If You Have a Disability, Social Security Can Help

October 8, 2015 • By

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Last Updated: October 8, 2015

Father and two daughters October is Disability Awareness Month. For Social Security, disability is always at the forefront of our conversations. We hear stories daily about Americans living with disabling conditions who need help from the system they contributed to during their working life. Their stories make us proud of the work we do.

Through our Faces and Facts of Disability website, we share the stories about what it means to receive disability benefits from Social Security. The site highlights some of the people who benefit from our programs. We believe that learning the facts and hearing peoples’ stories about disability allows for a better understanding of what’s perhaps the most misunderstood Social Security program.

The Social Security Act sets a very strict definition of disability. Social Security pays benefits to insured people who can’t work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. The impairment must be so severe that it renders the person unable to perform not only his or her previous work, but also any other substantial work.

Social Security doesn’t provide temporary or partial disability benefits. Because the eligibility requirements are so strict, our disability beneficiaries are among the most severely impaired people in the country. Our new online resources, the state disability fact sheets and our national disability issue paper, provide specific information about our recipients’ demographics by state and congressional district. These resources are proof of Social Security’s economic impact and benefit to our most vulnerable citizens.

Disability is something we don’t like to think about, or we may think it can’t happen to us. But the odds of becoming disabled are greater than we realize. The Social Security disability program excels in providing services to people when they need it the most.

For us, disability has faces and names — among them Larry, Kiera, Ebbie, Charlotte, Jamie, and Christine. We want to invite you to come see their faces, and learn the facts. They are truly at the heart of what we do.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Norman Y.

    Does senile cardiac amyloid which is terminal and given less that 2 years eligible for disability?

    • Isftt

      Please see https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0423022080 . Cardiac Amyloidosis- AL Type falls under the compassionate allowance category. I don’t know if senile is the same. These diagnoses are given priority adjudication. Most claims are determined based on the functional limitations caused by the impairment, but some are determined based on diagnosis alone.

    • jeanne l.


      • Dawn

        i have been denied also and have langeerhans cell histiocytosis,moderate CoPD TKR i cant breathe and panic everytime i lay down it only gets worse..my ssd insurance ran out 2013 i was diagnosed with LHC in 2009 3 months after i ran out of time per say, i was diagnosed with metatastic vagina cancer stage 3b now what do i do?

  2. Gretta S.

    You have a reputation of denying disability requests twice at least. This seems irresponsible. A person I know well is on the liver transplant list and has no insurance–none that a normal person could afford–and has been turned down for disability. It is not her fault you are understaffed. Nor, frankly, is it mine, based on my voting pattern. What is the secret to getting help for someone who truly needs it?

    • Roseana Y.

      Call your congressional representative

      • LRB

        Or a lawyer who specializes in Disability law in your state.

  3. Harvey L.

    I am blind in my left eye for more then 2 years

  4. Harvey L.

    I am blind in my left eye for more then 2 years.

    • LRB

      Call Social Security, tell them your situation, and ask if you might be eligible. They would have to find you “totally and permanently disabled” (unable to work) in order to qualify. It’s worth a shot.

      • Cyndee S.

        Blind in one eye? Are you kidding? Minnesota allows you to drive a car with one eye unless you drive a school bus. Hurrah for the kids. Really!! If that’s your only disability don’t bother.

  5. Roseana Y.

    I respectfully beg to differ. Social Security disability is not available to hardworking Americans. This agency assumes the citizen’s claim is fraudulent. Attorneys must help us. Not the American way.

    • William H.

      Roseana is correct in what she has stated. I have contributed to Social Security for over 45 years; to O.A.D.B. for over 30 years; have applied FOUR (4) Times but have been turned down because I live in the desert and can not drive. There are no Buses or Cabs that will drive to where Social Security wants me to take a series of tests for over SIX (6) hours, as the Doctors and Hospital is 79.7 miles away. There are Doctors and a Hospital where I live but Social Security will not allow them to do the tests nor will they allow their Medical Findings to be entered in my behalf. I am 130% below the poverty level since I have retired, I am 68 years old, have contributed to Federal Social Security Funds that were suppose to help, not hinder.

      • Isftt

        Your doctor’s records are absolutely allowed to be entered on your behalf. In fact, if they give a medical source statement as to what work related activities you are unable to do (lift, walk, stand, sit), that opinion must be considered and weighed in light of the evidence. Make sure you appeal up to the hearing level and your doctor’s opinion will most likely be given controlling weight as long as it is consistent with the evidence.

      • IKNOW

        That isnt right but they want you to see their doctors period.?

    • jeanne l.


    • A M.

      Attorneys helping is absolutely the American way. Family courts, criminal courts, immigration courts, disability courts …

      No, they don’t assume fraud as a matter of course, but each application has to be evaluated to see if it meets the standards for being awarded SSDI. If not, clearly you get denied. But when you’re in a state under tight economic conditions, as California was when I applied, they tend to treat the first questionable item in your application as reason for denying it. (Since Social Security is national and not state, this may not seem to make sense: but it’s my understanding that it’s the state that first pays the benefits, expecting federal compensation. At least, it seems to be that way in California, or it was then.)

      Their medical evidence forms are long, and I had a lot of it to give. Looked almost like a phone book when I was finished. I referred them to all my doctors.

      And I was still denied twice in a row. But they were polite and advised me what to do if I wanted to appeal. I followed this advice.

      After the second refusal, this included seek a ruling from an Administrative law judge, and to get a disability attorney to do it. With endless help from my family, that’s what I did. Took a long time, but it was definitely the right advice.

      Since the ruling, I have had no reason for complaint with the SSA. I’ve found them competent and timely. Likewise with Medicare, who have given me much better service than any commercial health insurance company I’ve ever had before.

