Topic: SSI Disability

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Posted on: Sep 20, 2010 05:46AM

Posted on: Sep 20, 2010 05:46AM

jdootoo wrote:

I am going in this Friday for an interview at the Social Security office to try to receive SSI. My pathology report came back with the following staging: pT2(m) N2a Mx, placing me at stage IIIa. On my Radiology Consultation (after my PET scan) the doctor states that "There are small rounded enhancing right axillary lymph nodes associated with abnormal hyermetabolic activity suspicious for metastatic adenopathy..." and 2 nodules on my right lung, too small to biopsy.

Basically, there are a few small clusters of lymph nodes that could change my staging "on paper" to a stage IIIb. I have also developed lymphedema in my right arm. 

I could use advice from my bc sisters who have gone through the interview process at stage III! My biggest issue with working is that I have so many doctor appointments (currently doing rads and Herceptin) that it is impossible for me to work.

Please help, we have run out of $$$

One love, Jackie 

There's a natural mystic blowing through the air; If you listen carefully now you will hear. This could be the first trumpet, might as well be the last: Many more will have to suffer, Many more will have to die - don't ask me why. -- Bob Marley Dx 1/29/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Sep 20, 2010 06:01AM Deirdre1 wrote:

Jackie:  I know it sound reasonable to state that you can't get to doc' appointments, but they will throw that comment away, unless it is more likely you have great pain when trying to do your work or drive (and even driving to work isn't usually used as a reasonable example!)  They don't think and the rules are not logical so you need to think like they do.  Do you have ANY other ailments that cause continued damage or pain (each ailment pushes you closer to the goal).. Do the medications that you take cause you to be unable to think clearly or are you now limited by how much weight you can carry.  You see it really takes some research - a close member of our family was Stage IV and wasn't able to get SSI because he wouldn't try to think like the department did.  And yet we have a close friend of the family who has lupus (and plays tennis) was able to get SSI- because she was placed on heavy meds and had other diseases.  I'm not saying this to discourage you only to prepare you and perhaps to help you.  If you have say migrain headaches in your medical file, and ashma, and perhaps high blood pressure... make sure they know ALL of you "disabilities" not just cancer, because although it is devistating to you it doesn't mean much to them UNLESS it impairs your ability to work.. not having to take time off for appointments but the wear and tear on your body and mind and the inability of you now to perform your duties...  I wish you the best and if this is your first time, make sure you appeal quickly and the second time please get a lawyer for the reconsideration.. Good luck and I hope you are one of the lucky one who are unlucky enough to fit their criteria!!!   So many people deserve to be able to collect but because they aren't cleaver just won't..  Be clever girl!!!  Deirdre
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Sep 20, 2010 06:01AM TiffanyF4 wrote:

I am a IIB an I am out of treatment but dealing with alot of side effects from treatment.  I had my interview and several doctors appts. still waiting on a decision from Social Security Disability.  I have been advised by many many people to appeal if denied and get a lawyer. Good luck!

Tiffany Francis Dx 9/22/2009, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 20, 2010 09:10AM jdootoo wrote:

Deirdre: Thank you for the great advice! I work as a graphic designer and my arm does get pretty sore and numb after a couple of hours working with a mouse. Also, my PT does not want me to do any lifting with my arm. I really am concerned about the lymphedema and do not want it to get any worse. I also have 2 young children and it is hard to coordinate my schedule enough to even look for a job... God help us! Smile   Be clever girl... I love that! (my new mantra)

Tiffany: Good luck to you as well... what kinds of side effects are you having? My worse one is dealing with my arm now that I am done with chemo, except for the Herceptin. 

One love, Jackie 

There's a natural mystic blowing through the air; If you listen carefully now you will hear. This could be the first trumpet, might as well be the last: Many more will have to suffer, Many more will have to die - don't ask me why. -- Bob Marley Dx 1/29/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Sep 20, 2010 12:25PM Deirdre1 wrote:

Jackie:  So I would certainly start out the conversation that you have Stage 111A Grade 3 bc and then go on to tell them the many drugs you are on the many side effects from the med, the fact that you are a graphic artist (but throw in that in any job you would need your arm), that your Lymphedema is constantly having to be monitored and watched carefully so as not to get worse and that you are actively in PT.  Again, they honestly don't care that you have 2 kids (although I certainly do!) so look closly at your own health and ask yourself - do you have pain, does that pain interfer with your work, do you have side effects from the drugs you are on and does that effect you ability to do work.  Are you healthy in every other way?  No other medications for anything?  If so make sure they know every since medication you need to function and if you are like many of us you don't like taking pain meds, but if you doc has suggested them, make sure your investigator knows that you might have to go on them if the pain continues.  I think you get the picturs...  And my thoughts will be with you, please let us know how this goes!  You don't have to over-exaggerate your symptoms - just recall your worse day and report that day!!!  Good luck to you both and I hope to hear some report next week.  But remember they almost ALWAY throw out the first attempt and that DOES NOT speak to your need and right to continue on.. They are just hoping you will go away, don't you dare feel any guilt (that's there job to make you feel like you life is rosy and that you should be happy with your life)..  You've earned this money for working for years and it is an entitement no matter what they call it... (as you can see I am passionate about this issue - mostly because in the early 90s they finally stopped giving SSI to PRISONERS - PRISONERS.. no wonder the money in their accounts is low....  My blessings and warmest thought go with you - Be clever girl!!! Laughing (I like it)
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Sep 21, 2010 02:42AM - edited Sep 21, 2010 02:48AM by binney4

jdootoo, experience tells us that they will not listen to any mention of lymphedema EXCEPT as it directly affects your work and your activities of daily living. So discuss ONLY the actual physical limitations it puts on you: a specific time limit for using your arm with the computer, say, or a weight limit of you can lift. Then be specific about how those limitations affect the kind of work you do, or your life activities. They don't care about the condition itself, only it's direct consequences.

Plan to appeal -- that's just part of the routine. Many women with lymphedema have gotten better results by using a lawyer for their appeal.

Here's a page with some tips for appealing for disability with lymphedema:
http://www.stepup-speakout.org/AppealingForCare.htm

Good luck!Smile
Binney

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Sep 21, 2010 02:57AM Medigal wrote:

Ladies:  I have a question.  Is SSI Disability only for people who have worked and paid into the SS system?  What about those who becomed disabled or have Stage IV bc and have never worked?  Can they apply also?  I am not "at this time referring to myself" (I also have worked) but others I am thinking about.  Just curious how the system works.  I always thought it was for only Stage IV bc but from what I have read, it seems to be whatever stage one is in especially if one has other disabilities.  Is this so?  Thanks for any info you can share.

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Sep 21, 2010 03:24AM Deirdre1 wrote:

Medigal:  Social Security Disability is due to work history, you must have a certain amount of work credits before they will consider you.  But SSSupplemental Income is available ot help if you have a lower income and they don't really like telling you what the income limit is so go to their web site and see if your friend qualifys first..    IMO never do anything with Social Security until you have educated yourself.. or they will educate you the way they "see" things and you may never even understand why you are being turned down...  Good luck to you all!!!

Also, as a follow up if you have been in treatment for any kind of anxiety or PTSD (or any psychiatric illness even if you were able to continue to work) make sure you put that on the forms (there must be doc's notes to back it up - but if you been to a psychologist or psychiatrist there will be notes - they will get them for you you don't have to).  And any medications for that.. every illness that can be supported will up the potential of you getting benefits....

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Sep 21, 2010 04:05AM Medigal wrote:

Deirdre1:  I was not thinking about myself (at this time, thank goodness!)  I just wanted to know how the system works for "what if".  The way the economy goes nowadays, any one of us could end in the "what if" group so I prefer to be prepared ahead of time.  Thanks for the education!

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Sep 21, 2010 04:55AM Deirdre1 wrote:

Not a problem and IF you ever do need to apply send me an IM I have a book (granted several years old now) that walks you through the processes...  Take Care and yes ANY one of us could be a person in need of SSI SS Supplemental...  We need to all keep look'n out for one another Laughing  Best, Deirdre
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Sep 21, 2010 11:19PM Jane_M wrote:

I worry about the wait time.  I am currently working (2 jobs), but there may come a day when I can't.  I don't know how I will make it between my last paycheck and the beginning of SS.  Don't you have to be out of work for a year first?

"Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it." Mark Twain Dx 8/13/2008, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 7/20 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-

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