Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

In the midst of SSDI

SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Health Insurance Issues
My LTD insurance company referred me to a great attorney firm in Boston MA (I live in Arizona). The claim for SSDI was filed 8/9/10 with specific notation requesting SS not review my claim for SSI since I have employer provided STD and LTD thus I would not have been without financial resources during my period in which I am applying for SSDI.

Thus far the rep from the attorney firm has been great, very responsive, they have an on-line system where I can check my claim activity whenever I want, etc. I can't see how some go it alone.

I got a classic letter from SS on Friday that basically said

We have not received the requested information from :

If we do not received what was requested from we will not be able to use this information to evaluate this claim.

Yep, blanks, all blanks. So my SS attorney will call the SS claim person and ask what they still need as the letter is full of total blanks. When I talked to the SS attorney rep on Friday she wanted to call the rep at the Arizona Department of Economic Security right away but I had to tell her that Friday was an Arizona state employee furlough day so they were all off without pay that day.
2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 


  • "due to staff cutbacks we will no longer tell you what we want, you have to guess" hehe

    That is great. So classic bureaucratic.

    I agree that I can't see anyone doing this alone. I just passed 3 months and the STD is being a butthead(sons words). Wednesday I get a fax saying they need office notes from August. So I went the next day to my appt and get that plus a new note and will get the new office notes this week. Then I get a new form from the state disability that they want filled out. SO I will have to call the office tomorrow and fax it over plus pay $35 to get it filled out. Grrrr

    I am very nervous because my neurologist, who has been doing the paperwork, wants to cut me loose. He says I don't need his care and that PM can do it. But PM says they can't do the eval for disability. Now I have to find someone who can and will.

    Can't wait to hear what they have to say about that letter tomorrow. Maybe it's blank because they have everything :)
  • Karin,

    Do keep us posted. I guess I sound a bit nosey. LOL. I was hoping you get it first time through and don't have to struggle and wait through the appeal process. I'm rooting for you.

    I'm still in the waiting period myself. In the state I am in It goes straight from your first denial to a hearing with the ALJ. My attorney does not anticipate getting that date until late summer or fall 2011. And so like Tammy and many others, we wait...

  • The delays sound just awful. I hope you can get your claim through fast. Hope everyone here who's applied doesn't have to wait for so long. I think I need to find a Lawyer where I live for mine also. TC. 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
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    In speaking with my attorney rep they seem to think this request for more information is good. SS did not just decide "denied" and end the claim and make me start an appeal. There's still a chance I could get SSDI on initial application. However, I'm lucky as I have LTD and while I'd like fast SSDI approval it's okay if it takes a while as long as my LTD continues.

    I am using an attorney firm in Boston that only does SS. I had thought about using a big firm here in Phoenix (anyone here has seen their commercials). Well their staff was just rude when I called so I decided to go with the firm my LTD case manager suggested.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • That's great news. It is nice to have the lawyers in your corner. I can't imagine what it's like without them.

    Your post brought a question to mind. If you get the LTD while you are waiting for the SSDI and then they pay you back SSD do you have to pay LTD back?
  • Your attorney sounds great! I know which law firm you are referencing here in town. I didn't go with that firm either. Believe it or not, my Psychiatrist is who gave me the recommendation for the attorney I am using. My attorney's father is a former social security judge and his office is in the same building where the SSD hearings are held. He has been following in his father's footsteps throughout the years and I really like him.

    I am keeping my fingers crossed that you get approved first time around. :)

    We really are fortunate to have supplemental income through our LTD carriers. My heart goes out to those who have no other source of income, while waiting to get approved for SSD.

    Hope you are healing well,

  • I filed for ssdi on 8/19/10, and the 1st week of sept. they sent me the medical release forms to sign.
    Then today i got 2 big envelopes from ssdi to complete about work history and home life.
    They were pretty much fill in the blanks and multiple choice questions.
    I called lawyer up and they said to complete paperwork and keep it short and to the point.
    Then to mail them to lawyer, and they will check for any red flags and they will file electronically.

