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Unread 12-13-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
rosie
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Default SSDI question

Hi all,

I'm doing a little research on disability benefits Social Security Disability Insurance in particular. I see that Parkinsonian syndrome is on the list of "automatically disabled" conditions, if you have:

"Significant rigidity, bradykinesia, or tremor in two extremities, which, singly or in combination, result in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station."

And yet, I have heard that most Parkinson's disability applications are rejected the first time around, and it is recommended that one hires a lawyer does anyone know why this would be, if Parkinsonian syndrome is on the list of "automatically disabled" conditions?

I'll call them tomorrow, but I thought I'd throw it out there and see what real world experience is like.

Thanks for your help,
Rosie
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Unread 12-14-2012, 01:55 PM   #2
pegleg
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Default Rosie

The reason you are not automatically awarded disability is because those symptoms can be symptoms of a myriad of disorders, and unlike Parkinson's diseazse (PD), some symptoms are only temporary. One example is Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). It presents with the same symptoms and is often originally misdiagnosed as Parkinson's. NPH is a temporary condition;
(http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/n...rocephalus.htm ) Parkinson's is progressive; it only gets worse.

Also, the degree at which you have these symptoms is another reason that disability is not automatically given. One very generalized scale that is used to tell which stage of Parkinson's one is in is the Hoehn & Yahr Scale: ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoehn_and_Yahr_scale ) If you have tremor only on one side, you are said to be in early stages of PD. Bilateral tremor or balance problems places one in a higher category of staging.

For a long time, Parkonism or Parkinson's was not accepted as a disabling condition. It took years to finally get it with that designation. Now with impending Medicare reform, I am afraid they will take it back off this list. Keep apprised of information like that so that you can get your legislators involved. A good group or organization to keep up with such issues is the Parkinson's Action Network (PAN). www.parkinsonsaction.org

I hope this has helped.
Peg
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Unread 12-14-2012, 02:08 PM   #3
Jim091866
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Default about SSDI

I can only speak from my experience. I did not know that Parkinsons was an automatically approved condition. I understand that they have a few but that may be ALS or something like it where they assign it expedited approval.
I applied on my own and without a lawyer. I applied in November, was approved in January and since they had to back date my application for some reason I got benefits in February. Years later my wife applied based on anxiety and mental health issues. We applied on our own and again without a lawyer. She too was approved and recieved benefits after her waiting period. The key is the paper trail. You have to have a paper trail to document and support the condition which you have. The listings of impairments tells you what symptoms they are looking for. In short you must have what they are looking for to be considered for approval. In my opinion they are not there to deny your benefits so make it easy for them to say yes. Imagine someone who is just a paper pusher. They can't talk to you, so if you don't tell them specifically enough they have to deny your benefits. Many things are subjective (open to interpretation). Make it not so, answer questions completely and clearly. when it asks to describe symptoms don't put I get pain in whatever. Put down I get sharp pain, which runs down my leg and causes me to ---------. Etc. Hope it helps.

I forgot to add that since I did such a wonderful job of getting my wife approved for benefits she left me some 6 months later!

Last edited by Jim091866; 12-14-2012 at 02:52 PM. Reason: spelling
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Unread 12-14-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
Jim091866
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Default Again regarding SSDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim091866 View Post
I can only speak from my experience. I did not know that Parkinsons was an automatically approved condition. I understand that they have a few but that may be ALS or something like it where they assign it expedited approval.
I applied on my own and without a lawyer. I applied in November, was approved in January and since they had to back date my application for some reason I got benefits in February. Years later my wife applied based on anxiety and mental health issues. We applied on our own and again without a lawyer. She too was approved and recieved benefits after her waiting period. The key is the paper trail. You have to have a paper trail to document and support the condition which you have. The listings of impairments tells you what symptoms they are looking for. In short you must have what they are looking for to be considered for approval. In my opinion they are not there to deny your benefits so make it easy for them to say yes. Imagine someone who is just a paper pusher. They can't talk to you, so if you don't tell them specifically enough they have to deny your benefits. Many things are subjective (open to interpretation). Make it not so, answer questions completely and clearly. when it asks to describe symptoms don't put I get pain in whatever. Put down I get sharp pain, which runs down my leg and causes me to ---------. Etc. Hope it helps.
Peg,

That is precisely what I was saying. Even if you do have PD, but your symptoms are not documented as to show that you are having the symptoms that they are looking for you will be denied. If PD is on the list of automatically approved conditions and you are diagnosed with PD. I cannot see that you would be denied. Even in cases of misdiagnosis! I can sympathize with having PD on a list of automatically approved conditions but I think that if more people were aware of the "listing of impairments" and had their symptoms well documented as to their condition I don't see that you would have much problem.
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Unread 12-15-2012, 12:47 AM   #5
ol'cs
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Default They usually assign a....

