Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Insurance, Benefits Programs & HIV

ssdi appeal question...

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Thanks for the support!

Was pretty tired last night when I posted this and should have given a bit more backround info.

I did hire a lawyer from the beginning. She seems to have a good feeling how this is going but I have lots of doubts. (always wondered myself if they have some sort of quota to keep as many people as possible off of SSDI)

Poz for 30 years next month and on meds for 17 years.
Counts are "good".
Other health issues are exhaustion, weakness in limbs, inability to concentrate, forgetfullness, and daily pain from headaches since March of 2011.
(sorry to bore those of you who have heard me describe all this before)

My ID doctor is very supportive but said they probably won't give me dissability based solely on my HIV status.
He is hopeful that all of my combined issues will make the difference.

We will see...
Off to my appointment.
Will give you my impression when I return.
(think it might be helpful to others in my situation)

thanks again.


forgot to mention the appointment today is for some sort of neurocognitive test required by the SSDI office.

sounds like fun!

Back from the test.
Turned out to be a short IQ test.
I did well with the cognitive portion but think I did poorly on the memory portion.

I think the concept is that the State wants to see how well the results match the information that I have already submitted to them.
(at least that's what the shrink said)

While I believe my results will match well, she also hinted that the State is getting pretty picky these days.

Just need to hope for the best and prepare for an appeal of their decision if it comes to that.

I will keep you updated as I know this information might be helpful to others.


ugh! denied as i kind of expected but am still frustrated with the process.
energy and stress dealing with an appeal does not make me a "happy camper".

the ssdi people can say that i am able to work until they turn blue in the face but it does not in any way change what is real.

spoke to my lawyer and on we will go to appeal. i don't really have any additional medical issues than what was submitted the first time so am wondering what it is going to take on the second go-round to alter their decision???

maybe just dealing with a more open minded person at a higher level?


I went through SSDI back in 1999 due to an auto accident/TBI. It took three years and a lawyer to obtain it for me.

The only thing I can add here is that your US senator should have a Social Security advocate working for him/her. Mine did and he helped move the process along.

SSA will send you out letters with timelines indicated. They'll say something like " should receive a response in 90 days, etc...." On day 91, you ring up the SS advocate and say "I haven't heard from SSA within the timeframe they said they'd respond." I guarantee you'll have a response within a couple of days.

I was lucky my US senator's office was in the same city I resided in. I had to take the letters to the office so the SS advocate had the documentation he needed when he contacted SSA.

My problem was that I'd wait -and wait -and wait for a response. I found out that if they haven't responded within their timeline, you have to speak up immediately.

SSDI is not designed to help you get disability. It is designed to find ways to disqualify you.

When you get in front of the judge, be honest, but also do not admit you could "maybe do a little work" etc. I was asked point-blank if I thought I could sit in front of a tv screen and watch it for criminal activity. I answered honestly that I could probably do it for about 20 minutes before my "dain brammage" would cause me to totally space out or my anxiety (due to cognitive issues related to the dain brammage) would cause me to flee my post. Basically all my statements had to show I could not do any sort of productive work consistently or for any significant amount of time.


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