    Wondering anyone else get this kind of forms to complete.
  • I also received these to fill out during my first filing with SSD, which was November of 2009.

    I didn't have a lawyer when I first filed, so I'm glad you have one to check the paperwork over for you.

    I also spoke with the claims person several times after I first filed and she was very nice.

    I will keep my fingers crossed that you, too, will get approved your first time around.

    Best wishes to you,

  • I remember those forms. Is this your first time filing? Who is your attorney? I hope it's a good one! They really do a lot of the work for you. I know they are taking $6000 of my payout, but I really believe it's worth the effort and time and everything they do. I really hope you get it this time and don't have to go thru all the denials and the court hearing.

    Take care...let me know if you have any questions!
  • At least i know i was'nt the only one. Did'nt know if i missed something or what.
    Yups Tammy and Tarheelgirl, no way was i gonna try to do this myself.
    Sometimes it's worth the money to pay someone to help you deal with stuff, and this is one of those times.
    I also am hoping everyone here who applies for ssdi, gets approved, and if not keep appealing, until you do.

    Thanks and my best to ya.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Yes, I got those exact forms and did the same thing. My attorney firm told me to be honest and concise and send the forms to them first and they'd send them on to SS. I like that as I know they at least did a quick review of the forms and were happy with my answers.

    The letter this week was "We need more information from the following two sources". Faxed that to my attorney and they got right on it. About 2 years ago my printer broke and we decided to get an all in one (copy, scan, fax, photo) and I am SO happy we did. The fax portion has been SO helpful during my SS claim and even when my hubby was out of work and had to get forms to Unemployment ASAP.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I'm glad i got a attorney. Even if all they do is fax papers, at least you have someone on your side if things dont go your way.
    Yup those are very nice printer's, i had to get a new one a few years ago, mine usually mess up around income tax time.
    Mine is like yours, except i dont have the fax machine. Needed to cut back on the bills so i shut off the house phone, glad i did, dont need it anyway. I have a good cell phone plan, and have my 2 kid's on my plan, so that saving me $50 dollars a month.
    I'll probably go to the ups store dont the street and pay $1 dollar a sheet and fax papers tomorrow to lawyer.
    SSD told me about 120 days, so that will be right before thanksgiving for me to find out their decision.
    If i remember correct you filed right before me, so we should find out about the same time on their decision.

    Have a nice day and thanks.
  • how old are you too? and what kind of education do you too have? they both play a role in your decisions.

    so both of you are applying for the first time and should hear your decisions about the same time? cool...I look forward to keeping up with your journeys'.
  • Hi; Me i'll be 55 y/o in 1 week, been a truckdriver for 28 years, and i got me a 12th grade education. LOL.

    Not counting my 4 years in the marine corps.
    Looking at the guidelines, i feel i got a chance, but i'm not getting my hopes up.
    So if it does go thru it will be basically a early retirement for me.
    I believe they review the ssd in so many years, and i doubt they would do mine if approved cause i'm so close to retirement age anyway.

    Congrats again.
  • actually, if you have the medical paperwork to back your claim, you'll probably get it. MY age and my 4 year degree was against me. My attorney told me that my medical evidence was so strong they felt I should have been approved the first time and they were pretty confident that I would be...but to no avail...I was denied twice before going to my hearing. When I was denied they did say that they felt with my age and education that i could be re-trained to do something more sedindary...that I could do some form of work. But my doctor was just so good and my attorneys of course just kept pushing. I also sent a letter to both of my state senators per the advice of my attorney and several people I've heard get approved in the past. They did take an active role. The day after I received my approval letter from the judge, I recieved a letter from one of the senators letting me know that I had been approved after they followed up. I guess they call SS every so often. Hey, whatever works, right?? So, if that hint helps either one of you...great! But, I think your chances are good. They said the "magic" age was 50...if you were over that, you usually had a better shot.
  • I have read before that getting a congressman involved helps the process, so i'll wait til i hear their first decision, and take it from there.

