- Darrin Andrus
Does Applying for Disability Benefits Require Technique or Luck?
Mia Maysack is a Pain News Network columnist as well as the founder of Peace & Love life coaching practice for the chronically ill. Mia shares her ongoing saga with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). She points out that there are millions of applicants waiting for their well-deserved SSDI benefits.
The first step begins when a person submits an application for disability. The applicant declares that they cannot work and includes the certification of doctors or others in the medical profession. It sounds simple but it is a long involved process. Mia’s application took over four years for approval. As of this writing, Mia has not yet received final approval. Mia decided to represent herself in court. She says that she literally begged the court and gave a detailed description of her illness and the many ways it prohibits her from working in any occupation.
After years of waiting, Mia finally received a notice of an upcoming decision. The court will decide whether Mia is still living with a traumatic brain injury caused by her post-bacterial meningitis.
The evidence Mia submitted described her continuous episodes of mega-migraines, cluster headaches, and nerve damage. Yet after two medical reviews authorized by Social Security, Mia was no longer considered to be disabled.
Mia wants to let people know that she worked since the age of fourteen. She tried to work recently but as she describes it, she almost worked herself to death. Therefore, Mia feels that any disability checks she receives represent funds she contributed previously to the IRS. Receipt of SSI, according to Mia, would not lessen her pain nor indicate a cure.
Mia emphasizes that she has no idea whether her condition will even allow her to walk unaided into the courtroom on the day of her new appeal. However, she promises to be heard not only for herself but on behalf of all disabled. Mia received the International Pain Foundation award “hero of Hope” in 2022
Technique vs. Luck Two brothers with opposing results. One brother replied to Mia that he received his SSDI approval in six months. He expected one denial and it arrived four months after submitting his application. He was geared up for a second round but also decided that if he received a second denial he would hire an attorney just as his brother had.
One factor which he believes may have helped was that all his treatments took place at a major California hospital by highly accredited physicians. Another possibility was that all physicians were in agreement that he was permanently disabled with CRPS.
On the other hand, his brother had hired an attorney who was not required to provide as much information. The brothers could not understand the different requirements with and without an attorney.
In any event, the wait caused his brother to take matters into his own hands. He had a family to support and bills to pay. He could not wait any longer. He called the social security judge and pleaded with him to understand his situation. Fortunately, the judge acted on his behalf. Within a short period of time, he received approval.
Surprisingly the attorney called him and was extremely annoyed that he would call the judge without involving the attorney.
Disability Appeal A reader writes that her disability claim was denied for medical reasons. SSA offers a reconsideration which is a complete review of a claim by an SSI representative who did not take part in the original determination. The previous evidence plus any new evidence submitted will be analyzed. Information may be accessed here.
Note that the opinions expressed above are those of the authors
Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.