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Disability/Unemployment/Financial Difficulties Support Group

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
According to Wikipedia's at will state page they can't fire for needing medical leave and they also must comply with federal law in which case you are protected under the Americans with disabilities act.

"family or medical leave – federal law permits most employees to take a leave of absence for specific family or medical problems. An employer is not permitted to fire an employee who takes family or medical leave for a reason outlined in the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993."
 
It's not entirely illegal. It's why I quit my job. I was a part-time employee with no benefits, no access to FMLA because I hadn't been there a year yet, and my absences were piling up. I was also under a union contract, so there was little wiggle room for my boss to "work with me" to prevent me from being terminated.
 

afidz

Super Moderator
According to Wikipedia's at will state page they can't fire for needing medical leave and they also must comply with federal law in which case you are protected under the Americans with disabilities act.

"family or medical leave – federal law permits most employees to take a leave of absence for specific family or medical problems. An employer is not permitted to fire an employee who takes family or medical leave for a reason outlined in the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993."
She probably wasn't fired for needing a medical leave. They can fire you for anything with out cause. "I didn't like her "attitude yesterday" "Her hairstyle doesn't fit in with company standards" I was fired under the same pretences. What they did was legal.
 
She probably wasn't fired for needing a medical leave. They can fire you for anything with out cause. "I didn't like her "attitude yesterday" "Her hairstyle doesn't fit in with company standards" I was fired under the same pretences. What they did was legal.
Exactly. They get around the laws.
 

afidz

Super Moderator
Like I mentioned above, I started interning for a social security attorney. (I am about to get a degree in paralegal studies) It has been an eye opener for me in so many ways. I just want to share my experience with you guys, maybe it will help
1. HIRE AN ATTORNEY. It doesn't matter if you hire one from the beginning or hire one at the hearing level. They are going to get paid the same so you mind as well have one from the beginning. DO NOT hire an advocate. Again, it will cost you the same as hiring an attorney, so you mind as well hire an attorney to make sure that your case is being handled correctly. All of the fees are strictly regulated by the government. It isn't until after you get denied at hearing that they can petition for more money, and even then, that is regulated.
2. Unless it is a clear cut, there is absolutely no way this person could even dream of working kind of case, you are going to get denied on your first try. There are a very small amount of diseases that get this kind of approval. Don't let it discourage you, its just part of the process.
3. The second stage is more or less the same, except this is where they would accept a few more types of illnesses. With Crohn's, you will probably still get denied. Don't let it discourage you.
4. It is IMPERATIVE that you go to the doctor on a regular basis. If there is a gap in care, the judge in the next step will likely deny you. If you aren't going to the doctor on a regular basis, you must not be that sick.
If you are filing for a mental disability, you need to go to the doctor at least once a month, if its physical, they aren't so strict about it, but at least every 2-3 months.
When you go to the doctor, tell them what your worst days are like. They will type it into their notes...your MEDICAL RECORDS.
5. When you are filling out your function report, think about your worst days. Don't ever talk to social security about your good days or days where you are "ok". To them, those are the days that you can work.
6. Understand that this process is AWFUL an exhausting. Getting to hearing level alone takes up to a year, maybe even more depending on your district it takes a year to 15 months to get scheduled for a hearing, if you get denied at hearing, it takes 15-18 months to get a remand, after that it goes back to the judge that denied you. After that is just a whole nother process that I don't really know anything about.
7. If you hired an attorney, DO NOT speak to the SSA. You might incriminate yourself. They aren't even supposed to be talking to you with out your attorney's permission, but if you call them...well thats on you. All contact with them should be through your attorney.

Obviously, this is not legal advice. I am speaking soley on experience that I have gained through my own disability claim and through interning with a social security attorney. I hope this info helps.
 

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
Good advice thanks. In what ways might one incriminate themselves by talking to SSA? I spoke to them and they were shady asking if I filled out the function report. I hope they don't say because I can fill it out that somehow I can work.
 

afidz

Super Moderator
You could imply that you are feeling well enough to work with out realizing it, or on your function report do the same thing. If you have an attorney (which you should) only communicate with them. Even if you think its a simple question, they know how to trick you. Don't risk it.
 

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
I think I'm gonna hire one. I already sent my function report and was too honest by saying I have better and worse days and said there are times I can drive. I should have said I can rarely drive and with difficulties.
 

afidz

Super Moderator
You might have incriminated yourself, but don't worry because you will fill one of those out every 6 months. On the next one, don't ever talk about a good day. Your good day is still 10 wrose than a normal persons bad day, keep that in mind. We have to deal with more than what people realize. Shop around for attorneys. I wouldn't hire binder and binder, but thats just in my opinion. You get a more personalized experience with someone local.
 
Hi everyone, I just got home from my job. I was let go because I've been hospitalized every month since Nov 2014. I told my New boss when he hired me, that I have Crohns, and he's always been ok with it. Until today. I had a GI bleed last Wednesday and was ambulanced to a bigger hospital where I received the 3rd blood transfusion in 3 months. I don't know what to do! I'm a single Mom of 3 kids, on medical and food benefits, and don't know how this is ok?! Help!!

Katie
Diagnosed in 2001, Crohns Colitis. GI bleeds more often each year. Currently on Humira and Imuran.
 
Katie, I think you are on the definite road to Social Security Disability. At least for now. Read though the thread for help on how to get started. I am not on disability, but this thread is very helpful!
 
afdiz: You are absolutely right. I hired an attorney. I never talked to SSD. My medical records absolutely won my case for me, everything was documented on paper from a healthcare professional. I DID have to wait 21 months for my hearing, but that is because it was cancelled once and rescheduled. During the hearing I answered all of the questions honestly, but kept my answers short and did not ramble. I DID hire Binder and Binder. I won my case in January 2013. I got backdated settlement pay and qualified for Medicare right away. I cried a lot during those 21 months.

I believe my review is every 3 years. I already have seen A LOT of doctors since winning my case ( at least 6 Specialists and I have even been admitted to the hospital ). I have already made a list of every doctor, hospital and healthcare professional that I have seen since I won my case because I know that is probably what they are going to ask for during my review? I have to stay ahead of the game.I don't want to be homeless and without health care.

