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Can mental illness serve as the basis for Social Security Disability payments?

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  435 Comments

Learn how to best present and pursue your claim for Social Security disability payments based on mental illness.

social-security-disability-mental illnessMental Illness as Disability

Social Security’s definition of disability includes coverage for mental illness; therefore, you can be approved for Social Security disability payments based on a mental illness, if your illness is disabling. You can also potentially qualify based on a combination of physical and mental limitations. For a discussion of how Social Security defines disability, see our article “What Is Disability According to Social Security Law?”

Medical Support for Your Mental Illness Claim

You and your physicians will need to provide documentation of any impairments that you have due to a mental illness. Your treating physician or psychologist will be asked to provide a report that includes your mental health history and clinical findings, including mental status examinations and psychological testing. The report should include a description of your capacity to understand, to remember and carry out and instructions, and to respond appropriately to supervision, co-workers, and work pressures. Information is also needed about medications you have taken, their effectiveness, and any side effects you’ve experienced with the medication. If you have been hospitalized, Social Security may request your admit and discharge summaries.

Mental health records often contain very private information, so it is good to know that all information gathered by Social Security is confidential and cannot be released to a third party without your written consent. Additionally, information in your claim file, including your mental health records, will be seen only by those responsible for evaluating your claim.

Other Statements to Support Your Disability Claim

If you had problems related to your mental illness before leaving your last job, a statement from your employer or supervisor could be quite helpful to your claim. If you are having trouble taking care of your daily needs or engaging in social interaction, be sure to describe these problems when you file your claim. You can also submit statements from caseworkers, relatives or friends who are aware of how your symptoms interfere with your ability to take care of yourself and interact with others. For more information about employer statements, see our article “Would It Help My Disability Claim to Get a Statement from My Employer about My Problems at Work?”

When and Why Social Security Will Request You See a Doctor

If Social Security does not receive enough information from you, your treating physicians and psychologists, and others who know how your illness limits you, they may ask you to attend a Consultative Examination. Social Security will pay for the exam, which is for evaluation only, not for treatment. If you are asked to go to a Consultative Exam, it is extremely important for you attend and cooperate fully. If you do not, your claim for Social Security Disability payments may be denied.

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  • A.L.

    Been on Serzone 19 and 1/2 years, in Psychotherapy about 11 years out of last 19 years – Disagnosed officially by Psychiatrist 17 years ago as having Clinical Depression and PTSD – I have social Phobia, Horrible Sleep since my Vegatative Depressive episode, Anhedonia just feel like creep every day of my life, from Depression to Anxiety, back to Depression and Anxiety, only ever worked for my Dad and myself, am almost 47 years old, I work about 10 to 12 hours a week for myself selling online from my home, I can’t even make SGA anymore do not have the energy of mind to try to figure out how to ! My fear of being out in the real world, has always driven me to do it on my own on the internet, and Dad helped structure me to not overload me, I do feel like a big loser for myself, my family and God, but I simply cannot do it no more, make SGA, but I canot not do anything and hurt my family with $0 so even though I work a couple hours a day, is earning $300 to $800 a month mean it is a waste of my time to apply for SSDI ? I paid in over 23+ years but I cannot take the stress of trying to fight my symptoms and earn, but on the other hand, it is structured with a few hours a day, I can still earn maybe $300 to $800 gross a month – Anyone please advise, I cannot make it to the $1,130 nothing left mentally in my tank, yet selling same thing over and over online, can net me $300 to $800 a month with 2 hours a day and not drain me to start at the ceiling, but even 2 hours a day is killing me. So scared and confused, is the application a waste of my time ? Anyone ever earned something while applying and still won ? I am so down and out working 2 hours a day, and $0 might do me in for good – Anyone ? I have never been in the workforce, and get lightheaded, and jittery when around people for more than a few minutes, if I cannot move and get away, I dream and awake several times and sleep about 3 hours a night, and do not enjoy a thing on this planet I feel flat

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear A.L.,

      Yes, people who are working do get approved for disability benefits. I suggest that you apply. Claim as your disability onset, the date that you could no longer earn at the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level due to your health. (I have listed the SGA levels for the past fourteen years below.) Hopefully, you have been filing self-employment tax returns and paying Social Security tax on your online self-employment profit because that would help you in not having to prove disability began too far back in time.

      If you cannot prove disability began while you were still insured, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), so I suggest applying for SSI at the same time as you apply for Social Security Disability (SSD). Information on filing an application can be found in the articles under the “Apply SSD” tab at the top of this page.

      SGA
      In calendar year 2016, $1,130
      In calendar year 2015, $1,090
      In calendar year 2014, $1,070
      In calendar year 2013, $1,040
      In calendar year 2012, $1,010
      In calendar year 2011, $1,000
      In calendar year 2010, $1,000
      In calendar year 2009, $980
      In calendar year 2008, $940
      In calendar year 2007, $900
      In calendar year 2006, $860
      In calendar year 2005, $830
      In calendar year 2004, $810
      In calendar year 2003, $800
      In calendar year 2002, $780

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ashantu

        So my father was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 18 he has taken medicine and has never really shown progress. I’m his only daughter and I am 17 now I do not live with him or my mother (they live separately I believe he is homeless). I was wondering if I could be eligible to receive any assistance on behalf of his disability.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ashantu,

          Your father may qualify for disability benefits if he is not working and earning $1,130 gross per month. He can apply for both Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in a local Social Security office. SSD requires sufficient work history at certain periods of time; SSI does not have that requirement but requires limited income and assets. He can call for an appointment at 800-772-1213. (SSD applications can be started online at http://www.ssa.gov, but SSI applications have to be done in office.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Tiffany

        Sorry I don’t know how to add a comment. I have had severe depression and anxiety most of my life. I am a 28 year old single mother. It’s difficult for me to leave my house to do simple things like grocery shopping. Other than Dr. Appt. for my son, a trip to the store once a week or every other week and the rare occasion I visit family, I stay in my home. I live in the country and its hard for me to even take my son outside to play. I’ve never been able to keep a job for more than a year to a year and a half. I think the longest I worked some where was two years. I would have panic attacks every morning before work, wake up with stomach pains and nausea. I always threw up at least once everyday I had to go to work. I have not had a job for the last five or six years with a few year gap from the last job to the one before. It was the same thing when I was in school. I missed A LOT of school and ended up dropping out when I was sixteen but I hadn’t gone to school in over a year, my mom almost got into serious trouble because of me. The thing is I haven’t seen a therapist sense I was a teenager, and haven’t gone to see a dr much as an adult. I can’t bring myself to go talk to someone. Would the fact that I haven’t seen a mental health dr recently make me ineligible?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tiffany,

          As you describe your work history and lack of medical care at the time you last worked, you will not qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI); however, if you have limited income and assets, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You can get an appointment to apply by calling Social Security at http://www.ssa.gov. Explain on the application the reason you have not had mental health care; Social Security is likely to send you to a consulting physician for a psychiatric evaluation. You might also consider getting some treatment in the form of medication to help with your anxiety. Perhaps someone from your family could support you by going to the appointment with you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Mimi

    I qualified as disabled in 2012. I had not worked in several years so I receive basic SSI. 773/mo I am now 60 yrs of age. Is there something I need to apply for now that I am 60 or when I reach the age of 62? I was married for 30 yrs then divorced. I know when ex dies I can file a claim based on his records? Other than that, is there something I should file now that I am 60 or when I reach age 62 or 65?
    Confused
    Thank you
    Mimi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mimi,

      When you turn sixty-two, you can apply for divorced spouse’s benefits if your ex-husband is receiving Social Security. If he is not, you have to wait until he is getting benefits to apply for dependent benefits while he is living. If he passes away before then, you are old enough to apply for divorced surviving spouse’s benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Bailey

    Dear Kay,
    My seven year old was just diagnosed with ADHD, Bipolar with psychosis. She has a case worker on top of therapist she sees weekly and a psychologist she sees monthly. Therapist told me to file for SSI. What do you think.

    • Bailey

      Sorry psychiatrist monthly.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bailey,

      Your daughter may be disabled. I suggest that you apply for benefits for your child; your family finances will be reviewed to see whether your daughter qualifies financially. If so, her claim will be evaluated medically.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Susan Davison

    My sister has been dually diagnosed with major depression disorder and alcohol dependency. Two years ago she was admitted to the hospital and almost died from the alcohol. (and it happened 5 years ago also, when she was living out of state).
    I’m unclear if she was diagnosed with the depression disorder at either of those hospitalizations. she lost her job both times. she was given meds for depression, but i’m unclear if i can get all the hospital records.

    she was able to get another job, and currently is slightly over the SDD income limit at this time. She was hospitalized two weeks ago, and finally dual diagnosed. they changed her meds and she missed work again, and it looks like she is going to lose her job. which means she’ll soon be homeless.
    i’m unclear if she has the 20 social security credits in the last 10 years because she has only been working for the last year, or so, in California.
    where do i start?
    (if she loses her job, she can apply for Medical, but i’m unclear of any other path forward or how to get help for her.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Susan,

      You can help your sister request her Social Security Statement, which lists all her earnings except 2015, online at http://www.ssa.gov. She needs to set up a My Social Security account from the sites home page and then request the statement. (Presumably, if she loses her job, she will not be performing SGA and will have little or no income and could apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in addition to or if she doesn’t have enough work credits, instead of Social Security Disability (SSD). She may be eligible for MediCal.

      On the medical side, neither SSD nor SSI is paid for disability caused by drug or alcohol dependence, so she would need to establish disability based on mental illness. Sometimes it is hard to separate the two, but if drinking did not contribute to the current hospitalization, the situation should be clearer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Oprah Love

    I was diagnosed in 2006 with bipolar disorder. I was in a psychiatric home for about 2 years when I was 12. I was placed on several different meds ranging from insomnia to anxiety. My dad passed in 2014 and has been recieving benefits since 2000.I never received auxiliary benefits. I applied in August. I sent all necessary records. Do you think I have a good chance at approval? They say Im eligible to recieve backpay from 2005 . And 1156 a month.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Oprah,

      If you are unmarried and became disabled before age twenty-two, you may be eligible for benefits; however, back benefits are limited to twelve months before your application. The only way you could receive benefits farther back would be if your father listed you as a minor child on his application and Social Security did not contact him or your mother about applying for benefits for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Kim

      Hello Kay I almost at the time for a hearing date they send me my cd in the mail does that mean anyday now?I been waiting for over a year and a half now I suffer from depression ocd anxitey whats the best way and proff I have to show the judge I deserve to recive benifets I will be without a lawyer handleing my own case

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Kim,

        I suggest that you review the information from your claim file that you were given to see if everything you want in file is there. If not, try to get it and submit before the hearing. At the hearing, answer honestly. In representing yourself, you need to establish what your limitations are and that either you cannot work in any occupation or you cannot sustain work throughout a work week and/or work month due to absences or special accommodations such as extra breaks. If the vocational expert identifies jobs you can do, ask whether you could do the work with your limitations and list each limitation separately.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Lowtech Trainwreck

    My disability benefits were recently cancelled because they said I’m no longer disabled. I’m bipolar and have PTSD. I’ve filed appeals and done everything I can through the phone/mail because going into the social security office makes me homicidal. Logically, I realize that it’s not the employees that make it such a miserable experience, but it doesn’t stop the rage. The call center told me to go to the local office. My benefits provide a roof over my head, and Medicare helps pay for the neurologist and medications. I don’t know what to do.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lowtech Trainwreck,

      You do not say what you are trying to accomplish that the call center is recommending going to the office to resolve, so I can’t offer any specific suggestions. You might try to go taking a trusted family member or friend for support and arrive about fifteen minutes before the office opens so that you are one of the first into the office and don’t have to wait long. Alternatively, you could write a letter to put with your appeal saying that due to your disability you are unable to maintain emotional control in the Social Security office and to call you in lieu of an office visit for any verbal communication that is needed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I am writing on behalf of my son who is Bipolar. He is a time bomb and I am very afraid for him! He was hospitalized two years ago for suicide attempt. He took multiple pills that should have killed him and when he was released his wife kicked him out and he came to our house for a while. He moved out and tried to live by himself and has had many jobs and can’t keep them duo to his bipolar. He is really struggling financially and feels he is a big looser. He has no money to get any medical help as he took out bankruptcy two three years ago. He is now living with me and he is a ticking time bomb. He is going to kill himself very soon and I don’t know what to do. I love my son so much and I don’t know what I can do.. I am a senior on a budget. Who can I call for help be fore it is to late?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carol,

      Try calling a suicide prevention line or contact the Alliance for the Mentally Ill to find out what resources are available; also check to see if the community you live in has any free or low-cost mental health clinics and/or your son could try applying to your local state or county social services office to see if he qualifies for Medicaid. Another option is coming up in November when the open enrollment period starts for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, where he might qualify for a government subsidy to pay the insurance premiums. More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Chelsea

      Hello , Ive recently applied for mental disability , I’m 18 years old and have had problems since I was 5. Ive been on medication since I was 7 . I was diagnosed as emotionally disturbed . As I got older ( and through many therapists and other doctors ) I’ve learned that I am PTSD , Manic Depressive, and Anxious . I’ve never kept a job longer then 7 months ( due to mood swings ) I’m just getting worse and worse . At 15 I attempted suicide, then at 16 I was put in a Behavioral facility. It was a one month program and I was there 4 months . Anyways, my med doctor suggest I apply for mental disability and I did . I am currently taking moodstabilizer. I’m at the point where I have a panic attack weekly. My question is do I Qualify?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Chelsea,

        I cannot say for sure; but based on the information you have provided, I’d say that you may be approved if you have good documentation of the limitations that keep you from working.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • kit

    Okay my story: I am 30 years old, have been recently dx with epilepsy, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, PTSD, and ASD rule out (going back in a month to get eventuated for ASD). I was in the process of getting a dx of autism as a child but my parents moved us around so much that I never received the dx. I was dx with learning disabilities and delayed motor and social skills, but I don’t know where to begin looking for those records because of my family moving so often. Do you think I could qualify?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kit,

      I cannot predict whether or not you qualify medically for benefits. If you file a claim now, the decision will be based on your current condition and recent medical records. Your childhood records likely would not be helpful, so you most likely don’t need them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sally Richardson

    Hi,

    I’m on round 3 an am waiting for a court date. I have sever depression, PTSD, my anxiety keeps me in the house. Ive been out of work for 1.5 years and living on a very limited budged. My attorney is like NON EXISTENT, I try to do the work, calling them, sending in forms. Some days I’m in bed for 4 days, simply bawling wishing I could just go to heaven. But I have a child who needs me. My husband was just murdered in Mexico ( I am an American), I about dropped to my knees, and my family took my child and rushed me to the psyche ward. I’m done, I am so ready for my dirt nap. The suffering is too much. I don’t know how to expedite this appeals process, and I can only pour so much water in the milk. Anyone have any suggestions

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sally,

      Try to get regular counseling sessions for support. Be sure that your recent hospitalization is reported to the hearing office and that your attorney is aware of it also.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kayla

    If I have to get off my antidepressants during my third trimester of pregnancy because my doctor says and I also can’t take them while breastfeeding can I qualify for disability during my third trimester and while I breastfeed? I won’t be able to work without my antidepressants due to me having major depressive disorder that I was diagnosed with.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kayla,

      You have to be disabled for twelve months to receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income disability benefits and Social Security has a five-month unpaid waiting period. If in fact you are disabled when you go off your medications, at that time, you will have to prove that you are disabled and that the disability is expected to last twelve months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jason

    Well where to even start been depressed since the 5th grade
    my mom told me i was diagnosed with adhd or add but refused tratment so i don’t know if i would even have records of this i am 35 gonna be 36 years old never had a job in my life hardly ever leave the house for the past 15 years i feel like death is the only way out of this horrible life i bottle every thing up and don’t tell ppl any thing about this including my family and just have no ideal what to do any more i pretty much gave up on life

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jason,

      I encourage you to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability and also to get under the care of a physician to see if one of the many kinds of antidepressants could help you feel better. You can learn more about SSI by reading the articles under the SSI tab at the top of this webpage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Malic

    Kay,
    I’m 41 dx with major depression,PTSD, generalized anxiety,insomnia and panic attacks
    That have changed my life 16 yrs . I’m afraid agoraphobia is next I won’t leave the house. I’ll go back to my psy doc next week. I can’t keep a job for more than 2 years with ALOT of abscesses with Dr’s notes on a regular basis.
    Would I even have a chance here in Oklahoma?
    Thank you

    • Malic

      I work in the medical field as a Medical Assistant. Im looking to leave the field but that cause my symptoms to worsen

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Malic,

        My response is to both your posts. You reference a plan to work in a different occupation. If you are able to work in another occupation and earn $1,130 gross per month, you are not disabled as defined by Social Security law. That said, if you are of “advanced age” (fifty-five or older) or approaching “advanced age” and have worked as a medical assistant for most of your work career and can no longer do that work, you may qualify for benefits. I suggest that you talk with your psychiatrist and an experienced Social Security attorney to get their respective opinions on your ability to work and your claim prospects.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Jane

    My husband has been dx with bipolar since 2011.from 2012 to 2014 he lost 3 jobs due to anxiety depression. The mood swings were bad.
    In 2014 applied for ssdi.the Dr kept changing med’s due to going from depression to manic. He was denied 1st time we got a lawyer. Still denied. The hearing the voc person said no employer would hire him missing at least 5 days a month.
    The judge denied him saying he can be sandwich maker and his depression is not that bad.
    He even changed pych Dr for second option after not getting better after being with that doc for 3 years.
    We are appealing the hearing decision.
    Now he has been rapid cycling and the dr tried to get it under control. My husband was cycling so fast and getting agitated . The pysch doc wanted him to go into hospital.
    My problem is if this does not do it then what else can we do?
    We have medical records,behavior records,and now pysch hospital.
    We are in Oklahoma.

    • Jane

      My husband is almost 49 years old.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jane,

      If your husband is not approved on the appeal currently pending at the Appeals Council, he can file an appeal in federal District Court. Talk with his lawyer about whether it is too late to submit statements from prior employers regarding the symptoms that caused them to terminate his employment and possibly other third-party statements from neighbors, relatives, etc.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Samantha

    My husband has PTSD, depression with psychotic features, back problems, stomach problems to name the main stuff. He has worked a few jobs since he turned 18 but no longer than 3 months. He hasnt worked since 2012. Daughter being born in 2014. Would he be eligible for disability? Does having little work history make you ineligible?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Samantha,

      If he has had enough jobs even though they were short, he might have been insured for Social Security Disability (SSD) in 2012 when he last worked or even earlier if his short jobs ended due to his health. If he has enough work credits, his benefit will be quite low and likely would not provide for his daughter also. There is, however, a second disability program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), which does not require work credits for U.S. citizens and some aliens. If your family income and assets are within the SSI limits, he might qualify. I suggest that he apply to get a formal decision. More information is available in the articles under the “SSI” and “Apply for SSD” tabs at the top of this webpage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lisa

    I’m not sure if I am contacting the proper people. My husband is receiving disability benefits (since 2013), he has also applied for PTSD compensation. He has been back and forth to the doctor for mood swings, depression etc. He does not communicate with me and I cannot get any information about his appts., so that I can go with him to see what is happening. His son is getting a disability check also, would he also be able to get compensation from his PTSD claim? I just don’t want my son to go without because my husband feels he doesn’t need to tell me anything.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      Please clarify: Is your husband receiving Social Security disability and your son, Social Security dependent benefits on your husband’s earnings record? Is the “PTSD compensation” claim a VA claim and is your question about whether your son will get benefits from the VA if his father is approved for a VA benefit? Once you have clarified your question, we’ll try to respond.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Pk

    Help?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear PK,

      What is the question you need help with?

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • vicki

    Hi, my husband’s nephew had been in prison for 7 years and was reliesed a few months ago. He had sent us a strange letter from prison about 2 years ago. I told my husband it sounds liked his mind has snapped. My husband did not keep in contact with him because he had stolen from my husband’s mother and my husband was still very angry with him. I saw him out on the street 2 months ago homeless. Brought him to our house against my husbands advice. I am glad we did because we have found out that he is having mental issues that we feel the prison should have never let him out with not having him some mental help set up. He states there was a alien ship under the prison and that most of the in mates and workers at the prison were these creatures and not human. He said God told him to talk into the mirror and all this info was revealed to him. He believes he has something in him with strong power and these creatures want him. He does not believe any of us are who we say we are. We are all these creatures and he does not know who he can trust. Since he has made the comment that he has to kill himself so the whole world can start back over in the year 1977 when he was born. We got the crisis center involved. He has been up in the mental unit about 4 days against his will. My husband says he can not come back here. He refuses to take the meds the doctor wants him to take and from my understanding he will be released tomorrow. I want to help him get set up on disibility or social security asap so he is not homless which I think will make him worse. I already got him set up with medical and food stamps .does it really take months to get ssi. And he does not believe their is anything wrong with him, so for him to Answer questions to get ssi I think he would not tell them what’s really going on in his head and then would not qualify. Can you let me know what I should do? I have been trying to talk to the doctor for 3 days now to see what he thinks and have not heard a word from him so I don’t know what the name of his illness is.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vicki,

      How much you you can help your husband’s cousin may be limited because it is very hard to help a mentally ill person who is not looking for help. You might find some support from the Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Yes, it takes two to three months to get a disability decision for either Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and it can take another couple weeks to a month or more after medical approval to get payment started. If the cousin is agreeable with applying to get money, he might sign a paper letting you represent him in a claim. If not and he files a claim, you can try to submit a statement of your observations about his mental health in support of the claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marie

    My husband was recently hospitalized for mental health issues. He has been diagnosed with ptsd, anxiety disorders, bi polar and severe depression. He has been suffering from these for 3 years. He lost his job then and has been unable to work. He has severe panic attacks. Do we need to find a lawyer to help us or can we do it without? We only have my income which isn’t enough.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marie,

      You can attempt to get a lawyer, but usually attorneys take a case only after a claim has been denied. Whether or not your husband hires an attorney, I suggest that he start the application this month in order not to lose potential back benefits. He can start the claim online at http://www.ssa.gov by starting the SSA – 16 form. He doesn’t have to finish it right then to protect his filing date. Otherwise he can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and request an appointment to file a disability claim.

      He should claim a disability onset date back to when he lost his job if he lost it due to his health. If not, back to the farthest date after that that he could not work. Try to get mental health records from back at that time and up to present to prove when the disability began. Get the admission and admitting history and discharge reports from the hospitalization in addition to any psychiatric testing done. Be thorough in listing all health care providers and explaining the symptoms that keep him from working.

      You and he can print the disability report and work history forms, SSA 3368 and SSA 3369 at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0410505010 and work on them while waiting for the appointment or to take to the office to supplement the SSA-16. More information about filing claims is available in the articles under the “Apply SSD” tab at the top of this webpage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Arthur m ruiz

    Question . I can’t function right take almost 450 mg twice a day but I can’t hold down my trucking job got fired multiple times and I’m depressed emotion ,axitey , pannick attack most of the time ,and I feel mess up in the reason of my financial means has almost taking me homeless is there assistance in getting financial assistance to maintain housing ,food ,rent ,etc. Plz advise and direct me with positive accurate intelligence info thank you . Note: this question was submitted by his friend due to him being in his condition

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Arthur,

      Help your friend apply for Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. Call 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment. Then go to the Social Security office with him and as part of the application have him sign a form for you to represent him in pursuing his claim so that you can help him gather together and turn in everything he needs for the application and make follow-up inquiries on his behalf. Also check with your state or county social services to find out whether any short-term disability assistance is available while the other claims pend as it can take two to five months for SSD and SSI claim processing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Eric

    In thee past few years I have been to the Bmu several times. After several attempted suicides. I got clean and started to notice something wasn’t quite right about 5 years ago. I was diagnosed in the bmu with ptsd, major depression, and social anxiety. I always end up freaking out and loseing my job before i actually follow up on an evaluation outside of the bmu. So i never “finish” treatment and it seems to be going in a gigantic circle.. This last time i didnt quit then go to the bmu i ended up on prozac and locked myself in my room for 5 or 6 days, naturally loseing my job in the process.. I missed my last appointment because im unsure ill be able to pay it. i am without work for the past month and in the progress of going back to finding work and the whole circle begins again. i do this at least once a year.. My mother tells me i should begin the process for disability because “eventually” thats where i’m heading.. On the more substantial and pressing matter. how can i get help to pay for dr.’s and continue treatment regardless of job situation? I want help. I took everything around me down in the first place to get help. starting with my drug addiction years ago,,,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eric,

      While you are unemployed, try applying for Medicaid with your state or county social services office. You can file for disability while you are not working, but to receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, you have to be disabled or expected to be disabled for twelve months. If you have been holding down a job for more than six months at a time before having a breakdown, you cannot use prior periods of disability to count toward the twelve months. If you decide to make application, be sure to describe your work history and try to give specific details about leaving each job. You might also check with your last employer to find out whether they have a short-term disability insurance policy under which you are covered.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joyce

    I have learning disabilities high blood pressure diabete peripheral neuropathy fibromyalgia antidepressants anxiety

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joyce,

      If you have a question, please re-post and include your question.

