The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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US SSDI Specific question: date of disability

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by jonn, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. jonn

    jonn

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    about 10 years ago I left work as I was getting tired (and thus grouchy). I kept going downhill, and periodic part time jobs just wore me out, so I lived off savings and such. Now, I finally have a doctor tell me he is pretty sure I have CFS.

    So now I wonder- if I have not worked much in the past 10 years I figured I would just not be eligible for SSDI. But I also have a track record of 10 years of telling the doctor I've been getting more and more fatigued. Does SSDI assume your disability started as of the date of diagnosis? or might it be possible to say I became disabled when I left work, I just did not know what it was until the diagnosis?
     
  2. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @jonn Did you work for ten years (40 quarters) prior to leaving the job that you mentioned? If I were in your shoes, I would contact a disability attorney who specializes in SSDI and do a consult so you can get the answer to that question. I think most of us would just be guessing but the SSDI atty could tell you for sure.
     
    Mary, ahimsa and Groggy Doggy like this.
  3. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    All the information for determining your disability eligibility is on the SSA disability Web site. You may have to read through a number of pages, but it's all there, and you should be able to get a good answer just by looking at this Web site. I can also answer some of your simpler questions.
    Unfortunately, this is not taken into account in any calculations.
    It assumes that your disability started when you were no longer able to work at all.
    If you can have your doctor document that you were medically disabled at the time you left work, then that can count.

    As for the amount you need to have worked to be eligible for disability, here's what it says on the page Disability Planner: How Much Work Do You Need?
    More specific information is available in the SSA document Disability Benefits.
     
    Billt and ahimsa like this.
  4. geraldt52

    geraldt52 Senior Member

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    @jonn, I would strongly encourage you to take Gingergrrl's advice. There is often "wiggle room" that Soc Sec isn't very interested in sharing. Attorneys specializing in SSDI typically do not charge for their work unless and until you are approved for benefits, at which time a fee specified by Soc Sec will be deducted from your past due benefits before they are paid to you.

    I seriously doubt that Soc Sec will go back anything like 10 years, but I do expect they'd go back further than is "typical", if you have good records from a doctor who will be supportive of your disability claim. But, you need an attorney to advise you how to proceed so you don't introduce into evidence something that will jeopardize your chances. The mere diagnosis of CFS/ME does nothing for you. You must show that you have been unable to work during the time in question.
     
    Mary, ahimsa and Groggy Doggy like this.
  5. jonn

    jonn

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    Well, I tried the SSDI lawyer route. They said it was doable as long as I had medical records indicating I had been suffering from symptoms before my 'date last insured'. But then the 'intake' guy went to check with, I assume, a lawyer - and came back and told me in so many words that it would be a more than normal amount of work, and as they can only get a set fee for what they do, they would not take me on as a client. I could tell the intake guy was not really happy with the response he had to give me...
     
    Isaiah 58:11 likes this.
  6. geraldt52

    geraldt52 Senior Member

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    I wouldn't give up there. There are many, many lawyers doing disability cases, and you will probably have better luck with an independent lawyer who isn't a part of some big firm doing disability cases, that is mostly interested in skimming off the easy cases they're sure they can win quickly. If you wanted to post the area you live in maybe someone can recommend a lawyer that they've used.
     
    Tammy likes this.
  7. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    He's from Boston, he mentioned it in a Thread he started.

    GG
     
  8. jonn

    jonn

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    Well, west of Boston. known as the 'metrowest area." i had hired a disability lawyer years ago for my wife, who was , stunningly, near illiterate. We had to rewrite all her letters so it was English. And she had come recommended by a colleague of mine. If anyone knows of any CFS knowledgeable disability lawyers in the area I would love to know.
     
  9. geraldt52

    geraldt52 Senior Member

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    That should have worked out perfectly, jonn, because most of the Soc Sec people I had contact with were also, stunningly, near illiterate. :)

    Honestly, in cases that are settled in the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing, or before, the lawyers do astonishingly little for their fee. Mostly they're just there to look over what you do, and make sure you don't introduce something that is unnecessary or damaging to your case. Your case is a bit more complicated because of trying to reach so far back into the past. If you are denied by the ALJ, you will definitely need a lawyer. My case went 7 years, and ended up in Federal Court.

    I wouldn't try to go it alone, and as much of a PITA it is to shop around for a lawyer I think it'll be worth it in the end. Having said that, the best lawyer in the world is not going to get you by an ALJ that simply doesn't believe in CFS...and they are still out there. The ALJ you get is basically by a flip of a coin, and whether/when you'll get benefits will unfortunately be almost entirely in their hands.
     
    CFS_for_19_years likes this.
  10. jonn

    jonn

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    'That should have worked out perfectly, jonn, because most of the Soc Sec people I had contact with were also, stunningly, near illiterate.'

    Seriously, a while back I did some freelance for a Govt Agency. I thought it was strange when the director in charge ran EVERYTHING (and I mean even booklet covers) past "legal." Then one day I found out he was functionally illiterate (seriously) and ran every thing written past legal as a way of proofreading stuff. Which sounds like I'm making it up, but I really am not. And I think of how much he was paid...
     

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