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What medical conditions are required to meet SSI disability qualifications and to get an SSI approval?

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  411 Comments

Find out how disability is defined for SSI and what SSI disability qualifications adults and children must meet to get SSI.

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The SSI Definition of Disability for Adults

Any medical or psychiatric condition can be the basis for meeting the SSI disability qualifications if you are limited in the manner described in the SSI definitions of disability.

SSI disability qualifications are different for adults and children. Adults who apply for SSI benefits are evaluated using the same definition of disability that is used for Social Security Disability applicants. According to Social Security and SSI disability laws, disability is an adult’s “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted, or can be expected to last, for a continuous period of not less than twelve months. Our article “What Is Disability According to Social Security Disability Laws?” explains the definition and our article “How Does the Social Security Administration Apply Social Security Disability Laws to Determine If I Am Disabled?” includes a step-by-step explanation of how Social Security applies adult disability laws to your situation to determine if you are disabled.

When a child who is eligible for SSI turns eighteen, his or her eligibility for SSI has to be re-reviewed. The former child’s medical condition will undergo a new disability review to determine whether he or she meets the adult definition of disability. Additionally, his financial eligibility and potential benefit amount will be re-determined without consideration to his or her parents’ income and resources.

The SSI Definition of Disability for Children

A child is disabled for SSI purposes if he or she has “a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments that causes marked and severe functional limitations and that can be expected to cause death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months.”

Determining a Child’s SSI Disability Status

If a child who is under age eighteen applies for SSI benefit and it is determined that he or she meets the non-medical eligibility requirements, the local Social Security office determines whether the child is performing work that is Substantial Gainful Activity, which is called SGA for short. Usually, gross work earnings as an employee or net income from self-employment is considered to be SGA if the earnings reach $1,820 for a blind person or $1,090 for a non-blind person. If the child is performing SGA is performing SGA, then the child is not disabled. As mentioned, a more complete discussion of SGA can be found in the article “What Is Disability According to Social Security Disability Laws?

If the child is not performing Substantial Gainful Activity, then the claim will be sent to the Disability Determining Services, which is called DDS for short. To conduct a medical review of your child’s claim, the DDS will review the medical and other information you provide on the SSI application form. The DDS may also ask you for additional information, contact your child’s medical providers and educators, or ask that your child to attend a Consultative Examination. The examination, if requested, will be for evaluation purposes only and will not include any treatment. For more information about Consultative Examinations and about who decides if your child is disabled, see our articles “When Applying for Disability Benefits Will I Have to See a Social Security Doctor?” and “Who Decides If I Am Disabled? If Both My Doctor and the Social Security Disability Doctors Say I Am Unable to Work, Will I Be Approved?

In its first step, the DDS evaluates whether your child has a physical or mental impairment that is medically determinable and whether it is severe enough to cause more than minimal functional limitations. If no impairment is supported or functional limitations are only minor, the claim will be denied. On the other hand, if your child has a severe impairment, then the review proceeds to the next step.

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  • Published: 5 months ago on March 3, 2016
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  • Last Modified: March 4, 2016 @ 4:27 pm
  • Filed Under: SSI

411 Comments

  1. Ashley O says:

    My 7 year old son was just diagnosed (2 weeks ago) with ADHD, anxiety, dyslexia, dyscalculia, autism and borderline intellectual functioning. His FSIQ was 76. They are making him see a psychiatrist, therapist, OT and want him to take social skill classes (which would be out of pocket). They recommended retainment in first grade this year as he is a year behind in reading and math but the therapist and psychiatrist recommend moving on with full resource. Do you think he would qualify for SSI?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ashley,

      If son might qualify medically. Your family income and assets will be reviewed to see if he qualifies financially before a medical review is done.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  2. April says:

    Hey Kay,
    I have a seven year old son with Asbergers and ADHD. He also has an IEP set in place at school. He can not tie his shoes or take a bath by himself. He has repeated kindergarten and still far behind after completing first grade. I have applied for SSI for him. I called today and they have said they have all the records they need and the case is still open. I was not sure how to take that response. Does he qualify for SSI
    Thank you,
    Apryl

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear April,

      Your son’s claim is likely waiting its turn to have the records reviewed and a decision made. Your son may be eligible for benefits, but I can’t say for sure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  3. Fred W. says:

    Hello,

    I am currently disabled due to me tearing my Patella Tendon in both of my legs. I am unable to walk and has been this way for about 3 weeks now. I was the only working and is in serious need of income for me and my family. I called and spoke with someone at the Disability off, but she told me I needed to be disabled for 12 months. I cant go 12 months without income. My injury was sudden with no warning and I have worked non stop all my life and having a hard time getting assistance. Will SSI work for me? I have surgery this Wednesday and will be unable to walk or bend my legs for 4 months, what can I do?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Fred,

      Talk with your surgeon about how soon after the surgery you will be able to work. If it is possible that your disability will last a year, you can file a claim. SSI has the same definition of disability which includes being disabled twelve months.

      Check with your employer to see if you are covered by a short-term or long-term disability policy. Also check with your state or county social services office to see whether your family qualifies for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and/or food stamps. Also, if you are buying your home, check to see whether you took out mortgage disability insurance when you bought your home. If you have a 401k, you may be eligible for an emergency withdrawal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  4. Brandon says:

    Hey Kay,

    So I’m having a hard time understanding this FMV thing. I live in a 3 bedroom apartment with my mom and brother. Rent is $1,200 a month. So if I was to split that 1/3 it would be $400 plus the water and electricity bill which would be 1/3 also which be another $100. So total cost is $500. When I go to the FMV website it has a 3 bedroom for $1,319. So 1/3 of that would be $439.66. I also looked on Craigslist for rooms for rent and found rentings for $350-400 for the room rental which includes water and electricity. Which option can I choose to pay so that I am actually paying what I need to pay to receive $733?

    2. We moved in the apartment Oct 1st 2015. I agreed to pay back all the months that I owe for staying here when I get my SSI. Will they need to see a loan between my mother and me stating that and will the back pay be calculated at $733 or $488.67? Thank you for all the advice.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Brandon,

      When you share, fair market value (FMV) is not applicable. If you all consider that you are sharing housing, then use the actual figures for your household $1,500 ($1,200 rent and $300 utilities) with your share being $500. To receive the unreduced $733 for the past period, you need a written agreement signed by you and your mother as to the amount per month you would be repaying for your share, when the loan started, and that you would repay the loan when you received SSI back pay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  5. Brandon says:

    Hello Kay,

    I applied for SSI March 01, 2016. Quality assurance in Tallahassee picked up my case and sent it back to my case worker. My case worker worked on it again and said that Washington Quality assurance picked my case up. I’m filling under the disability that I’m blind. My case worker was able to go back to july of last year to get my medical records for my eyes. If I’m approved will my benefits start from July 2015 or March 2016? Thanks in advance.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Brandon,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are not paid retroactively; so your benefits, if you are approved, will begin March 2016.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  6. Krysten says:

    My 4 year old son was born with a left pelvic kidney he goes to specialist 1 a year since born to have it monitor if I apply for ssi will I get denied thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Krysten,

      If you child’s is developing normally in terms of child development for his age despite his abnormal kidney, then a disability claim would probably be denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  7. Kellie Perkins says:

    Hi, I have 3 children 2 of which are identical twins born prematurely. My twins have been receiving physical,occupational,and speech therapy since they were about 8 weeks old (they’re 2 1/2 now) and my youngest is 8 months and has recently started physical and feeding therapy. The twins have therapy at 2 different places in two different city’s (Ot 2x a week) (speech 1 time) and (pt 1 time). Would my children qualify?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kellie,

      One or more of your children may qualify medically for Supplemental Security Income; however, each child’s medical eligibility will be determined separately.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  8. Tina Collins says:

    my son is 16 years old and received brain damage from a car wreck that happen back in dec 2015 and he is in a coma now for 7 months which they consider it vegetative state coma and his condition isn’t changing so will he be approve for disability and is there anything that I can get cause I had to quit my job and stay home to take care of him??? please help im in desperate need of help I have no income and no help I cant work cause I stay home and take care of him!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tina,

      You can apply for SSI benefits for your son; he will be approved assuming you do not have excess savings or other assets. Also check with your state or county social services office to find out whether your state pays In-home Support Services(IHSS) wages to individuals who are caring for a severely disabled relative. If you are not getting SNAP (food stamp) benefits, you can apply for those as well. On a purely personal note, my cousin suffered a head injury in a traffic accident when he was about your son’s age. He was in a vegetative coma for over a year, then in a delirious coma for a few months. After that he woke up completely and recovered. I don’t want to offer false hope, but also want to share that happy ending.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  9. Falene Best says:

    My seven year old was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of five since then she had been tested and found “borderline retardation ” “ADHD” and severe learning disabilities with an IQ of 48. I applied for disability two years ago and was denied several times and just recently had a city date to discuss her case with a judge. I chose not to have a lawyer! After the judge heard my case she said I will receive a letter within two weeks. My question is what are my chances of being approved this time around. She has an IEP in place at school she’s in special education she has a 504 in place letters from teachers psychology test results Nuro results and everything thing else I child think of…. Please tell me you think we have even the slightest chance of being approved. I can’t continue to pay it off my pocket special activities to keep her occupied. The judge was also told about her violent behavior, the inability to wash dress or care for herself

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Falene,

      I think there is a good chance that your child will be approved. The back benefits may go to a Dedicated special use account. To use that money for the special activities you reference, you might need a doctor’s or psychologist’s statement that they are needed for her intellectual and emotional development.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  10. Nicole says:

    Hello

    My daughter is 3 years old and she is currently taking speech therapy. I have a family member that said she can qualify for supplemental Security Income.Is that true ?

    Thanks for your help

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nichole,

      Whether or not your child is disabled and eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits depends on how severe her speech impediment is and on whether your family income and assets are below the SSI resource limit. The only way to find out if she qualifies medically is to file a claim. You can screen your family income by using the formula in the article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” found under the SSI tab at the top of this website; however, if you are unsure of financial eligibility, file a claim to get a determination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  11. Liz says:

    Hello. I would like your advice on if my daughter will qualify for SSI benefits. She is going to a developmental evaluation on July 6th and I am curious if there is a certain percentage of delay in any one area or in several that would automatically qualify her. I have read the guidelines for children with disabilities that out by SSI however I am not fully understanding clearly. Currently she is 10 months old and she is showing delays in areas of speech and communication, specifically she is not responding to her name makes very poor eye contact and when is engaging and I contact has inappropriate response and becomes distressed and upset when I gave her verbal praise for smiles. Also she is showing delays in gross motor as she has made no attempt to crawl or walk. She additionally has deficits and feeding and will not accept food from a spoon without a struggle and much distress and has never established a routine feeding pattern or demonstrates that she would eat when hungry. One of the criteria had mentioned restrictive repetitive and purposeless movement which she is also doing as of this month in flapping of the hands many times throughout the day when excited or bored as well as head-shaking side to side a few times a day. I myself to have been receiving SSI for the past 5 years and I could definitely use the funding to gain access to all interventions which are not covered within Medicaid nor EI funding in order to most effectively optimize my daughter’s success in catching up or anything best results possible including products services and transportation which are not included in coverage. I do not want to wait for a diagnosis of ASD or if that is to be the case I would like to be able to do everything I can to minimize the severity of the condition. Should I apply immediately after receiving her percentile scoring from EI professionals including documentation of the repetitive stim like movements she’s currently exhibiting. I do know that the. The condition I do know that the. The condition must persist for a period of one year in order to be eligible. However I am not sure how this is determined in infants. So I am uncertain whether or not to apply immediately after receiving the percentile scoring and her ifsp as the only means of documentation to determine her eligibility or if I should wait to be able to see some of her potential therapist and other professionals so that they may be able to give their informed opinions to SSI regarding her status. I very much appreciate your advice and I thank you for your time and consideration. Have a wonderful day!

    • Liz says:

      Also I will mention in the area of social communication deficits and speech that she is not hearing impaired. And although we have not seen neurology for a consult yet is otherwise physically healthy. Including has a healthy weight and has shown no failure to thrive due to heating issues as she is still drinking infant formula in addition to spoon.

    • Liz says:

      I do apologize for the multiple posts however I just remembered one of the criteria specified the inability to cuddle or show affection which is the case with her as well as she does not like or allow us to hold her without pulling away or becoming distressed and does not show any affection whatsoever towards even me her mom. Which I will have documented by the clinic and do an evaluation on July 6th. I thought I would mention it just in case any of the conditions of specified are automatic qualifiers

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Liz,

        Please see my response to your first post. Your subsequent posts support my opinion that you should apply now. Start the application in June by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and requesting an interview for the application. That will make June your application month.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Liz,

      I suggest that you apply for your child now or if the rating you mention will be done soon, right after that. The twelve-month period you mention includes the past if the condition is congenital. Also, it takes two to five months to get a decision.

      If your daughter is denied, you can try to gather more documentation to support an appeal and also get the help of an experienced Social Security attorney. You
      When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge, and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Liz says:

        Thanks so much I’ll start the application process on July 6, since it’s so soon and I’ll have actual documentation just so I have something to submit for reference! Much appreciated!

  12. Sue Baldwin says:

    I have applied for disability for myself and my daughter and we were both denied so I filed for a reconsideration determination because I have suffered from depression since I was 17. I also suffer from fibromyalgia and lymes disease. I am constantly in excruciating pain. I worked for the longest time and now the pain has gotten to be unbearable more often than not. My daughter was sexually abused by her father and she now suffers from PTSD, depression, ADD, and ODD. She is 16 years old but she is not mentally mature enough to care for herself. It is going on one year since I filed my initial claim and it’s been 9 months since I initially filed my daughter’s claim. My husband’s income is not enough. We are close to losing our home. We have lost two vehicles to repossession already about to be three. What is my family supposed to do?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sue,

      While you are waiting for a decision on your appeals, I suggest checking to see whether your family qualifies for SNAP (food stamps). If so, it might free up some money to cover other needs. Ifyou have an extra bedroom, you might take in a roomer to help cover costs.

      With regard to the appeals, it could be helpful to request a copy of the claim files so that you can see the exact reasons for the denials and also to hire an experienced Social Security attorney to assist you. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you will pay professional fees only if the attorney is successful in getting benefits awarded.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  13. Jake says:

    Hello,

    Will my family member have a problem with SSI/SSDI down the road?
    My family member has been disabled and on SSI for over 10+ years.
    The main disabling conditions are neurological: seizures, and asthma.
    Over the years the asthma has stayed the same. While the seizures have gotten worse at times. But the use of Rx anti-epileptic drugs has caused more medical problems. This family member suffered from kidney stones, and gall stones. Which lead to gall bladder removal surgery. The medical problems didn’t stop there. The negative side effects of the anti-epileptic drugs, also
    left my family member suffering from debilitating ulcerative colitis (UC) & irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Rx medications are used to try and cope with those conditions. But they don’t help much.
    The only bright side is the seizure condition has improved some through surgery + anti-epileptic drug. But the past damage from previous anti-epileptic drugs left this person with daily debilitating abdominal pains, diarrhea, constipation, etc. Which can leave the person sidelined for days at a time. Would the change of the seizure condition cause a loss of SSI? Or is it a matter of quality of life? This persons life hasn’t gotten much better, just another part of the body causing debilitating problems.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jake,

      Receiving disability benefits is a matter of whether or not the person is medically able to sustain employment and earn at least $1,130 monthly. Except for disability caused by blindness, the specific causes do not matter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  14. Brandon says:

    I applied for SSI in March and in May I had my doctor’s appointment I called and they said that my application was pulled for Quality review. Can you tell me what that means? How long before I get an answer? Should I be ready to appeal? My vision is 20/400 in both eyes. Thanks for all your help.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Brandon,

      A small percentage of claims are randomly picked for a quality assurance (QA) review after a medical decision has been made. The decision could be an approval or a denial. If your best corrected vision is 20/400, I would expect that the decision on your claim to have been an approval and that the approval will be upheld by QA. The QA review can take a few weeks.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Vanyatta Boyd says:

        I was born with…so they say a hairy mole on my upper right arm..it has always bothered me but as a child I was afraid of the ER so I stop complaining and now I’m older and have put this arm to work its starting to feel as all my muscles are dropping on down my arm..my arm gets very heavy at times and it sometimes go numb. I have not bn to the Dr but plan to go in the am. I am right handed and was wondering if I applied would I qualify for SSI…I also have 3children all under the age of 10 and was wondering if I was approved would my children be also.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Vanyatta,

          The sensation in your arm could be caused by a pinched nerve in your cervical spine and not the mole. Whatever the cause, any limitations you have would have to disable you or expect to disable you from working in any occupation you could otherwise perform for a period of at least twelve months. I suggest that, once you know the cause of your symptoms and the treatment, you talk with the doctor regarding how long of a recovery you will have. That could provide some direction.

          Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not pay children’s benefits. If you are insured for Social Security Disability (SSD) and your lifetime earnings are high enough, your children can receive a benefit. You can get information about your insured status and a benefit estimate for your self and your family online. Go to http://www.ssa.gov, set up a My Social Security account, and request an earnings statement (not a benefit statement). If the family maximum benefit is more that your primary insurance amount (your benefit), children’s benefits will be paid. (Note that work in the last two years may not be included, so if it says you are not insured and you worked in the last two years, you might really be insured.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Hello,

    My daughter was born at 37 weeks weighing 5 lbs 12oz. She was born with a condition called Esophageal atresia. She was in the ICU for 20 weeks and 5 days. During her repair surgery she had two complications – paralized right diaphragm and paralyzed vocal chords. Do you think she would qualify? She is less than a year old.

    Kind Regards,
    Elizabeth

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Elizabeth.

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not pay for any back months. If you daughter currently has paralyzed diaphragm and/or vocal chords or other severe medical problems she might qualify medically for SSI. If you are unsure, I suggest filing a claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  16. rebecca says:

    My son is 17 and he is mental retardation he can only ready at a kinder. leave but he is high function in living skills . his iq is like a 58 will he qualify for ssi?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rebecca,

      It is possible that your son could qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if he is meets the childhood disability criteria and your family’s income and assets are within the SSI limits. Once he has turned eighteen, his parents income and assets will no longer affect his SSI eligiblity and the disability criteria change to whether or not he is able to work and perform substantial gainful activity (SGA), which is usually defined as the ability to earn $1,130 gross a month. If you are unsure about your son’s eligibility, I suggest that you file a claim for him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  17. Kinsey Rowland says:

    Hello !
    My daughter is 8 months old and she was born at 36 weeks gestation. When she was born she weighed 3.5 pounds and within 2 days she weighed only 2.5 . When she was about 6 months old she had her first fever seizure. She has a weak immune system and is very susceptible to viruses and allergies although she is up tondate on her shots. We were told that there was no treatment and as long as they did not last over 6 minutes not to bring her to the hospital or even to the office as there was nothing they could do. She has had the flu, 2 upper respiratory infections and several common colds . Every time she spikes a fever she has one, if not several seizures. Would she qualify for SSI? We are in Georgia.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kinsey,

      It is possible that your daughter qualifies medically for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). I suggest you file a claim to find out. Try to figure how often she has these fevers and seizures so you can include that information in her claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  18. Davi says:

    Hi!

    My 20 year old son has been diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia, chronic with acute exacerbation. He has delusions, hearing voices etc. I just recently applied for SSI for him. What are the chances that he’ll get approved? We are in North Carolina. If he is approved, how do we figure out his monthly benefits if he’s never worked before. Does my income affect any of what his benefits might be? I’m the only one who’ll be his caregiver.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Davi,

      As you describe your son’s illness, he is likely to be approved. Your income and assets do not affect his payment amount. Your son’s assets have to fall below $2,000 for him to be eligible. His payment amount is determined month-to-month, meaning if his income changes, his payment amount changes. I assume that you are providing him food and housing. That food and shelter is in-kind (non-cash) income, so he will receive $488.67 SSI if he has no other income. When he starts to receive benefits and gets his back pay check, his benefit has the potential of going up. If he either pays fair market value (FMV) for room and buys his own food or pays fair market value for room and board or pays his share of shelter and food, his SSI can increase to $733 a month.

      Fair market value of food would be equal to the maximum food-stamp grant for one person. FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for. Share is the total shelter (and food if food is shared) costs divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Davi says:

        Thank you so much for that information! I really appreciate it.

        He doesn’t have any income at all….he’s never actually worked. Hopefully he can in the future but he definitely can’t now! I won’t go into details but his thoughts are just ..wow! Stuff that just doesn’t exist.

