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Topic: How has your lifestyle changed since being on or applying for Disability?  (Read 2445 times)
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« on: March 25, 2010, 01:11:24 PM »

I know that my life has changed dramatically since being on Disability.  I, obviously, can't do the same things I used to do but it goes deeper than that.  I find that I have to prepare ahead of time for anything that I am going to do.  Do I have enough medication?  Can I do it?  How long will we be gone for?  So many things run through my head.  I can't just be that carefree easy going person I used to be. 

It of course takes a psychological toll on you and you have to remind yourself to look at the bright side of things quite often.  I often think  back to before I was approved and the financial strain on top of the physical pain and I feel so bad for the people I know going through that. 

So that is why I pose this question.  How have things changed for you since you have had to apply for/ be on disability?
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I speak from experience not expertise.
Name: Marci
Location: Florida
Age at Application: 35
Disability: Arthritis, Degenerative Disc, Migraines, Foot Injury
Date Applied: September 2005
First Approval/Denial Date: Denied February 2006
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: Denied October 2006
Date Hearing Notice Received: October 2008 two weeks before hearing
Hearing Date: October 2008
ALJ Approval/Denial Date: Letter Received December 2008
Date Award Letter Received: January 2009
Date Back Pay Received: February 2009
Additional Info: Approved at hearing, no Attorney
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2010, 06:47:33 AM »

Great Subject !

By the time I left my job and applied for SSDI, my life had already changed dramatically. I could no longer drive, used a cane to get around, memory was shot, and I was in a constant state of pain and exhaustion.

My husband has taken over running the house, as even cooking dinner requires several rest breaks. I really wanted to cook Thanksgiving Dinner this last year. Even with my husband's help, by the time dinner was ready, I was in so much pain, I went to bed in tears and slept for 3 hours, while he kept the food warm.

He now does all cooking, shoppiing, cleaning, etc. The house isn't as clean as I would keep it, but I'm not complaining.

Waiting for SSDI aproval was stressful and a financial hardship. It took nine months, but I was approved at the Initial Determination level. SSDI income is about 1/3 of my former take-home pay, so we are forced to live on a very tight budget. It is the first time in my life I have heard myself mutter the words "I can't afford that".

I wish I could have seen into the future. I would have done so many things differently. But, I was planning toward retiring at 62, not 52. My husband left his job to play chauffer for me in mine. My job required travel, and could support us both. His could not. If I had known what was coming, I would have left my job earlier, and he would have kept working. He has been looking for work for close to 2 years now. But a 54-year old man with prior back surgery is passed over in favor of the younger, healthier men everytime..
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Name: Pati
Location: East Tennessee
Age at Application: 53
Disability: Small Fiber & Autonomic Neuropathy; Sjogren's Syndrome; DJD
Date Applied: 02/19/2009
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved 10/26/2009
Date Award Letter Received: 11/17/2009
Date Back Pay Received: 10/25/2009
Additional Info: Assigned to DQB on 10/5/09. Approved.
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Who's drivin'?


« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2010, 10:30:23 AM »

