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Author Topic: ssdi appeal question...  (Read 10183 times)

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Online mitch777

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ssdi appeal question...
« on: September 10, 2012, 09:07:10 PM »
hi,

just worried that i may have to appeal the first "normal" rejection notice from SSDI.

anybody know of any statistics in regard to the success rate of appeals?

feeling kinda rotten lately as well.
probably due to the stress of the process.

thanks,
mitch

31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline nycpoz33

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012, 10:07:57 PM »
Not sure of specific numbers, but know from personal experience the odds of having your appeal approved increase dramatically with legal representation.  If you dont have representation currently, get some immediately.

Offline tednlou2

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 11:27:12 PM »
Without looking up the stats, it seems I remember reading that something like 80% are denied on the first round.  And, somewhere near that on the first appeal.  Most have to go before a judge.  I honestly think they have a quota, purposely trying to deny most in hopes they will give up.  That's just my opinion.  Because, the people who I've known who went before a judge had nothing change in their medical situation.  So, it makes me wonder why they got denied twice, but got it when they went before a judge.  Perhaps the judges have more compassion?  I've read that most who go before a judge are often successful. 

Again, I'm just going on memory here and personal experiences.  I think it also depends on the state you live in.  I know some say it is easier to get here in KY than IN, for example. 

And, I've read that it is very important to have legal representation, when you go before a judge.  Having said that, I know someone who appealed the fee his lawyer got, which was $6,000.  When he got his approval letter, it gave instructions how you could appeal the lawyer fee.  He appealed, because his lawyer didn't do anything.  He got all his medical records--actually going to the doctors and hospitals.  His lawyer met with him once and didn't prep him.  His lawyer did send some assistant on the court date, but he said he did all the talking, while the legal rep just sat there.  So, the judge ordered that his lawyer had to forfeit $3,000 back to him.       

Offline britchick

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 01:35:55 AM »
mitch777

Best wishes with your appeal.Please come back and let us know what happens.Im also appealing in the UK.

Yes it is really stressful but will be worth it.

Britchickx

Offline darryaz

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 09:53:00 AM »
Check with your ASO.  Mine has a Legal Aid attorney working with them who helps their clients through the application and appeals process.

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 10:35:18 AM »
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.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2012, 10:38:45 AM »
oops,

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

sounds like fun!
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 01:52:59 PM »
OK,
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.

Mitch
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2012, 04:13:48 PM »
update...
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?
luck?
hmmm...

mitch
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline intaglio

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2012, 10:53:40 AM »
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 "...you 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.
Reality is frequently inaccurate.

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2012, 06:00:07 PM »
thanks intaglio.
i tried the congressman route and got a pretty cold shoulder.

i am now seeind a psychiatrist to help document depression, anxiety, fatigue issues and have studied up further on the SSDI detailed requirements which are still kinda vague.

hope by being specific on my appeal by referring to the SSDI "rules" and a doctor to confirm my limitations, we will get past this road block.

what a chore! grrr...

mitch
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 08:20:19 AM »
update on my ssdi appeal...

my lawyer got the medical reports from the ssdi to see why i was turned down on the first attempt.
my docs were all helpful EXCEPT the shrink that ssdi sent me to for a "short IQ" test.
hmmm.....
a 15 minute visit repeating 4 words, saying 487 in reverse order, and other silly questions made her somehow come to the conclusion that i was able to work. >:(

my current psychiatrist laughed. :)

now it is "sit and wait" to see how they will be responding to my appeal.
so much fun. :P
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline osric

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2012, 07:48:59 PM »
i just got my 2nd SSDI denial letter this week and enlisted a lawyer at my ASO to review my case and make sure i'm prepared when i go before the judge. i think there's lots of material missing from what SSI has reviewed, and I've had changes in my condition (worse) since the last appeal so my lawyer is hopeful... we shall see...

Offline synergyhomepage

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2012, 08:36:53 PM »
     Just want to lend my support.....  I am  waiting now for my ALJ Hearing in April and I know how stressful this process can be.  I have found one webisite with lots of helpful info,I can IM it if you like, not many HIV/AIDS cases in thier forums but overall the content has been very informative and helped me understand the process.  And the experts they have can answer your questions.


Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2012, 08:50:55 PM »
hey osric and synergy,

thanks for keeping this thread alive.
it is important to so many people (me too).

any help would be SO appreciated!

best of luck (it really should'nt even need luck) to both of you.

seems like the ssdi looks at hiv as a pill popping manageable disease these days.
so frustrating and sad. :(
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline synergyhomepage

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2012, 09:06:20 PM »
This site has been most helpful and informative.  http://ssdfacts.com/ 8)

Offline scotty54

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2012, 11:20:56 PM »
Sit tight and hang in there.  I read that the stats go up quite positively on the second appeal.  I know the stress is a bitch.  It took me a little over a year and had very supportive docs.  Best---
I may not agree with you, but will always defend your right to disagree.

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2013, 08:33:51 PM »
This site has been most helpful and informative.  http://ssdfacts.com/ 8)

sorry for such a very sluggish reply Scotty and Syn!
kinda blocked this thread out of my mind to ease the stress involved.
thanks for the kind words and support.

Syn, the link you provided is AMAZING!
ton's of stats that can provide a great overview of acceptance rates and very specific as well.
need to study it further and discuss with my lawyer.

Just filled out the same lenghthy 8 page detail oriented questionaire that I originally filled out on the initial attempt for SSDI.
Ugh!
New issues to add since last May, so am keeping my fingers crossed that it goes through this time.
I am feeling pretty beat these days and it gets exhausting jumping through these hoops. :(

Thanks again!
m.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline synergyhomepage

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2013, 08:59:12 PM »
Mitch


Glad it helped.  I've been going thru this for over a year and learn little things hear and there,  the greatest of which is medical evidence.  I to have neuropathy in my arms and legs, have been talking to my ID Doc about it and to my PCP, but finally realized i should see a neurologist for proper documentation.  Called my PCP and asked for a referral. Hoping it happens soon as my hearing is in 3 months. 

Question, you said that your numbers are good, but have you ever dropped below the magic number of 200 and been classified as Aids?  Would be great if you have not, but it would make meeting the listing requirements easier. 

BTW- I appreciate your normal headedness (is that a word) hear on the forums.  With so much yelling and screaming going one occasionally it is nice to see some just take it in stride and live to survive :)  Best of luck.

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2013, 09:37:21 PM »
Mitch


Glad it helped.  I've been going thru this for over a year and learn little things hear and there,  the greatest of which is medical evidence.  I to have neuropathy in my arms and legs, have been talking to my ID Doc about it and to my PCP, but finally realized i should see a neurologist for proper documentation.  Called my PCP and asked for a referral. Hoping it happens soon as my hearing is in 3 months. 

Question, you said that your numbers are good, but have you ever dropped below the magic number of 200 and been classified as Aids?  Would be great if you have not, but it would make meeting the listing requirements easier. 

BTW- I appreciate your normal headedness (is that a word) hear on the forums.  With so much yelling and screaming going one occasionally it is nice to see some just take it in stride and live to survive :)  Best of luck.

Geez,
i'm surprised that your ID doc couldn't produce medical evidence.
So, you are on round 3?
Your 1st appeal was denied?
Any different reason for denial on the second go round?
Sorry for all of the questions.
I hope this works out for you!

fortunately, on your question on the cd4 count, i think the lowest i was ever recorded was around 250.
that was about 18 years ago. been pretty steady in the 500-700 count range for years with undetectable viral load.

just being + for 30 years and a couple of decades of pill popping to control the bugger can take a toll that the "numbers" don't reflect. :(
it's real. it is impossible to prove fatigue via a blood test. it's difficult to prove most of my issues.
my biggest hope is because i added a psychiatrist since the original filing and she is completely supportive.

thank you for your kind words.
you seem pretty normal headedness too! :)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline synergyhomepage

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2013, 09:49:51 PM »


My ID Doc has had his hands full, when a came to him just under a year ago my CD4 was 2 yep two, of course there is a small margin of error in that number and my VL was 1.7 Million.  I had 3 different OI's and we are still working on the basics here.  Currently have a CD4 of 158 and VL is about 60.  Just changed meds, and after a month no change, going to check it again in 2 months and see if I am UD. 