        Are we able to say that he will pay room and board once he gets payments? Just asking because I need to find a bigger place. We only have a 2bd but I have a 14 year old as well and I have to get them separate bedrooms. I was just wondering how things like that are worked out…or does situations like that not matter?

        Thank you so much for your help! It’s greatly appreciate. This is all quite overwhelming!

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Davi,

          After his is paid his back pay and has enough money to pay room and board, you can report the payment. Two months later the benefit will increase.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  19. Mary says:

    My daughter has been on the same medication since she was 5 years old and she is now 10 years old. She has papers from her school showing that her ADHD is impacting her learning, she will be on a 504 plan for next year with this being the last couple of weeks in school for her. She went through three different dosages of her medication within a two month time frame. I have papers in black and white stating the 504 plan, the IEP, and the medical. I took her not to long ago in front of the SSI examiner in a local town and yes she was on her medication. I was sitting in his office while she was bouncing all over the room. He looked up at me and I quote “Is she on her medication now?” I told him yes. Now tell me how come she was denied about. She does not eat with silverware, she mainly eats with her hands, she has anxiety when I leave her in the bathroom when she is to be taking a bath or shower. Half of the time I have to wash her or it won’t get done. I am at my wits end with these people big time. She has the medical evidence, the evidence from her teacher, the evidence from me, and the evidence from the SSA through the school board in black and white. Why is she not getting approved? I also did an appeal as well and she still didn’t get it this is not making any sense to me at all. The appeal I did a couple of years ago. What other documents do these people need in order to get my daughter her benefits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mary,

      If your last appeal was two years ago, you cannot appeal further. You can, however, file a new claim and submit all the documentation that you mentioned. If she is denied again, appeal with the help of an experienced Social Security attorney. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge, and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Joy says:

        My daughter is almost 3 she was diagnosed with autism disorder. She is seeing a speech therapist, DI, OT therapists as well. She is starting preschool soon and with our schedule being so hectic its hard to find a job to help support her. Would she qualify for ssi?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Joy,

          I don’t have enough information to say whether your child is disabled or financially eligible. I suggest filing a claim to get a determination.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Lynn says:

        Good sfternoon,
        My son is 5 years old and diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. It was at a point where he was kicking teachers.
        He is already on Medicaid from birth.
        Would he qualify for SSI also?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Lynn,

          It sounds as if your child would qualify medically for SSI. If your family’s income and assets are within the SSI limits, I believe he could receive benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  20. Donna says:

    My 14 year old daughter was just diagnosed with bipolar, depression and anxiety. We are taking her to counseling and a physcatrist for meds. We are having hard time paying all the doctor bills and now meds. Would she qualify for disability? We have insurance now but it will not pay til we meet 1500 deductible

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Donna,

      Depending on your family income and assets, your daughter might be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability. If she is approved, in most states she will be eligible for Medicaid, which does not typically have deductibles. I suggest that your read all the articles under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page. If you then think that your family is or might be within the financial limits or you simply are not sure, I suggest that you call Social Security at 1-800-1213 to schedule an appointment to apply for your daughter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Sally Mayfield says:

      Some suggestions:
      Go to disability.gov and look at the health section.
      Talk with your doctor about medications that are less expensive. Go to the pharmaceutical website and see if there are coupons.
      As far as the medical bills, see if they can come up with a payment plan that’s affordable.
      Maybe change doctors that can fit within your budget. Disability.gov will provide great resources.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Sally,

        This site does not ordinarily post communication from one visitor to another, but I am allowing your post because it contains some good tips for dealing with medical costs that anyone can use.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  21. Andee says:

    Hello,

    My daughter is two years old, since the age one she is limited to eating certain foods due to allergies. at the age one we found out she was allergic to wheat, milk, banana, eggs, and dogs. At the age of two she was tested again for environmental allergies and came back that she is now allergic to cats, and dust mites on tops of her previous allergies. She is on daily medication (four) to be exact and we have to carry her JR. Auto Injectors around (Epi-Pen) on a DAILY BASES! She was prescribed a med that insurance does not cover so we have to come out of pocket monthly and she takes an allergy medicine that will help her sleep, because her allergy to dust mites were bad, and that is why she couldn’t sleep. It was keeping her up at night. So for her to sleep she needs medicine for that. :( she was always congested almost on a daily bases because of it.

    Is there a way she can get SSI for this?

    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Andee,

      Whether or not your daughter would be considered disabled under SSI law depends on how much her functioning normally for a child her age is impaired by her allergies. Probably the only way to find out is to file a claim. You might also read over how childhood disability is determined in the article under which you posted your question.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  22. Danny Harmon says:

    Hello Mrs. Kay. I live in Arkansas and I have applied for disability a few years back for a shoulder injury, in which limits myself to doing anything with the right upper part of my body. I was denied. Recently I have had a MIR & surgery to my shoulder due to te fact that noone believed me about the pain I was having. Well, come to find out, my Labrum was completely severed in to 2 parts. I have had a hole drilled into my shoulder, which a rod was placed from front to back and my Labrum was reattached to it. I will never have the use of my right arm again. I am right-hand and rely full use of its ability. Do I qualify for disability? Thank you for taking the time in reading my issue. :)

    • Danny Harmon says:

      And I have also been diagnosed with Bipolar and Manic depression.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Danny,

      You may qualify for benefits especially if you are right handed or your work history is principally labor or skilled labor or other work requiring the use of both arms.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • delia says:

        Hi Mrs Kay

        I just got denied for social security I broke my pelvis and sacrum had to have surgery and had to wear an external fixator I have some hardware in position but my doctor told me my bone is not healing well that I have a gap and that my plate might be coming loose..idk what to do ! Do I appeal ?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Delia,

          Yes, do appeal. If you were denied because the disability was not expected to last twelve months, wait until the appeals period is close to end, say 50 days into the 60 day appeal period and then appeal if you are still disabled then. If you were denied for other reasons, you appeal now.

          You may want to hire an attorney to help you appeal. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge, and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  23. Elizabeth says:

    Hi my husband is bipolar and gets medication and sees a psychologist would he qualify for ssi. He can’t keep a job and i dont work because i stay home taking care of my 5 children.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Elizabeth,

      I suggest that your husband apply for disability benefits if he is losing his jobs due to his mental health. When he applies, he should list all his jobs no matter how short and exactly how losing the job related to his health if it did.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  24. Jon says:

    Hi kay, my family is currently on calfresh/ebt. I am 44 yrs old and unemployed. My wife is a stay at home mom and homeschooling our 9 yr old daughter but She is suffering from depression and sees a therapist due to molestation as a child. Can she apply for SSI?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jon,

      If your wife’s depression is so severe that she could not work if she wanted to, she could be approved. The only way to know for sure is for her to file a claim and submit all the information about her psychiatric history and treatment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  25. Jakyra Greene says:

    I have a 2 year old daughter who’s father has received ssi since the age of 12 for bi-polar disorder and ADHD, and wanted to know would my daughter qualify for ssi as well? It seems that he can have a child and not help at all because child support can not take from him I wanted to know if this is possible??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jakyra,

      SSI, which is Supplemental Security Income, does not provide any dependent benefits. Because it is a needs-based benefit and pays a benefit to cover the most basic needs, child support is not collected from it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tee,

      I did not post your comment because because the site is not set up for conversation between visitors. I just wanted to let you know that you were also giving incorrect advice. SSI, which is Supplemental Security Income cannot be garnished for child support or any other reason. Only Social Security Disability (SSDI) can be garnished.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • monique says:

      My husband is bipolar and receives ssi, he has two kids from a previous marriage and a portion of his ssi does indeed go to his child support payments. The social security withhold from his benefits….

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Monique,

        If child support is being withheld from your husband’s benefits, he must be receiving Social Security Disability benefits.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  26. dan H says:

    back in 1997 I was totally disabled after a work accident. At that time, I did receive a payout on workers comp, which SSDI used to offset my payments. During the dot com bust in 2000 I lost a large portion of that settlement money, due to rotten management by my brokers refusal to move my money into safer investments as kept requesting of him to do. Also, a divorce in 2003 took care of what was left. Now I receive less than $800 a month, when I had qualified for the maximum pay out. IS there anyway to get this increased to an amount so I can at least keep the meager life I have left?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dan,

      Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) will continue to be reduced until the proration of your workers compensation settlement runs out. You can ask your local office for the date that the workers comp offset (reduction) is scheduled to end.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  27. Courtney Smithey says:

    Hi, my mom has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in the instep of her foot. She is fixing to turn 52 yr old. She has RA and now this form of cancer. She has been dropped off of her insurance and cannot get the surgery she needs to remove the cancer and the doctors said that it will not respond to treatments and that taking her foot is really their only option, but now that has been blown out of the water. She cannot work due to the RA because she cannot stand for very long at all and is in consistent pain and the cancer in her foot causes pain as well. I wonder if applying for SSI will be in her best interest and how can we get her the help and treatments she needs to be healthy again. Please help me get her on the path to better health and peace of mind.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Courtney,

      I suggest that your mother file an application as soon as possible.

      If her insurance has ended in the last sixty days, she may be able to enroll in insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with government help for the premiums. She can get more information at http://www.healthcare.gov. If it has been longer than sixty days, she might try contacting her state or county social services department to see if her state offers other insurance options. Also, if there is a teaching hospital associated with a university anywhere she can travel to, her doctor could possibly refer her to the teaching hospital for a free surgery.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • allen wiscaver says:

        I was incarcerated and have saver ocd.not making excuses I did my time but I’ve never been able to keep employment because of my ocd I don’t go out into society which now I fear.as well as every job I’ve had has fired me when my felon comes up.do I qualify in any issue I have? Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Allen,

          Losing jobs because you are a felon is not grounds for being approved for disability benefits. If you are unable to work because of your OCD, you can file a disability application. You will need medical or some other support of the severity of your conditions, such as statements from family or friends about the symptoms they can see. If you don’t have insurance, check your country social services to see if there are any low-cost or free mental health clinics.

          Even if you file a claim, you might try contacting non-profits, if any, in your area who help felons get employment. The other thing you might try about employment is to tell the interviewer up front that you have done time and are going straight, so anyone who hires you knows your history.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  28. Jenn says:

    I’m hoping someone can help me. We’re in an unusual situation. ..
    My husband has a conglomeration of issues due to diabetes. He quit work 7 years ago and got on ssdi 6 years ago. Meanwhile, our daughter has Really bad bipolar, one that has landed her in the state mental hospital in the past, for instance. All professionals believe she’s disabled, but because her dad and I make too much income, the state has never evaluated her to make it “official.”
    My daughter will soon turn 18, and is Incredibly defiant. According to the law, in order for us to continue getting social security for her under my husband’s SSDI (we can’t afford to lose this yet), she Must continue to be in high school full time. The only exception is of she’s disabled, right? If so, how can I prove this, when the state has not acknowledged this yet? Will she need to stay in, full time, until proven otherwise? Honestly, I’ve gotten to where I do some of her work sometimes, just so her online school doesn’t drop her! I am tired of the fighting and I want my own life back.
    Also, do you think, For HER Sake, it’s better to keep forcing her to continue to get her diploma? Will it help in the future somehow, when she is completely lacking the social piece? She can’t think in terms of gray, which makes it difficult.
    I’m just frustrated and need some guidance from those who know if she can quit and still get social security and Medicaid at 18, or of we should at least get through the SSI process and Then decide whether or not to continue. ..?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jenn,

      You can file an application for your daughter to continue to receive benefits after she turns age eighteen as a disabled adult child. The childhood disability benefit would be payable on your husband’s Social Security record assuming that his family maximum benefit (FMB) is more than his primary insurance amount (PIA), which is his benefit. The requirements are that she be unmarried and have become disabled before age twenty-two. If she is within three months of age eighteen, you can apply now.

      You can also file an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for her to become effective when she turns eighteen. At that time, your and your husband’s income will not affect her financial eligibility. The medical criteria are the same.

      You can start the application process by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and asking to have the local office set up an application interview for you. You will need to provide a contact information for the hospital and all of her mental health care providers. If there are school records that document behavior problems, submit copies of those too.

      As far as the gap while the claim is being processed, I suggest first that you find out whether high school attendance online will qualify her for payment based on high school attendance. My opinion is that regardless of problems a person has, she or he is better off with a diploma than without.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  29. Charli says:

    My 4 year old son was diagnosed with lymphoma today we don’t have any information other than it was confirmed it is cancer is he eligible for Asia?

    • Charli says:

      Ssi not Aisia sorry

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Charli,

      Your son may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if your family’s income and assets are below the SSI limits. I suggest that you call 1-800-772-1213 and request an appointment to file an application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  30. Tamyra Anfield says:

    Hello my son is 3 years old and he is currently in speech therapy however he has not been diagnosed but I am currently waiting on a call to schedule an evaluation at the Marcus Center in Atlanta Georgia he has a bit of behavioral problem as well does he qualify because his speech therapist insist on me trying SSI but I don’t have the slightest clue how or what to do

    • Tamyra Anfield says:

      He also throws tantrums that make me nervous sometimes because when he gets angry or feels like you’re not understanding him he will scratch bite.. kick or even try to choke himself he has only been evaluated for speech and I’m really new at this does he qualify for ssi because everyone is telling me to go and apply

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Tamyra,

        Please see my prior reply of a few minutes ago. The information you added causes me to think that your child may be medically eligible for SSI.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tamyra,

      Given that the speech therapist thinks your son might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, I suggest that you file a claim. You can do so at any local Social Security office. Reading the articles under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page will give you general information about SSI. At http://www.socials.gov/ssi/text-child-ussi.htm, you can check the maximum amount of income your family can have if the family income is all earned (work) income or all unearned (not work) income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  31. Joe Checchia says:

    I have a question and I really don’t have an answer for myself, but maybe I qualify for help. I was in a car accident in 2001,(not my fault) I was released the same day in fact hours later saying no injuries. I was 25 at the time, scared and nervous because the other driver who was at fault died at the scene (in front of me) I moved on because everyone told me to and lived my life normal. Case proven she was intoxicated and on drugs. My lawyer did not fight fr me at all and I un carelessly settled for almost nothing, but felt like I had my life. Married 2 kids became a teacher, just lived normal! I always complained about leg pain especially as I got older. About a year ago got hip xrays and the first doctor asked if I ever was in a car accident because they see that trauma in car accident patients. Was afraid of surgery and just lived in pain a year later I literally cried almost every night so I got new xrays and a second opinion. Same question came up from this doctor and he too asked if I was ever in a car accident. Needed a hip replacement (total- right side) now I my left side is needing one. I am always in pain and it’s hurting me even after hip replacement. I lived my life mentally always thinking about the accident and now physically In pain unknowing. The hospital never did a full body scan paid attention to head trauma cause I banged my head on the window. Not knowing I was living with hip pain. I AM STILL IN PAIN, do I qualify benefits or is it not worth even looking into.

    Thank you

    Curious

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joe,

      If you are unable to work in any occupation and earn $1,130 gross per month for a period of twelve months, you may be eligible for benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  32. LACRECIA FRANKLIN says:

    HELLO MY CHILD HAS AHAD ODD ,LEARNING DISABILTY AND DSYLEXIA
    WILL SHE QUALIFY FOR SSI CAN YOU PLEASE EMAIL ME TO LET ME KNOW

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lacrecia,

      I respond to questions only on this website, not via email. If your child’s conditions are severe enough to significantly affect her ability to function, she could be medically eligible. The only way to find out is to file a claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Lacrecia Franklin says:

      She also as insomnia and been on 3 different kinds of medicine

  33. Valencia says:

    My son just turned 1 and it all started when he was 9months but my son throws tantrums and bangs his head on the floor walls or anything that is close to him he will even headbutt anyone and it bothers me that he might really hurt himself one day and he also likes to slap me in my face when he’s upset he will be across the room and if he wants something and can’t get it he will crawl to me and swing his hand at my face to try to slap me I’m 23 years old and he is my only child and I’m very concern will he be eligible for the program

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Valencia,

      I recommend that you take your child to a pediatrician as soon as possible to get a referral to the appropriate specialist to assess your child’s medical condition and behavior. Banging his head could be harming him now. You can either try filing a claim for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) now or wait until you get a medical and/or cognitive and/or psychological assessment to use as documentation for the claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Amber says:

        Hello.

        I have began my claim for ssi benefits and after a year of trying by myself I have recently acquired a lawyer. The lawyer is always busy and I mainly deal with his secretary, who when I ask really can’t tell me any opinions on my case. I was placed in foster care when I was 7, diagnosed with ADHD, Separation Disorder (diff name), ODD, Anxiety Disorder, Mood Disorder (Now at 21 listed as Bipolar Disorder), & Severe Depression. I have provided my lawyer with papers from my doctor (from age 5 to 18) that listed these, among medications I was on. I lost my mother at 11 due to drug addiction, and my father was recently incarcerated for a brutal homicide of my little sisters mom.. needless to say since a child it has been one rollarcoaster, they think because it’s mental illnesses i do not deserve it, they told me upon going about it myself that i needed a physical illness? (their website does not say that). My illness makes it hard to live, let alone work. I can’t drive because I have anxiety attacks, I go to the store maybe 1 every 5-6 months, if that.. I’m paranoid in my own home, I had an Iep in school since third grade due to grades that my disability effected and behaviors that my disability effected (not blaming 100% i was a trouble child) I was in and out of different foster homes, therapeutic group homes, until i turned 18. Once I reached 18 I left the system and thought I could do without medication, (after so many traumatic experiences my mind does not function the way it should) I couldn’t. Now at 21 I am back on my medication. Being that i was in therapy, on medication, had accommodations for my disabilities for 13 years should I get it? How long could it take.. I am a mother and I can’t get any help from the state unless I take my childs father for child support, and I dont want to do that because he is so helpful with as much as he can. Any suggestions???? Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Amber,

          I think you have a reasonable chance for approval for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits with the assistance of an attorney. It would be helpful to have statements from people who know you who can confirm that you leave your home less than once a month. Also be prepared to explain how you get your groceries and medication. An LEP is an educational plan for children whose English is limited, not necessarily for children with learning problems related to a physical or mental condition. If you were on a plan because of your mental health issues, it could be helpful to get copies of the plans to give to your attorney.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          If your mother had sufficient work to be insured for survivor benefits, you can also apply for Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) for unmarried adults who become disabled before age twenty-two.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • julie says:

      Hi my child was diagnosed with ADHD and a learning disability/bipolar as a child now she’s 14 and it’s time for a review throughout the years she seen doctors for everything but have been off her meds for sometime now and is just now starting back on them because of certain situations and her behavior ..what all will I need to be prepared to show for her review and how will they determine If she will still qualify

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Julie,

        Submitting your daughter’s medical records and if she has had problems in school her school records for the past two years will help get a correct determination regarding whether or not your daughter is still disabled. You might also have ther doctor write a letter regarding the unsuccessful trial without medication and what, if any, are her continuing problems on medication.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Jules says:

          They all have submitted the papers sent from social security.. One person I called said should hear something any day. And today I reached who is supposely the woman that has her claim and was told it was pending. Again I asked was she gonna need to see their Drs . She said she wasn’t sure. This is something no meds can help. Cognitive mental was diagnose

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Jules,

            Initial claims can take from two to five months to process. Claimants are sent for a consultative examination only when there is not enough other evidence of a person’s condition and limitations.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  34. Maria says:

    Hello, my son was born with a birth defect on his foot caused by amnio bands . His foot did not develop and neither did his toes. This foot will not grow as the other foot since he only has one bone in his foot. He will need surgeries , therapy and most likely a prosthetic foot or something of the sort. Could I apply for ssi for him?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maria,

      I don’t know whether your child is medically eligible for SSI. I suggest that you file an application to get a formal decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  35. tia says:

    I was diagnosed with Lupus and Sever hypertension, both before the age of 21, would I qualify for benefits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tia,

      If your conditions are preventing you from working, you may be eligible and should file an application to find out if you qualify for either Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shaundreka Fields says:

        My son is 9yrs and he was shot in the leg it broke the femur bone in the right leg can he receive disability

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Shaundreka,

          To be medically eligible for SSI disability benefits, his disability must be expected to last twelve months or more.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  36. Lawanna Sprull-McKnight says:

    Im a single parent. My 4 year old daughter was born with asteria microtia of the right ear with no eardrum. She wears a baha hearing aid and have to have plastic surgery to open and reconstruct the rar and add a eardrum. She’ll need 3-4 months to heal. She also had a vertebrae removed from her dpinewit fusion of the top and bottom and pins. She have an ssi case pending. Can I file for disability or ant kind of assistance so I can be home with her during her recovery.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lawanna,

