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SSDI __ Application Help?

VikingsVVikings Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi, I am about to file for SSDI. Most of the stories you read are about the failures. I do know some sucsess stories are out there as well. Some of you recieved this the first time out. I will be broke living on the streets if I am not sucsessful the first time out so am going to try and make the best of it. My doc has said he will right me a letter. I am not sure what to have hime right. I showed him the listing and he told me I have plenty of the listings. From what I read this is not enough though. I am told he has to go on record in this letter stating I cannot do any work period... even sedentary or I will be denied. Would it be wise to submit one of those residual medical function reports as well with this application as well or not?

I am 50 with a 25 year documentation of indiustrial acciidents (1985-2010) to my back. A sugery(microdisectomy/lamectomy) 10 years ago with a partial permanent rating them from workers comp. I injured my self again in 06 and went back to work. I have been off now for a year as I just cannot do it any more. I have seen the doc and he says you have failed bacj surgey syndrome so I am not a surgey candidate and we tried the nerve block shots which did nothing. I have all my med records juts not the letter from the doc.....trying to put together what to ask him to put in it. Any help is appreciated.


  • Hello, I am sorry to hear you are having such a hard time with pain and having to face the SSDI process. I have read all kinds of stories on this site about good and bad things dealing with ssdi. I applied Dec. 29, 2009 and was approved March 1, 2010 (I got the letter June with back pay of three months). I had two neck surgeries a year apart 2008 & 2009 and my age is 60, I don't know what cause me to get so fast action, but I did have a lot of doctors and two hospitals who wrote letters and give ssdi all kinds of x-rays, mri's, cat scans and notes that supported my condition.
    I hope you will get the same results I had and you also start to feel better.

  • Make sure you have all your medical reports and drs notes from all that you have been to everything you can get hold of and send it in with the Application MRI's ,xray's so on
  • Thanks for that info. It sound like you really needed it with your neck troubles. Those surgeries are no picnic. I am curious, Did you send the application in yourself by getting all your info on your own and then submitting it? ..Or....ley ss get all your info? I have another question...what sort of documented history did you have of these troubles ?

    I am really curious haow my claim will stack up next to ones like yourself you were approved. I thank you as well for your informative answers
  • rfe.......have you been approved? If so did you send your info in and gather all your info yourself?
  • VIking have you considered using a disability lawyer? They take a percentage of what you get but they do all this work for you. I know if I get to doing this I will definately use a lawyer, if for nothing other than the headache of dealing with the doctors offices
  • I have..is that what you did? Some say to just try it alone until you are denied. It would seem everyone factors in this denial first time out and if you are approved the first time its more of a lottery ticket type win than the norm. Its just darn frustrating the whole process. I have most of my stuff ready to go but was told by 2 who have applied to not do it until I turn 50. I guess age plays a big factor on approval.
  • Yes I did get approved my oldist kid worked for the ssa and she let me know that first of all I needed it and to fight for it if a get turned down and she also said most people are the first time. I got all my info. I did get all of my paper work my self I had to get a lawyer after they turn me down and we went to court and won
  • Can I ask how long of a process was this?
  • I'm taking a guess here....but it would make sense that age is part of the equation. SSD tries to figure out if you can work, whether it is your old job or something else. The older you are the harder it is to retrain someone plus you are closer to retirement. So for example if you have 10 cases and only have the resources to fight 5 then you are going to look to minimize the cost of the other 5.

    If they aren't doing this then shame on them.
  • You are right. Age is part of it. The break you down in groups. The 18-49 group is beyond tough to qualify regardless of what you have going. The 44-49 gets a bit more of a break but very little. The 50-54 group is called close to retirement age and get a bit of a leg up as does the 55-59 group has it even easier. Education plays a role as well. The less uducated and ones that have a less skilled job who have only done the same thing for decades have a greater chance as well.

    As for resource they have plenty. I see them doing the same thing your car insurance company does when you have a collision. Just string it out cause in the long run some claims just go away.
  • It makes sense for them to do this. Face it..SSD is a business just like the private insurance companies. I would think you have a few categories of claims. First are the obvious ones where someone is grossly disabled. Second group would be the ones who like you say have a valid claim but if they have to wait a number will just drop out. And to me the last are the ones who really don't qualify.

    The sad part is that the system can be so difficult to understand that the less educated or mentally disabled are not able to handle the paperwork. And many in the group are afraid of lawyers. So many people who really need these benefits just don't get them.

    On the other end of the spectrum are the people who know they are close to retirement so as long as they get a lawyer and have a doctor who will sign the forms they will win. I knew someone who was 60 when he had a triple bypass. He was fine a few weeks after but he got a lawyer. Within 6 months he was on SSD and took disability retirement from his job. He made more than he made working, close to 100,000.

