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Old 07-15-2009, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Sunny SC
4,088 posts, read 9,620,625 times
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Does anyone know anything about disability in SC? I don't even know if it's different in each state, I've never looked into it before. I have been sick for a couple years now, I'm getting treatment but if this continues I'm going to be in trouble. I've had savings to fall back on but I can't keep going on like this but I'm sick several days / hours out of the week that don't allow me to work and it's different all the time. I work for myself, so I don't get sick time off. I can't even commit to an outside job because I never know when I'm going to feel bad. Anyway, I thought I should look into disability now just in case I have to apply for it. I hope not but I don't know what's going to happen. Thanks for any info.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:57 PM
 
Location: On a Farm & by the sea
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Hi Raptor. I'm surely sorry that you are enduring illness and the associated financial stresses.
I've always heard that it is incredibly difficult to be approved for disability and I've never had any direct experience with disability application. However, I think you can start by contacting your local social security office. I get a statement, quarterly I think, which explains the amount of benefits I will be eligible for upon retirement and the amount of benefits (monthly payment) I qualify for now should I become disabled. This will get you started. From there, contact your primary care physician and ask about the qualifications for disability. Explain your concerns and that you are trying to prepare yourself should you reach that point. Your physician's statement will be crucial to receiving benefits and they are well aware of the process and requirements. I hope this helps. May God's peace and strength be with you.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
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Good advice from Tinabean.If you've had a job history you should be able to qualify for SSDI but it won't be quick. Good luck to you.
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
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The definition of disability, according to the Social Security Administration's guidelines for disability eligibility, is: an inability to perform substantially gainful activity (a job that pays around $700 per month give or take) due to a physical or mental impairment that, despite appropriate medical treatment, is expected to last at least one year or end in death. A person 55 years old or older who does not have a high school education and has never worked would qualify if it is determined, based on a combination of objective medical findings and lay evidence, that his impairment were severe enough to prevent him from lifting any more than 50 pounds occasionally and 25 pounds frequently. If he is younger than 50, it would have to be shown that he were unable to lift even 10 pounds occasionally or that he were unable to stand and/or walk for even two hours in an eight-hour workday; that is, if his impairment(s) were not expected to end in death (pretty much imminently). It is very complicated. Do not hire an attorney. Apply, and if you are turned down and truly think the disability agency was wrong, put in for an appeal. It that is turned down, put in for a hearing before an administrative law judge. You still will not need an attorney. Attorneys do nothing but create a laborious extra step for the disability examiner, whose job it is from the time they receive the claim to see what they can do within the guidelines to allow the claimant benefits. Disability is the same in all states. Every state has a disability agency that is contracted with the Social Security Administration to process disability claims. The rules are the same all across the nation; however, periodically it is determined that the regional federal review agencies (South Carolina is in the Atlanta region.) are either more liberal or more conservative than other regional review agencies, and then a move is made to bring them more in line with each other. For instance, the San Francisco region may tend to be more liberal than the Chicago region, and the Chicago region more liberal than the Atlanta region, but studies are done to uncover such trends periodically. People often complain that they didn't get disability while their neighbor who can do this, that and the other got it. It is very, very complicated and detailed, and one never knows what is going on in the body or mind of someone who can do this, that and the other, and is not in a position to say whether that person should or should not have been approved for disability benefits. While the in-house and regional quality assurance review process is stringent for each state agency and regional federal review agency, that does mean mistakes are not made on people's claims, both on the initial claim level and on the reconsideration level. The best case scenario, of course, will be that you'll get well with treatment within a year. I wish you the best.
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Sunny SC
4,088 posts, read 9,620,625 times
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Thank you all for the well wishes and great information. Hopefully I will not have to apply and will feel better sometime in the next year. I did check my SS report and it says that I have enough credits, so I guess I'll speak with my Dr. to see what advice he may have.
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:43 PM
 
Location: North Jersey
1 posts, read 1,909 times
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Look for a lawyer or company specializing in Disability applications. There are lots of rules, regs, and deadlines. They'll help you through the process. They get paid a limited amount deducted from your first (backdated) payment. If you don't get disability, they don't get paid.