      You are not disabled, so you cannot apply for disability benefits for yourself. You might check with your local state or county social services office to find out if your state has a program that pays a small stipend or wage to individuals caring for relatives with severe disabilities.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  37. Regina says:

    My son is 8 years old and he has allergic Rhinitis, Asthma, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. He also take allergy shots once a week. He also has a speech impediment he been in speech since he was 3 years old. He has outside allergies so he cant do any outside activities. So would be able to apply for SSI for him

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Regina,

      Whether or not your child is disabled as defined by Social Security law probably depends on how severe his speech impediment is and how much his conditions interferes with his success in school. If he has an individualized education plan that could be a sign that he might be approved, though it is not a requirement for approval. If you think that he might meet the criteria listed in the article above this comment thread then certainly apply for him to get a formal decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Frustrated Citizen says:

      (I’m not sure if this is completely accurate but I’ll try my best/have sleep disability and haven’t slept for 2 or 3 days – I can’t remember) My husband applied for ss benefits for me several years ago and I was denied (I believe because while I had the credits, I hadn’t been working for 6+ years. The problem is, I was truly absolutely incapable of working but they didn’t know what the issue was for YEARS. My health problems started at 27 & I’m now 50. When I received my “1st actual diagnosis” (Discoid Lupus, which was then diagnosed as SLE). I was already unable to work for 8 years by then. He explained it but they denied me. By the way, I was specifically told I couldn’t get it unless I had a diagnosis. So what could I do? The sad part is I know SEVERAL people living in this situation and each one of us is trying desperately to hold onto the house we spent years and countless hours to purchase. During these years without help there have been so many days where I have to decide between medicine and food, or 2 other needs. I hadn’t purchased a single piece of clothing during the first 5 years (I couldn’t!) & bought, for $5 plus shipping, a box of glasses from the goodwill and found a pair close to my vision but I literally have 1/4 inch indents in the side of my face because they’re a kid’s size. I have had 7 teeth fall out, 1 cut in half and the half left is cracked straight down the middle and pretty much the rest are broken from them not aligning properly due to Sjogrens and dry mouth. Even if I could afford a dentist people with Sjogrens cannot have dentures – only implants – because of the dryness. For the first 5 years I couldn’t get out of bed (mostly due to pain), then I was able to get out of bed only, which slowly progressed to only being able to go out for my doctor’s appointment. Btw I’m medically banned from driving until I get some additional test results back because they believe I might have narcolepsy. Over these years I’ve been diagnosed with (all via positive test results with the exception of fibromyalgia but I KNOW I have that) temporal arteritis, celiac disease, seizures, vasculitis, the SLE and fibromyalgia, lower back and sciatic pain (currently attending pain management), Lymes disease (TWICE), optic neuritis, migraines, hypothyroidism, empty sella syndrome, and, all of my tests for MS have come back positive and I’m just waiting to repeat one MRI, which, if it comes out with new plaques or whatever else he is looking for he said he will confirm the diagnosis but he was pretty sure that it’s positive -which, by the way, THIS was the disease that, at 27, they thought I had and have been trying to find out whether I do or not. So, from 27 to 50. TWENTY THREE YEARS!! (I’m also currently being worked up because my doctor believes there’s a chance I have narcolepsy due to several factors, including falling asleep 100+ times a day for seconds to minutes and hallucinating during it. So, exactly HOW was I going to prove to social security I had it? All of these years have passed, I owe money to my in-laws. Most years my husband, who has the WORST case of resistant clinical depression the former head of the psych ward (for Cedars Mt Sinai) had ever seen has not able to hold a job full-time since ’93 and because we owned a business at the time he wasn’t able to get social security either!! I was told I’d have to close the business (for which he’d have NOTHING to come back to if he ever got well again!!). I would have had to have fired TWENTY THREE PEOPLE, some of whom would have NEVER been able to find a job because of their age (just because they SAY you can’t discriminate doesn’t mean they don’t!!)Even though the business was losing money monthly due to paying salaries he was not able to get disability. Being a past business owner, we literally paid MILLIONS of dollars in taxes (our company once employed 150+ people) yet neither of us have been able to get help from our government when we’ve needed it the most. What a sad statement. Our house is in foreclosure. We’ve already had to claim bankruptcy. And our children have really suffered. (All six of them.) I’ve already sold every valuable I had to keep us afloat. I’m just asking for help that I really believe we need. I also contacted an attorney who wanted nothing to do with it and my husband, who as I said submitted my claims for me, is a non-practicing attorney. If you have any information you may find helpful, especially about whether I can ask for money in arrears since I WAS truly sick and 100% unable to work but incapable of proving it until my diagnosis was confirmed. I don’t understand how people who are cheating the system and/or drug addicts can get government assistance over us. I spent a lot of money on a very impressive education and I can no longer work. At all. I’d be very grateful if you could provide any/all information that may prove useful. Thank you.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Frustrated System,

        It is unlikely that you can prove that you became disabled while you were insured for Social Security Disability so many years ago. You describe having few assets other than your home. If you also have little or no income and currently no business assets, you and your husband may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If your husband is working and earning $1,130 or more gross, he would not qualify, but you might. You can learn more about SSI buy reading the other articles under the SSI tab at the top of this webpage. SSI benefits start the month after the month of application.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  38. Terri Mix says:

    My daughter is 14 and was diagnosed at the age of 4 with Von Willebrands disease does she qualify for ssi.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Terri,

      Your daughter’s diagnosis does not necessarily mean that she is disabled. If her condition is affecting her performance in schoo, then I would say an application could be appropriate. Otherwise, I suggest discussing her condition with her physician to get an opinion regarding whether her limitations rise to disability.

      Sincerely.
      Kay

  39. Concerned mom says:

    My daughter tore her ACL (complete tare) and has had surgery to repair it and since has been in physical therapy twice a week since. Does this quality her for disability benefits under major dysfunction of a joint?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Concerned Mom,

      To be eligible for disability benefits, your daughter would have to be expected to be disabled for twelve months or more.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  40. Eliza says:

    Hello … My son was diagnosed with hydrocephalse and dandy walker .. Becuase of his condition hes almost like a normal child but .. hes really slow and doesnt talk hes 2 years old and he had a shunt replace in his brain to drain the fluid .. at age 1 and cupple of months later he had to have a emergeny surgery and had to get a vp shunt replaced because the cord wouldnt drained right ever since then he has not been the same he acts really so sometimes he does act normal but he cant say no words or nothing i wanted to know would he able to get ssi disability help for him ?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Eliza,

      It sounds as if your child is medically eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. I suggest that you call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment to apply.

      Sincerely,
      kay

  41. monisha mulen says:

    I have a six month old and she is on blood pressure medication has physical therapy and speech threapy from being in trauma at a young age also she has a feedinh tube is she able to get ssi

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Monisha,

      Your child is probably medically eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). I suggest that you file an application to find you whether she is financially eligible based on your family income and assets.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  42. cassandra says:

    Hi, I have 2 daughters that are 11 years old both of them have adhd. But one of them suffers from a learning disability and the other one suffers from emotional distress. They have both been going to therapy and to a psychiatrist. They both also have an iep in school. do you think they would be eligible ssi.

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cassandra,

      Whether or not one or both of your daughters is eligible will depend on how much their cognitive and emotional challenges affect their ability to function in activities appropriate to their age. The only way to find out is to file claims for them. It might be helpful to read the child’s section of the article “What Medical Conditions Are Required to Meet SSI Disability Qualifications and to Get an SSI Approval?” under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  43. Ebony hill says:

    Hi kay I have a 4 year old who was born prematurely at 27 weeks weighing 2 lbs since he’s been in head start he has had ese classes and speech therapy went to ssi speech dr and he too said he had many delays do u think I’ll get approved for ssi for him?

  44. Tiffany Akers says:

    Hello I am needing to know if my son who just turned 1 will approve for ssi he has been in and out of the hospital since he was born mainly for gi problems he has no really true diagnosis yet other then weight loss , constipation, and possible immune problem has to see a lot of speciality ddoctors and therapy a couple time a,week just wanting to know if he would approve ?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tiffany,

      If your child’s illness has affected his development and he is functioning physically or mentally substantially below the norm for his age he may qualify. The only way to find out whether his condition is severe enough for him to be considered disabled is to file a claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Monique says:

        Hi my son whom is 13 has been diagnosed with suicidal depression and is attending a psychiatrist it just started in February it causes him not to eat and he was great in football now he has no desire in the sport I’m afraid to leave him home with my other kids will he be qualified to receive ssi

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Monique,

          I am not able to predict whether your son is eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). I suggest that you discuss with his psychiatrist how long he or she thinks it will be before your son is significantly better. If she thinks it could be year or close to a year, I suggest that you file a claim for him to get a formal determination. If he is having trouble in school (such as behavioral problems or significant decline in grades) because of his depression, try to get school documentation about that to submit withe the claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  45. Heather says:

    Hello. My teenage son is was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder around 4 years old.

    After a recent case review, SSI determined he is no longer disabled. For the past few months our wages has disqualified him for a monthly payment but I continue to submit our monthly wages.

    I am trying to decide if I should appeal the decision regarding his disability. Even though we no longer financially qualify, I do not want him to lose his disability status in the eyes of the government because he still qualifies for Medicaid benefits. Is this worth appealing?

    Thank You,
    Heather

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Heather,

      Typically Medicaid stops when SSI payments stop due to financial ineligibility for SSI. Perhaps your child’s Medicaid is no longer tied to SSI. If it does stop, you might look into Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      With regard to appealing, if you think your income will drop down below the threshold in less than twelve months from the first month your son became disabled, then appealing the medical closure would make sense. If he is are financially ineligible for twelve months, a new claim will be required.

      Note that I am not certain whether you can appeal a medical closure while financially ineligible, but I would think that you may be able to for the fact that he could become financially eligible again within twelve months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Brianna says:

      My 7 year old son was diagnosed with aspergers he also has behavioral problems he’s been on adderall, focalin and he’s also on clondine for sleep he have a iep in school and he go to his behavioral therapist every two weeks he’s been referred to south Carolina department of disabilities and special needs . Will he get approved for Ssi

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Brianna,

        Your son may meet the medical requirements for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  46. Bella says:

    I have my 11 yr old kid, who had a open heart surgery, since he was five. He needs to be seen my his cardiologist every year. Can he be eligible for disability
    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Bella,

      To be considered disabled, your child’s medical condition would have to affect his functioning in a manner that interfered significantly with ability to function in school and society. You can read about how a child’s disability claim is evaluated in the article “What medical conditions are required to meet SSI disability qualifications and to get an SSI approval?” which is at the top of this web page. (Click on the 1 at the top of the page to see the first half of the article.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  47. Ihsan hamdah says:

    I am 17 years old and was put on home instruction, I was born with Spina bifida and because of that I am now going through its affects I am going through pain from a tethered spinal cord also my kidneys were failing and I do have renal kidney disease also I use a catheter ever 2 hours because of a neurogenic bladder. I really am mentally tired and feel that it’s not fair. I’m only 17 and both my parents don’t work we live on government help such as food stamps I just pray all the time to get better and that some way I can get money, I have so many dreams and can’t make them come true and now I also think I won’t be able to work and worst of all I’m afraid I won’t be able to go to college or become a cop like I always wished. I really don’t know what to do I swear I pray a lot for better help and some way to get money to buy stuff I always wanted and I finally got my lisence and I cud be the first in my family with a car hopefully some day. But to be honest mentally I’m really tired and that’s why I pray for a way to get money because I could buy the things I always wanted. What 17 year old u know has these problems I’m still young but am going through a lot and it is mentally and physically tiring. I really feel hopeless I just want a way to get money because my doctor said I can’t work and I’m home all day because of my illnesses. And I’m just searching up ways online to hopefully find a way or someone to help me someday. But I’ll just keep on praying and hopefully my prayers will be heard. Please guide me someone I got no one to help me through this

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ihsan,

      I suggest that you check with your parents to find out whether they are already getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for you. (They may be getting it and using it to provide you with food and housing.) If they are not, ask them to apply for SSI for you at a Social Security office. (They have to apply because you are a minor.) If you expect to graduate from high school, you might look into applying for college grants to take online college courses.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  48. Jillian says:

    Hi,
    I am 32 yr old. I was born with hip dysplasia in my right hip. I had surgery when I was really young and wore a cast waist down with a rod from knee to knee. I learned to walk with the cast on. I didn’t have any problems for the years to follow until I started working at 16. I noticed that my hip always hurt and ached when I stood or walked for long periods of time, and also when sitting for extended periods. I continued to deal with the pain. When I was 21 I became pregnant with my first child. My hip pain got alot worse throughout my pregnancy. My right leg would go numb alot after sitting, standing, or walking too long. After my daughter was born I thought the pain may go away but it still continued. I did enroll in cosmetology school after she was born, but once I had been in school a while the pain got even worse from standing on my feet alot. I was finally sent to an orthopedic dr. He stated that my hip joint did not grow back together correctly so I had surgery in 2008 to fix it. It was a very painful surgery and recovery. 2 years later I went back to school and got my cosmetology license. I started working in the salon and after about a year and a half to two years of that the pain was unbearable again. So I changed careers and began working in a doctors office as a receptionist. But I was unable to do that as well, due to having to sit at a computer all day. That bothered my hip just as much as standing. I also started having extremely bad migraines pretty much daily. I thought it was bc of my eyes from staring at the computer screen all day so I went to an eye doctor and ended up having eye surgery to try and help the headaches. But that didn’t work. At the end of 2013, I was in a store with my mom and for some reason I passed out and when I fell to the floor, I hit my head on a metal clothes rack, and then the concrete floor. At that point I had a seizure, and when I came to i was already in the ambulance on my way to the hospital. My head was busted open, and I had a huge knot on my head for a long time. I was transferred that same day to a different hospital and was in neuro ICU for several days before being released. After I recovered from that and went back to work i continued having daily migraines but they were alot worse than before. I then started seeing a neurologist who tried a ton of different medications and procedures to prevent the migraines. Nothing at all worked and he said he didn’t know what was causing them. He said my only option was to go to the pain management clinic amd get pain medicine for it. I am no longer working. I’ve been staying home for a year now. I have severe hip pain daily. I have chronic daily migraines that I can get no relief from whatsoever, nothing helps!! I have also been diagnosed with severe depression again (I’ve suffered from depression on amd off for years now.) Also I have severe anxiety for which I am on medication for. I know the orthopedic doctor told me I would eventually have to have a full hip replacement, but I can’t afford to have that done due to us only having one income now. Do you think I would be able to get approved for disability? Please help!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jillian,

      As you describe your medical conditions, I think you have a good chance of medically qualifying for disablity benefits. Complete the claim forms thoroughly and claim the date farthest back in time that you worked longer than six months and stopped due to illness. List subsequent work as unsuccessful work attempts.

      If you are denied, get an experienced Social Security attorney to help with your appeal. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award before sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  49. Doris says:

    I have severe migraines and degenerative disk in my neck. I also have scholiosis and asthma. I have worked my entire life and am now finding out at age 58, that I am in pain all the time. I have been to doctors, had massages, chiropractors, etc. I also have high BP. I haven’t applied to disability but I am so depressed from the pain I suffer from, I think it’s time. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Doris,

      If you have stopped work or reduced your work hours and earnings to less than $1,090 gross per month, I recommend that you apply for benefits, especially if your past occupations have required physical exertion.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Doris says:

        I have not stopped working. But I am on warning because of the time missed because of my migraines. I would like to reduce my hours for the summer to relieve some of the pressure and anxiety, but I think it’s questionable. My employer is only flexible with a certain group of favorites. Any suggestions on how I should approach this? We are a small company of under 20 employees so not too many laws apply. Thank you so much for your help.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Doris,

          First of all, I need to say I am not an expert on employee rights. What comes to mind is that perhaps you could say that you would like to reduce your hours because you think it will reduce your unplanned absences due to illness.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  50. Jennifer says:

    Hello

    I have a daughter she is 2 years old i was told that she has too many red flags for autism in inland regional center, But she has not been diagnosed with autism due to the fact that she is 2. But they decided to give her developmental clases. She had a teacher come over and help her with her motor skills but now she will be starting an intensive behavioral program. She will have teachers coming up to 50 hours a month 2 to 3 hours a day to our home, And i was wondering if i can apply for SSI?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      Whether or not your child is disabled as defined by Social Security law depends on how much her development deviates from a normal range for her age. It also depends on whether your family’s income and assets are below the SSI limit. I suggest that you discuss her condition with her physician and then decide whether to file an application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  51. Noelle Miniaci says:

    I have a few questions is there a way you can e-mail me ? My email is [email protected]

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Noelle,

      I answer questions only from the website and have removed your email from your post to protect your privacy. You can post questions on the site with a pseudonym for privacy.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  52. Darlene says:

    Dear Kay.,
    My granddaughter was diagnosed with severe apraxia by the social security doctor. She also has adhd, add, defiant disorder she broke her leg in Nov on a trampoline. She had that much force that she fractured the bone.,I started the paperwork on Oct 1st, 2015, the social securitys doctor appointment was early January 2016. How long does it take to hear anything? And what are her chances of being approved? Thank for your time.

  53. Luisa Morales says:

    My daughter is 6 months old and she had a seizure last month and the neurologists said that she has abnormal waves on the right side of her brain does she qualify for ssi?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Luisa,

      I am not sure whether or not your daughter would be considered disabled. I suggest that you talk with her doctors to determine whether her development is normal for her age. If it is, she may not be disabled at present.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  54. shasta says:

    Hi my daughter is 11 years old and suffers from many things she has been diagnosed with add and severe sleep apnea she is dyslexic and has learning disabilities we pulled her from public school and put her in private school where we started her back in second grade and she still struggles she was in the 5 grade in public school she is reading on a kindergarten maybe first grade level she has speech delays and has also been diagnosed with audio processing disorder would my child qualify for disability

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shasta,

      Your child might qualify for disability benefits. The only way to find out for sure is to file an application to find out first whether she is financially eligible and, if so, whether she is medically eligible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  55. angela says:

    Hello,
    I’m 39 years old with a diagnoses of severe depressive disorder, ptsd and add and I had a brain injury in 2012. My short term memory has been affected and I’m unable to retain the nessecary information to be able to do any job.. I give it 110% at work and I’m going on my 4th failed job since my accident and diagnoses. I don’t know what to do anymore but to apply for disability. My focus, memory and energy levels are way below normal. I need to provide for my children… where do I apply and would I qualify?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Angela,

      If you are grossing less than $1,090 in work earnings you can apply for benefits while working. You can apply in any Social Security office or you can start a Social Security application online at http://www.ssa.gov. Information about filing a claim can be found in the articles under the “Apply for SSD” tab on the navigation bar of this website. With some memory problems, I suggest that you have a friend or relative help you with your application. Be sure to list the reasons you failed at each of the jobs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  56. susan says:

    Hi my son has been recieving ssi since age 2 he was reviewed back in 2010 and was still found disabled..now I recieved a letter stating he is being reviewed again. Back in 2010 he saw a judge and the vocational coach at the hearing and was found not employable..they are now wanting to review his case,again after finding him not employable what should I do

    • susan says:

      He’s is now 28 years old forgot to tell you his age..thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susan,

      The review is being conducted because there is some indication that his condition has the potential to improve.Complete all the requested forms and provide all your son’s medical and educational records that support continuing disability over the past year or two.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  57. Tee says:

    I am a 40 year old female. I have suffered from high blood pressure for over 5 years. I’m currently on 2 different medications for hypertension. In March 2015 I was diagnosed with diabetes I take metformin 2 times a day. I have diabetic neuropathy in my right foot and poor circulation in my right leg which I take gabapentin. It is very painful when I walk, sit or stand. I also suffer from shortness of breath and chest pain. My pains in my leg is chronic. I also have a vitamin d deficiency which I take Vitamin d Pills. In October 2015 I suffered a ST-elevated MI which I ended up with a stint in my heart. As of today I’m on a aspirin regimen, blood thinners, a cholesterol pill, and nitroglycerin as needed. After having a arterial sonogram, I was also diagnosed with PAD, I have a 80% blockage in my right leg. I also suffer from depression and anxiety for which I’m on 3 medications for.I have been a stay at home mom for 13 years. My question is do you think I will qualify for SSI benefits.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tee,