      Thank you,
      Kay

  • Jose G

    Hello:
    I am a 55 year old man who worked hard his entire life. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 , anxiety and PTSD on 2013 after less than year I stopped to get help and medications. I have a very hard childhood ( Rape when I was 10 years old). After a major setback this year my symptoms worsened. And I decided to get help I’m currently on medications and got in to a PHP . I currently applying for State Welfare and my social worker recommended me to file for SSD or SSI . What are my possibilities to get approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jose,

      I suggest that you follow the social worker’s advice and apply for SSD and SSI. When you apply, claim disabilikty back to 2013 when you stopped work. Be sure to list all your mental health providers going back at least to the diagnosis a year before you stopped work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kandita Scerini

        Ive been under the care of a A.P.R.N in lincoln nebraska for the last two years and seen regularly, even last week, i received paper work today to go to a ce exam, but was told by a mental health worker that i shouldn’t have to go, that nebraska has changed its law and has to consider the A.P.R.N s views, do you know if this is true?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kandita,

          Social Security and SSI are federal programs and are not necessarily bound by state law. Be sure that you attend the consultative examination. If you do not, your claim may be denied.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Melissa

    Hi. I’m Melissa and have been suffering with severe depression and anxiety since I was about 10. I’m 35 now. The older that I’ve gotten the worse it is. In the last 6 years I have been hospitalized 4 times. Twice was for about a month and once for over 2 months. About a year and a half ago I just couldn’t stand it anymore. My job was killing me, I hated and didn’t trust anyone. So I checked myself into the hospital. Once I got out I started to see a psychiatrist and went to group therapy and started receiving TMS. New meds were given and changed and increased and all of that. So I went to a different hospital begging for help. I found an amazing and smart psychiatrist there and set me up with a therapist I really really like. I underwent a series of ECT which I have done in the past but it didn’t work this time. I have tried everything and just no improvement. During the beginning of all of this I went on short term disability and got a lawyer for SSDI. My anxiety and social phobia keep me from going anywhere but the doctor. So anyways, the lawyer filed and I of course was denied. So many people just don’t see that mental illness can be just as debilitating as other disorders. The lawyer filed an appeal so I’m waiting for the court date which was told to me could take a year up to 18 months. So this is my last payment for short term disability and then will have no income. No one to help me, no savings or anything. I think these judges should be ashamed of themselves because people like me will kill themselves.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      I suggest that you talk with your psychiatrist and call a suicide help line when you get these thoughts. You can enter your zip code at the following site and get a number. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetInvolved/Locator. As far as your financial situation goes, check with your employer to find out if you are also covered under a long-term disability policy. If not, check with your local social services office to find out whether your state has any disability benefits and/or whether you will qualify for food stamps. Also if you have an IRA or 401k, you could choose to withdraw funds even though there will be a tax penalty.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dena Chance

    Hello,
    My 28 year old daughter suffers from major depressive disorder, bipolar and ADHD diagnosed when she was 18 after her first suicide attempt. Her third attempt left her with some neurological issues and she was treated with ECT treatments for 9 months. Unsuccessfully. She applied and was denied twice for SSDI when she was unable to work due to combination of her conditions and memory loss. We hired an attorney and she was approved for SSDI benefits in 2011. She has been on medication treatment for the past 4 years that has kept her illness stable and she has attempted to work but no jobs have lasted more than a few weeks or months as she’s unable to deal with pressure to work faster or to remember more than 2-3 things at once. She made less than $2000 in 2015. She received notification from SS that her benefits will end as she has been deemed “now well”. She contacted the attorney who won her case who recommended an appeal. Two months after her paperwork was sent it to appeal she has found out she is pregnant after her IUD has failed. She has stopped her meds cold turkey. Not only is that a whole page of withdrawal symptoms but without her meds she is not able to concentrate, focus, and her anxiety and depression has come back with a vengeance. She wants to keep her baby, the father is in and out of the picture. I am wondering that since she is now not taking medications and is pregnant if SS will assume she is now able to fully work. My biggest concern is that if her SSDI stops, so does all her medical coverage for medication, psychiatrist and therapist ends, especially if she decides after the 1st trimester to start taking some of her ‘safer’ medications. The wait list in the area that we live is months and the psychiatrist she sees does not see self pay which means she starts back at step 1. With no medication, no job and pregnant. I’m afraid how this scenario would end. I am very familiar with out local crisis unit.
    Any suggestions? Would SSI help? I have a message to her attorney to contact us.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dena,

      Your daughter should have received paperwork related to a continuing disability review so the termination should not have come “out of the blue.” Contacting the attorney to help with the appeal was a good idea. Be sure that the attorney has a full list of the jobs she tried and the specific reasons she lost each job. If possible, get collaborating statements from past employers or past supervisors about reasons for dismissal and/or observations of un-workplace type of behavior. Your daughter needs to prove that she was still disabled before going off the meds due to the pregnancy, not just afterward.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ex Airman Victim

    Hello I was recently diagnosed with PTSD in March. I never knew I had PTSD. I am a MST victim. I was raped 18 yrs ago and tried to report it but no one believed me. I tried to take my own life after I was raped and wound up in a mental health ward. After I was released I was offered an honorable discharge but was told if i dont take it id get worse..which I took. Turns out I was not eligible for benefits because not enough time served. I struggled so hard. I needed further treatment. I felt thrown away. I went through years of depression and drug use. I’ve not been able to hold a job. I always get fired for personality disorders. I had panic attacks and abandonment issues. I am not able to have a functioning relationship with men. I date women and those relationships fail as well. I cant be around groups of people especially alone with men. The drug use was a way to numb what i was thinking and feeling .I got sober this year white knuckling it after 18 years of trying anything to feel good and have been falling apart since. Now I can’t leave my house. I peek out windows. I have multiple panic attacks now that im sober. Realize I haven’t been sober since my discharge. I’m on duloxetine and trazodone I was on traz and sertraline but it gave me night terrors. I am going into inpatient care to learn how to cope again being sober and feeling real things. I’m afraid social security will see me as a junkie and not see my illness if I apply for disability. Drugs were the only thing I had. I couldn’t afford psychiatrists or insurance when I was drugging. I never knew why i couldnt form social bonds or why i had problems with authority and keeping jobs. Using drugs made me feel normal over the years. I still feel i got screwed as a kid literally in the military. I realize now i had been angry for years. Now the panic attacks and depression are crippling without the drugs i cant cope, although i was barely coping before i quit. Do you think I stand a chance at disability?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ex Airman Victim,

      Now that you are not using, your claim should be evaluated in terms of whether your mental illness disables you from working. If you have not applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security, I recommend that you do so right away.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • GV

    Hello,

    I am almost 54 years old. I had a question, I have been getting disability since 1996 due to major depression, anxiety related disorder, and depending on who the therapist is PTSD due to sexual abuse.

    I have not seen a therapist or been taking any medications for the last 6 years or so. I have been to a doctor for regular check ups, but we don’t even talk about my disability any more. They have been trying to figure out why I have stomach issues when I have to do something, it doesn’t matter what it is, it can be something I planned and have control over and I will still get sick to my stomach with worry over it.

    I just got a letter saying that they need to review my case, (which they have in the past and approved). Do you think I will still be approved if I haven’t been to a doctor or therapist for my disability for years. I do know when I start to get to a bad point and then will go in at that time to keep it in check. For some reason I am really freaking out about it this time. Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear GV,

      To continue to receive benefits you have to prove that you continue to be disabled from working. Not having seen a mental health specialist or taken any treatment for your mental health for six years may make it hard for you to prove you are still disabled. If you think the stomach pain keeps you from working either due to physical causes or do to anxiety, the medical records related to it might help establish inability to work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • PTSD – Help

    Hi Kay,

    My 46 year old husband developed PTSD and Generalized Anxiety from being sodomized/molested at 6/7 years of age. This has clearly negatively affected his life. Having a limited work history, unable to complete college after multiple attempts. He seeked treatment over the past 10/11 years. He was on medication for about 4 years few years and is not on it now. He was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety and depression 11 years ago. He was also diagnosed as PTSD 3 years ago, after disclosing the childhood molestation. It is quite clear that he had major issues as he did not work at all in his 20s, limited work in his 30s and has barely worked in his 40s. He will not have enough credits for SSD. Would he be able to try and apply as an adult child considering the traumatic event that caused his PTSD, generalized anxiety and depression occurred in his childhood?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear PTSD – Help,

      Your husband is not eligible for Childhood Disability Benefits (adult child benefits) on his parents’ earnings records because he is married and, as such, is no longer financially dependent on his parents. If your family income and assets are within the limits, he may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is administered by the Social Security Administration. You can learn more about SSI by reading the articles under the SSI tab at the top of this webpage and about filing disability applications in the articles under the “Apply SSD” tab.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Heather

    Hi, I’m so happy to have found this site. My husband and I are seriously considering looking into disability for our 20 year old daughter. We have discussed it off and on for several years and resisted because we want her to work if possible, as we think that would be the most beneficial to her health-wise. We also would like for her to support herself and not to rely on the government. She was diagnosed at age 10 with ADHD, trichotillomania, severe anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. She has undergone treatment for the last 6 years with a doctor in Nashville, TN, which is a 3 hour drive from here. She did OK in school, but her social anxiety and social skills are lacking to the degree that she has difficulty functioning. She just finished her first year of college. She did OK school-wise, but she had several melt-downs in dealing with peers. I am a teacher, and the only thing I have to compare my daughter to is someone on the autism spectrum. While she does display some of the signs, she is not considered on the spectrum. At least she was not as of her last psychological testing. This makes it so difficult for her to function. She also has difficulty planning ahead. We have worked with her on these things, yet she still struggles. She is paying for college with student loans, and she signed up for a summer class unbeknownst to my husband or me. She was hoping to work in a relative’s restaurant this summer, but she couldn’t handle keeping orders straight. She was tried in every position they have available, and nothing worked out for her. Now she has no money to pay for the class, and the college has a hold on her account until the summer class is paid for. This means we will need to help her out before she can enroll for the fall semester. Compounding her problems is the fact that she doesn’t drive. So she is dependent on us for rides if can find a job. I included all of that as a bit of background info. My husband and I are seriously considering contacting an attorney specializing in social security/disability. Does it sound like this would be worth pursuing? We have no clue how disability works!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      Based on how you describe your daughter’s mental health problems, I’d say that she might be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. It would be helpful for the relative to write up a brief summary of the positions in the restaurant that your daughter tried and why your daughter failed in each. You as a lay person can make a statement about what you observe and also describe the meltdowns with peers and the context in which they occurred.

      If your daughter is approved for SSI, while receiving benefits she can apply for a Ticket to Work, which can include vocational rehabilitation services that might identify a type of work that she could do that has little or no personal interaction or complex organization involved. They might even provide a job coach to help her get started in a position.

      Because you are unfamiliar with Social Security claims, experienced attorney assistance could be helpful. However, often attorneys will not take SSI cases until they have been denied because their contingent pay is a percentage of back pay and SSI does not pay for months before application.

      Lastly, it might be helpful to you to read the articles under Apply for SSD, Claim Process, and SSI tabs on the top navigation bar of this website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hello kay. I had ask you questions before. Does it matter that i only have one year of seeing my psychiatrist for only one year current today makes 1 year and a month and on antidepressants on and off by 3 other doctors on and off ? Special education through all school currently taking adderall, abilify and antidepressant from psychiatrist .seeing psychiatrist every two weeks as of last week instead of once a month and up my abilify just wondering is that to little medical treatment?

    • Major depression, adhd and borderline personality disorder my current psychiatrist treating me for

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      It could be helpful to your claim that you are seeing a specialist and that the frequency has been increased.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Thank you kay.. I have to say your site really help me get through this process of social security thank you

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Karen. I’m glad the site was helpful.

          • Hello Kay I went to my mental exam the other day. The doctor that was supposed to see me.. he called out sick so they replaced him with a psychiatrist he seemed rude could not bring myself to talk about my Pass like you had suggested his standoffish way didn’t make me feel comfortable My diagnoses are major depression generalized anxiety ADHD borderline personality disorder I answered the questions he asked me very honest and the best that I could he seemed irritated with me and when I first came in I filled out a paper and it asked me about my past drug and alcohol use I put on there the day that I last use alcohol it had asked on the paper and I was being honest it was almost 2 years ago I gave the date on the paper his comment to me was no pills going to take away drinking habit which I totally understand but I think I’m doing really well for myself to be clean that long but the comment was rude and when he would ask me questions for math problems or questions for memory he made me feel like I wasn’t doing my best when I was my memory and concentration has really changed for the worst right now don’t know if it’s the depression or what it is. don’t think I did too well on the test. yesterday my determination examiner called me and asked me did I go to the appointment or was it cancelled I said no I went he said okay I’m finished here I just now have to take it to review and then we will have a answer is a review when they decide I am disabled also yesterday I spoke with someone from the Social Security I said thank you for giving me the information I needed I had asked do I turn in a paper stating what medications im on and they answered me and they were very nice I said I’m so happy my case is moving pretty quickly he said yes something in your application has cause you’re claim to move quickly what did he mean by that?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Karen,

              If your claim is being processed to completion without the consulting physician’s report, the decision should be an approval; however, there is no way to know until you get the decision letter.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Cindy

    Hi this is a a strange scenario. My sister in law had a baby in Oct 2015 and developed psychosis. Was in a rehab place for about 10 days and taken to a diff facility for a few days. Nothing changed. She is a single mom, who NOW lives with her parents and is so out of it, she cannot work. They have been on a wait list at Penn Hospital and she was finally admitted with manic episodes with bipolar and psychosis flare ups. But she just got kicked out and relocated to the first on patient place where she was getting the help she needed due to her insurance not covering Penn Hospital. Is there any advice you can give, as far as her folks getting social security to cover the cost? Or would they need to get a diff supplemental insurance? Also, the mom is so out of it, she isn’t well enough to do it herself, can her family? Thank you so so much for any help. This family is in Desperate need.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cindy,

      Social Security will not directly cover the cost of your sister-in-law’s medical treatment. However, if she is approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is administered by Social Security, she will likely have Medicaid coverage, though that may be what she has now. If she is approved for Social Security Disability (SSD), after she has received twenty-four months of benefits, she will be eligible for Medicare. I’d suggest that the applications be made on her behalf to get monthly benefits that could be used for her needs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Katherine

    Hi, I’m age 51, have had major depression, PTSD (probably complex PTSD) and Social Anxiety Disorder that I’ve been seeing psyche doctors for 35 years and on medication for 25 years (all but for 2-4 months). The depression diagnosis I think is about to change to bipolar – with possibility for borderline personality disorder and and very much a possibility of OCD (intrusive thoughts which goes along with the PTSD). I’ve been hospitalized three times for suicide attempts. I have either a bulging, herniated disk or perhaps spinal stenosis – I’m waiting to get an x-ray and MRI but as I’m on medicaid (have not worked in over 2 years due to breakdown(s)). I had a pretty good job before programming but I cannot even look at code now. Hopefully I’m going to get approval for that this week. Also have high blood pressure, cholesterol, hormone imbalance, ovarian cysts, need hysterectomy, and am now also unfortunately obese due to all the horrible stress – it’s been very hard and I have a hard time functioning.

    Anyway, what do you think my chances are? Thank you 🙂

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katherine,

      It is possible that you will qualify for benefits. It will be important to explain what change occurred that resulted in your no longer being able to work after working for many years with some of your conditions. If you are denied, I suggest getting an experienced Social Security attorney to assist you with an appeal. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you pay attorney fees only if the attorney is successful in getting your claim approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Luna Fagiani

    Hi, I’m a 37 year old single mom. I was diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety disorder with agoraphobia at 11 years old, I wasn’t treated at that age and my “condition “lead my to severe drug abuse, I’m on recovery but my anxiety , depression after many years of drug abuse got even worse, most of the times I can’t even answer the phone, I’m on medication and therapy but without any improvement, my 8 year old and I been living in a family shelter over 2 years, my son just was approved for SSI, for adhd, anxiety and ptsd … it was very hard for me to apply and keep all his apoinments, due my agoraphobia but I did it!now, my case worker told me to reply myself for Disability, I’ve been avoiding it because in this shelter I have to meet once a week with a case worker, go to a Methadone program Mondays and Fridays, every time that I know I have to go out or have a meeting I feel and get this horrible panic attacks, I’m getting worst and nobody can help… my psychiatry is willing to help me but how can I start?my mom is the only witness of my “mental disorders “and the one that helps me when I can’t go out by myslef, in this shelter I haven’t found any help instead more stress which is making me feel worse and worse …. I have psychiatry evaluatons, many papers from past hospital treatment, I also got psicosis episodes but we haven’t found the right medication yet, because of bad side effects, but like I said I’m AVOIDING go out and put myself in those positions which trigger “panic attacks and psicosis episodes that I cannot control! my psychiatry tolde that I have to get out of this shelter as he can see making my condition worse and my son’s, but I can afford a rent so the only way is to apply for SSI myself, but I don’t know how to start and maybe somebody who can help me through the process I tried to get in touch with a ?”SSI Lawyers “almost 2 years ago, but they said they couldn’t help me because I’m only a resident not a citizen, is that true? Many people on line keep telling me that I can

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Luna,

      If you are a legal resident with a green card, you can receive SSI benefits. If you don’t have a green card, but are legally in the U.S., you might have an immigration status that would allow eligibility. If you think that you might qualify in terms of alien status, start the claim the same way you started your son’s claim. Get help from the case worker if needed. Describe the length of your illness and provide a list of the medical providers you have seen in the past two or three years for your mental health conditions. Have your mother and case worker write up observations about symptoms of your mental illness that they can see. Note that you must be disabled due to your mental illness only because benefits are not paid for disability caused by drug or alcohol addiction or use.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ry

        Dear Kay,
        Do you have a phone number where I may contact you?

        Kind regards

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ry,

          I answer questions only on the Disability Advisor site.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Jay

    I applied and was denied last year for Sleep Apnea. I’ve recently been diagnosed with Bi Polar 1 and severe phycosis. I reapplied, the DDS is requesting a physical CE. I was in the hospital for 10 days involuntarily. I’m wondering if I should hire an attorney.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jay,

      If you are denied, request a copy of your claim file so you can see the exact reasons and hire an experienced Social Security attorney to assist with formulating the argument for the appeal. In the meantime, while this claim is pending, ask the examiner for a list of all medical records he or she has received so that you can see that everything you want submitted will be.

      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

  • christine jones

    Hi Kay
    I lost my job in april in result I lost my health insurance, I feel like I need to continue on seeing my therapist and psychiatrist, if I’m not able to see neither one, do you think that I can still be approved for ssa

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christine,

      Let Social Security know that you lost your insurance so can no longer pay for care. Then also try to get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If you apply within sixty days of losing your insurance, you won’t have to wait till the open enrollment period at the end of the year. Depending on your family income, you may be eligible for insurance with a government subsidy to help cover the premiums. More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Thomas

    Hey Im a victim of MST and have PTSD/Major Depressive Disorder and ADD from age 8 throughout my life. I just came clean about what had happened to me 10 years ago in the military just 1 year ago. I was clinically diagnosed ADD in 1993 and took ritalin and adderall throughout my life and now I switched to bupropion which works well. I had submitted all of the mental health documents to the DDS and also have two degenerative discs, spinal stenosis, scoliosis and spina bifida occulta. The DDS has only sent me to a Physical CE which I attended and not to a Mental Health CE. The DDS examiner told me on the phone that all he needed was this Physical CE exam and that all he would need to make his decision. Is this a promising sign that Ill get approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Thomas,

      The information you have received seems to mean that your mental health records are sufficient to be used for a decision, but they do not support disability due to mental health and cognitive issues only, and that more information is needed about your physical condition to determine whether you are disabled due to physical causes or a combination of physical and mental conditions.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Renar

    Hello, I just went to my hearing on March 18 2016. My case had been denied once and I was on my first appeal. The hearing was short, and my attorney was very excited, saying she felt it went extremely well. The voc. rehab. specialist told the judge that as for employment there was nothing “feasible” or “logical” of a job for me to do. I suffer from anxiety, panic disorder, severe depression and borderline personality disorder. In combination with that, I have severe debilitaing arthritis, and a twice broken tail bone, which makes sitting, standing or laying down for extended lengths of time impossible.
    I called my attorney today and they said my case was sent to the decision writing process. This hasn’t happened before to my knowledge, and I’m wondering if, in your opinion, you feel this is a positive outcome, or if I will have to appeal a second time. I appreciate your time in reading these questions. Thank you, have a nice day!
    -Renae

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Renar,

      All hearing decisions–both approvals and denials–go to decision writing for the letter to be prepared. That said, there is no reason to doubt your attorney’s opinion about how your hearing went.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • April

    Hello, I ran across your site. I have a few questions. I have mentel illeness with a learning disability. I have seen my family members go to the doctor for same mental issues and they drugged her up. Now she is worse. I have been scared of doctors and medicine ever since. How can I get ssi with my disabilities if Im to scared to go to the doctors? All I have to go on is my school records for my learning disabilities. Im sure that alone will not help me. I was denied once already now Im at a loss. Any adive you can give me will be great.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear April,

      You have not specified the type of mental illness you have, but you always have a choice in your treatment. You could choose to be evaluated and decline medication and perhaps see a therapist.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • April

        I suffer from social anxiety and depression

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear April,

          Apparently, your comment was cut off. If you would like to re-post, I will attempt to respond.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Cody

    Hi Im a 28 year old male who was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder a few years back. I had a relatively long work history until the age of 24 when things became to much to handle. My illness has really made life difficult as I battle delusions hallucinations and utter sadness and depression daily. I applied 2 years or so ago for SSDI and SSI since I had the work history. My parents are currently taking care of me since I cannot even handle my own medications anymore or drive. Im terrified and leave each day worrying about my family paying for my expenses.Ive been admitted for a few days as well as had the ambulance come to my house. Ive gotten years of documentation showing my illness has progressed over the years from pathways mental health clinic. Are my chances good? I havent worked or even been out of the house other than dr appointments the past few years without extreme panic and loss of touch with reality. I have a lawyer I guess I just need words of encouragement. My lawyer said I should hear about my court date in june. Im physically sick thinking about having the face this 🙁

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cody,

      Based on your description of the symptoms of your illness, I’d say you have a reasonably good chance of being approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Heather

        Hi
        I have a long history of trauma. At age 11 is when i first started being medicated and treated after losing any abilities to function after my God mother was killed by s drunk driver on her way to my home. At 13 i over dosed on Prozac after being abducted and sexually assaulted by a friend. Things seemed to normalize but really i just didn’t want to deal with anything anymore. At 18 ibecame involved in afive year relationship with an extremely abusive guy who repeatedly emotionally and physically abused me any time itried to leave he would literally drag me back by my hair. Finally my grandpa gave me plenty of money to flee to Canada for awhile. When ireturned to the states, At 23 my grandfather whom was like a father and never had any mental health issues took his gun went out to his barn and committed suicide. I began acting out and partying lots i again tried to kill myself by taking a bottle of seroquel my mom found me and i ended up on a ventilater in the hospital. my mom finally had it and left me to a women’s shelter. Long story short i made friends with a girl and her cousin they told me these guys would pick us up and we’d have fun partying and that they were really cool nice guys (i was hesitant but trusted their word) turns out i was kidnapped by a gang held in a garage for three days raped, beaten and prostituted out and injected with meth “so i could perform longer”and made to constantly shower and “look good” ultimately i was rescued after i was able to slip a note to a grocery store clerk. Then ifound out throughout the investigation that the girls were also in on it and not one person would help me rather they carefully planned the whole thing prior to with the intent of making money off me and then dumping my dead body in afield somewhere or selling me to their relatives in Mexico.Before the trial i again tried committing suicide this time by slitting my wrists. As i was bleeding out i felt incredible guilt about doing that to my mom after my grandpa had and called 911 again i was hospitalised. At the trial all parties were found guilty 157 years for one and 7 years for his Co conspirator. Right after my husband and igot pregnant(that’s right i got married in between all this)After this trial my husband went off for amilitary assignment and iwas alone ihad ahuge melt down the stress was so bad ifeel that the toxicity of everything caused me to miscarry. So my one friend i had left threw me abirthday party with the intent of making me feel better. Well her friends step brother also went whom none of us knew prior to this. I went to bed and woke up with him on top of me inserting himself into me as i was still bleeding from losing my baby. I fought back hard and was eventually able to throw him off me i ran to my friends room and woke her, in the midst of a panic attack and her response was that i had a nightmare and it wasn’t real she wouldn’t let me leave or call police because she was insistent it was a flashback so i pretended to fall asleep on the floor in her room and once she was asleep i ran as far as fast as i could i ended up at some neighborhood where i felt it was far enough away to safely call 911 i was taken again to the hospital for a rape exam i was interviewed by detectives whom had called my mother who agreed that i was probably having a nightmare because it had become an every day thing. I persisted and pleaded with both my mom and the detectives. Finally i was told that he denied having any consensual or unconsensual sex with me but that when they took down his pants during his examination there was blood on his privates and then his story changed of course. My mother wouldn’t even pick me up she stated she had taken a sleeping pill and was unable to drive and that there wasn’t anyone else. So i was sent home in a taxi. The next day they called my mother to inform her that my lab work came back and i was drugged. Another trial, another conviction. My husband came home and again i got pregnant at 24 weeks my daughter was born via c-section due to premature rupture of membranes. She died a month later in the nicu.
        Now these are just the big T’s. I share with you the events that occurred causing the ptsd,anxiety, and depression rather than stating how is affected me because there isn’t any words that can justify how bad it is to wake up every morning and have to go to sleep at night. These things happened consecutively.i went into almost another personality and just started working and trying to pretend to be normal but it wasn’t without great struggles. Throughout then and now i attempted treatment on several occasions but felt every session was equivalent to secondary victimization. In October of 2014 i left my job due to a move an hour away because of my husbands military career. In may of last year (my daughters birthday) everything started slowly bubbling up I’m not sure of the exact trigger but i went full on downward spiral. Ikept trying to seek help but everything was coming up so quickly that i became so dysfunctional that my kids were taken by mom on several occasions my father had to come live with me and ultimately i ended up in inpatient trauma. That’s the date i stated i became fully disabled September 2015. After the 30 days of intense therapy and treatment i left feeling more broken than ever. It’s to the point now i have accepted its going to be years if ever that i can get to a functional place again. I don’t shower, comb my hair or brush teeth. Rarely change my clothes. Every single act has to be carefully planned, executed and the risks have to be weighed. Anything deviance from my plans daily bring major regression. I’m heavily medicated and once again in therapy. But i can hardly form sentences verbally I’d rather lock myself in my room and communicate at a distance by writing. My nightmares wake my kids up at night i have severe Anxiety and panic attacks daily if I’m not medicated. If i have figured out a “safe” way to do something like go to the grocery store or to therapy it has to be carefully planned days in advance and i won’t sleep the night before because the effects of the nightmares triggers upon weakening ability my anxiety,fear and paranoia. An average day for me i end up on my couch all day getting worse and worse from the disappointment from my husband, kids and father. Anyhow this process of doing an afr feels impossible i can’t handle divulging all the truths of how dead i am inside and out only to have my worst fear coming true…the validity of my condition being questioned or even denied by these people when i haven’t even been able to that honest and vulnerable with my family i have left. Most of my documentation, the heavy stuff, is from before and during the time i was working. I just don’t know how accurately it was documented last year by my dr, psychiatrists, therapists or the inpatient facility. I don’t feel like i can see my medical record myself for the same reason I’m dreading furthering my disability application. In your opinion should i be including ALL those years of trauma and mental health problems in my claim even though my disability date is September 2015. I’m questioning as to whether or not they’ll recognise how it’s possible for me to have gotten to this point without knowing there’s a long history of ptsd, major dd, anxiety, revictimization,inpatient treatments, suicide attempts, as well as drinking at times to self medicate. I’m not even sure any of this makes sense to you. Any guidance on how i should proceed and your opinion of the most successful way to go about the rest of this process is greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening.

