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Old 04-23-2010, 06:28 AM  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,304
Arrow Catch 22- Tips & Helpful info

You're too ill to work, but the SSDI process takes so long for approval how can you survive while waiting?

The SAD truth is after personal resources run out, the disabled often become financially dependent on their family, or worse yet, they end up homeless. I've met both varieties over the years.

I can't tell you how many healthy people have told me they couldn't stop working if they became disabled--as if it's a choice--as if they could somehow tough it out, so to speak. Are there people who are approved for SSDI who can work? YES. Are there people who can't work, even PT, that are denied for SSDI. YUP!

Is the difference an evil judge? A bad attorney? A crazy vocational expert? It can feel that way at times. In hindsight, I substantially lengthed the approval process by not doing adequate research my first go around when I was being represented by an attorney. My best advice is to hire the best attorney you can find, but be prepared as if you were representing yourself. Know what is in your file! (I brought a friend who did all the copying for me.) At the ALJ hearing level you do not want to be blindsided by documents from experts you've never met. Read. Research. Repeat.

ASSUME the SSDI approval process will take years! Utilize any other resources available in your area.

Is there a waiting list for housing assitance in your area? The list might seem absurdly long, but it might happen faster than a Fully Favorable SSDI decision. Some housing programs will even bump you to the top if you're disabled.

I made a rather costly blunder of not filing an application for state disibility after I was injured since it was a Worker's Comp claim. There was a window of more than a year when I had zero income and wished I had known to preserve those state benefits.

Check to see if your community has a transportation program for the disabled. An aquaintance I knew was getting rent money from her church while using child support for SUV payments, it still was repo'd, just many months and several thousand dollars later. Argh. Once the car was gone she was less stressed and as it turned out, her doc had her license yanked anyway.

The YMCA has warm water classes that amount to physical therapy which are free or low cost for households with low incomes.

If you're too ill to be proactive regarding your local resources ask a friend and/or family to help. And, I'm sure others on the board have better suggestions than I, so please add your two cents!
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