      You may meet the medical requirements for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To be eligible for Social Security benefit you have to be insured for benefits through work you have done in the past. To be eligible for SSI you (and your spouse if you are married and live with your spouse) must have income and assets below a certain level. I suggest that you file an application to get a determination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  58. kimberly johnson says:

    my brother who will soon be 50 recently had two strokes with in a month apart, the second stroke left him disabled, he has some communication issues, cannot read or write, weak right arm, and no use of right hand. he has been in rehab for almost 3 months. he lost his insurance as of jan. 1. he has no way of paying for his medication which he will need for the rest of his life. my question is do you think he is elgible for ssi?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kimberly,

      Your brother appears to be medically eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSDI has the requirement of having worked enough in Social Security taxed employment and SSI has the requirement of having income and assets below a certain level. He should apply for both. I suggest that he also apply for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) during the annual open enrollment, which is going on now through the end of the month. He may be able to get insurance at no cost or low cost. More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov. In the meantime, he might contact the pharmaceutical company that makes his medication for a temporary supply of free medications. Some companies will help temporarily. Also some large retail pharmacy chains have some common generic medications for very low prices for people without insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  59. Kim says:

    Hi. I have a question. I am on SSI currently for bipolar. I’ve recently been diagnosed with COPD as well. I’m being sent to a specialist and put in therapy for it. Should I let social security know about copd and should I apply for that on top on bipolar that I draw from now.?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kim,

      Your new diagnosis will not change your benefit amount. If your claim is ever pulled up for a continuing disability review, you should list the COPD and provide all the information you have about the condition and its treatment as well as updating your mental health information.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • AJ says:

        Hello, I have severe memory loss due to a very bad seizure I suffered in April of 2012. I was in a medical induced comma for 3 weeks, and in the hospital for 3 months. I’ve held 3 different jobs over the past 2 years, and had to leave them due to memory problems. I am unable to work a job to support myself. I applied for Medicaid, and was approved, but I can’t seem to get any monetary help, as I am told that my disability is not enough, as I can still drive (doctor approved), and function socially. So as a 39 year old man, with no income, and no job I can do, is there anything you know of, that can be done to help me?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear AJ,

          If you did not file a formal application for Social Security and or Supplemental Security Income disability benefits and receive a denial, I recommend that you do not rely on being told informally that you are not disabled. Even if you have been denied, you can apply again. The fact that you have lost three jobs in two years due to memory problems constitutes some evidence that you may not be employable even though you can function in less demanding situations.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  60. Jerrilee Barajas says:

    Hello I have spinal stenosis lumbar, arthritis in my knee from an acl/ meniscus repair anxiety/depression and chronic pain through my body I guess disc degenerative disease is in my family any who, I applied in October of 2015 for disability and I have done a couple questionnaires also my sister did one I have a husband who make 3400 to 3800 a month and we have five children under 11 what I am asking is if I may be approved? Or if I am approved what would the monthly benifits be ? I am 30 and have worked several jobs since age 19 and gone back and forth to college with no degree because my anxiety is pretty extreme!
    I just want to know if I have a chance of getting the help and how this process works my mother told me she thinks I’ve made it pretty far and it looks promising but I just hope I can get the help I need!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jerrilee,

      I cannot predict whether you meet Social Security’s definition of disability. If you do and if you and your husband have $3,000 or less in countable assets, based on your husband’s income and the number of minor children you have, you will be eligible for $733 in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If you have enough work in the right time period to be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your benefit will be based on your work earnings before becoming disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  61. Lisa says:

    I am trying to help a friend of mine that is disabled. He is 27 years old and had a stroke when he was 14 years old. He is totally disabled on one side of his body. He has difficulty walking because of his drop foot and can barely use one of his hand. He is not able to find work because of his limitations and needs help. Can you please advise me on how I can help him. He lives in Oklahoma and is an American.
    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lisa,

      Your friend can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits at a Social Security Administration office. Also, if he is unmarried and either or his parents is deceased or receiving Social Security, he can apply for disabled adult child benefits on the parent’s earnings record.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  62. Steven says:

    I am 31 year old male with a wife and three children. I have been a police officer for ten years and has been my only career. In October I left my department with an honorable discharge after deciding to make a change, one reason because of the physical tolls it has taken. 3 years ago I sustained a knee injury tearing my acl and miniscus in a volleyball game during a time when I was not employed with a police agency and had no insurance. A few months later I started working with a new agency as a patrolman with the injured knee which continued to be a physical hurdle and caused pain often. Since it occurred while I was not with agency full time I knew insurance and workman’s comp would never fly, although the continued stress to the injury was indeed making it worse and prone to other ligament injuries. So earlier today, having returned from a meeting with a potential non law enforcement related employer, (and very excited about the new chapter in my life \career) I placed my 5 month old on the floor and went to grab a toy when I tripped and heard a loud pop followed by excruciating pain; pretty much reliving the volleyball game. I am on the couch with my knee swollen and in great pain and from what I read in medical articles and prior knowledge it appears to me I very !ikely just tore one or more of the other 3 ligaments. My wife and I are very concerned about what to do as the timing and seriousness of a new more complex injury are scary to say the least. For the first time ever I am considering the options for government assistance. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Steven,

      To be eligible for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income disability you have to be disabled or be expected to be disabled from all occupations for a period of twelve months. I suggest that you get medical care for your knee to determine what treatment will be needed and what your limitations and restrictions will be and roughly for how long. Also if you are currently employed, check with your employer to find out if you have short-term and/or long-term disability insurance that covers injuries that did not occur on the job.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  63. In Pain says:

    I have deep depression, I had a stroke, I am weak on the left side of my body, I walk on a crane. I have server migraine headaches. I had my hearing on Dec 16th. I don’t won’t to leave my bedroom. My daughter was murder a year and half ago.

  64. Latoya99 says:

    Hi I was wondering if I have a chance to win my case. I was denied by an administrative Judge. I filed an appeal and it was accepted last year and I receive a letter they was giving me 40 days to send medical records before reviewing my case. In Nov this year I was told by the call center that my case was sent to Jackson and it’s currently at the DDS center. I have submitted medical records that show I have Chronic Gerd, Chronic HTN, disorder of the sacrum and disorder of the scollicis joints as well as budge disc, DDD, and Osteoarthris. I have new records that show I have carpel tunnel in both hands and bilateral chronic knee pain associated with arthritis. Walking and standing aggravates my conditions and makes the pain unbearable. Do you think I have a chance to win by me being 33 with an associate agree. Prior years they said I have the disability just not enough medical evidence to support and another said he feel I can still do old jobs despite the Vocational expert that say there was no jobs I could perform. I also have sleep apnea

  65. Shawna says:

    Hello.
    I swallowed a dime when i was about 6 months old. It wasnt found untill I was 2. They removed it but it left my vocal,cords paralyzed and shrunk,my airway. When I was about 5 i had reconstruction done on my air way where they removed one whole vocal,cord and left one remaining. I am 28 now and still have the trach. It makes cold weather, stairs and sickness brutal to deal with cause the air isnt warmed before hitting my lungs which causes me to get sick especially in the winter. I can’t take even a shower or bath without coughing from , inhaling water… I was on ssi before i was 18 and then they took it because i graduated and instead of reappling i went into the work force. Always working part time and even then getting in trouble because i would miss so,much time…
    Do you think I may have a good case ?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shawna,

      If you cannot work and earn at least $1,090 gross per month, you can apply for disability benefits and get a formal determination on your eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  66. Latoya99 says:

    I am currently waiting on a decision from appeals council my case has been sent to DDS from the appeals council. I recently got my current medical records that show I have a disorder of Sacurm, DDD, disorder of Sacroilliac joint, Chronic Gerd, HTN, constipation due to opioids Thearpy,diverticulitis, bilateral chronic knee pain due to arthritis, and bilateral Carpel Tunnel. Do you think it is possible to approve me? Records show been on going conditions past 12 months. Also, have other records to bag up this also have other conditions like Osteoarthris, fibromyalgia, depression, chronic high blood pressure

    • Latoya99 says:

      I also want to know is it possible for the DDS office to approve me or do I have to wait on the appeals council being that it has been 12 months as of Dec 3. Will I have to go to a hearing or to another doctor being that I have already sent in medical records explained in my last question

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Latoya,

        This response is to your two postings of the same date. Given that the Appeals Council remanded your claim to the judge (per your postings of a while ago), the judge will make the decision. You will have a hearing unless the new information gather by DDS is enough for the judge to approve you on the record (without a hearing).

        Sincerely,Kay

  67. robert says:

    I have been diagnosed with PTSD and I’ve never been in any type of war but experience A pretty bad childhood and as i grew up I was in and out of prison I’ve never been able to really hold down a job it’s hard for me to function in society I don’t really know how to fix it lm married and with a wife and 3 kids and my wife is not being able to make it really on her salary ,me being in prison lot of times that gives black eyes to getting help but if I file for Social Security disability is that something that they would look into, don’t want a hand out but I have tryes everything and I’m lost and I don’t want to end back up in prison

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Robert,

      You may not be insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI) given your apparently spotty work history. You might try applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability. Both are administered by the Social Security Administration. Your wife’s income will be considered in determining your financial eligibility for SSI; however, with three children for her to support, you may qualify.

      In addition to applying for benefits, I suggest that you investigate whether your local area or state has any agencies or non-profits that provide support for ex-cons. Also, if you do not have medical insurance, I suggest that you apply for medical insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The annual open enrollment continues through January 31. You can get more information at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  68. Phillip oduro says:

    Hello mr kay i saw a disability judge about six months ago and he said he cant make a desition on my case because he has to bring an expert so we should come back.my problem is i had a spinal fusion about three yrs ago and i hav not been the same.am in soo much pain and i have to depend on pain killers.am even surpose to do surgery on my right knee.i ve been going to therapy for yrs and am even going Councilin cos am not the same person anymore i hate myself and i dnt even like being around people.anyway i saw the judge last week and i told him how i feel and the pains and stuff.he call some back expect on the phone and ask him about my back problems.lets just say he wasn’t on my side.the doctor said I should be ok with my daily activities.i was soo mad cos am in soo much pain.even tho i hav a long medical trail with pains and therapy.i still go to therapy and my Councilin.with their doctor not being on my side do you think i have a good chance?the judge said I should receive his decision in the mail.thank you kay,

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Phillip,

      The testimony of the medical expert does not sound favorable. If you are denied, I recommend that you hire an attorney to review your case and possibly request a review of the decision by the Appeals Council. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award before sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  69. William Gist says:

    My child was born with a congenital disease of the spine. It is located on the Rare Disease List as well. I was wondering if we should apply him for benefits. My other question is does our, his parents, income come into play. Thank you so much.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear William,

      Your child might be medically eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability. If your child is living with his parents, his parents income and resources (assets) are considered in determining financial eligibility. I suggest that you read all the articles under the “SSI” tab of this websit including “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” to familiarize yourself with the SSI program.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Lisa Overton says:

      My son is 18 years old he has described for dyslexia learning disability he has ADHD has had it since he was in third grade he still acts like he’s in kindergarden and he has trouble it doesn’t have a swim he doesn’t like to be in deep water or anything does he qualify for Social Security disability

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Lisa,

        It is possible that your son could be medically eligible for SSI. I suggest that you file a claim for him. Try to get his school records including any special educational plans he may have had.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  70. christopher gale says:

    i was diagnosed adhd at 6 and was on something either ssi or ssdi never knew what it was before my dad died. later in life was taken of ssi-ssdi but dont know why. then i was diagnosed at 19 with bipolar. i used to on meds for both but got taken off for bad side affects. im 31 now. would there be any way i can get back on ssi/ssdi. i still have have bad problems and now i have bad back problems. it was diagnosed as a curved spine going towards the heart. need help. dont know how much more physical work i can do.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Christopher,

      You may have worked too much to have been considered disabled continuously since before your turned twenty-two. If that is the case, you are not eligible for disabled adult child benefits on your father’s record. You might qualify for Social Security Disability on your own earnings record or for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if your income and assets are below the SSI limits. For either benefit, you have to be unable to earn $1,090 gross a month. Whether or not you file a claim, if you cannot continue in your current physical work, you might contact your state’s department of vocational rehabilitation to request retraining for less physical work, assuming that your bipolar disorder is not keeping you from working.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  71. kelly says:

    hello. i was doing okay until january of this year. I got tracheal stenosis due to an intubation in january. Since then i have been in and out of the hospital. i have to have surgery once a month to cut away scar tissue and i get steroid shots in my neck. I have a tracheostomy. i have troule breathing because my lung volume is low because of my trache making it hard to breathe. can i get ssd?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kelly,

      Assuming you are not working and earning $1,090 gross or more, there is a reasonable possibility that you can be approved for Social Security Disability at least until your health improves. I suggest that you file a claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  72. Amy says:

    my sister just broke her leg and needs to have surgery. She has no STD insurance through her job because she is a contract employee. She will need be off work for atleast 8 weeks. Is there any help she can get to provide an income while she is out? She will lose everything if she don’t have an income.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amy,

      The Social Security Act does not provide financial assistance for short-term disabilities of less than twelve months. If she does not live in a state with state disability insurance, she can check with the state or county social services office to find out whether any cash assistance is available for temporarily disabled adults. She might also file for SNAP (formerly called foodstamps).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Courtney says:

      I am in the same situation only I’m pregnant and high risk so my doctor was planning on taking me off but before he could my contractor let me go due to me having appointments and my condition. I’m not receiving any income either and its very hard on me in which in the state of Arkansas I don’t know what I can do to maintain my house hold for the next 9 months.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Courtney,

        Check with your local social services to see if there is any cash assistance for pregnant women. You might consider taking in one or two roomers to cover the mortgage.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Maria says:

          I have fibromyagia arthritis on both knees I have heel spurs on both feet my heart is enlarged it also leaks I have a ulcer depression anxiety I have a cane walker brace for legs use walker cane low sugar diabetes gastroitis herniated disk could I get Ssi or SSA or both

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Maria,

            You may meet the medical requirements to receive disability benefits.

            To be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability your family income and resources (assets) have to be within defined limits. You can read some general information about SSI in the articles under the SSI tab on the navigation bar of this website.

            To be eligible for Social Security Disability, you have to have worked enough to be insured and part of the work has to have occurred in a specified period before disability began. (If you are age thirty-one or older, you must have twenty work credits in the ten years before disability.)

            If you file claims, you will first be assessed on financial eligibility for SSI and insured status for Social Security. If you meet one or more of those requirements, your claim will be reviewed for medical eligibility.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  73. Amber says:

    Dear Kay,
    Hi I have questions regarding my 3 children. First my oldest daughter Nakayla was diagnosis with ADHD at the age of 4. When I was pregnant with her they told me it would b something wrong with her but couldn’t pin point what. She was very hyper n emotional that the family doctor diagnosed her at a checkup oneday I was told to file for ssi for help to take care of her so i filed for disability and she got approved she is now 9 years old n I had been seeing very bad n weird traits in her that were getn worse academically emotionaly n mentally she recently went to a evaluation and I was told bipolar disorder an ADHD still..if i file a new claimwill she get paid for multiple disorders or will she only still get ssi for the first disorder. My 2 younger daughters have also displayed the same things crying a lot for the littlest things can’t focus in school or home doesn’t want to do anything socially gets in trouble at school they steal n think its theirs jus becuz they see it when I told them multiple times that not what to do.. they were also evaluated and was said to have ADHD also..should I file for them also?? Thanks in advance..

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amber,

      Your oldest child’s SSI will not be increased because of having multiple illnesses. You can file for benefits for your younger children to see whether they are eligible for benefits based on disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  74. Virgil Johnson says:

    My daughter has Adhd, she has had two jobs and neither has lasted very long due to Adhd, We did not apply for sis for her as a child and she is now 22. Does she qualify for ssi

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Virgil,

      Whether or not your daughter is considered disabled under Social Security law depends on how severely her condition affects her ability to function. She would have to file a claim to get a determination. If she files, it could be helpful to get statements from her past employers about the problems she was having on the job that led to her termination. Current ADHD testing help with an assessment of how severe it is could also be helpful.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  75. Meg Burke says:

    I’m 21 years old, unmarried and was recently in a major rollover car accident. I haven’t been able to bend my left arm since August and any time I try the pain is indescribable. I also have documented depression, PTSD, and anxiety which provided much difficulty in working before the accident evendors occured. Once the 6 month waiting period ends would I be eligible for benifits of any kind?

    • Meg Burke says:

      I meant to say “before the accident even occured” I loathe autocorrect…..

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Meg,

      If you are unable to work and your disability is expected to last twelve months, you can apply at any time. If you are approved, the first full five calendar months will not be paid; however, you shouldn’t wait to apply because it takes two to five months for a claim to be processed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  76. Amanda says:

    My 14 yr old daughter has recently diagnosed with bipolar , she is unable to attend school because of it. Should I apply for benefits? Or does she need to have a “history” of the disease first?

  77. Karen says:

    ssi want me to Come in and sign a no earnings paper. They cut my daughter off in February 2015 but she’s emotionally disturbed and bipolar with a learning disability she is 22 years of age . she has beeb recieving ssi since feb 2002 before they cut her off this year feb 2015. she doesn’t comprehend well at all . she never worked.will i be ablebtp receive ssi payments again?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karen,

      Now that your daughter is of age, your earnings are not considered in her payment amount, so what you are relating doesn’t seem to make sense unless they want you to sign that your daughter has no earnings. If her income and assets are below the SSI limits, she will be financially eligible again and because it has been less than twelve months, you will not have to file a new claim for her.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  78. Deb Nelson says:

    Hi, I’m 60 years old with a very bad back that is getting worst. I have had problems my whole life. I have never had surgery , they are not sure it would help. My job is very physcial and it is getting almost impossible to do my job.I’m so araid i will end up getting fired because if it.I m ‘trying to figure out if it would be better to try to get disability or to try and hang on until I turn 62. Any advise for me? Thanks Deb

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Deb,

      Given your age, if you have held quite physical jobs for the last fifteen years or so and you cannot continue in your current job or drop to part time grossing less than $1,090 because of your health, you can apply for benefits and might be approved. If you wait till you are sixty-two, you can apply for both reduced retirement and disability and receive the reduced retirement while the disability claim, which pays a higher benefit, is being processed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  79. Chyla Connell says:

    I have a 40 hour job but I am working in constant pain. I had 4 foot reconstruction surgeries cause of my Marfan syndrome. Which is a connective tissue disorder. It affects my tissue, joints, and my heart. I’m not allowed to lift over 15 pounds. I also have scoliosis of a high degree. I am struggling hard to work. The only thing that’s pushing me is my bills. I come home to feet and swollen ankles the size of Texas. Is there any disability to where I can only work part time. But still get help by the government. I’m struggling.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Chyla,

      If you have to reduce your work hours because of your health to the point that you are earning less than $1,090 gross per month, you can apply for disability benefits while working.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  80. Vernon says:

    ssi is sending me to see one of their doctors i suffer from bipolar and i haven’t seen a doctor in over 7 years because i’ve had bad experiences with doctors i was wondering what’s the chances of them taking away my benefits

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Vernon,

      Whether or not your disability benefits continue will depend on the assessment you are being sent to. I suggest that you look around for another doctor; there are a lot of good ones.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  81. Brian Sayers says:

    I am on Full Disability, no problems there, BUT, was wondering if applying for SSID would be a benefit to me with a possible income increase? I’m hoping I’ve included enough info….Many THANX in advance!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Brian,

      You must have enough work credits to be eligible for Social Security Disability. To received disabled adult child benefits on a parent’s earnings record, you must have become disabled prior to age twenty-two, be unmarried or married to someone receiving disabled adult child benefits, and have one parents who is deceased and insured for survivor benefits or who receives Social Security Disability or Retirement benefits himself or herself. You would have been screened for these potential benefits when you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, if meet the marital status and became disabled before age twenty-two and one of your parents became eligible for Social Security or died after you started getting SSI, I suggest you contact Social Security with the parent’s Social Security number to file a claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • kristle says:

        Hi I have a 10 year old son that has ADD and and academically he is on first grade last level. I had no idea that that I could receive benefits. My 12 year old daughter has had ADD and been on meds since 3rd grade and barely gets by in school. At home is where her struggles are. She loses everything. Is late for school alot because of the stress every morning. She’s getting worse as as he gets older. Missing deadlines at school. And my 11 year old daughter has asthma. She’s had it her whole life. She is struggling /at school socially. She refuses to go outside with other kids at school on recess. They tease her to the point she cries. They have events outdoors she can’t attend because it’s to cold and it triggers an attack. Teacher tells her to watch from window.outcasted from them. Extra money would help to get her in classes that will help. should I apply for all 3 of them at once? And my husband doesn’t have a social and begins the provider. He has an ITIN. I have a social. Is this ok and do u think any of them qualify? Children are on medicaid

