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Update on SSDI

GreyEagleGGreyEagle Posts: 350
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Health Insurance Issues
I applied for SSDI June 2009. Within several months I was denied. I appealed, denied again. I have lawyers I hired right from the beginning. A list of lawyers specializing in SSDI were given me by my LTD (Long Term Disability) Insurance Rep.

I had cervical laminectomy a year ago in April. I have no relief in my symptoms and now have further spinal issues, degenerative disc disease caused. Fortunately, my Long Term Disability will continue until I am approved for SSDI. I will be 58 yrs old this next month.

My lawyer sent me an email this past week letting me know the average wait until being seen by an SSDI appeals judge in the Seattle market is 21 months. So, approximately two years from now I'll have my hearing. While it is frustrating I am sooo thankful my Long Term Disability pay will continue until this is resolved.

My wife works and I have health insurance through her work now. I have type 2 diabetes, degenerative disc disease, high blood pressure, chronic plantar facistis and achilles Heal Tendenitis. I just had a Power Chair delivered a week ago. It took about 8 months before my Health Insurane approved the chair. It is a wonderful relief as well!

Anyway, just wanted to post this update.

Ken GreyEagle


  • That's good the LTD Insurance is covering you until you get SSDI. Keep looking for a Dr. that will help you and hope you have less pain. Thanks for the update. 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
  • The SSDI process is an area where your being over the age of 50 is a good thing.

    Eventually, your file will be assigned to a specific judge. When that happens, your attorney should send any and all medical evidence since your denial (the judge will already have everything up to that point) TO THE JUDGE, and not just the Office of Hearings and Appeals.

    Because you are over 50, there is a better than 50/50 chance the judge could approve your claim without you having to attend the hearing (this is also known as a decision being made "On The Record".

    This is just food for thought. I do not have access to your medical records, but as a rule it is not as "hard" to be approved for disability if you are over the age of 50 - provided your medical records back up your complaints of pain and limitation...

    GOOD LUCK! Keep us posted?
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  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I'm actually surprised you weren't approved sooner. While the SS approval process takes a long time for most people, SS has been known to look at age when making their decision as well. Often SS quickly approves if someone is over 55.

    Think of it this way, if it takes them 3 years to approve you, then you'll almost be eligible for SS retirement. Whatever you do don't let SS (or the lawyers) pressure you into taking early SS Retirement at age 62. You will be eligible for more SS under disability than under retirement in most cases.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Are you working at all? I am really surprised you haven't been approved. As Jeux asked, what do your medical records say? Do your doctors back you up?

    Best wishes,

  • SpineAZ - when someone has surgery, SSA MUST ASSUME IT WILL HELP. It's written in the PROGRAM OPERATION MANUAL (POMs for short). Ken was likely told that while his condition is severe and prevents him from working "at that point in time" his condition is expected to improve within 12 months from the date of his surgery (April 2010). "But if his condition does not improve as expected, or gets worse, he should contact the nearest SSA."

    So, it does not matter whether he retires at 62. SSA cannot force him to retire (not like an employer can...). This is actually a "best case scenario" for him - he will get his retro pay (which could actually go back as far as 9/08 if he was not working then) and then switch to retirement income - which would likely be more than the disability anyhow. So, he'd get back pay, a little bit disability until retirement age, then full retirement benefits...

    Just a friendly FYI for future reference.
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