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Author Topic: Oh hello, Disability Appeal!  (Read 666 times)

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Offline thunter34

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  • Posts: 7,325
  • His name is Carl.
Oh hello, Disability Appeal!
« on: November 18, 2014, 01:16:17 PM »
Soo....once upon a time, when I was really, really down High Five style, I put in for disability on the advice from the folks at the Grady clinic.  They said they would help me shuttle it through, but by the time it actually rolled around my numbers were up and I had begun to work PT, and of course I was denied.

I was told to appeal, which I did.  Again, denied.  This went back and forth several times, and I was told by the Disability people that even though I was all AIDSy and had BPMD, panic attacks, and a history of back problems, that none of them were severe enough to keep me from finding some kind of work somewhere.

Case closed.  End of story.  Go away.  You aren't getting squat.  Scram.

Until now.

Out of the blue, after having been told it was fully decided, I've gotten word in the mail that I am to have an appeal hearing in front of a judge in Atlanta on 12/16, so get all my medical crap ready and see about representation if I want it.

And now, I honestly don't know what to do.  Do I even pursue this?  I am working now, but only PT.  I have worked FT for about a year last year, and then before that for about three years, grand total of about 4 in the past 10.  I'm just so twisted all around that they are hitting me with this now.  NOW, after all the time I spent trying to get it when I was really down.  NOW, after my numbers are higher than ever.  Still...my health does present some issues from time to time.  My BPMD is actually one of the bigger concerns, but it is currently in check - but will it STAY that way?? I don't know. 

Not sure what to make of this, what to expect, what to ask for - if anything.  I wish there was some sliding scale where I could work what I could and get "disability light".  Not sure that I want to completely leave the working world even if given the chance.

Sigh.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Oh hello, Disability Appeal!
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2014, 01:36:55 PM »
That is tough one . If this is something you want to do the main thing is are you ready to do it and have your duckies in a row ... not sure from your post but it seems like a surprise disability hearing may put you at a disadvantage if you are not ready and properly represented .

Offline zach

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Re: Oh hello, Disability Appeal!
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2014, 01:58:17 PM »
I wish there was some sliding scale where I could work what I could and get "disability light".  Not sure that I want to completely leave the working world even if given the chance.

Sigh.

they put me all in or nothing... i regret playing it out the way i did, i had  hoped for the same light status, but no dice.

in the end, i wasn't approved for anything HIV, it was TB that approved me (which i turned out negative for) go figure

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: Oh hello, Disability Appeal!
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2014, 03:17:30 PM »

in the end, i wasn't approved for anything HIV, it was TB that approved me (which i turned out negative for) go figure


are you for real?  hell...i have a reactive TB.  i should be a shoe in.

but seriously....this is so effed up, this all in or all out thing.

i need to get representation, regardless. 
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Oh hello, Disability Appeal!
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 03:49:05 PM »
The larger question IMO is if approved is this enough money to live on? They should have sent you already at some point how much you'd receive if you were approved. If the answer is yes, as I assume maybe it is since you've existed on part time work, then by all means go through with the process.

Sorry, but going by how Zach was approved with the TB issue I'd not put a lot of stock in. That sounds a bit of a fluke to me. Not to mention your entire SSA sounds more like a clusterfuck than anything I've yet heard of but hey, we're talking about Georgia here.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline zach

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Re: Oh hello, Disability Appeal!
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2014, 04:07:02 PM »
if you get backpay, it'd probably be worth it, i lost back, and as soon as they said that, my representation dropped me like dead weight. their cut is capped by law and would have come out of the back settlement

the knot in my stomach now is worry over the fact that i don't have TB, i feel like it'll get yanked when somebody puts that together. i didn't commit fraud or anything, didn't even know until i read the paperwork after the fact

msp is right, clusterfuck is an apt description, the portions of this process that are state administered have been difficult
« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 04:12:35 PM by zach »

Offline mitch777

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Re: Oh hello, Disability Appeal!
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2014, 07:19:30 PM »
Tim, I'm in the middle of this myself. Different circumstances but pm me if you need some help.
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline JR Gabbard

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Re: Oh hello, Disability Appeal!
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2014, 08:04:49 PM »



Out of the blue, after having been told it was fully decided, I've gotten word in the mail that I am to have an appeal hearing in front of a judge in Atlanta on 12/16, so get all my medical crap ready and see about representation if I want it.

