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Old 03-09-2009, 11:04 AM   #1
eRed
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Default Not Sure What to Do..Advice?

Hi

I'm new to the site and to the process of SSD so please bear with me. My husband is 42 years old and was diagnosed approx. 3 or 4 years ago with several things. He has 4 severely herniated discs, mild/moderate Rheumatoid Arthritis in his spine, compression in his tail bone, as well as slight scoliosis.

He has continued to work through all of the pain he's in, his Dr. has been prescribing a narcotic pain med. for the last several years all the while telling my husband that his job was like hitting a broken bone with a hammer over and over again.

Two weeks ago he went back to the Dr. and is scheduled for another MRI as the Dr. feels his conditions have worsened. He now has almost no reflex in his left leg and has nerve pain that shoots all the way through the leg from the hip downward. Added to the back problems his blood pressure was sky high and his heart rate was very concerning to the Dr. So he was put on meds for both the high b/p and the racing heart.

My husband worked in the printing/bindery business as a multi machine operator and has been hiding his condition from his employers basically because we could not afford for him NOT to work. Now it makes no difference. His company had a major reduction in work force due to the economy and as of Friday my husband is out of a job. I am currently unemployed as well... not sure what we will do but anyway.

My husband was thinking of going ahead and applying for SSD. It's a slim to none chance that he'll find work again in his field, he only knows the bindery/printing biz, has been in it nearly 20 years now. Even if he does it will be hard in his worsening condition to hide it. Starting a new job he couldn't try for LTD.

Our problem is we are still so very unsure about the process not to mention the financial problems. Our health insurance ended, when I called the insurance company the day he was laid off they told me "last day worked, last day covered". Even with the reduction of Cobra premiums to 35% I'm not sure we will be able to afford it. As I said I'm also unemployed and we have 3 small kids. My oldest is just 10.

We don't know what to do. The more I read about the process of filing and being approved the more discouraging it all sounds. Especially with back problems and pain. Do those conditions ever get approved anymore?

I'm applying for work myself everywhere and hoping to find something with insurance benefits so that both he and I can go to the Dr. for our medications. I've had some extreme high blood pressure issues that thankfully seem to be somewhat under control with medication.

I'm sorry I'm not even sure what it is I'm asking here. I guess I'm just scared. We have talked and at first were going to cancel the MRI (scheduled for this coming Friday) and his follow up office visit with the Dr. as we now have no heath insurance but then we decided that he really should go. They can't garnish wages we don't have for payment of that MRI! Maybe we can afford a month or 2 of the Cobra? sigh...

I guess in the end I'm asking if it's worth it for him to even try to apply for SSD? With a mortgage and little kids after his unemployment ends I'm not at all sure just me working will be enough. I've never been the bread winner.

Sorry this is so long I'm just so scared and unsure and so is my husband. Oh and I'm in the state of Kentucky if that makes any difference.

TIA
M.J.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:08 AM   #2
jsrail
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Sorry, for the sitch, I know how you feel. I am applying right now for SSDI and am unsure what the future will bring. I plan to call my mortgage company tomorrow to see what they can work out. I found some take home data entry work for my wife and she also teaches piano every afternoon into the evening. We have a 6 year old son. It will be tough for us, we'll have to move and lose our home if I cannot get something worked out with the mortgage company and will become renters. But, we thought it was important to get the ball rolling with SSDI. But, in my situation, I cannot work anymore (severe SFN), so it was not a choice for us. We currently pay over a grand a month for our family's health insurance as I have been self-employed for many years and no group health insurance. I cannot leave my plan due to pre-existing conditions.

Can you find some work you can do from home? Maybe a couple of part time jobs? I know its hard for you cause you need the health insurance. My wife considered working at a grocery store, doesn't require many skills and you get health insurance without having to be full time, but the hours wouldn't work with her students. And I was able to find some at home work for her with an accountant friend of mine.

Anyway, my thoughts are with you and your family and hope you find some way to make everything work out. Just try to keep your thoughts as cheerful as you can around your kids so any effect to them is minimal. Having a good family life is essential to get through these tough times.

Jay
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:36 AM   #3
COLBEYMOORE
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I live in Paducah Kentucky and applied for SSDI on January 2, 2009 for diabetic neuropathy and diabetic nephrology. I had all of my doctors write statements of my disability etc...I was denied on February 16, 2009 however I was approved for LTD benefits from Metlife after exhausting my STD benefits from Metlife. Once approved for LTD I was released from my employer. After receiving my denial letter, I decided to hire Allsup for the appeal process.