I read this section yesterday and am finally able to respond. I have lost EVERYTHING!!  25 years of working for nothing. My wife and I waited and saved to buy our dream home. I paid 270K for it and its estimated value was 350K . I put 30K down. pool,6 bedroom 3 level, huge yard for the kids,a garage to die for, and a 3 seasons roon that was my fortress of solitude. Our cars, Furniture, clothing, savings, 401k, insurance. EVERYTHING! I watched it all slip away and there was nothing I could do to save it. Had a stroke in April 2008, heart attack april 2010. I don't go out of the house much anymore, sometimes forget to brush my teeth,for days, I just don't care sometimes. My friends have actually had "mini interventions" because I will stop returning phone calls. My wife pushes me to interact with others (and it gets on my damn nerves sometimes) I make myself appear normal to my kids (but they know better) Hell, they are just happy to have some time with me because normally I would be at work. My wife, she is godsent. 15 years and NEVER have we fought argued or called each other names. She works at a grocerie store just to help keep us afloat. (I hate that) Our 4 kids are honor roll students,well mannered (I would not accept less from them) and adjusting to our new circumstances. It took over a year for my baby girl to stop asking "When are we going home" (that broke my heart!!) That was the only home she knew. Her room with the painting of the Disney Princesses on the wall and the rocking chair that sat by her bed. GONE. We now live in a rental in the ghetto (3 blocks from the projects) A long way from the suburbs of Plainfield ,Illinois.  My body has let me down. I prided myself on being a father, husband, and provider for MY family. I can't even keep this roof over our heads without it being a struggle!!  BRB
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Name: Doc
Location: indiana
Age at Application: 46
Disability: Peripheral neuropathy hands and legs,COPD,diabetes,bells palsy,hypertension, bilat TTS, Bilat CTS, severe sleep apnea, depression and anxiety, coronary blockage,CONSTANT PAIN, hypertension cataracts, diabetic ulcers, Degenerative joints ankles, knees
Date Applied: 11/10
First Approval/Denial Date: denied ssi/ssdi 02/08/2011
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: @05/01/2011
Hearing Date: 02/27/2012
ALJ Approval/Denial Date: APPROVED 03/19/2012 onset changed from 04/08 to 08/10
Dragon Fly
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2010, 02:25:05 PM »

This topic makes me sad. But since it is pouring rain right now in California and I am stuck in my house anyway...I will respond. My only hope each time I share is maybe it will speak to someone who is not up for writing themselves, and let them know they are not alone.

I'm 37 years old and my life in the last 15 months has been a steady nose dive. I was enrolled in personal training school, developing logos with a graphic designer, securing websites, etc. My plan was to go to school and get certified as a trainer while working full-time. Since I have a history of cervical disc bulges, stenosis and degenerative disc disease (that was controlled by medication and exercise) I wanted to teach other people in pain that there was hope.

Then I got into an accident with a bus and it totally knocked me on my proverbial knees. All of a sudden I couldn't walk. I couldn't sit in my office chair. It happened rapidly. A couple of months later I was having back surgery...as it turns out I also have DDD, stenosis, radiculopathy etc in my lumbar spine as well. My neck issues totally resurfaced after the accident, so now it was a double whammy from the ground up.

I had to quit work. I had to quit personal training school. I no longer can travel, cook, clean, enjoy sex, shop, do charity walks, you name it. I cry constantly and feel like a total let down to my boyfriend. The woman he fell in love with is gone. I look in the mirror and feel like I've never looked worse. Drawn, tired, empty, sad. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that a year later I would be applying for SSDI, praying for help form the government and unable to do even the simplest of office jobs.

Last night my boyfriend and I were watching TV, and I couldn't even sit on the couch next to him. I had to move from the couch, to the floor, lay on the floor, sit on the floor, back to the couch, bend over, move to the side...trying to hide the tears welling up in my eyes. Something so simple can be so painful. That's what life has become.

But then I read your stories, and those of you who have endured way worse than me! And it makes that little pilot light inside flicker and think, ok Dragon Fly, I know you're in there. Knock Knock. Don't give up. If they can keep smiling, so can you. You owe it to others to turn this around and find a way to help yourself heal, and to pass that gift along to someone else. No get up and dust those wings off!

