How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI? - Page 3 - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 03-11-2015, 04:30 PM #21
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

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Originally Posted by pinkflower17 View Post
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.
No attorney takes any money from any social security check. (except the very first payment of back benefits, and that is paid directly to the law firm by the federal government.)

If an applicant loses and has their claim denied, the applicant is responsible for paying the attorney to reimburse him for things like court filing fees and the fees for obtaining medical records. These are rather small expenses. While the attorney can charge for these expenses, he/she can not charge for handling the claim. The attorney can only collect for that, if you win. It is exactly just that black and white. This is what federal law mandates.

Any fee agreement with the lawyer must be approved by the Social Security Administration.

When I'm at my desktop, I'll cite sources. (I don't know how to copy and paste links on my tablet.)
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:35 PM #22
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

Here is where I think some confusion may originate: Many (in fact, most) law firms will not even charge you for fees and expenses, unless the win (even though, legally, they could.) When an attorney says, "We handle your SSDI/SSI claim only on a contingency basis, they mean that they will waive those fees, if they lose."

The law says that attorneys don't have to take disability cases only on a contingency basis. But that just means that they can choose to make you reimburse them for expenses they have covered, like medical record copying fees.

If you lose, and there is no contingency contract, the attorney can submit a "fee petition" to the Social Security Administration, itemizing his out of pocket expenses, like traveling costs and document copying costs. He can bill you for those expenses only if SSA approves the petition. Before approving the "fee petition," the SSA requires that you get a copy of these expenses and have the opportunity to contest those fees, if you think they are innaccurate.

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Old 04-13-2015, 08:35 PM #23
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

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Originally Posted by Fox0r View Post
Hi all,

I was hospitalized involuntarily for 5 days in a psych hospital after having a psychotic break. I've lost my last two jobs due to mania and was recently admitted into emergency triage and placed on suicide watch for 5 days. I have medical paperwork for all of it. Do you think I'd qualify for SSI/SSDI? I have worked since I was 15. I am 29 now. I was diagnosed as Bipolar I NOS with Psychotic Features.
There are videos on you-tube by attorneys who specialize in things like appeals for denial and these videos do an excellent job of telling you what the agency goes by and what you can do to improve your odds. Sometimes I think (just my opinion) it depends on who is reviewing your case - some are more sticklers than others. After having applied several times and being turned down but deciding not to appeal and try to muddle through - the last time it went thru before an appeal was necessary which I don't think is the norm - it seems to me they turn down just about everybody (unless you are blind or some other obvious thing) as a matter of course.

Though I think one thing that helped me the last time had to do with my union which I never had before. I think it was because of their influence that my employer wrote a letter outlining why they felt I was unable to continue doing my job and it made a big difference I think. I say that based on my getting approved the 3rd time w/o appeal - I had finally contacted an attorney and even she was surprised that I made it thru w/o an appeal being necessary. Maybe a letter of your doctor would help.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:40 PM #24
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

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You're much more likely to be approved if you get a lawyer, and I'd try to find one that will take your case on a contingency basis. I applied and was denied twice over a two year period before I got a lawyer and he got me approved with no trouble at all.

He advised me I should have contacted him before I filed the first time because any information you provide remains a part of your file, and a lawyer can help you with what you need to put forward.

Also, I'd get all the documentation about your case possible. I asked my doctor if he would write out something that described my condition and how it effected my ability to carry out daily activities and it was one of the main things they looked at.

If you have a hearing and have to speak before the judge be sure to emphasize how it effects you in all aspects of life, from dealing with people, to how you deal with everyday life situations, and not just how it effects your ability to hold down a job. It's the big picture you want to present as your overall case of being disabled.
Not sure if it varies by state, I doubt it since this is a Federal program - but I do not think they are allowed to charge you for any representation the first time around - they can only charge you for assistance with an appeal. Which is why some of them won't even talk to you until you've been denied.

I think before denial they can charge you for expenses only, like copy charges and postage but that's about it - can't charge you for their time.
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:32 PM #25
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

This was a very informative post. I'm marking it for later reference. Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:20 PM #26
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

Hellion, you sound like you know the in's and out's of SSDI better than the Average Joe. I called a few lawyers and they all said to apply first and then call them when I got the denial. So I have. I've applied.

The local SSA office sent me a letter asking me to call because they needed clarification on a couple of my answers. Because I explained I have difficulties getting out of the house in my free-form section of the application, I'm sure that's part of the reason why they also took my SSI application over the phone.

