Social Security Disability Status

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The social security disability process from the initial application day through appeals and eventually to an approval can take forever. Forever-ehvah. We know this much: a disability application is often approved or denied on or about the time you go batshit crazy (or, it can be especially worse if a mental health disability claim is the mountain you are climbing.)

What is this place? This is not a legal website disguised to gather your information for referral or to represent you for a disability claim. This is a site to bring people together for a conversation about social security disability.  It is a public chat to talk with other people just like you. Jump right into our comments section, no registration necessary!  The social security disability grapevine is a place where you can share, vent and ask questions about SSDfacts.

Why are we here? Our friends on the igotmyrefund.com tax refund grapevine launched the igotmySSDI grapevine to start a conversation about social security facts, theories and personal experiences. We aim to bring people together to compare situations and get an understanding of the process. We saw a group of people waiting on another government agency, while large amounts of money hung in the balance for people who applied for social security disability. It was similar to the users waiting on their tax refunds which can also be a very long (and painstakingly frustrating) process.

Who are we?  We are just a group of people who have ridden or are in the same social security boat.  Some of us haven’t. But we are here to help, learn or know someone who also has been hunting for a favorable decision from the social security administration.  We know there are a ton of great SSDI websites and forums, but we think some are difficult to use or to sift through information. We link to sites that we think will help you and try to aggregate the information. We share because we care.

The social security disability application process is no walk in the park.

It sucks.  The long waits can be ridiculous and people often suffer financially, in big ways. It can be devastating, maddening…

We get it.  We have found that other people in our circles don’t always understand the problem…unless they have had similar experiences or know someone that went through the same ringer.  Or, if they also have had to wait so long for their tax refund or in this case, social security approval and backpay.

Some of us have been there and we can chat about our social security disability experiences and our current SSDI status.  Just like our users on IGMR who stalk the irs.gov website using the Where’s My Refund tool, a great number of people are sitting in limbo waiting for a “favorable decision” from the Social Security Administration.

Our profanity filter is not built for children here. We joke, we laugh and I personally use expletives like commas. (However, I do try to limit myself and tone it down here, after all this is a public forum.) We say what we think here, within reason. Also please note, we don’t use avatars and we minimize the lovey dovey flowers and unicorn emojiis here on the disability grapevine. They can be distracting and sometimes inappropriate.  And quite frankly, the topic here isn’t about rainbows and butterflies. The struggle is real and we keep it real. Keep reading to get to know us and join our conversation. Please refer to the HWMC for our rules.

How to Check the Status of your Social Security Disability Application

Many of us have earned stalker status checking the status of our disability application.  In the case you are new and joining us at the beginning of the application process you can check your disability application status online at the SSA.gov website.  The social security application status page is the place to start.

What is igotmyssdi.com?

We are not a group of experts, merely peole who have learned more than we ever wanted to know about the process of getting approved for social security disability benefits.

We aim to share:  Real people who know the struggle, have been through the same things with social security. Real letters from the Social Security Disability Office. Real people that care.

The Social Security Disability application procedure is hard to explore for most of us and even the SSA workers. SSA rules are confusing and the people who answer the phone might even be monkeys. They can give a different answer to the same question every time it is asked. We won’t sugar coat it, that is bullshit.

On this chat, we share what we think about the social security disability nightmare and help others by speaking our minds. DDS and ALJ determinations are discussed because the decisions often are bullshit too. ODAR hearings, they can suck too. Don’t be shy, see what others are saying… we have but just a few rules. Try to follow them please.

 

 

POST YOUR ACTUAL SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY APPLICATION EXPERIENCE HERE: This is a “user to user” site and the primary mode of support is peer-to-peer, meaning users helping other users. Admin and moderators are not always present or may not have answers to questions. Users becomes more informed when they are here often to read and comment. We call them Top Contributors. We are not a group of experts, merely individuals who have learned more than we ever wanted to know about the social security disability process.

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What Others Are Saying

  1. PattyCat

    @Elizabeth: this is normal. It sounds like your app was selected for review. They randomly select applications for the review process. It unfortunately can hold up the application by a couple month. It is neither a good nor bad thing.

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth

    I applied for ssi and ssdi May-9-17, I checked online my status Aug-29-17 and it said: your benefit application is currently under review for process accuracy. Once the review is completed, we will continue processing your benefit application. Is this a good sign? I have Rheumatoid arthritis, I have damage in my right ( dominate) hand, I just had surgery on it. I have damage in both feet, my joints have separated in all toes. ( painful to walk) I have Ostopenia, and severe depression.

    Reply
  3. TINKERBELL

    I HAVE NEAR 3 YEARS FIGHTING FOR DISABILITY……PTSD.BI-POLAR DEPRESSION-COPD-LEUKEMIA-HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE-DIABETIC——————CANNOT WORK……..HAVE NO MEDICAL INSURANCE.THEY HAVE PROOF OF ALL THE ABOVE……….WHERE ARE THE WORKERS ??? I am in need of 2 SURGERIES…………..TELL ME THEY ARE NOT WAITING FOR ME TO DIE………….ANOTHER ARM OF POPULATION CONTROL…….LIKE WARS……………………………………………….

    Reply
  4. Hope

    @Hope: update** I am still waiting for approval. I went to a doctor exam schedule by Social Security last month. I have been have ongoing back, leg, foot and ankle pain. I got an MRI done and it stated * have a degenerative disease in my lumbar spine. My blood pressure is high because of my pain and anxiety. I also have PTSd and endometriosis. I want to give up on the claim but I can’t. I contacted my local Congress man to assist me. I am in debt because of my medical bills. I also have children to support. What should I do next?