I'll be 43 this year
In Oregon I applied (online by myself) was denied
Applied for reconsideration (online by myself) was denied
Got an attorney and applied for a hearing with an ALJ.

My age it the biggest thing against me, if I were 55, I would have been approved on the first go round my attorney said.  Having AIDS has classified my case as a TERI (terminal illness) and is bieng processed and handled as fast as they can.  Which isn't fast but fasteter by far than normal.  I started the process in April of Last year and will have my hearing in April of this year. 

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2013, 09:58:10 PM »

My ID Doc has had his hands full, when a came to him just under a year ago my CD4 was 2 yep two, of course there is a small margin of error in that number and my VL was 1.7 Million.  I had 3 different OI's and we are still working on the basics here.  Currently have a CD4 of 158 and VL is about 60.  Just changed meds, and after a month no change, going to check it again in 2 months and see if I am UD. 


I'll be 43 this year
In Oregon I applied (online by myself) was denied
Applied for reconsideration (online by myself) was denied
Got an attorney and applied for a hearing with an ALJ.

My age it the biggest thing against me, if I were 55, I would have been approved on the first go round my attorney said.  Having AIDS has classified my case as a TERI (terminal illness) and is bieng processed and handled as fast as they can.  Which isn't fast but fasteter by far than normal.  I started the process in April of Last year and will have my hearing in April of this year.

wow. 2 eh?
looks like your numbers are looking alot better! :)
sometimes it takes awhile for cd4 counts to rebound.
sounds like the timing of our cases isn't too different.

please keep me/us up to date with your progress and best of luck to you as well!
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2013, 12:07:57 PM »
The sad update...

Just picked up the mail this morning to find another rejection letter from the SSA in regards to my disability claim. :( >:(

They acknowledge that I am partially disabled and am not able to return to work at my previous job.
Here is their description of what they think I am capable of:

"we have determined that you can perform work at the light level of exertion - lifting 10 lbs frequently and standing/walking 6 hours in an 8 hour workday - that is easy to learn and does not require complex tasks or frequent contact with others."

hmmm.... ::)

I am bummed out.
I am not giving up and will continue to appeal to a judge. (round 3)

The waiting list in CT (the last time I looked) was 12-13 months from where I am now to the point of a hearing. :(
The upside to waiting that long is that I will be 55 years old on 3/21/14 and they have different standards for us old people in regards to their expectations of finding new work.

While I am upset with today's news, it didn't surprise me.
Few people get accepted during the first appeal but the statistics show that the majority who get to the hearing stage win their case.

A VERY slow and frustrating process.
Ugh!
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Online Jeff G

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2013, 01:24:58 PM »
Mitch , I'm sorry you are getting to run around ... its tough buddy .

Offline britchick

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2013, 05:44:14 PM »
I sometimes think the system wants us to give up.Im so glad that you  will keep fighting.I had a 8 to 9 month battle re DLA here in the UK.

Im thinking of you and please keep up that fight

Britchick xx





Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2013, 06:24:05 PM »
Thanks Jeff and britchick,

Your support helps more than you know.

The idea of collecting more medical data for another year is NOT fun.
Life goes on.

Oh,...
I checked online for the current data on approval rates in CT at this stage of the process.

Over 85% approved. :)
Guess it takes a person to person experience for the SSA to get it. ::)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Online bmancanfly

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2013, 10:59:00 PM »
Sorry they're giving you such a hard time Mitch.  It sounds terribly frustrating,  especially when you're not feeling well.

Hope it all works out in the end.  Hang in there.
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

Offline BT65

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2013, 05:03:36 AM »
From what I've read, SSA does not have a lawyer at a disability hearing to disprove someone's disability.  Where you would have one proving your disabilitiy.  Apparently the judge is the one who asks the questions regarding the disability.  I think that really improves chances.  And I believe people who really are disabled are the ones who are willing to get it to that level.  Sorry it's taking so long for you.  Hopefully it will all pay off.

Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2013, 07:26:50 AM »
Thanks bman and Betty!

I just found out yesterday that they (SSA) didn't get a report from one of my doctors explaining that I sometimes am too tired and weak in the legs to stand more than 15 minutes. >:(
The report was faxed to them on 1/31/13 and the denial letter was dated 3/28/13.
That one report may have been enough to put me over the top.
Now, possibly due to that screw-up, I've got to wait another year to see a judge.

