used to pay these benefits comes from your state's general tax fund.

    Then it depends on each individual's disabling impairment. Is it exactly the same? 2 people have lung problems. They SWEAR it's cancer. But according to medical records, one has bronchitis, the other emphysema. They are both lung problems, but one is significantly more severe than the other.

    It also depends on a person's age, education, their past work history, whether or not they can return to their past work, if not - can they perform ANY work (and not just in their home town - we're talking within the national economy... across the board).

    Then, there's this to consider: You and I are both women, age 35, with a high school education and past work that is considered sedentary. We both broke our right leg. Oh my GOD! MY pain sends me through the roof. I cannot concentrate, the medication makes me sleepy, I need my crutches to get around...

    You - not so much. You have a higher tolerance to pain. Sure you need your crutches, but you don't feel you "need" the medication.

    See? There are so many variables for each case the disability claims people work. But, that is life too. Every one is unique - just like every one else.

    Then, there is the 48 year old woman who - let's face it - IS disabled. However, she's been married 25 years to a wonderful man who made a good living, allowing her to stay home and take care of the kids and make their house a home. She has not worked in the last 10 years, so she cannot file a claim for SSD. BUT, her husband makes too much money for her to file a claim for SSI. All their kids have left the home and it's just her and her husband. He is still working and earning a pretty decent living. So, she is one of the unfortunate people who "fall through the cracks" in the system.

    BUT don't get me started on that!

  • Assuming you qualify for SSI or SSDI.
    You should look to see if you meet meet Social Security's medical criteria, however it is very stringent.
    The medical criteria for back pain cases can be found at
    if you click on 1.00 musculoskeletal system you will find what Social Security requires to find you "automatically disabled."

    However, if you are under 50, or over 50 and have performed a sit down job in the past you have to prove that you cannot do a job that requires mostly sitting (i.e. you cannot do any kind of work). Unfortunately, at the first two levels of the process, Social Security only finds that people cannot do any kind work in 6% of cases.

    So your best shot at being approved is at a hearing, in front of a judge, with a local representative, because I would say about 80% of cases are approved at a hearing, with a representative. The problem is that it usually takes at least two years to get there.

    On the other hand, if you are over 50 and have never done a sit down job, only a job that required mostly standing, you have an easier case to prove. You only have to prove that you cannot stand for extended period of time (usually six hours in an eight hour day), like you did at your prior job.
    There are also lifting considerations, but standing is usually the main problem.

    However, assuming that you are under 50 or over 50 and have a sedentary work history, all of your information needs to be geared towards why you cannot perform a sit down job (i.e. why you cannot sit for six hours in an eight hour day.)

    If your doctor is willing, the best thing for him to do is to dictate into the medical record or to generate a report that gives his opinion about how long you can sit, how long you can stand, how much you can lift and carry and whether anything else would interfere with your ability to work: fatigue, side effects of medication, inability to concentrate, etc. etc.

    Social Security reviews your medical impairments however what they are mostly focusing on is HOW DOES YOUR MEDICAL IMPAIRMENT IMPACT YOUR ABILITY TO FUNCTION? My best advice when filling out their forms is that if you can perform some activities you had better explain what limitations you have performing them, otherwise Social Security will assume you can perform them like someone without any impairments. one or two word answers on their forms are not helpful.

    And whatever you do, KEEP going to the doctor and taking your medication. even if you don't have insurance, FIND a way, a low cost clinic, state or county assistance. SOMETHING. . . . because without current medical records, it is very rough to prove disability.
  • The only thing I would like to add is he states to continue your medical treatment.

    The way the Disability Determinations office looks at it is: If someone is having all the medical problems they claim to have, they will FIND a way to get treatment. If they aren't receiving treatment, they can't be all that bad...

    It's true. That's how they view it.

    Nice job, Noel.
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