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  • Going to apply for disability

    a friend was just diagnosed with MS. She works in a private small medical office as an assistant with no real perks.
    Should she go to an attorney to apply for disability?

    Is a small office required to hold your position by law?

    She's overwhelmed by Sandy and the paperwork of disability is we know a nightmare.

    Suggestions?
    Last edited by Liz321; 03-19-2013, 02:38 PM.
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  • #2
    Most attorneys that I have known won't take a disability case until they have applied and been denied then appealed and been denied by SSA.

    Some want you to have applied twice and been denied before they will take the case.

    She can apply online but there is a risk of it not being received.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

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    • #3
      Applying online is very effective, then it is followed by a phone interview and questions. After that typically over about 3 months you get questions by mail depending on the state that you fill out and either mail or fax back. But, yes typically an attorney or agency will not help until there has been a denial.
      Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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      • #4
        Agree with other two posts above.

        You mention your friend works in a small office. I am pretty sure just the fact that she is working at all will make her ineligible . ( messed up as it seems)

        From SSA site : "In general, we pay monthly cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability. "
        http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dqualify.htm

        If the office is small, as in less than 15 employees, they are not required to provide reasonable accommodations under the ADA.
        http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/ada17.html

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        • #5
          A person can work and collect but you can only make a certain amount (not sure how much but it's low). The fact that she's working does work against her. I know people who have had to quit their jobs due to the disability they have and are still being denied. Part of this is due to the many false claims that are filed daily and then there's the budget.

          If and when she does file make sure she has doctors papers attesting to the disability. She'll need at least 2 years of detailed medical history. It has to be clearly written by a physician that the person can no longer work due to a disability. This is the reason many people are denied...their paperwork isn't up to par.

          I applied online and it was great. They call you for an interview after you've sent in all the paperwork required; it's a lot of paperwork. I would suggest she start now collecting and making a file specifically for filing the disability. Good luck.

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          • #6
            I THINK SGA (allowed income) is about just over $800 per month this year. But, as echoed above that is probably after about 12 months on SSDI. To be working and get approved for SSDI would be rare from what I have seen.
            Last edited by russianrob; 03-20-2013, 07:52 AM. Reason: changed wording
            Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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            • #7
              If she was only just diagnosed with MS, then this will be a problem. This means she hasn't yet been tried on any treatments and followed by an MS neurologist for a significant period of time.

              Is her doctor telling her to apply for disability? Often the MS neurologist will also have a feeling based on previous patients and her specific situation what is typical.

              Honestly, I would be most worried about losing medical insurance right now.... certainly until Obamacare fully kicks in next year. She doesn't want to lose her health insurance by leaving her job.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by hlh View Post
                If she was only just diagnosed with MS, then this will be a problem. This means she hasn't yet been tried on any treatments and followed by an MS neurologist for a significant period of time.

                Is her doctor telling her to apply for disability? Often the MS neurologist will also have a feeling based on previous patients and her specific situation what is typical.
                I agree with this. People with MS have an especially difficult time getting SS approved as most have relapsing and remitting (RRMS) and may not be able to really well document that any residual deficits actually prevent them from working and are permanent. Most wait a number of years to get sufficient documentation of impairment to be able to successfully apply, and being denied the first time around with MS is more the norm than not.

                (KLD)
                The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by russianrob View Post
                  I THINK SGA (allowed income) is about just over $800 per month this year. But, as echoed above that is probably after about 12 months on SSDI. To be working and get approved for SSDI would be rare from what I have seen.
                  They changed this amount. For 2013, it is $1040.

                  http://www.socialsecurity.gov/redboo...ty.htm#2=&a0=2
                  T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

                  My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

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                  • #10
                    Dr.'s determined she can no longer work.
                    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