  6. Andrea B.

    My son has MS yet enough quarters to qualify for SSDI.

    He is 27 years old but cannot work.

    He needs it. What on Earth must he do to qualify? He has applied three times and they still will not award him his earned benefit.

    • Roseana Y.

      Call your Congressman. Ask for help. May open case for you. Our congressman offers help.

      • John K.

        If you have been waiting for SSI or SSDI for a long time (more than 9 months), you must hire a lawyer, preferably one who has experience with social security claims. I was fortunate as my SSDI was approved expediently. But I have several friends who have had to wait a long time.

        • A

          ABSOLUTLY! I had to go to a hearing but the admin law judge said it was really sad as people who aren’t seriously suffering don’t simply change their entire personality and especially income from $60,000 plus bonuses to at the time zero for over a year. Seriously have an issue or in my case Soo many to get such a small fraction of my actual salary! Please do hire an attorney as they can help you remember to see specific doctors and will make sure you’ve been made aware and orepare you for what and exactly if you should (In my case we’d list soo much) but I do hope you look at the large names and That’s who I used a huge name! They do almost nothing else and will be very helpfu. If he missed an appointment he didn’t know about! Best of luck! ⚖

    • LRB

      Or get a Disability Attorney. He/She cannot take your money unless your son is approved for Disability payments. If you get a good attorney, your son may need to go for a tests to empirically “prove” that he is “too disabled” to work. My wife went through this (she has MS, too) and got approved her first time through. Good luck.

      • X

        I went through this recenty myself. The tests I had were completly pointless because I have a disability that is life long and they say that I am no longer disabled. That is completly insane. They don’t care as I have learned since I am getting screwed out of the benefits that I need to survive. I have been on SS for about a year and the next hearing I have is about whether or not I get to keep my benefits. It is tough being disabled whether by birth or otherwise so it should not be tougher on those of us that need it and have already proved that.

    • IKNOW

      A good Attorney is a must and you must have at least 4 doctors, i had to have 6 2 of theirs, Unless you make alot of money a good lawyer will get it for you. keep fighting even if it takes years they have to pay you back to the date you applied.?.

  7. Donald R.

    My step son, who lives in Kansas is totally disabled due to diabetes and failing liver. He’s tried twice to get disability and was turned down both times. He had a third hearing scheduled for September and it was postponed. He has a lawyer. But let me tell you what’s happened while he waits. My wife and I are retired and live on a fixed income. We provide his housing, water, etc., his medication and living money to the tune of approx. $1200 to $1500 a month which has driven us into Chapter 7. He’s been found by his ex-wife passed out 4 times in a diabetic coma. The state has no programs for unemployed men, even though he has 50 percent custody of his young son. It seems to me SS is waiting for him to die to prevent having to pay anything, in my humble opinion. He’s probably going to lose his feet due to the diabetes. Great assistance, huh? You guys don’t seem to care. His name is Darren Anderson and lives in Wichita, KS. We even got his Congressman involved to no avail. Do you really care?

    • LRB

      Wow, sorry to hear this, Donald. Contact your county’s Human/Social Services Dept. and ask if you and your wife can at least become Darren’s “PCA” (Personal Care Attendant). That would pay the two of you for the time and effort spent taking care of him. Also, ask if he’s eligible for any waivers – the Alternate Care waiver, maybe? Best of luck to you. (And no, I don’t work for Social Security!)

      • Cyndee S.

        I feel for you and your family. Sometimes people get it so easy and then there are cases like yours! Judge Judy has people on her show abusing the program every day. Its very sad but its run by the govt so what can we expect? I will keep you in my prayers.

      • Adrian

        I heard I could receive my wife’s benefit amount even though she still works, when I am awarded ssdi and ssi, is that true? I have been denied twice and have a hearing in march, I’m already rated disabled with the VA and rated with unemployability at that. What would I be eligible for monthly on ssdi and ssi?

        Lastly if my wife and two children file for benefits, do I keep 100% of my award and combined they’ll get up to 150-180% of my amount?

        • Ray F.

          Thank you for your service to our country, Adrian. You may be able to get spouse’s benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits. Please keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs including veterans benefits. Social Security pays only for total disability and benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. If you are approved for disability benefits, your wife and children also may qualify for benefits on your record. We establish your benefit amount first, then we pay other eligible members of your family. If the sum of the benefits payable on your account is greater than the family limit, the benefits to the family members will be reduced proportionately. Your benefit will not be affected. Visit our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information in regards to your upcoming hearing.

          • A

            Thank you! Unfortunately It’s an SSDI totall. So I will attempt the same firm and see if there are any local remedies as well. I’d be happy with just a bit reduced. It’s soo terribly imbarassing and because of that as well Its just that much harder! Thank you for you time & kind and caring response! It is very appreciated! ?-A

