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Social Security Disability

backpainsucksbbackpainsucks Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Here there... Ok, I just need to vent a little. So I finally had to break down and file for SS Disability. I was turned down. I spoke with an attorney and was told it could take up to Dec 2012 to get an answer... They said my state is one of the most difficult to get it.

How is it that SS Disability is meant for someone that is going to be off work disabled for at least a year, a doctor has signed a statment stating that I'm unable to work for over a year and yet I still get denied. Granted, I REALLY don't want to go this route but what other options do I have? The doctor already said I can never go back to my line of work due to it being very physical. All of the jobs I have ever had has been phyical.

My question is, does it even exist for us spineys? Has anyone out there ever got SSD? How long did it take to get it? I'm at a loss... Please give me the scoop!!!!!

Thanks for listening!!!


  • Have a look in the insurance forums and you will see several whom have been placed on on SSDI. If your receiving money from your employer for disability then SSDI wouldn't be paying you even if your expected to be off from work for year or longer. The question is not wether you can go back to your line of employment but any line of employment. That is where your doctor comes in if the have said you are disabled and not expected to be able to do any type of employment. I am sure that the attorney told you that many times SSDI turns down all first time applicants, and that you will have to file a appeal. Typically the ones getting through on a first time basis you will have to be off for more than a year.
  • Yes, I am on SSDI for my lower back fusion, and Osteoporosis, and Osteoarthritis. I applied myself and got my approval in 6 months. I'm a 60 year old female, and currently getting work comp through the government from an on the job injury.Don't give up. It can be done. I'm currently recovering from neck surgery and complications, so if I don't get back right away, that's the reason why.
  • Im three weeks post operation from a l4l5 microdiscectomy and I still feel the pain from my back to my foot. My left foot has numbness and pain worse than before and the sharp stabbing pain in my back and leg sting even more. I just had a buldged disc but,it was pressed on my nerve for eleven months before surgery and im not feeling any relief.I know that it takes time but how long can someone handle this kind of pain? I have not done anything but walking and not too much of that so Im going a little nuts just sitting here in pain and was just wondering if anyone else ever had this much pain with such a simple surgery? Would appreciae any input.
  • Hang in there buddy! I know first hand that spinal conditions are some of the most painful and disabling medical disorders. Whether your spinal condition was caused by a traumatic injury or a degenerative disorder you may qualify for SSDI or SSI assistance. When you are diagnosed with a disabling spinal condition, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. While you should be focused on doing everything you can to feel better, the unfortunate fact is that you will probably have to deal with the reality of paying bills and caring for loved ones. There's actually a really informative website that can definitely help you in the SSDI/SSI process: www.socialsecurity-disability.org
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,378
    Here are some of the things I learned .... Happy reading!!

    SSD Protocol

    Having just gone through the gauntlet of SSD, I have grown to have a respect for the substantial methodology they employ in their determination.

    I will share the highlights with you:

    A. Common statements include: Do you have a Condition/Illness or disorder that will (or is expected to) last greater than one year.

    B. Does it impair your ability to perform ADL's (activities of daily living).

    Now for the heavy stuff: Applicable Law(s)(abridged)

    The Social Security Administration has established a 5 step sequential evaluation process for determination whether an individual is disabled. The steps are followed in order. If it is determined that the claimant is not disabled at a step of the evaluation process, the evaluation will not go to the next step.

    At step one the ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) must determine whether the claimant is engaging in substantial gainful activity (currently working) if he/she is.... then they are not disabled regardless of what their physical or mental limitations maybe. They will not proceed to step two.

    At step two, the ALJ must determine whether the claimant has a medically determinable impairment that is "severe" or a combination of impairments that is "severe" within the meaning of the regulations.
    (Significantly limits the ability to perform basic work activities). If the claimant does not have a "severe" or combination of "severe" medical impairments ... then they are not "disabled" and can not proceed to step three.

    At step three, the ALJ must determine whether the claimant impairment or condition or combination of impairment meet of exceed the criteria of impairments listed in 20 CFR part 404 Subpart P Appendix 1. If the impairment or combination of impairments meets or medically equals the criteria and meets the duration requirement then the claimant is disabled if it does not, the analysis proceeds to the next step.

    Before considering step four of the sequential evaluation process, the ALJ must first determine the claimant’s residual functional capacity. An individuals RFC is his/her ability to do physical and mental work on a sustained basis despite limitations from his/her impairments. In making this finding the ALJ must consider all of the claimant’s impairments, including those that are not severe. Next at step four the ALJ must determine whether the claimant has residual functional capacity to perform the requirements of his/her past relevant work. If the claimant has the residual functional capacity to do their past relevant work, the claimant is not disabled. If not then proceed to step 5.

    At the last step of the sequential evaluation process the ALJ must determine whether the claimant is able to do any of work considering his/her residual functional capacity considering age, education, and work experience. If the claimant is able to do other work, he/she is not disabled. Although the burden of proof of proving disability at this step, a limited burden of proof shifts to the SSA. The SSA (Social Security Administration is responsible for providing such evidence that work exists in significant numbers within the claimants RFC considering age, education, and work experience.

    The SSA may also bring in other criteria to be considered on a case by case basis to arrive at a final determination. In those cases the SSA must determine the extent that the other criteria are a factor in the determination of the above criteria and could use those factors to allow or disallow the determination of "disability".

    My case had 5 1/2 pages of determinations and justifications covering each of the 5 points ....After 16 months - 2 obligatory denials a date hearing was set. The ALJ finally got my case and gave me a fully favorable determination without an actual hearing. Interesting!?

    Power of prayer? (or I'm just a mess).

    I hope this summary helps - You may want to google or Bing - Disability Secrets for more information and tips.

