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

Help.............Social Security Nightmare

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ilbcnutoo:
I am frantic , and due at SS office with an appointment to reapply for disability. When I drove myself to the hospital in oct 2007 they told me I had  less than a 50/50 chance of making it through the night. they were upset that they didn't know what I was dying from for a couple days.

A doctor came into my room and announced to the group of doctors and nurses assembled there I had full blown aids.... woo.. didn't see that one coming.
 
My CD4 count was 8.

Since then for the most part I chuckle when feeling much better since being given my death notice. Except for the the removal of a couple lesser important organs, assorted other quirks and my recent discovery of a couple other minor glitches, they call one of them lymphoma.

I was blessed with great hospital care the best Infectious disease physician on the planet. I even shared my fate with a couple family members lin the last year. The sisters associated with the hospital twice absorbed my hospital bills totaling over 45k. A couple other generous acts netted me a pro bono dentist and attorney and got me set up with SSI.

I was told that I could receive receive regular disability because of my work history
and would need to show I was disabled in 2004 or 2005. I thought that's simple and appealed I was denied and didn't put a lot of stock into it because everyone is denied a couple times. Since then I've don my best enjoy life albeit at a level a couple steps below poverty and above attempting to swam to japan or other doomsday thoughts.

My recent overall life expectancy changes have created a urgent need for a modest nest egg allowing me to travel to Arizona asap to play a few more rounds of golf.  That activity a half dozen times this summer was the single most rewarding activity I remember worth waking up for. Hey golfers... I can bring a guest and play free at every golf course in arizona. However can't afford to travel or move there or purchase sunshine here or eat a hot dog at the turn.

If I remain in residence here I face another 50/50 for 6 months. the temperature won't reach 50 and it will rain 50 inches. I give the survival option nil.

My options are 1) selling a historic rock collection that could be valued at 100.00 to 5,000.00 if I connected with the maybe three or so target buyers out of 250,000,000 not likely interested in the country. Option 2) is get approved for social security and get back benefits. the monthly increases only 200.00/mo. but a few thousand dollars me go out doing what I love and feeling good about achieving something again.

I lasted worked and had insurance benefits in 1999. I knew something was seriously wrong with me and didn't want to be saddled with a huge medical  created debt cloud I'd never resolve. I always thought maybe I could work the time required to change the eligibility date but  now I know it wasn't  laziness
I was suffering from my disease and was displaying the mental, physical and sociological effects as well.

I embarked on the SS office on Wednesday and stated my desired to apply for benefits. I was told I'm not eligible and have no chance of being approved because I didn't seek medical attention. I tried to stop interrupting him as explained that with no documents i was wasting their time.

I asked  for an appointment regardless and explained that while I understood what he had said buy when any intelligent person reviewed my circumstances based on l the behavior I had exhibiting including the lack of work, the low CD4 that certainly dictated that I was disabled in 2004 or 2005. As I left he might as well muttered the Taken catch phrase "Good luck"

Yesterday I reviewed my appeal from 2008. I saw that most comments stated along the lines of I didn't supply documents, no medical records, no expert testimony and what stood out most I was showing the behavior of someone suffering from the disability that I was being denied of. They completely manipulated my doctor from helping me and honestly I see I was foolishly convinced that the principles involved were actually there to assist me.

I spent the last 12 hours studying the law, reading tactics successfully employed by SS attorneys in the past and feverishly cutting, pasting and scribbling. I did possible not use my time wisely here but it felt good to get some of this down.

A while ago I remembered a couple hospital visits during the void and I have to laugh when I tell you that to properly prepare a claim  like this it would require a couple weeks. Wednesday when it the SS office the dude said you're lucky I have an appointment within a day. And guess what I also received a call from Wa. DC reminding me I had scheduled an appointment and was expected to appear.
So they are expecting a poorly prepared claim they can take pride in.

But I have one more good fight in me and have a undefeated record over decades helping myself and friends who were being run over by bureaucracy. I might have someone help my ignorant disabled ass dictate a few hours of testimony when not leaking a little of my version of a motion for discovery, requesting  a SSA 4814 and a OTR (Order of Review) form in advance.

I need all the help anyone can offer. Thanks
 

JR Gabbard:
ilbcnutoo,
Welcome to the boards!
What I took from your posting is that you want to apply for SSA disability, but you lack medical evidence to document your condition.  You want SSA to consider your own statements regarding your symptoms and illnesses, and render a decision in your favor.
That is unlikely to happen.
SSA is required by law to decide disability applications based on competent medical evidence.  No matter how well you know yourself and what is going on with your health, unless you are trained and licensed as a physician (or other primary care provider such as nurse practitioner or physician's assistant), you are not capable of providing competent medical evidence that interprets symptoms and renders a diagnosis.
The only way to win your case is to document it.  You must gather all of your medical records.  You mentioned you were hospitalized; that would be a good place to start gathering.  Submit a request for your medical and treatment records from them and from every health care provider who has treated you.
You would also be well advised to get yourself a representative (if you want to win your case).  They would be able to help you gather your medical records, and to submit them properly.
Failing that, you might be in for a long and disappointing wait.
Best of luck!

BT65:
So, from what I read, you get SSI and want to get SSDI since it's a bit more money every month? 

I agree that you need a lawyer to help you with this.  Otherwise it's a long legal mumbo jumbo that we lay people aren't trained in dealing with.  If you can get a lawyer that specializes in disability, he/she could help you with this ordeal.  I certainly wouldn't go through it on my own.

britchick:
Hi ilbcnutoo!

Im over in the  UK.....but wherever we are  in the worldthe benefits system is soooooooo difficult.
Please dont give up.I've never claimed benefits until  i got sick ,  my full time hrs up to 70- 80 hrs a week were reduced at work to 20  etc.....cd4 count was 43......I can only work part time now...and it aint easy.Im soooooo tired!

I lobbied our Prime Minister in the Uk....then things  finally got moving!I Had to face a Sickness Tribunal.....The Terence Higgins Trust helped me re this too.

I've kept a diary since diagnosis....with all my med appts etc my feelings , symptoms etc .....all is not lost for you because somewhere there has to be medical details of your cd4 count, Consultant who diagnosed you...a record of any meds.....I know its time consuming making phone  calls, writing letters, emails etc especially if you aren't feeling great..but  it is worth it.You need some one to help you and as hard as it is please try to contact an Aids Group .They care and they want to help.



My situation re benefits had dragged on for 7 months......this is how it goes in the UK....but  I've got there in the end.

I figured that  I was following through not just for me...but for  other people .When   i got sick and couldn't work crazy hrs anymore, my employers were horrible to me(they still dont know my diagnosis).


Stuff them!


Please , no matter how difficult it is...keep trying re your benefits.Im sure other US citizens will chime in and give you more info.


Keep the faith.


Britchickx

ilbcnutoo:
It's rare but i have surrendered in my attempt to show the necessary degree f disability dating back far enough to allow me to graduate from SSi to SS. I figure I'd be better served applying myself to business ventures and making money rather than relying on some tiny amount each month and becoming a slug. I need to move south soon. Living in a town where it rains every day all day ..........deeeepreesssssing

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