      • A

        Recently , Unfortunatly the apartment my Husband and I share with my cat has had several different (probably considered by most as okay but for me because of my specific fear of attack, panic disorder, GAD, Trichatillamania ( sp), so we were able to hire an attorney to allow us to be out of the apartment on a day / depends on actual leave and all rights reguarding deposit will be allowed as per MD law. I have been agoraphobic for many years. But in certain situations as well as some relief from some serious behaviors re; Hair pulling . We’ve had the same cat for over 10 years, so I AM FERLING SOO LUCKY BECAUSE OF A VERY REAL FEAR OF MANY PEOPLE , areas ( lit, secured to a higher extent etc., what we’ve done is my cat sits next to or on me on the sofa ( as I haven’t been able to sleep in the bedroom for a long enough time because of another (not natural but because it’s happened in this apartment ( this is our first time renting and we’ve always maintained property as well as adhered to all lease provisions. Such as we’ve never once had a late pay. We just don’t, my husband has been in a hardship that I am praying that with the weekly therapy not monthly or bi weekly with my MD and certain relaxation exercises as well as behavioral modification that’s really not gotten better but bottom line, of course we were ($1000.00) ATYORNEY fee allowed out of our lease, we will be moving soon and they will prorate the next month. But because our new one br one ba( smaller but approx same cost but for the waiver of a pet deposit but now a large sum of $45.00 per month in Baltimore County. Because the apartment allows TENNANTS to have alarm systems installed! So if the alarm is activated by an unannounced (as usual unfortunately and their policy of really trusting contractors ( to the point of handing someone to say ” or replace a tile” or the toilets constantly not working so I do feel we’ve played to my EXTREME DISCOMFORT “Hostess”, without any notice of arrival or expected arrival as I was told it’s just simply too difficult to let me know to expect someone today, tomorrow or the following, not even a call can be made so, if I’ve had another episode of being awake for up to 4 days and nights straight through when I do finally sleep I’m sleeping so very hard, my cat has been trained to one she notices me touching my face (Hair pulling) she almost instantly REMINDS ME OF WHAT I MANY TIMES AM NOT EVEN AWARE IVE BEGUN SUCH AS PULLING FACIAL HAIR. She will instantly begin licking my face! It’s soo helpful because she is a very smart young girl it didn’t take long at all w/ a tiny reward! One hreenie each time! She’s been spayed and was declawed when we rescued her and I have not once ever had her not go directly to the litter box and she’s very funny as we clean the litter up to 6 times a day, I don’t like the apartment to smell of any pet odors. So We use a ziplock system which isn’t super but we put her contribution in a large ziplock inside another and fill the zip then immediately remove it, my husbands been doing 95% of anything outside of our front door as were on a ground floor and of course a contractor w/ tons of time to copy keys could turn on another to or they could be waiting inside a broken storage locker …. Right next to our front doior. Comings and gongs alone specifically due to the previous mentioned & one week this month I had to do a phone therapy session as I was just paralyzed! There are soo many contributing figures, if I know my neighbor’s home working & he’s a large young man that I know would hear me and will generally just hear the door and will make sure I get in & leave safely. Plus I can text him & he’s a very kind man and good friend of ours. As are all of our TENNANTS now! So we were successful in breaking our lease, unfortunately we paid a high premium for a private attorney as I didn’t want to even talk about perhaps rekeying the front door at my expense which was turned down but bottom line is I can’t handle the RESPONSABILITY of having to be in court or at any arbitration as my husbands here normally (. 99% as He has Saturday hours so I’m very fortunate! But the costs of moving are also ours as well as adding now additional expenses such as a public storage unit as we have been lucky enough to get in to the only one br in the area we preffered and it’s a totally refurbished and beautiful layout w/ again my need to know no Maintence or others have entered. As I have such attacks when that’s happened, it’s just such a hard thing for my husband who does almost all of the duties I normally would have and used to but sadly he must accompany me to the Doctor/ therapists as I most days can’t handle it alone. My question is that my doctor is writing to ask for an Accomodation for a one time $250/ pet deposit but they do have a very very high $45.00/ month that they will not waive or work to help us at all. As a result my husbands been extra upset over the loss of soo much simply because my mental health issues are soo very restricting!!They are asking for a Doctor note and will have one according to the law in Md & Nationally for my cat as she’s either considered comfort or some other term because one her companionship all day while my husbands at work and because hercm training has provided many times an instant recognition that I am beginning to or just touching my face! What kind of cat is she considered and is there any help from SSDI to help w/ lowering the super high $45.00/ month pet rent, plus water and sewage that will be billed by a third party ( we all understand that, an attempt to profit a small amount or most cases the leasing company keeps an extra amount while charging a higher rate , I had to make a con session throw as we needed to vacate IMMEDIAYLY or as soon as we’re able to pack and I’ll have to borrow to pay the movers fees and we won’t recieve any returned funds for probably closer to the 45 day max. Simply as they weren’t happy as they’ve never had any cause but nice people who stay almost totally inside at least I do almost all day everyday w/ our cat.)Is that amount for a pet who not only provides me with a slight reduction in severe anxiety, but helps in correcting a issue I’ve had on and off and is of course situationally increased. Does SSDI attempt to talk to Maintence about perhaps a slight reduction as all other areas are less and we’ll be heading South it seems to retire my husband in a couple years! So he’ll then be taking of me constantly. He has to force me into the shower after 3 days as I am not comfortable with the thought of anyone entering again, legally pet their lease or in an already made appt but one with no appointment date or time or estimate or heads up. Sadly we did love the property but the original owner has given it to another to run. Sadly an A property is an F with the BBB!!! In a year! Suddenly they flat out refuse to or arrive to simply repeat the same work completed days earlier? We haven’t had a 2 brr 2 ba, but a 2 br 1 bath. So happily moving forward as my doctors have had to see me for and add different medications as I’ve it’s an enormous amount of weight as stress makes it soo difficult to get anything down. Five foot 8 & 114 lbs 2 weeks ago. I lost 18 lbs in under 4 weeks and they’ve given me meds for increased IBS-D ( another symptom of my disorder but one that hadn’t been an issue in almost 6 months & anti-nausea medications added to normal. Does anyone know what type of cat she is and without upsetting a kind relationship with a fantastic staff that are thrilled to even just have us for 14 mos! Then we decide per terms and my health and advise if we will renew, Has SSDIever tried to mitigate or help as its their $45.00 monthly charge for s pet that is not only oddly trained soI well for a cat but she’s just an angel and does provide a safer than without her! I know I couldn’t move in if I couldn’t bring her. My MD loves the progress she’s afforded even if it’s not huge, she really is soo wonderful in many ways? Thank you for any answer you may have! I sincerely appreciate this!