And now, I honestly don't know what to do.  Do I even pursue this?  I am working now, but only PT.  I have worked FT for about a year last year, and then before that for about three years, grand total of about 4 in the past 10.  I'm just so twisted all around that they are hitting me with this now.  NOW, after all the time I spent trying to get it when I was really down.  NOW, after my numbers are higher than ever.  Still...my health does present some issues from time to time.  My BPMD is actually one of the bigger concerns, but it is currently in check - but will it STAY that way?? I don't know. 

Not sure what to make of this, what to expect, what to ask for - if anything.  I wish there was some sliding scale where I could work what I could and get "disability light".  Not sure that I want to completely leave the working world even if given the chance.

Sigh.

Hey Tim!
Sounds to me like that "final" decision you got was only a denial on the second level of appeals.  It also sounds like the good people at the Grady clinic filed an appeal of that denial on your behalf.  So they should be representing you at that hearing.  Give them a call.
But here's the thing.  If you are currently working (even part-time) and earning more than $1200/month before taxes, you won't be able to satisfy the first prong of the disability test:  Is the applicant currently working?
The people at Grady will be able to advise you better as to whether they can help you out.  If they can't, your worst case scenario is that the judge will dismiss your appeal.  Then if you need to apply later on, with a newer set of medical records, you can and you won't suffer any penalty.
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth,
The minor fall, the major lift,
The baffled king composing Hallelujah!

L. Cohen

Offline intaglio

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  • Doesn't have to pay for vowels
Re: Oh hello, Disability Appeal!
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2014, 11:12:37 AM »
Yes, pursue this. You've come this far through the process. You drop it now, you'll have to start over at the beginning if you need disability in the future.

I have no doubt on your best days, you could fend for yourself easily. This hearing isn't about those days. This hearing is about all the days your health issues knock you out flat. This is about you obtaining a safety net for those days.

The overarching question is: are you disabled? If you are only working part-time -and that is a struggle, you need to be able to convey this at the hearing. If working part-time has caused your issues to worsen, this needs to be conveyed also. The judge needs to hear that, for example, out of a month's time, you could only work x days and only for y amount of hours, unlike someone who could work 25 out of 30. He or she also needs to know how often you've had to call in sick, had to miss days of work due to medical issues, etc. You need to show that, while you have worked part-time, you have struggled to do it with any regularity or consistency. You need to show that you have not been able to work enough to meet the standards of being gainfully employed. You need to show that at periods of time throughout your disability application process, your health has caused you to struggle to the point of not being able to work at all.

You need to show how much of your daily life is consumed by your ongoing medical issues. Your BPMD is currently under control, but how long did it take for you to achieve that? How easily can it once again disrupt your life? The judge needs to hear quantitatively how all your medical issues impede your ability to function -and restrict your ability to work from day to day. You need to show that improvement is usually followed by setback. That, while today, you may be fine, tomorrow you may be laid out and unable to function. That there is ongoing uncertainty as to whether you can continue to work at any level.

If any of your doctors have written statements that you should limit your activities for any reason, you need to be able to show the judge those statements. You cannot rely on the judge having seen anything that has been submitted to SSA on your behalf.

Everything you prepare needs to show the judge the worst you've been incapacitated, not the best you've been. It's all right to say, "I've had a good day here and there, but those days were separated by all these days where I couldn't function."

As others say, get representation. Also get copies of everything you've sent to the SSA to have with you at the hearing.
Reality is frequently inaccurate.

Offline thunter34

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  • Posts: 7,325
  • His name is Carl.
Re: Oh hello, Disability Appeal!
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2014, 12:23:12 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  I'll be drafting up some replies for tomorrow-ish.  got to go to bed here shortly. 

tim

AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline thunter34

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,325
  • His name is Carl.
Re: Oh hello, Disability Appeal!
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2014, 07:45:36 PM »
So today was the day and not much happened. Got a postponement because I have been too occupied with family stuff to get all my ducks properly aligned. Not expecting too much from this anyway, but we'll see.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

 


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