    I also asked the lawyer about the medical records and was told that SSD will contact the doctor's to get reports.
    The report that is most important is my neuro-surgeon's and i know he's backing me 100%,

    I think you had a lot harder fight then i will have because of age and education, so i'll just keep in contact with lawyer, and ask if there is anything else i can do.
  • Once again, congratulations to you Tarheelgirl. I am so thrilled you have been approved! Happy dance, happy dance! :)

    Dear Jim... I think your age is a big plus for you my man and you also have an attorney helping you out right away. That is great. I submitted all of my initial paperwork on my own, figuring my medical records spoke volumes. Well... as Tarheel girl has stated... my age, work history and education are three negative factors for me. But! Have no fear! This "underdogette" will prevail. I have an outstanding attorney and feel confident I will eventually get awarded SSD. Not sure how many trials or years it will take to get there, but by golly I am disabled and, therefore, entitled to it.

    About those congressmen...



    SpineAZ and I both live in Arizona. Yes... the absolutely beautiful state of Arizona. I really don't think that would "help" our cases due to all of the controversy surrounding our state and political leaders at the present time.

    Know what I mean Vern? :D

    Take care, each and everyone of you!

  • Never give up the fight.
    I kinda wish i lived in Arizona, the politicans there don't take any cr@p. They speak their mind, instead of what the rest of the country wants them to do. LOL

    Cant say any more or i'll get scolded.
  • that's right...keep on keeping on! you will prevail in the end. they want you to give up...so you keep the fight girl! how long has it been?
  • I initially sent my paperwork to SS, late November of 2009. At the present time, we are waiting to file a hearing date.

    I remember well, where SpineAZ and Jim are right now in getting all the appropriate forms completed and obtaining medical records from all of the doctors. I am very glad they both have attorneys from the get-go.

    I received several letters from SS prior to my first denial requesting information and they also sent me for a psychological test. It was about 20 minutes long.

    Please keep us posted SpineAZ with how things transpire with you. I am very interested to know and again... hope you are approved the first time around. :)

  • Dear Karin,

    I also received a goofy letter the end of last week from Social Security.

    My attorney filed a reconsideration to Social Security the middle of May, after I received my first denial in April, 2010.

    The letter I received last week was regarding: Medicare Insurance Only

    The letter indicated they (SS) had only received information from my Psychiatrist and since no other documents have been received since their requested due date, I was denied.

    I called my attorneys office and had a conference call with his assistant and him. They told me Social Security made several errors in this particular letter and to not let it upset me. They have been sending regular updates to Social Security on my behalf and for whatever reason, Social Security just pulled out my Psychiatrist's name to put down on the denial letter. Why Social Security put down "Medicare Insurance Only" is beyond them. We are now in the process of getting a hearing scheduled.

    I did find out that we have another Social Security "Judges" office that just opened in the Phoenix metro area. My attorney said they are hoping to cut times to get a hearing... in half. I was initially told it can take up to 14 months to go before the judge, but now it can be as soon as 6 months. So, that's kind of a plus?

    What happens now, is that my attorney receives a disc of what Social Security has in their file on my case. My attorney will forward what ever records they are discrepant. In the meantime, I just keep doing what I am doing. I will call my attorney with any new injections, prescription adjustments, etc. I want NO MORE new diagnoses... I am sick and tired of hearing about new discoveries. Enough already.

    During the conference call, I asked about my age being a negative factor. My attorney told me that yes, my age does play a negative factor and so does my work history and education. I have been working many years and I have some education upstairs. Bottom line is that vocationally, I am in no shape to do any kind of work. Zero, zip, nada. Given my work history and how much I have paid in to Social Security for so many years... wouldn't SS have some understanding that I LOVE to work and would give anything to be back at my job? I had the most gorgeous view of the valley from my office windows. I could see the big dust storms rolling into the valley, the beautiful night lights if I worked late, was 5 minutes from my house, etc.

    Oh well. We just wait it out now until I get a hearing scheduled.