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Kristle,

          If you think all your children are disabled, you can apply for them all at once. Their claims and eligibility will be determined separately.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Liz says:

            Hi I’m 29 years old, when I was 16 I got hit by a truck and got surgery on my wrist they put a metal plate and since then I been in pain take medication for it everyday and because of that I never worked my fingers move on their own I have no control of it I can’t do nothing with my arm or hand do I qualify for ssi?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Liz,

            If your (and your spouse’s if you are married) income and assets are below the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) limits, you might qualify for benefits, especially if your problem is with your dominant hand. To know for sure, you need to file a claim. Information about filing claims can be found under the “File for SD” tab on the top navigation bar of this website.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  82. Tia says:

    Hi my 4 month old is on ng tube feedings for failure to thrive and aspiration . Would he qualify for ssi? Also his 3 year old brother has benefits as well. Will that affect his eligibility? We have no other income because I’m unable to hold a job with their medical conditions

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tia,

      Your younger child may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. I suggest you apply. His receiving benefits will not affect his brother’s SSI benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  83. Donna says:

    I get ssdi now but now my illness has gotten worse I was told I have a disease in my feet and legs and standing is very difficult for me. Am I elgiable for more money than what I already get…

  84. Diane Bender says:

    My daughter is 21 and a paraplegic. She was stricken with a neuro-immunological disease 6 years ago and is permanently disabled. She is currently a full-time student at college and will be going to graduate school in the Fall, which she will be paying for. She lives in an apartment near her school. She has no income now (other than what little we send her)because she can’t work while in school. Is she eligible for any SSI benefits or disability benefits to supplement her needs?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Diane,

      Your daughter qualifies medically for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is payable in amounts ranging from $1 to $733. All but $20 a month of the money you send your daughter is countable income for SSI. If you are paying any of her expenses directly, the reduction for direct payment of rent, utilities, and food is capped at $265. Direct payment of other expenses is not countable income. Certain grants and scholarships are not countable income. If she is working to pay for school, the earnings may be excluded if she is working through certain work-study programs. The first $65 of other earnings and one-half of the excess above $65 is excluded from counting. Basically, to find out whether she is financially eligible, she needs to file a claim, declare all her cash and in-kind income and get a determination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  85. shareka says:

    Hello im not sure if im in the right spot for this post. But im under a cdr which is pending. The local dds office near me just mailed me a anxiety question test and the long form questions about my day to day activity and so on. Today i spoke with my dds worker and she asked me if my third party have mailed back what they send out about my DISABILITY. The person i listed is not replying or agreeing to comply with progress with my review. My question is do the really need a third party on my cdr? Or is that something that they just used for a back up. Or can you explain this to me. Because im sure they have my doctor records and the forms they sent me plus my old psy re evaluation. Will i loose my benefits for not having a third party

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shareka,

      You really do need to have someone who knows you well and is aware of the problems your mental health causes for you to complete the third-party statement. Now that you have listed someone in your application, that person not being willing to make a statement could be detrimental to your claim. I suggest that you try again to talk to the person to learn his or her reasons for not helping and/or find someone else to complete the form and say you couldn’t reach the first person. The third-party statement has been requested because your doctor does not see how you function on a daily basis.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • shareka says:

        Thank you. I talked to my dds worker and she stated that she sent out a form plus tryed to contact my third-party and not being able to reach them. I also read online that ssa cant deny me because my third-party is not responding or willing to help with my claim. And i dont have another person to list. Can dds still process my cdr

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Shareka,

          DDS will complete the Continuing Disability Review (CDR) based on the information available.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  86. Kia smith says:

    Hey Kay my daughter is 11 years old she receiving ssd if I’m not mistaking. Her case is set for review. Everything still the same she under a iep plan, have short term memory, adhd, and also she’s in ese. I had a meeting with her school I was told she reading on a 4th grade level she’s in 5th suppose to be in 6th, her ese teacher told me she struggling with math also she have a short term memory. They gave me papers stating she still have a disability. Can she get cut of disability or you not to sure

    • Kia smith says:

      She’s also asthmatic

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kia,

      Your daughter is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because she is disabled, not SSD (Social security disability). I can’t say for sure; but if your daughter’s functioning has not improved a great deal from when she was approved, her benefits should continue. Be sure that you and the school describe how the short-term memory problems affect her daily life.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • lakia smith says:

        I had sent in papers her school reevaluate her on the papers her see teacher gave me states hee iep is to continue and she still have a disability I sent in her iep plan with her test scores when I mailed out her notice of continuing disability review

  87. Lauren Rogge says:

    Hi my name is Lauren Green. I have a 5 year old daughter Aliyah. I am trying to find out as much information as I can before I even try and start the process to get her disability. I just got married on Nov 6th and with my husbands income added in I know that my assistance for her will be taken away. So we are looking to file for disability because even with assistance now we struggle to make ends meet. Aliyah has Apraxia of speech, ADHD, is on the Autistic spectrum, low muscle tone, has auto immune issues, low very very low iron, Impulse disorder, Receptive and Expressive language disorder and possibly but not yet diagnosed with some sort of defiant disorder. I am trying to figure out if she even has a chance to be eligible to receive disability. I take her to a special needs day care where she receives therapy 2-3 times a week and also has a IEP plan in place for at least the last three years. She was in First steps until she turned three and then went to a special needs preschool until this year because in their eyes or requirements she no longer needs to go full time. I have many more struggles at home with her than they do at school but and really needing help form any angle I can get it and any advice that I can get on what the process is to get started, how long it takes so on and so forth. I am terrified that they will take assistance away which means she will no longer have insurance nor be able to do therapy or even attend the daycare because right now I have day care assistance. Any help and advice would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lauren,

      Based on what you describe, I think that your child may meet the childhood definition of disability. For her to receive benefits, your family’s income and assets have to fall below the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) limits for her to be eligible. Before a medical review is done, a review to determine your daughter’s financial eligibility will take place. Not all income or resources (assets) are countable; for example, not all of your family’s earned income counts. You can figure an estimate by using the formula in the article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” If you are uncertain whether she qualifies financially, file a claim to get a formal determination. SSI does not pay retroactively, so start the claim this month to avoid possible loss of benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  88. Rochelle says:

    My son is artistic and fairly low functioning. At the age of 18 he was approved for disability payments. We received a notification saying that he qualified for $721 monthly. However they were only going to pay out approx $480 because his living at home was considered a benefit that needed to be deducted from the $721.
    Can you explain this to me as it would cost much more for him to live in a group home? And can you tell me if this will be eliminated once he is 22 and aged out of the school system? Do you know if you will then receive the full amount of his benefits?

    • Rochelle says:

      That should have said autistic, not artistic…

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rochelle,

      For your son to receive the maximum benefit, he needs to pay his share of shelter and food expenses. His share is the total cost of rent or mortgage, shelter utilities (not phone or cable), and food divided by the number of people in the household. If he is to receive back pay, he could use some of it to pay his share. Once he has started to pay his share, his SSI will increase. ($721 was the highest benefit in 2014. In 2015, the amount is $733.

      None of these rules will change after his age twenty-two.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  89. Misty Black says:

    I actually have 2 children I need to ask about. My 8 year old daughter just had surgery on November 6 2015 with putting tubes in her ears and also had her adenoids removed for a second time. She has chronic ear infections and we have tried it all to help. Now is it possible that where she done the same procedure twice except tonsils were removed the first surgery. And now my 6 year old is so hyper that right now they have heron vyvanse 30mgs. She has been on it for almost a year and the medications they both take is hard to keep up with. Also were alone so I was wondering how hard would it be for me to be able to draw an ssi check on them because where its just us right now until their father gets better if he gets better. He has no contact with the girls or I and don’t want anything to do with him. What processes do I need to do that I can be able to draw ssi on them especially my 8 year old because she has been like this since newborn and I need help with transportations and housing now with my 6 year old I have it rough with her copays on her medicines which I just picked up and here is the receipt. Please help me and let me know what to do legal.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Misty,

      Depending on your income, your children might be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP that would result in lower co-pays for medications. You might also apply for food stamps. If their father is disabled (you say if he gets better) and receives Social Security disability benefits, the children might be eligible for dependent benefits on his record. You can get more information about CHIP at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      As far as SSI goes, I doubt that your older daughter would be considered disabled. Presumably she is able to function in school between acute period of infection and treatment. Similarly, if your younger daughter is able to function in school with the medication that she takes, she probably is not disabled. If she is having a lot of problems in school because of her hyperactivity, you might consider applying for her.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  90. kellie says:

    Hi,

    My son is 16 he had ADD,anxiety, and agoraphobia. Is he able to apply for SSI? He is not able to attend school so the school has provided home schooling, but this is at our library this has become a problem since he has agoraphobia. We do not get the proper support from the school so he has not be able to excel. He also do to this has been left back two times. Any information you can give would be great.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kellie,

      I suggest that you file a claim for your son. Submit copies of all the documentation you have about his special educational plan and any other problems he has had in school.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  91. Kathy says:

    My six year old that I have temporary guardianship of had been diagnosed with ptsd. I was told that I can silly for ssi for her. Is this true?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kathy,

      If your six-year-old’s PTSD is interfering with her ability to function at school, she could have a chance of being approved; but the only way to know for sure is file an application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  92. teine says:

    mom was turned down for disability, she has diabetes and high blood pressure for some time now..it says that she didn’t work enough time to receive anything. she turned 62 in feb of this year. is this true?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Teine,

      Your mother may not have enough work or enough recent work to be insured for disability. At age sixty-two, she can apply for reduced retirement benefits. If she has enough work for retirement benefits, which have a different work-credit requirement than disability benefits, she may qualify. Or, if her income and assets are below the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) limits, she may be eligible for SSI disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  93. Brigitte Quinones says:

    I have a total of 3 kids my youngest the third child has down syndrome trisomy 21. I want to apply for ssi but I was reading that you can’t go over 2000 a month on income. I do work but bring in around 2300. Which being a single mom with 3 kids isn’t much. My question is does the income limit go up as I have a total of 4 in my household income? Or is it the 2000 a month?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Brigette,

      With two non-disabled children in the household, you can have earned income (money coming in during the month) up to $3,790 gross per month and still have your child be eligible for SSI, assuming he or she doesn’t have income and that you have no other income. The $2,000 you have heard about is the amount of assets you can save from month to month. You can have $2,000 countable resources and your disabled child can also have $2,000 countable resources.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  94. leanne says:

    my step son has a fake eye and has tetralogy of fallot and has other disabilities. he was recieiving ssi and there was a mistake on our end for reporting some money and they took it away.. how do we get it back

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Leanne,

      Please be more specific in the information you provide and I will try to respond. Is your son under age eighteen? Were benefits stopped because he is overpaid due to the unreported income or assets and the money is being withheld to repay the overpayment? Or were benefits stopped because the money makes him ineligible on an ongoing basis?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • lakia smith says:

        Hey I’m my daughter payee she’s 11 in the 5th grade she have ADD also she’s under a iep and 504 plan. I received a letter saying her case under a review. If she not allgiable for ssi they’ll cut her off. But everything still the same with my daughter she still not making progress still working below grade level. Can she get cut off disability?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Lakia,

          Potentially your daughter’s SSI disability benefits could be stopped, but if she is still disabled and you complete all the forms fully and get updated documentation from the school to submit regarding her lack of progress, it is likely that the benefits will continue.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  95. Eloy says:

    my uncle got turned down from ssi a couple times after proving from doctors appts his back is messed up his eye sight is going bad. does anyone know of a quicker way to get ssi with out going through all the same process of doctors appointments??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Eloy,

      If your uncle is in the appeals period after the last denial and he believes that he is disabled, he can appeal the denial. The appeal process may not require him to see more doctors.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  96. Valerie says:

    I was born a premie 31 years ago. I’ve been blind (in one eye only) my whole life because I was given to much oxygen. My retina is torn completely. I’ve applied for SSDI a few times over the years (I never knew I could apply for it until I was 21 though). Since I’ve always been blind in one eye, I never even thought about it. A friend told me to look into it so I searched online, and found out it’s called ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity). I was born 3 months early. I keep getting denied for benefits. I’m debating on trying again and have already begun the process of asking for my medical records from the places I know off the top of my head. Would I be approved by trying again? Am I even applying for the right thing (SSDI) or should I be applying for SSI? Thanks so much.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Valerie,

      To be approved for benefits based on your eyesight, you would have to have to be legally blind or have disabling low vision in your sighted eye. If you see okay with your right eye (wearing glasses if necessary), you will not be found disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  97. Priscilla says:

    My son is 12 years old and was Diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. He’s in six grade and a reading and writing level of a second grader. I have filed a claim for him. What would be the chances of him getting approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Priscilla,

      I cannot predict whether your son’s claim will be approved or denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tee and other site visitors,

      Just as general information, I’d like to let you know that this site does not post advice or other communication from one site visitor to another.

      Best regards,
      Kay

  98. Amanda says:

    I’m currently receiving sis now can my 6 month old be qualified for as I with out having medical problem I was told yes and no

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amanda,

      If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and not Social Security Disability, no dependent benefits are payable so your child cannot receive benefits due to your disability. You might check with your state’s department of social services to find out whether with your income your child would qualify for benefits under the Temporary Aid to Needy Families program. Medical care for your child may be available under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can learn more about CHIP at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shalara says:

        Hi Kay,
        My daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, had a bone marrow transplant and is currently receiving ssi.
        I can’t work because I have to be with her 247. I give IV meds at home etc… And she’s only 10.
        Is there a way that I could apply for some type of benefits? Such as SSI? Please help!!

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Shalara,

          I suggest that you contact your local state or county social services to find out whether your state has a program that pays a stipend or small wage to caretakers caring for a relative. Also, if you have not done so, you can apply for SNAP (formerly called food stamps).

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  99. mindi says:

    Hi four old son has heart summer and speech delay and developmental delay will he get approved for ssi

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mindi,

      I cannot predict whether your child will be approved for SSI disability benefits. It will depend the severity of his speech delay and developmental delay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  100. Ralph Gonzalez says:

    After trying to get on disability for seven years I finally was able to get on after hiring an attorney the last doctor that SSI sent me to wear their doctors which advised in writing that I should not be working since I’ve been on disability now for 4 years the last two years they have sent me a 12 page pamphlet health questionnaire to see if I’m still disabled being pretty upset about it I was advised by my attorney not to piss them off or they would stop my benefits no matter what my health is I had my doctor help me fill it out and waiting now to see if they trying to tell me that I have to go back to work I don’t see how that could be possible what can I do

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ralph,

      The law requires Continuing Disability Reviews when there is a possibility of recovery because benefits cannot be paid to someone whose health has improved so he or she is no longer disabled. The frequency of the reviews depends on a person’s diagnosis and the potential for recovery shown in the individual’s medical records. My advice is to be patient and complete the forms to the best of your ability every time a review comes up.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  101. Nom-Nom says:

    I am so glad I found this site, because it is a treasure trove of information. I have 2 questions and will aptly post them in the correct forums. I have a 3 year old daughter who was diagnosed with Hemoglobin-C beta thalassemia…2 days after her birth. A lady from the health department called my home, about 5 days after we had settled in, and asked if I was available to speak with her. I told her sure, and she said she was in route. Mind you this lady drove an hour to get to our home. This was a surprise to me, because after 3 kids I had never had the health department be involved…AT ALL! When she arrived she told me that my baby had been diagnosed with this blood disease and had a handful of pamphlets, the official findings by the hospital, which they forwarded to her ped and an application for disability. She told me that we needed to apply, because she would need all the assistance she could get. So, I did and she was denied. Her denial, to my understanding was because her ped was not sending in paperwork, but he denied that. I also submitted all of the information that the hospital and St. Jude’s had sent/given me. Now, my daughter had never gone to St. Jude’s, but had an appointment when she was 1. After much consideration and deep conversations between my husband and her primary physician…it was decided that everything could be done locally…when needed.

    SSA just recently added her disease to the CAL list and we reapplied for SSI for her on 09/03/15. The lady who took the application was extremely nice and asked what the disease was and I explained it to her, but explained that the main issue with this disorder is what COULD happen in the future (i.e. possible spleen issues, blood transfusions, etc.). She then asked if she was on any meds and I told her no, because it was explained to me that there were no meds that could help her severe anemia. And that my daughter just has days where she is lethargic or displays insomnia, which is hard enough, because so do I.

    The SS rep explained that we actually meet the income guidelines for SSI, and I understand that that means nothing without an actual approval. I would like your honest opinion on “IF” it would be approved this time, since it has now been added to the SSA list? My father is under the impression that she would get “backpay” from the date she was originally diagnosed, but I am very skeptical AND I fear that since she is not 100% incapacitated nor taking any meds that she would be denied again…even with the disorder added to the CAL list.

    FWIW-Although it says beta thalassemia major. My understanding is that if you have the trait of beta thalassemia, like me, that having the actual disease is classified as major and just carrying the trait is considered minor. Thanks for all of your input!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nom-Nom,

      Based on the information you have provided, your daughter may be approved for benefits if she has illness, not just the trait. It is rare that a prior claim is reopened, so it is most likely that benefits will be paid beginning with the month after the month in which the current application was filed. One exception is that if you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits will begin with the month of application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  102. Daniel says:

    I am 340 pounds and have extreme anxiety and depression, Diabetes, Ventricular Septal Defect, and recently had a Pituitary tumor removed from my brain which messed up my hormones and now have a hormone problem as well do I apply for SSI?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Daniel,

      If you are unable to work and earn at least $1,090 gross per month because of your conditions, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. Whether or not you are approved will depend on how well you document your claim. It can be difficult to prove disability that is caused by a combination of conditions so you will want to list all your symptoms and which illness causes them, what the treatment has been, how successful the treatment has been, and all your medical providers.

      If you are denied, request a copy of your claim file to see if the information in it is complete and what the exact reasons for the denial were. If you then disagree with the decision, file the appeal within the deadline and get legal help with it. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award before sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  103. Wendy says:

    Dear Kay,
    My 25 year old daughter became suddenly extremely ill Feb 2014 while in her second year of vet school. She made it through the semester with the help and understanding of professors and the Dean as she was bedridden most of the time. The Dean advised her to take a year medical leave for her third year to figure out what was the cause of her illness. In January 2015 the Mayo Clinic was finally able to provide a diagnosis – Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). The symptoms of this syndrome effect all aspects of the sympathetic nervous system and are very debilitating. Most doctors have not learned about POTS and even fewer treat it. We finally found a doctor who specializes in POTS and began treatment May 2015. By July her doctors were encouraged that she appeared to be responding to treatment, but advised her to not return to vet school again this year as they could not have her physically ready to handle the demands of long hours of surgical rounds and her brain was still recovering from the swelling incured during a 3-month-long migraine (Feb 2014). She has lived at her sister’s home, our home, and her boyfriend’s home in the past year. She depends on caregivers to cook for her, monitor her medication schedule, at times take care of bathing needs, and take her to doctor appointments that require 3 hours travel each way. She can not be gainfully employed for many reasons that are well documented by her doctors. She has not applied for SSI, as we were hopefully she would be better by now. It is extremely sad to watch a vibrant smart woman become so dependent on others for everything. I’m about to close this month on a foreclosure house I found significantly below market value near her school. I refinanced our home to do this. I plan to allow her and her boyfriend to live there rent free. In return he will make repairs and maintain the home and be her caregiver. Her school loans have become due since she’s no longer a student and I’ve been paying this since January 2015. Her father is retired and I make a meager teacher’s salary. She will also be off our medical insurance plan this November when she turns 26. My savings is becoming depleted and though I hate to admit it, I think it’s time to seek financial assistance. Will providing her a home be delitorious to her obtaining SSI? She has a telephone appointment (meeting in person is difficult for her) with an SSA advisor this month. I would like to have advice regarding how much financial help we should be providing/documenting. Should I write a lease and require she and her boyfriend make a rent payment? Or should we be resigned to the fact that we are responsible to support her – an adult child who has a disabling disease and can not work in any capacity at this time? Twenty-five percent of POTS patients become permanently disabled – we pray she is not in this percentile. We are not ready to consider applying for permanent disability at this time unless you determine it advisable. We are looking for a stop gap measure until she is healed enough to return to school and eventually be gainfully employed. Thank you for any advise.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Wendy,

      Your daughter should pursue her application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If she recovers and is able to return to work or to the rigorous school schedule, she can report the recovery and have the SSI stopped.