So, if you're out there, and you're feeling alone and like there is no hope...know that there is a tiny army of us gathering together to life your spirits. Keep Going....
 Kiss
>;<
Logged

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." --  Friedrich Nietzsche
Name: >;<
Location: CA
Age at Application: 37
Disability: Complex PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder
Date Applied: October 8, 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved verbally March 15th, 2011. Approval letter dated April 5, 2011
Additional Info: 2 weeks in QR, Received backpay April 4th, 2011
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2010, 08:22:38 PM »

Thank you Dragon Fly for sharing your story with us....I see a very brave lady who wrote that...and yes the words we write here just may help another person going through pain!    My story is a very long one so I will just give the details that are relevant to the topic here....how has my lifestyle changed since my disability?  I have had two passions in my lifetime....one being my career as a nurse...and the other my dogs, and showing dogs.   I started showing dogs back in 1973 and fell in love with the sport from day one...through the years I have always had at least one dog in my life and for a few periods had several....I have also been a professional dog trainer and groomer for many years....showing dogs is in my blood!   Nursing on the other hand was the way to the means, so to speak....but again it was also a passion!  I went to nursing school late in life and excelled at it purely because I love the profession!  I worked a Medical Surgical unit right out of nursing school and that is where I believe my trouble started with my back issues....Oh they tell you a million times in school and at work the art of proper body mechanics...and I was always very careful when lifting and transferring patients in and out of bed....But as luck would have it...I was the nurse who ended up with the 300+ pound person who fell during a chair to bed transfer and injuring my back during this incident.....as the years progressed my back injuring became worse....and I of course ignored all the the symptoms thinking that it would get better all by itself...add that to a family history of spine problems and my goose was cooked so to speak....about 5 years ago I started with numbness and pain in both legs which led to extreme pain....muscle spasms, weakness, and eventually loss of using my legs unless I have a cane to ambulate...I had to quit my job as a nurse....thought about doing a desk job as a supervisor but I am the kind of person who just cannot sit there and do desk work if my co-workers are short staffed or need help....so I would still be adding more fuel to my back problem fire!  Not to mention that if I sit for more than 30 minutes I start really having problems with muscle spasms....So leaving this career was a choice I made based on not wanting to end up in a wheelchair someday!    I did try to continue showing dogs for a short period of time but the pain that I would feel the day after was so severe that it was just not worth it....I still will go to the shows and watch and enjoy the company of my other dog friends but can no longer go around the ring with one of my beloved dogs....it just is not safe even if I do use a cane....I have fallen and injured myself just walking out my front door...so I can imagine what could possibly happen if I was in a show ring and fell!  Not being able to do either of these passions has been extremely depressing for me....I still love and enjoy my dogs....and would not trade them for all the disability payments in the world...but now I have to enjoy then in other ways....Thank God I have family and friends who help with the care of them....the grooming and training and exercising...  I have found other things to do with my time since not being able to work or show dogs.....I have learned to love reading all over again...and I have taken painting back up again.....Forgot how much I loved painting...and sometimes it really takes your mind off of your pain issues....I went to art school back in the early 80s and never really pursued since then....so it is great coming back to this hobby again many years later....So there you have it....just a part of my life after my disability took over....of course there is so much more to my story than what I just wrote here....I could go on and on for a very long time...but then it would turn into a book....and I am not about to go down the "taking up writing" road just yet Smiley  Thanks for reading this and allowing me to share part of my story with you all.............God bless, Rus....
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"Acquiring a dog may be the only opportunity a human ever has to choose a relative" Mordecai Siegal (1934 - 2010)
Name: Rus
Location: Bucks County Pa
Disability: Spinal injury
Date Applied: July 23 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved on October 14, 2010
Additional Info: My case was sent to Quality Review on Sept 22 2010, Received my official letter of approval on October 22, 2010
Hipzepppi
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2010, 10:01:04 PM »

