Disability claims

A forum to talk about the general challenges of daily life with MS.

Disability claims

Postby savvymavi » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:23 am

Hello all,

I am a 38 year old special education teacher, and I was dianosed with MS over 3 years ago. I have been working through dizziness, pain, and incredible fatigue since then. My job is very physical, and stressful. I have fallen at work a few times since school began, and I am considering applying for disability. Has anyone had any success in applying through either social security or their pension fund? Thanks for any info you may have!
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Re: Disability claims

Postby Froggie » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:55 pm

Hello Savvy- Sorry for the delayed response. I have been on social security disability since 2009 and was approved first time around. It is a lengthy process in that the amount of paperwork is rather astounding. If I recall correctly, my husband and I went in to the local social security office and did the initial application in person. That way it puts a face with a name and they can see what your condition is. I was then sent several more forms to fill out. The forms ask a lot of the same questions in different ways to determine your answers are consistent. Once that hurdle was cleared, I had a physical and psychological exam. I was having a really bad day during the physical exam, which worked to my benefit. The psych exam was a nightmare in that the woman doing it was very terse and wanted to make things difficult. I cried afterwards! At any rate, the whole process took about four months, maybe longer. Once approved, you will generally get SSI and then the disability will kick in.

If you're totally confused, you're not alone. I think the government makes the process difficult on purpose. If you have someone to help you with the forms et al, great. If you need further info, I'll be glad to try and answer any questions. The good news is, I think people with MS generally get approved. Good luck!
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Re: Disability claims

Postby hazelis » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:57 pm

Hi Savvy,
A few years ago I had to apply for disability. Do you have a good relationship with your neuro? I had discussed when I should think about applying for disability with my neuro, then I had a free consultation with a disability attorney so I could educate myself on the process and what to expect. Roughly 10-11 months later I had a serious relapse and had to apply for disability. Since the attorney suggested I try on my own for the initial application, I had my mom help me as I applied online. It was an exhausting process because of the information I had to supply (work history, break down of how much time was spent bending, lifting, walking, sitting, health history, etc). Since my neuro knew I was applying, he was prepared to receive the request of information social security wanted from him. I was fortunate to receive approval the first time around, and within 120 days from applying.

Many people with MS do not receive approval the first time around. If you have good communication with your neuro & have a well documented medical file showing your illness & its progression, then you may have a better chance of being approved. Social Security may also want you to see their doctor(s). If you don't get approved, then get a disability attorney. Also, regarding Froggie's comment about SSI ("you will generally get SSI), do not expect it. SSI (supplemental security income) is only approved for those who have limited income & limited resources. This means, there is an income limit in order to be eligible. You can review detailed info on the social security website at http://www.ssa.gov/ssi/index.htm. Regarding the disability payments, your first Social Security benefit will be paid for the sixth full month after the date social security finds that your disability began. (There is a 5 month waiting period.) http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/index.htm Like with MS, everyone has a different experience with applying for disability. I wish you luck & hope things are improving for you. @ Froggie, I hope you are doing well.
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Re: Disability claims

Postby savvymavi » Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:24 am

Thanks Froggie & Hezelis, clearly I haven't been online in quite some time, as I just read your replies. I appreciate hearing about both of your experiences. With the support of my neuro I finally did apply, and qualified for Social Security benefits. Luckily after teaching for 14 years I had enough credits to qualify & didn't have to go for SSI. Hope you both are doing well. My MS is still an up and down battle, but not dealing with the extreme stress of daily teaching has helped a lot. Take care.
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