    I know if I end up having to file I will get a lawyer. I have STD and LTD so maybe like spineaz they will provide one.
  • Just some input from the SSA. 70% of ALL cases are denied after the first filing. They state that is mostly due to lack of supporting documentation. If you are filing on your own. Have all information on any Dr, therapist, diagnostics, dating back to the start of your injuries. You would be surprised how much information you can gather from the insurance companies that covered your previous injuries, surgeries, etc. To me, it makes sense to have all of this available for an attorney, as well.

    I'm sorry to see your surgery was not successful. Good luck with your filing. I hope you are approved the first time out. If you're not, be sure to retain an attorney and fight for it!!
  • Trasee, Thanks for the comments. I have been getting all my paper work from all the way back. I just about have my complete history dating back to my first back injury in 1985. I still need the al important doctor letter but he has told me no proble,As well I will not file until I cross the 50 year old mark to help my chances a pinch more. I am still unsure how o apply. Some say do not do it in person. Some say the phone works better or online.
  • As I have been going thru this process the last couple of years,,,[sigh]...Well, I know that the fee the attorney makes has just gone up again and is $6000, but to me, if I win and get my backpay as I should, it will be well worth it. The paperwork and all was very overwhelming to me.

    Age has been a big road block for me. My attorney, I used Binder snd Binder so they do a ton of cases...said with my medical documentation, I would have been approved the first time if I were over 50. But, I'm 37 (with a bachelors degree) and they don't like to award these cases at all. I just had my hearing in front of an ALJ a couple weeks ago and so far, I've heard nothing. I was denied my first attempt, we appealed and I was denied, then we appealled again and asked for a hearing and that's where we stand right now. If I'm dedlined again, my attornry from B&B reassured me that we'd just appeal again and again, that we will not give up, which is what SS wants and hopes these cases do. They just want to wear you out emotionally and hope you just drop it. That's where having a good attorney comes in very handy, b/c I have the type of personality to feel defeat and may be one to just "drop it"...but my attorneys do not get paid unless I win, so they are going to keep fighting and fighting and they know all the tactics to use. I feel good that I used attorneys.

    Also, for those doing this on your own, there are a couple of "experts" on these boards who used to work for attornrys doing SSD cases...so you have some great resourses right here. But, I believe the biggest piece of documentation SSD likes to see is the "impairment questionaire" filled out by your doctor. The experts can please correct me if I'm wrong...but I know that is a VERY VERY important peice to your case b/c it shows what you can/can not do. Your doctor also needs to write a narritive explaining your issues and stating that you are 'disabled'...and never will be able to work again doing ANY job at all. You need a very supportive doctor, that's for sure!

    Keep us posted on how this process goes for you.
  • how old are you? juswt wondering how long you willl be waiting to apply.
  • Thank you for your input. I am 49 and will be be turning 50 before years end. I do not plan to file until I cross the 50 mark. I have had back injhuries from a heavy duty job dating back to 1985...so I have a paper trail of decades of the same thing.back injuries and a surgery 10 years ago and a recent mri that shows my back has considerably worsened. I will add beyond worsening I can no longer tollerate my job. Standing or sitting for any period is painful. I am in a constant state of a reposition. I feel like a young boy at times with respect that I just cannot sit still. I have been off now for a full year with nothing getting better. I can add to your post on education I was high school drop out and have done the same thing my whole life. I am told this may work to my favor but as I see the process go nothing seems to work in anyones favor.

    I will ask...are you better off with the attorneys.......do you wish you would have hired them prior to application or would that have not done any thing?
  • Hello Vikings,

    I applied on line and SSDI sent me forms to fill out which I give all my doctors, surgeons, hospitals, tests, labs. I have two different ins. companies and I believe having Kaiser for my last one helped the most, they really supported my app to SSDI and they doctors give really good reports. I have to agree with others who say the older one is the better the chance are. But having said that my wife suffered a major stroke 8 years ago, she was 47 years old and she was approved on her first app for SSDI. We both have worked all our lives, God knows how those people decide who gets approved and who doesn't. My heart goes out to everyone who has to face the stress of this way life. It really sucks having to wait two years for Medi-Care, I have to keep paying $450.00 for cobra just for me.
    Don't ever give up.

  • Rick,

    Question...did you say you can apply online and then they send you some further forms to complete? Please explain? How did your case turn out.were you approved? What was your age when you applied and how long did it take?

    I am paying the cobra as well but it will expire very soon...a few months.

    I pretty much have my medical history.all my back claims from on the job injuries for 25 years. They are all really minor but it shows years...decades of abuse to my back and a failed surgery as well. I just tried the nerve block and it did nothing.
  • I also applied for ssdi online. I did that 8/18, and the 1st week of September the only thing i got in the mail was for medical release forms, and asking for a copy of a pay-stub.