        • Heather

          Also i should add it was 8 years ago my daughter passing 9 years since trial and other rape 10 years since kidnapping and 11 years since my grandpa did that.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Heather,

          If you were under medical care in May 2015, I suggest that you amend your claim to claim May 2015 as your disability date. Try to put together a list of all your treating mental health care professionals and their contact information from about 2010 to present and also for the inpatient and emergency room records for the suicide attempts and hospitalizations. Lastly, I recommend that you print out what you wrote to me and submit it as your abuse history to support PTSD. Also, provide contact information for relatives and friends who could make statements about the symptoms they can see of your illness and limitations.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Heather

            Thank you!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Heather.

  • christine jones

    I worked at my job for 22 years just got fired due to my preformances
    Wasn’t able to keep up with my production, 2 years ago I was diagnosed with seveal depression, anxiety that made me not able to perform tasks and function like I use to, I have been seeing a therapist and a pychtrist for 2 year, do you think that I will be approve for ssdi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christine,

      It is possible that you qualify for benefits. Describe your performance deficits. If you have written performance appraisals from before and after you started to have work problems due to your mental health that show a marked decline in performance, submit them for your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • christine jones

        Thank you for your advice

        • christine jones

          Hi Kay, this is christine again. I have another question, as I mention in my first statement I was fired from my job due to performance after 22 years, I filed for unemployment and was approved for it,I read that receiving unemployment can hurt my case with disability. If so what can I do from being denied ss

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Christine,

            To receive unemployment, you have to be employable and seeking employment. To be disabled under Social Security law your ability to work has to be limited to a maximum earnings capacity of $1,130 a month. So, although the two benefits are somewhat incompatible, they are not always mutually exclusive.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Christine.

  • Kate

    I found this article randomly while googling to find out how many people with mental illness commit suicide through this process. Having a mental illness – major depression; makes every day a struggle and the denials and appeals add to the despair. After receiving my 2nd denial, there is no point in applying again because, even if I wasn’t suicidal, I can’t afford to keep a roof over my head for more than a few more weeks. And, no, I’m not calling a hotline or going to a hospital. This isn’t about my emotions or something that can be talked out and treated with medication. It is a fact that I only have $1,300 left to my name and no way to survive now that my ex-employer’s LTD benefits have expired. I’m a 50 year old, college educated professional with a disabling illness and not in any condition to be living in my car with my dog. I know I’m not the only person to reach this point and I think it’s a shame there is so little out there on this. I get that society doesn’t want to support a grown adult who “looks” fine but maybe social security, and society in general, should just be more honest and admit they’d rather us be dead than help. In retrospect, maybe I should have hired a lawyer long ago. I wish everyone luck in this because you’re going to need it, ESPECIALLY if you’re disability is mental illness.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kate,

      Of course, I can’t help with your living situation, but if you are still in your appeals period, do hire an attorney and appeal if the attorney thinks you have a case. People do eventually get approved on later appeals and we never know what good tomorrow may bring even if we can’t see it today.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Tracey

      Kate,
      I have Bipolar disorder. I am an RN, but my illness became so severe that I could not work. I was denied the first 2 times that I applied. The third time, I hired someone to represent me. This person would not get paid unless I won. Having a representative was an amazing help. They know what the SS administration is looking for. I did have to have a video conference with a Judge, but in the end, I was approved and received back pay from the time I first filed. So don’t give up. It can be done!

  • BB

    I applied for SSI and SSID several months ago. I am 29. I was homeless for 3 years up until about a month ago but still working as paper carrier during that time (contract job) and still am. the papers are full time hours but only profits about 500 a month. Im at a new route now that’s part time hours and more profit but its still pretty pathetic. my last tax return was the best since 2008 and it was only 7.5k AGI. prior years were as low as 3.5k for full time hours… I have not paid my federal income taxes since being a paper carrier which amount to 3-500 a year. I have a steady 11 year treatment history for several different psychiatric labels, primarily Major Depression w/psychotic features and borderline personality disorder. As well as long history of inpatient 1 or 2 per year but I stopped doing that in 2013 because it doesn’t accomplish anything but make me miss work. I was full time student for 2 years in 2011-2013 and only earned 8 college credits and was sectioned and barred from re-enrolling. Im in new location and applied for the local MHMR but applied in Aug and still have yet to see a doctor!! Im concerned they wont get all my records. If I provided all the records would it make a difference, as well as failure in college? I haven’t worked full time (hourly employment) since feb 2009. How does it affect my chances if I owe my federal taxes for last 3 years? I don’t even like being a paper carrier. it really sucks like slave labor, I do it cause without income, you die and I wont go back to the streets. 7 days a week 365 no days off and its using up my car, if you want a day off you have to pay $100, $300 for a Sunday.. SSI says I have an appointment for psych eval next week.

    • BB

      there are attorneys or something that work in conjunction with the last indigent mental health program I was in, but they said I couldn’t get it because I was working at all even though its producing next to nothing.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear BB,

        They are mistaken. Your earnings as you stated them to me are below Substantial Gainful Activity level and will not outright keep you from being approved. I would, however, consider how you describe your work. You referred to it as “full time,” but usually carriers work seven days a week for a few hours in the morning and that is all. If you did not work all day, forty hours or close to forty house a week, then you were working part-time.)

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear BB.,

      If your failure at college and being barred from re-enrollment relates to your disability, that is important information for your claim. Submitting records to support your long history of mental illness could be helpful. Getting the admit and discharge summaries, the history and physical report and any testing from the hospitals would be enough from those providers. Be sure to list all outpatient providers and dates. Be sure to tell the examining physician at the psychiatric evaluation about your history. Given that you have not worked at the Substantial Gainful Activity level you might be considered disabled while working. Be sure to relate any problems you may have ad in other occupations.

      Not filing your taxes and paying Social Security tax for the past three years could mean that you are not insured for Social Security Disability. Even if you are insured, you benefit may be less. Your earnings are low, so you may not owe any income tax, but if your don’t pay your self-employment (Social Security) tax on your profit (gross earnings reduced by expenses including mileage deduction for use of your car), you will not get credit for that work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • John

      Hello I was just diagnosed with severe deppresion by my primary care doc I’m 24 going to see phyciatrist tommorow I walked out of my current job Tuesday my boss yelled at me everyone was stsri g I had a nervous breakdown my mind never quits going our bills etc etc do I need phyciatrist consent to use forms she writes about me/will I get approved I plan on getting a lawyer

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear John,

        Seeing a psychiatrist is a good idea both for treatment and to document your condition for your claim. I do not quite understand what you mean by “do I need psychiatrist consent to use forms she writes about me.” Your basic application forms will be provided by the Social Security Administration. I cannot predict whether you will be approved. You must be expected to be disabled for twelve months.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Gayle

    My 20 year old son was diagnosed as schizophrenic in 2012. He is unable to work, and is on SSI. However, the money he receives from the state of Virginia is hardly enough to rent an apartment. He cannot work, and has never worked. He has been to two mental institutions, once for 9 months, and once for 3 months. I cannot have him live with me because he causes so many disruptions. Could he possibly qualify for SSDI, rather than SSI? That way, he could be able to live on his own? Should I push the state of Virginia for SSDI, or is he only allowed SSI? I have tons of paperwork, assessments, histories, medical evaluations, etc. Should I get an advocate for him, or is SSI all he will ever be able to get, which he can’t rent an apartment with because of the price? Thank you so much for any advice regarding if I should get an advocate to much for SSDI instead of SSI.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gayle,

      Your son is not eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI) because he has not worked and paid Social Security taxes. Keep all the documentation you have that shows he became disabled before age twenty-two. If you and/or his father have worked enough to be insured for benefits, when one of his parents receives Social Security or dies, he can apply for Childhood Disability Benefits on his parent(s) earnings record(s). He must be unmarried and have medical records to show continuous disability since prior to age twenty-two. In the meantime, he could try to get on a waiting list for government subsidized housing. (As an aside, SSI and SSDI are federal benefits and are administered by the state of Virginia.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • quick questions

    Hi, it’s incredible you’ve been answering questions here for 3 years. I’ve suffered various physical issues throughout my life, I have lots of documentation/court orders/etc from a nasty divorce my parents went through (I’m now 32,) childhood diagnosis of bipolar, various official accusations of emotional/physical abuse of myself levied by both parents, etc. I’m at a point in my life where I accept I need help, going to receive mental counseling etc. Very long story short, did I screw myself out of benefits when I probably made a bit more than “SGA” for a few years as a night watchman? A dilemma: would my childhood “onset date” allow me to collect retired parents SS benefit “child benefit?” Or would violating the “SGA” flush any hopes whatsoever? I’m sorry if I should just do more research before asking a bunch of questions

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Quick Questions,

      If you worked continuously for more than six months, you would not be considered continuously disabled since childhood, so you would in all likelihood be denied disabled adult hcild benefits. If you do not have enough work history to be insured on your own earnings record, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, which are also administered by the Social Security Administration. You can learn more about SSI in the articles under the SSI tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lovely

        I am 35 yrs old and have had a lot of jobs but never held one down for over 3 months since I was 18-21 yrs old. I new I had mental health problems but never a full diagnosis untill about 3 months ago. I was asked to take a state test of 400 questions and diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, psychotic tenancy, anxiety, major depression… Can I get approved for disability.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lovely,

          You may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI disability benefits. You may not have have enough work for Social Security disability.

          hen you file your claim with the Social Security Administration, be sure that the test you reference is submitted to support your claim. Also, to support your claim, state that you have not been able to hold a job because of your mental illness and list every job you can think of and the dates you started and stopped. If you can’t remember the dates, list the job, the year or approximate year, the length of time you were there, and why the job ended. For each list your job title and duties also.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Hannah

      I can’t figure out how to post without posting in a reply..

      I am on SSDI and have been since 2010. I am considered an adult disabled child and my benefit is based on my deceased parent’s earning record. I am currently working my way off disability, and I am over SGA even with IRWE, so my cessation months will most likely start this month, (March)…

      Here’s what I am trying to figure out though- in the future, if I would need to go back on disability for the same condition, (but after my Expedited Reinstatement Period has ended), will I be able to receive SSDI again under my parent’s earning record, or will it then be based on my own earning record? (I do not anticipate needing disability ever again, but unfortunately, my condition is lifelong, and could be debilitating again someday… So, just want to know what I’m in for if that were to happen.)

      Thanks!!

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Hannah,

        If you have worked or will work at the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level for more than six months, you will not be considered to have been continuously disabled since before age twenty-two. Accordingly, future disability benefits will be based on your own earnings record.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Shaquanna Hopkins

          Hello Kay.

          I Don’t know how to post a question either. I apoloogize to the original person who posted a question. My daughter has adhd behavioral problems & see a psychiatrist, therapist and counselor. Her psychologist put her on methylphenidate. Will she qualify for benefits?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Shaquanna,

            Please see my response to the comment you posted on March 20 under the question “What Can I Do to Improve My Chances for Approval” under the Apply for SSD tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Pershoun

          Hi Kay I have s serious question let me know if you get this

          • Kay Derochie

            Got it. Now you need to post the question.

          • Brenda Gibbs

            Hi my name is Brenda I’ve been diagnosed with major depression and major anxiety disorder for awhile now and i was in a serious car accident Dec,2014 that I had to be airlifted to the hospital multiple broken ribs on both sides, Broken femur in two places required surgery replaced with titanium rod and punctured lung, since that accident I’ve been stuck in a living Hell, I can’t sleep due to flash backs of the flipping and tossing around of our car, I’m more depressed than ever, I can’t afford my medicines that I need and I’m having to stay between relatives because i don’t have a home because of no income. What can I do.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Brenda,

              If you have not filed Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability application with the Social Security Administration, I suggest that you do so. Information on how to start a claim is available in the articles under the “Apply SSD” tab at the top of this webpage.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              Also try checking the website http://www.needymeds.com/ or contacting the pharmaceutical company for possible assistance with the cost of your medications.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • Emma Byrne

      I, too, am having issues posting a reply to the original article. Apologies to the original poster of this.

      I am a 26 year old female who has worked on and off since high school graduation in 2007 for a period of no longer than 2 years at a time, with 3-4 years of being jobless. I am suffering from depression and some severe anxiety/paranoia, anti-social behaviour and severe panic/anxiety attacks at random intervals, and am also finding it harder and harder to drive due to the anxiety. I also have started having mild visual/auditory hallucinations, and am unable to remember simple things. Just yesterday I forgot where I parked my car and ended up on the wrong side of the parking lot for almost half an hour, afraid, at night. I have unable to afford to see a doctor until now (I have found a low/no-income clinic). Can I apply for benefits without being diagnosed prior to my application? Am I likely to be approved, or should I consult with a lawyer/try to get a diagnosis first? I have acquaintances/friends who can vouch for my deteriorating condition, but I have no family.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Emma,

        If you are not now working, I suggest that you start the application now even if it takes a while to get it completed. Starting the application will protect your filing date and guard against losing possible benefits. At the same time, vigorous pursue evaluation and treatment with your new clinic. Get statements from your family and friends about what they observe that indicates that you have problems functioning and when they started to see a downward spiral. Also, explain in your application that you just got access to medical care.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Julius Moore

    Hello Kay,
    I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both hips (almost a year ago), both knees, right wrist. I was injured during military training this past July and a work injury aggravated my condition a few months after that. I am a nurse and soldier. I have been recommended for hip replacement but workers comp won’t pay for it. My mobility is severely limited now, I have to use a cane and walker to be mobile, I have tried physical therapy to no avail, I am unable to try injections due to my low platelet count. I suffer from major depression and chronic pain disorder, I am also unable to drive , I pretty much am unable to perform my ADL’s like I used to before this all happened to me. My kidneys have been affected by the pain meds I took, I have sleep apnea and am always tired. My doctors finally took me off work completely as of last December. I applied for SSDI as a result of applying for Federal Disability Retirement (I worked for VA), about 2 months ago. I was just sent for a psychological CE a few days ago. The doc was great and my experience was different than what I read about, I was nervous going into the exam. The doctor diagnosed me with adjustment disorder as well, he asked about my meds, the whole thing took about 30 minutes or so and he did say he agreed with the findings of my personal psychiatrist. I didn’t expect to be sent for the CE as I have current treatment for my mental health disorders and my physical limitations and disorders far well documented. It all seemed positive but I’m not sure. What’s next in the process? How long does it take to get a decision after the CE was complete?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Julius,

      If everything else that was requested from your own doctors has been received, you can expect a decision within a month to two months after Social Security receives the consultative examination report; and the doctor has three weeks to submit the report. As an aside, is it possible that the VA would cover your surgery? If not, you might investigate whether the teaching hospital closest to you would provide the service.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ivannia

    My husband is bipolar1, with aspherbergs, he just got denied SSD his being in and out of mental hospital, change jobs unable to keep them, the judge based his denial on the last phsicologist who treated him for the last 2 years, my husband says he hear voices he wanted to convince me to buy a gun, he believe some one is chasing him all the time and this phsicologist said in his notes that my husband should get into his own buisnes! Every time I went to an appointment he will tell us how much money he made the week before and how much he was expecting for thi current week! I can’t believe the judge based his decision on this pshicologist opinion and ignore al the times he was hospitalized! What should we do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ivannia,

      I recommend hiring an attorney to help your husband file a request for an Appeals Council Review, possibly on the basis of selective consideration of evidence. When your husband hires a Social Security attorney, he does not have to pay any legal fees up front and he will pay attorney fees only if he is approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount his attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award before they send his back pay to him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • James

        I don’t know how to post a question on here without using a reply but I hope this works. I am 38 male with a teaching degree but can no longer function as a teacher. I have had one suicide attempt hospitalization when I was 19 but none after that. I have been diagnosed as bipolar 1, with psychotic features, have ptsd, social anxiety and major depression. Growing up, I was on Paxil on and off for a few years. I was given bus par at 28 for a few months for anger issues. I have been seeing a psychiatrist regularly for 3 years and just changed to a new dr that is closer to home and accepts Medicaid. I have had 11 jobs in the last year because Of my paranoia. The longest I have held a job is 3 years and have had close to 40 of them in my life. I am currently on lamictal, depakote , Wellbutrin , Vistaril ,lexapro and klonopin. These all make it hard to stay awake and focus on anything. I also have sleep apnea which doesn’t help. I just filed a month ago for disability. Any thoughts on my chances for help from disability?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear James,

          If you explained the limitations you have, had outlined the long history of mental health problems and job losses (including the health-related reasons you either left or were let go from each job), and have provided a list of all your medical providers, I think you have a reasonable chance of being approved. Another thing you could do is try to get a statement from the last two or three employers regarding the problems they saw you have on the job that led to termination if you were let go.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Karen

    Hi Kay,
    I have applied for SSI for my Son who just turned 18 last week. He was first diagnosed disabled by Social Security at 2 years, but my income precluded him from further payments when he was 12. He was originally diagnosed with Autism, but now suffers further from OCD, Depression,Body dysmorphia, and just last week was Diagnosed with full blown Anorexia by a top notch expert at UCLA.

    2 weeks ago he went to the independent psychological exam. I was in the waiting room. He came out and told me that the Doctor Examiner told him that his eating disorder is perfectly normal, and a famous General also only ate 1 small meal a day and was a hero. This man has no right to intercede with regard to my Son.This has set back attempts to get my son to EAT. As he now says well the Social Security Doctor says I am fine.
    I want to report this Examiner, and request another Exam. Should I report this to his caseworker or go strait to his Disability Evaluation Analyst.who I have never spoken to? Any help in how to approach this matter would be greatly appreciated.
    Karen

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      I suggest that you report to the examiner or to a supervisor or manager at the Disability Determination Services that the doctor gave your son treatment advice (no need to eat more), which consulting physicians are not supposed to do. I don’t know that another exam will be set up. Be sure to submit the report from the UCLA physician.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Christine

    Hi , my question is I have a 24 year old son who lives with me and since 2013 has been sectioned twice and then went back in on last Friday voluntarily to a psychiatric hospital, he has had summer jobs for the past few years but 3-4 months ago after being released from 3 weeks in a psychiatric hospital he took a job and after 3-4 weeks walked out he just could not remember anything and was very sedated. he is a collage student at least he was a senior in collage but has had to leave the last two semesters because of his mental illness. He has been diagnosed with psychosis disorder, and this hospital stay he has fallen into the schizophrenia umbrella. He is socially inept, has no friends and was suicidal (don’t know how he will be when released this time) Part of this horrible and debilitating illness is that he refuses to admit he has a mental illness, says he is stressed and has anxiety, but believes a lot of the terrible shootings that have happened are all a government conspiracy, he is smart but this disease is debilitating, I don’t know if he will ever be able to overcome it and finish his education or work a job. This started in late 2012-now . He worked for ups for 2-1/2 years when he got out of high school , stop and shop when he was in school, and a couple of others that did not last long. can I help him to fill out applications to see if he is eligible for ssi or whatever else is out there for him, he is 24 yrs old and will be 25 in 2 months. We need help . thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christine,

      Yes, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for your son–and Social Security Disability (SSDI) on the off chance he’s worked enough to be insured.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • andrew

    I am a 50 year old male with a bedridden wife. I have been her full time caregiver for the last 6 years while also working full time. I am suffering from burnout and depression. I recently had to have my job duties reduced do to an inability to focus (I am an automotive tech). I am currently on 6 weeks paid family leave. I saw a psychologist in 2011, but due to lack of health care coverage (and lack of results) I didn’t continue therapy. I can’t continue to work and provide care for my wife. I feel like I’m falling apart and won’t be able to work or care for my wife if something doesn’t change. What would be my next step?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Andrew,

      I suggest that you contact your state or county social services to find out whether your state has any home health care that your wife would qualify for to relieve you of some of your responsibilities. If you continue to be unable to work and you are expected to be off work for twelve months, it would be appropriate to file for disability benefits for yourself; however, if you decide to do that it would be best to get under some care from a mental health professional now both for your health and to prove your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Janice

    I’ve been having severe social anxiety for as long as I can remember. When I was going to school I wasn’t able to concentrate because I felt scared, I felt as if everyone was laughing or staring at me. I would purposely fail certain assignments because I didn’t want to do presentations, read in front of the class, and didn’t want to ask questions. I ended up dropping out because it was very stressful. I went to different trade schools and I quit within the first month. Every time I tried working I quit within a few days because I felt like I was going to pass out with a lot of people around me. Now that I’m 25 it’s gotten worse. I can’t even purchase anything or do anything alone without worrying. I now have severe depression. I don’t take any meds because I get panic attacks just thinking about them. It’s been a constant struggle these past few years. Would I be able to qualify ssd

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Janice,

      To qualify for Social Security Disability, you have to have enough work credits. At your age, you need only eight credits, but I can’t tell whether you have them. If you have a parent who is deceased or is receiving Social Security benefits, you may qualify for disabled adult child (DAC) benefits for disability starting before age twenty-two. If you apply for DAC, list the jobs you have tried as unsuccessful work attempts. Even if you do not qualify for those benefits you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability. Is suggest that you apply with the Social Security Administration and be screened for all possible benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Brenda Gibbs

        I’ve applied for assistance for health coverage, I’m not qualified because I have no minor kids, I only can get ENT Stamps $194.00 monthly to which I’m grateful for. I’ve applied for apartment but before I can turn the application over to the management there’s a processing fee $20 and background check is another $25 that I absolutely don’t have and no one to help me, when I say that it’s like everything I try to do to live on my own there’s a road block at every corner. I’m so depressed that I see no relief and I’m ready to give up in just in a situation with no help or resolution in sight.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Brenda,

          Try checking with churches and other non-profits to see if one of them and give you the funds for the processing fee and background checks.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Tina Farmer

    I have not been able to work since December 2014 due to bulged disc in my back of course they denied me I found out later that I need a neck fusion and I didn’t apply for mental when I applied I’ve been seeing a therapist and physiologist thythere diagnosis was PTSD and major depression my hearing is coming up in april the therapist wrote a letter and said I was not mental stable to work think I might get approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tina,

      The additional information about your mental health may help your appeal. Also be sure that the judge has all the information about your neck problems.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nom-Nom

    I was sent by SS for a 2nd appointment, the first was a physical and the last one was a mental exam. The concern, per my advisor, was because there were no medical records for my anxiety and insomnia. Today, the doctor they sent me to diagnosed me with PTSD anxiety. She suggested that I should see a psyc for my anxiety issues.