All of the support helps me keep my determination strong to keep plodding forward. :)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Habersham

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2013, 12:16:54 PM »
Hey I myself have been on SSI for two years but the standards are about the same.

Social Security will send a representative to the hearing but their task is to see that people receiving it qualify. They won't specifically argue against you. I believe the figures are 60% are turned down the first time but 80% that go to trial are approved.

There was a show on NPR recently that cited the exact numbers and was quite amusing. It talked about that there aren't many jobs out there that were you don't have to stand.

Good luck and here's the link!

http://apps.npr.org/unfit-for-work/
Because I Can

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2013, 09:11:56 AM »
Thanks Habersham!

I have read similar statistics and am hopeful for a good outcome after my hearing.

The link you provided was an eye opener as far as the "new safety net", the huge increase in applicants, and the reasons behind it.

Shocking to see 1 in 4 people are on disability in Hale County, Alabama.
I was expecting the article to suggest the major reason was fraud (although I know it happens), but the reality is more complex than most understand.

Thanks for the info and best wishes. :)

m.

PS- Welcome to the forums! :)
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Reishi

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2013, 01:50:08 AM »
Mitch, I'm sorry to hear you're having such a hard time.  Don't despair.  I think the third time's a charm.  Plus, like you said, once you turn 55, that should help your case.

I currently have an SSI / SSDI claim pending, but I'm 20 years younger than you, so I know my chances of getting approved are slim.  I kept delaying the application process because I was too exhausted & fatigued to get through it all.  I was sleeping for 12 hours a day.

The SSA seems completely backwards as far as who gets approved & denied.  People with a vague physical complaint, like "a bad back", seem to get approved every time, while those who are literally at death's door get denied.  I also meet tons of young people who feign mental illness in order to qualify for SSI (many of whom squander their benefits on recreational drugs).

It's just sickening.  The undeserving people seem to have no problem getting on the dole while deserving people are left out in the cold.  Anyway, enough of my rant.  Just wanted to say hang in there.  Don't give up hope.

"Perseverance, secret of all triumphs."  ~  Victor Hugo

Offline darryaz

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2013, 08:43:17 AM »
I listened to a spot on NPR about the lax standards for SSDI approval in Alabama.  A bit frustrating for those of us who live in states with stricter requirements.

I get the impression that lax standards add a layer of stigma to being on disability.  Since it's so easy to get approved it's equated with laziness, at least in that state.

Offline BT65

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2013, 01:10:08 PM »
Darry, I also read the NPR article.  Very interesting.  I can honestly say in this area people on disability abound.  Now, I am not the disability police or judge.  I've been on it due to neurological dysfunction secondary to aids, plus getting on in the first place for being on death's door due to wasting back in the very early 90's.  And now I am a case manager at an ASO and have a couple of clients I wonder about.  One of them receives SSI, yet can go out and roof all day, 5 days a week, for cash.  Which of course is a very physically demanding job.  But he spends his money on crack.  As I said, I'm not the disability police but sometimes it does get frustrating. 

Like my neighbor in the middle apartment where I live.  She's not positive, but does have COPD so needs disability.  But, in the last month she's had Comcast cable, AT&T U-verse, and now there is Dish network hooking up her satellite.  She gets SSI so has not worked to get enough work credits.  And her daughter is with a man, they have two children and neither work.  The man's sister supports them. And the daughter is pregnant again.  But that's generational poverty, where a person really never pulls out of the effects of their childhood concept of how to get by in the world; totally on the system and generosity of others. 

Frustrating, but I believe people make bad decisions no matter what their money source is.  I totally agree there are people who just do not want to work who feign severe mental illness to get approved quicker, since people know it's easier to get approved for mental reasons than physical.  I'm glad I don't make those decisions.  But what can you do.  I just hope the people in this thread who truly deserve disability, like Mitch, get approved, which should have happened long ago.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Reishi

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2013, 04:31:26 PM »
Just today, I received a packet of forms which I have to fill out and mail back to Kentucky.  It already sounds like they're trying to downplay my ailments.  Arthritis is listed as "pain".  I find it disconcerting that I see no mention of my HIV status anywhere.  I think that detail is pertinent.  If 75% of your immune system is destroyed, it's only natural you'll experience fatigue (among other things).

