I won both 100% VA Disability in 2006 and Soc Sec Disability ]SSDI] May 2007 after 18 months of battling. Soc Sec denied me when I was under the age of 50, applied when I was 48 and denied, denied at reconsideration level at 49, won without a court date at 50. They mentioned I was in the age impaired grojup for cross training and this is why I know it carries some weight.
Soc Sec feels at age 50-54 you are impaired to some degree to re-train to do another kind of job--THIS IS IMPORTANT. But, if your under 50, don't be discouraged, it just may take longer....
Soc Sec does not really get that involved in our diseases but rather want to know how your disease prohibits you from gainful employment.
I try to help as many people as I can [BTW, CONGRATS JAN!] get benefits.
1) You need great medical documentation.
2) Letters from Doctors STATING why/how your disability interferes with work.
3) Always a plus to be seen by psychiatry for the depression
Note: Using pain medication as the sole reason you cannot work does NOT work, we tried that defense and we were denied...
So what worked?
It was real simple, "UN-RELIABILITY" due to the pain and episodes [partial bowel obstructions, urgent diarrhea etc...". Never knew if I would go to work until it was time to leave, if I went to work there is no guarantee I could work the entire day, and if I left early no telling when I would return back to work.
I never saw the ALJ Judge. I was denied after I did ALL the work online and then hired a law firm that ONLY DID Social Security Disability cases and we got denied again on reconsideration. Lawyers filed an OTR [On the record] which is when they ask Judge to go to their private quarters, read my case and rule from the office in private. The Judge did and I won. If he still denied me I could wait for another year for the face to face hearing...
When did I apply for disability after I quit working? The very next day.
If you apply for disability YOU CANNOT work and I racked up credit cards and other debt to hold on for the decision and paid everyone off with my $23K in back pay they gave me.
Applying for SSDI [long term disability] they DO NOT care what your assets are and you can keep your home, cars, planes, trains and million bucks in your bank account. Everyone wants SSDI but some qualify for SSI while they wait for the SSDI ruling...when you apply for SSDI they automatically try to qualify you for SSI...I had more than 2K to my name was denied SSI, but I did not want it anyways. Like I said, they automatically screen you for SSI eligibility.
SSI, you have to be poverty.
Since I been on disability my ARD is so beautifully managed and I have had NO bowel obstructions in 1.5 years! Pain management is spot on, and I have quality of life after so many years I suffered...I was able to get managed while on disability because I had the time to invest vs. working for a living.
Hope this helps.
[Admin Note: please note the above message is not considered legal advice, but rather opinion of the author. You should discuss your own licensed attorney the best course of action for your Disability claim]