Many of you have probably been wondering where I’ve been. I few even sent me an email asking if everything was all right. Thanks again for the concern. Real life issues had been keeping me busy. All that is over now and I am back. Although, summer is here now and I always seem to get distracted by the nice weather. Hopefully, it won’t take too terrible a toll on my writing this year.
As you already know, I have various medical problems that pull me away from time to time. What you don’t know is that I applied for disability over two years ago. I didn’t qualify for SSD disability, since I had returned to school and therefore didn’t have enough work credits during the necessary period prior to my application. Instead I applied for SSI disability. TV inundates us with ads from lawyers offering to help with disability claims. I contacted every one of them and, with the exception of Binder & Binder, none of them would accept SSI claims (my impression is that SSD claims net them significantly more money for the same amount of work).
The process is simple. You apply. Unless you are a quadriplegic or coma victim, you will be denied. Then you appeal. At this point, paraplegics are considered. Everyone else is denied. Then you request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. This is where your case is actually decided.
It took me over two years to get to this point. There were endless forms and questionnaires, as well as requests for medical information from numerous sources.
Binder & Binder were absolutely worthless. The level of incompetence was unbelievable. I won’t bore you with the details, but if you are ever in need of this sort of service, only use them if you have no other choice. Anyone can easily do for themselves what Binder & Binder did for me. In fact, all they really did was send me forms to fill out that I could have obtained myself, and then consolidated everything into a single file. This info was then turned over to a local lawyer (independent contractor not affiliated with B&B) for the final hearing. This representation at the hearing is the sole benefit of using a professional firm instead of representing yourself. The lawyer was amazing and extremely helpful.
Needless to say, this was a very stressful and emotional process. To make it worse, everything moves at a snail’s pace. Patience is not one of my strengths. At the end, I thought I was coming out of my skin. I didn’t want to impose my state of mind on those around me, or on my blog, so I thought it best to just withdraw till it was all over.
It all actually came to an end a few weeks ago, but I had a lot of other things to get caught up before returning to the blog. Everything else is now taken care of, so I’m back at last.
My SSI Disability was approved. The lawyer said that hearings could last for hours and require all sorts of lengthy (week-long) follow-up medical exams. Mine was done in 20 minutes with no follow-ups at all. He said that he had never seen such a straight-forward, slam-dunk case. I sure wish someone would have seen that two years ago.
The monthly allotment is nice but basically negligible. The real benefit is the medical coverage. Now I can finally have some testing done that I could never have paid for before.
I am so happy to have it all over. At the end, I couldn’t have cared less whether it was approved or not. I just wanted it all to be over.