I get the impression that California is one of those states with lax standards.  (I live there, so I speak from experience.)  Another vague ailment which seems to get people approved is chronic fatigue syndrome.  A deaf guy I know gets SSI, which doesn't seem fair because deaf people can work.  They can be computer programmers, web designers, accountants, etc.  There are a myriad of jobs that don't require hearing.

It's astounding to me they would deny anyone with AIDS, which is life threatening, yet approve someone for being deaf, which is not life threatening.  Like I said, it's so backwards.

Offline Buckmark

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2013, 04:59:44 PM »
Just today, I received a packet of forms which I have to fill out and mail back to Kentucky.  It already sounds like they're trying to downplay my ailments.  Arthritis is listed as "pain".  I find it disconcerting that I see no mention of my HIV status anywhere.  I think that detail is pertinent.  If 75% of your immune system is destroyed, it's only natural you'll experience fatigue (among other things).

I get the impression that California is one of those states with lax standards.  (I live there, so I speak from experience.)  Another vague ailment which seems to get people approved is chronic fatigue syndrome.  A deaf guy I know gets SSI, which doesn't seem fair because deaf people can work.  They can be computer programmers, web designers, accountants, etc.  There are a myriad of jobs that don't require hearing.

It's astounding to me they would deny anyone with AIDS, which is life threatening, yet approve someone for being deaf, which is not life threatening.  Like I said, it's so backwards.

It's a slippery slope when you start questioning who should and should not get approved for disability.  It *should* be all about whether or not your ailment prevents you from working.  There are those who say that there are people with HIV or AIDS who are able to work and shouldn't receive disability.  And in some cases, they would be right.   But generalizing about other groups of people, the impact of their ailments, and throwing around terms like "vague ailment" doesn't really help your situation, does it?

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Offline BT65

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2013, 05:45:26 PM »
It's a slippery slope when you start questioning who should and should not get approved for disability.  It *should* be all about whether or not your ailment prevents you from working.  There are those who say that there are people with HIV or AIDS who are able to work and shouldn't receive disability.  And in some cases, they would be right.   But generalizing about other groups of people, the impact of their ailments, and throwing around terms like "vague ailment" doesn't really help your situation, does it?

This is very true.  It's all about whether or not someone can perform what SSA determines as "SGA" or "substantial gainful activity."  Which, this year, means making above $1040/month.  So, after someone is approved, he/she can get a job and make up to that amount and sitll keep the SSDI, which is not the same rule for SSI.  Of course these have been discussed.

Different people can handle different situations, and all differently.  What can baffle one, another can master.  While someone can do one job, another one may never be able to.  One of our clients at the ASO I work at is blind, plus being a LTS'er of AIDs, but still goes and washes dishes at this college, in their cafeteria.  She's amazing-she is totally independent.  I picked her up one time and she was dressed beautifully, hair all in the right places.  I asked her how she can tell which clothes to wear, and she said by the feel.  She lost her sight due to CMV years ago, and her husband died from AIDS.  I've known her for a long time, long before I worked at the ASO.  And she's conquered much.  Yet, another person in this situation may not be able to handle all the issues this woman does.  Who's to judge?  This is why I said I am not the disability police.

However, I do understand frustration about not being able to obtain what we feel is rightfully ours when we can see some people get it without much effort; people we don't believe deserve it.  Like I said, I know a couple people who really could work, but have other issues like drug addiction.  Although can perform work for cash.  But I'm not in their head, so I have no clue as to what they contemplate, except how to get more crack lol. (seriously, and I can say that since I'm a drug addict, though sober). 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2013, 12:18:05 PM »
People have been commenting to me (not on the forums) about this SSDI process and about how frustrating it must be for me to see other "less deserving" applicants get approved easily.
I really don't put too much energy into that way of thinking.
Fraud happens in every area of the government.
Those who commit the fraud will need to live with themselves and the government, well,....uh...., they buy $8495.00 screwdrivers.
I DO know that I would not want to be a judge at a hearing deciding who is eligible.

