Re: Disability

From: Kate Murphy (
Wed Feb 14 09:03:00 2001

On 13 Feb 2001, at 17:52, Timmerri wrote:

> Hi
> Has anyone filed for disability / If so what do you do , and was it
> successful or not?

I am on social security disability because of my multiple sclerosis and the long term effects of all my cancer treatment. Actually, it was surgery for adhesions that finally pushed me over the edge -- I had surgery which provoked a flare-up of my MS and I just couldn't get back to work.

After being home for seven weeks, each week saying "I'll get up and get back," I went into the office and sat at my desk for three days and realized that I could not do it anymore. The strength was simply gone.

I have faced barriers for many years from the MS and cancer, but I was able to wiggle around them. Now I have found that I can't do that anymore. All the balancing and positive thinking and struggling just don't work. There are definitely things I CAN"T DO.

Coming to grips with that idea is very tough.

Anyway, if you want to get disability, be sure you have a supportive doctor on your side. This is key since he/she will be writing the evaluation.

You will have a chance to write your own evaluation of why you can't do your current job or any other job for which you are qualified by experience or education. SSDI insists that you not only can't do what you are currently doing, but you can't do anything at all.

When I sat down to write that document, I really learned how much my disabilities had interferred with my life. I began at the beginning of the day with how long it took me to shower and dress, that I couldn't always drive into the city, that I couldn't sit at the computer without pain for more than about half an hour, that my speech impediment made important parts of my job impossible, that I could no longer stumble around the job sites that I supervised . . .

Be specific!

If you are denied the first time as many people are, you can get an attorney to help with appeals. Their fee is limited to 25% of any retroactive payment you might get.

My last warning about this whole system is that work provides many things that are intangible -- a sense of accomplishment, of being useful, friends, daily contact with people, support.

Being alone and in pain may be harder than being in pain with the distraction of a job and the support of people around you.


Kate Murphy

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