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Old 10-01-2017, 07:31 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,356 posts, read 4,911,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arwenmark View Post
You cannot be working when you apply for SSDI. Which is a big problem since even if you get approved it can take up to 2 years.

But on the plus side if your aunt is approved, it will be retroactively applied. So if it took 2 years to be approved she will get a large first check.
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Texas or Cascais, Portugal
3,436 posts, read 3,196,773 times
Reputation: 8308
SSA will not contact her employer, they already have her earnings record so they will know if her part time earnings are low enough for her to qualify for SSDI. That said, being under age 55, her back will have to be very bad (e.g., spinal stenosis, failed back syndrome, or another severe impairment) to be disabled. And, regardless of whether she has an attorney should she require a disability hearing, it all comes down to luck. Does she get an administrative law judge who is sympathetic or, one who thinks there are still jobs she can do with her chronic pain. If she is denied before having a hearing, she WILL wait a good 2 years or longer before she has a hearing. The backlog for SSA disability hearings is over 1 million cases and The current administration is cutting back on new hires. Less new judges and support staff means the waiting will get longer.
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Kansas
19,185 posts, read 15,068,517 times
Reputation: 18249
Quote:
Originally Posted by PetiteGem View Post
She is 50 and went from working 40 hours a week, but lost that job from all the madness of being in an abusive marriage with a drug addict. When he put a gun to her head, she had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized which led to her getting fired. She was out of work without an income and finally managed to find this job and she is worried that they may contact her employer.
So where does the back pain come into play here? She lost her job because she was off of work for an extended time due to a nervous breakdown. Isn't SSDI for people who are too disabled to work? I'm confused.

It is also unclear as to why she is concerned about the current employer being contacted. Is she afraid the employer will weigh in on her ability to be gainfully employed?

Something seems "off".
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:28 AM
 
72,015 posts, read 72,043,164 times
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i agree . it does not sound fully legit here . more like another case of potential abuse of the system . this opinion is only based on the op's own words as this is all we can go by .
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:32 AM
 
3,115 posts, read 832,457 times
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I am sorry about your aunt; she's in a tough position with no easy answers. I have a friend who turned to SSDI when she lost her job then simultaneously developed a temporary medical condition. SSDI IS being used as a source of last-resort funds.

As another poster indicated, you cannot be working when you APPLY for SSDI or have worked for a set period of time (some months). Once on the program, SSDI then allows the recipient to earn a certain amount per year. The theory is this helps recipients ease their way back into the workforce without being penalized or risk losing SSDI.

This person simply applied online and to everyone's amazement was approved within a couple of months. Unfortunately, in the interim she had started doing some contract work from home within "blackout period" thus technically she HAD a job, even though her wages were low. My friend never read the "fine print" on the documentation and accepted the SSDI.

Per yet another poster, SSDI and the IRS tax records are integrated. Come tax time the next year, Social Security realized she had never been qualified for SSDI given her employment record. That she'd been approved medically was irrelevant. She had to pay the money back.

Edited to add - Per the above-poster, a quick google shows that a lower-amount of earnings can be possible during the application period. Perhaps my friend's amount fell above that - although she had the impression that if she'd simply waited another month or so that working from home would have fallen under the "back-to-work" program segment. Anyhow ... it's complicated.

My friend had wanted me to help her wade through the regulations when she first applied. I googled a bit (30 minutes or so) but demurred, for a couple of reasons. First, I'm not an attorney and "mistakes" in the application process can result in denials. I didn't want that responsibility. Too, my friend's disability really was temporary, she WAS able to be gained employed from home, and I didn't want to be part of gaming the system.

There is a role for a disability lawyer here - although if I'm remembering correctly from a forum reading during that 30-minutes that's easier said than done. Often folks apply then wait years at which point - if accepted - they are awarded payment from the time of application. Disability attorneys then take their cut of that award. Most folks applying for SSDI don't have the funds to pay for initial consultations. For a new applicant, there is no possible "back pay" in the pipeline - and hence minimal attorney interest.

Good luck.

Last edited by EveryLady; 10-01-2017 at 11:51 AM..
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Old 10-01-2017, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,877 posts, read 4,988,304 times
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"60 Minutes did a show about this in 2013


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS2KHPmf8_Q

Evidently, you can find law firms that specialize in getting approvals.
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Old 10-01-2017, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Kansas
19,185 posts, read 15,068,517 times
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This seems like a topic for "Work and Unemployment" area rather than retirement. So many people get SSDI (Social Security Disability), Social Security Retirement and SSI (welfare) confused, so I'm wondering if there isn't confusion here also.
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Old 10-01-2017, 01:59 PM
 
Location: TX
3,931 posts, read 4,713,292 times
Reputation: 4390
I've heard people say that nobody gets approved the first time without a lawyer, but that's not always true. My DH did. But then again, he'd spent quite a lot of time in the hospital before his interview. And I think the letter I asked for from one doctor while DH was still in MICU helped a lot.
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Old 10-01-2017, 06:32 PM
 
3,457 posts, read 2,346,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EveryLady View Post
There is a role for a disability lawyer here - although if I'm remembering correctly from a forum reading during that 30-minutes that's easier said than done. Often folks apply then wait years at which point - if accepted - they are awarded payment from the time of application. Disability attorneys then take their cut of that award. Most folks applying for SSDI don't have the funds to pay for initial consultations. For a new applicant, there is no possible "back pay" in the pipeline - and hence minimal attorney interest.
There is no initial consultation fee. Attorney's fees are limited to 25% of the retroactive payment from SSDI, up to a maximum of $6,000. If you don't win your case (through all the levels of appeals), the attorney does not get his/her fee. Expenses, however, could conceivably be billed to the claimant.

Assuming the claimant is determined to have been disabled for 17 months prior to their application date, they will be paid for 12 months of retroactive benefits (12 months + 5 month "waiting period" = 17 months), dating from their application date. Depending on whether there is a denial and appeals process, that first check can be substantial, because the person would get paid for the 12 months retroactive to their filing date, plus however many months elapsed between the application date and the final determination that they are disabled.

The complexities of SSDI can make engaging an attorney from the get-go a smart move.
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,746 posts, read 4,228,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PetiteGem View Post
She is 50 and went from working 40 hours a week, but lost that job from all the madness of being in an abusive marriage with a drug addict. When he put a gun to her head, she had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized which led to her getting fired. She was out of work without an income and finally managed to find this job and she is worried that they may contact her employer.
Tell her to hang in there. Being hospitalized for a mental breakdown is huge. (Encourage her to seek a free consultation with an employment attorney because it appears she may have been unlawfully terminated from her prior job.) Depending on her prior level of education and employment history (skilled versus unskilled, etc.), given her age, mental health and physical impairment she appears to have a strong case. But, because her mental state does appear somewhat fragile she should seek help from an attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability. The easiest way to find one is to go to NOSSCR.org. (She may already have this contact info because SSA used to provide this organization's contact information for claimant's seeking representation. Don't know if they still do.) Also, she may want to consider contacting her local Congressional Representative to get her case expedited, emphasizing her mental health issues. (A letter from a Congress critter to SSA helps the claim move forward more quickly.)

Please tell her to ignore the the asshats out there. It sounds like she is having a difficult time and she wouldn't be the first claimant to attempt and/or succeed killing herself. If you have any specific questions please feel free to pm me.

~ Lenora
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