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Short term SS Disability coverage???

rascal2717rrascal2717 Posts: 109
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Lower Back Pain
I had an ALIF and percutaneous screw and rod fixation July 22, 2011. Was told to limit sitting from 15-20 min , 3 times a day and increase as tolerated. I am a CPA and all my work is done at a desktop comp and requires long term sitting. Impossible to start a year end accounting work and then prepare tax returns in such short intervals. You start on the file , work for 20 min, and then when you go back you have to start all over to see where you left off and get many questions answered, and then start all over again. When I work, I sit for hours until my work is in good form, and check entries the next day and then prepare tax returns. Do you think based on doctors orders that I would be a good candidate to qualify for short term disability? I have been contributing to FICA etc for in excess of 30 years and have never asked for a dime. Anyone out there who is knowledgable on this topic and can give me some good advice.
Am I interested in any and all suggestions on this topic and appreciate you taking the time to help me out. Thanks in advance.


  • Rascal,

    I don't believe SSD is set for "short term". Your disability needs to be expected to last a "year or more" to even be considered. Now if your company you're working for has STD or LTD insurance, another story, but SSI (income based), or SSD (more than a year of said issue), it isn't designed that way....

    Again, I am hoping I am understanding your thread/question?? The job you're describing, you seem to have control (based on your sitting lims...) over your work day and position? Sorry to not be of a lot of help, but what you've posted, I wouldn't bet a lot on SSD approval at this stage? Again, I don't have the full picture, just trying to help for input....

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Rascal,

    Just reread your post... You aren't even 2 months out from ALIF... It can take a year or more to determine "if" success or not. Again, I don't know other medical testing you have had...but wow, pretty darn new out of surgery to even think of SSD....

    STD via your company, sure... Not via SS... (my read).

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am a self-employed CPA. I have been seeing orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, 2 different pm doctors ,have had MRI's, CAT scans, prolotherapy, all types of nerve blocks, caudal lysis, denervation, steroidal Injections...and the list goes on since May, 2010. I have not been able to do many year end accounting and tax returns for my clients that were due April, 2011. Everybody is on extension until October 15, 2011 including my own 1040. Believe me, I have more than a year of constant doctor visits and surgery recommendations. In fact, I was scheduled for surgery Sept 13, 2011 and cancelled because I wanted to see the top NS and OS in Miami before going through this again. Did the open posterior laminectomy and fusions with hip grafting back in 1986.

    There is no way possible that I will be able to complete timely and accurate returns by their due dates, since it is less than 3 months post-op when they are due. And who knows, I may be permanently disabled based upon my 27 year well documented history of spinal problems.

    What are your thoughts with this added info? Thanks so much, you are a wealth of knowledge and so helpful and supportive!
  • By the way, my company is me and only me. No employees to delegate the work to and I do not have disability insurance, darn it!

    Oooops, the surgery I had scheduled that I cancelled was Sept 13, 2010, not 2011 as I mistakenly posted above.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    via the gov ..... As an IRS kinda person understanding Gov rules you should be able to decipher this:

    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). Again in my case this entire processs took well over 16 months(and that was expidited)depending on age, state of filing, and phase of the moon - one can usually expect a longer timeframe - remembering that you can NOT be working during this time. If you want to substaintiate your case.

    Have you reviewed the annual statement that used to be provided yearly around your birthday to see if you have enousgh reporting quarters and what the benefit amount would be?? Make sure you have enough time in paid. This can be calculated via the .gov site also via an on line tool.

    As always ... Warmest Regards,


    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Rascal you need to check with your state employment department. As a business owner you may not be eligible for short term state disability. If you haven't been paying in to disability you aren't eligible. I have a feeling you are going to be out of luck with this one. And you say you don't have a private STD (short term disability) policy.

    From the way I see it your only option would be filing for SSD which is Federal. But there is a 5 month waiting period from the time you are completely disabled. So you would need to show when you were not able to work and being self-employed social security is going to be tough on you. Also SSD is for expected permanent disability, not for recovery from surgery. So unless your doctor feels that your surgery will not work it's unlikely to get an approval. And finally approval can take several years. So what will you do until that time? And if you get turned down that is years with no income.

    If I were you (and I am an accountant who worked primarily on computers) I would consider changing your work space. Many people who can't sit for long periods of time will switch to a standing workstation. An architects drafting table works well since the height can be adjusted. An adjustable chair will let you sit when you can but then stand when it's not comfortable. You might also want to consider hiring someone to work a few hours a week for you.

    Be happy that you do work for yourself. Many people, myself included, are fired when employers don't want to work with your disabilities. Think positive and you will be fine.
  • Sorry, I just saw this question, but SSD is only for long term disabilities where you are expected to be out of work for at least a year. More info on what you need to qualify for SSD benefits.
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