    • jeanne l.


      • A

        go to the hospital legally or go to work! Be happy your not considered totally disabled! It shatters every part of your life! I would never kill but I would thank GOD EVERY MOMENT IF I WAS ABLE TO WORK! The sheer hell of a total disability I’d never wish on anyone ever, be blessed. See a Doctor and get well! Apparently your able to hopefully! Thank God and go for a jog!! I sure would!

        • J.r.F.

          legally? kill? jog? I am confused?

      • A

        Thank you as we’ll! It’s been simply hell. I really do appreciate all of your kind advice! Be we’ll! ?-A

    • Teresa

      I have a wonderful Lady I can recommend to your…She is a awesome Lady, and she has help so many people. Myself included.
      Please feel free to connect me, If your son is still needing help.
      You and your family are in my thought and prayers!

    • X

      Keep fighting do not lose hope. I am rooting for you.

  8. Michael S.

    Does SSD cover mental health and substance abuse cost for short term detox and counseling?

    Please advise.

    • LRB

      If you receive SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) AND are on Medicare, part of the cost of MI & CD treatment will be covered. Assuming you also have a supplemental insurance program (like Blue Cross, HealthPartners, etc.), the amount covered depends on your plan. The plan I have, plus Medicare, covers 100% of my mental health care and substance abuse treatment.

      • Christine H.

        Sure Medicare pays for the meds for substance abue. But not 350.00 for the first visit for suboxin. Not for the 150.00 a month thereafter. The Dr say cash only no insurance accepted. Its a shame every since the pill mills closed down a GP takes a 4hr class and he a in authority on substance abuse and even their GP and they use Medicare for everything else they will not let you use your Medicare for the visits I was turned down three times by Medicare and they would not pay

    • Cyndee S.

      If you are on disability yes-if not there are.multiple programs for low income. My son went to long term CD treatment. No bill. If you don’t qualify quit your job.Instant poverty. You are important and it may be a long journey but always worth it. Good luck and never give up!!!

      • royoneoption6@aol.com

        what? quit your job ? people like you are the reason the system is in trouble now!!!!

        • wesb

          WRONG to the person claiming that someone should not quit their job re: CD. And that is NOT why the SS system has issues. Itz more complex and there are many OTHER reasons the SS system is not what it should be.

          • Rev. E.

            Many employers also offer drug treatment for employees. Make sure you ask at work before trying something so drastic as quitting your, job, especially if you can’t survive without it. Being homeless, jobless, disabled, and not receiving any SSI was the worst, most difficult period in my life. I don’t recommend it to anyone.

        • Help

          I don’t agree with quitting your job, but getting your Medicaid cut for insurance doctors and meds you cant afford is worse. You can’t continue to work a job off certain meds you take

    • IKNOW

      mental health yes

      • X

        I too am disabled mentally from birth. I sympathize with all of you that need SS. I barely get enough money every month to get by. I have Autism (Asperger’s Syndrome) and have worked at least 9 different jobs before applying for disability. I did not before because I wanted to give myself a chance to function in the workplace but that did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I am currently out of cash and now food. This is truely one of the hardest times I have been through. I just want to say for all of you that are fighting that truely need SS to never give up no matter how hard life gets. I have not yet and I am technically mentally disabled. This may sound idealistic but I do believe that things will get better someday although slowly. For all of you that have served in our nation’s great military I especially hope you guys get it someday. You have earned it more than anybody else so keep fighting the system so to speak just as you fought in battle. For all of you that are mentally disabled I say the same. Do not lose hope as hard as that may be to do. We are all in this together one way or another.

  9. Helen J.

    Does the payment amount differ for early SS income from the disability amount? My statements indicate a higher amount for disability. Helen 510/486-5746

  10. Linda O.

    Does COPD qualify for Disability?

    • Norman Y.

      Does COPD qualify for disability? Also does senile cardiac amyloid qualify?

      • Dolores g.

        Have stage 4 COPD is any help available!! Is very hard to do my cleaning!! Grocery shopping is very hard for me!!

        • Ray F.

          Hi Dolores! Disability Benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to result in death. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. If you think you are disabled under our rules, you can apply for disability benefits online. Also, you may find our listing of impairments useful. Please call us at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday or contact your local office for further assistance. Thanks.

          • ENOUGH






    • LRB

      Any physical or mental illness that prevents you from performing your job adequately (or any other job) is a disability. I would start with a thorough physical and history by my doctor to make sure all my symptoms, my diagnosis, and my prognosis are documented. You can contact your county’s Human Services/Social Services Dept. for help filling out the SS Disability application.

      • Estella G.

        I have been denied twice on Medicaid an Medicare I have been denied twice on Disability one in 2014/2015 and I can’t work let alone I can’t walk a block cause my feets start hurting I have no insurancc no income just a roof over my head what can I do.

        • Estella G.

          It’s me again I forgot to mention that that is not the only disability I have as I’m reading all these replies i can see the words cause everything I see I blurry please help I have family but it’s just likevthey dontvexist since my mom pass on. 2013 ive been trying to get help every where nothing seems to work .

          • J.r.F.

            Have you seen a doctor?

          • Beth

            Contact any nearby disibility attorney who will guide you through the most likely successful application and just get them what they ask for timely-which is less than you will need to do if applying yourself alone. Also, they know most are denied and will help try to win the appeal process. They normally don’t charge any upfront fees and often take only a percentage of your first payment as pay for their services (back-pay to application date from approval date), but research this to be sure its the best attorney option for you.