      If she lives rent-free in the home you buy, her SSI will be limited in payment to $488 and in most states she will automatically qualify for Medicaid, assuming she has no other income such as cash from you or her boyfriend. Her boyfriend’s paying rent will not increase your daughter’s SSI because she still would not be paying anything. Your paying or her boyfriend paying for things other than shelter and food will not affect her SSI as long as the cash is not given to her. For example, your paying the student loans or the phone bill directly or purchasing her hygiene items or a bus pass does not affect SSI as long as you don’t give her cash to pay for them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  104. Derrick says:

    I have been diagnosed with having cadisil. I have a real bad speech impairment and blood thinners over this mess. Am I eligibil for for SSI?

    • Derrick says:

      Make that SSD.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Derrick,

      I don’t have enough enough information to be able to offer an opinion about your eligibility.Whether or not you are eligible for SSD (Social Security Disability) benefits depends on how severely your conditions and your medication treatment affect your ability to work. It also depends on whether you have worked enough in the right period of time to have sufficient work credits to be insured.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  105. Marquesha says:

    I have sleep apnea it’s very serve I’m on a c pap for the time being is there any way I can get SSD

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marquesha,

      Having and being treated for a severe medical condition does not always mean a person is disabled. If your sleep apnea is so severe that, despite treatment, you are unable to perform substantial gainful activity, that is, work and earn $1,090 gross or more per month, then you could be approved for disability benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  106. Bassem says:

    Hi Kay.

    My brother has a green card. When he was 18 a big piece of glass cut some of his nerves in his arm. He can not lift any thing with it. What is he qualified for since he isn’t able to work?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Bassem,

      Your brother can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). He can also contact his state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to see whether he qualifies for training or job placement in a field that does not require lifting. Some non-profits such as Goodwill also assist with job placement and retraining.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  107. chris bruno says:

    My 13 year old daughter has been bullied for years in school about her weight. She was diagnosed with anorexia and went from 145 lbs to 96 lbs during the last year. She went through an impatient program for eating disorders. She is still seeing a therapist, is on medications, and has been diagnosed with PTSD from the bullying, and severe anxiety. She can not go to school and has flashbacks almost nightly. I make good money, but the costs are becoming a problem. can she qualify for benefits? on her own?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Chris,

      Because your daughter is a minor, the income and assets of parents and stepparents living in the same household with her are considered in determining her financial eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. I suggest that you use the formula in the sample calculation in “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” under the SSI tab of this website to get an idea of whether she would be eligible for any amount of SSI and accompanying Medicaid. If you do not have health insurance for her, you could also investigate coverage for her under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is explained at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  108. Rob Dauel says:

    Kay, on September 17, 2014 my 13 year old daughter had a cerabral stroke. She went from an advanced placement honor roll student, to a reading level of a second grade student. She lost use of all left side extremities. Her speach is severely impaired. Although with intense therapy, she has improved greatly, doctors are unsure of her ability to be able to function a self supporting life. My wife and I have not yet applied for SS benefits for her, but costs of devices used for therapy are causing us great hardship. I am unclear on what constitutes a qualifying disability. I am not even sure if you can help, but any advice is welcome. Thank you
    Rob

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rob,

      It sounds as if your daughter may qualify medically for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. (Social Security provides benefits to children only when a parent is receiving Social Security or is deceased.) The non-medical qualifications for SSI disability benefit are financial. This means that your family’s income and countable assets need to be below a certain level, which varies based on the number of people in the family and whether the parents’ income is earned from work or not. I suggest that you contact the Social Security Administration to apply for SSI for your daughter. Your finances will be screened first. If she is financially eligible, then you will then complete the medical portion of the application. You can read about SSI under the “SSI tab on the navigation bar of this website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  109. Ruben says:

    Hi Kay, I’m very frustrated with my claim. I applied for SSI in 2009 and been denied all the time. Been to federal district court twice and my case has been remanded bot times and I’ve been to two hearins already and now waiting for the third one. My issues is depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and a few other mental issues. My question is, I had to go to a CE exam last week and I was many questions that I consider dumb questions, especially since SS has all my medical records from 2006 all the way up till now. So what was the point of the CE exam? How long do I have wait for the hearing now? Also, is it possible for SS to make a decision based on just the CE exam and my medical records? Or will there still be a hearing?

    Thanks Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ruben,

      Not all your records are sent to the consulting physician for review before your examination. If the judge has enough information to approve your appeal, a decision can be made without a hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  110. Candy L says:

    Hi Kay,

    My husband applied for disability in April of 2015, I believe that he is at the point where he will be denied or approved. He has Degenerative Bone Disease, Scheurmann’s Disease, chronic back pain, arthritis, but mostly his issues are mental. He has Bipolar Disorder I, PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc. His psychiatrist’s evaluation that was sent to DDS said that he was unable to work in any capacity or even attend vocational rehabilitation. His doctor said that it was unsafe. Can DDS deny him if his Dr. says that it is unsafe for him to work anywhere for any amount of time. Please advise.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Candy L

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Candy,

      The claims examiner will compare the medical and vocational information in your husband’s claim file to Social Security’s definition of disability and make a determination as to whether he is disabled as defined by the law. Your husband’s doctor’s opinion will be taken into consideration along with all the rest of the information in his claim file. The doctor’s opinion will have greater weight if the doctor lists the clinical findings and/or test results that are the basis of his conclusion that it is not safe for your husband to work and also explains what he means by “not safe.”

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  111. Priscilla Green says:

    My daughter was born at 30 weeks and she weighed 2lbs 10oz. She had to stay in NICU for a month. I applied for ssi for her in May 2015 . When or how long it takes to get an response. While my daughter was in NICU the social worker was the one who put in for her for ssi. Currently my daughter is delayed in motor skills. She’s four months but she’s technically doing what a two month old does. My daughter is in the infant and toddlers program and I send Social Security the paperwork. Why does it take so long to get a response especially when my daughter is so young where they don’t need alot of medical records

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Priscilla,

      Claims are mostly processed in the order received, which can contribute to processing times. Typically new claim decisions take from two to five months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  112. Mike Davalos-Elwood says:

    Hello, my son was born with Pierre Robin Sequence, a disabling condition that not only had short term effects (like needing a tracheostomy surgery, and g tube inserted at 1 month old, and removed at 2 years old), and long term effects such as a delay in speech, hearing loss (that requires ear tubes for now, and may lead to at least a hearing aid in 1 ear), and developmental delay in both learning at school and daily functions. A few years ago he was diagnosed with severe flat foot (forget the medical term) that causes him to wear special insoles in his shoes and requires use of a wheel chair for events or trips that require lots of walking. His Orthopedic Specialist says he may have surgery around age 12 to help correct and relieve some pain of this, but he’ll always be disabled due to this. He was awarded ssi since then and was recently (at age 6) reassessed and denied contiued ssi. They claim he’s gotten better and is no longer disabled under their guidelines which could be true for his prs, but he’s not going to recover from his foot condition as i noted. I plan on appealing this decision and will gain the proper records to back up my claim, but wonder if I’ll need to be assisted by a lawyer, or should I make the appeal strictly on my own with the records I have? (Records I gave them permission to obtain and they should have factored into this decision.) Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mike,

      I recommend that you use an experienced Social Security attorney, partially because the rules for childhood disability are very specific. (See the article “What Medical Conditions Are Required to Meet SSI Disability Qualifications and to Get an SSI Approval?” under the SSI tab on this website’s navigation bar.) While you are securing an attorney, be sure you do not miss the sixty-day appeal deadline and, if you want payment continuation during the appeal, the ten-day deadline to request payment continuation.

      You can reach a knowledgeable Social Security attorney by completing the online form on this page to request a free Benefits Evaluation from Disability Advisor. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  113. Grelys says:

    My 6 yr old child has been diagnosed with separation anxiety. He struggles at school every day I have the principal call me to go pick him up at school . Some of the times I’m at work can he qualify?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Grelys,

      It is possible that your child may qualify medically for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. Get as much documentation as you can from your son’s teachers and principal to document his problems at school–for example, how many times a month you are asked to pick him up, the reason he is being sent home, behavioral problems, etc. Keeping him in counseling could help document the effects of his condition also.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  114. Jessica says:

    Dear Kay,
    I have a 6 year old son that is on 6 different types of medication on a daily basis. He has been to many of doctors, mental health clinics, and physiologist. They all have stated he has the most sever case of ADHD that they have seen, aspergrs autism, developmental deley, and much more! I have been informed by all these visits that has he gets older it will only get worse and there will be an increase in the amount of medication! He goes to doctor appointments 2 to 3 times a week every week! I was wondering should I apply for him??

    Also I have a 7 year old son that also has ADHD and anixity disorder. He is also on medication. The doctors have requsted for both of them to be in smaller classrooms and for the schools to accommodate to there needs but the school system refuses. Should I apply for both???

    Please help!!! Thanks!!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jessica,

      You can certainly apply for both children. Each, of course, will be evaluated separately. Whether they are approved will depend on how severely each is affected in terms of the ability to function as related to unimpaired children of their age.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  115. tiflovesauburn says:

    Hi I have a question, I just applied for SSI disability about three months ago due to severe depression, severe anxiety, ADHD, and addiction.
    I have filled out a 15 year work history form and a daily living function report and my mom as well filled out a daily living function report for me and mailed the forms back in. I have spoken with my DDS advisor and she went over my doctors listed on my claim as well as the reasons I was filing for disability. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety 4 years ago and have just struggled with living “normal” with these diagnosis until finally I just gave in and applied for disability. As far as the addiction she ask me how long ago was the addiction and how long I have been in recovery I have been in recovery years….and that is it so far. So my question is what stage of the process am I in and with me stating addiction on my claim is that going to hurt my terms for approval…I certainly hope not seeing how my mental disorders attributed completely to my addiction….I just hope they see that or that it’s proven in my medical evidence…also I have been seeing my psychiatrist for 4 years as well..thanks so much in advance..

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tiflovesauburn,

      No Social Security or SSI benefits are payable for drug or alcohol addiction. That said, if you have been in recovery for several years, then your current conditions and accompanying limitations are not attributable to the addiction and will be evaluated separately.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  116. Shelby may says:

    I was kicked in the face by a horse at 3 I am now 16 I had plastic surgery on my face and my teeth to this day are messed up.. About 1 year ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Due too hateful teens and rude people. A little later I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Yes I am only 16 but I’m emancipated. Could I get approved? Also what paper work would they need? No body will hire me and when they do my bipolar disorder makes me go crazy. Can I get approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shelby,

      I do not know whether you are disabled as defined by law; however, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. When you apply, take a copy of the emancipation papers with you; otherwise, an adult will have to apply for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • cindy says:

        Hi I applied for my son 4 year old for ssi cause he has Adhd and they denied it so I am fighting it with a lawyer the lawyer said that I don’t have to pay unless he wins and this time I put he has Adhd depression bipolar and he kills animals do you think he will qualify. I hope my son gets his help

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Cindy,

          I do not know whether your son will qualify for benefits, but listing all of his diagnoses, symptoms, and behavioral problems will increase his changes.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  117. T.J. says:

    Hi Kay,
    Is there any other way I could contact you? Maybe an email address?

    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear T.J.,

      I answer questions only on the website. If you are looking for anonymity, use a pseudonym. No one will see your email address. If you need an attorney, complete the Free Benefits Evaluation form on this website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  118. tonisha says:

    My daughter claim is still pending my daughter was born at 33 weeks weight 4 pounds 1 ounce shes now 10 months turns 1 july 10 of this year her weight is 11 pounds now and i really do believe shes way below weight shes so small and im so worried she also has eczéma she scratches until it bleeds im so worried and praying

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tonisha,

      If you have a question, please let me know and I will try to respond.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  119. Danielle says:

    Hello my son who is 7 has had ssa since birth, he has a rare heart condition were only half of his heart works. We had a recertification and they said my son is no longer disabled and in need of ssa. My son is 33 pounds and the height of a 5 year old he will eventually need a new heart to live, why is he being denied?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Danielle,

      If your child is not functioning as a healthy child, having trouble in school or missing a lot of school because of his health or cannot engage in normal activities for child of his age, you may want to appeal. I suggest that to help you do so you request a copy of his claim file so that you can see the exact reasons for the closure of his claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  120. Debbie lee says:

    I have been unable to work for about a year and half it started with bad chest pains when I move around. Then in October 2014 I had a total hysterectomy and bladder repair two weeks later I had a stroke it put my left side numb saw a neurologist about that and he said I high cholesterol got meds then I was complaint about my sleeping problems went to a sleep study and got told I had mild sleep apnea. Started seeing a heart doctor and learned I had artery 100% clogged in front of my heart and I have another 70% clogged behind my heart. Recently got a stent put in the 1 in front still waiting to get another. My reg. Doctor has been trying to control my blood pressure for three months. Also I see a therapist for extreme anxiety and panic attacks. I have applied for benefits in February 2015. In 2001 I drawed benefits cause I went thru a spell with my disk in my neck. I drawed for 3 to 4 years until I had my 5th and 6th vertebrae removed and replaced with a metal plate and 2 screws. Do you think I’ll be able to draw benefits again.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debbie,

      Given the list of conditions you describe, it is possible that you will meet the medical requirements for benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  121. don says:

    My 19 year old daughter has been losing her hearing since we noticed when she was 5 years old it has gotten worse over the years. She is now considered severely deaf. Is there any chance of her getting any disability payments at all. She has never worked. And is very upset she can’t be a contributing factor in her well being.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Don,

      Your daughter can apply now at the Social Security Administration for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If she is still unmarried when you or her mother begins to receive Social Security or dies, she can apply for disabled adult child benefits on her parent’s earnings record. I suggest that she also contact your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to see whether she qualifies for job placement or job training for work that she can do within her hearing limitations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  122. eleanor says:

    During the past 20 years, our 43 year old son, Ken, our 7th child, has only been able to engage in SGA level work for 3 yearrs, 2000-2002. During the remaining 17 years his earnings were below $6,000/year. He has been disabled since the 4th qtr of 2002 and meets the work requirements of that time.
    His impairments limit him from 5 days a week, 8 hours a day jobs or jobs which pay at SGA levels. He has ADHD plus depression and anxiety and heart problems. He has ex;perienced decompensation with depression several times for weeks or months. His oldest sister with schizophrenia committed suicide last year. His impairments sometimes impinge on each other. Together, if not individually, they preclude relevant SGA level work.
    Ken’s 3 years of SGA level work were as an independant contractor assisting his father in law – now x-father in law. That work is not available in the economy.
    Ken can sharpen scissors in his house but not at SGA level.
    Ken will sign a document for me to represent him so I can assist an attorney with information regarding him. We have supported him but are in our 80′s and no longer have the resources to continue.
    Can he file for SSDI for disability as of 2002? He does not meet the work re-quirements to file for disability as of today – and it did not start as of today.
    Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Eleanor,

      Your son can file a Social Security Disability (SSDI) application, claiming 2002 as his date of disability; however, it will be very hard to prove that he became disabled 12 years ago and has been continuously disabled ever since. He would have to provide all his medical records from 2002 to present and the records would have to be very well documented. It does not harm to try, but it is a long shot. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers a second disability benefit program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI does not have an earnings requirement (except for some aliens); instead it pays disability benefits to individuals with low income and assets.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  123. rose says:

    Hello my daughter been denied for ssi in 2015 and she been diagnose with adhd asthma and she had surgery on her liver and spine why was she denied?they got all of the the paper work they need by all the doctors ny daughter is seeing

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rose,

      I suggest that you discuss your daughter’s claim with a Social Security attorney to see whether an appeal might be successful. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  124. Sharon says:

    I am helping someone else with this situation and I have a question before I continue with all the forms. The person has been hospitalized for congestive heart failure and has COPD. I have witnessed this person having seizures for the last year or so. He doesn’t have a primary care doctor. He has been going to the hospital for all his care. Where do we go from here. Will he be sent to a SSI doctors? How does all this work?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sharon,

      The person you are helping may be asked to attend one or more consultative examinations; however, on the application list all the hospitals he has gone to with dates as close as possible, the reasons he has gone to the hospitals, whether he was admitted or received only emergency room care and, if admitted, roughly for how long, the treatment he received at each hospital, and why he doesn’t have a physician for outpatient care. If he has been taking medication, he can request a copy of his pharmacy record from his pharmacy9ies). If he can get a copy of the admission and discharge summaries and the cardiac and breathing test reports done in the hospital to submit for the claim that would be helpful. (Don’t hold up filing the claim while trying to get records.) Also, he could contact his local state or county department of human services to see whether he qualifies for Medicaid so he can get ongoing outpatient care now.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  125. Naomi Allison says:

    My disability began around age 15. I suffer from Interstitial Cystitis. Chronic pelvic pain. I need to use the bathroom upwards of 60 times a day and I have chronic UTIs and kidney infections. I must have income. However this disease progresses and has become increasingly worse. I am in a flare that has lasted over a year now. I work but at the expense of being ill because I am unable to utilize using the restroom as often as I really need. I have Hunners ulcers in my bladder which means my bladder is inflamed and irritated chronically. I have medical proof. My husband is employed and does make a decent income but we also have 7 children and just one income is not quite enough. I applied for ssdi but do not qualify as I do not have enough work credits. Mainly due to it being difficult to hold a job and urinate 60 times a day. Plus I suffer nocturia because of the IC so I am chronically fatigued. I am trying to apply for ssa. I DO need this income. I am so frustrated with the rude way in which I am treated by the call reps. This is a TRUE, verifiable inhibiting “silent disease”.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Naomi,

      I assume that you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a benefit based on financial need. With seven children to support, you you may qualify financially. I do know of at least one person with your somewhat unusual condition being approved. Whether or not you are approved will depend on how severe your particular symptoms are. File as complete a claim as possible providing information about your long history and all treatments that have been tried. (Tips on filing a claim can be found under the “Apply SSD” tab at the top of each page of this Disability Advisor website.)

      I recommend that you get legal assistance to file an appeal if you are denied. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  126. Ann says:

    Hi, My son was approved for SSI due to Autism. He is currently in a program getting living/social and job skills. He has a small job and is living in an apartment that was initially party of the program. He wants to continue living independently with a friend that is also in this program. Eventually they hope to live on their own without the program oversight. I want to submit to SSI that to get an increase in SSI payment due to no longer living at home. However, due to some of what I have read, this may disqualify him from getting benefits. Because the families are currently paying for the rent. Can you please give me some advice. This is a my plan to transition my son to be self supportive.

    • Ann says:

      Kay, To give you a little more info, he is 21 years old and I already submitted the lease to SSI and they scheduled us for an appointment. So now i am worried because I read that my income may be considered part of the income because a parents name must be on the lease in order for them to rent. But we are not living there, we only are on the lease so that they can be approved to rent.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Ann,

        Because your son is an adult, your income does not affect his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) whether he is living with you or elsewhere and whether or not your name is on the lease. (Also please see my response to your earlier post.)

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ann,

      First of all, if you are your son’s representative payee, you are legally responsible for reporting his move and his job. If you are not, he is responsible for reporting it himself.

      If you are paying the rent directly to the landlord of the apartment or to the program providing it and his benefits were reduced for living at home and the other parents are paying no more than half of the rent for their son, there will likely be no change in son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit due to his living in an apartment with a roommate (or alone).

