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Author Topic: Confused and need advise!!!  (Read 7662 times)

nextmilenium

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Confused and need advise!!!
« on: May 02, 2022, 12:02:59 pm »
I think I'm in a unique situation and want to get some helpful advise.

First of all, I am paraplegic (complete paralysis below chest level due to spinal cord injury) and double amputee (both legs at the knee level). I rely on my wheelchair 24/7. My condition is due to an accident I had when I was a child.

Luckily, I didn't let my disability stop me from getting an engineering degree and a successful 30 year career. However, my condition has worsened and now I can barely sit for more than an hour at a time due to severe back pain. I will be retiring from my job in couple of months once I exhaust rest of my paid time off.

My question is, will I be able to apply for SSDI once I stop working? Or do I have to wait 12 months before applying? I keep hearing that one must not work 12 consecutive months before applying for SSDI, which doesn't make any sense.

Thanks in advance.

Barb2019

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2022, 12:13:42 pm »
I applied for disability the day after I retired.
Michigan
Initial App: 1/4/2019
Initial Denial: 8/17/2019
Prototype State-No Recon Level
Hearing Requested: 10/01/2019
Hearing Date: 4/21/2020
Hearing Decision: 5/01/2020
Fully Favorable Letter received: 5/08/2020
Award letter - 6/26/2020
Back pay - 6/22/2020
Monthly Payments begin 7/15/2020

nextmilenium

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2022, 12:18:46 pm »
Hello Barb,

Thank you for your reply.

So you applied the day you retired and I'm assuming you got approved?

nextmilenium

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2022, 12:25:03 pm »
I applied for disability the day after I retired.

Sorry, I failed to read your timeline before I previously replied.

I see your initial claim was denied and you had to go through an appeal process. May I ask if the denial had anything to do with how soon you applied for SSDI after you stopped working?

Barb2019

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2022, 02:47:21 pm »
Yes, I was approved after my ALJ hearing.  My file didn't contain enough medical evidence...that's why it was denied the first time.

ALJ approved my disability, effective to the day that I applied.
Retired 12/31/2018
Applied 1/2019
Approved effective 1/1/2019
Five month waiting period
Payments began effective 6/1/2019
« Last Edit: May 02, 2022, 02:49:10 pm by Barb2019 »
Michigan
Initial App: 1/4/2019
Initial Denial: 8/17/2019
Prototype State-No Recon Level
Hearing Requested: 10/01/2019
Hearing Date: 4/21/2020
Hearing Decision: 5/01/2020
Fully Favorable Letter received: 5/08/2020
Award letter - 6/26/2020
Back pay - 6/22/2020
Monthly Payments begin 7/15/2020

nextmilenium

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2022, 03:12:40 pm »
Just what I wanted to hear!!! 

Thank you!!! 🙏

DepressedGuessed

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2022, 06:41:31 pm »
Luckily, I didn't let my disability stop me from getting an engineering degree and a successful 30 year career. However, my condition has worsened and now I can barely sit for more than an hour at a time due to severe back pain. I will be retiring from my job in couple of months once I exhaust rest of my paid time off.

I can't answer your question but just wanted to say that you are an inspiration, congratulations to you for not allowing disability to dictate the terms of your life. 
That being said, I'm sorry you're in pain but it sounds like youve reached a well-earned retirement and I wish you the best of luck in working with SSA to get the full benefits you have paid for in a timely manner.

nextmilenium

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2022, 12:37:45 pm »
Luckily, I didn't let my disability stop me from getting an engineering degree and a successful 30 year career. However, my condition has worsened and now I can barely sit for more than an hour at a time due to severe back pain. I will be retiring from my job in couple of months once I exhaust rest of my paid time off.

I can't answer your question but just wanted to say that you are an inspiration, congratulations to you for not allowing disability to dictate the terms of your life. 
That being said, I'm sorry you're in pain but it sounds like youve reached a well-earned retirement and I wish you the best of luck in working with SSA to get the full benefits you have paid for in a timely manner.

Thank you! I'm a fighter and didn't want my disability to dictate what I can or cannot do with my life.