        • Elaine

          You need to back everything wrong with you via medical records

        • lyn

          I HAVE TO say something: people reading other’s experiences MUST UNDERSTAND theres usually other factors involved causing denials, and inability for help. WHATEVER THE CONDITION: there MUST be a paper trail of MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION !!! Applicants must FOLLOW THROUGH. There are stipulations DEEMING a person DISABLED. feeling anxious, or unable to walk a distance without chest pain ISNT ENOUGH. They need to see a consistent history, more than a visit or few visits regarding the problem. ITS FAR FROM EASY yes. But a true problem wil have brought you to Drs and specialists and MANY TIMES, WHICH IS EXACTLY what offers adequate proof to win a submitted application for benefits.

          • JJ

            I am on first appeal. I have Central Pain Syndrome as my primary reason for becoming disabled and my denial letter listed it but the Doctor never mentioned it in the reason for denial. They only mentioned bipolar and migraines, which I’ve lived and worked with for 15 years; Not easily by any stretch, but I could make a living. I have CPS full body. If it isn’t the worst pain illness known to man, it’s pretty close. I am house bound most of the time and at only age 40. Besides not mentioning this major, nearly always disabling condition, no testing was done by SSDI on my bipolar issues until now at first appeal. I have 15 years of records from local hospitals and Mayo Clinic regarding fibro and mental health. This has been challenging and resulted in a number of job losses, but I’ve always kept working because not working really sucks. Sorry for the language but this is a strange process. I get that Central a Pain Syndrome is rare, but I recommend training on the end of spectrum Pain conditions that involve Intractable Pain. A number of states have had to pass laws to force doctors to treat patients like myself with opioids to keep the restrictions from killing us. I say killing us because I’ve seen suicide rates from 30-40% with too many waiting on disability so they can afford treatment. You have to fix this, it is literally cruel. I’d take a missing limb in a heart beat over this horrendous full body pain I’ll have for every second of the rest of my days. The cluster headaches that have seemed to accompany it are no picnic either. With all due respect, please look into including Central or Intractable Pain in your guidelines out to the offices. It doesn’t need to be in the blue book or anything since only a few million have it worldwide, but your employees should know what they are actually dealing with. I appreciate your time.

          • Cindy

            I wish I could agree with you, I really do. I’m on year 6, appeal after appeal and all the while (5 different) Dr appts. 2-3 X weekly. My conditions are
            clearly listed in the ‘adult impairments’ that qualify. Its not so cut and dry. My life has suffered greatly and trying to come to terms with the way you are treated is not possible. I have done everything right as have others. Bottom line, they don’t have your money, so they put you off as long as possible. Its really such a shame. People apply for disability, who worked hard all their lives, paid into it with every paycheck. Now, unable to work their SECURITY is hurtful, rude, uncaring, and dishonest. I pray for everyone who applies.

      • MarkT C.

        I have had 2 major back operation I am also a insulin dependant diabetic

        • J R.

          I’m thankful I was able to get in here and I want to say this; I was a supervisor for a lar company for 23 years. On my 23rd yr I had a stroke (age 48) because my left carotid artery had a piece of plaque that came loose. This caused me to have aphasia which is the inability to speak, read, write, or understand language. I’ve also had heart by-pass surgery twice, and back surgery 3 times. There are many other things but thatis the biggest ones. I’m 63 now and don’t ever wish you could get on disability! You can not work at nothing else and if you get caught they will stop your check and it’s about 50% of what you were making at your old job. I almost lost everything I had! Pray for good health and a stable job and appreciate it, my way of life has changed so much since I was 48!!

          • Jim

            Thanks for that reply…I am 49 and struggling with either disability or toughing it out. I want to work, I am a HS principal. But the ‘stuff’ going on with my heart and anxiety are getting in the way. Now the docs are looking at Aspergers. Good grief. I just want to feel better.

      • jim

        they give this SS benefits out like candy, a friend was fired from his job, he is missing a a partial leg from driving drunk now he is on SS disability what a joke the SSDI program is

        • william

          depression and alcoholism is a sickness that can be a disability. That disability caused his accident. He needs help and treatment.

          • Gordon C.

            my husband who is on social sec. is an alcoholic has seizures has been treated twice in hospital been released to me(wife) he has a little brain damage and I have to work I need help with him really bad he is loosing control of body functions when I get home from work he badgers me I get no rest what do I do? where do i go for help?

        • Ray F.

          Hi Jim. The Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability. To learn more about the process we use to decide if you are disabled under our rules, visit our Disability Planner: How We Decide If You Are Disabled. Thanks!

          • Realatie

            If drug or alcohol addiction is a disease then does that qualify ? It does last longer than a year and is expected to result in death. Life results in death. We should all get it

          • Tracy

            I have been denied twice! I have seizure ,fractures in neck and back. Having surgery on neck next month. I applied 14 months ago injury happened 2 yrs ago .I called today a to see when hearing is they said 18 months! How the hell do the expect you to survive! Or do they hope you die so they don’t have to pay you! Yes I know people that admit that all they did was drugs and never had a job in there life! They get it! I fucking feel real stupid for working and see people that never have and illegals get it! This is bullshit! And even if I could work, I couldn’t pass a drug test with the prescription pills I have to take! Thanks alot social security!

          • Theresa

            I believe that is untrue. I have been fighting with social security for almost 3 years. I have spinal stenosis and cervical spondylosis my arms hurt so bad everyday I have just now applied again after going through the process once already and even having the judge lie about the hearing in paperwork I received explaining his decision. I agree I don’t understand why so many people get it so easily oh and by the way they still work getting paid under the table and I can’t get approved and am in so much pain everyday.