Do you want "Here's the Thing"..."Here's the Daggone Thing"...or "Here's the Kicker"... Im not gonna stress us out no more than we all are at this time but I will say this...Im appalled at how the working class persons are treated during time of need...I looked at my SSA statement...I paid over $100,000.00 into SSA over the past ten years...and I have to go thru this...Denied Unemployment cause Im on FMLA pending OPM Disability Approval....I paid into Unemployment...i know folk that is on Unemployment and SSI that has not put in like we have...but they are eligible for everything....I was making $45,000.00 annually...Fed job at the VA...i lost my car in July...Applied for Food Stamps in June...Got up this morning at 5:00 am o go stand in line for 3 hours...for "TOYS for TOTS"...i am trying to get as much help as possible since my CE is in December...all those FED workers will be on Leave...it will be "Use or Lose" time...so my Claim may be prolonged till 2011...oooohhh well....this is working patience in me Thank you jesus for what you have done for all of us on this forum...and for what you are about to do for us...thanks for listening....everyone you all are great....
Logged
Disability: Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent with Psychotic Features
Date Applied: July 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved Inital Stage Feb 22 2011
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: ...Quality Review 2/17/11 sent to local office 2/17/11
Hearing Date: No Hearing
ALJ Approval/Denial Date: ...APPROVED 2/22/11 -DIRECT EXPRESS CARD 3/14/11
Additional Info: We are not Alone...for where else but in this Common Ground can we find such a mirror...
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2010, 10:09:09 PM »

I cant even focus on my impairments...because i dealing with the symptoms/ stressors that comes with all these regulations...they need to have SSA Mental health counselors 24 hours a day to deal with us...Doc and Marci should not have to do it...this site helps calm my spirit...ease my mind many nights...without yall i probably would have went inpatient..or postal...lol....for real...ya know ...for years I had to deal with The Liar, The Robber, and The Thief!!!! But Good God of Mighty!!! This stressor is like Dealing with The Lion, The Tiger and The Bear!!!! Im done venting....Good night...
Logged
Disability: Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent with Psychotic Features
Date Applied: July 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved Inital Stage Feb 22 2011
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: ...Quality Review 2/17/11 sent to local office 2/17/11
Hearing Date: No Hearing
ALJ Approval/Denial Date: ...APPROVED 2/22/11 -DIRECT EXPRESS CARD 3/14/11
Additional Info: We are not Alone...for where else but in this Common Ground can we find such a mirror...
Doc76013
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2010, 10:41:36 AM »

We all know what your feeling believe me, I am glad you feel comfortable here and you go girl vent whenever you need !

Peace

Doc
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2010, 08:29:27 PM »

Hi Everyone,
     I read the responses to this topic a couple of days ago and it has taken me until now to be able to respond.  I feel a closeness to each of you and reading these posts really effect me.  I am both sad for all you are going through and in awe of your strength.  I can relate to each and every post both here and throughout the forum.  While you all may see your posts in one light, I see another. 

     You all remind me what it means to love someone and be truly loved.  The support that you have in your spouses and loved ones is awe inspiring.  The empathy you feel for one another while struggling with your own pain is epic.  You remind me what it means to be selfless.  Your capacity for forgiveness is amazing.  I struggle to forgive silly things while I read about those of you who forgive so easily those that have changed your lives forever.  Your willingness to share and be so vulnerable and honest brings me to tears.  Your humor makes me laugh when I am struggling through life.  I am eternally grateful that we all feel safe enough to vent, laugh, share, cry and celebrate with strangers that have become better friends then those we truly thought we could depend on. 

     Thank you all for sharing what I know is almost impossible to express.  I am grateful to know I am not alone in my feelings and that there are people like all of you in this world. 
Marci
Logged

I speak from experience not expertise.
Name: Marci
Location: Florida
Age at Application: 35
Disability: Arthritis, Degenerative Disc, Migraines, Foot Injury
Date Applied: September 2005
First Approval/Denial Date: Denied February 2006
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: Denied October 2006
Date Hearing Notice Received: October 2008 two weeks before hearing
Hearing Date: October 2008
ALJ Approval/Denial Date: Letter Received December 2008
Date Award Letter Received: January 2009
Date Back Pay Received: February 2009
Additional Info: Approved at hearing, no Attorney
Dragon Fly
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2010, 10:32:55 PM »