    Now this is going away from my original issue, which is Hughes Syndrome and what I applied for. Do you think I will be sent to yet another appointment? Will this improve my chances of an approval…since their doctor “diagnosed” me?

    Thank you for your help!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nom-Nom,

      All your conditions will be considered in determining whether you are disabled as defined by Social Security law. If you have adequate documentation of the Hughes Syndrome and any limitations you have due to it, you will not be sent for an evaluation related to it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • i applied for disability and have been denied twice im going through a lawyer I have my first appointment in a few days I have no current medical records but records from my childhood up til I was 16 years old I’m 23 now I have bipolar PTSD ADHD anxiety disorder i have had all of these problems all of my life I used to take Ritalin adderall colindine depakote etc from when I was 5 up til I was 13 after my dad died I was only taking bus bar up til I was 18 when they taken me off of my Medicaid I haven’t been to any doctors or taken any medications since because of no health insurance I’m going back to see a psychiatrist to get put back on medications and I’m using a lawyer to try to win disability last six years I have been in and out of jobs because all of these problems I have has made it nearly impossible for me to function in everyday society with me going through a lawyer and going back continually seeing a psychiatrist what are my chances of being approved for disability

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Brandon,

          Your getting regular psychiatric care will give you a better chance of approval, and it is good that you got an attorney to help with the hearing appeal. The fact that an attorney took your case indicates you have a reasonable chance for approval.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Marie22

    Hi I have recently signed my 8 year old daughter for SSI .she was diagnose with anxiety and depression and she has severe asthma. She is also taking Zoloft on top of her asthma treatments.it has effected her eating .sleeping .and thinking process.I had to quit my job 2 weeks ago due to her only wanting to be with me in feeling safe with me nobody can handle her mood swings I was constantly getting calls from work .to the point where I just quit to be with her.do you think she’s a good candidate for SSI and will be approved .

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marie,

      As you describe your child’s condition, she may be medically approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • LDF

    My husband is Bipolar and has panhypopituitarism. He had to stop working after being hospitalized in the psyche ward. He was involuntarily hospitalized this spring and was brought to the ER covered in mud and saying he was encino man. He is physically unable to work from his endocrine disease as well.

    He applied a few months ago and is going to have an exam with a psychologist next week. We’re so nervous. Does it seem like he has a strong case? Do you think I will be allowed in the room? His social anxiety is severe and I would like to be with him. I’m in grad school and working 60 hrs a week to get by. I hope he gets approved so I can be home with him more to take care of him.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear LDF,

      I can’t predict whether your husband will be approved or not. You can go to the appointment with him and ask to be in the room to help with his anxiety; however, you may be told no.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Denise

    I am 56 years old and from an era where talking about mental health issues is kind of a taboo. I have been on many different medications for major depressive disorder & anxiety for over 25 years. The meds work for a while, then they don’t. I held my last job in 2007 but I did not apply for disability benefits because I felt ashamed. I went under a new doctor’s care & was additionally diagnosed with ADHD, severe anxiety which causes panic attacks, ptsd & borderline bi-polar. I am now on pills for depression, 2 for anxiety, 1 for adhd & a mood stabilizer. When I think back on my work history, I see so clearly that I had major problems..missing work, leaving my work station & sneaking away to sleep, doing everything but what I was supposed to be doing on the computer. When I applied, I did so on my own & was denied. After my request for reconsideration was also denied, I obtained representation. I have documents from my doctor supporting my inability to work in any capacity. I am being represented by Disability Specialists, Inc. My trial is nearing & my anxiety is getting the best of me. In hindsight I know now I should have applied years ago, but I was ashamed. I applied when I finally came to terms with the fact that I was incapable of working any longer. Now I am scared of what’s going to happen. The trial terrifies me. I don’t know what to say or how to act. Do you think I have any chance of getting approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Denise,

      Be yourself and speak honestly at the trial. If given the opportunity, you might tell about your behavior at work as you told me. I cannot speculate on your chances for approval, but the fact that an attorney took your case indicates there is a possibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kate

    I’m a 22 year-old female in Ohio.

    I filed for SSI about 3 years ago and I’m finally going to have my hearing early next month… But I’m a nervous wreck. I’m living alone since my mother died two years ago and I’ve had to sell nearly all my belongings just to get by. My disability is the only bit of a chance I’ve got. I don’t have any parents or family to help me. I get HUD, foodstamps, and HEAP assistance, plus medical coverage.

    I’m requesting SSI mainly for severe depression and major social anxiety- which I get medication for and I see my counselor and psychiatrist for. I struggle with suicide and self-inflicted injuries. My anxiety is so bad I had to drop out of school and finish high school online.

    I also have arthritis, diabetes, bulging disks in my lower back and a fractured spine. The spine problems came from physical abuse and a car wreck I was in at the age of 13. I’m always in pain.
    Plus I have an inflamed gallbladder that needs to be removed.
    I have medical records for all of this.

    The reason for my depression is severe neglect and abuse- physical, sexual, and mental abuse. Plus losing my mother was a traumatic experience for me. All I do is sit in bed, I don’t even paint or draw like I used to enjoy doing.

    I had a job once when I was 17, but that only lasted about a month.

    I have one of the best SSI attorneys, but I’m still so scared about next month. Do I stand a chance?

    Sorry for typing so much. Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kate,

      It sounds as if you have a reasonable chance for approval, especially because you have been getting care for your mental health conditions.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carolyn

    I’m 50 years old. I’ve never been able to hold down a job for more than a year. When taking my daughter to therapy and she was diagnosed ADHD and found out that I’m also ADHD. I also have bad knees and back as well. Dr said I need a knee replacement but never had the money. I’ve been a house wife for the past 20 years and My problem is I’m divorced and nobody will hire me because I don’t stay at a job very long. Is this a reason I could get disability.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carolyn,

      Not staying at a job long is not a basis for getting disability unless leaving the jobs is related to a disabling medical or mental condition. If you were you let go for poor performance and the poor performance was related to the ADHD or knee problems, then you might be disabled. The only way to find out if you qualify is to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which require, in addition to being disabled, that your income and countable assets be less than the limit. If you have not worked for the past twenty years, you are not insured for Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Janet kirsling

    Dear Kay,
    I am 59 years old. I have been treated for anxiety for the last 19 years. Ive always tried to keep a job. My last one ended in 2013. I had a total breakdown and walked out the door. The people that I worked for were people I had known and loved for 20 years.I just could not stand them for one more minute. The constant anxiety brought that on. I have applied for some jobs the last couple of years but nothing ever works out. I cant even stand the thought of talking to people. I want to cover my head and never leave. I have to though because I still have a 17 year old and 13 year old at home. We adopted late in life. I recently just gave up and applied for disability. Financially its hard without be working.. Do you think I could be approved? Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Janet,

      Whether or not you are approved will depend on how well your condition is documented. Hopefully, you have been getting psychiatric care over the last couple years. Also, be sure that your claim describes why you left each job and includes a description of how you are limited outside work if you are. If Social Security asks you to go for an evaluation, be sure you keep the appointment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Christy Anderson

    I have a question. My ex has been diagnosed for many years with a stomach condition called CVS. It’s a rare disease. In his case according to many doctors if you use marijuanna it can make the episodes worse. He’s been applying for Disability now for over two years, knowing that the drug is a factor in his disability. He has now been telling everyone that he wants to kill himself and just today he threatened to kill his family and himself. Sigh. All because a psychiatry appointment that he had the other day didn’t go well. He’s able bodied and will not stop smoking, and just wants to live on the system. Will he after getting arrested today have a better chance of getting his claim. Also under the influence of LSD and marijuanna. Thank you. I feel he is trying to use any card to get back as he told me to live off the system and not work.

    • Christy Anderson

      Also to add he is 24 and has never worked but under the table. He drives, skates does drugs daily and feels that it’s owed to him.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Christy,

        Please see my response to your other post.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Christy,

        See my response to your first post, please.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christy,

      If it is determined that your ex is disabled and that he would not be disabled if he did not use drugs, he will not be approved for Social Security or SSI disability because the law prohibits payment of benefits for disabilities caused by drug or alcohol dependency. Additionally, benefits are not paid to incarcerated individuals who are convicted of a crime and incarcerated after the conviction.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Peter

    I am 24 and diagnosed with ptsd, bi-polar 1(manic-depressive), poly-substance dependant and adhd and I believe I have social anxiety. recently went through php program. was in foster care as young child then returned home and few years later placed in foster care again during younger years I was diagnosed adhd, odd, and rad, also was placed in a school program located inside a hospital for mental evaluation. I have lived at 9 different foster homes between ages 5 and 17 would be more specific but have memory issues. I have filed a claim with Allsup and have been scheduled a mental health exam. I am very nervous about exam feels like last hope to be able to live a somewhat normal life. I’ve always felt “outside” of any group i.e. family or peers. I feel every one is trying to make my life harder, make me feel bad more alone. my depressive state leaves me able to only lay in my bed, and my manic state gets me in legal trouble and sabotages my financials. I live with my real mother who basically takes care of me but I need to help her with rent so i work part time. bosses are nice enough to have kept me even though I had to stop working for a couple months for that php I attended. had two psychiatrist’s full form stating unable to work due to not working well with others, difficulty paying attention, trust issues and mood swings. I could go on for quite a while but this should be enough for an opinion. if ss is serious about helping and not doing their best to disprove my mental illnesses in your opinion is my claim sound? will I have to appeal several times? have you ever heard of Allsup? I believe I should have been getting benefits since when I was in foster care. any feedback on that? I don’t like the stigma of receiving SS at such a young age, I don’t want to be approved just so I can do nothing, I just need the time and freedom to go back to school or travel some, learn to love my self so I can stop always thinking everyone has negative thoughts about me. sorry long winded, if you would like anymore info before or after you share your opinion just let me know. Thank you kindly.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Peter,

      It is possible that you will be approved for benefits, but there is no way to know until the decision has been rendered. The company representing you has been representing Social Security claimants for many years.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shay

    Hi, I applied for SSI due to depression, anxiety and bipolar. I have provided 7 jobs I worked within 3 years but were all for short periods of time and not nearly enough to live off due to being bipolar and my anxiety. Also at 18 my doctor prescribed me medicine because I made him aware I was extremely depressed. When I first began birth control I actually experienced suicidal thoughts and things just got worse from there but the suicidal thoughts have became rare. Anywho, I received that medicine for a couple months then I stopped going to the doctor. After having my second daughter and while I was able to have my medication covered under pregbancy Medicaid, my ob/gyn prescribed me Paxil for depression and anxiety but I was not able to follow up with her because my Medicaid ended. Do you believe this helps my chances of getting approved because I actually made a doctor aware at the age of 18 and again at 21 and received medication for it? What do you believe my chances are of getting approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shay,

      You do not say how old you are now so I don’t know how long it has been since you have received medical or psychiatric treatment for your conditions. If it has been a long time, the older information would just show that you had some problems in the past. Your claim will be decided on your current condition. If you do not have recent medical records, it is likely you will be sent for a consultative examination at Social Security’s expense. Note that open enrollment for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)(Obamacare) begins in November. I suggest that you investigate getting insurance through the ACA so that you can get ongoing care. You can get more information at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mary

    My husband was put in a mental hospital for 2 weeks for depression, ptsd, and bipolar. He is a veteran and will probably get va disability. Does he have a good chance at getting ssd? He has been on meds and seeing drs and counselor for years before this last “episode ” that put him in the hospital.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      Social Security Disability (SSD) is payable to individuals who are currently insured before they become disabled and who have been or are expected to be disabled for at least twelve months. Disability is the inability to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA) for twelve months. Typically is if a person is able to earn $1,090 gross per month, he or she is not disabled. I suggest that you and your husband discuss his condition and ability to work with his psychiatrist.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Angie Hill

    Hi, I filed for SSD approx 4 months ago and was just really wondering what you felt my chances of getting approved are. I am two months shy of being 50. I have been a nurse working full time for the last 25 up until 2 years ago when the pain of lifting, pulling and tugging patients in the operating room became so painful that my doctor sent me to a pain clinic for injections. I went to part time nursing, have had 8 injections in the past 18 months for bulging L4-5 disc, a torn labrum in my shoulder and have also developed RA in my hands and OA in my hips and knees. In addition to chronic pain in which I do take pain medication for daily I have generalized anexity disorder, a form of PTSD from being sexual molested as a child by my grandfather and several issues to make me where I don’t drive anymore as it is just to scary for me. As I said, I am waiting to hear for approval or denial and just wondered your thoughts. Oh, I was sent for a psychological evaluation two months ago and was honest as I could possible be. Collecting disability is not something I am proud of but it has come to the point that even getting out of the bed in the mornings is painful. Thx in advance!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angie,

      There is some possibility that, given your work history and musculoskeletal complaints there is a chance you will be approved. If you are denied, I suggest getting an experienced Social Security attorney to assist with the 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 the retroactive award before sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brandi

    Hello, let me start off by saying I didn’t want or think about applying for disability until I went to my local doctors office for hypertension and severe panic attacks with no medical. They told me because I had no money and couldn’t pay for my medical expenses to apply for medical and cash grant from DSHS. So when I did that DSHS sent me to get evaluated for a cash gran (I didn’t think anything was wrong with me). The psych doctor diagnosed me with severe anxiety disorder, depression and borderline personality disorder. So DSHS gave me a cash grant of 197 a month (I was on this grant 6 years ago). To be on this grant I have to be applying and keep my case open with social security. I have had 2 jobs in my life that each lasted 1 month. I was let go of both because I couldn’t function in the work place. One of my supervisors told on of my co workers that I needed to be tested and there was something really wrong with me. I even took an online college course because I thought I could handle it. Turns out I couldn’t and flunked out with 3 months. I my hearing is in a week. My question to you is, di you have any tips on how to keep it together during the hearing? I’m a nervous wreck and I tend to speak very quietly. Long answers? Short answers? What if I don’t know what to say when they ask me a question because I can lose my train of thought very easily.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brandi,

      Answer each question honestly and fully without repeating yourself. If you aren’t asked something you think is important, at the end of the hearing, ask the judge if you can add something. If you don’t know what to say because you have lost your train of thought, tell the judge that you have lost your train of thought and ask that the question be repeated. As far as holding it together, just keep in mind that no physical harm can come to you in the courtroom. Also, if signs of your anxiety show, it will not hurt your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kiesha

    Dear Kay I have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea late last year and I am constantly tired and sleep A LOT. So my doctor sent me to a psychologist for depression which I am now on medication for as well as anxiety. I also have visual and audio hallucinations,diabetes, and migraines. My psychologist is trying to figure out if it’s a neurological problem or psychosis. I was initially denied ssd and am awaiting my hearing with a judge. My doctor refuses to cooperate however, stating I don’t have broken legs or back so what am I disabled from. What do I do and will this hurt my chances? I lost my job of 13 years due to all of this and I’m at the point where I have completely given up.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kiesha,

      I suggest that you get an experienced Social Security attorney to prepare your case for the hearing. Also, see if you can get support for your claim from your psychologist. 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

  • Katelynn

    I am 18, just released from foster care in February of 2015. I have been hospitalized for trying to commit suicide multiple(5-7) times since early 2013. I am in “special” day classes (high school level) due to my anxiety and depression. I was recently in individual and group therapies and anger management classes. I only stopped because I aged out of foster care and moved in with my boyfriend who has a minimum wage job. it was recommended to me (few months before I was out of Foster Care) by my mom and social worker that I apply for benefits, and my social worker was the one who originally sent the application for benefits (Nov/Dec 2014) and I barely had a CE last Tuesday. I am very stressed about the outcome of the CE because it does affect whether I qualify or not. Am I at risk for not being approved/qualifying? is my background not enough?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katelynn,

      With your history, you may be eligible for benefits, but there is no way to know for sure until you get a decision. If you are denied you can appeal. If you appeal, I recommend you request your claim file so you can see the exact reasons and that your hire an experienced Social Security attorney. When you hire an 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

  • Ricca

    Hi Kay I was sent for CE but i was sent to a have a phisical exam but i applt for mental illness panic attack with agora and depression. I am very confused why ssd have to sent me to that kind of doctor.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ricca,

      I suggest that you call the examiner at the Disability Determination Services and ask why you were sent for a physical examination. (It is possible that the evidence of disability due to mental illness was not sufficient for approval and they were checking to see if you might be physically disabled.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lisa

        I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizoaffective by my phychiatrist this month after I applied for SSI. been taking meds for schizophrenia for 6 plus months now from my primary care doctor he referred me to see a phychiatrist. I applied for disability and had to see a phychiatrist from the SSI. My doc sent in all my records in. what are my chances for getting approved for SSI?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lisa,

          I cannot assess your chances of being approved. Approval will depend on how much you are limited by your psychiatric condition.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Ricca

      Hi Kay my case worker said that they have made a decision on june 15. But it was sent for quality review. Is it most likely that my case worker approved me but wants to double check? I called her and asked her if im denied she said that i have to wait for the notice through mail. About why she sent me for physical exam is because i was complaining about dizziness and my knee. The wait is driving me crazy.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Ricca,

        A certain percentage of claim decisions are selected randomly for quality review before the decision is released to the claimant. It is neither an indication of approval or denial.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Edwin

          Hi I’m 20 and I have autism adhd depression and anxiety n I have a court date coming up next month what are my chances of winning the case I also got a letter from my physiatrist where she filled out that I was permanently disable is a good sign to win

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Edwin,

            Your psychiatrist’s opinion is important to your claim; however, the letter from her should give the reasons why she believes you to be disabled, listing her observations and psychiatric findings and any supportive test results.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Star M

    Is it necessary to be “mentally impaired” in order to receive SSI benefits for mental illness? By this, I mean: do you basically have to seem like you’re slow during the interview?

    I have filed for SSI and have an upcoming interview, but am under pressure by a third party to act less intelligent than I actually am. Basically, I have to have a “fake it to make it” mentality; but the thing is I actually do need the help though I’m just not a stupid person, just a mentally ill person.

    I have myriad mental illnesses, so it’s a legitimate claim, but, again, I am by no means stupid. However, this third party swears that I need to act like I’m not very smart in order to convince the interviewing psychiatrist that I’m deserving of benefits.

    I don’t like the idea of that at all, as I feel (well, I’d hope anyway) that the government should be smart enough to differentiate between mental retardation and being mentally ill. I just don’t get it. I need the money, as I truly can’t work. I tried for years, and every time I work it just never works out. I always flake out and have panic attacks, etc. And I’ve been this way since childhood.

    Anyway, I’m just having a lot of anxiety over the situation right now, I’m not sure what to do. I can’t bomb this interview, but I fear that a trained psychiatrist would see right through me playing stupid.

    Is this third party in the right to think I need to appear less cognizant than I actually am, or should I be myself? I am very smart, but I have had several hospitalizations and a spotty work history, not to mention several diagnoses.

    Thanks for any advice you have. I’m under a lot of pressure right now, so I’m glad I found this site!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Star,

      You are right that there is a difference between a organic mental deficit and mental illness. People who are not mentally impaired are approved based on mental illness. The best approach is to be honest and forthright about your symptoms and limitations during the examination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Baddest N Pink

        So u only get approved if you be honest will today I went and for examination today at12n I told the truth Wat I use to do and wat I don’t do no more.. calmly the questions I just answered them with truth and if I get it I get it if not try again it’s drespression and it’s Abt living wise not being crazy you can just be you….

        • Kay Derochie

          Thank you for sharing.

  • Angie

    Hi Kay i just went to my CE. Its weird that i am applying for mental disability but social disability send me to Physical doctor. But the thing is the doctor finds something wrong with my right knee so he ask me to get an xray. I saw the xray and the technician said i have a little athritis. Doctor also said that if ssdi didnt send me for mental exam that they might have enough paperworks for that. Any idea why i was sent to a physical doctor? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angie,

      Perhaps your mental health records don’t support disability and there was mention of some physical illness that prompted them to gather more information to see if you are physically disabled. Another possibility could be that a clerical error occurred and you were sent to the wrong doctor.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Angie

        My current psychiatrist said i am unable to work due to stress common to work enviroment. I have 4-5 different doctors that i went to for my anxiety. Should i call my case analyst and ask or just wait? Its been 2 weeks

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Angie,

          Disability claims take from two to five months to process so it is too early to follow up.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • denise

      Dear Kay, I was molested at age 5-8. My mom died when i was age 9. I’ve been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, mood disorder, PTSD, and personality not to mention I suffer from asthma. I’m 30. I’ve never held any job for longer than 6 months but I have worked a lot of jobs. There are also 3 Dr’s that say this is a permanent until death. I’m on 5 medications and suicidal every other day of my life
      If I didn’t have a 9 year old son I would take my life at any given moment. I’ve been in and out of mental facilities since age 13. Every attempt to get disability has been denied even with an attorney! Does the government just want people with mental illness to die??? I don’t get it. I look normal, I graduated from high school, I can lift 10 lbs!!! Denial reason’s!?!? I can’t care for my own child properly without the help of my only family membe . My grandma whose 80 years old. If she dies my son goes into foster care???? Wtf!!!! This is the government we trust?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Denise,

        If you are currently earning less that $1,090 gross monthly. Try filing a new application with a different attorney, who might have a different approach. Be sure to indicate that you get help caring for your child and the reasons why. Have your grandmother complete a third-party statement about your symptoms and problems you have. List the reason for every job termination. Get statements from employers who have seen your symptoms on the job if the job loss was related to your health. If denied, carry you appeal all the way.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Angie

    Hi Kay. I have a CE appointment in 2 weeks and i am a little nervous. On the letter i have received they are asking me to bring all my medications i am taking. Is that good? Any idea why?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angie,

      The request for medications is routine. The consulting doctor wants to see the medication treatment you have been receiving–kinds and amounts.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kenny

    Hello, I worked from 1989-2002 in a job that I paid into S.S. Then from 2003-2014 as a public employee that didn’t pay into the system because I paid into OPERS . My question is do i still qualify for SSD. I have 2 herniated discs and PTSD. I appreciate your help thanks in advance

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kenny,

      Based on what you have told me, no, you are not insured for Social Security Disability because you did not earn Social Security work credits in the ten years before you became disabled (presumably in 2014). Perhaps you can apply for public employee disability benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Charles D

    Hello, I am 52 years old. I am currently on disability. I am on disability for severe depression, ocd, ptsd and generalized anxiety disorder. I have been on disability for 15 months and I am feeling much better. My depression and my other conditions seem to be well managed with medication and I feel I can go back to work. My question is, can my disability be stopped if my condition is well managed by medications? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Charles,

      If you have recovered from your disability, you should report the recovery and request that your benefits be stopped. If, however, your recovery is relatively new, just a few months and you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), I would recommend that you request a Ticket to Work and attempt to work for a while to be sure that your health holds up under the stresses of working. You will receive full benefits while you work. You can learn more about this Trial Work Period and other SSDI work incentives in Social Security’s Red Book, which you can view on Social Security’s website, http://www.ssa.gov or request at a local Social Security office. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the work incentives are different and whether or not benefits continue will depend on how much you are earning. More information is available in the Red Book and from your local office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Angie

    Hi Kay,

    My psychologist fill out the form from ssdi. She said i am unable to work due to luck of concentration and down focus and interaction. If the ssdi analyst called me and telling me that she have not received some of the forms yet, that means shes already working on my case am i correct?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angie,

      Yes, a call from the claims examiner means that she is working on your case. You should get a list of what she is waiting for and follow up with the medical providers to be sure that they respond to her request by the date she said.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Angie

        If 1 of my docotor is taking a long time to answer. Will she go on processing my claim? How much longer will it take and what are my chances of winning the benefits? Psych explained on the form why i cant work. Thanks again Kay.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Angie,

          If the claims examiner has enough information to approve your claim without one doctor’s response, she will probably do so. If she doesn’t get a response within a reasonable length of time and she doesn’t have enough to approve your claim, you may be sent to an examination or the claim may be denied for lack of evidence. If you have not already done so, follow up with the doctor’s office and let the examiner know that you have followed up and are trying to get response sent. It is good that your psychiatrist supports your claim, but I cannot predict whether your claim will be approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Angie

            I just talked to my ssdi analyst she said that they are going to sent me for evaluation. I dont know if thats good or bad. Sigh :/ ….any idea how long will i have to wait for that appointment.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Angie,

              Being sent for a consultative examination is neither good nor bad. It does indicate that your medical records don’t provide enough information about your condition. Usually exams are scheduled within a month of notice.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Jose

    Hello I use to do drug and now I was left with a mental condition and very depress I have been evaluated by physic doctors and have been taking medication and now I been Having side effect with the medication and in starting to slowly loose my visition. I was incarcelated due to my medical condition. I don’t collect any type of benefit, I can’t work because I forget a lot of things do I gave chance of being able to collect any type of benefit. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jose,

      Neither Social Security nor SSI pays benefits for drug addiction or conditions caused or contributed to by drug addiction unless the conditions arising from the addiction are irreversible. It is possible that you might have an irreversible disabling condition and, thus, might qualify for benefits.

