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Will I qualify for Disability/Medicaid?

I know this isn't the exact sub-forum for this, but I couldn't find a better one - plus it is in direct correlation to my chronic pain. Anyways, I just graduated and have had a hell of a time finding a job working from home in computer science. I'm either in too much pain to work, or on too many meds to think clearly. I did, however, manage to get a few contracts this year and made about $20,000. I havn't worked in 2 months though, and am not sure if I will be for a while. Will I qualify for disability having made $20,000 in 2017? I have many diagnoses, including Lyme Disease, Bartonella, POTS, high blood pressure, 8 herniated discs, neuropathy all over body, and am taking about 10 medications to deal with it all. I also see a Dr. about once a week. A lawyer told me today I may qualify, but she may have just told me that to get my money. Anyone who has any experience in this area, please respond. Thanks!

John Calderaio


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,473

    If you are seeing a disability lawyer, they should not be charging you a fee. They get their money when and if you win.
    You will have to have a letter from your doctors stating you are disabled as well as all of your medical records. A good attorney will request this information up front before they make a decision. Unless the laws have changed, you have to be off work one year before they will look at it. 
    Do some research, go online to social security. They have all the information you need.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
  • I usually do all my own research, but since this is a pretty complicated topic I figured I'd ask some people who have been through it before. I have only been off of work for 2 months, so it looks like I won't qualify anyway. The lawyer I spoke to today told me they don't get paid unless I win my case - so having said that, why would she tell me I qualify if I have only been off of work for 2 months? Doesn't seem right.

    John Calderaio
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  • Google the phrase “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) for 2017. Not sure what it is currently but certainly way under $20,000. 

    Maybe pay an accountant $100 to do your 2017 taxes before April 15, 2018 and explain to him or her your situation and dilemma (and your concerns going forward) in great detail. 

    When you say you earned $20,000 do you mean that as revenue or profit? 

    A CPA would be up to date on the latest tax laws and make sure you do your taxes properly.

    If that $20,000 doesn’t include taxes or expenses then that might get you down to around the SGA but even that could be a stretch.

    Having any type of consistent earnings for a consecutive 12-month period will likely count against you, as Sandra stated above. 

    Unless you’re prepared to slowly but surely drain your savings account and raid your 401(k) for substantial hardship withdrawals it’s going to be an uphill battle, I would think.

    However, I’m not an expert on this topic. Just a novice chiming in. 

  • I just wanted to chime in.  My husband applied after being off work 1 month.  His medical condition was expected to last longer than 12 months, and he was approved. Granted, he did not receive payment until after 6 month wait, which I heard was normal.  HIs medical issue was not a spine issue.  However, that being said...you can apply even though you have had income this year.  I believe the phrase “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) for 2017 is for ability to earn income going forward, not backwards.

    It should not matter if you made 500K before you became disabled, what matters is your ability to earn going forward.

    Just my thoughts, have a great day everyone.

  • Is it not true that you must have worked at a job with disability benefits for 12 months previous to your injury?

    John Calderaio
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  • Just went through the process here in Florida and can tell you how it works. Approval depends on many factors such as State, your age, your occupation. The reason Attorney’s are will to take a case, is they take ALL the money that was back owed up to the approval date. Then if your approved, the next check is yours. Social Security will want all notes from all your Doctors saying your permanent and total disabled or they will schedule a IME ( independent medical exam) if your young, they will normally try to find you a job that will accommodate you, or retrain you into a job you can do. It also depends on how much you paid into Medicare. A lot of variables go into it! I was approved but will not collect a dime until Feb 2019, that was due to me paying into a pension and not social security. Medicaid is different. That’s if you have no job, no health insurance etc..etc, they will pay you a very small amount, place you on food stamps .


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

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