    The govenment site is WWW.SocialSecurity.gov and has a ton of information. (as it should)

    As always ... Warmest Regards to all,

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)

  • HI,
    I just got SSD, about 5 weeks after filing... I have very accurate records of all my issues, and having gotten a settlement from Work Comp back in 96 for 3 lumbar surgeries, I think helped... Total of 30 surgeries (not all spine related), 7 current dr's and 3 hospitals seemed to qualify me quickly. But don't get too excited... you don't get Medicare right away and if you're married, and your spouse makes more than 32K, you must pay taxes on the SSD. The older you are, the better, as the re-training thing they don't even look at if you're over 55... (I'm 58) SSI I didn't qualify for, as we make too much money...yeah, right...
    It's better than nothing, but it's actually less than I got on unemployment, considering the tax thing...
    Good luck and feel better..
  • From what i heard is that social security 99.9% of the time WILL deny the first filing. They hope and try to weed out the people who will just give up or really don't need it. Stick to your guns and keep trying. I just started my Disability claim about a month ago. I got an attorney right away and I'm already prepared to appeal the denied decision I will get also. We have all worked hard paid our taxes and Social Security and I'll be d&%*@!ed if I or any deserving person does not get approved. I'm 52 and my surgeon sent a letter that states I'm totally and permenantly disabled from getting any gainful employment. I was told Social Security doesn't even take that into consideration. Keep us imformed and hang in there. Kevin
  • I recieved disability after about 6 weeks of filing.
    I did not get an attorney but my Dr. told me I would probably need one. I think the main reason I was approved was my EMG reports because both reports show I have lumbar plexopathy.My Femoral nerve in my right leg has no latent signal.I had an L4/L5 Discechtomy and I thought the pain was bad preop.I only wish my pain level was that low. When This first occurred I thougth I would never survive the constant pain, and wondered how anyone can survive this level of pain day in and day out.A year later I am still here and still in pain. It is amazing what your body can adjust too. My day consists of putting up with stabbing pains, burning,Elecrical sensation and my favorite pressure pain. Being you are having stabbing pain it sounds like you experienced some nerve damage. Have you seen a nuerologist to have an EMG performed?
  • I wanted to share these 2 pages from the Social Security Disability website that may help out!

    Musculo-skeletal Disability Evaluations


    Neurological Disability Evaluations


    Thought it might helps us spineys out!
  • How long in time was it from applying for disability the first time..... to being turned down? Months-- Years? Just like the Government --- hurry up and wait mind set. Seems that they have it set up for failure from the get go and that everyone gets denied.... . I have been waiting two months since applying and sending all the paper work back.... Thanks for any imput.
  • How long in time was it from applying for disability the first time..... to being turned down? Months-- Years? Just like the Government --- hurry up and wait mind set. Seems that they have it set up for failure from the get go and that everyone gets denied.... . I have been waiting two months since applying and sending all the paper work back.... Thanks for any imput.
  • Ive been told the magic age is 50 and over...
    96-Right disc frag L4-L5 disco-On/off back pain,no leg pain/2007-Right herniation L5-S1 unbearable leg pain/08 L5-S1 discectomy /leg pain relieved/14-chronic LBP,rhizo relieves facet pain on right side/15-L4-S1 collapsed,facets shot,PLIF scheduled 4/13/15
  • She asked me more questions about recent medical history and a few about my last job ( of 25 years) and what I did. I have had two MRI's since mailing back the many page questionaire they sent me in the mail over a month ago. She is sending off for copies of the mri results and Dr.'s Report. She did mention I may need to have an exam by a doctor of their choosing. From what I have read, it seems like the Doctors chosen for physicals look down on patients that SSI is footing the bill. At least I have not been turned down...and the wheels are still churning in the BIG MACHINE.
  • I received a second phone call from Disability today.......same type of questions she asked in May. She asked if I had had shoulder or spine surgery...I told her no. ( I doubt I would of had that done just since May!?). My MRI's show tears in shoulder tendons and narrowing of my cervical spine lending to the bilateral arm pain and weakness. I did mention that I have right hip replacement surgery scheduled for July 6th. ... Just 4 weeks from now. I have replaced both knees and my left hip over the last two years. She said she needed more info on the hip surgery I guess....she said it could be a few more weeks.... So it has been about 5 months now waiting to find out if I am approved or not. I understand they need to be thorough... I am 59 and I really doubt I could do retail sales anymore with all the issues I now have day to day. Some days I hardly can move my arms the pain is so bad, I never know day to day what to expect. So I wait....
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    ...do the paperwork and work with the system while enduring so much pain.

    I wish you the best with your Disability approval.

    And I wish you the best for your upcoming hip replacement surgery!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Savage said:
    ...do the paperwork and work with the system while enduring so much pain.

    I wish you the best with your Disability approval.

    And I wish you the best for your upcoming hip replacement surgery!
    Thanks so much for your kind words Savage! I have to have an colonoscopy tomorrow due to being anemic.... to see if I am losing blood in my colon. I am also having an upper scope done at the same time to check my stomach...... my surgery may be put off due to the anemia and until it is addressed. If it is not one thing it seems to be another. That is life I guess! The prep I have to do today by drinking a gallon of horrible tasting laxative liquid it going to be the worse part. Hope everything looks OK>>>>>....
  • Savage said:
    ...do the paperwork and work with the system while enduring so much pain.

    I wish you the best with your Disability approval.

    And I wish you the best for your upcoming hip replacement surgery!
    OH and I DID GET APPROVAL FOR MY DISABILITY! The check was deposited in my checking account and the letter came a few days later. At least that is not something I have to worry about anymore for awhile. :)
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    I'm very happy for you!
    That is one concern off of your mind!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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