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Wed Sep 5, 2018, 11:06 AM

My history applying for SSDI and SSI

Okay, so I have Asperger's Syndrome and Bipolar I, severe enough that I cannot work anymore. I know that's already a strike against me because it's an "invisible illness".

First, I applied for SSDI and was denied at each step of the appeals process. They said that since I was helping my physically disabled mother get from her chair to the bathroom that I was capable of working a regular job. It took over two years to go through this whole process. All that time wasted, the despair, the aggravation. It didn't help my mental state one bit.

So now I'm applying for SSI because I don't qualify for SSDI anymore. My mental health has deteriorated to the extent that I can't handle the pressure of taking care of my mother anymore; it causes me too much stress. I can't be at her beck and call anymore. So the rest of my family and my boyfriend have had to step in.

They sent me first to the same psychologist that interviewed me when I first applied. To me, that seems biased and I don't think that's right, but whatever. She behaved in an unprofessional and insulting manner, criticizing my relationship with my boyfriend just because he's older than me. And she never asked about my condition anyhow.

So, denied again. Then sent to a medical doctor. Appealed. Denied. Now I am waiting 16-18 months to see a disability judge!!! What the hell?? Do they really think I would put myself through all this if I really didn't have a problem?

And for what? $750 a month maybe? I'll really be living large, won't I? I can't even work part time jobs. I get so stressed I end up crying in the bathroom, unable to work, or erupting into a rage over the smallest thing. Or becoming suicidal, hurting myself, cutting. I've even gone to the hospital because I was having homicidal thoughts towards my mom and I didn't feel safe being in the house with her.

This whole system is a joke. It's broken and they're just making it harder and harder for disabled people.

Sorry for the rant.

Does anybody else have a similar experience applying for disability?

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply My history applying for SSDI and SSI (Original post)
Astraea Sep 2018 OP
TEB Sep 2018 #1
CountAllVotes Sep 2018 #2
Astraea Sep 2018 #3
CountAllVotes Sep 2018 #8
Astraea Sep 2018 #4
Doreen Sep 2018 #5
Astraea Sep 2018 #6
Doreen Sep 2018 #7
CountAllVotes Sep 2018 #9
Ziggysmom Sep 2018 #10

Response to Astraea (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 11:11 AM

1. Rant all you want

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Response to Astraea (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 11:14 AM

2. Do you have an attorney for SSDI/SSI/Disability?

If not, I advise you retain one at once.

Best of luck!


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Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 11:27 AM

3. Yes, I do

I don't know if he's good or not. I thought he sounded good when I researched him, but maybe not.

I thought I read somewhere that it's not easy to switch attorneys, and that you may have to pay the one you have something for what they've done for you already.

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Response to Astraea (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 02:22 PM

8. No that is not true

If I was you, I'd be seeking another attorney.

They cannot force you to have someone represent YOU.

Call around and see if you can find someone that is interested in taking your case. Once you have a replacement lined up you can dump the other one BUT be sure to do the seek/find thing first.

If you can find someone else, they can take the case over, just don't mention it to your present attorney.

They can only get so much out of a SSI/SSDI case. It is 25% of the back pay once you are approved.

Best of luck & please take care!!



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Response to Astraea (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 11:30 AM

4. I forgot to mention

The medications I take are very strong. They make me extremely lethargic and I sleep for long periods of time. I was actually let go at one of my previous jobs because I couldn't keep my eyes open and was falling asleep at my desk.

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Response to Astraea (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:10 PM

5. That psychologist was inappropriate and should be turned in.

You are allowed to ask for a different case worker at SOC-SEC which may bring up different results. You can also ask for someone else to evaluate you on the basis that the one you have been with makes you uncomfortable. It has gotten harder but it can be done. My ex just finally got onto SSDI after a year of jumping through hoops and he has a "seen" disability. He also got it granted from a judge who people trying for SSDI call the "hanging judge" as he is very hard to get it granted from. Of course he does not believe people with mental problems should get it so that can be a problem for someone like you. I got my SSDI in the early 90's when it was easier ( somewhat ) and mine is both physical and mental and my physical is unseen. It has been getting harder and harder and not meaning to scare you but even I wake up each morning wondering if this administration will have succeeded in taking everything away. Like I said my ex did manage to get it just last month so there is some hope for the rest of those trying.

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Response to Doreen (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:23 PM

6. I'm scared now

I just read on this disability website that starting in 2017 they were not going to give "special weight" to your own doctor's opinion. They were also going to give weight to the counselor who spent 30 minutes interviewing you. One of their counselors who is already against you. Great, huh?

I know about those kind of judges, too. Mine, of course, was the one with the smallest percentage of approved cases.

I didn't know you could ask for a different case worker. I don't remember seeing it on the form... they just told me who my appointment was with, the date, and the time. Maybe I should have called. I did give her a bad review, though, when Social Security asked me about my experience.

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Response to Astraea (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:47 PM

7. You have to ask for everything and figure out the proper way to ask.

They will not offer any additional info unless you ask. They pussyfoot around the answers and you need to listen carefully. I always take friends who are good at catching things like that and we tend to get the truth and additional info. I know this sounds bad but I call it "working the system" and it is work. Occasionally you find someone in the system who wants to help in your favor but that is getting more and more rare. I say to you to not give up even though I know it is hard. I do not know what lawyers you are finding but the lawyers who help with this only get paid if you win. You do not need to take a lawyer that SOC-SEC advises. There are ones who are not affiliated with SOC-SEC and really want to help.

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Response to Astraea (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 02:26 PM

9. The expert is the person they listen to the most

I was fortunate as I had a neurologist and a general practitioner on my side.

When I went blind, they all vanished. I had a attorney in place and he called Social Security & advised them that I could not travel to see any one being I was bedridden with my head packed in ice!


They just don't get it until it turns into something as extreme as my condition turned into.

The denial was overturned and yes, I rec'd my benefits not long after this occurred.



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Response to Astraea (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2018, 12:19 PM

10. I used to be an adjudicator for Social Security Disability

You would not believe the number of malingerers and scammers that apply, clogging the system for a measly handout. If the doctors see you are able to sustain a relationship with your boyfriend & family, while performing your own activities of daily living, they feel you would be able to perform low stress, unskilled work. I didnít write the rules, just had to follow them. After 10 years on the job I burnt out and had to leave.

If your meds cause such severe side effects, why are you taking them? Iíd find a different doctor or therapist. I have had anxiety and migraines my whole life, but tossed all my meds after becoming a vegan and doing yoga with other lifestyle changes. Sometimes unknown food allergies or sensitivities are the root of health problems. I donít trust drug companies or the FDA when it comes to prescription meds.

Good luck to you! 🙂

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