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Old 03-02-2015, 10:15 PM #11
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

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My counselors have told me they support me getting SSI. I don't have a regular psychiatrist I see, because I'm on state insurance, but I do have proof of illness.
The counselors being supportive can be a big help. They should be willing to write letters on your behalf stating that they believe you are unable to work. If at all possible, see a psychiatrist whenever you can. That would help even more. Are you on any medication? Being on meds also helps your chances of being approved. Be sure to be compliant with taking any meds ordered and showing up for all appointments.

Proof of illness is not the real test of eligibility. This is the thing that people have the hardest time understanding. The SSA does not care how serious your illness is (unless you have Lou Gehrig's Disease, are on Dialysis, or are blind, and a few other things.) Lots of people with very serious physical and mental disabilities manage to succeed in the work force. SSA wants to know very specifically why your illness interferes with you working to the point that you are unemployable. This is why having a lawyer is so important. Without one, you are very likely to innocently answer some questions in a way that makes it sound like you could possibly do something to earn a living.

You will be given paperwork to fill out asking you how you spend a typical day. If you say: "Oh, I tidy up the house and do the laundry and then walk the dog." they will figure you could get a job as a home attendant for some elderly person who needs help with those things. You don't want to submit one single piece of paperwork without having it checked by an attorney, or someone on the attorney's staff.

Go to YouTube and watch some presentations by attorneys on getting through this process. Doing that helped me a lot. I got approved in 3 months.

If you don't have much work experience, you will be considered for SSI, rather than SSDI. (Depends on how many "credits" you have earned, which is determined by income and length of time working.) Right now the federal government is paying $733/month. (SSI Federal Payment Amounts) Your state might add something to that, depending on where you live. In addition, you would be eligible for a housing subsidy, which could take some years to get. (Go apply for a housing subsidy now, so you get on the waiting list. Being low income might be enough for you to qualify to get on the waiting list.)
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:46 AM #12
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

You may want to ask your Therapist and P Doc for a cover letter when sending in your info. My Pdoc went to an Ivy League school and he said when he is passionate hat his patient cannot work, he includes a 2-3 page letter describing in detail your limitations and why you cant work. I think that and tons of doctors notes helped me as I needed it.
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:11 PM #13
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

Most doctors would prefer to send a letter directly to the SSA, rather than give it to you. Such a letter should not be thought of as a "cover letter." It is a statement of professional opinion, more like a medical consult. Therapists writing will help too. Get a lawyer. The law office will keep track of what records are sent by pdocs and therapists to the SSA.

You want to send your paperwork to the law office and let them forward it to SSA. They can catch anything inappropriate that you might innocently put down.
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:08 PM #14
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

I don't think being young matters much. I'm 30 and I'm currently on SSDI for physical disabilities and have been for 4 years. I did get approved the first time around. I know that's not uncommon. I have kind of a different perspective. I'm a physician and I did a lot of SSDI evals. Being young doesn't really matter, I saw just as many young people as older people get approved.
I disagree with the idea of getting a lawyer initially. I would wait until and if you get denied before getting an attorney. They'll take your case on a contingency, but they will get paid eventually. They'll take a significant portion of your monthly amount, if you win, for a long period of time. And I have nothing against attorneys. My father's an attorney.
I think it's more important for you to develop a strong relationship with a physician who'll go to bat for you. Like everyone said, you need significant documentation of a severe and permanent disability to qualify.
Good luck.
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:09 PM #15
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

Some lawyers will tell you to apply on your own and only come to them, if you get turned down. That's because they don't make much money if they get you approved on your initial application. The only payment they can legally charge you is a percentage of your back benefits when you actually get approved. The longer it takes to get approved, the more back benefits there will be for them to get a slice of.

The law firm that helped me made absolutely nothing fron taking me as a client . . . zero, nada. I got approved so quickly that no back benefits had accumulated. They are fine with that. That's why I highly recommend those big firms that advertize on TV and on the Net. If they think you've got a reasonable chance of winning, they take you right away. Now how do they decide if you have that reasonable chance? One of the main things they look for is if you have a doctor who supports you applying.

I had a very supportive doctor. The advice the doctor gave me about the process, however, was not helpful at all. He told me that I would have a long, slow wait to get approved. I got approved in 3 months. (Largely because I bought books, written by lawyers, telling me how to fill out the paperwork.)