      If you have been released from jail, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are still in jail, when you are within three to five months of a definite release date, you an file a pre-release application. Some prisons have a pre-release agreement with Social Security and assist inmates with applications. If you are currently incarcerated and there is no pre-release agreement with your prison, you or someone on your behalf can contact the Social Security Administration to help you file. The toll-free number is 1-800-772-1213.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Miss A

    My psychiatrist filled out my disability papers and said my disability began in 2005 but I wasn’t diagnosed until 2013. How can he determine that? I’ve had problems all my life with school and work. This disability stuff is stressful.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Miss A.,

      I suggest that you ask your psychiatrist about the date and his reasoning.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Angie

    I applied for disability for Gad depression and agoraphobia. SSD sent me 4 forms 1 about my past work history. 1 for me and for my husband asking about my normal daily routine and 1 for my psychiatrist. When i gave my psychiatrist my form my social worker said i am unable to work for now because of my condition. If my paychiatrist tell them about that will i get approved? I havent been working for almost 5 years now i just applied. But i have been seeing doctors regularly not shrinks regularly. But i am now seeing psychiatrist and psychologist regularly now. Send ssd my old medical records and prescribe medicines also. What are my chances of getting disability.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angie,

      Whether or not you are approved will depend on how much you are limited by your conditions and how well the conditions and limitations are documented. A statement from your psychiatrist and/or psychologist that they think you are unable to work could help your claim, but the statement will have to be supported by tests or clinical findings.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Amber

    Hi I’m inquiring on how to go about applying for sis for my son. He has been hospitalized 2 times this year and has a mental illness. I’m not sure on what steps to take

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amber,

      If your son is a minor, the application will be for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you will have to file the application either in a local Social Security office or in an interview with a local office. If your son is an adult, the application may be for Social Security Disability (SSD) and/or SSI. A Social Security claim can be started online. The articles under the Apply SSD tab at the top of each page of this website have information about filing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • val

    my husband was let go and put in in the status of medical retirement from homeland security do to his diabetes. He can work and is under a doctors care and takes all different kinds of medicine, he applied for ssdi and was denied stating that he is not disable but yet his job claimed he was, if he gets a lawyer are his chances of getting approved for ssdi any better, and if they deny him again can he go after his old job because hes really not disable?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Val,

      Unless your husband is at least in his fifties, to be eligible for Social Security benefits, he must be disabled from more than his last occupation; he must be disabled from all occupations that he could perform if he did not have medical limitations. If he believes that he is unable to do any kind of work, he should appeal using an attorney who is experienced with Social Security claims.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lu

    My daughter was denied for SSD. The SS office wants me to tell her because of her condition (depression, bi polar, mulitple suicide attempts). Does it make sense that they denied her, but too afraid to tell her based on “her condition”? I have not told her becsuse I fear what she may do!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lu,

      I suggest that you talk with your daughter’s doctor and ask him to break the news to her. And, no, the denial does not make sense to me unless the denial is because they don’t think she will be disabled for twelve months, which is required for an approval. If you want to help her appeal, I suggest that you request a copy of her claim file so you can see the basis of denial as it is written in the decision memo and that you hire an 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 it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • nono

    I was raped and had the child never pressed charges and I don’t want to is it possible to get some kind of help with money I don’t want to press charges bc i don’t want that asshole to know he has a child but I’m in need of some money for the child for clothes and a new bed she is four now and never once told anyone who her farther is . things got behide I have always done everything on my own but I’m despite need of things for her and can’t afford it

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nono,

      I suggest that you contact your local state or county social services department to see whether you qualify for food stamps, energy assistance, or any other assistance. If you qualify for some kind of benefits, it might free up some of your income for clothing and a bed for your daughter. If there is no government program that can help, perhaps they can give you the names of local non-profits that might be able to help. Some towns have furniture depots where you can get free or low cost furniture. You can also apply for health insurance for her under CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) by going to http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jamie

    I applied for disability in February of this year, I was scheduled for evaluations because they said my medical records weren’t enough, both psych and medical, but today was told that they received additional info last week that made it so they could make a decision on the psych part of my claim, so now I just have to go for the medical evaluation, which could be cancelled if they get more records before the appt. I have suffered from major depression, anxiety, panic disorder and insomnia for more than 10 years, I have medical records spanning the last 5 years from being treated for all of those, and I started suffering from multiple herniated discs in my lower back and degenerative disc disease about 6 years ago, I can’t stand to leave my house for weeks at a time sometimes, I can’t sit or stand or walk for longer than 5 minutes before I’m extremely uncomfortable, just wondering what you think my chances are of being approved for disability benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jamie,

      If your back condition is as disabling as you describe, I would expect you to be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Angie

    To addition to my first post. I am always dizzy. Psychiatrist diagnose me with gad/depression/agoraphobia. I barely go out the house and when i am out i mostly stay in the car to avoid walking and the crowd. I lie down all the time sleep all the time i will only get up to use the bathroom to smoke and to eat.

  • Angie

    My 1st massive panic attack ive had was in june 2010. Since then my life havent been the same. I got anxious over little things. Doctor put me out of work for months until i just decided to quit. I used to be able to drive alone but not anymore since i had a panic attack while driving on the freeway. I can drive near places 5mins far but that makes me anxious as well. When i go to my doctors someone always have to be with me or else i wont go. I havent been working for almost 5 years. I got hired on 2013 i went to the orientation after few minutes i walked out because i was having panic attack. I also apologized to the person that hired me through email and i still have it will it help if i add it on the paper works they are asking am i most likely to get approved? I have been going to the doctors regulary and i am seeing a psychiatrist right now. Sent the application for disability 5 days ago and im anxious about what will the decision would be. I need some of your input please.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angie,

      Yes, send a copy of the email to the potential employer in 2013 to be added to your claim file. It is possible that you could be approved, but I can’t say for sure. It typically takes two to five months to get a decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Angie

        I have found a copy of my first emergency visit on 2010 remarks complain shortness of breath. I have found some old prescription for my anxiety/depresion. I have found old blood test ordered by my doctor and some notes that i will be referred to a mental care in addition there is a note from my old doctor to come back in 2 months for depression check all that in year 2013. For recent one i have some copy of my prescription ortopedic referral because of my neck hurting and some papers i signed at my psych clinic. Also sent the copy of my next appointment with my psych. Those are xerox copied. Is it best for me to send the email to my case worker now? Thanks Kay for answering my questions. I appreciate it 🙂

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Angie,

          You submit now anything you want considered in the evaluation of your claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • LeBlanc

    Hi, Kay, I’m back with another question. If you remember from earlier on another article I was scheduled for a mental examination so I went. I got a letter saying now I need to go for a physical exam. My disabilty is not based on any physical disability so I really don’t see the point in going and it’s really frustrating. Should I ask why this is nesscary to the DDS? This has put a big emotional toll on my health and I’m really uncomfortable traveling to a completely different city again.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear LeBlanc,

      The physical examination after the mental examination is an indication that the mental health information in file does not support disability by itself. Your medical records must show some physical condition and it is likely that the exam is being requested because it is thought that perhaps your mental and physical conditions together disable you and they need more medical information to make a determination. If you don’t go to the physical exam you are likely to be denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • stacy

    I was raped and tried to kill myself when I was 14,I was put in a mental hospital ,my mom took me out of it 2 days later, after that I remember going to a counselor, was put on Zoloft,my mom stopped taking me to the doctors, I ended up quitting school because I couldent cope, I haven’t been to a psychiatrist since I was young,even though I should have, I can’t concentrate most of the time,I sleep so much because sleeping is escaping from reality, I don’t have much work history at all, I know take medicine because I have hyperthyroidism

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stacey,

      Your posting does not include a question. If you have a question, please let me know.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Caleb

    How does one get around the disability GLITCH if one is disabled, NO income, living on limited savings and recognized as disabled by one’s doctor BUT has more assets in bank than SSI allows and has not put in enough quarters in for SSDI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Caleb,

      Over time you will use your assets to support yourself as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) intends. If you are still disabled when you have $2,000 or less in countable assets, you can apply for SSI. Note, first, that if you give away assets, it could extend the period of time you are not financially eligible for SSI and, second, that some assets are not counted as resources. You can find a list of excluded resources at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/text-resources-ussi.htm

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jill

    Hi, Kay. I am 58 years old and am currently in the request for reconsideration stage. I have bipolar 1 disorder, obsessive/compulsive disorder, general anxiety disorder, and social phobia along with arthritis in my knees and hip. I had several prolonged absences from my job as well as many many absences when I just could not get up to go to work. I obtained documentation on the long absences and sent them to my lawyer, but unfortunately there is no documentation of the intermittent absences. I would miss up to 3 days of work per month. I worked 23 years as a business analyst and had to leave last summer because I could no longer fulfill the mental demands of the job. Also, I can only sit/stand for 30 minutes at a time and my doctor has submitted a letter to SSA stating this. The documentation for absences and my ability to sit/stand are new information, along with the recent diagnosis of OCD. Do you think I have any chance of winning at reconsideration? I really need the money as we have lost over half of our income because of my inability to work. Any insight is appreciated. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jill,

      Based on your description of your condition and work challenges, I would say there is a possibility of approval.

      I suggest that you try to get a statement from your former supervisor or manager that although the company did not keep a record of scattered absences (presumably because your were salaried), he or she remembers your missing about three days a month (assuming he or she does remember that). It would be helpful if the person could remember the approximate month and year the absences became so frequent and include that in the statement. A statement about your declining work performance with specific problems listed could also help.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • jose

    Hello i had ssi since i was 13 and they cut me off in 2014 and now i went to court and they appovrd me again when will i get it back

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jose,

      A reinstatement of benefits should be made within a month of your receiving the judge’s letter saying that you are still disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ashley

    My father in law tried to commit suucide and is not permanently disfigured. While he can write, read and has all motor functions, he cannot eat or speak properly. He wants to file for disability but I am unsure if he even has a chance since the disability is self inflicted. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ashley,

      Disability caused by a suicide attempt is not excluded as far as I know. Disability incurred in the course of committing a crime is excluded, but I am not aware of any state law that makes suicide a crime.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • shane

    I am getting mental health disabilty I am schizophrenic & ptsd & other stuff. I like just staying at home away from people & don’t want to be on drugs or see mental health providers. Do I HAVE to in order to keep getting disability?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shane,

      If you do not have periodic check-ups with a psychologist or psychiatrist, you will have no proof that you continue to be disabled. The choice is yours; however, it would be to your advantage to be under regular care.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Irma

    I have suffered from depression, anxiety and manic episodes all my life. I am 56 years old. In my childhood I suffered from seizures and was prescribed Phenofarbital. I saw a therapist for brief periods at 27, 36, 42. But I never visited a psychiatrist. My grandmother, father have suffered from the same symptons but also never diagnosed. There have been many cases of mental illness in their family history. In November 2014 I had a nervous breakdown and have not worked since then, currently on medical leave. I took many bipolar quizzes online and the results are positive. My doctor says I am too old for a bipolar diagnose. Who can help me? Is this true? He says I have a general depression and prescribed me Prozac.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Irma,

      As far as your diagnosis goes, you could see another psychiatrist for a second opinion. If you have not already applied and you have not been given a prognosis for a return-to-work date, I recommend that you apply for Social Security Disability as soon as you have gotten a second opinion. When you apply, describe your history as background.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Felicia

    Hi my mom is 68 years old, Insulin dependent and legally blind. She currently get a Retirement check and ssi Disabilty. She will stop receiving the disability check. However this is her issue. She’s been severely depressed for the past 33 years. She has never been treated or evaluated. My father and I have just noticed her changes. She’s very difficult to live with. She doesn’t like to take baths. She doesn’t go anywhere. She doesn’t talk to her friends. She doesn’t have a relationship with her grandkids. She can’t think for herself. She needs daily reminders all day everyday about what she needs to do. Get out of bed, take a bath and eat. My dad makes her take her meds. She has outburst and anxiety attacks. She only finds comfort with her poodle. She lies and apologize and then forget her lies. One day she had a number two accident on her bed from a laxative, she took her blanket off the bed and put it in a closet. My dad found out weeks later when the odor started smelling. She said her dog used the bathroom on the bed. Does she qualify for any type of mental health assistance?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Felicia,

      If your mother is receiving Social Security retirement, she should also be covered by Medicare. I recommend that you take your mother to a doctor for a general physical and mental work up and referral to the right specialist. She may have a mental illness and/or she might have begun to experience some dementia. Because she is over full retirement age, she is not eligible for cash disability benefits. (The SSI benefit she has been receiving would be SSI for advanced age.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Varria Kendricks

    I just resumed therapy yesterday focusing on ptsd from complex childhood trauma, which abruptly is practically paralyzing me ability to function normally and/or work anymore. My last job, Human Resources told me I must be off work 3 months before I can file for long term disability from the job, and since I failed to secure short term disability to help in interim I presume I will need to seek some type of public assistance/welfare. They added I will have to pay full insurance to COBRA of $400 per month (which I won’t be able to afford of course). I am so confused & wondered if you could address this while I simultaneously am seeking answers elsewhere. Thank you for all that you do in helping so many people.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Varria,

      Check with your state or county social services department to apply for cash assistance if they have it, food stamps, and energy assistance. Also, if they can take an application for Medicaid, apply for it as well. If they decline an application for Medicaid, you can apply for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. You have sixty days after your employer-sponsored insurance ended to apply. With little or no income, you should qualify for government assistance to cover the premiums or you might qualify for Medicaid through the ACA. You can get more information at http://www.healthcare.gov.I suggest that you attempt to apply for the long-term disability through your employer if at two months, your doctor is saying that you will be off at least three months. It takes some time to file a claim and have it processed. To be eligible for Social Security Disability, you have to be disabled or expect to be disabled for twelve months or more.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Varria Kendricks

        Thank you so much Ms (or Mr) Kay! I turned 59 on Dec 27th so I have (5-8) a few years before retiring at my maximum social security benefit allowed, correct? I’ve worked (workaholically) much of my life even though I secretly wrestled with depression. On top of this since 2000, I began having increasing challenges with flashbacks and obsessive ideations associated with the PTSD. After finding out today that I will likely have months of destitution with no means of support if I follow through and submit ssdi application, I am going to try my “plan B” of selling my home soon as possible, downsizing and finding less stressful work.
        The work I’ve done for the past 7 months has become a huge trigger for me, but I still believe that I can get some therapeutic benefit (and help myself financially) by being productive in some type of employment as long as I possibly can work. Ideally, if I could secure a job that pays me less than 1090 monthly, then I would be eligible for ssdi benefits as well correct? I know I do not live in an ideal world, but I’m still hanging in to one of my oldest coping tools, being a dreamer. I also laugh to keep from crying.
        Thank you again for all your help! God bless you forever.

        • Varria Kendricks

          Dear Kay,
          Incidentally I was a case manager, and I am a LCDC (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) since 1998. I was fired 2/1/13, from facility I had worked at over 11 years. Since the firing, I’ve been on a “slippery slope” of existence among so many other humans who “fall through the cracks” of society everyday. My earnings went from the best financial year I ever had (2012), to practically “0”, almost instantly. I am curious how that effects my points I have been reading about here.Thank you again for all you do
          Sincerely, Varria k

          • Varria Kendricks

            Dear Kay,
            Incidentally I was a case manager, and I am a LCDC (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) since 1998. I was fired 2/1/13, from facility I had worked at over 11 years. Since the firing, I’ve been on a “slippery slope” of existence among so many other humans who “fall through the cracks” of society everyday. My earnings went from the best financial year I ever had (2012), to practically “0”, almost instantly. I am curious how that effects my points I have been reading about here.Thank you again for all you do
            Sincerely, Varria k
            PS-Before I googled to do any research on who I was actually writing to, it occurred to me that some writers use pen names professionally. So I could even be speaking to a male rather than a female as I would have initially presumed. So, mid writing, that thought hit me, and I spontaneously added in parenthesis, “or Mr” Kay. I have since found an “About me” page of yours which confirms to me that you are female. So if my adding “Mr” seemed disrespectful, I apologize. I meant no offense. Thank you.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Varria,

              No offense taken. Please see my response to your first post.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Varria,

            Please see my response to your prior post.

            You do not say why you were fired. If you were let go do to performance problems caused by your mental health problem or symptoms of mental health issues on the job and your earnings since then have been below $1,090, I suggest that you apply now, claiming your last day of work in the case manager job. (“Practically 0” implies that you have been earning under the substantial gainful activity level.

            You must have twenty work credits in the ten years before disability began and four credits can be earned per year. If you were working steadily through the ten years preceding February 2013, then you would have enough work credits, even with intermittent work after that, to remain insured through 2017. If you are approved, your benefits will be calculated based on your highest thirty-five years of earnings.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Varria,

          Your full retirement age is To receive a full retirement benefit is sixty-six in two months if you were born in 1955; sixty-six and four months if you were born in 1956. If you work and earn less than $1,090 gross per month, you can apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI). Whether or not your are approved will depend on whether your psychiatric records prove that you are unable to work more hours or in a different past occupation that pays more than $1,090.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Bobby

    I am 45 years old, I have always struggled with anxiety, I actually left a job I had been at for 12 years because of physical and mental issues, I was 28 at the time and suffered from so much foot and leg pain that I had to quit, I crawled around the house for 3 months until finally going back to school and got a degree so as to not have to be on feet all day,I found out quickly in my classes that I had terrible anxiety issues that lead to being on antidepressants for 15 years , I have been at my current job for about 15 years and last spring had major breakdown, I attempted suicide multiple times, only once was it documented and I was sent to a mental institution for week, I was diagnosed with major depression disorder, I have dealt with it by myself for most part, I am really struggling, is there any hope for me getting disability,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bobby,

      I suggest that you apply for Social Security Disability and claim the day after you last worked as your disability date. It is possible that you could be eligible for disability benefits, but it will be difficult to prove that you have been continuously disabled without medical care. Social Security might send you to a doctor for a mental evaluation, but your claim would be much stronger if you got started seeming a psychiatrist and therapist now and filled them in on what has gone on while you were not getting care, including telling them about the unreported suicide attempts and how you function each day. Also get statements about the suicide attemps from anyone who is aware of the attempts so you can submit the statements with your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • mel

    I was injured in a motor vehicle accident in 2008. I’ve seen multiple drs and a plastic surgeon to remove glass fragments from my face. I have also been to counseling off and on since. I have not been able to work due to injuries and many drs were unwilling to give clear diagnosis bc they did not want to be called in to court. My lawsuit against the drunk driver who injured me is coming to a close and I am still unable to work. I’ve been diagnosed with severe anxiety, ocd and ptsd. I have had ligament surgery on my knee and cortizone shots. Still have knee pain hip pain and shoulder pain but I have not been able to keep going to mental health due to ny driving issues and not having a sitter to go to appts or car trouble. ..etc. I also have intersistal cystitis a bladder problem. Do I qualify for ssi or ssd? I am only 27. I feel that not having a current mental health dr can hurt my chances though I went for years. Please advise. I’m stuck in limbo

    • mel

      I have issues driving and riding in cars especially in winter conditions, as well as difficulty in social situations grocery stores etc. I cannot sit or stand for more than an hour without pain or lift more than 25 pounds eithout pain. I try very hard to stay active but find myself resting a lot because of pain or depression. I get very frustrated and cannot articulate myself in social situations or if I know I will be driving or forced to ride in a vehicle for over 30 minutes. I have panic attacks and have to get out.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Mel,

        This response is to both your posts. To be approved, it is likely you will have to prove that both your physical and mental conditions are limiting. I suggest that you apply for Social Security Disability with the assistance of an experienced Social Security attorney. You have multiple conditions and it often takes an attorney to present all the information in a manner that eligibility is clear. To assist your attorney with the claim, write out a chronology of events. Include each time you changed doctors or treatment modalities, developed new symptoms, had some symptoms go away, or developed medication side effects. Also make up a comprehensive list of all the health care providers you have seen and the approximate start and stop dates of seeing them. Be sure to explain the reasons you have not continued to get psychiatric care. It would also help if you could try figure out a plan to overcome the obstacles and start getting mental health care now.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Cindy Treadway

    I have worked since 1976. At many different jobs. The last job I had ended on January 26th of this year. I was cleaning in a rest area for the last 6 years and the last company was a company that hired the disabled, and they said my anxiety was severe, also PTSD, depression. Well, I couldn’t make it on this job *they say) and walked off in the middle of a severe panic attack at 4am because I felt threatened by a couple in the rest area whose behavior did not seem correct to me. They were having me see a counselor with this same company because I had had another severe attack in September in which I walked off the job and was Baker Acted (florida)..Now they won’t rehire me even though it was a job for people with disabilities and the counselor told me to file for disability and I have. What are the chances I will get it? I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I am devastated. I found out the couple that was in there that night, the girl has been arrested three times for drugs, theft, and domestic violence. Yet nobody even gave me any consideration that their behavior put me in a panic attack. No one would help me that night and my supervisor refused to answer the phone. Do you think I should get a lawyer?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cindy,

      You might discuss your situation with an employment rights attorney or a representative in an Americans with Disabilities Act office.

      To be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must be unable to work in any occupation you have done in the past and also, if you are under age fifty, in other occupations that you could do without your mental health limitations. In part, you will need to prove that you can’t work as a housekeeper in any environment, not just in rest areas.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sarah

    My ss work statement says I have 9 credits but they started when I turned 16. I am now 30. I have not worked in 10 years. Other than making $400 one year in there. I had 1 year in my life of work that was a livable wage. When do they count the ten years ? My 9 credits are all before I turned 21. I have increaing mental health issues. I was denied many years ago but that was for physical disabilities didn’t have the diagnosis I do now.

    • Sarah

      I believe I got myy ADHD diagnosis around 22 but have struggled since grade school. If I was disabled at 21, 22, 23 do they count the credits for the ten years before then or ten years before you apply ?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Sarah,

        Work credits for being currently insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI) are counted backwards from the point in time you became disabled, that is, the date you had to stop working because of your disability or first could not earn $1,090 gross per month due to your disability. You must also be fully insured. The number of work credits required depends on your age when you became disabled.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Sarah

      I had one credit the year I turned sixteen, one credit the year I was 17, one credit the year I was 18, 4 credits the year I turned 19, one credit the year I was 20 and then one more credit the year I turned 22. And none since. I am 30 and will turn 31 later this year.
      Are diagnosises retroactive? I am awaiting an ASD diagnosis I had problems my whole life but was never tested until present. Do they have to go by the diagnosis date as the start of a disability or from when you were unable to work?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Sarah,

        Please see my general response to the first of your three posts. This response is to the more specific information you have provided and supplements my prior response.