    Please keep us posted with how things transpire with you. I am still on LTD, so I'm thankful I had an excellent policy with my STD and LTD coverages.

    Take good care,

    Tammy :)
  • SS never sent me to ANY of their docs...not medical nor psych...I never knew how to take that. I guess they do different things for different people dependent upon the medical records they have? I don't know.

    Yes, I think it's smart to get an attorney from day one...even if you win the first time around...they really do so much....so you "could" potentially have about 12-18 months before hearing date? I swear I think my hearing got sped up from writing to my senetors. I truely will alwasys believed they played a part in my approval.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I'm 44. Worked in insurance for the past 15 years before going out of work in 2009. My job required travel, tons of standing walking carryng lifting, etc. I'm the person you might see if your employer had a "Benefit Fair" where all the insurance carriers come to explain/discuss benefits. I'd be in Vegas on Monday and Tuesday then in the office Wednesday before heading to El Paso for Thursday and Friday.

    Prior to that in Social Services. BA in Sociology, MA in Rehabilitation Psychology.

    I have a totally messed up spine. 3 lumbar surgeries (1987, 1993, 2010), 2 cervical surgeries (2006 and 2008) and one more possibly late 2010 or early 2011, and over 10 right knee surgeries and now that may require surgery or if not I just limp around until I hit 50 as he wants to wait to do the knee replacement. 50% hearing loss in each ear but this is not disabling. Probably had it since I was young and it was found when a co-worker challenged me to get it tested as she said I didn't hear her over the cubicle walls. The SS attorney said to get it re-tested and send the results in any way. It just reduces the jobs I can possibly be considered for. I'd never be able to work in a call center, as receptionist in an office, etc as I'd always be saying "What?"

    So, now I wait and see. I am SO lucky that I have STD and LTD. As long as the LTD continues I can sit tight and wait as the attorneys do their stuff. The one stumbling block has been my prior PM doctor passed away unexpectedly in June and his office has been slow to respond (they are of course overwhelmed with records requests). My attorneys said they'd try to get the records or would even offer to have a service go out and help get the copies.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • oh ok...so you aren't in as "good a spot" as Jim is being 50 years old and a high school degree. But, it just may take more time...but you'll get it.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    The attorney says my multiple spine surgeries along with more knee and neck surgery planned may play well into my favor. I can't return to my prior jobs as one required travel and the other required constant sitting with some travel as well.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • for you spineaz b/c you've had alot of surgeries already...but someone told me if you have surgery scheduled, it could hurt you b./c ssa may think you will get "fixed" if you will, (yeah right) and then won't need ssd. But since you have been suffering for years, I'm sure that isn't your case.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    the lumbar surgery was in February and I'm guessing maybe March I'll do the neck. I really want one full year after the back to pass before doing the neck if I can.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Just a few comments. I was very lucky in that I was approved 8 weeks exactly from the date I filed. I filed on my own without an attorney but my husband has a bad heart condition so we had been down this road before. All I can say is keep your records, ask any and all doctors for copies of any tests, visits or anything pertinent to your medical conditions. Luckily I did this so when my husband went to fax the documents to SS it saved alot of time. I believe they had the entire package they needed so thankfully the approval process went smoothly. Believe me I thank God everyday as having two of us disabled has been such a hardship. I was 46 when I applied and was a VP of a financial institution but the documents backed up the fact that I would never be able to return to any type of job. So even after you are approved keep files of everything you can as you never know when you will need them.
    Someone asked about paying back LTD and yes, when you receive your back pay from SSDI believe me LTD will no exactly how much to remit to them right away.
    I wish you all the best of luck as this is such a stressful time. When you are disabled and receive that pack of papers they want you to complete, I tell you I just sat and cried. I thought they were trying to reduce paperwork. Sure doesn't seem like it. I am not an expert on this for sure but if anyone has any questions feel free to PM me. Been through it twice under unfortunate circumstances and it can be depressing just completing forms when you can barely move.Good Luck and may God Bless you quickly with positive outcomes. We spineys have enough on our plates already.
Sign In or Register to comment.