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Disability support? - March 27th 2018, 04:53 PM

So, my husband and I have been talking about this for ages now, but I've been very reluctant to try. I'm 23 years old, and I feel like my age has a big part on if I'm able to get disability support. Between my anxiety, depression, and fibromyalgia it's very hard for me to even get out of bed in the morning, let alone get a job. We have a 5 year old daughter, and my husband works seven days a week without a day off. I know it's very hard on him, and I know that if I was able to get some support it would really take some weight off him, but I'd be lying if I said I was totally comfortable with trying. Now I live in the US. I've not done much research in to this, because I haven't wanted to try.

I don't think we could even afford a lawyer to help with the case let alone me be able to handle going to court? (Not sure if you actually have to go to court or not.) And honestly I think mental illnesses are so hard for people to really understand that it would be very hard for me to even try and fight a case. I've tried to work many times in the past, but every time it was very overwhelming for me. I ended up having to quit because I would have a panic attack in the middle of my shift and it would end up being a big deal. I'd have to leave and try and ground myself.

I'm not really sure what all goes in to getting disability support, but I know deep down it really would benefit my family, and myself. I'd be able to afford adequate treatment, and it wouldn't be all on my husband. I also know that you don't have to stay on disability for the rest of your life. I know that you can discontinue it at anytime, which also makes me feel a bit better knowing I wouldn't have to be dependent on it for the rest of my life if I came to a place where I was able to work.

I just have no idea what to do. I don't even really know where to begin? I don't have a therapist anymore, so I'm not sure who to even talk to, to begin the process. Any ideas? Any advice for all this anxiety surrounding this?

Please don't judge! I know this is a tricky topic for a lot, and I don't want to offend or upset anymore, I'm just really looking for some answers here. Thanks.
   
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Re: Disability support? - March 27th 2018, 05:35 PM

Hey there, I know what you mean about feeling like you need it, but not wanting to try because of the stigma. I was actually thinking about applying for it myself, so I know a little bit about doing it. Depending on how much you've worked, you will qualify for either SSI or SSDI, SSDI you can apply for online, SSI you have to do in person at a local social security office. Most cases get rejected at least once, so don't be afraid to appeal,and make sure you have current documentation of your official diagnoses from your treatment professionals. You would have to go to court for a hearing if you appeal your denial, but it's worth doing because a lot of denials get overturned on appeal. This website is a good place to start:

https://www.ssa.gov/forms/apply-for-benefits.html

If you want to see what benefits you could possibly qualify for without actually applying, you can use this site instead:

https://ssabest.benefits.gov/


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Re: Disability support? - March 27th 2018, 09:35 PM

Hey,

I am currently on disability and I can provide some insight. There are two different programs and while you con apply for disability online it's better to go down to the office (this is what I was told my an advocate).

The two different programs are SSI and SSDI. SSDI is based on your work credits and is not needs based. SSI is needs based and to qualify you have to show that you not only have a disability that impairs your functioning but that you also have a financial need. People who do not have enough credits for SSDI can only get SSI. The issue with SSI is that you have to meet the income requirements and if you are married they will take your spouses income into account. I don't know what the income level for married people is since I am not married but you'd probably want to go down to the office to discuss all of this with them.

If you can locate a disability advocate in your area you might want to consult them and Social Security about all of this.

If you apply and go through the entire process and get denied (that tends to be common) you can consult a lawyer. The thing to take into consideration is the fact that Lawyers only get paid if they win the case because they will take a portion of the back pay you'd be owed. Due to this a lot of lawyers only take cases that they see as being winnable. This doesn't mean that if they would not take your case that it wouldn't be winnable there are just some cases that are seen as 'easier' than others.

I know my City has a Disability Advocate center but I don't know how standard that is. You might be able to google your city or surrounding cities and see if they are there. If you can find a disability advocate they are usually better to try and get help from. My understanding is the advocates can sometimes help you get approved on the first try and they can also help you win it if you are denied and you don't have to go through a lawyer. However, I've been told that some advocates can also help people find good lawyers.

This is the most information I can supply and it's what I've picked up over my years of being on Disability. I still have a ton I am learning. One piece of advice is not to call social security because the people you talk to tend to not give the right answers and while this happens when you go in to the office, it tends to happen a lot less. Also, if you go into the office go early because they get busy right at opening. I tend to go 45 minutes to an hour before opening. This can sometimes lead to me not having to wait too long but unless I have an appointment I know that I am likely to spend a very long time in the office(I spent 5 hours in there recently). I do live in a bigger city so yours might be slightly different but to avoid long waits it's usually better to get there as early as possible.


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Re: Disability support? - March 28th 2018, 07:02 PM

Thank you both. This was very helpful.
   
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