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

Just started SSDI Process & very scared.

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OneTampa:
Hello Bravo,

Although I can offer no additional advise from what Darry posted, I want to welcome you to the Boards and wish you every success in getting your SS affairs in order.

Take care.

darryaz:
Thanks for the reminder, Tampa.  I'm not sure what happened to my manners.

Welcome, Bravo and I wish you the best of luck with your SSDI adventure!!!!

Bravo:
OneTampa and Darryaz, thanks for the encouraging words and warm welcome.

Jeff G:
Hi Bravo and welcome to the forums . I want to start by saying I know you and your doctor are the only ones to really know if disability is the right thing for you to do .

I went on disability when I was too young . I got sick and back then there were no treatments for HIV so my doctors did the best they could and treated what ever opportunistic infection I got , I wasn't expected to live . I had no insurance and with certain death looming over me my doctors got me approved for disability benefits  .

I look back on my situation as case of wish I had known then what I know now . I wish I had not gotten those benefits because it was like I signed away my rights to live any other way than abject poverty .

Time got away from me and when my health improved I was stuck with a lapse in my work history and other issues that kept me dependent on a broken system . I tried my best and failed to regain my life and get off benefits so that I could take care of my basic needs , things like a roof over my head and food , very I struggled keep myself from becoming homeless . I wish I had continued to work and used the emergency room for my health care needs or found a clinic that worked on a sliding scale for my income .   

If you haven't already there are a few things you need to ask your self before you proceed . Can you provide for yourself on the benefits you will receive for the rest of your life ?  , you may not be able to get back to work if want to later on . If there are any long term goals or dreams you want to achieve in the future you may not be able to realize them if you become dependent . Is there a way you could possibly work so as to add to the amount you may get in benefits when or if it becomes your only option ? .

I wanted to put this out there whether it applies to you or not because I think other people may need to see and consider these things as well . I can not stress the fact enough that going on disability should be the choice of last resort . Going on disability was the worst mistake I ever made by far .

mitch777:
Hi Bravo!
Welcome!

Lots of good advice given here already.
I would strongly consider what Jeff had to say if it applies to you.

I have been going through the process for over a year now. Been denied twice and will be going to a hearing in about a year from now. (Yes it can take that long.)
My story is too long to repeat here but you could read about my experience in this thread:
http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45176.0
Hope it helps.

There are so many factors involved that are unique to anyone applying for disability.
It makes giving specific advice very difficult.

I will say that having your doctors "on your side" is important.
Another important issue is to have medical proof well documented.
Many of my issues would fall into the category of being "subjective". Not a comfortable way to plow through the system. :(
It's not like a doctor can "prove" with medical tests that my fatigue and chronic daily headaches exist.

I am 54 years old and have been poz for over 30 years. I held off applying for as long as I could. And now when I really need it I feel like I am having to jump through hoops. It is a long and frustrating process.
I have been keeping track of every medical appointment since 1/1/2011 to provide the SSA a better grasp of my challenges. To date I've chalked up a total of 129 visits with another 5 more scheduled this month. Not sure what "potential" employer would want to hire me knowing that I have needed to have an appointment on the average of once a week for the past 2 1/2 years. ::)
(sorry, this is getting long and am venting)

Anyway, wish you the best and should you go forward, keep your determination and patience. :)

m.



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