Applying for Disability is difficult to me

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vividgroovy
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08 Mar 2022, 9:36 am

I'm trying to apply for Disability. Forms, phone calls and labyrinthine websites give me such anxiety, I get hysterical. This involves all three.

My Social Security number was rejected by the online form for no apparent reason. One day, I did manage to get ahold of a person at the Social Security office. He set up a phone appointment for me. He had me confirm my contact number at least five times. Then, I got a letter telling me they're going to call me at a phone number I haven't had since 2007. I don't know how they even got that number. I've tried calling the office several times to correct it and I never got through to anyone again. I've tried the website, but I can't find anywhere to change it. The appointment is approaching and I don't know what to do.

Meanwhile, after a couple failed attempts, I did manage to finally access the website with a code they sent me and tried to fill out the application. I am stopped on page one. It asks if I've already stopped working due to disability. Past tense. I am currently working, but feel I cannot continue. I have no idea how to answer this question. I can't say yes, but if I say no, I assume I'll be rejected.



kraftiekortie
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08 Mar 2022, 9:39 am

You would have to tell them the truth. They have your Social Security Number.

I would continue to try to contact the Social Security Office. Be persistent about it. Say that you don't have that number now----and give them your present number.

Yep.....Social Security does make it difficult for people to apply for it. It's a real paradox. Many disabled people probably wouldn't be able to apply without somebody helping them.

Maybe speak to some sort of disability advocate within an autism organization, or an organization having to do with people with disabilities in general.



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08 Mar 2022, 7:01 pm

It's a heck of a process. It took me six years with a good lawyer. My best advice for you is to get a good lawyer.


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SabbraCadabra
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09 Mar 2022, 2:02 pm

They make it difficult on purpose, because they don't want people to have it.
I really need to look into applying. They say you always get rejected the first time, and then you get a lawyer...
...why not just skip the middle man and get a lawyer the first time?


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funeralxempire
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09 Mar 2022, 2:08 pm

I feel the process is made intentionally more difficult than anyone with limited executive function or a learning disability can navigate on their own in order to discourage people from pursuing support they're likely eligible for.


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vividgroovy
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09 Mar 2022, 2:22 pm

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

After waiting an hour on hold this morning, I managed to get ahold of them and change the phone number. So at least I feel like I was able to start the process. After the last few days, I was starting to think I would never get through.

skibum wrote:
It's a heck of a process. It took me six years with a good lawyer. My best advice for you is to get a good lawyer.


Six years. Wow. That's terrible. I always heard that they reject you the first time, but I didn't know it took that long to get approved.

I have no idea how to get a lawyer. I definitely can't pay for one.

funeralxempire wrote:
I feel the process is made intentionally more difficult than anyone with limited executive function or a learning disability can navigate on their own in order to discourage people from pursuing support they're likely eligible for.


I think my executive function is one of the reasons why forms give me such anxiety. Trying to decide how to answer the questions truthfully when they're worded in ways that make it difficult. That and they're just very tedious, time-consuming and difficult to concentrate on. I always feel like I will be rejected anyway and all this anxiety is for nothing. Back when I was unemployed and filling out hundreds of applications, most of which I never got interviews for, I always felt that way.

I know there are people who would have much more severe difficulties with the process than I do. It should especially be made easier for them.



funeralxempire
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09 Mar 2022, 2:57 pm

vividgroovy wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
I feel the process is made intentionally more difficult than anyone with limited executive function or a learning disability can navigate on their own in order to discourage people from pursuing support they're likely eligible for.


I think my executive function is one of the reasons why forms give me such anxiety. Trying to decide how to answer the questions truthfully when they're worded in ways that make it difficult. That and they're just very tedious, time-consuming and difficult to concentrate on. I always feel like I will be rejected anyway and all this anxiety is for nothing. Back when I was unemployed and filling out hundreds of applications, most of which I never got interviews for, I always felt that way.

I know there are people who would have much more severe difficulties with the process than I do. It should especially be made easier for them.


I feel like autism also makes one prone to seeing ambiguity where others don't when it comes to wording, and that sets of the cycle of anxiety.

I know what you mean though because the same happens to me.


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SabbraCadabra
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09 Mar 2022, 8:28 pm

vividgroovy wrote:
I have no idea how to get a lawyer. I definitely can't pay for one.

From what I've heard, you don't owe the lawyer anything until you get approved for disability, and then they just take it out of your payments.


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kraftiekortie
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10 Mar 2022, 9:18 am

You don't pay the lawyer, unless you win the case.

In other words, the lawyer is free unless you win.

This is called "hiring a lawyer on a contingency basis."



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10 Mar 2022, 9:35 am

Yeah, I totally recommend getting a lawyer as well. Maybe do a google search of disability lawyers in your area. They should say on their sites if they will work with you and take payment once you get approved. Back when I applied, I had a therapist help me the first time, then I got denied and got a lawyer who helped me the second time. There was no way I could have done any of that by myself. My executive functioning issues...yeah, I suck at paperwork. It overwhelms me, I get confused, I lose things, I stress what the questions actually mean, I panic over serious/time sensitive things and it's a mess.

My lawyer was great, and we did a lot of my paperwork by phone/email and the few times I did have to go into his office, my ex-girlfriend went with me, and my lawyer was cool with her talking for me since I'd go mute and start to shut down in his office. These types of lawyers completely understand these types of issues and yeah, I very much recommend finding one. Mine got me approved and I didn't pay a dime out of pocket. He just took some of my initial payment (a pretty small amount actually) as his fee.



kraftiekortie
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10 Mar 2022, 9:50 am

There's a reason why a lawyer is better after a rejection than a first-time application.

It's because they can work on the reason for the rejection, and overcome those reasons.

I'm also not sure if lawyers work on a "contingency basis" within first-time applications.



FleaOfTheChill
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10 Mar 2022, 10:23 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
There's a reason why a lawyer is better after a rejection than a first-time application.

It's because they can work on the reason for the rejection, and overcome those reasons.

I'm also not sure if lawyers work on a "contingency basis" within first-time applications.



Good point there about the rejection.

I don't know how different states do that, but my one ex applied and got a lawyer from the start because she figured if she got one, she might not get denied first time through. She won and the lawyer didn't take a fee until she got her payment. So at least one state will. *shrugs*



kraftiekortie
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10 Mar 2022, 11:03 am

Indeed, it would be worth a try if you can get a lawyer on a contingency basis the first time around.