Case worker who checks with your physicians to see if you are impaired enough to warrant the claim. Usually, they seek several opinions, and that of a neurologist or two can help get you on SSDI within six months.
I can't stress the following any more exclamatory; get any life insurance and long true care insurance that you can get WELL BEFORE ANYONE BUT YOU SUSPECTS THAT ANYTHING IS WRONG WITH YOU. TO THOSE WHO COME TO THIS SITE, LOOKING FOR AN EXPLANATION OF POSSIBLE PD SYMPTOMS, IF YOU THINK THAT YOU MAY BE SHOWING SIGNS OF PD, GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELING, AND PROTECT THE FINANCIAL FUTURE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY. YOU ARE GOING TO NEED IT, BUT ONCE IT IS ON PAPER THAT A DX OF PD IS SUSPECTED, YOU ARE GOING TO SEE HOW FAST PWP BECOME INSURANCE PARIAHS.
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Unread 12-15-2012, 12:18 PM   #6
stevem53
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Default

I hired a lawyer who said she would take 25% of the settlement if she had to file an appeal, but if it went through without any problems, then she said that she wouldnt charge me anything

Mine went through in 6 months
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Unread 12-16-2012, 08:14 PM   #7
rosie
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Default Thank you!

Thanks everyone! This is all very helpful the woman I spoke to on the phone on Friday didn't know squat. I asked her who decided whether someone symptoms were "significant" and on what basis she said "the decision-makers decide. I am not a decision-maker. You fill out your application, it gets sent to the decision-makers, and they decide." She seemed very eager for me to apply for disability, too.

If documentation is what you need, I certainly have that, having been diagnosed many years ago.

Thanks again,
Rosie
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Unread 12-16-2012, 09:54 PM   #8
girija
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Default a

www.allsup.com/Apply-For-Disability

Allsup helped me with SSDI. They were helpful and I recommend them.

girija
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Unread 12-18-2012, 07:17 AM   #9
Songfellow
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It was fairly easy for me. I had a written evaluation and confirmation of PD from my neurologist who specialized in movement disorders. Gaining SSDI approval was easy after that.

Steve
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Unread 12-23-2012, 03:32 PM   #10
madamlash
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Default My experience was amazing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Songfellow View Post
It was fairly easy for me. I had a written evaluation and confirmation of PD from my neurologist who specialized in movement disorders. Gaining SSDI approval was easy after that.

Steve
I had read all of the horror stories about SSDI. So, when it was time for me to apply I approached it with a great deal of dread. I really hated the idea of having to hire an attorney and pay for legal assistance to get what I've paid into for 50 years. After studying several articles on the web, I was sure that I would be turned down. I still work (less than 4 hours a week) and earn a very tiny income... not enough to support myself but work is work and everything I read said that I would be turned down immediately. Not wanting to deal with the stress, I canceled my appointment with social security.
You won't believe what happened next.... I got a phone call from the social security office asking why I canceled. I told them why and the lady on the phone actually talked me into coming in. When I went in for my appointment this woman personally filled out my paperwork for me and even stayed after hours to complete it for me.
A couple weeks later I received paperwork from another person asking questions having to do with what I used to be able to do compared to what I now can (can't) do. I sent that in and got another questionnaire which I completed and sent in. I did add pages with lots of details. I left nothing out and heeded the advice of my doctor to be very upfront and not to hide my health issues. (I am still trying to downplay my PD as much as I can... futile effort but I hate to lay my PD at the feet of everyone I meet.)
Almost exactly 90 days after my first appointment at Social Security, I received a phone call from the lady at social security with whom I first met. That was the lady that phoned me to get me to come in. She gave me the news that not only had I been approved but they would be paying me back SSDI for a year! I burst into tears!!!! I was so relieved and thankful.
As they say, "Your experience may vary" but, I had a miraculous experience and just wanted to share it so that you all would at least know that it is possible.
I attribute my success to several things. First of all, I had a remarkably kind social security worker. Secondly my neuro keeps exceptionally good records and is very sensitive to his patient's need to be approved for SSDI. He knows how important this money is and truly believes that his patients need and deserve SSDI. I would recommend that prior to applying, you speak with your neuro and find out his/her feelings on the subject. Lastly, I wrote very detailed answers to the questions on the followup paperwork.
So I hope my experience encourages others with advanced PD.
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