Thanks for listening. Best of luck to all of you out there who are dealing with this whole process. I have Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety. Also Ulcerative Colitis. I have arthritis in my neck with VERY LIMITED mobility. I have osteo-arthritis in my shoulders and I cannot lift my arms above my head. Also arthritis in my hips and in my lumbar spine. Etc !

The good thing is that last year I caught up on seeing all of my Specialist Doctors and I have had numerous x-rays, ultra sounds, scans, and lab tests which I am sure will a great help as far as my review ?

I always keep a list of all of my health conditions, surgeries and medications in purse to give to any new doctors that I see.

Ugh, right now I have c-diff and this has never happened before. I don't understand why I am so sick and I am only 54 years old. All these illnesses started years ago but little by little got worse. I honestly feel like I am 90 years old and I hate it. Neighbors ask me if I need help, strangers open doors for me and people older than me volunteer to reach something in the grocery store for me. I even need a step stool to stand on to reach my mailbox at my apartment complex ( my mailbox is about a foot over my head, I am only 5 foot 2 inches and shrinking every year ). Sorry this got so long. Have a good week.
 
Ann, I'm glad you finally got your benefits. I keep pushing myself and usually go in the hospital once or twice a year. I've had no surgeries, but 10 obstructions/hospitalizations. I wish iould stop working and get stronger, but we need my salary and health insurance. I was told I couldn't even apply for disability until I'm no longer working and if I'm not working, I can't pay the doctors or for my medicine. Terrible spot to be in. Hope I don't die at my desk.
 
Yeah, you can't be working.

I was let go from my job due to "workforce reduction" in April 2009, so that is the last time I worked.

I had a serious mental breakdown in April 2007. When I went back to work after 5 months Short Term Disability I could not even remember how to do my job. Pretty sad. My brain was truly "broken". I tried my best at work from August 2007 until April 2009......but of course I was the person picked to be let go because of the recession . My work performance sucked at the time I was let go. Embarrassing.

I was at that job for 24 years. I had spent my entire life working hard, being an excellent employee. I was smart, reliable and responsible. I worked well with other employees and my bosses. I could handle huge responsibilities, large amounts of money and strict deadlines. I came in early, stayed late, skipped lunches, skipped breaks and brought work home and did not get paid for it. I had drive, purpose and value.

Today: My memory and focus sucks. I used to love to read books, now I can't even read a book. I loved movies at the theatre, but now I cannot do that either. I cannot focus during a 2 hour movie. And I cannot remember what I have read and I have to keep re-reading the first 100 pages of a book. I give up.

I used to have a job AND handle all the health crap that is wrong with me....plus groceries and laundry and driving and phone calls and money and gas stations, etc. Now I get anxiety if I drive more than 10 miles from my apartment and if I am gone from my apartment for too long, if I am in the grocery store for over 1/2 hour. And the depression has sucked all the joy out of my life. I was in the hospital 1 1/2 years ago and I am still looking for that joy. When I was in the hospital they asked me "what do you like to do". I told them nothing. And then I said "That's why I'm here ! ". Later on in a Partial Hospitalization Program I was asked during a class " what is one thing you like about yourself". Everyone at the table listed something. When it came to my turn I said that I could not think of one thing. I still can't.

I am rambling tonight. I will go watch."Jeopardy" now. Maybe I will get smart again ?

Good Night.😴
 

UnXmas

Banned
I honestly feel like I am 90 years old and I hate it. Neighbors ask me if I need help, strangers open doors for me and people older than me volunteer to reach something in the grocery store for me.
At least it's nice to see that there are some kind people where you live. Sorry you had to find that out this way though. :(
 
I am so sorry Ann. I am glad you have this forum to be a companion to you. God has a purpose for us, though we may not know what it is. Hang in there and find the small joys in life. Birds/Butterflies/sunshine/friends (virtual and other)/family/a place to live/even just being able to get up in the morning. We are here for you and thanks for sharing your story.
 

afidz

Super Moderator
Ann Morgan,
I don't know anything about the review process. I am in the Appeals Council Stage now and I don't ever hear my attorney talking about representing people in review. But I would imagine that keeping documentation of everything is beneficial. They like to see that you are going to the doctor regularly. If MHMR is listed as a disability, make sure you are getting regular treatment for that, they are big ole sticks in the mud about that stuff when it comes to MHMR. If it isn't listed, I would still make sure to be getting regular treatment. When it comes time to review, if your mental health state has decreased, that would want to see documentation of that along with consistent care.

Peluchde I am dumbstruck by this whole process. I haven't been able to work since January 2012. If I didn't have a very loving financially able boyfriend to help me with my expenses, I would be homeless. And the sad thing is, most of the people that I talk to all day are homeless. They bounce from shelter to shelter just waiting to hear if they won their case or not. Its heartbreaking. But, its the govt, can't make them go any faster.
 
Can anyone give advice in finding an attorney in the Pittsburgh area for help in filing for Social Security Disability?
 
I used Berger and Green in Pittsburgh and did everything over the phone with them. They take a percentage of your initial payment if you win, and if not, then they don't get paid.
 

afidz

Super Moderator
My attorney called me today, my case has been in appeals council since October, it is supposed to be in AC for 12 to 18 months. I don't know why they called me, anxious about calling them back. I REALLY hope they remanded my judge's opinion. He made a decision based on my weight. The SSA has a list of things that they consider a disability, the 3 things that play the biggest role in my poor health are on the list. I should have won last summer. Keeping my fingers crossed. I will update tomorrow when I call my attorney back.
 
My attorney called me today, my case has been in appeals council since October, it is supposed to be in AC for 12 to 18 months. I don't know why they called me, anxious about calling them back. I REALLY hope they remanded my judge's opinion. He made a decision based on my weight. The SSA has a list of things that they consider a disability, the 3 things that play the biggest role in my poor health are on the list. I should have won last summer. Keeping my fingers crossed. I will update tomorrow when I call my attorney back.
I know you will get approved !!!!!
 
