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getting disability

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    getting disability

    Can anyone tell me what all is involved in getting disability? I am still working right now but I think it's time to go out. the pain is getting unbearable to walk and sitting is almost as bad, I can't stand because of it hurting and not having my balance. Also my family Dr. has been telling me not to ruin what I have left. any help would be appreiciated!!

    T-12 incomplete 10-3-02

    you may or may not have a long term disability and a short term disability policy at work, that only you can find out,
    as far as social security disability , you apply for it , your doctors fill out forms, and i would assume you get approved and get it.. your state may or may not have other benefits, i think you have to be out of work for 6 months to get ssdi. but not sure..
    cauda equina


      if your employer has more than 50 people
      the fmla is enforcable, you may not get paid ,but your job is protected for 12 weeks absence a year, you can also take a days at time or 3 or 4 days at time . you have to apply for it ..
      cauda equina


        If you're going to try and get SSDI, I'd start as soon as possible, duge.

        It takes a long time, and the only bright spot is you'll get multiple checks (the number of checks you'll get the first time is how long from the day you signed up until you're approved) all at once, once SSDI kicks in.

        You'll need Medicare too, and I think that might even take longer. Not sure.

        I know there are attorneys who specialize in this area. If you have the bucks, I'd go that route.

        Good luck.

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          Even if your body cannot move, you can still think and meditate ~Dalai Lama~



            I just filled out the forms at I've heard back from social security and they say that it will be 90-120 days before they decide if I am approved. It took me about a day to fill out all the forms - they ask a lot of questions and some are confusing. You may want to call the phone number on their site and do it all telephonically - but you'll still need all of your doctor's addresses and reasons why you can't work. Let me know if I can provide more info. Mike

            T12 Incomplete - Walking with Walker, Oct 2003
            T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003


              In addition to Soc. Security Disability (SSDI), you need to determine if your state has a disability insurance plan and/or do you have private disability coverage. This is important because there is a 6 month waiting period for SSDI, and you will need an income during this time. In order to qualify you need a minimum of 40 quarters of employment and you must meet Soc. Sec.'s medical guidelines. If you have an SCI with impairment of both LE's and related B&B, I'm 99% certain you will be awarded benefits. You will need to provide the SSA with information regarding hospitalizations, your doctors, meds, etc. If you keep your annual estimate of benefits from SSA, you'll get an idea of your monthly benefit. I believe you also receive money for dependents under 18 yrs. of age or still in HS. Specific advice: Go to the SS office in person if possible. Their visible assessment of your limitations will support your case. Gather as many medical records as you can and bring them with you. Also, get a specific letter from the doc that knows you best, describing your functional limitations;i.e., restriction in bending, stooping, climbing, walking, uses w/c or crutches for a locomotion/ambulation. Has neurogenic B&B and needs frequent trips to the restroom, etc. These limitations should be defined in relation to the job that you do. If you applied immediately, and all goes well (Don't expect it to.), you would get a check in September. Finally, once you are on SSDI, should you feel capable of returning to sedentary work, you should contact your nearest Vocational Rehabilitation office concerning sponsorship for training. Work backwards by considering what job you can and would like to do and then identify the intermediate steps for getting there. There is a direct correlation between education level and employability for people with SCI. Sorry, if I sound like a know-it-all, but I used to do this for a living.



                You have 2 options available to you...1) SSDI from the federal gov't and 2) SDI (State Disability Ins.) of course if your employer or union has a disability policy that you are covered by, that's great too.

                The hospital or rehab you were in probably has a "Patient Advocate" office. They are really familiar w/ the forms and how to fill them out as well as getting the proper documents from the doctors.

                The SSDI and SDI application forms are very complicated and need to be signed in about a thousand places. If you miss 1 signature line or don't answer 1 question...they get returned and you have to fix and re-file. This can add lots of time till you get that first check.

                Both SSDI and SDI are determined by how much you made before being disabled. SDI, in most states, is limited to 1 year of benefits. That gives you time to get through the waiting period on SSDI...but don't wait to file all forms. Once you get'll get retroactive payments from the date you were eligible.

                Good luck...I could have not survived financially without SDI and SSDI.


                "It's not easy being green"
                accept no substitutes



                  I would do the following:

                  1. Check with employer concerning STD and/or LTD
                  (Short Term Disability, Long...)

                  2. Check with employer concerning COBRA.

                  3. Check with Gov't concerning SSDI, SSI as well as Medicare, healthcare benefits.

                  4. Check with your docs as to whether they agree and are willing to legally support your decision.

                  5. Plan as much as possible, as detailed as possible, your financial obligations, personal goals, long-term plans.

                  6. Take time to consider your decision as it relates to you and your family.

                  Good luck.


                    Not all states offer SDI( State disability insurance). While CA and NJ do, NY, MD, MA and District of Columbia are severl that do not offer such a benefit.

                    Chris outlined some excellent suggestions. It is also important to see if your LTD stops payments when you begin receiving Social Security.

                    "A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles"....C. Reeve 1998

                    Every day I wake up is a good one


                      One other thing I had to do to get onto SSDI and then Social Security was to make sure all of my assets were below a total net worth of $2000. Since I didn't own anything except my truck and cashed out my 401k plan to cover the bills, I pretty much had nothing. Once you are on disability, bear in mind that you can't earn more than $700 a month or so or you will lose it. (This is for Social Security only - I don't know how your employer's disability may be different)

                      "The prospects for a cure today are better than they were yesterday."
                      "The prospects for a cure today are better than they were yesterday."


                        ssdi , has nothing to do with assets
                        you can have property, houses , money in the bank, receive money from retirement funds, and other sources, its something you have paid into for many years, and if eligable the amount of money you get in return , will be based on what you put into it..
                        provided you are unable to work..
                        ssi is totally different
                        cauda equina