Just Me

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2022, 12:59:11 pm »
The impairments that prevent you from performing SGA have to have lasted or be expected to last at least 12 months. You can apply as soon as you stop working. Do you see a doctor regularly for treatment? You have been able to work all these years. SSA needs medical evidence proving there have been changes in your condition that are so severe you can no longer work. Are you 50yesrs old? If you are at least 50 learning a new job is harder for those 50 and older. Have you discussed with your doctors details of how changes in your condition are affecting your ability to perform Activities Of Daily Living now?? You need to get copies of your medical records and read what your doctors have written in your medical records. Doctors do not always write what patients tell them and what they tell patients.

You can go to the link below and create a my social security account online if you do not have one. You should be able to find out about how much your monthly SSDI benefits will be if you are approved.

www.ssa.gov
Nerve damage in upper and lower extremities. Degenerative Disc Disease, RA.

Hope the size of a mustard seed can produce Faith that can move mountains.

nextmilenium

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2022, 05:12:47 pm »
The impairments that prevent you from performing SGA have to have lasted or be expected to last at least 12 months. You can apply as soon as you stop working. Do you see a doctor regularly for treatment? You have been able to work all these years. SSA needs medical evidence proving there have been changes in your condition that are so severe you can no longer work. Are you 50yesrs old? If you are at least 50 learning a new job is harder for those 50 and older. Have you discussed with your doctors details of how changes in your condition are affecting your ability to perform Activities Of Daily Living now?? You need to get copies of your medical records and read what your doctors have written in your medical records. Doctors do not always write what patients tell them and what they tell patients.

You can go to the link below and create a my social security account online if you do not have one. You should be able to find out about how much your monthly SSDI benefits will be if you are approved.

www.ssa.gov

I'm a paraplegic with double amputee at the knee level. I'm pretty sure my disability will last until I die.  :Angry17:
And yes, I do see my doctor regularly and she knows my worsening conditions. I've been off work past several months on a medical leave. Luckily, I've saved up on my sick leave (paid time off) so I've been using those hours to receive full paycheck. Once my paid time off runs out, I have no choice but to retire and apply for SSDI. Also, I'm turning 57 next month.

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought if your disability falls into one of their categories, you are automatically approved?

newdawn

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2022, 06:50:38 pm »
I'm a paraplegic with double amputee at the knee level. I'm pretty sure my disability will last until I die.  :Angry17:
And yes, I do see my doctor regularly and she knows my worsening conditions. I've been off work past several months on a medical leave. Luckily, I've saved up on my sick leave (paid time off) so I've been using those hours to receive full paycheck. Once my paid time off runs out, I have no choice but to retire and apply for SSDI. Also, I'm turning 57 next month.

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought if your disability falls into one of their categories, you are automatically approved?

Yes, there are certain blue book listings where as long as you meet the criteria, you're good to go. From what you've written in this thread, I don't think you have anything to worry about other than adjusting to this new (retired) stage in your life.

And, in case this hasn't been said yet, apply for disability as soon as you stop working.
Location: IL
Age at Application: 31
Disability: Depression, anxiety
Applied: 11/2013
First Denial: 03/2014
Reconsideration Denial: 11/2014
Hearing: 11/13/15 (Friday the 13th!)
ALJ Approval: 01/15/16 Fully Favorable
Back Pay: 02/13/16
Award Letter: 02/17/16
1st monthly benefit: 03/21/16

Helper

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2022, 06:09:36 am »
If you are currently off work on leave, you can apply for SSDI now.  You do not have to wait until you are actually no longer employed.

You will need to report the income that you are currently receiving from paid time off - but paid time off does not count as actually working.
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nextmilenium

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2022, 10:15:10 am »
If you are currently off work on leave, you can apply for SSDI now.  You do not have to wait until you are actually no longer employed.

You will need to report the income that you are currently receiving from paid time off - but paid time off does not count as actually working.

Wow, very interesting point that I have not considered!

Even though I am on leave, I am receiving full paycheck. Won't that count as earned income? I'm not sure how I can differentiate earned income vs. income from paid time off. From what I understand, earned income prevents you from getting SSDI?

Helper

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2022, 09:00:36 pm »
You will need to submit the paycheck stubs to show that the income is from PTO, not earned from working.  It should be a different category on the paycheck stub.
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nextmilenium

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Re: Confused and need advise!!!
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2022, 09:42:44 am »
Which is better? Applying online or in person at the SS office? Maybe it doesn't matter?