    Reply
  5. Zuezue

    I had 2 Alj hearings because the first judge retired before making a decision. Now my case is with a writer after 6weeks.I called the local hearing office and a worker told me it was not favorable. I almost had a nervous breakdown. I called again and another worker told me the information she told me was wrong and it doesn’t show the design yet.I called my lawyers and was told to just wait for a letter.They my lawyers also said a decision doesn’t show up in the records yet.I’m so nervous and scared.Can someone help me with advice?

    Reply
  6. freetodream

    will anyone answer me??? I’m worrying myself sick over this 🙁 I just want to know if anyone has been in a similar situation and what their outcome was??? Thank you

    Reply
  7. Faye Powell

    Hi all! I’m new here!! Status change on myssa account. Is this the “quality review” everyone talks about or something else?

    Benefit Application Under Review
    A medical decision has been made and we are working to process your benefit application. A Social Security Representative may contact you directly if we need any additional documents or information.

    Reply
  8. freetodream

    I went to my physical CE in April It was pulled for quality review…. about 6 weeks after the CE and after it was pulled for review I received a letter in the mail saying I had to go to a mental CE on June 1, I just went to my mental CE a couple of days ago…. it took an hour and a half…. has anyone else had this experience? This is my initial application…. It’s for uncontrolled seizures, and a leg that has 26 pins and two metal plates and one blind eye…. I had no idea they would have me go see a psychiatrist….. I was crying the whole time….. this has made me so upset ….. stress makes my seizures worse…..

    Reply
  9. lost

    @Anonymous: I went for two seperate medical evals. one for mental health PTSD and GAD and the second for pain on my right side of back all the way down my right leg. I was denied for ssi but still processing for ssdi, what does this mean? will i have a chance? I am a hermit if not with my kids or someone else because i am always scared, i have intrusive thoughts and panic attacks longest was a week everyday and the biggest one was the day of teh mental health eval. straight after I went home i was physically sick and mentally sick. My pain only comes if i stand adn walk more than 8 hours and take 1-2 weeks to actually settle and then again with teh pain. I have no insurance so my medical is limited and I am just hopeless . any advise

    Reply
  10. MrsBurgos

    Hearing was held 4/27, judge is awaiting records from a Dr’s office and said she will make a decision in two weeks. Hearing was pretty much easy going. Judge was nice. My attorney pretty much shut down the vocational expert. I feel I may be approved. Fingers crossed!

    Reply
  11. Familyfirst

    @jemar707: I applied for my son he is partially legally blind nothing on myssa account and no payment on card also haven’t received letter from ss

    Reply
  12. jemar707

    @Familyfirst: looks like good news because it wouldn’t be sent out otherwise. Was yours a critical case with such fast approval?

    Reply
  13. Familyfirst

    Applied march 9 2017 got direct express card in mail April 7th does that mean approved

    Reply
  14. *Amy*

    Hey all, how is everyone! Still waiting for them to process my husband’s appeal. In the mean time – we may have found a house! We called on it a few weeks ago and at the time the landlord said no pets so we were like ‘Ok, thanks anyway”, cause our pets are a must. He called us back and said he talked to people about us, and his parents (who used to own a store here), and that he’s heard nothing but good about us, and asked us to come look at it, which we did today. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1800 square feet, 2 car garage. Huge compared to what I have now. he was showing it to other people today, but the fact that he called us, and while showing it kept saying stuff like, “When you move in….”, so idk. Not getting my hopes up because this process of finding a new place has been HELL so far, but I’m also really hoping this is it. $800/month. We pay $725 now, but the elec. runs about $80/month. Here? We’ve been paying $200+. I’ve tried to get the elec. company to come out here many times to look at things, because that does not seem right. We keep lights off, I only do laundry at night, etc. But they keep telling me its fine. Anyway, the difference in elec. alone would balance it out. Plus its insulated better and even though it’s bigger, I think we will use less heat, which I know sounds weird, but this trailer I am in now has windows that let in cold air bad. Anyway, please pray for us that we get this house. I think it will be a huge positive change for us, and will go a long way in helping my husband feel better emotionally.

    Reply
  15. jemar707

    @*Amy*: Buying is definitely a great idea — why throw money out the door every month and have nothing to show for it right? I keep telling myself the same thing and plan to buy within the next 1-2 years once I get my credit in good shape again. I destroyed it after filing bankruptcy while waiting for my SSDI approval. I’d kill for those rental rates! Check out the average in Orlando Florida and you will feel my pain.

    Reply
  16. jemar707

    @Stardawn: It’s great to hear good news and I’m sure you are super excited after all the time spent waiting. When did you get your fully favorable letter? Does your mySSA account indicate anything? The next thing that will happen is calculation of benefits and backpay. You should receive an award letter which will detail the amounts. It will be calculated using the highest yearly earnings in the 5 years prior to your onset date.
    You can call your local office or the national 800# to update your banking info to ensure payments aren’t delayed. You can even walk in to your local office with your banking info and wait in line. You might be able to update this info online as well, if you have an online account. Benefits usually start fairly quickly and backpay will be calculated starting after the five month “grace” period of SSDI payments from July 2010 if your onset date is Jan 2010. Do you have dependents? Dependent benefits also start fairly quickly.