I can say this so far after reading posts from several different websites...
I would have hired an attorney or disability advocate at the beginning. This is my only regret.
Mostly EVERYONE is denied at first however you must not give up! I would apply as soon as possible but before you apply make sure your doctors are going to support you in the process. Also age has a factor as well. I am 45yrs old.

Visit this website I found it very very helpful
http://www.disabilityinsuranceforums...?NoCookies=Yes

then select Disability Insurance Claims Advice..

I hope all works out for you and your husband.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:49 AM   #4
eRed
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Thank you Jay. I'm afraid that my husband just might be in the place where he can NOT work anymore. I know he won't be able to pass a physical and whenever he does apply he has to stop his medications to pass the drug testing. Of course he does have a valid prescription for them but then comes the explanations about why they are prescribed. No "blue collar" company wants to hire a employee with pre-existing back problems.
As for me I started a home based business before, almost right before, all this happened. I am a digital artist and designer. I've had a few jobs doing logo work however this is not something that I can depend on. Thanks so much for your nice words and for the good thoughts.

ColbyMoore,

Thanks to you too. We live in northern Ky. My husband has almost always worked up in Cincinnati. I appreciate the advice about the attorney. I spent some time looking at some yesterday and was wondering if it was best to hire one from the start.

I think we will wait until after his next MRI and appt. with the Dr. and go from there. I'm sure the Dr. will have no problems with writing my husband up something for disability. He's suggested it to my husband before but mostly because of our young children my husband has not wanted to go this route unless he had no other choice. Unfortunately we didn't realize just HOW long it might take. When I read of it taking years in some cases it just makes us want to give up before we start. Oh and thanks so much for the link! That's one I haven't seen I think
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:46 PM   #5
ladybug7
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I AM A WIFE AND MOTHER OF 3 AND HAVE SEVERAL ,THINGS GOING ON I HAVE ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS, ASTHMA, TMJ , OCCIPATAL NEUROLGIA, SPINAL STENOSIS A EBI PLATE 3 LEVELS FORM C4-8 MY HIPS ARE FUSED MY SI JOINTS ARE FUSED CARPAL TUNNEL TORN ROTORARY CUFFS IN BOTH SHOULDER AND HAVE TO HAVE MY SECOND SPINAL SURGERY ABOVE THE PLATE I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL THIS WEEKEND FOR COSTOCHONDRITIS ALL OF MY DOCTORS HAVE FOUGHT FOR ME BUT BECAUSE OF MY AGE AND EDUCATION I'M ON MY 8TH YEAR FITTING FOR DISABILTY , I HAVE WORKED AS A SCHOOL TEACHER AT MY LAST JOB 17 YRS OUT OF MY 38 I HAVE WORKED AND GONE TO SCHOOL I HAVE A BA, I SAY THIS TO SAY KEEP YOUR HEAD UP IF IT WAS NOT FOR MY FAITH AND LOVE I WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP A LONG TIME AGO THIS COUNTRY DOESN'T HELP THOSE WHO HELP THEM SELVES STICK TOGETHER AND GET WHAT YOU DESERVE, I WISH YOU THE BEST.LADYBUG7

Quote:
I'm new to the site and to the process of SSD so please bear with me. My husband is 42 years old and was diagnosed approx. 3 or 4 years ago with several things. He has 4 severely herniated discs, mild/moderate Rheumatoid Arthritis in his spine, compression in his tail bone, as well as slight scoliosis.

He has continued to work through all of the pain he's in, his Dr. has been prescribing a narcotic pain med. for the last several years all the while telling my husband that his job was like hitting a broken bone with a hammer over and over again.

Two weeks ago he went back to the Dr. and is scheduled for another MRI as the Dr. feels his conditions have worsened. He now has almost no reflex in his left leg and has nerve pain that shoots all the way through the leg from the hip downward. Added to the back problems his blood pressure was sky high and his heart rate was very concerning to the Dr. So he was put on meds for both the high b/p and the racing heart.

My husband worked in the printing/bindery business as a multi machine operator and has been hiding his condition from his employers basically because we could not afford for him NOT to work. Now it makes no difference. His company had a major reduction in work force due to the economy and as of Friday my husband is out of a job. I am currently unemployed as well... not sure what we will do but anyway.

My husband was thinking of going ahead and applying for SSD. It's a slim to none chance that he'll find work again in his field, he only knows the bindery/printing biz, has been in it nearly 20 years now. Even if he does it will be hard in his worsening condition to hide it. Starting a new job he couldn't try for LTD.