After 30 years of Crohn's, I decided to apply for SSDI. This is different from unemployment compensation. With SSDI your saying you can't work but with unemployment you're saying you can work. It sort of puts you between a rock and a hard spot. Both entities have case judges and some don't care if your collecting UC as you apply for SSDI. It was a hard case your me but I am not collecting UC and waiting for SSDI to make their decision. A good thing about SSDI is you can try going back to work in which case your SSDI will be put on hold and if you can't continue to work you go back on it. SSDI also allows you to work part time and make a certain amount of money. If you search the net you can pick up info on SSDI. Your state site should give you info pertaining to UC. Also see if your Doc has a person in their off that you can talk to. If you need to lawyer-up, choose wisely. It's a shame we have to jump through these hoops when our health is failing. Hang in there and try to smile.
 

afidz

Super Moderator
Keep in mind that there are two different types of disability. SSDI or Social Security Disability Insurance tends to be the higher amount. If you are eligible for this type, it is based off of how much you have contributed to the system. Your payments are not effected by spousal income or how much your bills cost every month. SSD (I think thats what its called, correct me if I am wrong) is similar to welfare. This is for the people that have not been able to work enough and considered disabled under the government's standards. Things like your spousal income, the number of people in the home, children under 18 and total monthly bills are taken into account to determine how much benefits you receive every month. This number changes all the time and with out warning.

As for getting a lawyer, in all honestly there is absolutely NO POINT in waiting until you you get denied a certain amount of times to hire one. They are going to get the same amount of money if you hired them on day one or the day before your hearing so you mind as well hire them right off the bat so they have adequate time to build your case. I also would stay away from advocacy centers. They aren't licensed attorneys but they get paid the same amount that an attorney does and most of the time, they will mess up your case because they really don't know what they are doing. Just hire an attorney. Save your self the trouble.

On another note, I was able to get a hold of Binder and Binder, they are starting to prepare my case for when it comes back from appeals council. Apparently, when you reach the stage that I am at, Mr. Binder HIMSELF takes on the case. I found that interesting. It gives me hope. A big shot like that wouldn't proceed with appeals council if he didn't think he could win. They sent me a bunch of reports and questionnaires to give to my doctors. I am more than willing, the doctors that they have requested from are incredibly supportive, knowledgeable and understanding about my entire situation. Just sucks that I have to pay them to write the dang reports.
 
I was just fired today after spending a week in the hospital. I guess I will be applying sooner than planned.
Stay Strong !

I got let go from my job in 2009 due to "workforce reduction" ( I had worked there for 24 years ! ). But I had major mental health issues in 2007 that greatly affected my job performance. I had been a very hard worker all of my life and it hit me like a ton of bricks when they let me go. I hate to say this, but I am still feeling the pain of being "laid off". Still trying to find my place in the world and it is 6 years later. :yfrown:
 
She probably wasn't fired for needing a medical leave. They can fire you for anything with out cause. "I didn't like her "attitude yesterday" "Her hairstyle doesn't fit in with company standards" I was fired under the same pretences. What they did was legal.
I was let go from my job in 2009 but they called it "workforce reduction" because it happened right after the economy crashed and they were also letting go of other people in other departments ( not just the department I worked in ). I had a mental breakdown in 2007 and was on Short Term Disability for five months. After I returned to work I could not remember how to do my job and my job performance pretty much went down the toilet. I tried as hard as I could to do my job at the same level as I had before the breakdown, but it never happened. My brain had "broke". After I returned to work my managers kept track of all of my mistakes and documented them. I was on the radar. I was being watched. It only made my anxiety worse to know that they were monitoring me. I KNEW I was going to be fired, I just did not know WHEN. It was a sad situation because I had always had excellent performance reviews for the entire time I worked there. l am sure that they kept track of my job performance so that they could have some kind of proof or reason for "letting me go". Anyhow, I am still disappointed and bitter. I was friends with everyone there, even the Regional Manager and National Manager. We were all friends and we all hung out with each other outside of the workplace...........and......we had all worked for the bank for years and years ( some gals for 30 years ! ). Thanks for listening. :eek:
PS: My brain is still "broke". :frown:
 
Ann, I'm glad you finally got your benefits. I keep pushing myself and usually go in the hospital once or twice a year. I've had no surgeries, but 10 obstructions/hospitalizations. I wish iould stop working and get stronger, but we need my salary and health insurance. I was told I couldn't even apply for disability until I'm no longer working and if I'm not working, I can't pay the doctors or for my medicine. Terrible spot to be in. Hope I don't die at my desk.
I understand, this whole SSD thing can be very overwhelming. The worst days of my life were when I was no longer working, all of my money was gone and I had no health insurance. I did not suffer at first. Actually I was very spoiled by an excellent Severance Package when I was let go from my job. Then I found out there was some Retirement Money somewhere that my employer had in an account for me, so I took that money out early ( I was not 59 1/2 years old yet, so I paid a penalty ). Then I actually collected Unemployment Benefits because I actually thought, for some stupid reason, that I could find a job that I would be able to perform ( I never found any ). I am so afraid that the Unemployment people are going to try to get me to pay back my Unemployment Benefits that I collected ( I knew of one person who had to do this after he started collecting SSD ). But I honestly felt like I could do SOME kind of job......something low stress with very little responsibilities and no multi-tasking and no Microsoft experience required ( how ridiculous my thoughts were ! ). In 2012 I had no more money and no health insurance and I was waiting for my SSD hearing. I cried every day. My sister gave me money to live on ( how horribly embarrassing, especially after being totally independent my entire life ). I even started going to Church, but that didn't ease the pain. I now have SSD and I have health insurance. You would think I would feel "secure" but due to my anxiety and depression I worry every day......it is called "catastrophizing". I just want to relax and take care of my health, and then hopefully find some friends and activities to do so that I can take my mind off of all of the things that are wrong with me. Thanks for listening. :heart:
 
I used Berger and Green in Pittsburgh and did everything over the phone with them. They take a percentage of your initial payment if you win, and if not, then they don't get paid.


I did everything on the phone too ( and the computer ). ( I live in Arizona ). I did not even see my attorney until the day of my hearing. My attorney got a good chunk of money from my case because it was back-dated two years. And I got a good chunk of money because it was back-dated two years, and I qualified for Medicare right away. After the hearing I cried all the way home in the cab. 21 months of suffering. Finally it was over. :drink:
 
Keep in mind that there are two different types of disability. SSDI or Social Security Disability Insurance tends to be the higher amount. If you are eligible for this type, it is based off of how much you have contributed to the system. Your payments are not effected by spousal income or how much your bills cost every month. SSD (I think thats what its called, correct me if I am wrong) is similar to welfare. This is for the people that have not been able to work enough and considered disabled under the government's standards. Things like your spousal income, the number of people in the home, children under 18 and total monthly bills are taken into account to determine how much benefits you receive every month. This number changes all the time and with out warning.