          • Unfavored

            Yes, I had a lying judge too. He made up his own story and ignored my doctor reports and my own testimony. The audio was tampered with and evidence removed. I have been in this vicious cycle since 2013, trying to get on my disability with stenosis, spondylosis, arthritis, knee injury, mental disorders, and other issues, and denied all the way down the line at the age of 58, while 35 year olds get SSI or SSDI for depression. Makes no sense. The bias in this organizations is out of hand and judges should be punished instead of rewarded for their perjury.

          • Steven P.


        • catherine

          really Jim? My husband honorably served in the military. SSA gave him the social security benefits quickly. He keeps going down from there. we await the VA’s decision on his rating, but if it wasn’t for SSD, we couldn’t survive on just my paycheck alone. Think about that when you say what a “joke” SSDI is.

          • c

            i myself am a military vet injured in 2005 and i have been fighting with disability for over 6 years, i have been denied time and time again, i suffer from PTSD, PANIC ATTACKS, ANXIETY, DEPRESSION and the list goes on. they have not once been of any help i have lost everything from a tv to my house waitinmg on them even with a lawyer so yes they are a joke they give to those who dont really need like candy and then people like me who cant even leave my house let alone my bed most the time has to wait and watch everything i worked so hard for just dissaper

          • Juan F.

            He’s just voicing his frustration.

          • Steven P.

            The SSI system IS a joke. your husband is just one of the lucky ones that they approve so that no one can say that they deny everyone ac crossed the board. I don’t begrudge you anything. I agree that your husband and your family fully deserve the benefits you receive and i’m glad you’re getting the help you need. However, for the other 99% of us who are denied time after time, appeal after appeal, it is completely unacceptable!! THE SYSTEM NEEDS TO CHANGE!!! IN A BIG WAY AND IN A HURRY!!!

        • Mad i.

          I totally agree. I know severe illegal drug addicts and two drug dealers that get ssd and I that have been on denial after denial after denial and 3 appeals and I live in constant daily pain suffer without the help. But they get to enjoy the hunky dory life while they WASTE the help. Very disturbed!!!!!?

          • Mad i.

            Btw I have been battling SSA for 5.5 yrs. And all my conditions continue to just get worse on a daily basis. Still madd!?

          • Diane

            This is so sad to hear, but I also have been denied SSD, after a car accident on the freeway, I could have died that night, Have depression, fibermyragia,anxiety, 2 pinched nerves in neck/back, psorisis,degerative joint/disk desease, my life changed from one day to the next, and like your saying everything I have worked so hard for since out of highschool and the house I’ve had for 30 yrs. can be lost because they have denied me, and my money I paid into disability has ended and because I kept the job with my aunt part time who doesn’t make me do anything strenuous, but it’s still more then I can do, the only reason I’ve kept it was because she’s the only one who has helped me money wise, and I could have lost my house, now that I kept that job, it’s been what is keeping me from full, and I keep hurting me, because I’m in survival mode, it’s all I know, but not good for me at all, Hurting every day. I even have 7 doctors and psycologist, and am 55….SSD denied….Totally not understandable…

          • Ray F.

            Diane, we are sorry to hear about your medical condition and that your application for disability benefits did not go the way you had hoped. Social Security wants to be sure that the decision made about your disability claim is correct. If you do not agree with our decision, you have the right to file an appeal. You must make a request within 60 days from the date you received your notice of denial. We hope this information helps.

          • Paula

            if you know someone abusing the system and that in the long run hurts those in need.why havent you privately turned them in.its wrong…

        • angryashell

          yeah, its a joke because they ONLY give it to people like your friend, alcoholics, addicts, homeless…if you work 35 years and your spine gives out from slaving…good luck, youre not getting disability. become an addict and stop working for 10 years, instant check.

        • Frump

          You don’t know what you are talking about.
          There are is a plethra of message boards for you to rant.

        • J.r.F.

          Well what happens when you get in an severe accident caused by a bad mistake you made and it causes a limb amputation which leaves you disabled? Would it still be a joke then? Disability is,regardless of what caused it,all that some people have to live on….and to feed there children…

        • Paul

          You are a real dandy dude! The guys missing a leg and he has paid into it! Are you jealous?

          • Chrissy

            ATTENTION EVERYONE READ THIS!! JUST CALL AN ATTY!!!!! Get an Atty to take your case. They wont accept you as a client if you dont have a good case because they dont get paid. Make sure to research 1st online for a good one that has reviews and specializes in ssid. They do take a percentage of your back pay but well worth the money vs no benefits at all and the emotional exhaustion and craziness caused by social security’s odd business antics.

        • lyn

          THEY GIVE IT OUT “LIKE CANDY”…STRANGE seeing how its contingent upon the persons condition, the proof submitted, if they followed through properly with appeals. Clearly you need to do some research, re: the MILLIONS OF DESERVING PEOPLE that keep getting denied over and over. Educate yourself a bit more, please rather than based on just the one situation you mentioned…..if thats the case THERE IS CLEARLY A HUGE CANDY SHORTAGE…also…SSI AND SSDI are 2 completely differently entities. Check it out and read some other DESERVING PEOPLES STORIES OF THEIR STRUGGLES.

      • Sarah

        Hi , I have been on ssi for 10 years, but then all of a sudden my disability review date changed for no reason. I am concerned because i did not change this. I am concerned because there seems to be a not very good reason as the reason, does anybody know why?

        • Ray F.

          Hi Sarah, we understand that a medical review can be stressful. We conduct medical reviews from time to time to make sure you are still disabled, and we only evaluate factors that permanently affect your ability to work. We obtain and consider medical evidence from your doctor or other medical sources, if needed, to make a determination. It is important that you keep the appointment, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; or Contact your local Social Security office if you have additional questions. For more information read our publication, “What You Need to Know: Reviewing Your Disability”. We hope this helps.

