Application for Social Security

Your first boss understood, “After all, he has physical limitations which aren’t his fault, and he does a good job, so we’ll all double our efforts and work something out when he can’t come in.”

But, the new boss didn’t see it that way. Even though you had well-documented reasons for sick days; you were let go. What about the nearly two decades of dedicated service and countless times you’d stayed overtime to get the job done? More important, how are you going to pay the rent and meet other financial obligations?

For a year, you found less strenuous part-time jobs, strung them together, got by on savings, and then moved in with friends. But, your health got worse and absenteeism increased. The writing is on the wall: You can’t hold down a job.

Church or civic groups raised money and you managed for a while; but in this economy their revenues are down; clearly, you need to do something. But what? Your minister suggested that you might want to look into Social Security. What is that?

To provide assistance for the seniors, disabled adults and destitute children, President Roosevelt signed the Administration Economic Security Act in 1935. Funded by payroll deductions, it became known as Social Security and approved members receive monthly checks. But money from this entitlement program does not ‘come easily.’

To receive benefits, Social Security requires that you meet certain requirements and the following are take directly from a Disability Planner published BY Social Security

  1. “You cannot do work that you did before;”
  2. “We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and”
  3. “Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.”

The application process to receive benefits can be long and frustrating. Information about the Social Security Adminstration can be found at http://www.ssa.gov and the application is at http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/.  There is an electronic publication that explains much of the process at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10550.html.

Besides providing Social Security with all the documentation they request, be prompt and courteous. If your Disability Reviewer (your contact person at Social Security Administration) contacts you requesting clarification or additional information, don’t send it piecemeal; instead, provide it all at once if you can and as promptly as possible.

It’s a good idea to keep a diary of medical visits, lab tests, what doctor ordered what med and test and on what date so that you’ll have this information at your fingertips.

Some individuals are immediately granted benefits, while others need to appeal several times; I obtained an attorney who argued my case before a judge after I had been denied benefits twice. Attorney fees are paid by Social Security out of the settlement you receive and then you begin to receive monthly benefits.

http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dqualify4.htm

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3 Replies to “Application for Social Security”

  1. WOW … that is WRONG! The whole program needs to be scrapped and re-organized … There is soooooooooo much waste and so many receive that shouldn’t and those that should don’t … It’s topsy-turvy! I appreciate this scenario, especially in light of the budget negotiations in progress. It irks me that so much mis-information is being put out that confusion reigns! Those desperately needing help are fearful of losing whatever scraps they receive, and still the burden remains of those ABLE to work, but not willing to work supported wholly by Medicaid and food stamps. I’m not without compassion as some might think. I understand joblessness. I’ve been there, even with a MA in Ed .. I refuse to join the NEA, so I’m blackballed! But that’s another story. The question is how do we REQUIRE able-bodied persons to work, if there aren’t enough jobs? What a fine mess we’ve made, eh? No easy way out, for sure!

    When dealing with the gov’t, it’s ALWAYS good to keep a journal and copies of every document on hand! Absolutely! Self-reliance ~ I love to see it! Thank you again for sharing this story, and I wish you continued strength and wholeness!

    1. I’m on Social Security for Disability and belong to an online support group. The tales I hear about Social Security would make your hair stand on end. But the things I said, THOUGH VERY WATERED DOWN are based on fact. I can see the definite need for several waiting periods and appeals, the need to separate the wheat from the chaff, men from the boys, but as one of my docs said, some people are on death’s door before they’re granted benefits. I feel awful being on the ‘dole,’ but que sera, sera. I still feel awful. There are so many that I feel CAN work who ‘fooled’ Social Security into granting disability status. Gives those of us who can’t work, a bad name and is one nail in the coffin! Barb, you’ve got a good blog; I almost chose a political blog, but fear I’d be too vocal! Thanks for your compliments.

  2. It’s a benefit all US citizens have there for them. Not to try because it’s a hassle is the wrong attitude. Apply and hope it works out is a better attitude. Just don’t count on it coming in for you or take any of the process personal. It’s not about you personally. You are reduced to a # and what facts are collected right or wrong from your medical.

    If you do get an attorney after trying first to complete a successful application on your won, be sure to do a lot of research and understand every clause about how much they will take once you win – if you do win. Some might even say they won’t charge if you don’t win, but in the end fine print they might have a means to still charge you. So do be very careful.

    SSD is what you pay into and is allowed to you if you qualify based on the amount of quarters of employment you have worked. If you have not worked as an adult enough quarters to apply for SSD, you can apply under the SSI program which is a disability benefits welfare program and has a lot more issues involved with it ongoing with regard as to if you still qualify over time medically.

    It’s not enough income to live on, but every bit helps. Also, after a long wait period (thinking it is 2 years – maybe 3) you qualify for Medicare benefits under the SSD program. That can be a huge help for many. However, it’s very hard, and very expensive to get a secondary insurance policy for Medicare when you are on SSD and under the age of 65. So be prepared for your Medicare benefits to only cover 80% of the allowed charges. Also, there are many things you might need that Medicare does not cover. Medicare only covers what is considered needed medical care and medical care items to help you inside the 4 walls of your home.

    Read up, and speak with others on the SSD application process before you turn in your application. Let your MD’s know you are doing this if you plan to put them down as doctors of record on your application. They need to know you are applying as they will be asked for records and a treating MD statement form to be filled out.

Let us all know how bright you are and share your thoughts!