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serenityNOW's avatar

Does anyone on Fluther have experience with filling out disability forms? Can you help a Jelly out?

Asked by serenityNOW (3419 points ) February 21st, 2013

I have about a 12 page “questionnaire” from the Department of Social Services. It’s another step in the process of getting Disability. Problem is, there are a large number of vague questions that I really have no idea how to answer, such as:

“What were you able to do before your illnesses that you cannot do now?”
“When you go out, can you go alone”,
“Are you able to pay bills,” etc.

A lot of these answers are both “yes” and no. Obviously, the goal for me is to collect Disability, and I want to be truthful, but I feel as if some of my answers hinge on me receiving the disability, and I want to avoid having to appeal my case. (This is for bipolar disorder, but may be applicable for anyone who has been required to fill out these forms themselves, or have assisted anyone in filling out theses forms.)

Do any Jellies have experience with filling out these forms? I’m lost, and don’t want to clog this question with all of these queries, but any input would be most appreciated.
Reward: helping a brother out, and lots of lurve!

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6 Answers

Cupcake's avatar

Just to clarify, are these yes/no or short answer questions?

noodle_poodle's avatar

I have helped a few people fill these out before. Are they simple tick yes or no questions or is there some room for adding more infor? It is best to add as much info and be as specific as possible otherwise they will simply ask you for and you will be bouncing them back and forth for ages. Also it can help to take them to a citizens advice beauro or a benifits office and have the help you to fill it in. If you have trouble filling it in you are withing your rights (and frankly it does nothing but help your case) to ask someone to help you with it.

Judi's avatar

I don’t want to be a downer but you WILL be denied the first time. Your eligibility really depends on how your doctor fills out the forms more than how you do. Make sure you have all the documentation from your illness clearly outlined. If you have a record of every office visit, every episode, every attempt to kill yourself (if the bipolar is that severe) include it with your application.
After you are denied you will file a “request for reconsideration.”
If you are anything like my son you will probably be denied again. Then you will have to appeal which could take 3 years to get a hearing. (It did with my son.) when you get your hearing you will need an attorney. Once you win you will get the money all the way back to your application date but your attorney will get a big chunk of it.
The biggest mistake we made was not insisting at the first application or the request for reconsideration that the doctor and the psychologist WRITE A REPORT!! It has to be written by a psychiatrist or a psychologist. A counselor report will be rejected.
They will want to have their secretary just fill in the blanks. Don’t let them stop there. Have them WRITE A REPORT.
You probably won’t want to read the report. I purposely kept it from my son. In order for you to get the benefits you need the prognosis needs to be pretty bleak. It would have been devastating to him had he read it.
The good news is that he was finally able to get the benefits. Once he was able to get the appropriate medical care he was able to get a job with a great company that had medical benefits from day one. He is now off social security disability and doing pretty good. If he has a major relapse it will be much easier to reinstitute it than it was the first time. (So I hear.)
Good luck. This can be a long hard journey and getting answers can be dificult. I often wonder what my son would have done without me. A person who needs these benefits is almost proving they don’t need them by jumping through all the hoops required to get them.

Kardamom's avatar

Everyone keeps asking why don’t these poor people with mental health problems (the ones that commit violent crimes) don’t get some help. I think @Judi just explained why they don’t. It’s difficult at best, and impossible at worst, to get help, even if a person doesn’t have any violent tendencies.

@serenityNOW Take every single word Judi said and print it out. Do not skip any of the steps she mentioned. Good luck to you : )

serenityNOW's avatar

Just so y’all know, I read every answer, but can’t react till later or tomorrow while I absorb what @Judi had to say. So, thanks for the input and I’ll report back soon…

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m away from home and answering this on my phone. please forgive the mistakes.

I got my disability request approved the first time. I did not have to reapply.I had a list of all my past doctors and all my past hospitalizations. That was a very important part of my application.I’ll be back at my home on Tuesday and will try to connect with you then.

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