          • mike

            I just finished my hearing and im 100 percent VA disabled i know they have different ways the do things from VA I had some examiner say i can stand for 6 hours sit for 2 etc etc i had an atty but feel my case was not fully presented right they state beacuse i was a telemarketer in 2005 i can do that again no such way and no telemarketers are even around my area and the one i worked for was shut down because of housing crisis im going to sub mit a review and i was criticized for going on a cruise with the Disabled american Vets this was a trip they do every year many in wheel chairs and walkers didnt think that had anything to do with everything yes if u are an immigrant you get benefits totally unfair iam 61 years old

          • mike

            On my reply below i had stated an examiner the examiner was from the Social Security admin VA has totally been very good with my care top notch and are right on i disagree how the ssa does there Exams

          • J.r.F.

            SSI review boards are not required to notify you of an upcoming review….its random with no set schedule,sometimes its every 6 mon…sometimes yearly or even every 5 yrs…

          • Ray F.

            The Social Security Administration conducts Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR) from time to time to make sure the individuals receiving checks are still eligible to get them. Generally, if medical improvement is possible, we will do a CDR approximately every 3 years. If not, we may review it less frequently. We properly notify individuals in advance.

          • bob b.

            you heard the social sec guy just appeal and you will get disability ! simple as that! no problem! hahahhhahahhhah. its simple if you are nearly dead ….or know a crook !
            I have been sick all my life never was able to have a full time job familiy has rare genetic diseases
            I have been denied for 30 years ! again and agian each time I collapse a lung or get diagnsed with another life threatening condition such as porphryia the soc security admin just say we dont see any evidence ! we lost your papaer work or …we dont know what that is but we determine you wont have it for a year ! diagnosed with somatic condition and anxeity as a way to ignore raynauds and porphyria so bad my hands and face have sores eye problems lung problem heart problems leg problems tremors and seizures and on and on ! my who familiy has problems !

        • lyn

          there is actually a number you can call from your paperwork, think it through firsst as to how youll word it, but INQUIRE as to this sudden change. Shoot tell them you wanted to have more paperwork ready and thats why youre asking.

      • Sarah

        As I read these stories, they are all the same, people seem to go through the same process, years and years of appeals and bureacucy. It makes me so mad, if you have a disability, why do you have to prove it when you are seeing a doctor, im afraid they are going to refuse me and i wont be able to survive

        • J.r.F.

          Seeing a doctor doesnt mean your disabled…they must confirm it or how else will they know if someone is lying and commiting fraud?

          • Suzanne E.

            and my electricity to much money and my all bills every month 8 day i only have $200. dollars and I got to pay more bills

      • milton s.

        i have bipolar hear voices bark like a dog mild retardation slight heart murmur memory problams autisism and past trauma all severe i was denied disability why is that

    • Cyndee S.

      If your COPD prevents you from getting or keeping a job-yes. Be prepared for a fight. My friend is 60 has COPD,CHF, 3 MIs, had lung cancer and has depression and anxiety. She had disability but let her paperwork lapse because she felt guilty accepting it and now is having a hell of a time trying to reinstate it and had to start all over again; was turned down and is appealing. COPD is a.progressive disease which you can only hope to delay progression. It will not get better. So hang in there–if you are turned down- get a disability Atty ASAP. Fees are paid out of back pay and are set by govt so no worries. God Bless and Good Luck!

      • Patricia D.

        I am requesting a appeal on my behalf, because I am disable and I was denied. Please reconsider.

        • Ray F.

          Patricia, we are sorry to hear that your application for disability benefits did not go the way you had hoped. Social Security wants to be sure that the decision made about your disability claim is correct. If you do not agree with our decision, you have the right to file an appeal. You must make a request within 60 days from the date you received your notice of denial. If you need help with filing your appeal, you can contact your local Social Security office. For more information on the appeals process, please visit our Appeal Processing publication on our website. We hope this helps !

          • Travis

            What can I do to help my father??? He has a very painful form of prostate cancer that can not be cured. He can leave his house much less go to work to pay for these expensive treatments. He has not worked really for the last 10 years, and he was just denied ssid. What can we do. I can watch him die in pain. This can’t be ssi’s answer. But honestly it seems to be. What kind of system will allow perfectly capable people to run the streets with disabled tags on there cars, food stamps, and a monthly check while the people who really need help now are turned away and told to suffer? He may not have worked in the past 10 years, but he worked hard in his younger years. He supported his family at his bodies expense, and this system is going to turn him away today. This can’t be the right answer.

          • Ray F.

            We are sorry to hear that your father’s application for disability was denied. When it comes to qualifying for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) program, individuals must have enough credits or have worked long enough–and recently enough–under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security disability insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Your father may be eligible for SSI benefits. SSI is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to people with limited income and resources who are age 65 or older, blind or disabled. For more information call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday to Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

          • Adrian

            Ray, can I receive my wife’s social security benefits if I am awarded ssdi and ssieven though she is still working ?

          • Ray F.

            Adrian, you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits. See our Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse for more information.

          • Shelby J.

            Appeals are a joke. I too have been denied over and over. I even did the function test, results stated clear. Unable to do sedentary, that means unable to work. My back is a mess, I have nerve damage in my neck and back., COPD, joint disease , and more. All documented. Been fighting for 4 years now.sure give a lawyer the money to help you. Mine got me no place. And I need my money, thank god I have people that helped me bail my home out of foreclosure . I now owe them. And in my book. They have the money coming before some lawyer. Just isn’t fair when you have the medical documents proving your conditions

          • Jenna Y.