As for getting a lawyer, in all honestly there is absolutely NO POINT in waiting until you you get denied a certain amount of times to hire one. They are going to get the same amount of money if you hired them on day one or the day before your hearing so you mind as well hire them right off the bat so they have adequate time to build your case. I also would stay away from advocacy centers. They aren't licensed attorneys but they get paid the same amount that an attorney does and most of the time, they will mess up your case because they really don't know what they are doing. Just hire an attorney. Save your self the trouble.

On another note, I was able to get a hold of Binder and Binder, they are starting to prepare my case for when it comes back from appeals council. Apparently, when you reach the stage that I am at, Mr. Binder HIMSELF takes on the case. I found that interesting. It gives me hope. A big shot like that wouldn't proceed with appeals council if he didn't think he could win. They sent me a bunch of reports and questionnaires to give to my doctors. I am more than willing, the doctors that they have requested from are incredibly supportive, knowledgeable and understanding about my entire situation. Just sucks that I have to pay them to write the dang reports.
Okay, I thought I was getting "SSD". I will have to look at my paperwork again ( I keep it in my purse, believe it or not........that letter I got from the government saying I won my case). Or am I receiving " SSDI ". I worked for many, many years and got good pay. My monthly benefits are way more than a lot of the folks I hear talking about how much they receive monthly. I paid in a lot of money over the years. So, according to your definition above, I am receiving "SSDI". Anyhow, I can look it up and figure it out.
 
afdiz: Any updates to share with us on your case. I was thinking about you today.

You mentioned benefits were based on what you put in, and in my case that was true. During my most recent work history I had worked for 24 years at a bank. I have worked regularly since I was 17 years old. I got good pay at my last job since I was there for such a long time ( but never saved a dime :ybatty:)

I have met some folks that only get half of what I get for monthly benefits, but I have no idea what their work history was or if they are getting SSD or SSI.

Thanks for listening.
 

afidz

Super Moderator
I haven't heard anything new, thanks for asking.
I probably have mentioned this before, but I actually am going back to work. Being on Remicade has Tchanged my life in so many ways, I feel like I have the ability to work for the time being.
I am still going forward with my case. I will ask for a closed period instead. That means that I am only seeking back pay from the time I was fired from my last job, to the time I get hired (whenever and where ever that might be). I honestly don't care about the back pay. Yes it would be nice, it adds up to a lot of money. We are talking about 3.5 years worth. But what I really want is just the title. I want to be deemed disabled. That way, when I get sick again, it would be easier for me to get benefits. Not only that, but opportunities for scholarships arise, and there are companies that have to hire disabled people because they do business with the government. Maybe I sound like I am trying to take advantage of the government, sorry if I do, but the life we lead is not easy and if I can get help from someone in any way, I am going to do it.
 
afdiz: You are a very smart young lady and I think you are headed down the right path. Getting a good education is a great idea. Never stop learning. I am so happy that you are finally finding relief from your symptoms ! Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge with us, what you write about may have helped a lot of people.

When I went into my hearing I did not even know anything about back pay. I burst into tears in the hallway after my hearing when I found out that I was getting two years back pay and that I would immediately qualify for Medicare. Before the hearing I was broke, had no health insurance, was not able to take any psychiatric medications because I was broke and my sister was paying for ALL of my bills.

Lynda
 

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
I don't think that's taking advantage at all Afidz. You are being practical and know you may need SSDI in the future and want an easier way to secure it.
 
I was just fired today after spending a week in the hospital. I guess I will be applying sooner than planned.
Sorry this happen to you, this will show that it is very hard with your condition to keep a job. My hubby got approved last October I did all his paperwork for him on line. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
 
Ann, I'm glad you finally got your benefits. I keep pushing myself and usually go in the hospital once or twice a year. I've had no surgeries, but 10 obstructions/hospitalizations. I wish iould stop working and get stronger, but we need my salary and health insurance. I was told I couldn't even apply for disability until I'm no longer working and if I'm not working, I can't pay the doctors or for my medicine. Terrible spot to be in. Hope I don't die at my desk.
Peluchde, my hubby was the same way. After 24 years of working with this disease he called me at work and said he could not do it any longer. I will keep you in my prayers.
 
Hi all, this is my first post in this thread and I'm here to ask a question. After a four-year long battle with social security, I was awarded SSI in August of last year for severe mental health issues, primarily bipolar disorder. The judge felt that my condition would improve and wanted to reevaluate 2 years from then. Fast forward to April of this year, got diagnosed with Crohn's. When I'm due for my reevaluation, if by some chance I need an extension due to my Crohn's, will they take that into account assuming I bring in all of my paperwork, scans, biopsy, etc.? I realize it will be an entirely different type of disability case but would this help me qualify for an extension if I really and truly need one?
 

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
I don't think the crohns will qualify you because it's unrelated to your approved disability. Unless you could tie your crohns to a major uptick in your bipolar issues.
 
Hi all, this is my first post in this thread and I'm here to ask a question. After a four-year long battle with social security, I was awarded SSI in August of last year for severe mental health issues, primarily bipolar disorder. The judge felt that my condition would improve and wanted to reevaluate 2 years from then. Fast forward to April of this year, got diagnosed with Crohn's. When I'm due for my reevaluation, if by some chance I need an extension due to my Crohn's, will they take that into account assuming I bring in all of my paperwork, scans, biopsy, etc.? I realize it will be an entirely different type of disability case but would this help me qualify for an extension if I really and truly need one?
I have Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety, in addition to my Ulcerative Colitis. I won my SSD case in January 2013 after waiting 21 months. Medical records are the key to winning an SSI/SSD case, so visit your doctor/doctors on a regular basis so that you have current medical records for the court/judge to look at. I believe my case is supposed to be reviewed every 3 years because they thought I may be able to return to work. Part of me is very nervous about having a review. But another part of me knows that I have a lot of current medical records that would be available to the court/judge if needed. If they say I can go back to work they are wrong. I have focus, concentration and memory issues. I suffer from fatigue. I am very depressed, despite seeing a psychiatrist every two months and taking medications. And I physically am not able to do a lot of things due to my arthritis in my neck and shoulders. I used to be smart and have a job, until my breakdown in 2007. But now I don't even have the ability to read a book or remember things. I want my old brain back but that is never going to happen. Sorry this is so long.
 