    I know that was a bunch of info and hope it helps, please share your details and questions and we will share in your excitement as this process finally comes to an end for you!

    Reply
  17. Stardawn

    I just got 100% approved for ssdi & ssi onset date jan 1 2010. Just how long does it take!? Anything i can and have no clue how much the check will be hust excited

    Reply
  18. *Amy*

    Still nothing new to report. New house news either, but my in-laws are trying to talk us into buying. I’ve ran the numbers and for houses here in my area, even with taxes, insurance, etc. – my monthly payment would be less than I am paying in just rent right now. $500-$600 a month, and that’s everything. Housing is pretty cheap here. And, there’s a ton for sale here too. So, we’re now looking into all options. My biggest hurdle will be my credit score. How is everyone else doing?

    Reply
  19. *Amy*

    @Jemar707: My husband knows the landlord quite well, and has talked to him. The house isn’t 100% done yet either, which I didn’t realize but its all last minute stuff like paint, touchups, etc. So hopefully wont take too long. Anyway, the paperwork is sent off for reconsideration – 3rd time now. However, this time, after reading the comments from the advocator here, I made sure that we went into very very specific details on what his limitations are. I thought I was detailed before, but after reading the stuff here, I realized it could be better, so hopefully that will help. If not, onto the next step. the advocator that has been helping him this time around has continued to be very helpful. She’s following up every time we send something in to make sure they get it. the last 2 times they’ve lost paperwork, so I feel a little more confident that that won’t happen this time. No other news to report really. Just have to wait for the reconsideration to be done.

    Reply
  20. So tired of waiting

    My wife filed three years ago. We just seen the judge on December 20, 2016 and was told that it would be six more months before a decision is made. We live in public housing have no food stamps we barely make ends meet with my disability check. It doesn’t leave any money for food and the government says that I make four dollars too much to qualify for food stamps. Tell me how this is fair? Four dollars too much means we starve. No disability claim should take three and a half years. Even the disability doctors have said she is one hundred percent disabled and they have ignored their findings. Why hire doctors to check people’s cases if your going to ignore what the doctors say. My wife is sick she doesn’t leave the bed and she is slowly deteriorating. I think they are just waiting for her to die so they don’t have to pay her a dime of the money that she has paid in all her life. We have two lawyers fighting daily for her disability and they just keep pushing the decision forward. If they deny her this time it’s gonna be hell on all of us.

    Reply
  21. Ann

    We are on our second wait for SSD. My husband has chronic leukemia. We fought SS once, won, and received back pay. We had no problem receiving benefits for 3 years, just getting to the point where we were getting our lives back and no longer worrying every minute about keeping a roof over our heads. Then suddenly, a bureaucrat at SS decided my husband was “cured” and able to work full time. The ONLY reason they looked twice a his case was because he has never been completely without a job. The man simply tries to help and be productive. He works 10-15 hours a week, and has never once gone over their cap on how much he is allowed to earn each month. As far as being “cured”, he is in remission, but to stay that way, he has to take oral chemo daily for the rest of his life ($13,000 A MONTH of chemo), which causes side effects. Major side effects. Every Monday, for example, he has to go to hospital and have fluid drained from his chest. His is NOT a case of having only subjective conditions like back pain or depression. He has 7 specialists he sees on a regular basis, all who have filled out affidavits of his condition. Nevertheless, we are about to the end of our second wait for a hearing. We should have our court date between May and July, then we will be paid shortly thereafter.

    I just find it INSANE that office personnel at Social Security get to decide who is sick and who isn’t. His DOCTORS have unanimously said he is sick. His laboratory work alone shows he has cancer. When he was first diagnosed, our son was 6 years old. This is all he knows now. When they pulled his SSD, we overnight lost almost $1700 a month from our family income. We live simply and had little debt, but it still CRUSHED us! Qualified for Medicaid for our son and Food Stamps for our family. Wouldn’t it have just been cheaper for them to let us keep his Disability and take care of ourselves?

    My theory after dealing with this for 9 years is that they simply delay this process waiting for people to give up or die.

    Reply
  22. igmSSDI Admin

    Nationally, about only 28% of individuals who apply for SSDI benefits are approved on the initial application and appeal can take more than a year to complete. The application process is complicated and can be difficult to navigate!

    Reply
  23. jemar707

    @*Amy*: also, you might try writing a letter of interest to the potential landlord. It could sway them to encourage current tenants to move, lol. I’ll send you the one I used to hopefully get into a new place here since our rental market has scarce amount of choices. You could modify it to suit your needs.

    Reply
  24. jemar707

    @*Amy*: my advice is to take the time to find a reputable Advocate or attorney. I think it’s crucial at this point.m congrats on finding a potential solution to the housing problem. Have you ever looked at Sling TV? That may be a way to reduce that bill, we used it and service was great.

    Reply
  25. *Amy*

    Another update, although not totally SSDI related: we may have found a new place. kinda. The owner is almost done fixing up this house (3 bedrooms, 2 baths, much bigger then what I have now), but he has other tenants that are currently in a 2 bedroom place he owns that were thinking about renting it. However, he didn’t sound very sure that they really want it. He is supposed to talk to them, find out and then if they dont want it, he said he’d be more than happy to rent it to us. Price is $75 more a month then what i pay now, which is slightly scary, but I’ve been crunching the numbers and if I cut some corners – such as pack lunch more instead of buying it at subway, go with a smaller package on my TV service, etc, I can make it work. I feel like it would be a positive change for all of us, especially my husband. He puts so much blame on himself and feels like the reason we are still stuck here is because of him, and I dont want him to feel that way. Anyway, no point in getting too excited anyway as there is a lot up in the air with it right now. If this doesn’t work out, then its back to square one. Other places here are nice and big enough but they want $1000 or more a month and that I cannot do right now, not until he gets approved.