      Gross earnings over $65 usually reduce benefits $1 for every $2 of the excess. However, your son might qualify for a Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS). If he qualifies, his work earnings could be used toward any expenses related to education, training, equipment etc. that are needed to move him towards becoming self-supporting and would not reduce his SSI benefit. You can read about the PASS program at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/pass.htm.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ann says:

        Kay, Thank your for your response, and I plan to look into the PASS Program. Currently his SSI benefits are 495 as if he were living at home, not on his own. He did recently change jobs and is making a little bit more which we are planning to report this to SSI. We are not sure how many hours they will be giving him to work yet. He is paying half of the rent on his own, but he doesn’t make enough money, so I need to give him some money to help him out. So we are asking SSI for the “living on own” benefit amount. So are you saying that it does not matter that 4 people are on the lease including my name my name and the other parent and it doesn’t matter that I am contributing to his expenses? Thank you

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Ann,

          The cash support or direct payment of rent, power, heat, water, garbage and food all count as income. If your son were to pay those expenses (half of them if he is living with someone else, which I think I understand he is) with his work earnings and SSI or closer to half than he is now, his SSI could go up two months later. You can buy other things for him as long as you don’t give him cash and not have it affect his SSI. You can buy bus tickets, clothing, movie passes, toilet articles, household paper and cleaning supplies, telephone, TV cable, etc. if you pay for them directly and not have it affect his SSI.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Ann says:

            Kay, Thank you! But I have another question. The Total rent of his apartment is $1545 they split this rent in 2 which equals $772.50. which is more than he gets from SSI now or the higher amount when living on own. Since 4 people are on the lease (add’l 2 parents) am i able to pay for the 1/4? This is not my residence but I am on the lease.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Ann,

            Only the people who live in the apartment are counted in the household, so your son’s share of the rent is half of $1,545. It would appear that if he and his friend want to become independent of their parents, they will have to look for much less expensive housing or possibly apply for government subsidized housing.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  127. Amanda says:

    Hi,
    My mother has been trying to get on SSI for about 6 years. Today she received a letter from the Disablity board saying that they would like to review her case to see if they can come to a favorable decision without going in front of a federal judge, she has a lawyor and has been denied about 4 times. I would like to know if this is a good thing or a bad thing and what will happen now?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amanda,

      Sometimes hearing appeals are decided “on the record,” meaning the a favorable decision is made based on a review of the claim file. If an approval can be made it will be made without a hearing. If the review does not result in a hearing, your mother will still get the hearing. So, in summary, it could be a good thing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  128. Sammi says:

    Hello…My son was recently denied renewal of his SSI. He turned 18 in September. He is diagnosed with anorexia, depression and is developmentally delayed. He has had a feeding tube for approximately 11 years…without it his weight will plummet and he will be hospitalized. He is also in the 11th grade and attends a special school for students with disabilities and he also has an IEP. The letter states that since his last review, they determined his health has improved and he is able to work. He does not have a driver’s license and since I do not have a car I am not sure how he would seek employment. He was denied renewal once before about 10 years ago, I appealed it and it was re-instated, but not without the help of my local state representative. Now that he is 18 I am wondering if I will be fighting a losing battle….Please advise…Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sammi,

      Disability is not based on having transportation to look for a job or to get to a job. Disability criteria for adults is different than for children. All that said, given the various medical and mental problems your son has, I think he should appeal the denial. I suggest getting a Social Security attorney to assist. If he appeals within ten days of the notice of termination, he can request continuation of payment while the appeal is being processing; though if he is denied, he might have to repay the temporary payments.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  129. Alicia says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with Primary Immune Deficiency recently. She will now be required to have monyly IVIG treatments. This school year she has already be absent from schoold about 20 day. Four days just this week due to an infection. I have seen where some children and adults may be eligible for either SSI or SSDI. Is this correct and what would we have to do for this?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Alicia,

      The only disability program for minor children is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You can apply for benefits by either going to a Social Security office or calling 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment to apply.The first evaluation will be of family finances to determine whether your family income and assets are below the limits for SSI eligibility. If they are, then you will complete the medical portion of the application. There is no retroactivity, so make an appointment before the end of the month to avoid potential loss of benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  130. Vicki says:

    My daughter had childhood cancer and her leg was amputated. She is still on childhood SSI. She would like to go overseas and live for a few months. Cold weather really hurts her leg and she has family in Thailand. I was told she can only leave the country for 2 weeks. Is there any way around that? She would like to stay longer

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Vicki,

      There is no way around the law. If she is out of the U.S. for either thirty days or a full calendar month (February is shorter), she will be ineligible until she has been back in the U.S. for thirty days. For example, if she left in January and returned in mid-April, she would not be eligible for the months of February through May.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  131. val says:

    Hi kay
    My son is 3 years old he has been denied disability .He started out by having random seizures and they couldn’t figure out why.I filed disability in august 2014 it wasn’t tell November that we found out the has epilepsy and severe sleep apnea. The denial letter said because it doesn’t affect his seeing or hearing nor day to day activities. Which is not truth .there’s a lot of things he can’t do that he would love to doas a child.he has mood swings and he complains and cries about bad headaches. Im wondering why was he denied where both of these conditions are very serious

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Val,

      I suggest that you appeal the denial and submit all recent medical information. It would be best to have an attorney to help you present the best possible appeal at this first appeals level. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  132. Kelly Rii says:

    Hello Kay Im kelly I have a 2 year old daughter hear lately I do a lot of walking with her becus ahe hate the bus everytime it stop or make a loud noise she cries well she has been approved for 6 months in those 6 months I received her regular check an I got back pay will 1installment I got her cloths shoes electronics her hair done lots of toys drawing boards an kids drum sets tv her all the dvds she likes to watch over an over a bed covers sheets ok I got her comfii a an the mane things needed I wen an requested a 2 installment for furniture I stay in an apartment so I wanted rugs cus she clumsy I want to keep apartment rug clean I went an bought all the safety kits for my bathroom cabinets cabinets in kitchen that she can reach got her a vicks vapor rub vaporizer for her astma then with the last couple hundreds went on books cable bill for her to have access to cartoons now its november she is due another installment an I’m needing a car to get her to doc apps an get her hair done take her to activitys we go to classes to help me on understanding this disability some time when u have a disable child u wanna keep them in a safe around were she happy but we have to break it just wanna know if they take to long to deposit can’t I request the deposit cus its really need the older she gets seem the worser it gets just want her in a great school

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kelly,

      The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay installments are typically paid six months apart. If you have not gotten the check by the end of the sixth month from the last installment, contact the office and ask the status of the payment and when it will be released.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  133. Anna Latric says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for writing this. I have a question to ask.

    Two days ago I had a hearing with the Judge for my five year old daughter. After reviewing the paperwork and asking me quite a lot of questions she said to me: “We agree that her ability to learn is extremely limited, however the way SSI works is that there needs to be two marked limitations. For example if she was destructive in the school environment and unable to get along with other children that could be a second mark. But since she gets along fine with other children we will be looking into her speech area to see if that effects her ability to interaction with other children.”

    She then told me that they would send a teacher questionnaire to my daughters school and if I had anymore information to send it to them right away.

    Today I received a educational record from my daughters teacher stating that my child’s speech was unintelligible, even more so when the conversation was out of context and as a result she is unable to get many of her needs met. The teacher needed me to sign these papers which stated my child was eligible as speech and language impaired so that they could put her in speech therapy asap.

    I signed these papers, and then forwarded them to the SSI office so the judge could see them.

    My main question is, based on that what is the likelihood of her being approved? The teacher hasn’t yet filled out the questionnaire as far as I know but the educational papers I sent in today seemed to make it clear that my child has serious speech issues on top of her learning disability.

    It seems like this would be all they need and would count as the second marked limitation but I’m not quite sure how this process really works.

    Thank you,
    Anna

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Anna,

      The teacher needs to complete the forms the judge requested as soon as possible especially if only your signature was on the papers making it your statement, not the teacher’s statement. Even if you both signed, the judge may require Social Security’s form. Be in touch with the teacher, thank her for getting therapy started for your daughter, and emphasize how important it is that she complete the Social Security requested forms this week.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Anna Latric says:

        Hello Kay,

        Thank you for replying.

        My signature is not the only only on the education form I signed.

        The paper, which is called “REED” has statements from the teacher stating my daughter is difficult to understand, and shows 4-5 words sentences with continued unintelligible speech. The REED has the signature of the District Representative, Special Education Teacher and the Speech Therapist Teacher and makes it very clear that there are intelligibility issues in the ‘Language Samples issued by the teacher’.

        It says a few other things all of which point to Speech and Language Impairment and a need of therapy added to her already Special Educational class asap. :(

        I was curious to know if that paper work I sent in would be enough for a approval but according to your statement it seems it would be best to also have the teacher fill out that form as well.

        I don’t want to constantly bother the teacher to finish the forms but if needed I will.

        Thank you for your reply,
        Anna

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Anna,

          As you describe the statement that the school provided, I would think it would be adequate. I suggest that you review the form the judge sent to see if any questions on it are unanswered and, if so, ask the teacher to complete that portion of the form and write “see statement of such-in-such date” in all the other sections.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Anna Latric says:

            Hi Kay,

            I wanted to thank you for all of your replies. I really appreciate this and you’ve taken a lot of stress off my back. If I ever have anymore questions I know who to turn to.

            Thank you

          • Kay Derochie says:

            You are welcome, Anna.

      • Anna Latric says:

        Hi Kay,

        I have another question!

        I was reading over this: https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0424599001

        And noticed the section where they go over the “Guidelines for Evaluating Severity of Speech Impairments”

        My daughter turned five two days ago. Would she be classified in the 3 1/2 to attainment of 5 years, or in the ’5 years and older’?

        Perhaps I’m over thinking this all a bit but I’ve been unable to take my mind off of it since the hearing.

        Thank you again Kay.

  134. Stacy says:

    MY FIANCÉE HAD APPLIED FOR DISABILITY MAY 2013 AND WAS DENIED AROUND AUGUST 2013. HE HAVENT WORKED SINCE 2002 HE’S ALWAYS IN CONSTANT PAIN HE HAVE A HERINATED DISC AND SEVERE MIGRAINES. HE HAD MRIS,CATSCANS ON HEAD AND NEUROLOGISTS CAN NOT FIGURE OUT WHATS CAUSING THESE THROBBING,PAINFUL MIGRAINES. HE SEEKED ATTORNEY OCTOBER 2013 SO HE BEEN WORKING WITH SS ATTORNEY AND OVER THESE PAST 6 MONTHS HE WAS RECOMMENDED TO SEE PHYSCIATRIST DO TO SUICIDAL THOUGHTS,ANXIETY,DEPRESSION. HIS PHYSCIATRIST DIAGNOSED HIM BD DO HE NEED TO REAPPLY FOR SSI OR NOT? WILL THE BIPOLAR DISORDER COUNT AS ANOTHER DISABLITIY (MENTAL) HIS ATTORNEY SAID THEIR IS A HEARING SET FOR JANUARY 2015 FOR PHYSICAL DISABILITY WE ARE LOST AND NEED HELP????

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Stacy,

      Your fiance can check with his attorney, but my understanding is that new medical information can be submitted at any time and that the new psychiatric information can be submitted to supplement the appeal before the hearing so that mental limitations can be considered together with the physical limitations at the hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  135. Ty says:

    Kay, is drug addiction considered a disability along with severe social anxiety and depression?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ty,

      Neither Social Security or Supplemental Security Income pays benefits for drug addiction. If an addict is disabled due to mental illness alone, irrespective of the addiction, benefits could be paid. It is difficult to get approved in such a situation because it is hard to separate the disability caused by mental illness from the disability caused by addiction. If you apply and are denied, you will probably need an attorney to assist with an appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  136. Dallas Bergmann says:

    I have looked at tons of questions to you and haven’t really seen an answer to mine, so here I am. I have been on SSDI for a few years now. I’m struggling to get by. Can I get SSI? Do I have to go through everything I went through to get SSDI?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dallas,

      If your gross Social Security before withholding for taxes or Medicare premiums is less than $741, you may be eligible for some federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Depending on the state you live in, your income could be somewhat more and you could be eligible for the state’s SSI supplement even if you are not eligible for a federal benefit. If your income is low enough for you to apply for SSI, you will only have to submit financial information; a new medical review is not needed. Other sources of income include food stamps, energy assistance for heating bills (usually available through your power company or local non-profit agency), telephone reduced rates through your phone company. If you do not own your own home, you might also try to get on a waiting list for government-subsidized housing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  137. L. Andersen says:

    My adult child was attempting college while we awaited the appeals on her child to adult redet. It had been denied at age 18, because she was no longer a child and had enrolled for 12 credit hours at school. Half of those credits had only a single exam requirement, no homework, and were independent study. Ssi denied based on the number of credits. Now, two years later, and several relapses of her conditions, she is now diagnosed with additional physical developments. And she is withdrawing from school. Do i just report the withdrawal to the ssi office to add to her appeal folder, or do i need to get official letters or transcripts or anything from the college? Her diagnoses are auto immune inflammatory asthma, which flares severely about every two to three months, and auto immune cardio-pulmonary inflammatory disease, which flares when her lungs also inflame, and allergies to dust and grass pollen, and tachycardia that has become permanent, from all the asthma medications she has taken since birth. She had been taking 40 mg of medrol then step down over a period of three weeks to treat the flare ups, and now was told she will need to increase the amount for flare ups, and will need to take double doses, every other day, permanently. She takes advair 500/50, two prescription anti allergy medications, levalbuterol nebulizer four times a day, and a rescue inhaler. She has never been able to participate in anything normal during her childhood nor in her early adulthood. She has had pneumonia eight times since birth, and last years bout left her hospitalized, and needing xrays and antibiotics for three fill months following. It took her until this fall to get back some weight and look healthier again. She has no physical endurance. We walk every evening, as she needs to have some activity. She is degrading every year though. This will never even stabilize. She is maxed out on everything. Stress, emotions, laughter, cold or hot foods, a sinus or head cold, or not a good nights rest all set her off. She has never been higher than fair to poorly controlled. Her claim is up for an alj sometime this year. I was the one who kept the payments going as we appealed and as a result, i can not get any attorney to assist me. They will only take a case if there will be retroactive payment. Believe me, i have called them ALL. I do not feel qualified to explain my daughters multiple complex auto immune disorders as a qualifying disability. I dont know what terminology or legalese is correct for this. Help?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear L.,

      I suggest that if you cannot get legal assistance that you

      1. Write up a chronological timeline of the different medical events your daughter has experienced since she turned age seventeen.
      2. At each point in the timeline when there was a change in her condition, a flare up, a change in treatment, or new diagnoses, state what happened, the problems she was having, including why she couldn’t work at that point in time, and the names of the medical providers who treated her at that time.
      3. At the end of the statement, write up the full contact information for each medical provider.
      4. Point out the frequency of the severe flareups and point out that she would not be able to keep a job with such frequent absences.
      5. Get all the medical records from the flare-ups or other important information that you can afford to. At least try to get the admission medical history and summary and the discharge summary from each hospitalization.
      6. Write up a statement about your daughter’s school attendance. Include a description of any problems she had doing the work.
      If she still has a copy of the syllabus (plan for the course) for the classes she took, submit a copy of those to show the classes were not demanding. If they are not available, try to get them or something comparable from the professors. If she missed a lot of classes, a prof might either have a record or remember and be willing to make a statement. Note if she took any of the courses online from home.
      7. Anything else you think shows disability.
      8. Indicate that you, her mother, did most of the work of gathering and preparing the statement the information.
      9. Be as streamlined as you can about providing the inforamtion.

      Send the statement, keeping a copy, to the hearing office and request that it be put in the claim file for the judge’s review. Also, in order for you to speak at the hearing, you may need to have your daughter appoint you as her representative for pursuing the appeal. Social Security has a special form for this, called Appointment of Representative, which you can get from her local Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • L. Andersen says:

        Excellent advice. I am very grateful! I will get to work on this summary and submit it for her folder. I had already submitted her previous quarters’ schedules and syllabi, showing her actual physical and class requirements including homework have never equalled even 14 or 15 total hours per week. And those hours i described with brief outlines of exactly what the requirements consisted of. After reading the rest of your suggestions, i feel maybe i can do this. I will have my daughter appoint me as her rep, and i will include a statement that i have gathered and prepared her informations. Thank you, so much!

  138. Gloria Howell says:

    I applied for SSDI in May 2014. At that time I declined application for SSI. Was that a mistake? I didn’t want to ask for more than I need, but now I suspect SSI would have been approved already. Can I go back and add SSI to my application?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gloria,

      Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability for adults have the same medical requirements. The only difference in the disability decision is that you must have become disabled while you were insured for Social Security Disability. To be eligible for SSI, your income and assets have to be below a certain limit. (Not all assets are counted. For example, a house you own or are buying and live in is not a countable asset.) If you think you might qualify financially for SSI, you can apply for SSI now; SSI benefits, if you are approved, will not be retroactive prior to the SSI application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  139. judy c says:

    Hello. I recently applied for disability benefits but was denied. First, a little about my medical history. I was officially diagnosed at the age of 4 with Systemic Onset Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and this condition has caused a great deal of pain in all my joints and health. In the past few years, my left shoulder and left elbow has been affected greatly by pain and limited mobility. I applied for the SSI application with disability benefits and was denied right away, after seeing one of the Social Security medical doctors. On the denial letter, it says I am sufficient to work because my right arm is able to perform duties, I have a 12 year education, etc. Is there a way to reverse the disapproved claim?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Judy,

      I suggest that you request a copy of your claim file so that you can see the medical information used and also the reasons for the denial listed in the determination memo. If you still think the decision is wrong, file and appeal and hire an attorney to assist you. (Be sure that you don’t miss the deadline for appealing while waiting for the claim file.) You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  140. Gina says:

    Dear Kay,

    Six months ago I had brain surgery(craniotomy) to remove a benign tumor (acoustic neuroma/vestibular schwannoma). My vestibular nerve has been compromised and I have balance problems, hearing loss and debilitating headaches. Despite vestibular therapy and a trial and error with several kinds of medication, I have not been able to find relief. I am a teacher and I have been receiving sick pay, but it will soon be exhausted. My doctors will not approve me going back to work at this time, but cannot predict if these symptoms will last twelve or more months. Not receiving any kind of income will create hardship and I’m not sure what my next move should be. Also, if I apply and am approved for SSDI and disability insurance through the NYS Teachers’ Retirement System, would one affect the other? I am 55 years old. Thank you in advance for your advice.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gina,

      I recommend that you apply for Social Security Disability. It will take two to five months for the claim to be processed, which will put you closer to twelve months. If you are denied just because they think your disability will not last twelve months and you are still disabled when you receive the denial, you can appeal towards the end of the appeal period and that will put you very close to twelve months at that time.

      If you were paying into Social Security at the same time as getting credit for the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) benefits, then the TRS will not affect your Social Security. Check with the TRS office to find out if Social Security affects the TRS benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  141. lachonnie says:

    I had my hearing on April 9 2014 I have not heard from them now I get a letter saying I got to go for second hearing on sept 29 . Can u tell me what are my chances.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lachonnie,

      Did you get an explanation of why you are having a second hearing? It could be that the judge decided he or she needed more information to make a decision.The other possibility is that the original judge has become ill and can’t complete the review, which means that the judge taking over for him or her must hold a hearing. Either way, your claim is still under consideration for possible approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  142. Kaly says:

    Dear Wendy,

    My son is age 18 and was just approved for SSI. He will be entering college in August. His mailing address will remain the same, while his physical address will change to the college where he will be living. Does he need to report that he has started attending college? He has scholarships that will cover his classes, but he and we, his parents, will have to take out loans to cover his room and board costs. Does he need to report his responsibility to pay room and board while in college? How does that work?

    Thanks for all your help,
    Kaly

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kaly,

      Yes, the change needs to be reported. Now that your son is age eighteen, your income and assets are not considered in determining his payment amount. However, you will be paying his room and board, which counts as income to him. If you pay it directly to the college, the amount of in-kind support and maintenance charged against his SSI will be limited to $240, which is most likely less than the actual amount you pay. If his living arrangement changes in the summer (comes home, gets an apartment), he needs to report that also.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  143. kliana says:

    Hi my name is kliana and im currently receiving ssi for my premature baby. He was born weighing 2lbs 1ounce low birth weight and also a IUGR baby,.anywho I was wondering can some one tell me when do they stop payments he’s current 9 months and only weighs 11.4 and not doing things thats he should be doing at his age. Answers please thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kliana,

      The Social Security Administration is likely to do a medical review when your son turns age one to see if he is still disabled, but your son will continue to receive benefits as long as he is disabled and family income and assets are below the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) limits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  144. wendy nelson says:

    After the hearing my lawyer decided to file an appeal of review, sending it to the Appeals Council. My denial letter stated that while it agreed with all the findings, and that I was likely not finding gainful employment due to 5 medical conditions/illnesses I have, it was denying me. During the questioning, the judge asked my age. my lawyer said that age cannot be biased, however she said the judge typically denies anyone under 50. I am 45. If this should have no bearing on my case, why ask my age, why agree with findings, but still have been denied? I am still very confused on how else a denial could be determined, but hope the Appeals Council will reverse the decision.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Wendy,

      Social Security Disability law says that a person age fifty or over is disabled if he or she is unable to perform any occupation that he or she has done in the past. If you are under age fifty, you also have to be unable to perform other occupations that are new to you and that you could otherwise do based on your education, training, and transferable skills. The idea behind the two different standards is that younger people are more likely to be able to start and become successful in a new occupation than older people. I cannot explain what the judge might have been thinking when he or she mentioned your medical conditions as related to the ability to find work.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  145. Teri Baiocchi says:

    Hi Kay,

    I filed for disability February 13th of this year. I have been working very hard since I was 12 years old, 42 years straight (very hard work) with hardly any breaks. I am now 54. I had a great little job working at Sam’s Club as a cashier. I came home the day of the 13th and told my roommate “The gig is up, I can no longer work.”