Incredible! My son applied for SSD in early April and was approved in May. He is 24 and was diagnosed at 8. So glad we didn't have to go through appeals and hearings.
So relieved, as he has already been hospitalized 4 times since March.
 
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afidz

Super Moderator
Hi all, this is my first post in this thread and I'm here to ask a question. After a four-year long battle with social security, I was awarded SSI in August of last year for severe mental health issues, primarily bipolar disorder. The judge felt that my condition would improve and wanted to reevaluate 2 years from then. Fast forward to April of this year, got diagnosed with Crohn's. When I'm due for my reevaluation, if by some chance I need an extension due to my Crohn's, will they take that into account assuming I bring in all of my paperwork, scans, biopsy, etc.? I realize it will be an entirely different type of disability case but would this help me qualify for an extension if I really and truly need one?
Everyone has to go under review at some point, I think more now than ever. There was a big investigation in the Kentucky/ Tennessee area because there was a lot of people that got it under false pretenses (a lawyer and a doctor teamed up). They review cases to make sure that the person is still disabled according to their terms. Keep up with doctor appoints, be honest, and when the time comes for your review, hire a lawyer to help you through it. If you do have more conditions preventing you from working, and those conditions are on their list of disabling conditions, then it can only help your case.
 
So my update is I was denied, not because I'm not disabled NOW, but because the last time I qualified with enough credits for SSDI was a long time ago and I failed to provide enough medical records that showed I was severely disabled back then, too. So I'm calling MORE dr's, and gathering old records for my appeal.
 
No, I haven't retained a lawyer yet.

This was my first application. But I'm a bit confused - I thought you had to go through a first appeal, then another to be seen before a judge? but the paperwork I got seemed to say that this appeal would be to prepare to be seen by an the judge?
 

afidz

Super Moderator
Yes, going before a judge is the 3rd stage. Almost everyone gets denied the first time, and a lot after teh second. I would hire a lawyer now. It doesn't matter if you hire them now or later, you will pay the same amount so you mind as well hire them now and make sure your case is being built the right way
 
No, I haven't retained a lawyer yet.

This was my first application. But I'm a bit confused - I thought you had to go through a first appeal, then another to be seen before a judge? but the paperwork I got seemed to say that this appeal would be to prepare to be seen by an the judge?
Disability processes differ according to what state you're in.

Colorado eliminated first appeal bumping things directly to the court process, but in the mean time they hold a reconsideration review, then appeals hearing, then finally you'd be seen by a judge if they haven't ran you off with the legal hoops. I'm not sure what the reasoning is for it, but guess someone figured this would be a good way to manage the state's applicants??

I found it beneficial following denial in CO and before the reconsideration review had a chance to occur to have my GI write a letter and submit it on behalf of my case outlining her experience of how the disease had impacted my life resulting in inability to maintain simple responsibilities let alone work at the level necessary to disqualify me. Since it's not your GI but a general dr. who reviews case info and medical charts/ histories it can be helpful to have "witness" letters from personal docs. if they know you, have been involved in your disease management for a significant period of time, and are willing to vouch for your need.
 
I started My FMLA a few weeks ago. The Entiviyo isn't working, yet. I'm exhausted and usually in the bathroom. I'm having frequent UTI's and I'm just miserable. I'm going to apply for SS Disability, but I was overwhelmed just filling out the papers for my insurance, so there's no way I can do those. After 21 years of teaching, I never thought it would end this way. My doctor knows I'm suffering, but then he suggests maybe they could just let you do some clerical work! I couldn't even manage that now. I just had my 60th birthday and i feel like crap.
 

Jennifer

Adminstrator
Location
SLO
I'm sorry peluchde. :( Can you go to your local Social Services office and ask for help filling out the forms? They have representatives there who can help you with the forms. You could also get a lawyer and they will help you with the forms as well. They don't get paid until you do and they only take a small portion of your winnings. :)
 
Thanks Jennifer, I thought by letting the lawyer handle most of it, I would have some relief. Everyone tells me that I will more than likely be turned down the first time. Is that the case with everyone? I have Crohn's and urology problems combined and so my time in the bathroom feels like half my life. Teaching 3rd grade is impossible when you can't use the bathroom. I hope I don't have a hard time with this process, too.
 
So I'm starting to think applying for disability might be a good idea. Since having my daughter a little over a year ago I haven't been able to do much. I had 3 infections right after her birth and the antibiotics lead to cdiff infection around Feb and another cdiff infection I'm battling now. Along the way I've had 2 rounds of iron infusions. Now hospitalizations since her birth but it's been rough going. My husband is working 2 jobs to try to make ends meet yet he's still over drawing his account. My ex stopped paying child support 2 months ago as well. We're in a really tough spot right now.

I'm 28 yrs old, have had crohns for 5 years, about 98 lbs and hospitalized once. I'd probably get denied for ssi (ssdi?) Disease not "severe" enough...
 
Hi, I'm wondering if anyone has had any success being on long-term disability for Crohn's Disease through their employer and how long they have been on disability for? Working for me is becoming quite difficult and I know I have to make a decision regarding my work status but I also know how lengthy of a process this might be, although I know it will be worth it to be able to get this disease under control. TIA
 
I am on FMLA right now and have just sent in the papers for my long term disability insurance. I hope to hear something from them soon. I, too, need to get back my life and my job as a teacher was not conducive to getting well. Good luck to you.
 
I am on FMLA right now and have just sent in the papers for my long term disability insurance. I hope to hear something from them soon. I, too, need to get back my life and my job as a teacher was not conducive to getting well. Good luck to you.
I know some LTD Insurance require you to apply for SSDI so they won't have to pay the benefits. Keep us posted.
 
I just contacted a disability attorney and he took all the information. I guess I'm applying for SS disability, too. So much paperwork!
 
Husband says you can apply for unemployment online and that its faster that way.