Our problem is we are still so very unsure about the process not to mention the financial problems. Our health insurance ended, when I called the insurance company the day he was laid off they told me "last day worked, last day covered". Even with the reduction of Cobra premiums to 35% I'm not sure we will be able to afford it. As I said I'm also unemployed and we have 3 small kids. My oldest is just 10.

We don't know what to do. The more I read about the process of filing and being approved the more discouraging it all sounds. Especially with back problems and pain. Do those conditions ever get approved anymore?

I'm applying for work myself everywhere and hoping to find something with insurance benefits so that both he and I can go to the Dr. for our medications. I've had some extreme high blood pressure issues that thankfully seem to be somewhat under control with medication.

I'm sorry I'm not even sure what it is I'm asking here. I guess I'm just scared. We have talked and at first were going to cancel the MRI (scheduled for this coming Friday) and his follow up office visit with the Dr. as we now have no heath insurance but then we decided that he really should go. They can't garnish wages we don't have for payment of that MRI! Maybe we can afford a month or 2 of the Cobra? sigh...

I guess in the end I'm asking if it's worth it for him to even try to apply for SSD? With a mortgage and little kids after his unemployment ends I'm not at all sure just me working will be enough. I've never been the bread winner.

Sorry this is so long I'm just so scared and unsure and so is my husband. Oh and I'm in the state of Kentucky if that makes any difference.

TIA
M.J.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:55 PM   #6
allentgamer
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Hi there, and I am sooo sorry to hear about your husbands problems. I also have some messed up disks, and have all the shooting pains, numbness, muscle loss etc.

I say go for it!! Better to start soon as possible cause the waiting game is the hardest part of the whole process. It took me 5 years to finally get approved even with all the doctor letters, but I think it was because of my education, and job I had. I was the marketing director for a casino, so they thought they could say there was lots of jobs I could do, but finally they couldnt.

When applying make sure you put down the date of his disability as starting when he stopped working instead of the date you apply. If you are denied a couple times and have to go before the ALJ, the judge could set the onset date to the date you put down. This way he will be payed back all they way back to that date, and possibly be able to get the medicare right away if it takes over the 2 year wait we are made to wait for the medicare to kick in.

I hope everything works out well for you two
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:14 PM   #7
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If your husband indeed worked up to the day her was pink-slipped, he was not disabled, and is not off work because of a medical disability. This may become a hurdle for him in that an evaluation for disability looks at work history. I would suggest while applying for SSD that he also consider applying for any jobs he might be able to do, just to demonstrate desire and document that he is unable to be employed. He probably has to conduct some kind of job search for unemployment anyway.

Also, be sure that he has addressed all of his disabling conditions as far as diagnosis or treatment goes.

He would benefit from having an advocate to help through the process, unless you and he can work as a team to stay on top of the movement of his claim. However, it seems the stories here point to much longer waiting times than I experienced. I wish you well . . .
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:15 PM   #8
allentgamer
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The date the judge set as the onset of disability for me was the date I wrote down, and that was the next day after I was let go from the casino. This was a full 2 years before I even applied, and this allowed me to have SSDI instead of SSI, which I am very grateful for. I believe the judge believed me that I couldnt work anymore, because I did not work another day after that date.

It is a good idea to have someone help you with this, I believe how you fill out the application carries alot of weight in whether you will be approved right away or not. I wish I would have known this when I applied
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:52 PM   #9
eRed
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Just wondering here...WHY are you made to wait for medicare? Years ago I worked for the welfare dept. and was under the impression that when you are declared disabled you automatically are covered? In fact back then (apprx. 13 years ago) that's the only way a adult in my state could have medical coverage, to be declared disabled.

So silly to me that someone who is disabled would not have immediate medical coverage?
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:00 PM   #10
shezbut
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Yeah, it is wacky! I don't get it either.

Different states have different medical programs. Here, there are 3: Medical Assistance, Medicare, and Minnesota Care. I found out that you have to file separately for some medical assistance after Social Security approved my case as disabled. Then, I had to meet some additional requirements by the state and show SS disability approval. If SS hadn't approved me, I still probably would have qualified, but my case would have to go to board review first. After a few months, the state finally kicked in paying medical. What a relief! It is a long, rocky, and stressful road

I wish you and your husband the best of luck. It isn't easy, and this is a really hard time to come up against it (in our current economy)! But, there are groups committed to helping the disabled. Somehow, I got hooked up to Disability Linkage Line. 1-866-333-2466. They are wonderful, so supportive and helpful & provide information pertaining to you (the caller). They are a little tough to get a hold of initially, but leave a message & they'll call you back the next business day. M-F 8:00-4:30. You can tell them I sent you

Best wishes!
Shez
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