Apply For Federal Disability Benefits – Admitting that I needed disability benefits a few years after being diagnosed with juvenile arthritis was difficult. The challenge of applying for and receiving disability was more difficult than it should have been.
Five years. That’s how long it took me to start receiving disability benefits after I first applied. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), it should take three to five months to process an application. But a decision doesn’t guarantee you’ll get assistance, and you have to keep reapplying until you do.
Apply For Federal Disability Benefits
Of course, receiving any amount of income is good, especially if you have an invisible disability and an illness that makes it very difficult to work full time. The process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) should not be as difficult as it was for me. There were so many obstacles I had to go through to get the help I needed. Also, receiving these benefits didn’t automatically make my life easier either. Here’s a look at why.
Steps To Filing Your Ssd Appeal
When I was diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis at age 18, I had no idea how it would affect my health, let alone my ability to work. I was about to attend college, and later I would do an internship and start working full-time in a corporate office job. For the first few years after my diagnosis, I was fine, but struggled with limited range of motion in my right wrist, certain parts of both hands, and my right elbow.
Losing any type of mobility in the upper extremities, such as the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders, is extremely disabling. We use these parts of our body for the simplest tasks that we don’t think twice about, until you can’t do them easily anymore. My parents and I were worried that things were going to get worse.
The first time my parents applied on my behalf in 2007, because I was a minor, I was denied because I wasn’t considered “disabled enough.” Apparently the test sent by my doctors didn’t qualify me. But a rejection letter took months to arrive. It took until 2008 to get the official denial decision, and by then I was already four years into my diagnosis.
In the years after graduating, my health continued to have its ups and downs until I hit a rough patch and working a typical 9-5 job became unbearable. Since I was still a minor and under my parents’ insurance until I turned 26, they applied on my behalf one more time in 2011, our second attempt.
The Minimum Wage And Social Security Disability Insurance
As part of the application, you have to list what is difficult for you to do. This was the most depressing part of the process, because it forced me to have to acknowledge parts of my illness that I didn’t want to accept, like not being able to button my sweater or even dry my hair because it hurts at my elbow. on my right side it made it too painful.
Months and months passed without a word. I continued to work full time, to the point of exhaustion. Then, about a year after I applied, I randomly got a large amount deposited into my bank account. At first I had no idea what it was, but it turned out to be a backdated payment. A few weeks later, an approval notice was sent to my home.
It couldn’t come soon enough: Not long after, my body turned on me, with a massive flare-up that left me bedridden for weeks and took a full six months to recover from.
Filling out an application and getting it approved in a timely manner would be the optimal way to accomplish this exhausting and soulful process. This process is like a big fishing expedition to your unpleasant past. You have to gather all your medical records detailing your health journey from pre-diagnosis to post-diagnosis, summaries of medical reports from every doctor you’ve ever seen, and anything else to “build your case” as it were a disabling medical condition. it means you are guilty of something.
Navigating Disability Insurance For Federal Employees (2023)
Newsflash: it’s no one’s fault that you get sick, are in pain, and can’t work like a “normal” person. I’ve learned to accept that sometimes this just happens and is out of our control. We have had quite a few problems with our medical conditions; proving again and again that we are “really disabled” only adds to the burden and trauma of living with a disabling illness, especially at such a young age.
After going through the entire process of submitting your life history, you are told that you must wait approximately two years to receive health insurance. According to the SSA, “everyone who is eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is also eligible for Medicare after a 24-month qualifying period.” You may think of Medicare as government-issued insurance for people over 65, but this type of insurance can also be issued for people under 65 with disabilities. It comprises two parts: hospital cover and medical insurance.
I recognize and appreciate that any insurance is better than no insurance. But this coverage isn’t always adequate to help people pay for all the different aspects of managing a debilitating chronic disease like RA, which often requires seeing many different types of doctors, trial and error to find a drug regimen that works ( and keep working) , and may benefit from different complementary therapies and lifestyle changes. When my insurance doesn’t cover certain types of doctors or treatments, I have to pay out of pocket and incur medical debt.
A lot of bad things can and did happen during the five years it took to start receiving benefits. Even when I was able to work full time, it wasn’t easy. I had to wake up earlier than normal just to function because the stiffness in my joints was so bad first thing in the morning.
Understanding The Differences Between Ssi And Ssdi
There were times when I got to work in the morning and had to rest for a few moments in my car before I got in because my fatigue was so great.
But there were days and weeks when I felt amazing and didn’t have a problem, that’s how it is sometimes with a disease like RA, it ebbs and flows, flares and remits. These are the types of things I had a hard time explaining to the SSA when applying and reapplying for disability benefits.
Those years without any help had to be the scariest of my life. I was approaching my twenties and had to depend on family members for literally everything. I began to have serious concerns about my future. Would I have to stay on disability forever? How would I explain my medical and financial situation to potential love interests? And if I ever get married, the amount of disability I get could be reduced or stopped altogether. This is because a portion of your spouse’s income and assets count as yours. Talk about stripping the soul.
Worst of all, however, being denied disability benefits when my doctors, family and I knew very well the seriousness of what I was dealing with made me lose hope. And losing hope isn’t what you need when you’re diagnosed in high school with a progressive form of inflammatory arthritis that you’ll have for the rest of your life.
How Do You Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits?
Receiving disability benefits is far from winning the lottery. I get about $1,250 in my bank account every month, which is well below the poverty line. It’s not enough money to buy a house, a car, or any of the other big splurges that people my age buy so freely. However, when people see you well dressed or going on vacation, they think you have all the money in the world.
The truth is that people who receive disability benefits know what it’s like to fight and survive that fight. We know what it’s like not to be able to do what we want. Most of the money goes to basic necessities like food and bills. Not enough room for extras. This forced the word “no” into my vocabulary – a big adjustment, as I’ve always considered myself a “yes” person. Now I have to say no, out of necessity, to certain invitations or opportunities that I simply cannot afford at the time. Pain and hardships teach you to budget, save, and treat yourself once in a while.
What has helped me to be able to do certain things is to work part-time as a freelance writer, which is allowed on disability benefits, and in recent years I’ve felt good enough to be able to do that. Another thing that has helped is having family members who help me financially from time to time, offering to pay for supplements, specialty groceries, or medical appointments. However, some people in my situation don’t have that. They must rely solely on themselves without outside help.
Even after receiving disability benefits, the “probation”
Learn The Difference Between Ssdi And Ssi
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