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PatrileyPPatriley Posts: 29
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Health Insurance Issues
Hi all! I haven't posted on the forums before, although I do visit chat now and then. I applied for SSD on October 21 and was approved yeaterday, so it took just about 4 months. The social security lady who went over my application changed my diabled date back to Oct 31, 2006 because thats the last day I worked, but there is really no medical evidence until last summer so they are giving me a disabled date of July, 2009 and that only gives me a couple months of back pay after you deduct the 5 months. She said I could appeal their decision, but I think it's fair since there was NO medical evidence until last summer. She also said that when I turn 65 (I am 59 now) it will revert to regular SS retirement, but the amount will not go down with that change. And Medicare will start 24 months after my disabled date, so July, 2011.

My medical conditions are stenosis, degenerative disc disease and spondylolythesis (sp?) as well as COPD and thoracis compression fractures at T11-T12. SS sent me to a doc for a breathing test because I hadn't had one done in several years. All I did was apply online, talk to a person on the phone re my application and then I went tto the doc for the breathing test. I was just honest
about all the things I cannot do in my life anymore and about my pain. I was afraid I would be denied because I have not consented to a posterior spinal fusion and/or because I do not take any narcotics for my pain. At least, I seldom do. I had the back problems for 10 years and have always managed my pain with modifications of my activities and Motrin 600. With Motrin my pain level was usually about a 4 on any given day, but I just lived with it. My dad and grandmother had back problems so I chalked it up to heredity. Wasn't till last summer that I found out my spine was a train wreck, lol!

I have visited the chat room and I read the forum daily and YOU all have given me so much hope with your encouraging words to each other and with telling of your own experiences. I just felt I had to share my good news. I have known a few people who abused the system, being diabled when "need be" and totally ABLE when noone was looking. I have also known a few people who I know will never be able to work again because of their physical condition and who were denied.

When I applied in October I felt like I was going to apply, be honest and let the chips fall where they lay. So, to anyone out there who is thinking of applying or is waiting for approval - don;t give up!

And Ron, Jeauxbert, Gwennie, chat friends, ALL of you - thank you so much for just BEING HERE:)

Pat Riley


  • It's a wonderful feeling, isn't it? And to get approved on the first try is great! I was approved on my second try. And even that surprised me! :)

    I am so happy for you!!!

    Take care,

  • GREAT news ! :)

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • You are very welcome! Congratulations, too!
  • =D> =D> =D> :)
    Thank you all! You're wonderful!

  • Congratulations to you.
  • I'm so glad for you! less stress for you now & that is just great that you didn't have to go through a long process - very good! That is 1 thing solved & you can concentrate on your health. I'm so happy for you! I think that is the best thing that I have heard all day! Susie
  • Thanks Susie, J.J.! As I have seen others post on the forum, it's really a bittersweet victory, isn't it? Yesterday I was ecstatic that I had been approved in 4 short months while expecting to need an attorney to fight for me on appeal. TODAY, however, I realized that this means that I truly AM as "broken" as I feel most days and that I probably won't wake up one day miraculously good as new. My spine IS as bad as the doctors said and my COPD IS as bad as they said it is. Until today I think I was a little in denial, thinking "it's just a backache" or "I'm just a little short of breath".
    It's a very, very wierd feeling. I have a temporary disabled placard for my car and the other day a man walked past my car and turned and gave me such a dirty look! I live in a little town where everyone is really caring and kind, so the guy had me looking over my shoulder to see who exactly he was glaring at. It was me! Noone else was there! I wanted to say "Hey, we're not all faking it!" Does one have to be VISIBLY disabled, to be believed as a disabled person? I'm only almost 60 but I'm kind of a trainwreck physically, but I don't need wheelchairs or canes. I just cannot walk far or stand for long before the lungs or back gives out.

    I am wondering if any of you have ever been treated in such a way? Just curious. And the realization is just now sinking in that yes, I am disabled. It is bittersweet! BUT at least now, if need be, I can pay someone a few bucks to help me do what I can't do, huh? And that's a good thing because I have had alot of things that were going undone.

    Thanks again and thanks for letting me vent here:)

  • news Pat!! I was approved on initial application as well. Its such a relief. Congratulations.

  • Howdy Pat,

    First off, congratulations! I am in the process now for SSDI and my Federal Disability Retirement - I'm in the "waiting game" stage. My Federal should go through pretty soon, SSDI I am sure will either deny me, or "take their time" which is fine.