Somehow I missed Rus's story until now...it's funny how we are all interconnected in some way. Rus, my mom was a nurse and severely injured discs in her neck while turning a huge violent patient. She hasn't been able to work since. The doctors told her she must have surgery but she refused. She has learned to deal with her disability (and never even went on SSDI) and I am constantly amazed at just how much she does do. She still manages to run five days a week! So I try to think of my mom whenever I am feeling pity for myself or that I can't "do" anything anymore. In fact recently she sent me a video of a man who had no arms and no legs. Yet, there he was, speaking to children at school, playing golf, swimming, playing soccer. Crazy! It's these things I need to think about when I am feeling sorry for myself. Oddly enough, I have been so depressed lately that even the things I love to do are not appealing and feel like a huge chore. It sucks. But I'm doing my best to climb out of it and make something of my life.

Marci your response made tears well up in my eyes....good ones. Smiley

Love to all,
>;< Dragon Fly
Logged

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." --  Friedrich Nietzsche
Name: >;<
Location: CA
Age at Application: 37
Disability: Complex PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder
Date Applied: October 8, 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved verbally March 15th, 2011. Approval letter dated April 5, 2011
Additional Info: 2 weeks in QR, Received backpay April 4th, 2011

« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 12:24:00 AM by se0269 »
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2010, 07:58:57 AM »

Good Lord, I don't even know where to start  Grin.  To truly understand where hubbie and I are today, there are a sequence of events over the past 10 years that brought us to our knees.  First, we took over the care of my Hubbie's terminally ill father after the death of his mother.  Crusty old Marine with a wicked sense of humor.  He died where he wanted to be, at home in Tennessee.  After he passed away, we moved to Florida to be closer to Hubbie's daughter and to start over. We both found jobs, bought a house and things were going well.  Then, my father passed away and my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  She came to live with us.  She didn't require daily supervision and care at that time.  Then, in 2005, Hubbie has his motorcycle accident.  For a while, we thought he would heal so that he could go back to work.  But he didn't and his pain was terrible.  We cut back our living expenses to live on my salary but Mom's care took more and more of our savings as time went on.  When we finally recognized that Hubbie's injuries would not allow him to work again and we decided to apply for disability in 2008, our savings was depleted.  Mom had become totally unaware of everyone.  She required 24/7 care which we could not provide so she went into a nursing home.  We had to pay the first 2 months until she qualified for Medicaid which took us down to zero money for emergencies.  For the last few years, we survived on my paycheck after closing down parts of the house to save on electricity, eating very frugally, etc. so we could stay in our home and ever hoping that Hubbie's disability would come through.  Then our worst nightmare came true.  I was laid off this past July.  So we held two garage sales to sell off everything except our bed, TV and computers, our beloved home is up for sale with our mortgage in arrears, I collect unemployment with no prospects at my age, Hubbie's disability approval is still in never never land and we're staying with a friend in her tiny house.  We bought a shed with the garage sale proceeds to put in her back yard so we could have a place for our dogs and us.  Three dogs, 4 cats and a futon in a shed make for some exciting times!  Cheesy

Did I ever think we would end up like this?  Heck no!  I have a graduate degree and had a good professional career.  Hubbie was a firefighter/paramedic.  We both have worked hard all our lives and bought the house we had planned to retire in.  I will have to take early retirement soon to keep our health insurance going but will bring home less than unemployment after deducting the premium.  As I type this on my computer in the shed, I look around and wonder how we ended up like this.  Then I look over at my sleeping Hubbie and beloved pets and realize just how much they mean to me.

I'm very angry and frustrated at the "system" that has let us down after paying taxes for so many years of work.  But I vow to keep fighting.