If you want medical advice, see a doctor. If you want legal advice, see an attorney. If someone advises you to do something, without indicating why they recommend that action, ask for their rationale. Then check if that rationale is true. Some people will tell you that you save money by avoiding getting a lawyer. The longer the process drags out, the more money that's in it attorneys.

Also, the severity of your problem is not what counts. What counts is the extent of how the problem undermines your ability to hold down a job. Establishing that linkage can be mainly a matter of how your case is presented.
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:31 PM #16
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

I see where pinkflower says that the attorney "will take a significant portion of your monthly amount, if you win, for a long period of time." That's a very fuzzy statement.

An attorney who gets you approved will take exactly 25 percent of your accumulated back payments. That will be paid to the attorney in one lump sum by the federal government, who will deduct it from the back payments owed to you. Then there is a ceiling on how high that can go. Under limited circumstances, the attorney can get further reimbursed for unusual expences. The federal government tightly regulates that.

Attorneys will tell you that having the right doctor can matter more than having the best attorney. I say, "Have both." (Especially now that there is political pressure on the SSA to make the process tougher.)
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:32 PM #17
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

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I see where pinkflower says that the attorney "will take a significant portion of your monthly amount, if you win, for a long period of time." That's a very fuzzy statement.

An attorney who gets you approved will take exactly 25 percent of your accumulated back payments. That will be paid to the attorney in one lump sum by the federal government, who will deduct it from the back payments owed to you. Then there is a ceiling on how high that can go. Under limited circumstances, the attorney can get further reimbursed for unusual expences. The federal government tightly regulates that.

Attorneys will tell you that having the right doctor can matter more than having the best attorney. I say, "Have both." (Especially now that there is political pressure on the SSA to make the process tougher.)
I work with attorneys who file SSDI claims. If you have to appeal, which is incredible common, the attorneys are allowed to exceed the 25% or 6,000$ limit as long as it's considered "reasonable". I know of many, many people who got approved without an attorney. I was just offering my opinion, which last time I checked, was okay to do, that I would wait until I was denied before I hired an attorney to try to avoid fees if possible. It's just an opinion, and I don't think one that needs to be singled out or attacked.
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:39 PM #18
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Wink Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

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Originally Posted by pinkflower17 View Post
I work with attorneys who file SSDI claims. If you have to appeal, which is incredible common, the attorneys are allowed to exceed the 25% or 6,000$ limit as long as it's considered "reasonable". I know of many, many people who got approved without an attorney. I was just offering my opinion, which last time I checked, was okay to do, that I would wait until I was denied before I hired an attorney to try to avoid fees if possible. It's just an opinion, and I don't think one that needs to be singled out or attacked.
I'm kind of wondering exactly what you do that you work with attorneys, especially since you seem to be misinformed. Yes, an attorney can get more than the 25% or 6000, but only if it's been appealed and approved. And, no, not all attorneys take money from every check every month, so that statement was "fuzzy." And Rose76 was simply stating her opinion. Yes, stating an opinion is allowed. But not just for you.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:59 AM #19
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

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I'm kind of wondering exactly what you do that you work with attorneys, especially since you seem to be misinformed. Yes, an attorney can get more than the 25% or 6000, but only if it's been appealed and approved. And, no, not all attorneys take money from every check every month, so that statement was "fuzzy." And Rose76 was simply stating her opinion. Yes, stating an opinion is allowed. But not just for you.
Is this really that big of a deal? Who cares. Can she not defend herself? Some attorneys do take money from every check for a period of time. I work as a physician who performs SSDI evals on the side and consults with attorneys daily. No, it doesn't have to be appealed and approved. It just has to be considered "reasonable". And not everything has to be approved by SSA. Attorney's fees for example. And your attorney can force payment, even if you lose if you don't have a contract specifically stating that they will only collect if you win. They can also apply for additional fees to be approved by SSA if your case is approved so quickly there are no back payments. It's not as black and white as I think it was presented. I just want to make sure people know what they're getting in for. I was just stating my opinion and experience. That doesn't warrant this.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:23 AM #20
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

I see what you're saying. I know that they CAN do that; that doesn't mean they WILL!
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