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Disability retirement

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A heartfelt thanks to each advice (replies 1-4).  I already feel better.  I can see that it is essential to work for my own self esteem and give back through activities such as volunteering etc. 

Hi Rlonny,
I doubt I could express the wisdom any better than has been given by the previous posts.
The only thing I could add is that I am in a somewhat similar circumstance.
Others beliefs of disability mean nothing to me.
No guilt.
No shame.
Hiv+ for 30 years and proud of myself for hanging in as long as I felt I could.
(I am still in the process of trying to prove my case to SSDI)
Best of luck and I hope to hear more about you! :)
This site is a wonderful community.

Best of luck to you.  I've been on SSD a few times through the decades.  It's a difficult decision but sometimes the long term affects makes it necesary to go on disability.

The first time I was approved before I even left the hospital.  Somehow my doctor and my partner applied on my behalf.  The 2nd time I was approved within a month.  After 15 years of working I needed it once again and it took almost 3 years.  I rec'd my denial notice while in the hospital and had to have it read to me because of my bout of blindness.

This experience has me scared at the thought of returning to work in the future. 

I always felt embarrased about my need for assistance but have come to realize that it's something that was needed and hold no shame at having to do so.

Take care and best wishes.


I'm in agreement with what others have said, you have nothing to be ashamed about, most people don't even get approved, and didn't even pay into the system enough and therefore, have no work history quarter credits...

so hey, it was there for you, you worked for it, and you paid into it..
Nowadays that's usually not the case at all, you've paid your dues
so to speak....

I wouldn't worry about what others think, what's important is what you think about
yourself......remember that  ;)

good luck to ya, and hang-in-there



Hi Rionny

I can certainly relate;  I was forced to go on SSDI in 1995, when I had exhausted all my leave, and simply couldn't hold out to work anymore as an auditor for the State of GA.   This was pre-protease, and I was expected to die anyway; and had certainly been close a few times by then.   I hated doing it, and have always hated it since.

I tried going back to work part-time in 1999, and have worked pretty much steadily since then (part-time only).  I work about 20 hrs a week, and that seems to be enough for me.  It would be really tough for me to try to work a 40 hour work week now, with all the meds and side effects, and with my G.I. issues.

I did attempt to return to work full-time in 2000, and managed to do it for 10 months, before giving it up and re-starting my SSDI.   Mainly, because there is no such thing as a "40 hour week" anymore; if you work a "real job" as a 'salaried' worker, they expect so much of you; my field is accounting, and there is ALWAYS some deadline or other to meet, and always month-end closings, quarterly closings, etc.   40 quickly turns into 55 or 60 hrs a week.

I would MUCH rather work (and to have continuously worked all this time); if I had been able to stay on, I would now have over 27 years with the State of GA, and be making a nice salary, and have a nice retirement.   As it is, I get by on SSDI and part-time earnings.   It is tough, but I have it so much better than many I know who exist on SSI; plus I have a partner, so our combined incomes gives us a little advantage.

Have I 'taken' more from Social Security than I paid into it?  Of course.  No one "plans" to be on disability for 18 years.   If I had had a crystal ball, I might have stuck it out; but since I didn't, and had no way of knowing the protease drugs would save me, I did the best I could with what I knew at the time.  In fact, I made several "bad" life decisions, based on AIDS fear.  Now, that would be unreasonable, but in the 80's it was not.   At least now I am paying (however small the amount) into FICA and Medicare each pay period.

We do the best we can, and we play the hand we are dealt.

Best wishes to you, and welcome to the forums!



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