    Then they told me i will hear something with-in 120 days.
    I am a veteran so i should be able to get my health care thru the V.A. and only will have to pay cobra for my daughter.

    If you apply online get a good nites sleep before hand, probably just me, but i was mentally exhausted after filling out all them forms online.
    I'm a truckdriver, not a desk jockey. #:S
  • Hi Jim,
    I was a truckdriver also...how old are you? I wonder why they asked the pay thing?.Did you recently stop working? Can you tell a bit more about your case and what sort of questions on the online app?

    Thanks for your help and I am sure others are finding help on this thread.
  • My injury is work comp.
    Got hurt 9/16/09, was on lite duty until surgery on 3/19/10.
    Collecting comp. pay. Dont know if that made any difference.
    I'll be 55 y/o in a couple of weeks, I've been a union truckdriver for 28 years, thats all i have done since the military, I'm hoping they find it's to late for me to go to voc. rehab.(school).

    I could'nt even get in to telling you everything they ask online. There's a lot involved about your life, injury,treatment,doctors,meds,work history,education.

    I've been told it takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours to fill out online. Well it took me 3 1/2 hours. Shows ya how good i am. :))(

    Hope that helps ya.
  • Jim ,

    Yes all info help. I pray you will get it. I am in the exact same boat as you...union truck driver. 7 industrial on the job injuries over the years to my back...a span over 25 years. Surgery 10 years ago and a recent mri that shows I have some issues and just am not gonna do the surgery route again and the doctor supports that.

    On your application....how do they handle you getting your records to them or are you letting them dig them all up for you?

    I am told if you let them find the records this is what can take allot of time.
  • Yes I did apply on line Dec. 29, 2009, a few weeks they sent me forms to fill out and I made a appointment with SS in our town. I had filled out everything in detail and she was a big help. I got my approval letter the first week in June 2010, my SSDI start date was March 1, 2010. I was 60 when I applied, I will be 61 Nov. 18th.
    I truly believe my age, my long work history and all of my medical history was the reason my case went so fast.
    Good luck with your case, keep fighting.

  • The ssa told me they will contact all my doctor's and get records.
    But to cya i did get a ssdi lawyer, and they said for me to just wait to hear something.

    You've had 7 over 25 years. You got me beat, i've had 4 over 28 years that needed surgery.
    And a few that were just owies.

    Dunno ssa told me 120 days, so i'll see if they are true to their word.
    I know they look at age, work history, and education, along with your condition when they are making their decision.
    But dont put something down that you cant prove.

    Good luck to ya.
  • I sure hope you get it Jim. I am doing all the search for my records. I am just about done. I am told this will speed up my application process tremendously....we will see. My hope is to do it all my self the first time then when the appeal part comes retain a lawyer. On your claim with all your surgeries my guess is you will be approved. I have heard some horror stories. I am told your doctor really needs to get the right info in the paperwork. You can not be able to stand but if its not written up properly...DENIED! Sounds like a flawed system but it is the system.
  • I also pray that you get it.
    Yup there is a lot wrong with the system, but thats the one we all have to deal with so give it your best shot.
    I quess 50 is suppose to be the magic age, so by the time they start digging into your files you will be at that mark. Or hopefully they will have enough sence to realize how close you are.
    With this back i really dont want to get back in a truck and my doctor does'nt want me too either. But i have kids depending on me so i'll do what ever i have to do to support them.

    Good luck
  • You know Jim thats the frustrating part. I think in many respects they try and wait you out. I have been offf for nearly a year and can only tretch the dollar so far. If they string me too far I will have to do what I can as you will.

    I do not plan to file until I cross the 50 mark.a few weeks down the road. My package wont be ready for another 30 days anyway.

    I have another question for you...did your doctor tell you to file or did you ask him for support on the claim if you file?
  • My doctor has been telling me all along that truckdriving is a thing of the past now.
    I was on the fence because i was scared to apply for ssd. and i still am nervous about it.
    When you know you will be walking away from working something you have done your whole life well u know.

    But when i told him i was going thru with it he was all smiles.
    He told me he fully supports my decision and his report will read that way.
    This doctor knows my history, he's a neuro and this was the 3rd time he has done a fusion on me.
    So i know him and trust his judgement and i welcome his input.
    I think thats probably one of the main things is having your doctor's support, and trusting him, they know how this works a lot better then we do.
  • Some states are harder than others to get ssi too and Indiana is one of them my oldest girl worked for SSA and age is not so much a problem, but they do want to see if you will give up so do not give up keep fighting. Make sure you have a you all medical reports that helps alot
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