    Reply
  26. *Amy*

    Hey all,
    So as I’ve said before, we are on application #3 for my husband. He had appts in Feb. Just got the letter today – he was denied, again. So now I have to call and get the “Request for Reconsideration” form and the “Reconsideration Disability Report” form. 3rd time I will be helping him fill these out. Any advice? He is completely broken by all of this. Emotionally I mean. This really, really, really sucks.

    Reply
  27. jemar707

    @That American Girl: Did you get a copy of your Social Security statement? This shows your lifetime earnings and also estimates the amount of disability benefIts. It’s important to make sure your earnings and amounts paid for Medicare and social security taxes don’t have any discrepancies before you apply.
    You can register for an account here: https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/

    Reply
  28. jemar707

    @Advocator: With national average being 25 months, I seem to remember some areas are significantly faster than others. I vaguely remember seeing data on different states somewhere.

    Reply
  29. jemar707

    @That American Girl: hello! I completely understand the mountain of climbing to show how one is disabled by an illness that can’t be seen! Unfortunately with SSA, even if it’s something that can be “seen”, the wait time is outrageous. We will be here for you on your journey and please ask all the questions you’d like. I am by no means an expert but discussion helps over worrying and we will try to get you all the opinions and answers we can dig up. Watch for comments from @advocator—a huge knowledge center being shared here!

    Reply
  30. jemar707

    @Cherita: hello and welcome! First thing I would do is reach out to the attorney and also call local office—I’m of the opinion that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, but that isn’t exactly applicable to them, but I’d still call just because you get tidbits of information variably depending on who you speak with. After the hearing with ALJ, it was about 2 months for me, but I’m not sure if there is an average decision time. Perhaps @advocator can chime in with an opinion.

    Reply
  31. jemar707

    @Praying4Goodnews: hello and thanks for joining us! The length of QR process varies and an approval or denial can still go either way. QRs are randomly selected and processed in 30-60 days according to SSA. However I have seen reports of being in/out of QR in 1-2 weeks. Either way, a decision is on the horizon! Keep in mind that QR is not an indicator or either approval or denial, it could still go either way. But the good news is that if it’s an approval, the OQR statiscally reverses/returns less than 10% of decisions. Next thing hopefully is your award letter and/or call/letter from the local field office!

    Reply
  32. That American Girl

    About to start the process for chronic migraine and fibromyalgia. Two of the worst ones to get through the process!

    Reply
  33. Praying4Goodnews

    Hello I applied for disability on 2)16 it shows online a decision was made but under review processing application for accuracy I called the social security and they told me my claim was random selected for quality review what I have read some say it’s approved they are checking the make sure everything is OK my ? Is how long does it stay in quality review I read qr hardly ever over turn decision if it was approved at dds stage before it was pulled for QR please help and advice on this thanks

    Reply
  34. Cherita

    My son is 10 he was born at 25 weeks weighing 1 pound 10 ounces he stayed in the NICU for 4 months, at the age of 6 he was diagnosed with chronic asthma. At 7 they diagnosed him with dyslexia, and learning disability. At 9 he was diagnosed with defiance disorder and Touretts syndrome. He has been denied for benefits and now we are in the appeal stage. I have an attorney and we went before the law judge 6 months ago. 2 months ago social security sent him to a psycologist and he agreed with the diagnoses. They have teacher recorded and other doctors and psycologist records that he’s seen but I have yet to hear anything on his case. What should I do?

    Reply
  35. Advocator

    @Fingers crossed: i’m sorry to hear you are suffering. Attorneys will take on a case and they benefit off of going to a hearing. national wait for a hearing is 25 months st this time and that is after you’ve been denied for an appeal. so you could be looking at 2/3 years. I would search repubatle advocacy programs near you. Also confirm with your attorney his award rate at the reconsideration level.

    Reply
  36. Fingers crossed

    Im 33 and applied fos SSDI in September for intellectual learning disability ptsd bipolar II and major depression. I seeing a psych 4 x a month and been on several meds. I was denied last month and the letter did say my evidence of diagnoses was clear but they believe i can still work. I applied it three days later and got an attorney this time. And since the reconsideration I’ve been in and out of the hospital for my depresion and aniety. And changed psych and got a new dr. My attorny said i got a case but it may go to the judge 18 months. I hope not. Many attorneys will not take your case if they fill like u will win the case.

    Reply
  37. Hope

    @Advocator: Yes I worked 5 out of 10 years. I was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety in late 2015. I did not work at all in 2016 because of my health. I have two doctors appointments tomorrow. One with a psychologist and one with my general practitioner. I hope to get evaluated by my practitioner to show more evidence for my claim.

    Reply
  38. Advocator

    helpful tip *

    when submitting medical evidence to DDS please save the barcode they initially mail you in their introduction letter. This letter will come approximately 7-14 business days after clearing your local office. When you submit medical evidence via fax or email attach this barcode. I can’t tell you how often i’ve seen examiners not include evidence due to the lack of barcode. If you don’t have the barcode, call your examiner once assigned and ask for a copy.