Additionally, the agent I talked to kept saying "when you're approved." I listened closely after the first time she said it, and it was definately "when" and not "if." And she said it 3-4 times. Soooooo, does that sound good?
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:41 AM #27
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

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Originally Posted by Seeker101 View Post
Hellion, you sound like you know the in's and out's of SSDI better than the Average Joe. I called a few lawyers and they all said to apply first and then call them when I got the denial. So I have. I've applied.

The local SSA office sent me a letter asking me to call because they needed clarification on a couple of my answers. Because I explained I have difficulties getting out of the house in my free-form section of the application, I'm sure that's part of the reason why they also took my SSI application over the phone.

Additionally, the agent I talked to kept saying "when you're approved." I listened closely after the first time she said it, and it was definately "when" and not "if." And she said it 3-4 times. Soooooo, does that sound good?
If you have a doctor and medical records as proof of your condition, then there is a good chance you'd get approved even without the disability lawyer. I am actually on SSI so not sure all the specifics of SSDI, except I think it pays a bit more than SSI and you have to have worked for a significant period of time before becoming 'disabled' to qualify. I think some people can qualify for both though.

But yeah I initially got denied and decided not to appeal the first time around, but then when it kept becoming more apparent I really was not functional enough for work I applied again, and got denied...but I also didn't have a lot of medical records or consistent doctor or therapist. So I got a disability lawyer. Also had two hospitalizations since the first time I tried applying which I think helped...I guess the timing for my mental health getting that bad was convenient it did help prove the disability thing. But yeah basically its about having plenty of medical records and if you get denied the disability lawyer will analyze all the documentation and figure out any arguments they can use to prove you are disabled.

But yeah if you have documentation of deterioration of your condition that will help your case a lot, its not having much documentation that can make it really hard. Also though be careful of the questionnaires and if they have you see an SSI doctor basically keep in mind they are trying to prove you can work so keep that in mind. I think another reason I got denied was the doctor I saw asked about drug use....and I mentioned I had tried a few things a few years prior and smoke cannabis on occasion(now its legal so its akin to admitting to having a beer here and there)....but anyways they took it to mean I was abusing drugs on a regular basis and that was the cause of my ailments when I meant I had tried a few drugs in the past but was not currently indulging let alone on any regular basis...not to mention I was having some pretty serious issues before I even had a grasp on what drugs where which I also told them. But yeah they tried to argue if I didn't use drugs I was functional which was not really based on anything so point is they may try to misconstruction things so be aware of that. But yeah I wasn't going to lie because you can get in trouble for outright lying....then they go and twist it around.

I might add for people who are great with paper-work and technical questions and specifics and legal stuff may not need the disability lawer to appeal if denied...I myself felt like my head would explode if I tried to deal with all that myself so I did not mind the lawyer getting some of my back-pay funds to save me the trouble of putting all medical records together in a formal case to present to the judge. There was stuff he found that I wasn't even aware was actually on my records....like traits of avoident PD when I thought it was limited to the GAD, PTSD, Aspergers/autism and reoccurent major depression.
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:17 AM #28
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

Thank you for the added info and mindset to go in with! Yeah, that twisting around of words...... I like to call that "lawyer double-speak." It is most annoying, isn't it?
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:39 PM #29
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

I applied online and was approved two months later. I did not have to get seen by one of their doctors. They just called me and said I was accepted. I have bipolar 1 and some anxiety disorders.
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Old 05-16-2015, 05:17 PM #30
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Default Re: How likely is it I can get SSDI or SSI?

My DD Counselor called yesterday to ask a couple of questions. She said they will probably not send me for psychiatric review because I'm currently in treatment. They may send me for a medical, is all. Whether they deem me disabled as of July last year or January of this year, the 5 months wait will be up, if I get a 1st round approval.

Also, I asked my T if my diagnosis had been updated, and she said that my MDD has been rated recurring/moderate.
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Rx: Currently - Latuda 80 mg, bupropion 300 mg, hydroxyzine 50 mg, lisinopril 20 mg, Cymbalta 90 mg, counseling.
Past - Imitrex, Fiorcet, Ergostat, Zoloft, Lamotrigine, Oxcarbazepine, Abilify, Paxil, Celexa, Pamelor, Soma, Norco, Flexeril, Diclofenac, mirtazapine, trazodone, lithium, DBT group & individual therapy.

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