    "I am disabled, broken".. I hear that. I don't have a card or ID for my car yet (my hubby drops me off near stores and such), and honestly trying to avoid getting one. We have a woman at work who's father *was* disabled (deceased now 3 months) and she had a card for his car. Well "she" now has his card in her car! I challenged her one day about it, and she said it was for "her disabilities" and not his card. She furthered that that she has to ride in the electric seat/carts at stores because of her diabetes! Okay, no problem there. One day my hubby dropped me off in front of Best Buy, and I saw her parking in the handicap spot. She got out with her son and walked into the store. My hubby and I were in there about 45 minutes (about every 15 I had to sit or lean on a counter to ease my pain). I then see her walking around the store with her son, and happen to "bump" into them. They had a 'regular' shopping cart, and she did not look in distress or pain. In my head I am remembering "I have to ride in the cart or else I can't shop." I was not happy to say the least.

    I guess the reason I bring this up Pat, is that in my brain it finally hit "Damnnnn I am more disabled than her and...I am disabled, huh?" It hit! So that realization though we know there are tons of things we can no longer do, we deny internally (normal), and wowzers when the brain finally acknowledges that facts are facts. I call it moving into a new chapter. Congrats again!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I know it's bittersweet but congratulations.
    I know you'd rather not be 'broke' physically but at least you can find relief in knowing you can still financially be ok and collect what you've paid into all these years.

    I hope this reduces some stress/concern and lets you continue to focus on feeling better.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084

    Don't feel you have to avoid getting a disabled placard for your car. If my hubby drops me off at the door he still parks in a disabled spot as I often end up walking back to the car with him. But if we can find a close spot and not take a disabled spot we try to do that too. No one can know why someone may need a disabled placard for their car but it's a wonderful thing to have for those occasions when you need it.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • SpineAZ said:

    Don't feel you have to avoid getting a disabled placard for your car. If my hubby drops me off at the door he still parks in a disabled spot as I often end up walking back to the car with him. But if we can find a close spot and not take a disabled spot we try to do that too. No one can know why someone may need a disabled placard for their car but it's a wonderful thing to have for those occasions when you need it.
    Thanks SpineAZ!! I guess it really hit more with that episode with my "co-worker" - she's really my employee but I work on a team concept! :-) I see my NS this Friday for my 6 month (which hasn't been going good), and he is going to decide the next course of action for my thoracic and lumbar. I might now (thanks to you and a few others) bring that temporary tag paperwork for him to fill out. *Foot scuffs up some dirt" - I guess my brain is on board for upcoming disability retirement from work, but the brain isn't on board for visible "public disability retirement?" Hurmf!!! Thanks Spine!!! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Part of the reason I realized I needed the placard, even before surgery, is sometimes I'd go to the grocery store feeling fine and planning on maybe 20 minutes and 4-5 bags of groceries. I could park anywhere, go in and walk around great, but 10 minutes in the pain would start, I'd keep going but now I'm leaning on the cart to get through. And since I don't trust hubby to get what I want (if I go home and then send him back out) I'd forge through to get my shopping done. On the way back to my car I'd be in pure agony. So much so that once an older man offered to put my bags in the trunk for me (which I accepted). So now I've learned that for me, and for others, sometimes the placard makes it easier for the whole trip or sometimes it's just going to be that lifesaver when I've overdone it. Hubby says I should use it for the full 6 months until I know I don't have those same feelings again.

    I now figure if I ever get "the look" I'm going to say "Consider yourself lucky if you don't need to park in this spot, Unfortunately I do even though you cant see my impairment, this helps make a hard and painful day a bit easier"
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • spineAZ , i got my handicap card for my car , for the same reason. i can walk in feeling just ok. but but the time i leave a store, i can hardly walk, so i reluctently went to doc to get one. i feel it does help. i sure hope i am approved soon for ssd. again congradulations to ya. leo <:P
  • Hi all! Just an update on my SSD approval. Mostly for anyone who has filed or is thinking about filing for SS disability. I applied on October 21st, 2009, 4 months ago. Last Friday, February 19th I got the phone call telling me I was approved. Yesterday, one week later, I recieved my back pay. My regular disability checks will start mid-March.

    I had a million reasons to doubt that I would be approved, but I was! I applied online, someone called me and went over my app with me, then they sent me to a doc for a breathing test. My docs were supportive and provided all the documentation and test results, etc, they were asked for. I was honest about all of it, including the fact that my pain isn't usually terrible if I limit my physical activities - I mostly rely on Motrin 600 for pain.
    I also had failed the breathing test miserably, indicating COPD.

    I don't know why it's harder for some people to be approved than others. I've known people who lied through their teeth and collected SSD for years. I've known others who really should have gotten it and were denied. Does it have to do with he fact that I live in a small town in Illinois? Is it because I am almost 60 and close to retirement age anyway? I don't know. I just feel very blessed that it was so easy for me. If you're thinking of filing, go ahead! If you already have and are waiting to hear - I can only hope that everyone's experience could be as painless (lol) as mine was.
    And thanks again to you all for your help and advice. This site is a blessing.

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