Originally Posted by bretd
hang'n in there Don, I have'nt talk to my lawyer yet on the appeal. I go and see my family doctor today, I am going to ask him to send me to another doctor to help with my depression, someone who can prescribe meds. I don't have the money, thats why I have'nt went sooner.
Are you on any meds for the depression now ?
I'm not trying to be nosy.........and no one here should disclose more than they are comfortable with. Sometmes it's easier to give appropriate advice when we know more of the story, but we'll still try to help with more generic advice if the details are vague.
Going through this process, you need to understand that if you aren't under a doctor's care for a condition (and that would include regular evaluation visits and for depression would have to include therapy and/or medications), then according to the SSA, it's not a problem for you. They generally only consider a medical issue disabling if it REQUIRES treatment (an exception there would be blindness). If you aren't getting treatment, they will assume that you do not require it, so your condition "can't" be that bad according to them.
If you aren't on meds for depression and/or receivng therapy regularly, then you wouldn't meet the SSA's standards for having a severe impairment. I'm concerned that that may have been what happened......and that you were surprised that they found your depression to be mild when your doctor said it was severe. IF that was what hapened, I don't understand why your lawyer wouldn't have told you that the SSA will assume that a condition is not severe if you aren't getting treament for it.
Sadly, you aren't the first person to post here who might have inadequate medical documentation beause of issues with access to care. Many have suffered financial devastation during years without income waiting for benefits. I've read too many stories here about other members having to declare bankruptcy, losing the family home, etc. The irony is......if you had a monthly SSDI check and Medicare coverage you would be more able to manage the costs of accessing care. It's a catch 22 because you have trouble accessing medical care, so you can't get the SSDI benefits that would help you be able to get adequate medical care. Where's that emoticon with the smiley banging his head against the wall ?
In my general area, several communities have transportation available to help get the elderly and disabled to doctor appointments and shopping. I don't have access to such services where I currently live, but that is part of my planning for my post divorce move. I need to look for housing where I can afford it AND where there is transportation available to help me on days that I can't drive (which is most days).
If you can't afford gas, you might look into free or discounted transportation for the disabled. I hear your complaints about the copays. That's a big bill for me too. Some areas do have free clinics or discounted rates based on your ability to pay. If none of those services are in your area, you may need to move to an area that has more services. That's a big pain and might involve moving away from family and friends, but if that's what you have to do to get the care that you need, then that's what you HAVE to do.
Our health challenges can take over our whole lives. It's not just the pain/disability that make taking care of ourselves and trying to feel decent so difficult..........relationships with family and friends are affected, the loss of employment and the positive self worth that comes from that, ruining our financial plas for our futures...........it's not just our bodies that are affected
Hang in there !