I'm using the national company, Binder & Binder.

Nancy
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
3,794 posts, read 4,889,087 times
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California has a State Disability Insurance program for short-term situations like pregnancy or other temporary incapacitations. It's a lot easier to get than the Federal programs (SSI,SSDI) that are intended for long term disabilities. I don't know whether SC has an equivalent program but if it did you could start there. If you're dealing with the Federal programs, yes, it is possible to do without an attorney especially for the first application which is always denied anyway but in the long run you'll be better off with an attorney who specializes in Social Security appeals. Just my $.02. I am a voc rehab counselor with the State out here,and in ten years I have had exactly ONE client get benefits without an attorney OR help from an advocacy agency,which are plentiful in California. Don't know about SC. Best wishes.
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Old 07-18-2009, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
7,332 posts, read 5,900,138 times
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Every Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency in the nation is staffed with examiners trained to see what they can do within the guidelines to allow claims at the earliest possible point in the claim examination process, with the earliest date of onset possible. When a person gets denied, it is not because the DDS set out to deny them, as is so widely believed, but because it was determined that the claimant's impairment or impairments isn't or aren't severe enough to prevent him from performing all types of work, even simple, unskilled, sedentary work, for instance. A claimant's age, education level and work history also play roles in the decison-making process. Attorneys do nothing but call the disability agency to check on the status of claims and send in medical evidence that nine times out of ten the disability agency has already acquired by writing for all records the claimant has listed on his application. They also call the claimant to ask questions that the disability examiner asks them to ask the claimant, so that the examiner can get information he needs to continue processing the claim - a laborious, time-consuming extra step for the examiner. The claimant can call the disability examiner himself to find out anything, or to mail or fax anything that the attorney can, or to tell the examiner about any new medical treatment received since filing the claim. Many people believe that to get disability, one has to first get denied by the DDS at least once, and finally get allowed by an adminstrative law judge (ALJ), who does not work for DDS. Around seventy-five percent of claims that are allowed are allowed by the disability agency, either on the initial claim level or on the reconsideration claim level. The remaining allowances are allowed by ALJ's on the hearing level, and an attorney is not needed even at the hearing. Studies have shown consistently that roughly one third of all claims are allowed at the initial level. The same studies have shown that roughly one third of claims at the reconsideration level are also allowed. And finally, the same studies have shown that roughly one third of all claims at the hearing level are allowed. Every state is in a Disability Quality Branch (DQB) region, and claims are chosen at random to be reviewed by DQB for accuracy. DQB studies show that states have a relatively high rate of accuracy, but that they certainly aren't without error in processing claims. Neither the initial claim level, nor the reconsideration claim level, nor the hearing level calls for an attorney to be involved. DDS is on the claimant's side, believe it or not.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
7,332 posts, read 5,900,138 times
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That last sentence stands corrected. I'm changing it to: DDS strives to be fair.
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:37 PM
 
4,465 posts, read 4,726,737 times
Reputation: 766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapture View Post
Does anyone know anything about disability in SC? I don't even know if it's different in each state, I've never looked into it before. I have been sick for a couple years now, I'm getting treatment but if this continues I'm going to be in trouble. I've had savings to fall back on but I can't keep going on like this but I'm sick several days / hours out of the week that don't allow me to work and it's different all the time. I work for myself, so I don't get sick time off. I can't even commit to an outside job because I never know when I'm going to feel bad. Anyway, I thought I should look into disability now just in case I have to apply for it. I hope not but I don't know what's going to happen. Thanks for any info.
Depends upon what type of disability, but I caution you from the get-go that SC has always had the philosophy of, "Take care of yourself, let the family take care of you, or just go off and die."

It is truly one of the worst places for any disabled person to live.

I speak from the experience of watching/assisting a cousin with CMI.
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