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AVM Survivors Network

And then I opened the envelope


#1

So, Wednesday, we went to the voice Doctor and he said let’s do a swallow study to make sure there isn’t more going on below your vocal cords. On Friday, I volunteered at my kids school - kind of a test to see if substitute teaching would wor part time in addition to social security. It worked, I thought it went well even though my headaches and everything was climbing all day.

And then Saturday, I felt like a Mack truck hit me. Achy, headache, brain fog, voice didn’t want to work - wouldn’t say what I wanted it to, ears were really loud. This morning after church, my wife stopped at our mailbox and got the mail.

There was a letter from the Social Security Administration.

A letter saying that they were denying my claim for disability benefits because they didn’t think I was disabled. It said something about how they didn’t know enough about my past work but they were confident that I could find some sort of work.

My world feels like it just crumbled.

I don’t know what to do.

We have drained all of our savings and ran up all of credit cards trying to keep our modest lifestyle afloat. We’ve had substantial help from both my mom and my wife’s parents - in part. Because we thought it was going to be over soon.

But now what do we do? Do we fight it? Get an attorney? File bankruptcy? I’m not looking that I need to make a huge amount but this is a problem, a big problem.

Any ideas, help input would be welcome…

Tom


#2

OUCH, and I say that from experience. I had my first application rejected too. I appealed it, the appeal was also rejected (IMO due to a dr wanting $1500 to write a report supporting my claim. $1500? from where? I didn’t have it at the time.) When the appeals tribunal called him as my most recent practitioner he simply declined to support.
At the time I had an insurance claim in process and had used the services of a lawyer to make the claim. The insurer sent a specialist from interstate, he was a professor of neurology, to make the assessment, verbally, his words “You’re screwed”. My insurance claim was eventually approved. Via the lawyer I asked for a copy of the specialist’s report and used that to make a SS claim and subsequently the SS claim was also approved.

Tom, I have some questions for you. Do you believe your claim is justified? If the answer is yes, than make an appeal, with a lawyer’s assistance. If you decide to drop the initial claim, before reclaiming get as much medical evidence as you can. Often, I have found anyway, you can have 5 differing dr’s with 5 differing opinions and each one makes out that they are correct and everybody else is wrong. Find one who supports you best and use that report to obtain further supporting evidence to back up your claim.
Navigating SS law can be a minefield, hence my suggestion of using a lawyer who specialises in SS claims. Someone who knows the system and not just a hack that deals with criminal law. Knowing the system can be a huge plus.
So that would be my advice at this point.
Best of luck with it all and please do let us know how you get on.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team


#3

Social Security denials are, unfortunately, common. IMO you should definitely appeal. Most people, not all but a great many, are initially denied. Yet I’ve known a lot of people who appealed and won, self included. :slight_smile:


#4

Merl,

Thanks. I appreciate the support. Yes, I do believe my claim is justified. Could I work a day or two a week? Yes I could, at least I think I could. But I would feel hung over the next day - totally exhausted with pain levels off the charts (well off mycharts…)

We are going to appeal, but the thing that just really hurts is that she lied to us- while acting like she cared. The lady at Social Security Disability who processed my claim really seemed to care. And either something happened or shew as stringing us a line…
TV


#5

Hey Tom. I was initially denied as well. However, in my case my wife and I went to the local LASIL office, (
The Lynchburg Area Center for Independent Living) and they helped us file the appeal which worked.

I was told most claims are initially denied, but with proper documentation and valid sign-offs like your doctor’s or previous supervisors that can help. This is in no way legal advice but basically get someone else familiar with your case.

I hope all goes well with you. Grace and peace sir!