My biggest fear is that the judge will pay more attention to my appearance than my reality.
Physically, in long pants at least :), I look like a pretty healthy guy.
hmmm...
that gives me an idea...
maybe I should show up at the hearing in a speedo. :)
If my body shape doesn't scare him/her, he/she would definitely have to think twice about my state of mind.

Anyway,
I have an appointment with my attorney this afternoon to fill in all of the info needed for the appeal.
(my attorney has been very slow :(.)

It looks like it will now take until June or July of 2014 for my hearing. ::)
 
There have been many reports lately about vets having to wait 3,4, or 5 years.
Very sad.

Just got to keep pressing onward.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Online Jeff G

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2013, 02:01:39 PM »
Maybe you could send Miss P in after one of his 3 day klonny binges ... you might even get more money and access to his ryan white goverment cheese of the month club .   

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2013, 04:21:36 PM »
I'm sure I was on a klonnie comedown post-binge when I went to the SS office in downtown Crooklyn, and I'm sure I looked a royal mess -- emaciated and unshaven, reeking of AIDS.

I also think that I ate at the Wendy's around the corner on Fulton Street afterwards. And please -- government cheese. Indeed I would have been eating that at the time because they'd put me on food stamps while I waited for approval. Oh how the mighty had fallen by that time. And to think just before that I had headhunters calling offering 6-figure salaries.

I also recommend not showering for at least five days, no deodorant, and spritzing yourself with urine. This is about creativity, and some of us have it, and some of us don't. You know, I didn't get my art degree by being lazy.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 04:33:53 PM by Miss Philicia »
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Offline darryaz

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2013, 10:47:43 PM »
I also recommend not showering for at least five days, no deodorant, and spritzing yourself with urine. This is about creativity, and some of us have it, and some of us don't. You know, I didn't get my art degree by being lazy.

Isn't that also how Ted Nugent avoided the draft?

http://gawker.com/5983634/patriotic-american-ted-nugent-shit-his-pants-to-avoid-the-draft

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2013, 09:00:50 PM »
Hey Mitch,

I don't understand... You have been poz for 30 years and how could a government clerk expect you to return to work?  I asked the Social Worker at our clinic a few years ago... "What will happen if same sex marriages become legal in California and I marry a lawyer who makes hundreds of dollars per hour?"

Her response was, I would always have my SSDI and Medicare for life because AIDS is my diagnosis, the reason I am disabled.  She added my state aid and my ADAP would be eliminated because his income would be calculated with mine.  It has been 17 years and the federal government has no sense of humor that they are aware of.   8)  Have the best day
Michael

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #42 on: May 20, 2013, 09:09:56 AM »
Hey Mitch,

I don't understand... You have been poz for 30 years and how could a government clerk expect you to return to work? 

LOL!
I guess I look like a "picture of health" to them "on paper".
Haven't you heard Michael? HIV is a "manageable" disease and we just need to suck it up, engage in life, and get to work! ;)
Infected for 30+ years? Yes. Able to work? No.

I asked the Social Worker at our clinic a few years ago... "What will happen if same sex marriages become legal in California and I marry a lawyer who makes hundreds of dollars per hour?"

Her response was, I would always have my SSDI and Medicare for life because AIDS is my diagnosis, the reason I am disabled.  She added my state aid and my ADAP would be eliminated because his income would be calculated with mine.  It has been 17 years and the federal government has no sense of humor that they are aware of.   8)  Have the best day
Michael
Yup, the logic of the federal government in regards to marriage and benefits is why we would not get married.

m.

PS- Maybe down the road a bit, those who have not taken some of the older meds from the 1980's-mid 90's and who kept the virus UD will be working beyond the 30 year hiv+ point.
It just seems to me that irreversible damage has occurred with me and the "medical proof" is elusive.
I'm not sure if there is scientific evidence available in cases like mine that the SSA would deem admissible and pertinent.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 09:31:42 AM by mitch777 »
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline RedBear