    Helpful tip 2

    When completing the initial application, if you see multiple doctors out of the same location you only need to list the name of the facility (under the hospital & offices tab) if you list each individual doctor it is likely that DDS will do a fast sweep of records and spend no time on collecting everything. So if you see all of your providers out of St. Joseph’s just list St joseph’s. In the treatment field for St joseph’s list the type of treatment and then the doctors you are seeing there!

    helpful tip **

    Examiners will only go back 1 year of medical evidence from the date you allege you became disabled (on set date) . So when the providers/Doctor section is asking the date you first seen this doctor don’t list 2001, again they’ll likely spend little to no time reviewing the important medical information. List the date you first seen this doctor that a) the condition became unbearable and you couldn’t work or b) one year prior

    Keep in mind if you are alleging an accident/incident from 2009 caused your conditions but you worked till 2015 they’ll deny the claim almost always. Start with when your condition became unbearable and you became unable to work. Then in the remarks at the end explain how over time it progressed and has become unbearable etc.

    I will continue to post helpful tips!

    Reply
  39. Advocator

    @Hope: Hi, have you paid into FICA in the past 5 out of 10 years. Social security will not consider conditions that you worked with unless there is substantial evidence proving things took a horrible turn for the worse. Medical evidence can’t be submitted until it has been assigned to an examiner at the disability determination services. You must clear your local ssa and be “technically approved” first. Technically approved means citizenship, work credits, dependent, spouse & orher information is verified and approved.

    Once with DDS you will get a lette, from there send all evidence & always confirm receipt of it with the examiner.

    Reply
  40. jemar707

    @Hope: If they find you medically qualify as disabled, SSA will go back and look if you have had any substantial gainful activity (SGA) since the disability onset date. Keep in mind what @advocator said below, it is essential to keep your medical evidence updated throughout the course of the application process. You need to keep them updated on any new doctor apps, tests, treatments as the time goes by while you wait for a decision. This includes any treatment from your general practitioner, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist — any evidence to show how your disability affects your ability to work is crucial for determination.

    Reply
  41. Hope

    @Advocator: Can you help me please. I suffer from major depression, anxiety, obesity which was caused by the depression starting in 2014. I get severe hives from heat, certain food and sweat. I also have vertigo that comes unexpectedly. I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2006. I had neck surgery after a car accident. After the surgery I am worst than before the surgery. I get headaches everyday when I lay, turn, or bend my Neck a certain way/angle. My application was submitted for SSDI and SS yesterday. I was self employed from 2011 to 2015. In 2010 I applied for Social Security and I never received a response until they just close the case. I gave up. I am a mother of 3 and I am married but separated. Depression is makinge suffer and the other pain I feel. Now I obese. I need help.

    Reply
  42. Advocator

    @CassywaitinginSC: yes. But the more you provide the better i’d still contact dds with all new updates otherwise the claim can just sit

    Reply
  43. jemar707

    @Advocator: That’s why I dreamt up this website, to help other lost in the process. I’m no expert but know that we can develop a community of people that can help each other – like you have already jumped in to do! I can’t thank you enough. You’ve become our first Top Contributor!

    Reply
  44. Advocator

    @jemar707: I don’t work independently however I truly enjoy helping people all that i can with the process. Most independent reps work for attorneys and I don’t stand by lawyers in SSDI claims after the lack of representation till the hearing that i’ve seen.

    Reply
  45. jemar707

    @Advocator: So true about not realizing DDS only does one “sweep” of medical information — I did not understand that and once I hired a competent attorney (first one was a dud), he got the updated information to them, and voila — favorable decision.

    Reply
  46. jemar707

    @Advocator: It’s great that you are here and I appreciate your quick help for people with questions! My BIL had 3 strokes, was on LTD and they had him connected quickly to a group who helped him apply, get the approval listening fast –and I explained to them that’s why — they want their money back lol. So Disability Advocates also work independently?

    Reply
  47. advocator

    @CassywaitinginSC: yes! always & they should be contacting you constantly to ask about your conditions

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  48. Advocator

    @rh: From the sounds of it you qualify. The letters that state you can still work are generic. SSA believes you can work to make SGA which is only 1,130 a month. Best of luck at your hearing

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  49. Kay

    @WaitingINNC: oh no you should call your local social security office and see if you get an answer especially since the date is over due they owe an explanation.

    Reply
  50. rh

    i had a really bad head injury in 2013 and broke my arms and legs “hit by car” i filed in late 2013 i have uncontrollable seizures almost every day had 4 surgerys to fix my ars and legs there ok now i live in nj i got denied for the reason they say i cold still work i apealed and have finaly got my hearing date in may 2017 i have multi seizures a day some time 4 in a day as much as 10 some reason when i went to ss doctors they always just checked my back and knees i a seizure in there doctors office the amont of brain trauma that i sufferd causes depersion anxity and memory loss i can not drive or be left alone i am like 43 yo baby i just dont get how this whole ssa works all my drs reports where there but they still say i can work tell me how can i work like this are they that stupid should i bring my health aisd with me to work or would a job even hire me knowing that i need to take about 8 breaks in 12hrs hope fully when i go to odar they will see that and i will win my case and get my retro back payments well thank you guys for makeing this site

    Reply
  51. Cindy

    I found out my son father has been receiving VA benefits for my son for the past two and a half years which my son disability check was cut ,the father never helped with his son and I filed an appeal November 2016 when I win the appeal which I know I will because he has no record of showing he took care of our son will the father have to pay back all the money he was receiving for my son and do social security have to pay back all the money they cut for my son check

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  52. Advocator

    @Cassandra E Johnson: could be soon or they may not require one. call your examiner and ask if anything is outstanding. Also you should be calling them with any updated medical information, this includes any new providers from the time you filed, new medications, new imaging, hospital stays, etc. obviously only related to your disabling condition. many people don’t realize dds does one sweep of records that’s it, unless you notify them that your providers have new medical evidence outside of routine follow ups.

