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View Diary: The Inside Story of a Disability Scammer (139 comments)

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  •  It only took us one try (18+ / 0-)

    to get my husband qualified for disability. We showed up at the SS office with records from 10 doctors ranging from neurologists to ENT to various surgeons, internal medicine, and others. About a month or so later I received the bank statement and saw a deposit for $15000. I thought is was a mistake of course, but when the bank pointed out it was from SS I realized it was really ours! They agreed he had been disabled for several years, but there is a limit as to how far back they will go for paying you. I don't remember the length of time, 6 mos or a year? A student of mine  was incredulous when she discovered we only had one interview and needed no appeals. She had been trying for disability for some time. Her comment: "You got it on the first try?" I don't know why we had no problem when most people do, but I did have my ducks in a row and lots of doctors' records detailing his multiple physical and neurological difficulties. We didn't get SSI because my income was too high. Not enough to do much more than get us by, but too much for more gov't assistance.
    Having lived with someone who suffered greatly from multiple disabilities, my heart goes out to those of you still dealing with that daily. My husband is gone now, but my memories of his struggles and real misery are as vivid now as they were when he was with me.

    The Muse of Poetry should not know That roses in manure grow. Langston Hughes

    by fmprof on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:45:55 PM PDT

    •  Similar story here, fmprof (10+ / 0-)

      My SSDI claim, backed up by 15 years worth of VA records, electronically transmitted to SS in an easy to access, familiar format resulted in an approval letter in my mailbox 119 days after filing my claim, with only one interview.

      Folks wishing to avoid the delays and hassle are well advised to make certain that their claims fall within the boundaries established here.

      SS is a bureaucracy. They check boxes. If you want to win your claim you'll make sure the boxes are checked before adjudication.

      War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

      by DaNang65 on Mon May 26, 2014 at 11:03:02 PM PDT

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      •  Somewhat true, but I truly believe they (8+ / 0-)

        almost always turn down the first claim. A friend with aggressive breast cancer was turned down initially. She had medical paperwork, letters from doctors and hospital. She finally went in to the local office - her hair gone, her breasts gone, a t-shirt on revealing the chest port, thin as a rail. She went up to someone there and asked why she was turned down. The person went white, began stammering an apology and got her on that day, promising the back months would come through within a few weeks. My friend should not have had to do that.

        "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

        by cv lurking gf on Tue May 27, 2014 at 06:45:17 AM PDT

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        •  You may be correct, (4+ / 0-)

          I left out what may have been an important part of my story. When it came time to fill out some form or other, one critical enough that it contains a notice that if you're unable to fill it out yourself someone will assist you, I took advantage of that opportunity to plead my case face to face with another human being.

          It sounds like that would have worked for your friend as well.

          War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

          by DaNang65 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 07:17:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good--but there are NO guarantees. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cv lurking gf

            I have represented SSA & SSI claimants full-time since 1997.

            You can definitely lose a claim by going about it wrong, with sloppy documentation. But sometimes you can have all the documentation in the world, all the i's dotted & t's crossed, and some SOB at SSA will turn you down anyway.

            See my other comments on this diary.

            The denial rate varies by state. Here in GA it's about 67% on first application; 89% on first appeal (not a typo); around 50% on second appeal; there are third, fourth, fifth levels of appeal in SSA & the federal courts.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Tue May 27, 2014 at 02:24:58 PM PDT

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    •  2 years for back pay (4+ / 0-)

      my SSI went back 2 years
      and my VA also went back 2 years
      I got my SSI without any trouble, 6 months in a state institution is prolly why.
      My VA was a different story.
      The local VA rep told me I didn't qualify and then lied as to where to send the claim, records.
      First filed in 88 it didn't get approved til 2004 when Bush got on TV and said where to send the foms.
      I still have to goto doctors every so many years so they know Im still disabled.
      Even tho its a permanent disability.
      This year the SS dept sent a form I had to fill out asking for doctor and hospital visits, then they replied That I didn't have to goto a Doc.
      Havent had the VA ask for another visit yet since the last Doc had my disability reclassified as permanent.

      I have tried to work thru the years, longest stint was at Wal-Mart for 2 years. The work over the years added up to move me from SSI to SSD. A 100 dollar raise that would get eaten up with the move from Medicaid to Medicare and then some. So Im actually getting 200 dollars less to start and then add in co-pays deductibles.

    •  unfortunately I always worked in non profit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Moody Loner, HeyMikey

      so never made much money. But certainly enough for a thrifty single person to live comfortably.

      Thus my check is not enough to live off of in my area. Unless you share an apartment. Some disabilities don't allow that though.

      I know that those so sick they never could work full time are in much worse shape. That puny check makes me wonder how many disabled people die. I am fortunate that apparently that will not be me.

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