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How did you get over the guilt RE SSDI?

happyHBmomhhappyHBmom Posts: 2,070
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Health Insurance Issues
You all know I'm really infused with guilt over this whole back thing anyway. If I'd done a million things differently, maybe I would still be whole, still be there for my kids... you know the drill.

But dang, the SSDI thing. That's hard. How do you guys convince yourself you're OK applying? I feel really bad- I feel like such an imposter around all of you anyway. And in pain care, and so on. Are they just going to laugh at me?

But then I think... how can I work? How? I can't sit! I can't stand! I can walk, but can't lift, twist, bend, or anything else. And it is never, ever getting better. Isn't that the definition of a disability?

I think a lot of the guilt is about not working. I never was the one who wanted to be a stay at home mom. Don't get me wrong, I love it, love my kids- but I was a career girl all the way. I went back to graduate school rather than staying at home full time when my son was born. I was always doing something. Now I can't even make it through online classes because the sitting is too much and it breaks my heart :(


  • Howdy HB,

    Impostor??? How do you figure that woman? Not even close, and I highly doubt others on here will think or feel that anyway!

    To accept the realization that we have varied levels of disability is probably the biggest horse pill for any of us to swallow! I had to retire *under disability* from flying and law enforcement (a job I loved for a few months short of 30 years), and that was HARD! My right arm is crap, I am left handed, but can I do my job with it? NO! Did my brain realize that? Yeah after several actions I did try to do failed. Now just not to be bored, my T & L spine joined in the fun!

    We obviously have crappy cards in our hands HB, but our pride and self worth isn't in that deck, so it makes it that much harder to accept it.

    SSDI is a bugger. Hell they've had people who are quads get turned down and have to go to the hearing stage!!! I had a lawyer for my federal disability to be sure everything went as well as it could, and it went through in record speed where as others in their quest, take years! I could be as simple as having an agent that reviews each case "care" about what they are doing, others don't care and turn you down. Don't feel guilty, and don't think less of yourself. Okay? We are here for you! *HUGZ*


    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Yeah, when I hear those stories I feel like a total numbskull walking in there on two fairly decent (one broken at the moment) legs and asking for it. But things are what they are.

    I am very worried that I will be disqualified because of the 1+ year blank spot left because Kaiser did not follow up on the injury- during that time the only treatment was medication :(
  • HB,

    Yeah, a year with no treatment could be a bump, but I doubt a big bump. I am assuming from what I've seen in other posts of yours, you are under regular care now for your Neurological issues? Having done investigations and reports for a zillion years, I am pretty articulate in how I structure reports to get all the 'buzz' words in, but I still employed an attorney who specialized in federal disability! I gave him my narratives of my status as well as a detailed time line of events. He didn't change much of it! But he knew which case law applied to reinforce the "need of his client to petition and be awarded" disability retirement. Well worth the money and much, much less aggravation on me!

    You have to remember too HB, disability is based on you as a complete picture! They look at the 'illness' that is causing your petition because some illnesses (and many failed spiney ones fall into this category) - prognosis is poor. If you look on the SS site, sure they say pretty much fully disabled to where you can't do anything to include 'resulting in death' yummy...


    I've posted this link in other forums on here before. HB you're a lot like me in that you research! Dig around this site, and you will be amazed at what they approve over! You might end up with your eyes stuck in the roll back position! Articulation - how well do you sell yourself so that another (the SS agent) can "see" you and realize that you ARE qualified to be approved. Look at your daily life, and I think some of the guilt will melt away. I hope the link helps. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • What guilt????? If you not able to work.Then what choice do you have. You got to live and pay bills.Nothing in life is free you work for SSD.Its not you fault You can't work. Beside you can do appt on line now. Just be sure you got all your med and Dr records You also need to have seen a Dr in last 6 month.

  • I'm not in the States so don't get SSDI but I'm on Long term Disability from work and have to apply for Government and my work disability pension and don't feel guilty. I do feel sad however that I can't contribute anymore especially when I loved my job. Just because you can walk a little bit or sit a little bit doesn't mean you're able to work at any job. As a citizen of your country and disabled does entitle you to these benefits.

    I hope you find a good attorney or reapply and send more info if that's what SSDI require. In applying for my Government pension I have to go down and get copies and that's about 20 pages of test results and Drs notes. If you apply online how do you include all your tests and Drs notes? Do you scan them?

