After Mary’s failed back surgery, her doctor told her he’d support her claim for disability. His eyes were comforting and Mary felt like she’d finally found someone who understood the pain she was in. She’d already gone through years of undiagnosed Fibromyalgia. Some days she even had sneaking thoughts of suicide- at least then it wouldn’t hurt so much.
Mary’s doctor told Social Security that she was indeed disabled and could not work. So, Mary waited… and waited… and waited.
She borrowed money from friends. She assured them her doctor had promised her she was qualified. Even the Social Security representative who took her application could see that she could barely bend and walked with a noticeable limp. In fact, he’d commented on it.
Mary had paid into the system, and now- unfortunately- Mary needed help. Rent was behind, she was already on food stamps… who would hire her in her condition anyway?
Months went by with no word, until FINALLY. The letter from Social Security arrived. When Mary read the letter she almost fainted. THEY HAD DENIED HER!
Mary had not taken the time to read the Social Security website at http://www.ssa.gov/. If she had, she would have been able to put some personal information into one of their calculators http://best.ssa.gov/ and determine if she was eligible for any of their disability programs. Had she read the website, she would have known that it takes more than your doctor saying you’re disabled to get on disability benefits.
The sad fact is 3 out of 10 of today’s 20 year olds will become disabled before reaching the age of 67. And if you are one of the unfortunate who need to apply, it can take 3-6 months for a decision. And… if you are granted benefits, you may be asked to serve a 5-month waiting period BEFORE you can get any benefits at all! And those benefits are NOT always retroactive!
There are many reasons why your claim can be delayed or denied, but you will waste valuable time if you don’t go in well informed. While it may be a complex program to understand, you can arm yourself with the basics before launching into a prolonged wait that could end up in further poverty and humiliation.
Some people prefer to ask a qualified attorney to handle their claim, but if you take the time to read the Social Security website, you will see that the information is laid out very logically, is easy to understand and tries to answer all your questions in an open and honest way. Your chances of being allowed disability benefits is NOT increased if you use an attorney- that is simply NOT true. However, if you appeal the decision to higher levels of law, then an attorney would be helpful. health and social care