                    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

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                    • #11
                      It took me almost three years to be approved, and I had waited almost two years after working before I applied because I had no medical history. I had the original diagnosis for messed up lower back and that was it. LOL None of us knew I had fractured my neck at some time in my life and that was the culprit! With no health insurance, it was'nt until 2006 I was diagnosed with this and I applied in 2005 for ssdi. I was'nt approved until 2008 for ssdi. Someone had forgotten to send my surgery records to the ssdi people....so I was there for the court hearing before it was approved. The judge approved it the day we were in court. Normally you have to wait for the decision to come in the mail. But, I guess someone foobarred on my stuff.....go figure. I had a lawyer. Got him after I was denied the first time. All he was good for was to gather medical records and I still had to fill out my own forms for ssdi. He evidently was'nt much good at getting the medical records to them either! But, he sure got the max allowed for payment! But, you sign that option away when you hire them. His money came straight from the ss office.....and I got the rest. I think they have you over a rock and a hard place when it comes to getting a lawyer. He did go to court with me, and I had to say very little. I don't know why I was even so worried about it! Now, I wonder what would have happened if I had gathered my own medical records and gone without him! I suppose it's better with a lawyer, and I'm sure many are'nt as lazy as mine was.

                      They are right, she should'nt be working. I would check with a lawyer to see what they say about it. I'm sure you could see one for advice at no charge. They could tell you what to gather and keep in a file. I made a copy of everything I sent them. You'll want to be consistent in filling out the forms. And you will get a repeat of them on a few occasions. I think I filled them out at least three times.....maybe four....it's hard to remember now. But it is wise to keep the file of all that is going on.

                      I was sent to a ssdi doctor that found problems, but not enough to receive ssdi. That did'nt surprise me, even though the first time I saw a doctor on my own for the problem, he knew it was my neck before the exam. I thought he was crazy.....I knew my problems and pain were in my lower back. But hidden in my neck was a crushed spinal cord making me lose my ability to balance and walk. I was just beginning to have neuropathy in my feet, and after the neck surgery that went full blown 24/7. Not much fun. By the time I went for the court hearing, the pain bothered me more than the paralysis. I don't envy anyone that has to apply for ssdi.

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                      • #12
                        Again I stated I think XZX $$
                        Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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                        • #13
                          Liz321 - How old is your friend? If she is under 50, I agree with HLH and KLD that the bar is set very high for MS and that with RRMS it is not a given to get SSDI. You need documentation that on account of her disease, she is unable to sustain 2 hours of walk and stand/day in the context of a 40 hr work week on a regular and continuing basis. Often individuals with RRMS get denied initially and a reconsideration levels. Is she using a walker? Is there objective evidence that she has motor weakness and spasticity? Has the doctor determined her gait is very antalgic (abnormal) and she could not stand cumulatively for two hours a day? What was her past work? If it was a desk job, it is even harder to get on disability no matter how old you are. Encourage her to see her Neurologist as frequent as possible to get a longitudinal medical record that outlines her functional limitations.
                          Legal assistance is the way to go... sorry to hear about the diagnosis.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by arndog View Post
                            Liz321 - How old is your friend? If she is under 50, I agree with HLH and KLD that the bar is set very high for MS and that with RRMS it is not a given to get SSDI. You need documentation that on account of her disease, she is unable to sustain 2 hours of walk and stand/day in the context of a 40 hr work week on a regular and continuing basis. Often individuals with RRMS get denied initially and a reconsideration levels. Is she using a walker? Is there objective evidence that she has motor weakness and spasticity? Has the doctor determined her gait is very antalgic (abnormal) and she could not stand cumulatively for two hours a day? What was her past work? If it was a desk job, it is even harder to get on disability no matter how old you are. Encourage her to see her Neurologist as frequent as possible to get a longitudinal medical record that outlines her functional limitations.
                            Legal assistance is the way to go... sorry to hear about the diagnosis.
                            This seems very sage advice. In addition I would not be working at all at the time of application.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ancientgimp View Post
                              This seems very sage advice. In addition I would not be working at all at the time of application.
                              Agree. Thanks, all.
                              Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

                              I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

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