    I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and osteophytes.

    I went to my Dr. yesterday to get my prescriptions refilled and he told me everyone gets denied at least twice. He said he has never known anyone to get their disability benefits at the first try.

    I put together a 200 page binder with my medical history, work history, pictures, faxes – all by category and every page with a sheet protector. I don’t feel I need an attorney, as I have kept accurate records and have plenty of evidence.

    My question to you is that true about everyone being denied at least 2 times?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Teri,

      No, it is not true that everyone gets denied twice. Many people are approved on first application. that said, I suggest that you keep a copy of everything you submit to the Social Security Administration, just in case you have to appeal. When submitting your claim, explain why you can no longer to jobs you have done in the past. Also, check with your employer to see if you are covered by short-term or long-term disability policies that they sponsor.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  146. michael says:

    kay I have a couple of questions i was denied ssi and have appealed.And that was due to them receiving maybe a 10th of my medical reports.anyway i have been receiving general relief for about 3yrs now through social services and for me to receive benefits without going to one of there work programs i have to see one of there doctors for a medical assessment and have them declare to be temporary disabled. i suffer from chronic venous insufficiency thrombosis phlebitis in both legs and feet. and every medical assessment for G.R. they see my condition and declare me TEMP DISABLED.and the first 2 times it was for 3-months and 3-months then it was for 6-months twice.and last assessment there doctor put me down as temp disabled for 12 months and that i was potentially SSI eligible. My question is does ssi consider my medical assessments i have to go to to receive G.R. in there decision on my claim? sincerely M.W.M.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michael,

      Social Security will not adopt the social services’ doctors’ opinions, but they will consider them. I suggest that you have a copy of the records from those examinations and reports sent to the Social Security Administration for your appeal. Also, it could be a good idea to have an attorney who is well-versed in Social Security disability law help you with your appeal. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  147. Mary says:

    Ok here’s my question I am wanting to sign up for ssdi but I am the payee for someone else can I be there payee and still be approved for ssdi,I have been sick for several years but have not applied hoping to get the help I needed so now it’s been several years since I last worked and I have no other choice but try and get ssdi/ssi can you tell me if I can still be there payee and get help myself,,,thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mary,

      Your being representative payee for someone else’s Social Security or SSI benefit will have no impact on a claim for yourself. Be sure to claim the first date that you became disabled, that is, when you initially ceased work so that there will be a possibility of being found insured for Social Security.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  148. Donna says:

    I just received my second denial from SSDI. I just don’t understand. They ask for letters from all of your doctors, and I got them. My neurologist put me out of work on July 15, 2013. He’s been treating me for 15 years and knows me better than any doctor in SSDI. He has literally diagnosed me with conditions before specialists have. I have epilepsy, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, migraines, sixth nerve ocular palsy, which causes double vision, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypertension, arthritis, narcolepsy, irritable bowel syndrome, and diplopia. That’s all they took into account. I also have fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, muscle atrophy that started in my hands while I was working and is getting worse, a lipoma (tumor) lying on my spine that needs surgery, balance problems that are so bad that I would fall into the walls at work. I also fell asleep at work because of the narcolepsy and chronic fatigue syndrome. I also have two forms of arthritis: psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis. Psoriatic makes your joints well and become inflamed, and it has now spread to both my hands, back, hips and knees.

    I was denied because my blood pressure is higher than normal. However, it has not damaged any vital body organs, and is not causing any problems which would prevent you from working.

    You do have arthritis. However, it does not limit your ability to move about and use your limbs.

    And the kicker, The evidence shows no other condition which significantly limits your ability to work.

    I honestly don’t know if it’s their job to put people on the street, and make them homeless. I am 60 years old, and since July, my credit has been ruined and I am on the verge of being homeless. Who decides that epilepsy is easy to work with? Did they ever have a seizure and wake up with a migraine that lasts for 7-9 days? They are debilitating. And arthritis. They should experience getting up in the morning and almost collapsing b/c your knee and hip just aren’t cooperating, especially during wet or bad weather. I can’t open a jar or open a bottle. The palsy in my eye? It’s horrible seeing double all the time. And since it’s now lasted over a year, I have the choice of living with it forever, or waiting until July, getting another MRI to see if there’s a lesion causing this, and either way, getting surgery. I was sleeping in work b/c of the narcolepsy and chronic fatigue syndrome. Diplopia is my eyelids closing on their own, which is also caused by the palsy. I would LOVE to know the physicians who make these decisions for SSDI because I sincerely doubt they are qualified to make decisions that impact people’s live so much.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Donna,

      I recommend that you file a request for hearing and hire a Social Security attorney. Multiple conditions combining to cause disability need to be presented in a manner that makes it clear your conditions together meet the definition of disability in Social Security law. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  149. sue says:

    Hello, I applied for SSDI on line and had my appointment at the local SS office here in California where I gave a completed Residual Functional Capacity form from my doctor including a MRI report. The doctor wrote that my condition will last more that 12 months and that I can not sit, stand for more that 10 minutes. My condition is Lumbar Stenosis, I also am a Diabetic and have been taking anxiety and pain medications. I am turning 55 years old in June I have an established earnings report and have earned enough credits from working all my life. On the RFD my doctor wrote I was going to be referred to a back specialist.A week after my SSS appointment i received a call from a SSA Medical Evaluator asking if I had seen the back specialist I told her that I am still waiting for the referral to see the specialist and that I am on State of CA Medical which may take some time for the approval. My question is What happens if the back doctor wants to do surgery? Do I have to have surgery at 55 years old to get approval for SSDI?
    Thank You

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sue,

      Social Security does not have the authority to require you to obtain any particular medical treatment. The claims examiner was probably inquiring about the appointment to find out whether there was additional medical information from a specialist that was not available when you filed the claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  150. Amanda says:

    Dear Kay,

    I have was at home mom for 13 years then I had to have back surgery, the Dr. told me he would fill out the disability papers for me and I told him no way because I hadn’t had a chane to prove myself in to the working world and contribut to society. Since my surgery I have been in and out of the hospital numerous times I have had so many problems and have missed so much work I dont know what to do. And now I have had a migrainge since August 7th 2013 and the Dr’s are telling me that it is chronic and there is no cure I should just go on disability. I am so torn. I have 4 kids and I want to work to make our life better. But when I work that is all I do, I work and sleep and I do not see my family. I wish the was a perfect equal medium. sigh…

    Amanda

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amanda,

      If you are disabled and do not have enough work to be insured for Social Security Disability (also called SSD or SSDI), you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). I suggest that you make an appointment to apply by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. They will first screen you to determine whether your family’s income and assets are low enough for you to be eligible. Even if you are married and your spouse works, with four children, your spouse’s income may not disqualify you. You expressed a desire for an equal medium. If you are not eligible for either SSD or SSI, perhaps you can find a job that you can do working just a few hours a week.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  151. Cindy says:

    Please let me know also what is Medicaid and how do you get that? And why can’t you leave the country for more than 30 days, what does that have to do with getting disability?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cindy,

      If you are a U.S. citizen, you can live abroad in many countries and still receive Social Security benefits without restriction. The thirty-day restriction for being out of the country applies to individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The reason behind the law is that the program is a public assistance welfare program for residents of the U.S. who are citizens or meet certain limited legal alien qualifications.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Jolee says:

        One would think that if you are requesting Medicaid that you cannot afford to provide for yourself in day to day living much less travel abroad.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Jolee,

          A third party may have paid for the transportation to go abroad. A plane ticket is not countable income for Supplemental Security Income because it does not provide housing or food.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  152. Cindy says:

    I have metastatic Neuroendocrine stage 3 Cancer, along with several other conditions, I am a nurse, and have not been able to work since diagnosed, initially the CTC had treated me for the wrong cancer and given me the wrong chemo, then following the PETSCAN no improvement because I had received the wrong treatment, was sent a letter from the oncologist that was treating me no longer took my insurance, but come to find out that was not true, I think he realized he had made a mistake, had gone to Mayo and found out that Cancer I had needed surgery as the tumors were wrapped around my jugular, carotid artery and cervical area, had I stayed with them according to the new radiation Dr I would have been dead within months had I stayed, so surgery , radiation, and chemo were started immediately. My question is I have since been accepted for disability but what is SSI for and can you collect both, also the amount of disabilty I will collect how is it calculated, as I find it hard to believe that they expect a person to live on it, my husband has left me I have used up my savings and was living on credit cards, I refinanced my home to lower the payments, but have no other income, what does one do when speaking with the Social Security Dept, they told me I had to sell my belongings to qualify for SSI benefits, I declined as I need what little I do have, and what exactly is it they want you to sell and what is it they you can have, I find it hard to believe that the many years that one has worked and payed all the Govt taxes and retirements, that to live you give up all you have to receive assistance, and not only that but to have to fight to get what one rightfully deserves they have no problem taking their taxes without asking or getting a lawyer to get them from me but I have to wait years to get a response and fight to get assistance, this a sick and undeserving position they put you in, especially when you are sick and to have to go through their expectations without regard to situation, when you can’t buy food pay rent or have medical bills coming at you left and right and the threatening phone calls from bill collectors, I think someone in the Government has really lost priorities, bailing out banks, wars, helping Wall street, with billions of our dollars and I’m trying to get a disability check and FIGHT I might say to get it. So anyway sorry back to question can you get both, and how do they decide on the amount you should get?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cindy,

      Your Social Security benefit is calculated related on your earnings under Social Security. You can request an earnings statement of your taxed earnings from your work and look it over to be sure that all your earnings are listed. If they are all listed, then the calculation is highly likely to be correct because it is performed by a computer program.

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be paid to disabled individuals who have countable income and assets below a certain limit. If your Social Security (or your Social Security and other income together) is $741 or over, you are not eligible for SSI. The resource (asset) limit for an individual is $2,000. Your home, usually one vehicle, and normal household and personal items are not counted. Countable assets usually include investments of most kinds, including 401ks and IRAs, second vehicles, boats, valuable collections of art,some insurance policies, etc. If a representative of Social Security suggested selling items, I would think that it would not refer to the essential excludable items such as home or vehicle.

      I hope this information is helpful.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Kristina,

        I think that you intended to address your post to someone who has visited the site. Instead it was sent to me, so I am not posting it. If you wish to repost a comment directed to the right person, I will post it on the site.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  153. Hello Kay, my name is cynthia, good to meet you. You are very knowledged in this SSI and SSDI. I have been denied 3X’s and the 4th appeal I finnaly made it too the Judge. I didn’t know where to start, had no legal advice, and under so much pressure I thought I was going pop!Seconds before going in this guy told me to only speak when I’m given a question-and never call him sir, he hates that, only address him as ‘your honor’.Great!
    I had my ssi and ssdi from 1987 until 2001. Some terrible trouble happened and I lost it. Lost my housing {hud} my 2-checks and my daughter ran away with her boyfriend. I just could not even to go into that apt. by myself.Started to stay up all night-having been arested 7x’s for really stupid reasons. Jay-walking, be in fights, drunken disorder, never paid the fines, had to work off my fines at 10 cents an hour, you got it, prison for not paying my fines and 1 time such a tiny roach-it was considered “un-determend amount,” My public pretender told the judge I was a danger to myself!That she {me}should get max time. Ended doing 7 months, and only chiped off 1/2 of one huge fine. Got accepted to a half way house. A dear friend paid off my fines, and thought I could get the charge expunged. Making my appearence better. I lived on the streets for almost 4 years, so I made a claim for my social benifits. That “felony”charge {I feel} led to the denial of my benifits. Disability is corneal dystrophy-with corneal erosions, I currently and will probably never be off the anti-depressents, or the anxiety pills. Had a stroke in Sept. and my comprehention {and spelling} has gone back to the beginning of time. It is very hard to remember what I did last week, I have no short memory, but some past from years ago.What would you do? Or what do you and others think I should do.?When I talked to Bender&Bender, they had to fly out from New York, so I said no because that was part of their cut. Do you know a winning advocate that speakes for us in the court room? I only heard of it, that I wouldn’t have to go to court at all, could this be right? Thank you, Sincerely, Cynthia

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cynthia,

      It does sound as if you need an attorney to represent you. I do not know where you live. If you do not live in a fairly large urban area there may not be experienced Social Security/SSI disability attorneys in your area. You can start by looking in the yellow pages of your phone book or in the phone book of an urban area near you. And, of course, the internet is a source. These resources should be available in a public library. If you can not locate an attorney locally as you wish, you might talk with your local social services office to see if they know of any volunteer advocates who are knowledgeable.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      A few hearing appeals are decided favorably without a hearing, but the overwhelming majority require appearance at a hearing.

  154. j.lee says:

    I forgot to mention the LJ had denied me for several reasons, she said although I had the above severe impairments she felt the COPD and sleep apnea were under control, felt my pain was also under control with meds and it appeared to her I was not following treatment orders with diabetes (not true) and I had failed to lose any weight which were all contributing to worsening of symptoms. The psych Dr she sent me to diagnosed me with major depressive disorder but only had minimum affect on my life. She said I should be able to return to light work and could stand or sit 8 hrs a day, even after the VE testified I could not. So, I do have more medical records to prove otherwise but wondering if the new diagnosis of PTSD and bipolar will be looked at too….?

  155. j.lee says:

    I have been going through this process for 3 yrs and like so many others do not know how I can wait much longer with no way to live. I have 3 kids who have all become very depressed and have lost hope, it breaks my heart. I have type 2 diabetes and on insulin but still uncontrolled, peripheral neuropathy and severe vein disease in legs so have constant pain and wide spread edema. I also have COPD,sleep apnea and obesity. I have DDD and herniated discs in cervical and lumbar spine that push into the thecal sac with narrowing of spine and bone spurs and have fibromyalgia too. Theres more…Depression and anxiety. I take a lot of pain meds that of course have many side affects. My case has just been remanded back to LJ from appeals council, the VE testified there is no work I could do but it did not help as I was still denied. My question is the LJ did not feel my depression was signifigant enough to interfere with life but I have since been diagnosed with PTSD and bipolar depression, will the LJ look at the new info since it does prove a signifigant mental impairment??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear J.

      In most instances additional evidence can be filed for a second hearing when a claim is remanded to the judge. However, the reasons for the remand can govern whether or not additional evidence will be considered. What reasons were given for the remand? If you submit evidence, it should be directed to a specific point and if possible to one of the reasons that the claim was remanded to the judge. Also, any evidence (such as new diagnoses) that came into being after the date you were last insured (the date you last had enough work credits) will probably not help you win Social Security Disability Benefits, though it could help with a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim. Other determining factors are why evidence that existed prior to the hearing date wasn’t it filed prior to the original hearing? If you do not have an attorney to help you analyze the remand order and assist you regarding possible submission of evidence, it could be a good idea to get one.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  156. Jessica says:

    Hello, just have a quick question. I have been going through this process for a little over two years now and I’m still waiting g on a decision. I went to my hearing in May of 2013 and its February 2014 every time I call I’m told that its in the writing process what could be making it keep going back and forth to the writer?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jessica,

      If you have been told it was in writing, then on the judge’s desk, and then back in writing, it could be that when the judge looked the letter over to be sure it was correct before it was sent out, he or she found an error or omission and requested that it be revised. The good news is that it appears the decision has been made and notification is in process.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  157. Alicia says:

    Hi Kay,
    I have asked you for advice before. I applied for S.S.D.I.and S.S.I. in August 2013.i said on my initial claim i had depression, generalized anxiety disorder,panic disorder, bipolar(that decision was ruled out in my discharge paperwork after completion of a behavior health program) when I initially applied I did not know that bipolar was ruled out until after I received my discharge paper work) .Also,I put I have scoliosis,arthritis and G.E.R.D.i also did not know I did not have arthritis my hands and wrists hurt, burn,and I get a numbness, tingling feeling when I try to use a can opener and sometimes I can not get my fingers to work,I wake up every morning with swollen fingers and stiffness and pain throughout my body,but the S.S.D.I. Doctor that I was sent to said I did not have arthritis in my hands.He wrote chronic pain on my x-ray sheet and I was sent to x-ray.I have had depression since 1999, Generalized Anxiety Disorder 2005,Scoliosis 2007,(which my chiropractor put me on a 10 lb. lift restriction in 2012 for the rest of my life)Degenerative Disc Disease L4,L5-S1 2012,Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia2013, Major Depressive affective Disorder2013 and G.E.R.D. Since 2009 & Lung fibrosis 2013. Kay, I was denied because they feel I can do light unskilled work.My mental condition has gotten worse and I am still in physical pain on a daily basis.How do they expect me to go get a light unskilled job when I go for days without going outside due to my mental issues?My body hurts everyday! I have already received my paperwork for reconsideration and have contacted an attorney to file the reconsideration paperwork.i will be 49 years old in March and I read somewhere if Chronic pain is an issue with psychological disorders at any age, and can not due simple unskilled work the S.S.A. Will reach a decision of Chronic pain disabled. So, why did I get denied?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Alicia,

      When the Social Security Administration reviews your claim, it looks at more than your diagnosis or diagnoses. They look for evidence of how severe your condition or conditions are and how much they limit you. Apparently, based on the information they had, they determined that you were not limited enough to preclude all work. Because you have several different conditions, it is good that you got an attorney to help with your appeal.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  158. Karl says:

    Kay,

    You have to be one of the busiest people I have ever seen. I have several questions but I will try to narrow them down.. I became unable to work January 8th 2013. I started my application the same month by the discretion of my physician which is also the Dr. that SS uses for my area. That being said.. I have been turned down twice and am now waiting for my interview with the ALJ. I have Diabetes Diabetic Neuropathy , Dystaloic Heart Failure , High Blood Pressure, a-fib, Edema and a host of other illnesses. And what my illnesses doesnt effect my dearn medicine does. Several of these are on the Blue Book for SSDI. Yet I have been denied 2x.. I am only 33 years old and look healthy as a horse other than I can barely walk. I am 6’2 and 325lbs.. I have had Diabetes for over 20 years and I am insulin Dependent. There has been several people that has stated the only reason that I have been denied was because of my age.. Even though my illnesses are listed on the blue book. Is this True?? If so it is a cryin shame that someone that is legitimately sick that has hard medical evidence is having to go through this when others who can work get it right away. (I’m sure you’ve heard that before)

    And I have been contemplating getting my congressman here in Arkansas involved in my case. I have a very reputable lawyer but she stated that it was still going to take several more months. My appeal is at the “judges office” in my words but they have not looked at it. Would it be more of an advantage to have my congressman look into it or verses my attorney. Just looking for your opinion??

    And the last question and I know that this is alot. I was the only income in the home and it abruptly stopped. My wife doesnt work. I was told that I could reicive SSI for the months that I was waiting for SSDI but when my SSD kicked in I would make to much then it would stop. That being said… I have seen several post’s that were statign a hold up on benefits because of SSI and SSDI. Is this going to be the same in my case. My quoted monthly benefits were 1479.00 fir SSD. If so should I go ahead and cancel that SSI app.. Just and opinion as stated before.. Thanks in advance !! Have a great day

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karl,

      You raise several issues, which I will try to address. First, because you are under age fifty, you must be disabled from all occupations that you could perform given your limitations, education, and experience. This would include jobs you could perform seated. The Blue Book does list medical conditions that are considered disabling, but only if they also have certain laboratory or clinical findings accompanying them. Those required findings are also listed. You might ask your attorney whether any of your conditions actually meet the findings.

      With regard to the status of your hearing, it can take a year or more to get a hearing date. The appeal isn’t actually looked at until around the time the date is set. You, of course, have the right to request your congressman to look into the claim, but it will not necessarily speed anything up. Whether or not you contact the congressman, you need your attorney to present your case in court. A congressperson will not go to court with you and will have less knowledge of Social Security law than your attorney.

      You have to be medically approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) the same as for Social Security Disability (SSD). You cannot get SSI until you are approved at the hearing. I recommend not withdrawing your SSI claim. Social Security has a five-month unpaid waiting period, so if your are approved your SSD will not start until July 2013, whereas SSI would begin February 2013. It is true that it can take a bit longer for both claims to be processed to payment after an approval, but it could result in more overall income and possibly payment of recent unpaid medical bills as Medicaid eligibility often accompanies SSI eligibility with limited retroactivity.

      For interim assistance, try contacting your state’s department of human services to see if they offer temporary cash payments to disabled individuals who are awaiting a decision from Social Security. If so, this would be repaid from any SSI you received. You might also apply for food stamps and energy assistance for help with heating bills.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

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