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  53. jenjones76

    Been fighting for 6 years. 2 claims. First went to federal court & I won the appeal in that. Second claim went to Appeals council & won that appeal. Now Waiting on 3rd, yes, THIRD hearing in April. My attorney says he’s spoke with the judge & he’s approving me, but have to go through formality of a hearing. What really sucks is he’s only giving me 2 years, instead of 6. I’m just glad its almost over. Such bs to go through for someone ill.

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  54. Advocator

    @Concerned: Nope back pay is from the documented date of disability so make sure whenever you apply you put the date of the injury as the date you became “unable to work”. I have filed several claims for people who just went out of work in november.

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  55. Concerned

    @Advocator: no, I was not working. I actually fell down the stairs stepping over a baby gate, holding my 14 month old daughter. She suffered from a small head injury, but thank God she is ok. My foot/leg kind of took the fall for us! I will definitely ask about the complications. Now, my next question, if I am still healing and then around 6 months, they say I’ll be out for another 6 months would I then qualify? I realize back pay is only since the time you apply, but since my total time out would then be at least a year?

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  56. Advocator

    @Concerned: you wouldn’t qualify unless your injury is expected to keep you out of work for a year or more. Be sure to ask about the complications etc. you could seek workers comp if injured on the job & you likely have short term disability and long term if you elected for it. If your post op appointment doesn’t bring positive information then look further into your ssdi options.

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  57. Concerned

    Hello all! So I recently broke my foot and ankle last week on Sunday (lisfranc injury) and I’m on complete bed rest until my surgery on Friday, and then off of it for another 8-12 weeks. My stepfather told me I should apply for ssd. My husband works, and we have 3 kids, and I have no help with them, and no extra money to have someone take care of them while he works… I just stopped working in Dec to relocate for my husbands new job… I was thinking about applying for ssd, but I’m afraid I won’t be approved because I’m not “permanently disabled”. I just need help for a few months while I heal and get better… can yall give me your insight about the whole process and whether you think I have a chance? Thanks in advance!

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  58. *Amy*

    Advocator: so happy you are here! You have great info for people, and I’m certain I’ll have plenty of my own questions for you as we go through this process (again).

    Reply
  59. *Amy*

    @jemar707: Yeah, I know that’s the logical thing to do, but the thought of moving once is depressing enough, twice? Oh lord. lol but yes, we have a lot to think about and discuss, obviously. Almost exactly a year ago, when we got last year’s tax refund, we took a trip to South Carolina to visit my brother in law, and we fell in love with it down there. We’ve actually been considering moving down there once he does get approved. Take that back pay check and just do it. Better schools, more jobs – it’s a no brainer. I’m half considering asking our family to see what renting prices are down there. We wanted to buy something originally, but I’m looking into all options now. Moving down there is like our ultimate goal/dream, but it’s a dream that I thought would happen in perhaps another year or so. Maybe life is pushing me now? Idk.

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  60. Advocator

    @jemar707: Most disability advocates work with people who are on long term disability benefits through their prior employer. It is an obligation to apply and repay your LTD the “overpayment” of benefits. Long story short, they’re paying you what the government is supposed to so they want their money back. We also service direct to consumer claimants which are individuals who do not have long term disability insurance. We would represent the claimant and comeplte all applications, handle dealing with their local ssa office, speak with and inform the adjudicator/ disability examiner, request medical records, hire local attorneys to the claimant if it goes to a hearing level. Pretty much you focus on your health and we focus on the claim. Exams requested by DDS go through our office as well as questionnaires. Many claimants falsify information on their adult function reports which instantly cause credibility questions with the judge come the time of the hearing. We ensure to ask probing questions to find out the truth. Someone with depression and degenerative disc disease for example may state they can do laundry yet never specify important details. Such as one load takes 2 days due to the pain, the claimant requires help from family to lift basket, the claimant has family put detergent in smaller bottles so they can lift it. Just some examples.

    It is a very lengthy process, we take care of the head ache more or less.

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  61. Advocator

    @Cassandra E Johnson: Hi cassandra i’m an advocate for SSDI. The recon level mirrors the initial. There is a national average of 4-6 month wait at both the initial and reconsideration levels. Usually a quick response at the recon means lack of medical evidence to support the appeal.

    Have you had a consultative exam and completed an adult fuction report or other questionnaire at this level?

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  62. CassywaitinginSC

    I am in the reconsideration stage. It has been over 90 days. I heard usually takes 60 days or less during this stage. Do you think it’s a good sign since it’s taking so long.

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  63. jemar707

    @WaitingINNC: My hearing was during a December and I didn’t get my letter until mid March, backpay at end of March and then payment began in April. She could call SSA and ask the status. I would just call and ask “do you need anything from me?” because I was lost at what would happen next. They will need her information for direct deposit anyway so it doesn’t hurt to call and offer the information especially since the 90 days has come. Perhaps holidays impacted the actual length of time and her approval letter could come any day.