        You may have had enough work credits to have been insured for a period of time around age twenty-two. The minimum number of credits for a person who becomes disabled is six. However, to be eligible based on that past work, you would have to prove that you were disabled back at that time while you were still insured, that is, you would need medical and/or school records showing disability. If you do not have that proof, you could apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, which does not have a work-credit requirement. For SSI, in addition to being disabled, your (and your spouse’s) income and assets have to be below a certain level. You can read about SSI under the SSI tab at the top of each page on this Disability Advisor website.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Tsunade

    I’m 28 and have been on disability as a child survivor of my dads because I was found disabled before I was 22. March of 2014 I got a letter stating they were going to review my disability. I didn’t hear anything from them about it until June they sent me to 3 different places. I still haven’t heard anything from them and I went to my regular dr Frday Feb. 13, 2015 they informed me that my Medicare wasn’t active. I called to find out and after 2 hours waiting I was informed that they either found my disability has improved or that I had been working. Neither one of those is true. I’m so scared about this I don’t know what to do I’m afraid if I went to local ss office I may get to angry I have bad bipolar I’ve never hurt anyone I’ve only hurt my self. What should I do? The lawyer who I had while trying to get the ss started in 2008/2009 is no longer at the firm. Anyway to get it back? Please any advice

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tsunade,

      Apparently, you did not get a notice of termination and your benefits have not stopped, so the decision must be recent and the notice on the way. This would mean that you have a sixty-day appeal period in which you can appeal. If you appeal within 10 days of the notice date, you can request continuation of benefits while the appeal is pending. I am uncertain whether Medicare will continue while the appeal pends or not. You do need a knowledgeable Social Security attorney to assist you with the appeal. It does not have to be the attorney that originally represented you. When you file the appeal, request a copy of your claim file so that you and your attorney will know the exact reasons for the termination decision.

      As far as going to the office to be sure that your benefits are being terminated and to report not having received a notice, I suggest that you take a friend or relative with you to provide moral support and concentrate on the fact that the person you are talking to did not make the determination so there’s no reason to be angry with him or her.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mark v

    Dear anyone,
    My mother has been on ssd for ten years due to her mental illness that she denies ..I’ve caught her talking to her self and hear her yelling at the voice in her head…she is very good at manipulating the doctors to make them think she is not mentally ill…. And she refuses to admit this to anyone in family !!even though we all no she’s sick,,! This has been a on goin process w the family to try to get her so,e mental help but she refused to get help bc she goes into a rage on how we are sick and not her….she recently got a letter from ssd dept asking to update or maybe recertify that she’s sick! She. Might refuse bc of her sickness!,,what do I do as her son ?she is sick and can’t work and need s the ssd money to live and have food and shelter,”! My mom is very mentally ill and won’t admit it, what can I do to prove to ssd dept that’s she’s sick.?the things that happens w her ten yrs ago are very disturbing and sick!!will the want the reports from ten yrs ago or new proof?if they want new proof how would I do that assuming that she won’t see a psych doc even again and won’t admit that’s she’s sick?
    Please help me,!,
    Thank you
    Mark v

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mark,

      You can visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) and explain the situation and the symptoms she is displaying. Ask for the form that is used for family to record health observations in mental health claims or write out your observations–what you have seen, how often the symptoms occur. If other family or friends are aware, have each of them make their own statements. Each statement should include that your mother denies she is mentally ill. Explain that she has not had mental health treatment because of her denial and has refused such treatment when her family has tried to initiate it and because her condition is not apparent in short visits to the doctor for other things. Make the request that if she is to be sent for a psychiatric consultative examination, that the specialty not be listed on the request in the hopes she might attend.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Aaron

    I’m 19 years old and I have a history throughout my childhood of social anxiety and severe depression. Diagnosed with both when I was 13. Verbal and occasional physical abuse as a child has effected me in many ways I didn’t even know about until recent years. I dropped out of high school as well in my junior year due to my depression. I prefer to stay home, even though that makes me very anxious as well… I dread the thought of doing daily tasks (ANYTHING) for reasons I can’t understand, when in public my chest becomes very heavy and it’s difficult to breathe. I have worked in the past but these issues have worsened. My girlfriend and I recently had a job together (and were let go due to lack of appropriate hours) packaging seasoned crickets & mealworms (as individual contractors with lots of leeway regarding when to work) but most of the time we would have to leave early because my mind would race and make me feel like I’d have a panic attack if I’d stay longer. I never told this to our boss because I was embarrassed something so easy would effect me so intensely. I’ve taken medications in the past for depression & social anxiety and am afraid I’d have a nervous breakdown if I was even able to be employed… I’m extremely afraid of being judged. The only councilor I’ve been able to trust was one I’d see every day when I was a freshman in high school, but he unfortunately passed away. I haven’t felt like I could talk to anyone else since. I would at least like to deal with these issues before I put myself in a busy work environment again, but I can’t do that without losing where I live. I don’t know if I’m eligible for this because of how young I am, but I don’t want to become homeless either. Anyways, thank you very much for taking the time to read this… I’m clueless on what to do.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Aaron,

      You describe being unable to work at present. You can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and if you have enough work credits for Social Security Disability (SSDI). You can start the application for SSDI online at http://www.ssa.gov or start both applications by calling 1-800-772-1213 and saying you want to apply for SSDI and SSI. You can read about filing for disability benefits under the “Apply SSD” tab at the top of this page.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Desperate Mom

    Dear Kay,
    I have a 19 yr old who suffers from Depression, can he qualify for SSI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Desperate Mom,

      Whether or not your nineteen-year-old qualifies for disability depends on how severe the depression is and how much it limits his or her ability to function in a work place and on whether the depression has lasted or is expected to last twelve months. The best way to find out whether your child is eligible is for him or her to file an application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ray

    Ive worked on drilling rigs for 27 yrs. I have seen some serious accidents. Ive picked peoples fingers, toes, n helped EMTs pick up a dead body off the.rig floor. The last accident and last time i was on a rig, i saw my best friend get smashed by power tongs. I was the first responder. I thought he was gonna die. Ive had nightmares ever since. Also, in 2003, i buried my youngest son. People say i have changed for the worst ever since. I go off on people for stupid reasons and end up in a fist fight. I agree that i have a poor attitude towards athourity, especially when its in the hands of an incompetent person. Ive been in state hospital and mhmr places. I keep ttelling myself that suicide is a permanent answer to a temporary problem but i still have thoughts. Ive tried suicide twice by pills n hanging. I told the dr. that ssa had sent me to. Im waiting for them to determine if i get it or not. Wat do u think will happen??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ray,

      There is a possibility that you will be approved if your impulse control and possible PTSD keeps you from being able to function in the workplace.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • cj

    I’m 32 and quit my job due to paranoia/hallucinations I hear and see things that aren’t there. I have an appt to see a psychiatrist about it soon because it’s getting worse. I believe I have schizophrenia it runs in my family. I have not had a job in 6 years and am not able to have family help anymore financially. Will I be able to get disability while i get on meds and find a job?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear CJ,

      You might be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To get Social Security disability, you would have to prove that you were disabled while you still had enough work credits to be insured, which is at least a year ago and perhaps substantially longer. Proving disability in the past could be difficult if you are just now going to a doctor. It takes two to five months for an SSI claim to be processed and paid. I suggest that in addition to applying for SSI that you also contact your state’s social service department to see whether your state has any short-term disability benefits to assist you while your SSI claim is being processed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • tiffany

    Hello my name is tiffany i live in springfield il i have been diagnosed with bipolar depression and axiety i have seeked a cousolur since i was about 11 years old then started seeing a phycitrist as i got older but currently stopped going my mental issues cause me many problems in my life such as i cant be around other people like norman others due to mood swings my mood swings have also got me into illegal problems such as agg battery Also connected to my anger issues and mood swings would i be eligible for social security benefits

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tiffany,

      You do not mention having a work history. If you have not worked, you would not qualify for Social Security Disability. If you are unmarried and have a deceased parent or a parent who receives Social Security, you might qualify for Disabled Adult Child benefits on the parent’s earnings records. You can also apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, which does not have a work earnings requirement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Annoynymous

    I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder (bipolar and schizophrenia) Also anxiety I have tried to kill myself 3 times and I cut myself when im depressed. I have been fighting to get disability for alnos 2 years now. My Dr deemed me disabled and unfit to work. I was denied because they said I received it when I was younger/ All of this has got me depressed im waiting to go to court to hopefully win my case. But if i dont I dont know what im gonna do Im on all types of meds and cant fucntion most of the time. They make me tired and I cant operated a vehicle while on them. I take meds all day. My Dr wrote social security a letter saying I was disabled and this has got me really stressed out so I cut myself. They say my GAF level is a 50. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Annoynymous

      Correction my Mom was getting benefits when we were younger because she has the same thing I have. Ive been hospitalized 3 times TDOd all 3 times. I dont remember much about my episodes.

      • Annoynymous

        I tell my Dr and Case manager I am still depressed still hearing voices. I am taking 80 mg latuda at night 20 mg celexa in the morning. 10 mg valume a day along with medicine for tremors. I cant drive on any of these medicines. I have a lawyer and waiting to go to court. Also witnesses to my episodes.

        • Annoynymous

          So went to the hospital again and they pushed my hearing back for some odd reason. Got me on new meds which im sleep majority of the time im only awake 5 hours out of the day on these meds. I cant drive, im still depressed mostly because I feel like a complete failure. No one understands what im going through. And this disability crap has got me stressed beyond belief I feel really irrritable and pissed off.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Anonymous,

            Be sure that Social Security knows about the new medication side effects and the amount you are sleeping.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anonymous,

      This is a reply to all three of your posts.

      Just be sure that your attorney has all the information about your symptoms and medical treatment, follow through on your doctor’s orders, attend the hearing, follow your attorneys advice, and answer questions honestly.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Margaret Cabral

    correction

    my step Mother is almost my age

    Margaret

  • Margaret Cabral

    Disability Advisor Lawyers

    I am disabled since childhood, some things that happened are so bad I can’t write them here. I was abused and suffered from a disability due to the abuse . I get SSI which is so small and very limiting, I am wondering if after my Aunt whos Husband My Uncle by her marriage. She allowed me to be sent to a home far worse then the one I was in with a disabled mother who just was not able to take care of me and my brother. But I was not abused their and My Grandfather took care of me. I never recovered from the abuse of the 2nd home with criminals . I am wondering if I can get my Grandpas Social Security or My Uncles Social Security , my stop Mother is almost my age so thats a joke who will out live me with this disability. So I am thinking of Grandpa or Uncle once my Aunt dies whos 86 now I think. Will this be hopefully possibe to get off SSI and get Social Security under the highest paid Uncle I belive gets $2000. in 1980 so my aunt likely gets the max $2600. mo Even my Grandpa would be better then SSI checks assuming $1200. who worked in a laundry. The Uncle would be 1st choice and Grandpa 2nd choice getting better then SSI money is what I am after. When She dies is when I want to apply but if I could get Grandpa now it likely be about $1200. Can You Help Me Margaret

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Margaret,

      A disabled adult child (one who became disabled before age twenty-two) can receive benefits on a parent’s earnings record if the parent is deceased or receiving Social Security Disability or Retirement benefits on their own earnings record. Grandchildren can receive benefits on a grandparent’s earnings record only if the child was financially dependent on the the grandparent at the time the grandparent died or became disabled and both parents were either deceased or disabled and receiving benefits. There is not provision in the law for receiving benefits from any other relative’s earnings record. If you were eligible on your grandfather’s record, you would not receive the same amount as he did. Survivor benefits are three-quarters of the workers benefit.

      I suggest you check with local social service agencies to see whether you qualify for any benefits you are not now receiving such as subsidized housing or food stamps.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • pinky2

    I filed for ss/ssi have a attorney I Never been to a psychiatrist hospital but seeing a outpatient psychology once a month I’m on 5 different anxiety and psychosis meds for years. Also physical meds total of 15 medication I takes everyday. My biggest anxiety is going to the psych ward and vision getting strapped down and lock up. my meds prevent me from having to be force to be admitted. Will that stop me from getting approved for disibilty if I don’t have any hospital stay for my mental impairment

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pinky2,

      Not having been hospitalized will not necessarily keep you from being approved for disability benefits. Being on a lot of medication does not necessarily mean a person is disabled. What will be evaluated is whether you are able to work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hello– Axis I panic disorder w/ depression/insomnia/phobias (case opened w/ psychiatrist 2003) also complicated migraines (migraine neurologist)—Brain TIA hospital stay — Psychiatrist filled out the Lawyer RFC basically saying i’m disabled in social security terms– the lawyer wouldn’t take my case without it—I also see a therapist and a psychologist to work on my mental issues–Meds: xanax 5mg a day/ Trazadone 100-300 mg a day/ rozarem 8mg/ Tizanidine 2mg a day/ Gabapentin 600mg a day/ sumatriptan 100mg—-never held a job for more than 5 months—last 5 years can’t work due to mental issues.
    I didn’t list everything but looking at everything here what do you think miss Kay–thanks very much

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jojo,

      I can’t predict whether or not you will be approved; however, the fact that an attorney has taken your case indicates that an approval is at least possible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rob

    Dear kay

    I have not worked since 06 other than couple weeks in 2010 and few days this year, I ve had depression and anxiety and just recently went to hospital for suicidal thoughts, like a month ago, can I file for disability or wait for further treatment. Hospital I was for 4days put on prozac diagnosed with severe depression, last month. I have a dr apt in january and seen a thereapist few times and looking to get with a psychiatrist. When should I file for disability? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rob,

      I suggest applying as soon as you know that your disability has lasted or will last for twelve months. I suggest that you discuss your prognosis with your doctor if you are not sure how long you will be limited by your illness.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Beverly Calvo

    I am appealing a denial. After reviewing my file I noticed they changed my diagnosis to something vague and inaccurate. I don’t think the doctor they choose was appropriate. He is a child psychologist and did not spend much time with me. (My diagnosis is complex) I am very upset by this. Can I request a second opinion?

    Thank you, Miss. Diagnosed 🙂

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Beverly,

      It is up to you to refute the opinion of the consulting physician. You might have your own psychologist or psychiatrist read the consulting physician’s report and comment on it for your appeal. It is unlikely Social Security would honor a request for a second consultative examination with a different physician.

      If you do not have an attorney I recommend that you get one to help with the appeal and if you have not done so request a copy of your claim file so you can see the exact reasons for the denial. 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

  • Chadwick Goss

    I am curious as to what I should do to go about trying to get Disability payments. I have had SEVERE adhd my entire life, it was very disrupting in my childhood and has not seemed to get any better in my adult life. On top of that, I have the associated anxiety, which at times leaves me wanting to just rip everyone’s heads off. I have bounced from job to job repeatedly due to the inability to provide consistent performance due to my inability to give ANYTHING my full attention. I also suffer from psychical ailments due to a motorcycle wreck I was in when I was 18, after which I received very poor care from my doctors. I cannot afford to see a Dr or a Psychiatrist currently as I have NO job and NO income, and have been unemployed for about a year now. What options do I have being unable to jump through the hoops that social security administration demands? Am I a lost cause? Should I just jump off a roof now, or wait for a denial letter?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chadwick,

      I suggest that you simultaneously file a claim for benefits with the Social Security Administration and investigate enrolling in insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). When you file your claim, be sure to indicate that you write on the application what you explained to me. The Affordable Care Act offers a choice of health insurance carriers in your area with government subsidy for payment of premiums (you may not have to pay premiums.) You have until February 15, 2015 to enroll, but I suggest doing it quickly so that you can start getting treatment and developing a medical history. In the meantime, Social Security may send you to one or more independent doctors for examination (not treatment). If you get started with medical care before a decision is rendered (or it you are denied and appeal, while your appeal is pending), update your claim by notifying Social Security that you have new medical information and provide your new doctors’ contact information.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jessica

    Me and my husband both have severe social anxiety to the point that neither one of us can hold down a job. Our doctor diagnosed us both with social anxiety with severe panic attacks. He is currently on medication and seeing a therapist. I can’t take any medication due to pregnancy but I am seeing a therapist. But both of us really are unable to work but we were told that both of us couldn’t get disability and one of us still had to work. Is this true?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      The information you have given is incorrect. You and your husband can each file independent claims for disability benefits. If you are both approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your benefit amounts will be calculated at couple rates.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • niki

    I am 28 years old. I’ve never been hospitalized for my bipolar and anxiety but I have been diagnosed and I am currently on medication. I have tried to work to see how I do out in the public but after a few months I always quit my jobs. Being around people in a big area freaks me out and raises my anxiety. I have trouble sleeping at night. I feel like someone is always plotting on breaking in my house and I freak out over change. I was diagnosed as a child and as an adult. I was wondering if I were to apply for ssi if I had a chance at being approved since I’ve never been hospitalized and I have tried working. I haven’t had a job in the last year because I can’t handle the anxiety I get from being around people.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Niki,

      It is possible you are eligible. The only way to find out is to file a claim. You could also, at the same time, contact Vocation Rehabilitation to see whether they could help you get into work that did not require public contact.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • josiee

    Why was i denied DISABILITY 6x and NO DOCTORS can tell me,why i have CHRONIC PAINS from waist down even private area ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Josiee,

      I am unable to comment on the reasons for the denial of your claims. If you are filing new claims each time and have not appealed, I suggest you go through the full appeal process.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Barry

    Filed for disability Jan. 2014. I was born with spondylolisthesis which was one of the reasons I could no longer do my job(pain). Arthritis has also developed in all my joints and I am developing cataracts. Vision was critical for my job (of 26 years). I am 59 years old.
    I was sent to a mental health exam today…my attorney said not to worry…I’d be in and out…just give the best answer you can. I wasn’t basing my disability on my mental health but it all came out today…yeah, I’ve been treated for depression and panic attacks off and on for 40 years. The exam was very difficult because I kept drawing blanks with some of his questions…like what would I do if I was lost in the woods on a sunny day? I’m still not sure what I’d do and it’s been 7 hrs….lets just say I cried all the way home. He wrapped it up saying I had some OCD along with the depression and to tell my regular doctor about it and perhaps I should get back into counseling. I was with him about 45 minutes. Does this sound like it went well? I can’t figure out how to tie this in with my physical pain. Barry

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Barry,

      Social Security investigates and considers all conditions. It could be that your medical records mentioned depression or panic attacks and more information was needed. Sometimes it is difficult to establish disability with multiple conditions involved. If you are denied, appeal and get a knowledgeable 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 it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Barry

        Thanks for reading and responding to what I wrote. I am in that reconsideration stage….the whole process is confusing. I read what others wrote and everyone seems so knowledgable. Oh well….I feel like I’m in a washtub, spinning down the river without an oar. But I do have any attorney, thanks for the number anyway…Barry

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Barry. Hang on tight!

  • Jeanine

    Dear Kay,
    I have been told by my doctor to seek a psychiatrist that she recommended….they (the psychiatrist) told me that they do not full out paperwork if i apply for disability….y is that?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jeanine,

      Any doctor can choose whether or not to complete forms for disability claims. I suggest that you find out whether the psychiatrist will release his or her records to Social Security in lieu of a statement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Eric

    My husband was recently denied at the ALJ hearing in August 2014 our lawyer was very confident that we would win. I had RFC’s filled out by his doctors (the lawyer said we this form alone would be his best evidence). My husband has worked since he was 16 and now he is 44 and we have been fighting with social security for almost 4 years (just had hearing Aug 2014 and filed in Jan 2011). My husband suffers from Chronic Back Pain (had shots, physical therapy and then finally surgery which failed and still has pain that travels down his right leg, weakness in legs and its worse at times – flares up ), also because of the extreme pain and not able to work he has anxiety, depression, sleep deprived, dealing with identity, self worth and now anger (more so than ever because he does not understand what more can we prove, we have doctors saying he cannot work, the medicine’s he take alone makes him a liability to others). The Judge denied him saying he could do light work, 3 hours day that he cannot climb ladders or scaffold but can crawl, stoop, bend, etc., his doctors RFC said he cannot do this and has to be able to switch positions every 30 minutes, elevated legs above waist and he would miss work due to sleep deprived from pain and they type of medicine he takes. The Judge did not mention these factors, in his decision, and he also took my husband answers out of context. The Judge said since the nurse practioner who helped fill out his RFC paper work along with the doctor that the nurse practioner is not a liable resource and that even though the doctor signed it there was no proof that the doctor read the paper work fully before signing (are you kidding me). Therefore, instead of basing his decisions on the doctors, he has been seeing for over 6 years he throws that out and goes with the social security doctor my husband saw in 2011 for 10 minutes and that social security doctor has not seen him since. The only thing missing that may have helped (but I doubt it) was his doctor notes from his psychiatrist doctor, which he started seeing in August 2014 for anxiety and depression. The lawyer has filed an appeal to the council; we are very worried we are not going to get it. We both feel that the justice system has failed us, he cannot work, he paid in for this service and has doctor notes saying he cannot work and his condition will last more than 12 months. Any employer would not employ him because of these notes and meds he take. How can they do this, if we owe them (the government) money they freeze up our accounts, sell our house etc., until they got back what is owed to them. Now we are fighting to get the help my husband paid in for, he has the full credits. If he is not awarded disability by December 2015, he will not get anything and we will lose everything we have worked for. I am at my wits in, we should be able to sue for the mental stress this system is causing us, I work 50 – 60 hours a week, plus applying for a second job on the weekend to not lose our house. Please tell me what more we can do, our lawyer is confident but I’m still am not, due to the fact of how the Judge twist everything around. I know my husband age plays a big factor, but still it goes back to the doctors. Please help with advice. Thank-YOU as typing this to you,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eric,

      There is no reason to doubt your attorney’s confidence. People are approved on Appeals Council’s reviews. One point, if your husband is insured through December 2015, the decision does not have to be made by December 2015. If a favorable decision is rendered after that and the decision says his disability began December 2015 or earlier, benefits will be payable.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Anthony

    I was physically and sexualy abused in my childhood and been to 3 diff foster homes

  • Tonya

    I am 31. I have been diagnosed with depression and severe anxiety for 17 years. It has caused me to be afraid of work and being in social settings. I have gotten jobs and went in to start work and went to the bathroom and out the door because of my anxiety. I have seem psychiatrist and doctors throughout these years. I am on medications and still am unable to keep myself together. Would I qualify for disability?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tonya,

      You may be considered disabled under Social Security law. I suggest that you file an application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability to find out whether you meet the disability requirements and the income and asset requirements to be eligible.(Your income and assets must be below a certain amount.) If you have never been married and can prove you became disabled before age twenty-two and you have a parent who is receiving Social Security or is deceased you may qualify for Disabled Adult Child benefits as well.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • William Roseberry

        I keep hearing about people getting benefits from 1 or both parents dieing. How does that exactly work and what are the chances of being approved. I’m 29, my dad died about 4 years ago and my late wife died in 2014. I’m currently applying for disability for depression, bipolar, and anxiety. My entire life I’ve never held a job longer than 3 months but one which was 8 months but was fired from most jobs due to my behavior towards employees and managers. I tend to have suicidal thoughts and was just recommended to the ER for a evaluation on my mental state. But really afraid on being locked down or being transferred to another facility out of town. What are my chances for my case or getting benefits from my dad or late wife?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear William,

          You do not appear to be eligible on your father’s earnings record because to receive Social Security benefits on your father’s earnings record, you have to prove that you became disabled prior to age twenty-two and continuously disabled since then. The job that lasted eight months is likely to be considered a break in disability. Additionally, when you got married, you ended your dependency on your father as a disabled adult child. Unless you have a child of your wife in your care, you are not eligible for survivor benefits on your wife’s earnings record because you are under age fifty. You can apply at the Social Security Administration for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits based on disability and limited income and assets.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • María

    My child is 15 years old and after he told a teacher who wanted to commit suicide was admitted to a clinic for three days and was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, syndrome RET , personality and mood disorders also showing considerable visual impairment in both eyes .We are a family of low income and want to know if there is a possibility that you approve my child support but my concern is that if the disabling condition will not cause problems when you go to college or incresar when searching for a jobs.Thanks and would appreciate your comments.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Maria,

      I suggest that you apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for you son. If he is approved, in most states he will also be eligible for Medicaid, which would make it easier for him to get the treatment he needs to be more able to attend college or get a job.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brooke

    Hello,

    I have some questions concerning partial disability. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, PTSD, and Schizoaffective disorder. I have sever anxiety issues to the point that it is so random I don’t know when it is going to happen. I also have serious anger issues and have been known to lash out at whoever is infront of me. Recently I have been having memory loss and loss of time. I will look at the clock and what seems like 5 minutes to me has really been hours. I have no recollection of what I was doing in that time. I am on 4 different medications and have been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility for attempted suicide. the main issue is that I am having a hard time focusing at work. I want to cut back my hours so that it doesn’t effect my mental health but I can’t afford to so I wanted to look into partial disability to help with my bills because I can’t keep going at the rate I am. I will end up back in the hospital. The only thing is though is that I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t want full disability because if I sit around the house all day I will become very depressed. I have lost jobs because of my disorder and if I am not able to cut back my hours so I’m not so stressed out I am going to lose another one. I don’t know what to do. I am so overwhelmed.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brooke,

      If, due to your health, you reduce your hours so that you earn less than $1,070 gross per month, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability. If you qualify, you can receive full benefits even though you are working.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Stephon johnson

    I use to get a ssi check when I was 10 it was ADHD and depression now I grew up and the depression has taken over and I have anxiety where I bite my nails look around fast and can’t concentrate on really anything and its hard to get it back cause I have to go thru a lot and I went to a behavioral doctor before when I was 18 I’m 24 now what should I do I was thinking about a lawyer and a supporter statement from friend and family as well and last employee as well I just don’t want to mess up at all.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephon,

      All of your ideas about getting help with your claim are good ideas. I suggest going ahead with them all.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carl Meyer

    I filed my claim when I was 48 years and 11 months old. I have heard that its not as big of a fight to win if you are over 50 years old. My question is: Do you need to be fifty years old when I initially filed the claim or when it is adjudicated (either successful or not), whether through an application, reconsideration, or hearing? Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Car,

      To be approved for benefits based on the disability date you claimed you have to be disabled on that date. Therefore, you would be evaluated based on the guidelines for a person under fifty, which include a presumption that you can adapt to a new kind of work. Sometimes people are approved with a later disability date than the one they claim because on a later date they are age fifty or older and their age is taken into consideration together with educational level to determine whether they can adapt to work they have not done before.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Carl

        Thank you for the reply and information.
        Carl

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Carl.