I receive SSI for Crohn's and don't work. If anyone needs help with applying for SSI I can help answer questions. :)
I do not know much about SSI. Is it available for children or just adults? Does it help with costs of medical care?
Thanks in advance :)
 

my little penguin

Moderator
Staff member
Trust
Ssi is available for kids but it's based on the parents financial assets
There is medical insurance in most states for kids with crohns
It doesn't take into account parents income and can serve as a secondary insurance for kids through the state
But......
State Medicaid limits where you can take your kiddo
It will not cover out of state second opinions
Limits amount of drugs
And lots of paperwork
 

my little penguin

Moderator
Staff member
One more thing
Get fmla if you work full time.
The Gi will fill it out your companies paperwork
Comes in handy for testing appts and hospital stays
 
hi dears,
my name is sriram with from India .living Crohn's with last seven years now a days steroids and mesalamine tablets are not working .looking for better treatment (costly).
unemployment and financial probs .any one can help me in unemployment
 
So now I've been out of work since 9/28/15. I've had to use all my sick time and have had to use the "sick bank" at work, so I've been able to pay my bills. My LTD has been approved as of 12/24, but I won't get my first check until 1/24. They will cut my sick bank benefits on 12/24, so things are going to be very tight next month. Just when all the holiday bills come😢. I'm still on Entiviyo, and headed back to the Mayo Clinic Jan 4th for another Double Balloon Enterography. I can't do a pillcam anymore because it doesn't want to come out! MRI's don't show ulceration and I believe that is what's causing my daily pain. My doctor wants me to take Miralex daily (up to 6 times) as constipation is my biggest problem. Now I can hardly leave the house because of diarrhea! Backed it down to twice a day. Told me not to take Bentyl or Levsin for the pain as they both contribute to constipation. "Just take Tylenol for the pain." Ha, ha! You know he doesn't have Crohn's
 
Location
Texas
Can anyone describe what happens when you go before a SS Judge? Do I need to bring my own paperwork with my notes of the last 3 years, etc. What kind of questions should I expect? I want to be prepared and have everything they might as for as I keep all my records which is about a foot tall.

Thank you!
 

afidz

Super Moderator
Have you hired a lawyer Ali? If Yoy hired a lawyer, then you shouldn't need anything but best to contact them. If you haven't, I would hire one tomorrow so they can postpone your hearing and have time to prepare. You shouldn't go to a heading without a lawyer or advocate, they will take advantage of you and ask you questions they know you don't know how to answer. I don't remember your situation, that's why I brought up both sides. Good luck!
 
I am unfamiliar with Indian law, but I am sorry you are having problems. My best to you
IN INDIA THERE IS NO ACTIVE GROUP FOR Crohn's. MED INSURANCE ALSO NOT COVERING THIS DISESES . NO SUPPORT FROM GOVERNMENT ,LOOKING FOR A LOW INCOM ONLINE JOB THAT ALSO HELPING ME VERY MUCH,
EXPECTING MIRACLE ON THIS XMAS DAY:rosette1:
 
Location
Texas
Thanks Adfiz, I do have an Attorney and we will be discussing things next month. I was hoping from patient standpoint if there were any pointers. I'm hoping my Attorney is good with the Judge but you never know. I know they are there to advocate for me but hoped anyone might have any pointers from their experience.

Obviously, this is going to be a stressful day.

Thanks for your help!
 

afidz

Super Moderator
That's good that you have a lawyer. Don't talk unless you are asked to. Let your lawyer do all of the talking. When you are asked questions, make your answers as short as possible, you don't want to accidentally incriminate yourself.
 

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
My lawyer told me we will meet an hour before the hearing and he will rehearse me. I'm gonna be so drained, why can't we rehearse on another day.
 

afidz

Super Moderator
I forgot to tell you guys, the SSA remanded my case! They found the judge's decision to be erroneous. I have to go to one of their doctors again on the 4th and then I will be scheduled for another hearing after that.

NGNG when is your hearing?
 

Jennifer

Adminstrator
Location
SLO
I'm currently under a medical review to see if I'm still disabled enough in Social Securities eyes to continue receiving SSI. I'm filling out the paperwork right now. I'm not looking forward to this. :(
 
Hi all I dread to think about if the time comes I need to go on disability here. You have to be practically dead these days to get it. I feel so sorry that we have to go through all this it's a nightmare. Wish you all the best of luck 💕
 
I'm back (unfortunately)...after resection in 2013 things are acting up again and another resection scheduled 2/5/16. I'm thinking disability is around the corner, fortunately I paid for it through our group benefit plan through The Hartford. I've read several posts about SSI, but has anyone dealt with disability through work maybe even with The Hartford? Did you get approved the first time, did you use a lawyer and at what point did you hire them?
 
So sorry you are back. Welcome back though.. I am afraid that I don't know much about the system over there, but I do wish you the best of luck with it all. Sending support n hugs and 💖
 
Applying and getting approved for SSDI

Please Please Please if you think you need to apply for SSDI, do so. I'm here to tell you, you can get approved first time through. Yep, it happened. Shocked the living you know what out of me but it happened. My private LTD insurance required me to apply and go through the company they contracted with to be the SSDI advocates. I originally applied back in June 2015 (on my own and online) and went with the advocate company in December 2015. Got a call this last Thursday I'm approved. Now just waiting to see what is what and where I go from here. I do think that I was pretty lucky with the Disability Determination guy here in Wyoming. He was very nice and we worked well together. Not that that helped the outcome, but it sure made the process better and easier as far as I'm concerned. Good luck to all. Please don't give up. Attorneys and advocates can be your best friend through this.
 
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I'm so sorry for all those who are having difficulty getting SSDI with this dreaded disease. What do you do if one's self employed without making any money for the last 41/2years. Didn't want to apply because I kept thinking I won't need it and I'd be giving up my dream but realize I'm too sick to continue this path and financially can't go on like this. Anyone know a great lawyer in New York?
Thanks really appreciate any help!:sign0085:
 
Jkd1111-Ar should in any meds for Crohn's, have you had any surgeries? I'm happy for you and your quick SSDI approval.
Hi ccsysto, Hmmmm, meds where do I start. I was diagnosed with Crohn's about 40 years ago so the list is long....6MP, Flagyl, Imuran (I'm sure there were others, but I can't recall them at the moment) and in the last 10 years or so, Remicade, Humira and currently on Cimzia. I'm also on a high dosage of prednisone (which we have been trying to taper off now for the past 8 months and not having much success) for the pyoderma that I currently have. Gotta love this stuff!

Surgeries....right colectomy when I was diagnosed and about 6 surgeries for the perianal fistula which has not cleared up in any way shape or form.... oh well.