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  64. WaitingINNC

    Hello Guys, My mother had being trying for SSI for five years and she kept getting denied, she finally got a hearing in November and was approved before she could even get to the appointment, when she and her attorney got there the rep told her that her case had been approved and nothing else was needed. They left and the lawyer told her that she would be getting something in 30-90 days. The 90th day was Feb 16 and she has yet to hear anything, the lawyer told her she have to just wait it out until she receive a letter, I was wanting to know had it ever took this long for any of you and what happened after the hearing, she is falling behind in her bills and obligations and she needs her money asap!

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  65. jemar707

    @*Amy*: Well now you can always share here! If you have to move soon, you might want to consider a downsize and squeeze into somewhere temporary because you don’t know how much longer this process will be. I’d hate to see you move into somewhere and have to still fight for disability leaving you struggling. Perhaps you will get a favorable decision before then.

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  66. jemar707

    @Anonymous: I have read many stories about less than kind judges. At the ALJ level for me, I was so intimated by the idea the judge would be mean, but it turned out a favorable decision which I can only attribute to the work of my attorney. I mean, I did lose my marbles when they finally asked me to speak about how my disability affects me and I was sobbing. It was as if after the years of waiting I finally had a voice and I lost my shit from the frustration that had boiled up and over at that point.

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  67. jemar707

    @Anonymous: A diagnosis alone will not qualify most people. A favorable decision requires evidence to show that the disability prevents the person from “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) which is defined by the SSA. Is the person seeking treatment for PTSD /Anxiety? If it is worsening towards agoraphobia, treatment is essential and that is the starting point.

    Reply
  68. Sheila03

    I have applied for SSDI one time in 2015 and was denied. to specialists but have several issues going on. I recently had a heart attack and a 90% blockage was discovered. I had an angioplasty done but they could not put a stint in but did reduce the blockage to 60%. I also have diabetes that is not controlled well-using insulin. I have an issue with my hip that makes it hard to stand or walk for all periods of time. This is to be looked at. I have no income so doctors are hard to afford. I also get cyst throughout my body occasionally. I lost my husband to cancer 6 years ago. Should I apply again or just forget it.

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  69. Anonymous

    I been waiting since 2011 just went to my court hearing and now I am in post hearing review. My attorney asked my doctor for something not sure what. Hoping i get approved but it looks like a denial the judge was very mean. Phx , Az

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  70. Anonymous

    Ho wdo you know after the credits earned if you qualify. PTSD /ANxiety is that enough. I mean if teh person doesnt leave the house unless completely necessary probably starting the affects of agoraphobia (if I spelled it right)..

    Reply
  71. *Amy*

    Jemar707: in the past, after he has gone to appts, it’s usually another month-ish before we hear more. I gotta re-organize all his stuff at some point.

    I dont say this in the IGMR group, cause I’m scared, but here it’s relevant so……we gotta move. I mean, we want a bigger place anyway, but now our landlord is selling this place and idk what to do. Yes I have tax money to get into a place, but then what? I sometimes can barely afford this place, and all the places we’ve looked at (that can hold us, 3 kids, etc) are around 1000/month. Which, if my husband has his disability approved, we could afford no problem. I’ve been here for almost 7 years. Idk, just overwhelmed right now I guess.

    Also want to wish a warm welcome to anyone new who comes by here! =)

    Reply
  72. jemar707

    Hello to any new users who makes their way from IGMR Facebook and thanks for joining us! With tax season slowing down, we will be spending time here to start the conversation about SSDI stuff and we welcome your input!

    Reply
  73. jemar707

    I forget how long it takes to hear something after they send you to CE’s Amy. Do you know? I will go pull my super huge file to look at my dates and create a profile here.

    Reply
  74. Slayer70

    @*Amy*: thank you. Yea filing for the whole disability thing is definitely a big time stress issue. I had even moved back to help my friend. We tried once got turned down twice that’s when we should have got a lawyer but we went passed the deadline and had to start all over from the beginning. That sucked..we actually started in 2011.

    Reply
  75. Slayer70

    @jemar707: thanx. Yea I believe this site will be a godsend for some people I know I would have loved to have been able to vent when my friend was going thru his long and drawn out fight to get what he deserves

    Reply
  76. *Amy*

    Slayer70: Thank you for coming over here! We’re hoping to get more people here. Understandably, a lot are caught up in tax season, but this is something that effects people year round. Happy to have you!

    Reply
  77. jemar707

    @Slayer70: welcome! Glad you found our newest project and that you understand how difficult it is for people! Your experience and help around here would be fabulous. Still not very busy, but I imagine we will have some crossover of people that know others on the SSDI path (lol path….) from IGMR and if anything we we want to be a place where people can vent to others who can hear them out.

    Reply
  78. Slayer70

    @jemar707: i don’t understand either. But it definitely is stressful. If it wasn’t for my friends brother helping him with his maintenance fees for his condo he would have lost it . SSDI doesn’t understand that peoples lives are at jeopardy losing their homes.