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #43 on: May 20, 2013, 11:36:15 AM »
Hey Mitch,  I worked for an Social Security Atty. early in my career.  While it is true that a second denial may be inevitable.  However keep steadfast in your pursuit.  I don't know what state you are in and are scheduled for a hearing, most people are approved.  In some states they have what is called an Adjudication Officer.  If you fit at least two of the criteria according to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) disability they can fast track your case.  I know that they were going to tighten up the guidelines for those with HIV.  Some tips for you.  You must have documentation of your symptoms.  So every time you go to the dr. Be sure to tell them about your symptoms, i.e. fatigue, inability to do household chores, depression that incapacitated your ability to leave the house.  Documentation is the number one thing they look for and your doctor will document everything you tell him, so never say things like I went and partied with friends or took pleasure trips...you'd be amazed how many times I've read medical records with things in the record,yet they are claiming disability.  Another good flag for disability is lack of or ability to perform in the bedroom.  Be sure to tell your doctor this....if you live in Alabama, I know a wonderful law firm; Charles Tyler Clark and associates.  They also have a program there to try to fast track applications; Paid On Record, where an assistance scoures your records and basically points this out stating that according to their own CFR, is how you are disabled,basically they are doing the work for the Social Security Office. If you have already acquired an Atty. ask as to whether their firm have people who works with an Adjudication Officer or have people who write Paid On Record cases.  It is also helpful if you can get your own medical records and give to the firm, it speeds up the process...it takes forever for firms to get the records as they get hundreds of requests daily for same.  That all being said, lately it seems to me that it is basically a numbers game...I was very 'lucky' if you will, that I ended up in the hospital with PCP.  The social workers there filed the paperwork for me and sent the records along.  My T cell count was 4 and viral load over 5,000,000 and nearly died.  But with their help I was approved within 6 months...the waiting period showing that you are unable to perform SGA.  I'm now at UD for viral load and my T cell count is 456, but it fluctuates.  I have good days and bad...mostly anxiety and presently my dentist is watching an area in my mouth that may be Oral KS...it's always something,shingles, infections, etc.  So please if you have any questions feel free and ask me...I can tell you what to say on the forms to hopefully expedite your case...remember big ones are depression, lack of sex, and fatigue...I cannot stress this's enough.   Good luck and let me know if I can help!
Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could.  Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day.  You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with you old nonsense. 
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Offline Reishi

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2013, 01:51:07 AM »
@ Buckmark -  I totally get what you're saying and that did cross my mind.  I didn't mean to sound judgmental, but the reason for my jaundiced view is that I had close relatives with severe disabilities.  There was no doubt they were disabled because their impairments were clearly visible to the naked eye -- amputated limbs, confinement to a wheelchair, that sort of thing.  So I feel slightly resentful when someone who doesn't appear that disabled on the surface is getting the same benefits.  But as BT65 eloquently stated, it's not our place to judge.  We're on the outside looking in, so we never know what issues a person has to deal with.

@ BT65 -  Very well said.  Whenever I see people worse off than myself accomplishing more, it makes me feel guilty and then I force myself to be more productive.

RedBear  said what I was thinking.  It would probably be helpful to emphasize depression and fatigue, and also neuropathy, if there is any. 

Online mitch777

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #45 on: August 15, 2013, 08:26:42 PM »
update...
I had a physical functional test that I was sent to from my ID doc about 6 weeks ago. Didn't really know how well/badly I did until today.
Guess I failed with flying colors! :)
Finally, some objective medical proof!!!
The doc involved was so understanding and supportive. He said that the results of the test and his report would qualify me for disability. It's still a long wait for the ALJ hearing but today's news did wonders for my spirit.
 :)
m.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline BT65

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2013, 04:38:01 AM »
That's great news Mitch!  How long has it been, since you first applied, until now, then until the hearing will happen?
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline darryaz

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #47 on: August 16, 2013, 09:55:17 AM »
That's great news.  Glad there's finally light at the end of the tunnel!!!

Offline wolfter

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2013, 10:09:42 AM »
Hope it doesn't appear wrong to congratulate someone for failing at anything, but congrats! ;)
productivity breeds content

Online Jeff G

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Re: ssdi appeal question...
« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2013, 10:24:07 AM »
Congrats Mitch ... in our world of living with HIV a horrible lab result can be a reason to rejoice sometime , bizarre but true .

In all seriousness , I'm sorry you have had to fight so hard for disability , its something you already earned . I hope both the income and diagnosis bring you comfort .

 


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