Yeah, I was totally shocked at the "rapid" decision (only took 8 mos) for the SSDI. I was totally prepared to go the long haul for it as there is no cure for this stuff and as we all know we never get any better. At least now I can stop stressing about this which just may help.
 
I am so very happy for those who were able to get SSD and so sad for those having difficulties.

Jennifer or someone please help me! I'm beside myself and need help. It has not been easy finding a good lawyer here in NY and was wondering PLEASE someone tell me what the doctor said to get them SSD for this horrible disease. I am besides myself and so sick and tired and have no one to help but all of you. I guess I will somehow get forms and need your help in filling out. I came from the doctor yesterday since I haven't eaten in over 6 months and just able to drink Peptamen 1.5 he feels I'm eligible but in contacting CCFA the person there said not eating is not enough and neither is pain because people still can work. I'm a mess and need help.
Please someone help!
Thanks so much!
Wishing you all the best day possible and hopefully one day I can help you all.
Thank You from the bottom of my heart.
 
Hi babs. Im so so sorry you are stuggling so...
Im not in the US. So i cant advise you there. Just really want to send big hugs your way :hug:. It can be as hard here in the UK to get help to. I dread when that time comes . So i really hope that someone on here can help you know what to do next.
Much love Mandy 💕💕
 

Lisa

Adminstrator
Location
New York, USA
Babs - what part of NY are you in? Feel free to message me if you don't want to post it...my brother is going through the process himself, and it is verrrrrry slow....

I am so very happy for those who were able to get SSD and so sad for those having difficulties.

Jennifer or someone please help me! I'm beside myself and need help. It has not been easy finding a good lawyer here in NY and was wondering PLEASE someone tell me what the doctor said to get them SSD for this horrible disease. I am besides myself and so sick and tired and have no one to help but all of you. I guess I will somehow get forms and need your help in filling out. I came from the doctor yesterday since I haven't eaten in over 6 months and just able to drink Peptamen 1.5 he feels I'm eligible but in contacting CCFA the person there said not eating is not enough and neither is pain because people still can work. I'm a mess and need help.
Please someone help!
Thanks so much!
Wishing you all the best day possible and hopefully one day I can help you all.
Thank You from the bottom of my heart.
 
Babs - While my Crohn's is not severe enough to warrant my being on disability, I have had experience with getting disability for my wife. You can feel free to work with me. Either in this thread or in private messages. However you prefer it. I would definitely get a lawyer who specializes in Social Security Disability.
 

Jennifer

Adminstrator
Location
SLO
I am so very happy for those who were able to get SSD and so sad for those having difficulties.

Jennifer or someone please help me! I'm beside myself and need help. It has not been easy finding a good lawyer here in NY and was wondering PLEASE someone tell me what the doctor said to get them SSD for this horrible disease. I am besides myself and so sick and tired and have no one to help but all of you. I guess I will somehow get forms and need your help in filling out. I came from the doctor yesterday since I haven't eaten in over 6 months and just able to drink Peptamen 1.5 he feels I'm eligible but in contacting CCFA the person there said not eating is not enough and neither is pain because people still can work. I'm a mess and need help.
Please someone help!
Thanks so much!
Wishing you all the best day possible and hopefully one day I can help you all.
Thank You from the bottom of my heart.
I'm surprised that someone from the CCFA would say that. Was it just a random person from their forum or an actual member from the CCFA? While in a way they may have a point since it can be really difficult to be approved, it's a bit harsh and not really helpful. :(

Are you able to go to your local Social Services office? They have people there who can help you fill out the forms and help you through the process. I forget what their title is but Social Services will know and can help you set up an appointment. I'm not sure if you need to be denied first to see them but it's worth a shot. My husband has been denied twice now and is currently waiting for a hearing with a judge (Social Services told us about this service a little late in the game after I filled out all of his paperwork).

When filling out the forms you want to think about your worst days possible. Sometimes we have days that aren't as bad and sometimes we go into remission but that doesn't mean those rough days won't return or that a flare isn't around the corner since this disease is so unpredictable. SSI and SSDI help us get back on our feet and hopefully be able to take care of ourselves in the future once our disease is better under control.

Be sure to apply as soon as possible though because it takes a while to fill out the forms and even longer to get a decision. If you're denied then appeal immediately. Don't get discouraged. If you're unable to work then see if your local Social Services offers General Assistance/Cash Aid to help you out financially if you don't currently have state disability. If you need help with any questions on the form then let us know but hopefully you'll find a lawyer or other representative from Social Services who can help you fill out the forms. :)
 
What if your young, never worked, almost 18? Is there anything out there to help these teens with this horrible disease who are not in remission? Still covered on parents insurance for now.
 
Sorry I haven't checked email lately but so appreciate your replies.....you have no idea how much! Well actually you do since you're unfortunately the only ones who get it whereby I'm so sorry that we all have to be here. Ummm how do I get in touch with some of you privately? I have brain fog now and apologize.
Please help!
Thanks so much in advance!
Also I'm so sorry I don't know the answer for an 18 year old who hasn't worked but I hope you get an answer.
Looking forward to finding out how to email privately since this is my last hope of anything and can't thank you enough.
Hugs
Babs
 

Jennifer

Adminstrator
Location
SLO
What if your young, never worked, almost 18? Is there anything out there to help these teens with this horrible disease who are not in remission? Still covered on parents insurance for now.
They can receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income). That's what I've been getting since I was around 14 years old. Apply at your local Social Security office.
 
Hey babs,

Sounds like you're pursuing some good avenues to find out what needs to happen in your state. It can take a long time and is frustrating as hell in the process. I waited a year from point of filing and took about 6 months to line everything up for application. It's not a fast process.

The big point in disability is whether or not an applicant could produce sustainable work activity with their disability or not. It's not the easiest thing to prove - but a supportive doctor and well-documented information will help. Capability of not being able to provide sustainable work is what anyone is arguing in disability applications.

For me, I'd been working with my dr. 8 years since I was still in high school. I've heard impact of a dr. letter or witness letters offer more impact the longer/ better they know you. There were multiple hospitalizations throughout college - one of the criteria for Crohn's as a disability. I've also been steroid dependent majority of the time since diagnosis - clinically one can't be in remission while on steroids, another qualifier for disability. There are several main points that can make Crohn's a disability - check that list and see what applies, then focus there to support your claim.

