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The financial hell that is applying for SSI while your body is still falling apart

I have really been going through it health wise lately. Six months ago I had to apply for SSI (I do not qualify for SSDI) and I feel like I've lost all hope in life. I've been sick my entire adulthood (I am 27 now), and the past two years in particular have dramatically declined in ways I cannot fathom. I have been in and out of the ER due to complications from so many health problems, and right now I might have to go back. I have hypermobile ehlers-danlos syndrome, POTS, hashimoto's disease, small fiber neuropathy, fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, severe GI issues, and mental illness on top of it. Most of my health problems all stem from the ehlers-danlos. I am currently suffering from severe GI complications potentially needing to be hospitalized as well as struggling greatly financially because you are given no support during the social security application process. For those of you who have applied for SSI, how did you get through the financial hell on top of your declining health? I am on the verge of losing my apartment because of how poor I am and I seriously do not know how anyone does it. The application process is so grueling, terrifying, and long I do not know how much longer I can take like this. How did you get through it and survive? I am starting to lose hope both in my stability physically and how im gonna survive this insurmountable loss of financial/housing stability.#SocialSecurity #Ssi #Ssdi #Disability #EhlersDanlos #hypermobileehlerdanlossyndrome #POTS #Neuropathy #GI

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Seeking a financial planner who regularly works with clients who are on SSI

I am an adult and have been sick (ME/CFS+ alphabet soup of conditions) since adolescence. I live with my elderly parents and our elderly dog. I will be the primary caretaker for my parents, the house and the dog. I’m also the HPOA and DPOA for both of them. Since my brain fog and physical symptoms worsen with exertion it’s extremely important to me to plan ahead and try to pace my financial budget and my energy budget. I would like an advisor that speaks in a way that I can understand, is responsive and knows what they’re doing. #Caregiving #money #Ssi #ME /CFS #CrisisPlan

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How I Won My Disability Case Without Representation

I wanted to share with others how I won my disability insurance (SSDI) case without representation. I see stories daily where people are waiting to be approved for either SSI or SSDI. It is a long, undignified process that can be very difficult, both emotionally and physically. I hope my story can help someone out there.                                                                          I was able to win my case not only without the representation of an attorney, but I also won it on an "On the Record" request without having to go to court. I was actually denied representation by 3 different lawyers who did not feel that they could win my case. I decided at that point to represent myself and "push forward". I am glad in the end that I did.
I am not advising anyone to not seek representation. My hope is to provide a real life example of an alternative for those who might need one. When three lawyers declined to represent me, it was heartbreaking and depressing. But, I knew my story and life better than they did and I also had a significant amount of documentation to support my case. I began the process of researching on-line how to proceed and was able to win my case independent of anyone helping me.  
Here is what I did:
1. Luckily for me, I had kept documentation from past employment and notes from medical providers who had either advocated for me to take a medical leave or for the workplace to provide accommodations. I turned in quite a bit of documentation that detailed years of employment that lasted for brief periods due to my disability. These even included unemployment insurance documents that showed I often won my unemployment due to having the just cause of quitting for health reasons. These documents were helpful, but what I did next was what won my case.
2. I used what is called a Residual Functioning Capacity Form (RFC), a form that is often requested by the Social Security Administration that demonstrates the maximum you can do in spite of your physical/psychological impairment(s). I provided 2 of these: one from my therapist at the time and the other from the Nurse Practitioner who prescribed my medication. Both forms demonstrated my limited capacity for work.
3. Lastly, I took these 2 forms and wrote a letter asking the judge (who was assigned to adjudicate my case) to do an "On the Record" request. This is a request for the judge to make a decision based on the documentation provided in the record without having to go to court.
To my surprise, I was granted my benefits quickly thereafter, less than a month.
I just wanted to share my story because it might help someone out there. You also can always ask an attorney to do an "OTR" and if they feel you have enough documentation to win, they might proceed with writing a letter for you.
For anyone still waiting, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I know how difficult the process is! #Ssdi #Disability   #Ssi #BipolarDisorder

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Trauma is Such a Tricky Thing

(Pic by Yoann Boyer)

Yesterday, my best friend accidentally triggered me by bringing up his disability benefits and I've been out of sorts since.

I honestly thought that I was over it, but I guess the wound of fighting for benefits is still pretty fresh. I have long given up on trying to get SSI for my mental health was greatly suffering. But for everyone around me to be getting benefits makes me feel extremely invalid and I sometimes struggle with feeling human.

I grew up and am still constantly around people who are disabled and to be the only one who doesn't have the benefits after being promised I should makes me feel like I don't fit in and I feel even more alienated than I was before.

Now don't get me wrong, I know that getting disability and keeping it is difficult, but it still was a very traumatic time in my life that I thought I had healed from but haven't. And having it been thrown in my face constantly makes healing that more difficult.

#Disability #Trauma #MentalHealth #Ssi #Anxiety #Depression #Healing #Stroke #CP