|May 29 2010|
So... I just wanted to get down in my journal all the hoops I have gone through so far for social security disability insurance.
I realized I needed to apply for disability in December 2008. After a three-month medical leave from work, I tried to go back. I was unsuccessful. I was having panic attacks nonstop at work, I was hiding in data closets and avoiding people, and basically I was incapable of doing my job. So I resigned.
In January of 2009 I contacted Binder & Binder, a law firm specializing in disability cases. They asked me for a letter from my doctor indicating why I could not work. I sent them a copy of the letter my doctor gave me to apply for short-term disability through work.
It was a great letter, explaining exactly why I could not work. Unfortunately, my doctor never put a date on the letter. Binder & Binder said they could not take my case without a dated letter from my doctor. At this point I was completely homebound, so I gave up on applying for disability for the time being. Eventually they sent me a letter making sure I knew they were NOT representing me.
Things were looking dismal. I had no job, the little bit of money I had was running out, and I wasn't going to be able to come up with the next month's rent. I decided to stay with family in New Jersey.
In March 2009, I applied for disability online. I did it by myself, without a lawyer. Everything seemed self-explanatory, and I felt pretty good about my case. I was in an intensive out-patient program three times a week, and I felt confident they were doing a good job at documenting my problems.
Sometime around May 2009 I received a phone call requesting some additional information. I was happy; it seemed like they were at least making progress on my case.
So the months continued to go by. Every day I checked the status of my case online, and every day I waited anxiously for the mail to come.
Finally, in late July 2009, the status of my case online said "A decision has been made on your case." I was ecstatic. I immediately called Social Security and was told I would have to wait until I received an answer via the mail.
Every day was agony waiting for the mail, and every day nothing came. I still called Social Security once in a while to ask why I hadn't received anything yet, and I was continually told I would just have to wait, it would be in the mail soon.
Finally, in September 2009, someone finally admitted there must be a problem if I still hadn't received anything in the mail. They gave me two phone numbers to try.
I was finally able to reach someone who told me that my case had been denied two months earlier -- on my birthday if you can believe that. They denied me on my birthday. They said there was absolutely no record of a letter being created explaining why I was denied. They couldn't give me a straight answer as to why there was no letter.
So I called Allsup, and they agreed to take my case on. Allsup told me that it was too late for me to appeal the initial decision, because the time ran out. I explained to them I had never been INFORMED of a decision. Still, they refused to take my case unless we filed a new application, so that is what I did.
It took some time for them to get all my information, and my application was filed in November 2009. Once again, I waited.
In February 2010, I received a series of phone calls from the disability examiner. I was ecstatic that my case was being handled. They told me they didn't think they had enough information from my doctors, so I may have to go see one of Social Security's doctors. At this point I had to explain to them that I had moved, and my case was transferred off to Delaware.
I knew that transferring the case to Delaware would slow things down, but I had no choice. There would have been no way for me to get to New Jersey for a doctor's appointment. So I waited.
In May 2010 I asked Allsup for a status. It had been six months since my initial application with them had been filed, and three months since my case was transferred to Delaware. They told me that my case had been transferred to Delaware, but it had not yet been assigned.
So that's where I stand today. It's been almost 18 months since I first started dealing with the disability process, and I am nowhere. My case is in limbo, not even being worked on by anyone. For all I know they're using it for a coaster.
Still, I keep hope that soon this whole mess will be over and I will get approved for disability. Every single day I wait in agony.
Questions For The Day
Can't Get There From Here
All dressed up with no place to go
The Waiting Room
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Nervous Breakdown Anyone?
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