How disabled do you need to be to get SSDI?

nyanko_the_sane

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The way it works with federal SSDI in the USA, is you have to be proven disabled by law. This means your RFC indicates your limitations exclude you from any kind of work. The interpretation of your RFC is also age dependent, meaning the older you are the less likely you will be able to work with your limitations. You can be bedbound and still have an RFC that indicates you can work at age 30, but at age 50 you are disabled. It is also not about $0 income, it is about not making SGA each month which is $1310 for this year. I simplified things in my explanation.

I was able to get a simple form from my county health office which allowed my doctor to declare me disabled by filling it out and signing it. While it is not deemed persuasive evidence by SSDI, it should satisfy the state and county of your disability. Benefits of obtaining such a form include: exemption from jury duty, access to disabled transit services, food aid, property tax exemptions, and etc.
 

Strawberry

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@nyanko_the_sane I can’t open that pdf on my tablet. I did a search and found this, is it the same?

https://www.cigna.com/static/www-cigna-com/docs/individuals-families/physician_statement.pdf


Ok so I am attempting to figure this process out. I’ve been gleaning lots of information to the point of overload from here:

https://howtogeton.wordpress.com/so...tWVlimWKFJGhxbvjUTXWu1RyFwNEtyAu6cGOoX4jwqYbc

I have learned that I need SSDI, I don’t qualify for SSI. Is my first starting place going to the dr and finding a disability attorney?
 
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I have learned that I need SSDI, I don’t qualify for SSI. Is my first starting place going to the dr and finding a disability attorney?
Please read the sleepy girl website for details on applying for SSDI. Lots and lots of good information.
https://howtogeton.wordpress.com/social-security-disability/

It is really important that you have one or more doctors supporting you. The more out of range tests you have that support your diagnosis the better. Multiple diagnosis even better. e.g. Mast cell? SIBO? Small fiber neuropathy? Cognitive testing? etc.

Pull your medical record and create a summary of the main points in your record that will support your case. For this you normally have to make a written application to your medical group to get all the notes, not just the ones your doctor lets you see in their health system.

For the first stage you can do the application yourself. 90+% are denied straight away unless it is really really really obvious you cannot work. Most people normally go through one or more appeals process, that's when a lawyer can be helpful I think.

Here is the SSDI document for ME/CFS.
https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/documents/64-063.pdf

These are good articles written last year by an ME patient.

https://themighty.com/2020/11/covid-19-long-haulers-disability-benefits/

https://chronicallycaroline.com/2020/11/29/10-tips-for-long-haulers-seeking-disability-benefits/

https://chronicallycaroline.com/202...ter-helped-me-to-win-my-ssdi-case-for-me-cfs/
 
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Judee

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@Strawberry, on YT there is a lawyer that talks about this. Her name is Nancy Cavey. I'm not sure where she handles cases but it sounds like she does actually take ME/CFS SSDI cases.

There is another attorney, Jonathan Ginsburg, that talks about Fibromyalgia cases. He's very honest about what it takes to get onto SSDI with such a diagnosis. You could look for others there too but I did not see too many--not for SSDI anyway. When I was trying for it, I watched a lot of his videos. He explains things very well.
 

gbells

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So how disabled does one need to be to get approved for disability? Unemployment won’t pay me because they claim I’m too disabled, but I always understood that you have to be bedbound and still won’t qualify for disability. I’m house and couch bound, and very over having zero income!
You need a doctor to state that you have a disabling condition (inability to do any job), that he has seen you for at least six months and that the condition will last at least a year.
 

bensmith

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Get a lawyer after your claim is denied. My family worked in the business.

Most attorneys dont charge you, and take a cut of backpay.

People a lot less sick than us get on disability, just takes a long time in general. Been harder to get approved as the years have gone by imop.
 

nyanko_the_sane

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Alvin2

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You want a lawyer. They have the experience applying and getting through the many denials without inadvertently giving the government evidence that will hurt your case.
Someone once said this and i never forgot it; imagine someone offers you $100 if you win a boxing match and you have never boxed in your life. When you get into the ring you find out your opponent is an olympic boxer. Your going to lose.
The reason is that you don't have the experience of hundreds if not thousands of applications, you don't know what evidence works for you and what works against you (and what does neither) and you don't understand how the other side works or thinks which experienced counsel does.
Hire an olympic boxer for your side.

It may cost money (the contingency lawyers are a mixed bag, they like easy cases, anything with bumps they prefer not to take on) but if you have public legal assistance for those who can't afford it and if you are in that boat i highly recommend you engage them before putting in the application. And ask lots of questions.
 
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@Strawberry, I am also applying for SSDI. I am a DIY type of person used to sorting through paperwork and have decent me/cfs activity levels 2-3. After reading/researching (a lot, including the above-mentioned resources) over 4 months, I feel my evidence is strong enough that I plan to go without a lawyer/advocate unless I have received one or two denials. One might consider how confident is one's medical evidence (plus willingness to subject our poor selves to more stress) and weigh it with the risk of losing entirely versus giving part of your benefits to pay the lawyer or advocate. It is also possible to get a bad lawyer/advocate who might bungle your case.

For myself, I am hoping my doctor and husband is right that my medical records and tests are clear-cut. With my husband's assistance, I won my ERISA short and long term disability claims without lawyers, though I am know it won't guarantee I will get same outcome with SSDI.

Anyway, good luck on your efforts!
 

Alvin2

The good news is patients don't die the bad news..
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After reading/researching (a lot, including the above-mentioned resources) over 4 months, I feel my evidence is strong enough that I plan to go without a lawyer/advocate unless I have received one or two denials.
While i admire your spirit the government is ruthless and anything you say can and will be used against you. Hence you want someone who will let you know what to say, how to say it and what not to say and how to gather and present the evidence in the best way to make the best case.
You can't undo mistakes so i would recommend getting a pro to show you how to not make them. That is the lesson i learned from countless rejections and would do things very differently if i had it to do over.