THE DISABILITY FOLLIES or How I learned to Stop Worrying
and take the $ Social Security wanted to give me!
Social Security Disability turned me down flat, Said I was pretending! "
"You gotta do it my way. I got rent paid, food, these crutches. Iím in fats city."
Recently, there has been a lot in the news about how evil the government is, how it's run for the benefit of the rich, the oligarchs, the masters of the universe! and how you and me might be better off without it. There is some truth in that, in that the distribution of wealth has been shifted towards the top 1%, in the thirty years since Reagan quit taxing the rich. Clinton was a big participator in OLIGARCH-serving legislation, banishing welfare, letting manufacturing go to the third world and making casino banking legal. Obama is guilty too with the very costly OBAMA CARE SHOVED down our throats. Someone we know used to have Health coverage, lost their job and OBAMA CARE is 3 times more costly, over 500$ a month. Then there are OBAMA's BANK BAIL OUTS which had no trickle down in them.
Furthermore, it's true that a lot of the safety net programs like AFDC have been pared down if not stripped away (Done by Repub-licrat Clinton) during his admin, making existence more and more precarious for the average single parent, jobless citizen or low income family.
There are, however, two programs that are still in existence that serve to protect the average person, that were put in place by FDR in the 1930s, and those are Social Security and Disability. Actually, there are two different types of federal disability programs, SSI, which is largely for sick people (those who have limited assets) and SSI can be thought of as a 'means program,' and then there's SSDI, which is intended for people who have been working but who, because of illness or some other reason, are no longer able to work.
MY PAL KNOWS ABOUT ALL THIS; HE WROTE ME: "I worked my entire life as a programmer and became familiar with SSDI through having a stroke a few days before my 50th birthday and though I'm not a lawyer, I'll try to give you a brief overview of my experience that hopefully will be of use if your readers are facing circumstances similar to mine.
"The first thing to realize is that SSDI is NOT welfare. If you read various comments on the internet, you'll read positing by individuals who believe that SSDI, Social Security, Medicare, food stamps and the like are all forms of welfare, and people who accept them do so because they are lazy and unwilling to work. It is important to realize that this isn't true. FIRST our GOV legislated flight of manufacturing thru the World TRADE NAFTA AND GATT treaties, so there are no jobs unless you want to work the oil fields in DAKOTA.
My stroke lost me my job. I lived on my savings. THE RECESSION was one of the reasons I waited until three years after my stroke to apply for SSDI. I once had a friend (of sorts) who made it his mission to get on disability so he wouldn't have to work for the rest of his life. It is important to realize that people like that are called SOCIOPATHS and comprise a tiny percentage of the population. If you are one of Anita's readers and are reading this, and feel you may be one of these people, trying to get ill so you can get on the dole, turn around now. Federal money isnít plush, often they feel entitled to watch your bank accounts and see if youíre earning anything, which they can tell by money going in there. They rarely prosecute but they can drag you in and embarrass you.
If you are so ill that jobs turn you down, please don't let anything keep you from getting the help you need. You get Medicare when you get Disability and that may make the difference from your grandchildren being loved for, taught, cared for by you and their NEVER knowing you. As for psych disabilities. HAVE your friend, landlord, parent, sibling phone or write Social Security cuz hey, You know the saying, if you think you're crazy, you're probably not. Itís ever so much more convincing at first phone call when your friend describes how you put aluminum foil on your football helmet when you go out for a walk carrying an empty leash calling 'doggie?'
Now for some advice based on my experience. The first piece of advice is that, if you are seriously thinking of applying for SSDI, you should go see a lawyer who specializes in disability cases. This is especially true if you are rejected the first time you apply, as I was, and as happens to roughly two-thirds of those who apply.(Note this poster was rejected 2x, each time with doctorís visit. I was in my fifties. Come to mid sixties, I was feeling weak, reapplied, saw the doctor who must have told them, sheís got what she sez, heart probs. I finally qualified. My check is 540 and I get Medicare, but no food stamps. 540$ is over the limit for California food stamp regs.Add my 340$ social security check for being 74 yrs old now, gives me 880$ which is way over the limit. Even though my rent is 1200$.
So don't look to gov'mt aid as being some feedbag from Heaven. But if you get a good lawyer to help you with your appeal, the chances you'll get approved at the hearing are roughly twice as good as if you try to do it without a lawyer. You'll need to pay the lawyer a part of the benefits that you get, but the good thing is that disability lawyers work on contingency (that's a legal term), which means that you don't have to pay them up front but only if you win your case. This is actually good for another reason. If the lawyer agrees to take your case, that means that he or she thinks that you have a good chance of winning. Otherwise, they'd be doing all that work for nothing. A very important benefit if you are approved is that you become eligible for Medicare, without having to wait until you're sixty-five as you'd normally need to do.
The reason this is so important is, if you have a serious medical condition, you would probably find it very difficult to get insurance, which means that you wouldn't be able to get the care you need. Obamacare was supposed to fix that, but I have my doubts, since it seems designed to primarily benefit the insurance companies.
Most other countries, like Canada and England have dealt with this costly middleman by totally eradicating the insurance companiesí handling of hospitals, medical issues. They can do life insurance and thatís it. Boy did their lobbyists scream but hey, they werenít armed with Howitzers so thatís the law there. No more middleman, suddenly the state can easily pay for everybodyís medical access. By making access to health care a public right, rather than a means of making profits, they totally solved the problem. So a few CEOS making billion a year had their nose out of joint. So *&(@!! What? But sadly, the USA hasn't gone this route because of fear of 'socialized medicine'. We believe in rugged individualism, which is a pretty word for oligarchs rule and means we all have one right, the right to die if we can't get medical treatment, and the right to have guns to hit up supermarkets to pay a doctor for an average visit, 500$ and pills, 100$. So hey, we have a last ditch method to defend ourselves. Canada wonít have any crime wave and say,when was the last time you heard about someone shooting up a mall in Toronto?
I was fortunate in that I was able to eventually get back to work. (Fact is, he got a lucrative job as he knows programming languages from the 70's and big corps consider him an EINSTEIN of sorts. The guy is now making 7k a month as a programmer for a gov agency and he still has a full social security disability pension. For years, he's been informing SSI 'hey, I'm working, tax me!' and THAT is a FEEDBAG!
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