    I'm still hoping that I'll be able to go back to work at some point though the longer I have chronic pain, most likely I may not ever be able to work again but can always hope. Take care and hope you get an approval. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Happy I'm guessing that it is not really the SSDI that you feel guilty about. If or when it is my turn I will feel more guilty about what this step means. It just seems like such a final and absolute step.
  • Kris,

    That is the piece that hit me the hardest...the actual filing, and ultimately approved to retire under disability. I think that is a biggie..bingo, nail on the head shot woman! HB, I think Kris nailed the source we all get bummed (guilty) over - the final undeniable written down statement of the big "D" word!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Absolutely, I wrote under another thread above. It's just the whole thing. Yes, I feel guilty for not being able to work, but it's all mixed in with the emotions over being 43 and having to say good bye to any career goals I might have had. I tried my hardest to not give them up, but I finally had to throw in the towel.

    I never even got going with my second degree, and I'll never get a chance to. And I had other things I'd have liked to try too.

    Oh, sure maybe I can fiddle with stuff from bed, but it's not the same as being able to have a career again.

  • HB,

    I hear ya there. Almost 48 here, and if I kick the spine out of the picture, I had a very good and valued career - actually 3 of them in one job! Same here, lots of plans and dreams are now in the corner with my cat induced dust bunnies! Sux letting go I know.. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Not to offend or exclude the men.. But ladies that just means it's time for us ladies to do what we do best. A door closes so you open a window..and while you are there you might as well clean it :)

    Brenda and I had this conversation once. What's next? I may be differently abled but never helpless. So what can you do? What is on your horizon? Can't get to or sit in a regular classroom then go online. Can't sit for that long then lay down with a laptop. Can't work a "regular" job then find an irregular one!!

    It may not come today or tomorrow. And what you can do may not be what I can do. But there is so much out there to be done. Maybe not a paying job but some volunteer work. How about offering to watch the baby next door once a week so the mom can shop in peace?

    Years ago I heard someone say DIFFERENTLY ABLED for the first time. It thought they meant disabled and just read it wrong. Then someone else used the phrase and I started to think but not too much because it didn't mean much in my life. But now it's my anthem. I will never be disabled but I will be DIFFERENTLY ABLED and proud of it!!
  • Wow!!! Kris, I like that description! Hummm... not bad, not bad at all! Thanks for posting that!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I was online. But I just can't be at a computer for much time at all unless I am in bed, and even then I am not that useful. And who knows when I'll have a bad week and not be able to do anything?
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    At 44 I do feel that I never shoudl have gotten to the point of filing for SSDI. I never felt bad about SSDI but did have some "guilt" about SSDI. BUT, I've been paying SS taxes since the day I got my first paycheck. So just like car or home insurance, SSDI is an insurance plan I paid into. If I'm eventually deemed eligible (and since nearly everyone is denied the first time around so I am set for a multi-year process) I then take what I am awarded. If somehow I can return to work again in the future, I can easily do so. Even though SSDI may be permanent for me I have to keep in the back of my mind that maybe someday work will be viable and I can leave the disability benefits behind.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • HB I am going to jump in here with my 2 cents. I applied on Oct 21st just to see what would happen. I was approved on Feb 21st after one trip to a doc for a breathing test. I am 60 and haven;t worked in 3 years. My spine is a train wreck and I have moderate COPD. I applied just to see what would happen because I can give you names of at least 4 people who I know who totally scammed SS and then another couple who get SS simply because they are drunks or drug addicts. Since I haven;t been able to work for 3 years I figured I'd apply and wait and see. Nobody was more surprised than me when I was approved! BUT .... then the other shoe dropped! True I hadn;t worked in three years. I worked in a school for 20 years at a desk - can't do that anymore, but for three years I have thought I would go back to work "when I feel better". Well, I never thought of myself as disabled at all, even though I couldn't do what I used to do in life. People who are "disabled" are blind or are missing a leg - not like me with a "backache", lol! Truth is I can;t even clean my house without it taking all day. Can;t cook a meal without sitting 5 times to rest. Can;t even think about walking a store without a cart to lean on. I'll never be able to go to the zoo wiht my grandkids again unless I get a scooter. And I can only do the things I do with pain meds and ESI's! So when I was approved for SSDI I was very excited to be getting the money until it occurred to me that an independent party was declaring me, labeling me "disabled"! ME. A "disabled person". What????
    For a quick second I thought I don;t want the money if I have to be "disabled". Makes NO sense, I know, but it was hard for me to accept. In the end I heard my mothers voice in my head (the voice of reason, lol) telling me that our family has paid into SS for generations and never put in a SSD claim. If our SS can pay for strangers including alot of people who are scamming, then I shouldn;t feel at all guilty about collecting it for myself if I need it. And I am feeling less depressed about being "disabled" now. I do what I can do - period.
    So, try not to feel guilty about applying! I knew a young guy who would literally slam his own shoulder into a doorjamb before he had to go see a doc to continue collecting SSD for his "shoulder disablility"! True story! Good luck to you! I hope you get yours as quickly and easily I got mine!
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