Venting over.
Logged
Name: Wife to Disabled Hubbie
Location: Florida
Disability: Chronic non-union scapula, DDD
Date Applied: Aug, 2008
First Approval/Denial Date: Sept., 2008
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: Dec., 2008
Hearing Date: June, 2009
ALJ Approval/Denial Date: Sept., 2009, appealed to Appeals Council
Additional Info: April, 2010-Appeals Council remand back to ALJ; second ALJ hearing canceled; case transferred to another ALJ Office; OTR requested; approved verbally 11/29/10
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2010, 08:11:56 AM »

Dear "q".....first thank you for having the courage to write that and share what has happened to both you and your husband these past years....If ever I wanted to reach out and hug someone through the internet it would be right now....we all think we have it bad when times are rough and we are living with pain until we look at another person who has it worse then we do...My God you must be one strong lady to endure all of this....and thank God you have what is really important to you still with you....your husband and the dogs!   You don't even have to go there where the dogs are concerned....I swear I would live in my van if I had to before giving up my dogs....I swear I would!  I pray each day for many people....I am not a religious....but have always been very spiritual my entire life....I turned to Buddhism years ago because it made sense to me but praying is praying....and God is God I like to believe.....I am going to continue to pray for both you and your husband my new friend....the two of you deserve a break so desperately!  I am almost in tears here thinking about your situation....I want so badly for things to turn around for you....  Thank you again "q" for sharing this with the forum....I know that others will be as touched by it as I am....God bless...Hugs, Rus....
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"Acquiring a dog may be the only opportunity a human ever has to choose a relative" Mordecai Siegal (1934 - 2010)
Name: Rus
Location: Bucks County Pa
Disability: Spinal injury
Date Applied: July 23 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved on October 14, 2010
Additional Info: My case was sent to Quality Review on Sept 22 2010, Received my official letter of approval on October 22, 2010
Dragon Fly
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2010, 10:06:59 AM »

>;< Just echoing Rus's sentiments, qeqivah... >;<
I so hope you guys get the break you deserve.
xoxoxoxoxo,
Dragon Fly
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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." --  Friedrich Nietzsche
Name: >;<
Location: CA
Age at Application: 37
Disability: Complex PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder
Date Applied: October 8, 2010
First Approval/Denial Date: Approved verbally March 15th, 2011. Approval letter dated April 5, 2011
Additional Info: 2 weeks in QR, Received backpay April 4th, 2011
qeqivah
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2010, 05:29:09 PM »

I know most of you know how I feel after reading the warm support from your posts. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!  I forget sometimes that others can lend support and this forum has really helped me feel not so alone anymore.

Tight group hugs to everyone  Wink
Logged
Name: Wife to Disabled Hubbie
Location: Florida
Disability: Chronic non-union scapula, DDD
Date Applied: Aug, 2008
First Approval/Denial Date: Sept., 2008
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: Dec., 2008
Hearing Date: June, 2009
ALJ Approval/Denial Date: Sept., 2009, appealed to Appeals Council
Additional Info: April, 2010-Appeals Council remand back to ALJ; second ALJ hearing canceled; case transferred to another ALJ Office; OTR requested; approved verbally 11/29/10
Sharbear50
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2011, 10:38:35 AM »

I read this section yesterday and am finally able to respond. I have lost EVERYTHING!!  25 years of working for nothing. BRB
Doc, I am so sorry for all you have endured. Your post made me cry. I will probably be in the same boat shortly. My husband is no longer working and I lost my job in March 2009. We haven't been able to pay our mortgage for 2 months. I feel for you and your family. Prayers and hugs.
Sharon
Port Saint Lucie, FL
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Sharon
I wish I had land - grow food
Age at Application: 51
Disability: Rhuematoid Arthritis, Degenerative Disc, Small Vessel Disease, past Encephalitis, Hip Replacement, Migraines, Carpal Tunnel, Graves and Hashimotos, Mitral Valve Prolapse, etc.
Date Applied: Oct. 2009
First Approval/Denial Date: Denied Oct 2010/Denied again/Missed ALJ Deadlline
Reconsideration Approval/Denial Date: Reapplied May 2011/Approved Sept 9, 2011
Pages: [1] 2 Print 
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