  • Angela Froning

    I have long suffered from a variety of mental health issues, most of them involving a worsening case of anxiety, PTSD, and agoraphobia.
    I just lost my last job. I told them I was having panic attacks and needed some time off. I took the week off, came back to work, asked about short term disability. I then was told they were willing to work with me as long as I was able to give them notice about needing time off.
    Two days later, I had an extreme emergency and was only able to place a quick call to my employer letting them know I’d miss work, but I did call. I was mysteriously terminated the next day, which they did by sending me a letter in the mail, and have still refused to return my other messages asking for more help.
    I worked in sales before this and I am having trouble finding work now in a different field. I am actually beginning to have difficulty functioning at all, and now that I am not sure I will receive unemployment, I am even more afraid.
    I do not have any family to lean on for emotional support, and have only my boyfriend and a couple of close friends.
    I can’t afford the treatments without some kind of income so I am not sure what to do. My symptoms are getting worse. I can go outdoors as long as I am accompanied and it is to pre-designated “safe” places.
    From what I read, if I was able to make over a $900 a month for the last few years, I don’t qualify? Is there anyway around that? Because if I have to wait a few more years, I don’t think I’ll have anywhere to live. 🙁

    • Angela Froning

      In addition, I live in Georgia which is right-to-work, so my employer can say they fired me for any reason they want, and there is no recourse for me. 🙁 Although just 2 days prior, they told me I was their most talented employee. It doesn’t make any sense. I think they heard PTSD and they got afraid I’d be violent, because they are ignorant. I don’t understand getting a letter in the mail, and no one will return my calls. I have not done anything inappropriate and I just don’t understand and I’m terrified that my illness has now made me unemployable.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Angela,

        I am responding to both your posts. Immediately apply for short-term disability (STD) through your employer’s insurance policy. It does not matter that you were terminated if you can prove you were disabled before your employment was terminated. Claim the beginning of the week you were off work as your disability date and the day before that as your last day of work before disability. State on the application that you tried to apply for STD at the end of the week, but your employer encouraged your to return to work instead, which you did for two days before stopping again. If your “extreme emergency” was related to your health, state that as well.

        If your employer won’t give you an application, you can get an application from the STD insurance company directly. You may have the company name in your employee benefits brochure. If not, check with a co-worker friend. If your condition persists and it looks as if you are going to be disabled for a year, apply for Social Security Disability.

        You may now qualify for Medicaid insurance or other insurance with government-subsidized premiums through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Go to http://www.healthcare.com for more information and sign up within thirty days of your other insurance ending.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Angela Froning

          Thank you so much for getting back to me. I am going to do that first thing in the morning. Thank you so much!!! 🙂

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Angela.

  • Tracy

    If I was diagnosed with PTSD in high school a few years ago, by the the school psychologist, would I be able to apply for SSI/SSD?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tracy,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability and Social Security Disability benefits are paid to people who are disabled and unable to work because of their medical or psychiatric condition. For either claim you need current psychiatric information about your condition. If you are unable to work, I suggest that you discuss your condition with a psychiatrist both for treatment and to assess whether you should apply for disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mark

    I had been on social security for over 12 years but voluntarily re-entered the workforce about a decade ago. However, my original conditions with anxieties and depression have worsened and I have been through a number of jobs, and now I have re-filed for disability. I have attended a CE and provided lots of medical information, though they are still requesting more information from me before making a determination. Since I was on disability for so long previously and my current conditions are what originally had me on disability to begin with, do you think that will help with my claim?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mark,

      Your medical history will be considered, but eligibility will be based on your current condition.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dawn

    I’ve been diagnosed Bi-polar, I have PTSD, suffer from severe depression. I haven’t worked since like 1999, I’m 30 years old and have 3 kids. Do I qualify for SSI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dawn,

      Whether or not you are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) depends on the severity of your illnesses and how they affect your ability to work and on your income and and on the income and assets of your spouse if you are married living with your spouse. To find out whether you qualify, you need to file a claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • thomas

    I live in N.C. and I am an serve agoraphobic with ptsd panic disorder genralizied anxiety and social anxeity I was released from work about a month or two ago witch is literally 100yards away from my house I filled for ssi but will I be anle to get it I haven’t been able to go within a half mile radius away from my home in 5 years and my condition is what has come between me and my job I haven’t seen noone but a inhome care mental program what should I do when I have my appointment and when I fill out my app on medical and doctor sections

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Thomas,

      List the agency that provides your in-home mental health care as your medical provider. Also list the name of the person there who knows the most about your condition and, if you know it, the name of the physician or nurse practitioner who is overseeing your care and prescribing medications you take. Explain the agoraphobia and how it affects you. Explain why you were able to work for a while and what happened related to your disability that you were let go. Request a telephone interview instead of a phone interview. If you are asked to go to a consultative examination, see if you can have a physician come to your home. If that’s not possible, perhaps you could venture out if one of your care providers went with you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jeremy

    Hey, I have a couple of different issues going on with regards to my SSDI application. I applied last year and my hearing date has been scheduled for next month. I was not expecting a hearing date to come so fast. I have two diagnosed medical conditions. One is a blood clotting disorder called, Hughes Syndrome, and the other is, Post Thrombotic Syndrome – diagnosed by a vascular surgeon. PTS is also the same as SSI’s listing for, Chronic Venous Insufficiency. The vascular doctor says they can’t operate to fix the veins in my right leg. The pain is permanent. I have a Doppler scan that shows chronic Post Phlebitic changes in the Popliteal vein – and narrowing/thickening of the vein lumen. The vein Is blocked.

    I have swelling, pain, and limited mobility because of this. I don’t know of the surgeon will fill out an RFC for me. The clotting disorder I have is serious in the fact that the blood doc told me that I would clot up again if I went off my blood thinners. He said with my vein being that damaged, I would clot up within ten days of discontinuing blood thinners. Then I can have another Pulmonary Embolism. I also suffer from chronic chest pain from my saddle PE. There are days when I literally feel like an 85 year old man. I can’t sleep at night without Norco pain meds due to the constant pain in my right leg. The only problem with my pain is that is subjective. My primary care doc doesn’t really believe my pain is coming from the damaged veins, but he continues to prescribe me pain meds.

    I also have had mental issues for quite some time. I have never seen a psych doctor because I can’t afford one. The only reason why I’ve recently received these other diagnoses is because of the Obamacare expansion. I otherwise would have never qualified for Medicaid. This has helped me a lot to get medical documentation, but they do not provide any mental health services. Last November I was sent to an SSA mental evaluation. The examining psychiatrist said that I suffer from severe anxiety disorder, organic schizophrenia, and that I was not faking my symptoms. He claims that I can show up on time to medical appointments, but not to work. The SSA was not happy with is findings and said that Organic Schizophrenia is not a definitive diagnosis. Their report says that I can no longer drive a truck (I was a truck driver that is my only for of work and I have just a GED for education)!

    They said that I can’t perform complex tasks, or work with co-workers. They said that I have to work in a setting away from the general public, and alone from co-workers. They said that I have a light restriction and that I can work as a chicken processor. The only problem with that is I can’t sit in a chair like a regular person. It hurts my leg. I spend all day sitting on a couch with both of my legs elevated to promote circulation. The vascular doc says I have over 200 valves in my leg, and they are all damaged. If I sit for too long in a regular chair, my leg swells and I develop a limp. If I stand for more than 2 hours without a break, my leg is in bad pain. I can barely climb up and down stairs, and I can’t bend down on my right knee.

    How do I prove all this. My primary doc says I can drive again, but I told him I can’t drive commercially on pain pills, and there is no way I can sit for 16 hours in the rivers seat without pain control. I don’t even drive a car – I haven’t for two years since my accident. I can see a psychiatrist and get some documentation if I can get my hearing rescheduled for a few months from now. I will just have to spend every last bit of my savings to do so, and if my case is denies, I will be completely broke. M vascular doc says that in seven years my right leg will be discolored, and I will have severe skin ulcers, Technically all I have to d is wait and I will meet SSA’s immediate listing for first time approval. I just don’t know how to get the doc’s or the judge to believe in my condition without putting them inside my body.

    There are days here and there when the pain goes down considerable, then I overwork myself and am laid up for two days. It’s like a constant roller coaster ride. If I had high doses of pain med, I might be able to work part time on my feet, but they will not give me anything more than what I’m on right now. Do you think I should risk my last bit of money to get a good mental diagnosis even though I do not have an extensive history of mental illness? Should I just let the case be dismissed and file again once I’ve had two or three more years of records to build up? Some of my mental issues stem from my chronic pain, like the suicidal thoughts and anger that I display for not being able to return to work.

    I also have type two diabetes, morbid obesity that they noted on the second appeals denial letter, high blood pressure, and fatty liver disease. I know that obesity is no longer a listing on the SSA’s impairment list, but if it exacerbates an existing impairment, it can help me win my case!

    That is the jest of my situation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

    Jeremy!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jeremy,

      I cannot advise you regarding whether or not to pay for a mental health evaluation. I do suggest that you get a statement from your vascular doctor about your limitations and capacities. I also suggest that you discuss your case with a Social Security attorney for input on the advisability of asking to have the hearing postponed. If the postponement is denied and your hearing denied because you decided not to pursue, you might lose the ability to get approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI) later because you might not still be insured for SSDI after the date of the hearing denial.

      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. When you call, let Disability Advisor know what your hearing is coming up in October and need advice quickly.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ed

    On my above Statement I’m so bad that I can’t even barely leave my house only time I do is Dr and getting kids from school I don’t have to get out or talk to anyone at school thank god

  • Ed

    I am 35 with 2 kids I havent work in over 5 yrs. I have Severe anxiety,Depression and Agoraphobia when I did work I would only be there a week or month tops, reason for leaving My Anxiety would take over when I mad a mistake or something on the job the I would just Leave/Quit Right away I’ve been diagnosed for about 7 yrs and I have a Lawyer who I am afraid to ask ?’s to and My hearing is a few weeks away I’ve been denied twice I See the Judge next at the hearing what are my chances and can you kindly explain what more I need to do thanks!

    • Ed

      My Medications are Xanax 0.5 Mg’s 4 X’s a day Desparamine 150mgs 2 before bed And on job situation I have never had a job longer then 2 months in my life ok sorry too bug ya with all the ?’s Thanks

    • Ed

      From Ohio

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ed,

      I am unable to predict the outcome of your hearing. You need to gather your questions and talk with your attorney about them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jenae

    If I am eligible for my Dad’s SSDI as an adult disabled child since he died, do I have to get SSI for myself also? I was cut off of all benefits because I had more than $2000. I’d like to avoid that in the future.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jenae,

      Your assets will not affect Social Security Disabled Adult child benefits, which that require that you are unmarried and that you became disabled before age twenty-two. You are never required to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI); however, if you do qualify for SSI, even for a small amount, in most states you will also receive Medicaid, which can be quite valuable.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Zack

    Hello Kay,

    Recently applied for social security supplemental income for my severe ADHD and Anxiety, its been a couple months now since my filing date; I have medical documentation for both conditions, including for being sent to inpatient care after being hospitalized from an anxiety/panic attack. Social security pretty much has all my school and medical records, all of which are generally reflective of the severity of my conditions (including horrid grades). Aside from that I also had multiple official mental evaluations done on me as a child that found that I had severe ADHD, including reports from two separate school psychologists. I was also a special education student for a large portion of my life. I attended therapy as a child and the past 22 years + have been on every medication for ADHD and I am still on treatment for ADHD and now my Anxiety as well. A combination of my anxiety and ADHD has placed my life halt and I have finally given up attempting to hold a job, I have been fired from every job I’ve held since I was 17 because of the symptoms of my conditions. I am now 22 and despite being able to find jobs, its nearly impossible for me to hold them for more than a few months because eventually my conditions become to much to cope with and interfere ending with me getting harshly fired. To wrap this up, a couple of weeks ago I attended my first partial psychological evaluation (took around an hour) now usually you’re either denied or approved after you have attended the Psychological Evaluation/CE, or at least I thought. So to fast forward I just just received a notice from social security that they have scheduled me for a second Psychological evaluation with a different Psychologist, what does this mean? Does suggest that I may get approved and they simply needed a second opinion to be sure? Or is this standard procedure?

    Thank you,
    Sincerely, Zack

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Zack,

      It is unlikely that Social Security would get a second consultative opinion. It is more likely that the second doctor will do a different type of evaluation to gather additional information not included in the first exam.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nic

    Hi, I applied for ssdi few years ago, went through the first 2 appeals and was waiting on my ALJ hearing. My attorney did not notify of my hearing date and since I didn’t know about it I missed it and denied. My attorney was horrible anyways. I have filed again and done some research about the process and I noticed so many horrible mistakes he made. I actually never was face to face with him. Ok well here I my situation that my old attorney didn’t tell me about. My conditions are both physical and mental. I have 100% hearing loss in one ear (which happened during the middle of the appeals process told my attorney about it and it affecting me wasn’t even mentioned to me that it would help since the condition can be used together) I also have mental health issues, bipolar, anxiety, adhd along with more diagnosis that were changed later and the symptoms that happen along with the meds I take for them. The bad part is that I have never been treated by a Psychiatrist.. I have always seen APRN’s and PA’s which no matter what they say about me the examiner probably just skip reading it. I was not informed of that GIANT problem by my attorney. Last time around they had me see one of their Psychologists, he basically disagreed with everything I said about myself. Like that I didn’t have anxiety. Well my anxiety isn’t brought on by sitting in a room with a DR… So I believe I was doomed from that as well. Now they want me to again see one of their DR. I was taking along time to get my health questionnaire filled out so I gave my examiner a call to let her know. Even filling out that form was hindered because of my problems. I also asked her another question. I wanted to get clarification on 12 months you automatically qualify for after you have a cochlear implant. After reading everything I could about it I still could not find anything about if it had to be both ears or 1 or really any other conditions that affect it. So that’s what I asked. Her response was “I don’t know why they would even do the surgery when you can hear just fine out of the other ear” I feel like I am doomed again. I feel that from what she said she is already bias. Obviously she doesn’t know what its like to lose all of your hearing in 1 ear at the age of 25. Its like a whirlwind of words in the one good ear. Try finding a ringing cell phone when every sound, sounds like it is coming from the same direction. Is what she said something I should talk to someone about? I feel like that is some kind of discrimination. Any thoughts and recommendations?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nic,

      You might get a statement from your ENT doctor about the reasons for having the surgery, which describes the hearing problems you are having with unilateral hearing. Also, changing to a psychiatrist for the care of your mental health conditions could be helpful to your claim. If you are denied this time, I suggest that you get representation by hiring an attorney who is well versed 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

  • lee

    I had a motor cycle wreck 1 year ago dr said I would be fine but I had contusions on my brain. Then I started have cluster headaches, where they would have to hold me down to keep me from trying to cut out the pain with a knife, and many many trips to er. My reg dr, has tried every med she can think of but no relief. so she sends me to a neurologist. So far after 6 months he cant stop them, he has also tried lots of meds, but with me being bi polar, all the meds turn on me, and make me want to drive off a Clift. Yesterday my neurologist put me on oxygen cause all else has failed partly due to not handling meds very well. I have several different mental disorders, very manic ect, and very dyslexic as a child. I filed for my ssi a couple months ago, they sent me to a psychologist today, very short , wanted to know what meds I was on, what meds I tried, and count backwards by 3, which I thought was strange, it was to easy and if I was abused as a child, and if I could work for people, by the way no I can’t I hate someone who thinks there above me, and I hate drama, My dr had to take me off work for two weeks due to the stress of people around me, and up my meds, now I take 80 m paxial, 4 m clonsapam, Depakote, maxalt, and oxygen I was told to turn up to 12 or 10, to force in and make my headaches easy by making the blood vessels smaller in my brain. I wonder now how much of a chance I had of getting my ssi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lee,

      It is difficult to determine whether you will be approved for benefits. If you are denied, I recommend getting an attorney to help you with the appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Joshua D.

    I am 18 and have been put into a mental/locked facility in ’09. I have been told by many people that I can get disability, no problem… but I’m skeptical. Is it true? I don’t like the thought of being 18 and on disability but if its possible I was told it would be best to do it.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joshua,

      If you are in a public hospital (owned and paid for by the state or country), you are not eligible for SSI disability. If you are in a hospital and Medicaid is paying more than half the cost of your stay, you could be eligible and the payment would be small amount to cover personal care. If you know when you will be released and your doctors think that you will be disabled from working when you are discharged, you can file an application up to three months before discharge. If approved, benefits would become payable for months after discharge.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Suzanne

    hi, am a 41 y.o. woman with mental issues that stem from heretity and onset of family impact…i have been fighting with ssi since 2008 on and off…with my mental condition and my impulvisity…there are varouis medical records and doctors reports…while i was turned down 2011 by alj and i reapplied and finally got back into court in 2/2014…i went to court and was showed my file…it was a paper file and not on a disc like the one before when i went to court the first time…i asked why was this hearing a paper hearing?…the rep told me this was a good thing cause it has everything that was ever entered or giving to ssa…while when we went over the file before the hearing i notice that there a papers that were in there that wasn’t even me…it was someone else information…i pointed it out to her and she said okay and left and came back with my file again…i went to my hearing and it was brutal on me…i did everyhting but flip the table over…i showed every emotion i was going through…i was then told by the judge that he will review and sent his desion in the mail…while about 2 weeks later i recieved a letter stating that he found additional evidence and asked to enter it in…i repiled yes and wrote a very nice thank you letter to the judge cause i have never seen a judge go through every piece of information like that before…then i was sent another letter stating that I needed to go and see CE doctor…i went and brought my aunt with cause I needed a ride and the doctor asked if i had someone here to speak on my behalf and i said that my aunt was outside in the lobby and he asked if i want for her to speak…i said sure why not? i was think the more help the better right? well i was send a copy of the findings and went over his statments and findings with a fine tooth comb…yes i googled every word i did understand or knew…i noticed that he stated that my impairment affected my abitilty to interact approperity with other and there other capabitlies affected by impairment…like no close friends…etc…he also stated that i was impulsive and will use different substances when depressed…that was on the ssa ability to do work-related activities (mental) form…there were no problems understanding and remember simple instructions or to carry out simple instructions…the abtiltiy to make judgements on simple work related decisions was moderate…but the to undrstand, carry out and abitlty to make complex decisions that were worked work related were all MARKED…his findings were PTSD and varying depression and BPD…also the can the individual manage benfits in her own interest was checked NO…in the summary he stated that…she at risk for exacerbations depressions in the furture…she is impulsive and her character pathology makes her so unstable…she should not manage her own funds, her attention varied with her affect, she had no diffuculty realting to me but would not get along with other at a job, she tolarated testing but would not be able to to deal with stress common on most jobs…to me this sounds like that he found i was NOT able to work a normal job…okay so i have waited and call the odar office and asked why no decsion yet? they stated that the judge had it set of schudling…i asked why is that and they stated that i have to go back in front of him…i send him information and letters from family and my case worker stating that i need to get everything pushed up cause am currently homeless…well i called back and got a court date issued for 9/16/2014…after doing a some research and various phone calls i found out that the judge if so chooses that he can go back 2 years before i reported the onset date of my disabiltly and that given my childhood history of being a ward of the court and servarel hospitaliztions that it possiable that this could happen…so here are my questions:
    1. Why would i have to go back in front of the judge for my decsion? if the CE states that i cant work.

    2. Do I need to go back to court if i have to have a payee wacthing over my benefits for me?

    3. Do i have to go back also cause he might go back 2 year prior to my onset date? Cause i was told i should have been getting ssi since i was younger?

    Any help will be great…thanks for your time…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Suzanne,

      You definitely should go back to court as requested. Your claim is still being considered for possible approval and you should continue to do everything that is asked while your appeal is pending. If you are applying for Social Security Disability, the maximum retroactively is twelve months before the date of application; and if you are applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), benefits start with the month of application. Usually Social Security does not approve a date of disability before the one claimed, but even if they do, it might not result in additional back pay because of the limitations on retroactivity.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Jason

    I am an active duty service member and I’ll be getting out in 10 months. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, adjustment disorder with anxiety and mixed moods. Also, been diagnosed with mTBI from an IED explosion in Iraq. I am taking medication for insomnia, anxiety, depression, headaches, and nightmares. I am starting the process now and collecting up my medical documents as we speak. Would I get accepted for SSDI with that, or is that even iffy??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jason,

      Whether or not you are eligible for Social Security Disability depends on how severely you are impaired by your conditions. The Veteran’s Administration (VA)pays for disability compensation for partial disability, so you might apply with the VA also.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Jaci

    I am in my 30’s and currently s mental/physical wreck. I have applied for Ssdi bit was wondering if my 13 year old daughter would qualify. She has severe depression, anxiety and is a cutter/self harming chil due to bullying. She had been admitted into a psychiatric hospital for a suicide attempt and we have over a year of documentation of her taking meds that rarely work. She goes in and out of self harming phase. Could she qualify for help? I am not only unable to work due to my condition but the fear t hat she will hurt herself. I am a mother of 5 kids, her being the oldest with a 7, 9 and 2 year old twins and due to the separation of their father and I, I am on public assistance (Medicaid and SNAP) as well as what little I get from child support and that’s it. Should I apply for her some she had over a year of documentation and wait for the approval/denial or go ahead and seek out an attorney? Please help!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jaci,

      I suggest that you apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for your daughter. Submit all the medical and psychiatric information you have for your daughter. If she is denied and you think the decision is wrong, get an attorney to help with the 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

  • jose

    I applied for disability 3 years ago and had my hearing a month and a half ago. I suffer from major depression and social anxiety disorder, along with bipolar disorder. I have been seeing a psychiatrist for 2 years and she supports my disability claim. The VE was not at the hearing but i later got copies of his report that says i can do 4 jobs without my mental issues but none with the mental issues. I called the ODAR office and was told they just recieved the VE report and up to date medical records and if i dont request a supplemental hearing the judge will put the records in the file and make a decision, at that point i said ok i dont want another hearing and was told the judge will make a decision. I was then told that it could make up to 3 months to recieve this letter and that not to call back until after the 3 months. Waiting can be hardest part and was wondering for a opinion if it looks good and can i contact odar again or should i just wait the 3 months i dont want them to get mad if i keep calling. Please some advice. I am filing in pennsylvania and do not have a lawyer, at the hearing the judge said i had to sign a paper that saysi dont have a lawyer and i am not going to get one. Thank you in advance for any advice

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jose,

      The federal guideline for the judge to make a decision is two months. Wait two months and then call to get a status. Then it is reasonable to call once a month thereafter. You will talk to a clerk, not to the judge so you shouldn’t make the decision maker mad.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • jose

        Thank you, and also can i get your opinion on what the VE said ( without my problems i can do 4 jobs in the national economy but if you factor in the mental health issues he said there are no jobs i can do) because there was 2 hypothetical questions on the VE report one was without my disabilities and the other with. Thank you again

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jose,

          If the judge believes that he mental limitations you claim are supported, then your claim is likely to be approved.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          • jose

            Thank you for your advice 🙂

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Jose.