My dr. in addition to pointing out the above and additional disease complications, essentially wrote that work would be detrimental to my already fragile health, increase my risk of infections which I'd already struggled with, steroid dependency w/ inability to taper, joint issues limited mobility, and long-term complications resulted in extensive malnutrition - low energy, fatigue, and exhaustion that would limit any work activities, including basic tasks.

Those I live with also wrote letters to help document how, for me, historically any work ended in hospitalizations and could not be sustained before seeing health deteriorate. They also wrote as witnesses to the amount of work and effort that goes into managing symptoms/ disease on a daily basis and attest to the more ambiguous symptoms like fatigue and exhaustion.

Make copies of anything sent in addition to required application material. Things get lost.

Key for me was addressing whether or not I could manage any form of sustainable work including work from home options, not just work itself, and then explaining my case and experience of Crohn's in a way that focused on that.

Best of luck and hang in there. It's not an easy fight, or a short one usually, but you got this!
 
Looking forward to finding out how to email privately since this is my last hope of anything and can't thank you enough.
Hugs
Babs
Hi Babs. For a private message, just go to the top of your screen. In the top right corner is a link to private message.
 
Can't thank you all enough for the info. Just don't know if my mom and I have the strength and fortitude to fight so hard since it's been an awful battle for the last 25 years and we've always been so hopeful until now. We never gave up and fought tooth and nail for everything but now we are exhausted. Also lost my dad to cancer between my battle with this disease. Feel like my dreams are all gone.I don't know what I would do without all your help. Having a really bad day today.
Bless you all and there are no words to express my gratitude.
 
My girlfriend who is 23 only has a little bit of work history, she was 18 when diagnosed with CD and was working at her first and only job when she had to quit because of her Crohn's. She has since not worked and is just now finally going to apply for disability (her mom was too proud to let her apply for this in the past). Anyone have any advice on if she should be applying for SSI or SSDI?
 

Jennifer

Adminstrator
Location
SLO
Jennifer, I guess ssi varies from state to state? Do I need to get dr papers before applying?

No you don't. Your child's doctor will have paperwork to fill out but you bring it to them once you get the paperwork from Social Security. Start by getting the paperwork and look it over. After everything gets sent in then your child will have a mental examination with a doctor of Social Security's choice and they will have their own doctors look over their medical history. It's a long process but well worth it plus they'll qualify for Medicaid so no more copays even with the other insurance.

My girlfriend who is 23 only has a little bit of work history, she was 18 when diagnosed with CD and was working at her first and only job when she had to quit because of her Crohn's. She has since not worked and is just now finally going to apply for disability (her mom was too proud to let her apply for this in the past). Anyone have any advice on if she should be applying for SSI or SSDI?
I honestly don't know how long ago she would have had to work to qualify for SSDI but it is possible to apply for both. If she doesn't qualify for SSDI then that's fine because she'll have SSI to fall back on. I'd just start the paperwork for both.
 
:sign0085:Wow! I thought I was overwhelmed BEFORE I started reading all of these testimonials. I know of no other way to ask for advice except state what I'm going through. It's hard for me because so many of you have been through hell and back. My heart aches for you. But even though I've not had any surgeries related to Crohn's or UC, I'm at wits end.

I was diagnosed two years ago with Crohn's after begging a friend to do a colonoscopy. I explained what I was going through and even though I didn't live in that town anymore, he agreed it was necessary. My colon was picture perfect of what you DON'T want it to look like. I have dealt with chronic diarrhea for years...nobody told me it was not normal to go to the bathroom 20x a day. I haven't known what a normal bowel movement looks like for years. He diagnosed me with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. It took months to get in to my new GI. In the meantime I was rushed to the ED with a fever of 105 degrees, fatigue, horrible diarrhea, and dehydration and stomach pain. After discharge, I saw my new doctor. He listened very intently and immediately prescribed Humira every other week. He also put me on 40mg. of prednisone and Apriso 4caps daily. I was already taking Oxycodone for an unbelievable pain in the ass, no pun intended. Long story short on that one is I finally had to go to Duke University Hospital and have a specialist examine me and proclaim I had an anal fissure (that should have clearly been visible to the other doctors, EM included, who had examined me. I'm the guy who wrote the post about the doctor who walked in and looked me in the eyes and said, "There's nothing I can do for you.)

I realize this is rambling. I'm still on oxycodone for pain, have upped the Humira to one shot a week because my levels were too low, according to Prometheus labs, tapered off of the prednisone twice (first time adrenal glands refused to produce the expected 7.5 mg of cortisone necessary to stave off joint pain), and yet the diarrhea is worse now than ever. I have heartburn so bad I wake up in the night. I went from Prilosec to Nexium to no avail. I'm having strange rashes and raised places on different parts of my body. One day my tongue swelled up on one side so badly that I had a lisp! I got scared and went to an intermediate clinic. (The doctor said "your tongue isn't swollen! lmao) It did it again about two weeks later on the OTHER side. Go figure. I'm so tired I can hardly make it throught the day. I've gone through two intermittent LOA's and have exhausted all of my time and vacation. I'm 60 years old and for the last two years my W2 reflects $14,900 each year! That's how much work I've missed. I have major anxiety disorder, and I take Xanax 1mg 4x day and 1 at night. My psychiatrist has worked with me since 1993. I see a counselor where I now live about every two weeks. It's gotten to the point that I either cannot go into work due to the cramping and diarrhea, or when I do, I can make it perhaps 1/2 day. The people I work with don't understand why I must go to the bathroom all the time. They question me. I wish it were not so.

I've finally realized that I need to apply for ss disability. I cannot go on like this. If I have no job, I have no insurance, and I cease to exist! I don't qualify for Medicare yet. I have not had the surgeries some of you have, but it's very real. I told my doctor that maybe he had made a mistake. He started laughing and said, "Jimmy, I know you don't want to hear it, but you DEFINITELY HAVE IT, and a particularly nasty and stubborn case." And the Prometheus lab work proved it. I'm at the point I want to give up. I don't feel like I can fight the system on all fronts. People really don't understand unless they have the same thing. I don't know how I will survive with no income, but I'm told by my lawyer that I make too much to qualify. Just a kind word from someone, any encouragement possible will help. I've applied for another job which would require my staying in a position for hours at a time. I have no idea how I could do that job!!! So sorry this rambles and is so long. I'm going to get my lawyer to apply for me. But from all I've read, I can expect a long journey.
 
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