    Reply
  79. Slayer70

    Hi I donated on the IGMR website and when I was donating I saw the igotmyssdi thingy what a great idea. I haven’t applied but I was with my friend and helped him with the whole process so I think I can probably be able to help out on here . tooks us over 2 years to get approved and after the 2nd denial is when we got an attorney involved. Then it took 2 years from the time we got attorney. He has rheumatoid arthritis and its pretty advanced stages. Sucked because the SSDI Docter they sent us to was not any help at all said he was faking lol. His hands are all twisted how can you fake that. That’s why I helped him. But in the end he got approved got Medicare but he also had to have a rep payee who is me. There are a lot of stupid questions they ask you and if you say yes you can do that like balance a checkbook they will assume you are not disabled but if you say no I can’t then they look at it as if you are . and also my niece has ssi and I know it was a little battle for her to get it but that’s what you get from state funds. Anyways hopefully I can be of help for some people

    Reply
  80. *Amy*

    Update: so husband had two appts in the last couple of week. First was a physical evaluation and then yesterday he went for a mental evaluation. Now we wait, again. Will probably be denied, again. So over it somedays…….

    Reply
  81. jemar707

    Ugggh I got my first Disability Update Report today and oh how that scares me to think I’d ever have to prove anything to them again. Seems pretty short and sweet though.

    Reply
  82. jemar707

    @*Amy*: what kind of an app ton 15th? A CE ordered by SSA? What exactly is the Advocate “doing” for him? If he isn’t capable (fully understandable), I think an attorney/advocate that does something, is the best route only because they took everything off my plate. When he does get approved, the advocates/attorneys get paid so you want to make sure you don’t have one that is just sitting on the case dong nothing, because they still will get paid from back pay if they’ve done nothing but file the paperwork.

    Reply
  83. *Amy*

    I’m not sure what caused the advocate to reach out to him, or how she got his name to be honest. At one point I am 90% sure he had contacted legal aid to see about where he should even start with looking for a lawyer, but nothing really came of that. One lawyer he found good reviews on doesn’t practice anymore, and he kinda stopped looking. A big issue we are having, well I am having, is that as much as I’d love to sit here and make all the phone calls and such for him, I literally don’t have enough time in the day to do it and he has a hard time with stuff like that – paperwork, talking to people, etc. I’m sure after this appt. he has on the 15th he will be denied, again, and we’ll have to request a hearing, again. This time, however, I’m mailing it by certified mail. And I’ll call them every damn day if I have to to make sure they get it. I am NOT starting all over again.

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  84. jemar707

    @*Amy*: the depression after becoming disabled and not feeling like you can take care of the family is something I can totally identify with. I went through it alone as I single mom… I’m happy you can be there for him, but it’s tough either way. I still can’t wrap my head around why it takes so long and so many applications get denied. Almost as if it’s automatic denial. I read somewhere that 90% of applications are denied the first time.

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  85. jemar707

    When I was waiting in misery I ran across a website, bipolarmanifesto.com, and began to read his posts. I felt like he was the first person who could understand what I was going through. In fact, besides IGMR, his blog was the first ever time I made a public comment online about my situation. I’ve since come to know him better and he has helped write some of the content for IGMR. In the grand scheme of things, I hope he becomes a permanent fixture around here. He is full of knowledge and could be a great resource for others going though the process. Meet Dennis… I hope he will chime in.

    Reply
  86. jemar707

    @*Amy*: You definitely have your plate full. How did the advocate reach out to y’all? The first attorney group I hired was just group from the yellow pages I hired. I had no idea there were so many sharks out there to represent people and how much money was involved. When I realized they were doing absolutely nothing but waiting on a check if I happened to get approved, my doctor referred me to another attorney. After sending them all my doctors information and paperwork, they got it through to a hearing and approved in just about 6 months. I have bipolar and adhd — so no physical disability per se, I felt like that was the hardest part because you couldn’t “see” my disability, only how it affected me. But since then, I have learned it’s just as hard for people with physical disabilities to “prove” to SSA what you and your doctors say.

    Reply
  87. *Amy*

    No attorney yet. This time around when he applied (for the 3rd time) an advocate actually called him. She seemed pretty irked at how it’s gotten to the point of asking for a hearing twice, and twice they claimed he never sent in the paperwork for that – and he did. Well I did, but I know it got there. I’m learning a lot as I go through this with him. Every time he applies he has to go see doctors they send him to. He actually just went to this one doctor for the 3rd time now – went two days ago. Has another appt. on the 15th with a mental health doctor. I’m just praying this time we at least get the hearing if it gets to that point. A brief summary of his issues: surgeries on both knees at age 15, 3 surgeries on his right shoulder, he fractured his back about 5 years ago and it hasn’t been right since, about 4 years ago he got ran over by a tractor at work, which shattered his left foot and tore his ankle up completely. Surgery did not help much. On top of the physical issues he has ADD and literally cannot focus on anything for very long, unless it’s something he really likes. With our kids, with me, etc. he can stay engaged for hours, but give him a specific task and he likely won’t finish it. And now, with going through this process and going from being the breadwinner (while I stayed home) to not being able to, he has become very depressed. Its just sad all around.

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  88. jemar707

    I knew NOTHING about the process when I applied, because I really didn’t want to apply. It was an entire mountain to climb before I would even admit to myself that I was disabled.

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  89. jemar707

    @*Amy*: I learned real quick how SSDI process was like tax refund waiting on steroids. I went bankrupt literally waiting to be approved.

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  90. *Amy*

    Hey all. I’m here. I’m Amy, one of the mods at I got my refund, but I also, unfortunately, have been fighting to help my husband get approved for disability for 3 years now. I’ll type up a whole summary of what we’ve gone through so far, its long, but may give people an idea of just how hard this process is. I’m hoping to be able to help here like I have at IGMR.

    Reply