  • tara

    hi, my daughter is 9 yrs old and just recently diagnosed with RSD, if it possible for her to qualify for ssdi at such a young age with this incurable disease?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tara,

      If your daughter’s illness is affecting her ability to function like a healthy child of her age, then it would be appropriate to file a claim to see if her condition is severe enough to be considered disability.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Bettie Poole

    It has been disturbing, I wanted to know why my situation with my Social Security Disability overpayment can’t be explained in detail so it can spell out if it was waivered and why can’t I receive a letter stating all facts. I have been burnt before so it will not go this way again. If I can get and answer In would most certainly appreciate it.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bettie,

      Although I am a knowledgeable resource, I do not work for the Social Security Administration. You need to contact the Social Security Administration and request a written calculation of the overpayment.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Cara

    I keep getting fired from jobs for little errors, my social anxiety is severe and I can’t seem to function correctly due to panic attacks at work. How would I even approach my doctor with this as this being an option, is it an option? I have severe anxiety and most of my medicine doesn’t help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cara,

      Do see your doctor and explain what is going on. Ask for a referral to a psychiatrist for possible treatment. After you have been evaluated, your doctor will be able to offer an opinion about your prognosis for continued work versus disability.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Kathy basile

    my daughter is 45; she has bipolar. she is on social security disability. she keeps going to jail and hospitals when bipolar gets out of control. she usually just stays 4 or 5 days in hospital, but this time they are keeping her longer. she’s afraid that ss will stop her checks. do you know about this?? i know if you are in jail for 30 consecutive days, you won’t get check. but what about the hospital???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kathy,

      If your daughter is getting Social Security Disability (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), her benefits will not be affected by her hospitalization regardless of the length of the stay. If she is receiving SSI, there are different rules.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Richard

    Hello,
    I am in the process of applying for SS Disability benefits. I won’t get into all the gritty details but my disability claim is one based on four diagnoses from my psychiatrist and from my therapist: severe bipolar disorder, PTSD, severe anxiety/panic attacks, and moderate agorophobia (I will leave the house to grocery shop between 3-4am at WalMart and to attend my doctors’ appointments, but I will not leave for any other reason.

    SO far, my claim seems to be moving right along, much more quickly than was suggested to me before I applied. About three weeks ago I was asked to complete a CE exam with a psychiatrist other than my own. I complied.

    Today, I received a letter asking me to now complete a physical examination. I am wondering why a PE would be required when seeking benefits based on medical illness diagnoses. Perhaps this might help you answer as well…when I first submitted my applications I did state that in the course of the last 1.5 years since my nervous breakdown I have gained almost 100 pounds. Would that be the reason for the PE request? Is it good or bad for my claim that I have gained all this weight?

    Also, I hired an attorney before I even began the application process based on what I’d heard about frequent denials and appeals. If memory serves I was told they would be handling both my SS Disability claims and SSI. Of course, they haven’t been actively involved yet as I have submitted all my applications and complied with the CE and am planning to comply with the physical exam as well. I am assuming they really only get involved if I am denied. Am I to understand t hat one can benefit from both SS Disability and SSI?

    Also, I read in a post above that SS is responsible for paying my attorney a set percentage of owed and back-dated disability. This corresponds with what the attorney told me over the phone. If I receive an approval without requiring the lawyer’s assistance in an appeal, will SS still pay that attorney?

    I hope I haven’t bombarded you with too may questions. Thank you for your help and advice.

    Sincerely,
    Richard

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Richard,

      If your weight has increased to the point that you are morbidly obese, that could be a reason for the requested physical examination.

      With regard to attorney services, the attorney will represent you for both Social Security and SSI. If you hired an attorney, he or she should be involved from the beginning reviewing how you completed the forms, your medical and psychiatric records, etc. to be sure that your have presented your case as clearly and as well as possible. If you signed a fee agreement, the Social Security Administration will pay the attorney from your back pay.

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is payable only if your other countable income is below $741 and your countable assets are below $2,000. Some income and several types of assets are not countable.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • James l

    Hello i am 48 never collected unemployment have worked 30 years pretty much as a laborer,every day of my life since I was a kid I have always had a nervous condition anxiety going to school going to events social gatherings etc.and for some unknown reason oi have always had uncontrollable shaking in my hands which my brother and my one sister have and other people notice and are always questioning me why do I shake?i am do to go for examination in a month psychological.i am on Xanax,citralopan and nothing seems to be helping.i am now on state disability for lumbar spinal fusion l5s1 also had neck fusion 6 years ago went back to work 6 months later still had pain but I knew I had to support my family,now after having last surgery I will never be able to do the heavy lifting and hard labor I have done before.As of now 3 months later after operation still in pain just lay in bed and worry about money and all the stress I am putting my family thru.i was told by my lawyer everybody gets denied the first time because I have a pulse,I was told to file after operation said it takes about a year,as far as work I have done the same trade for the business I use to work for almost 30 years a family owned business same people they know I’m done and have not been in touch with me 2 weeks after going on state disability I was dropped from health insurance plan and was told to sign up for cobra,my bosses ex wife who is still co owner has well let’s just say not one of her favorites and is the one that dropped me from company health insurance that has been taking out of my paycheck,yes that’s correct after all these years still was paying for me and the wife’s health insurance.i am physically unable to do the work anymore and cannot deal with the stress of the people I work for,with,and customers not all can you please tell me what my chances are of receiving Ssdi.and I am going to do my best with this psychological exam will that hurt me I do not want to fake or anything stupid like that at exam.thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear James,

      I can’t predict whether you will approved, but not all people are denied on initial claim. Be sure that you list all your mental and physical conditions in your claim and be sure that all the physical requirements of your past occupation are in the claim file also. Just be honest at the psychological exam.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Chris L

    Hello. I am 19 years old and have been suffering from Bi-polar disorder and Social anxiety for almost 2 years now. I was on Medication but stopped taking it because i wanted to join the military. I got denied from the military and now i am a reck. I can not hold down a job for more then 2-3 weeks because i am so fearful of being around other people. I isolate badly and can not hold down a job. My anxiety often times makes my heart race i get sweaty and hide away in my room from other people. It is difficult for me to leave my own home and interact with anybody. I am eligible for Benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      To find out whether you are eligible for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability benefits, you need to file a claim. It would be helpful to a claim for you to get back under medical care including taking recommended medication as prescribed, so that you have psychiatric records to provide the Social Security Administration.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Dawn

    Hi, I’m 43 yrs. old and I have SEVERAL mental and physical disabilities such as;PTSD, AGORAPHOBIA(unable to go out in public by myself),SEVERE PANICK ATTACKS,SEVERE DEPRESSION.I suffer with SEVERE NIGHTMARES & FLASH BACKS that are worsening as each yr. goes by.I was SEVERLY ABUSED,SEXUALLY( By my uncle from age 4 through 12.;-( Also MOLESTED by him and MANY other family members and others outside of family;-( I was beatened and put in a very dark basement frequently.That was my punishment when I would fight back screaming crying and threatened to tell on my uncle.My mother and family denies it. Calling me Crazy,a dirty pig,a Liar and so many more Disturbing and Hurtful words;-( OVER and Over.I could write books with chapters of my childhood of TORTURE!!;-( I was my mother’s human punching bag. She and my father gave up their rights to be parents.They seperated ending in divorce.She took me only to cause all harm to me.They all got away with it. Lwaving me SCARRED for LIFE!!;-( Life gets harder for me on special occassions,thinking of my siblings that I do remember,but haven’t seen since the age of 4!!;-( I think of my grampa,that was my eye witness to my rape. He then passed away of a heart attack when I was 12;-( Alcohol and Marijuana was given to me by my uncle.Which I grew up addicted to it. It was his way of molesting me more;-( Iquit marijuana at 15. I became an alcoholic just to cure my panick attacks. It was only then I could be functional to go places on my own.But just to wake up the following day to still have them.I even almost died.I realized I had to stop to take care of my kids.I was hospitalized for having thoughts of suicide. Which every now and then I get the feelings of doing it;-( I can’t remember if it was for the wkend or a wk. and what yr. it was. I do have employment history,but couldn’t keep my jobs because of the SEVERE PANICK ATTACKS & FLASH BACKS.I didn’t want to tell anyone because I thought they would think I was Crazy and fear of being placed in a mental institution.!;-( I lost ALL my jobs due to not attending,no call no show and arriving late. I kept all this to myself until my last job. I got to the point where I’d be so close to work ending up turnibg around to arrive at home. I feel Soooo Lost and TRAPPED;-( DEPRESSED;-( I was getting SSI for the PANICK DISORDER.But no longer eligble because of my husband’s wages. I want to apply for SSDI but ppl. in general are telling me I WON’T get it because I Don’t have enough work history.I have developed more medical issues since then. But all this mental instabilities is why I COULDN’T keep a job THEN and NOW. Last I was employed was in 2006. I applied for SSI again,they still consider me DISABLED.Yet I Can’t get any help with FREE insurance and any other help. I pay for indurance that DOESN’T cover much of anything. I do take medications & STOPPED some because of the prices and DON’T work for my DEGENERATED DISK DISEASE,STENOSIS. HERNIATED & BULDGING DISKS.Which I had injections and physical therapy with NO relief. I also have something wrong with my bladder that I CAN NOT hold my urine and go VERRY FREQUENTLY.I have a urologist that tried many medications with none to work thus far. I NEED to be seen but have to pay co-pays and for tests done. Which she mentioned may incld. surgery. I ALWAYS wake up wet of urine!;-( even accidents going to and from drs. or stores;-( I have HYPOTHYROIDISM also. I suffer everyday SEVERE FATIGUE.ALL DAY. I also have GERD,ACID REFLUX,HIATAL HERNIA.HYPERTENSION.& a FATTY LIVER. I really NEED to get SSDI since I can NEVER work again and to CONTINUEto get professional help in seeing a therapist and tests on my bladder and kidneys without worrying about paying for insurance when I should be getting SSDI.So PLEASE help me by giving me an HONEST Aanswer in regards to if I have any chance @ all getting SSDI considering my work history and these medical problems I have. I DON’T know how about going about getting it. AM I WASTING MY TIME and MIND just thinking about it? ThankYou in advance for your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dawn,

      It may be that you do not have enough work credits because when you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in 2006, Social Security should have screened you for a possible Social Security Disability (SSD) application at that time. To double check, you could file an application for SSD claiming the date you last worked in 2006 as your disability date. If you are not insured, the Social Security Administration will tell you and you will not have to go through the medical review process.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

    • Jeannie

      I hope and Pray for you Dawn that you get the help you need and know that you are not alone a lot of us has been through some of the same things you have ask God to heal the hurt and forgive and have peace and please take care of yourself and your kids

  • daniel

    I have never been to a therapist or counselor before but i know i have severe social anxiety and maybe ptsd. I wanted to ask you because i have never been to a medical clinic because its really hard for me to go out in public without me feeling like im going to have a panic attack as soon as i walk out my door, and i just want to know can i still get ssi benefits without having to go to a medical professional to evaluate me and my conditions that i have, because the kind of anxiety i have is really severe.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daniel,

      Not having any medical or psychiatric record of evaluation or treatment and not being able to attend a consultative examination is a barrier to being approved for disability benefits.I do not know if there is any way that the Social Security Administration can accommodate this. You might contact mental health professionals to find out whether any would make house calls to evaluate and treat you. You might also consult with a Social Security attorney and an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) attorney to see if they have any ideas to help with the situation.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • abbey

    I would like to know if you have to be “not working” for a certain amount of time to qualify? I have a job but due to PTSD, agoraphobia, anxiety panic attacks OCD insomnia depressive disorder major depressive affective disorder severe depression (those are only the ones I’ve been diagnosed with) I have slipped into a dark hole that I cant seem to pull myself out of. I am a single mother so I cant just up and quit my job although the idea of it being close to monday and i have to go back there makes me very nauseous. I do know the hard truth that if you are working it is impossible to get SSI but i dont know how much longer I can hang on. I cannot just up and quit a job because i am a single mother of two. If my job knew all these things I would be terminated I am sure which suits me fine but not my utilities and living expenses. I also have been reading these posts and you talk about credits. How do I go about finding out how many “credits” I even have?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Abbey,

      To be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you have to be disabled or be expected to be disabled for at least twelve months.If it gets to the point that you can’t work, your statemay have some cash public assistance for families with children, which together with food stamps, might tide you over while your claim is being processed. You can contact your state’s department of health and human services to find out whether such assistance exists in your state and if so how much it would be.

      You can find out how many work credits you have and whether you are insured for Social Security Disability and also get an estimate of your disability benefit and family maximum (amount payable to you and your children) if insured and approved for benefits. Either go to http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount or call Social Security it 1-800-772-1213 and request a free Earnings Statement (not a benefit statement).

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Denise

    I have been receiving ssd since 2001 after an appeal. I have irreversible full body RSD and Major Depressive Disorder. I reapplied a second time with an attorney and was told they base my getting benefits for my depression only, not the medical. Recently I was asked to see a SSD doctor to determine my physical condition. I was told both are the reason for my getting benefits. I have asked for a copy of the original order but am told they don’t know what I mean. I have reports from 4 doctors that state I am totally and permanently disabled due to my medical condition and am still under a psychiatrist’s care for the disability and qualified as unable to work. My question is, if I am receiving ssd for both and this exam doctor decides he doesn’t think I am disabled will I still be eligible to receive ssd on my mental status alone? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Denise,

      The determination of your current eligibility will be based on a review of all your medical and psychiatric conditions. I assume that when you completed the questionnaire for the review you listed all your conditions and care providers. If so, your mental health records will be considered in the decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Alex

    his friends not my

  • Alex

    Hello.
    I have been diagnosed with PTSD, BPD, and Generalized Anxiety. I was raped as a child by my biological father and a large group of my friends who rented me and/or bought child porn of me. I am looking into disability but I don’t know exactly what information I need or where to start. Do I need a lawyer first or another doctor? I have been hospitalizd 2 times in the last three years and suffered from alot of flash back and self harm. I am unable to work due to the fact that men and sudden contact or movement throw me into a panic attack or flashback. I am unable to get health care so I am unsure of where to start. Any information would help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alex,

      I suggest that you start doing three things, all at once. First, start an application for disability benefits this month to protect your filing date so that you do not potentially lose benefits. You have six months to complete the application, so you can start it and wait to complete it until you have an attorney to assist you. Second, if you do not currently have a doctor or other mental health professional attending you, I suggest that you research to see whether your county has a free or low-cost clinic that offers psychiatric care so that you will have a physician who can provide information about your current condition. You might also see whether you are eligible for Medicaid by contacting your state office of health and human services.

      The last item has to do with getting representation to assist you. You can, of course, file your own application. If you do so, be sure to list all your medical providers in the last three years that you mention and the beginning and ending dates you saw them (as best as you can remember). Be sure to write on your application everything that you have just told me about your childhood abuse history and the panic attacks and flashbacks and what triggers them. Should you decide to file on your own and are denied, be sure to get an attorney for the 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

      • Hi I try to kill myself from job stress yes it dies happen and it very serious it can’t go back to work I try I would like to know if I can apply for social security and disability I am still seeing my therapist Thank you. Gwen

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Gwen,

          Yes, you can apply for Social Security Disability. It is not possible to predict whether you will be approved, but filing an application is the only way to find out. You might also consider talking with your therapist and a vocational specialist to find out if there are any low-stress occupations you can tolerate.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • misty

    I had applied for disability and got denied for four years, I then found the right lawyer to help me but he only helped me get two years out of the four years that I had applied for. Can I repeal for the other two years that they didn’t pay me?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Misty,

      Yes, you can appeal a partially favorable decision. You might ask the attorney whether he or she thinks you could be successful with an appeal and the reasons for his or her opinion.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Jen

    Hi, my mom has had a series of mental illness since she was 28 years old, she is now 53. She has had several breakdowns every 2 to 3 years. She is delusional and becomes paranoid. She thinks everyone is out to get her. She recently quit her job because of her paranoia. She doesn’t see that she has a problem at all. She says we don’t understand and no one will listen. She hates going to the doctor because she doesn’t have a problem and thinks that she don’t need the meds. I really honestly don’t think she can work anymore, she has changed as a person. Since her last episode three years ago, she hasn’t been the same. It is almost like she hasn’t snapped out of it.She would never apply for Disability, beings she doesn’t think anything is wrong with her she is just fine. She has worked her entire life. How do I apply for SSD for her? I don’t know how to help her. They have made it that mentally ill patients have too many rights. Truly ill patients don’t see they have a problem. I can’t even call her doctor, finally she authorized my dad to talk to the doctor. I lost my uncle to mental illness, I can’t lose my mom too. Having a parent with mental illness is so hard. Any guidance or suggestions is truly helpful. Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jen,

      I suggest that you and your dad make an appointment with a Social Security claims representative to find out whether you can apply for your mother because she is mentally incapable of doing so. You can explain that she is delusional and paranoid and does not believe there is anything wrong with her and that she quit her last job due to paranoid delusions. Hopefully, her doctor is aware of her condition (even if she was seen infrequently) and will make a statement regarding her diagnosis and failure to follow medication therapy. She may be asked to go to a psychiatric evaluation. Don’t argue with her and try to convince her she is disabled. Perhaps you can persuade her by assuring her there will be no treatment (which is true) and saying that, if she goes, she might get an ongoing monthly check to help cover expenses and buy some things she would like to have.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • TLM

    My daughter has been diagnosed with clinical depression, ptsd, and bpd, and has just recently been released after a 60 day stay in a dual diagnostic medical center. She has been hospitalized a multitude of times prior to this in our local hospital in the psychiatric ward. The last time there she had attempted suicide. She feels at this point she cannot work, the bills are piling up, and she has thought about applying for at least short term disability to see if she can stabilize and possibly some day go back to work. The problem being that she is (was) a teacher, and when she went into the dual diagnostic center, they applied for short term disability for her there but she was denied. Teachers don’t get regular social security so my guess is she wouldn’t be eligible for that. Any ideas that could supplement her income while she is recovering? I am not sure at this point whether or not she will ever be able to work, but she is hoping that some day maybe…. thanks for your insight.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear TLM,

      Some public employment including for school districts is covered by Social Security taxes, so your daughter should double check. If, in fact, she has not been paying FICA (Social Security) taxes on her wages and has not worked in other Social Security-covered employment in the past ten years, then you are right–she would not be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD). However, the Social Security Administration administers another disability program called Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for individuals with minimal assets and income. To qualify your daughter has to be disabled or be expected to be disabled for twelve months. If there is a possibility of that, there is no harm in applying. Benefits are paid for mental illness if the individual’s condition is severe enough. Benefits are not payable for drug addiction or alcoholism. It will take two to five months to get a decision.

      For financial assistance in the meantime, she might apply for food stamps and energy assistance to pay the heating bill. You mention a “short-term disability” denial. I am unsure whether you mean public assistance from the state or from a short-term disability policy that your daughter or her employer purchased. If it is the latter, it seems as if it would have paid at least while she was in the hospital–unless she was getting sick leave pay for the same period. If her doctors think she is unable to work, she should apply again.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Dana

    Ok so I was qualified for ssi,but only could get it for like one month. I also had to appeal for ssd. It said I was disabled but not before a certain date. Is it because it wasn’t a full 12 months from the date they said I was disabled? Do I have a better chance of getting it since they said I could get ssi? My lawyer never makes sense to me and is real short. This is so confusing:/

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dana,

      To be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD), you must be insured. This means that you must have earned enough work credits working in jobs in which you paid Social Security taxes. Additionally, you must be currently insured. This means you must have earned a certain number of those credits in the ten years immediately before you became disabled (or in a shorter time if you were under age 31 when you became disabled.)

      Apparently, your medical records did not show that you were disabled on or before the last date that you had enough work to be currently insured. If you are appealing your Social Security denial, you have to show that you were disabled while you were still insured. Being eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for a period after the Social Security last insured date will not help your SSD appeal.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • pkw

    Do your passed work history help with getting approved for mental ss..and if you have been dianosed with bi polar, anxiety,pstsd,and depression and take three medications all day and have sent in proof of everything from the doctor including blood test will u still get denied

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear PKW,

      It sounds as if you have done a good job of submitting all your medical information. Whether or not you are approved will depend on how severe your conditions are and how much they limit you. (Having a diagnosis and receiving medical treatment does not necessarily mean you are disabled.) Social Security compares your limitations and capabilities to work that you have done in the past. If you are under age fifty and cannot do past work or another other occupation, your claim will be approved. If you are age fifty or over and cannot do past work, your claim will also be approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Kay Derochie

    Dear Eric,

    Yes, it is true there is no financial risk in seeking help through Disability Advisor.

    I could not remove your full name as you posted it on the previous message. I did delete your post but kept my reply up.
    Best regards,

    Kay

  • eric

    can you just use my first name in previous post ?

  • Betty

    My name is Betty I am 46 years old I have applied in 2011. I was denied the first and second time. I was taken out of work for POST DIRMATIC STRESS DISORDER and PANIC DISORDER and DEPRESSION.. NOS..I have had a Lawyer working on it and I have an appeal. I am really wondering if I am going to get denied again; I am so tired of waiting. I am living on hardly nothing. What do I do ?get a different lawyer? I have 2 doctors that say I am not able to work. Its been 3 years with them. I just don’t know what to do next…..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Betty,

      You suggest getting a different attorney and I can’t really offer an opinion on that. I can say that people are approved at hearings who have been denied at the first appeal so your attorney may be doing all that is necessary to represent you. It can be hard to wait, especially while waiting for a hearing date, which can take up to a year. While you are waiting, it is important to continue to see your physicians so that you continue to have medical treatment history right up to the hearing.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

    • Debbi

      Hey Brittney, I was so encouraged to read your post. I know it’s an old one, don’t know if you’ll ever see this but I am a Christian and I have PTSD too. I’m 50 years old now. I do have a lawyer and I applied for SSD this past Oct. I have been doing nothing but putting my trust in God. You really just inspired me. Thank you!

  • Joshua

    Hello, I am a 29 year old NC resident and I have been suffering from bi polar disorder, severe anxiety and depression for most of my life. I have not worked in 5 years because of these issues. I tried filing for disability a few years ago but was denied. No one will hire a nervous wreck like me. I am considering trying to file again but don’t know where to start or even if its the right option for me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joshua,

      If your income and assets are below a certain level, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which does not require work credits; or depending on when you were last insured and how long ago you filed your prior claim, you might even be able to apply successfully for Social Security Disability (SSD).

      The place you need to start is to consult with a Social Security attorney about your condition, your medical and psychiatric treatment, and your work history. That way you will get a well-qualified opinion on how to best to file your claim and help filing it. You will pay no fees for attorney representation until you are approved for benefits. At that point, the fee is set by Social Security law and the Social Security administration will pay your attorney directly using a portion of your back pay. So, you incur no financial risk in getting the best help you can.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • GENAY POOLE

    GOT CUT OFF CAUSE I WENT TO JAIL BUT NOW OUT HOW CAN I GET IT BACK

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Genay,

      Please clarify for me–were your receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and also whether you are now out of jail? Once I know that, I may be able to provide some guidance.

      Thank you.

      Kay

      • Selena Enbody

        I haven’t went to jail but I have court 10-8-2014 and I could go that day. I violated my probation by committing retail fraud. I am receiving it now but I was told I will lose it if I go to jail

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Selena,

          Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are not payable to individuals who are incarcerated for a felony, so your benefits will stop if you go back to jail. When you are within three months of being released and have a definite release date, you can apply to have benefits resumed; however, if you receive SSI and it has been suspended for twelve months, you will be required to file a whole new application to see if you are still disabled.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Daleana

        I’m 18 and dropped out of school because of my anxiety, and depression problem. I’ve been sent to 3 mental instutions and its been like this since I was 12. I’ve seen a therapist since I was 12 as well. I had a job once but I literally broke down crying and freaking out at my job and quit. I haven’t been to my therapist in 2 years she stopped seeing me due to her retiring and I haven’t seen a therapist since. Do I even qualify for disability?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Daleana,

          I don’t know whether you are disabled by Social Security rules. To find out for sure, you need to file a claim. You can file a claim and you may be sent for a consultative examination; however, it would be very helpful for your claim to see a mental health professional on your own so that you can have an assessment and ongoing care records to submit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • My name is Daniel I been diagnose with ocd since I was 19 I’m 23 been seeing therapist for a year and then I left to panama 5 months came back and seeing same therapist I feel sad depress my life sucks I can’t work I get nervous they might fired me I’m scare to work I been taking medication doctor prescribes me if i get hospitalized for wanting to commited sucuide would ssi disqualify me I feel sad my ocd. I can’t maintain a job what if i m going to have kid I don’t have job feel like killing myself I need help how can I apply

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Daniel,

          I suggest that you call a suicide prevention hot line right away and also contact your therapist. I also suggest that you find out whether there is a medication that will help with your symptoms.

          With regard to benefits, a suicide attempt does not necessarily result in an approval for disability benefits. To be eligible for either Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you must be disabled for twelve months or be expected to be disabled for twelve months. If you have to stop work or are fired for work performance related to medical or mental health reasons, you can apply for benefits to find out whether you are eligible. New claims take from two to five months to process.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Mary

      Hi i have a 13month child and i have notice he is starting to bit his nails is that nornal he does exactly what his dad would do

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Mary,

        I suggest that you chat with your child’s pediatrician for advice.

        Sincerely,
        Kay