            Hi Shelby. If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision, or if the Appeals Council decides not to review your case, you would then have to go to the last level of the appeals process which would be to file a civil suit in a federal district court. If you bring a civil action seeking judicial review of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) final decision, our staff will prepare the record of the claim for filing with the Court. This includes all the documents and evidence SSA relied upon in making the decision or determination. For more information, visit our page on Hearings and Appeals. Good luck to you.

          • michael s.

            i was severely injured in two car accidents, both with me at a stop sign. I’ve been on massive pain killers for 7 years. I’ve applied 10 times seems like and had 5 reviews??!! My doctor is outraged at there bureaucracy and now i have to wait 18 months for another review or appeal??? maybe i should go drive drunk and chop my leg off??? atleast i wont have to depend on my mother to support me….. this government is total ****!!!! 150 billion to Iran??? 250 million to whoever and for whatever??? how about just giving me what i paid into for working my butt off 20yrs ????? you people are what is wrong with government!!!!! so chop off my leg and do heroine?? thats how to get it huh?????? pissed and in pain!!!!!!

          • lyn

            yep…..deadlines rules stipulations and REGULATIONS….if a person just LETS A DEADLINE “go”….it doesnt look very good to those deciding your SSI “FATE”…JUST SAYING…

      • Sherry

        I was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease recently and I was wondering if I would qualify for SS. I saw somewhere you have to make a certain amount of income monthly to qualify, kinda like medicaid.

        • Ray F.

          Thank you for your question Sherry. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. However, if a person thinks that he or she meets our definition of disability, we encourage them to apply. To see the process that we use, go to https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/dqualify5.html. You can apply online. A person may still be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program if they work. However, their earnings cannot exceed a certain amount. This is called the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit. In 2016, the SGA limit is $1,130 per month (or $1,820 for blind applicants). In addition to the amount of money you make, Social Security may also look at the number of hours you’re able to work. For more information visit our “Frequently Asked Questions” web page on disability. We hope this information helps.

          • Anymomus

            BLAH BLAH BLAH IS ALL YOU KEEP SAYING no action just the same bull over and over. We know this is all part of the new world order agenda

      • chelle

        where can I find an Atty that will help?

    • IKNOW

      Yrs but must be proven very good.

    • Tiwana

      That’s one of my health problem

    • Gary c.

      Does cops make me eligible 4 disability?

    • angelina

      Yes, you can get benefits for COPD. But be sure to educate yourself. If you do get denied, you can still get an appeal but need to sign a form like this http://www.valle-law.com/san-jose-social-security-disability-resources/how-to-fill-out-form-ssa-3441-bk/

      • Suzanne E.

        I am old my birday 02-25 1947 I am 69 years old I can;t work I am to seek

    • San

      I’m on disability because of my knees. Sometime my knees swells up so big that it is hard for me to walk or stand for a long period of time. My question is this, I own my own home and in front of my house I have a large tree. The fall is here and the leaves are falling. Normally I will get my nephew to pick the up. But he is a way. I want to know will it be against social security rules if I try blowing the leaves and picking them up myself when I am able. I don’t want to get in trouble or loose my SS benefits because I am trying to void a property ticket.

    • Mingo

      I use to get ssi but I started working so they took my check away .but know I don’t work cause of my disability .but ssi give me medicade still . Can I get ssi every month again or my case is close .

      • Ray F.

        Unfortunately and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot provide a definite answer to your question. We need more detailed information to determine if your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can be reinstated or if you need to file a new application. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 Monday to Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or visit your local Social Security office for further assistance. Our representatives should be able to provide the correct guidance in your situation. Thanks!

    • Selina H.

      So it is legal and ok by disability standards to have a judge lie in legal denial paperwork so that Ss doesn’t have to give you benefits? When I got my last judgement going on 7 yrs Btw it said I had worked 12/13/12 but my last day of work was 6/8/2008. It also said I had a drivers license which I have never had. He only cited one drs opinion and I saw that dr 2 times and fired him on the 2nd visit. He said I failed a drug test for thc which I don’t use because I need my pain medication and on 2nd visit told me it was a false positive. But in the ALJ decision it states I failed it and doesn’t say it is was a false positive. There was alot of statements made that I did not say. My lawyer screwed me bad. I had all evidence from 2014 that stated I couldn’t work and prescription for a cane and my recent mri and x-rays hand delivered to her and she claimed in the hearing she never received it. He deemed me unreliable as a witness and my lawyer never said anything. She also was the one to state I worked 12/13/12 funny thing is that is the day I got my first judgment from my first judge. Couldn’t be working if I was applying and trying to get disability since 2010. So now my credits have run out and still can’t get approved. I had 3 ortho drs,my family dr,my therapist,and pain dr all say and put on record I am 100% disabled. I suffer from mental and physical. I just need something to help because I’m about to be homeless and I have a 17yrs old who is under my care til he graduates and he is only a sophomore who has severe adhd,hyperactivity disorder with impulse control problems. So anyone who has advice I’m desperate. I would also like to know if I can have my lawyer stripped of her license. Get this not only was she I’ll prepared but she sent me paperwork to sign to do an appeal although she said it wasn’t worth it I called her 4 times to ask about the false statements and why she thought it was a waste of time. Her response was to not answer me and send me a letter stating to never ever contact her office again and this was before I could sign and send her the appeal letter. So people be careful of lawyers do your research.

    • Osvaldo

      Hi for the past 4 years my anxiety and panic attacks are getting worse on top of that I lost my job last year for my anxieties and also turret syndrome and agrophobia now I been going 1 year to a mental clinic where I get help and medications that help a little like xanax and seraquil but I’m disable to work or can’t work based on my medications as well and also I’m homeless since I can’t work I lost my apartment I sleep in a porch for the past 4 months I was wondering if I qualify for ssi based on my needs and mental and medications status?

      • Ray F.

        Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

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