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Unbroken's avatar

Can I apply for SSI while being enrolled in vocational rehabilition?

Asked by Unbroken (10279 points ) July 4th, 2014 from iPhone

I get Nonoccupational disability from my state as I was employed with them for the last 8 years and paid federal tax which apparently excludes social security.

I am enrolled in vocational rehabilitation but am currently not looking for paid work. Just as a job shadow finding out limitations and gathering skills to be hireable in a job I can preform and excel in. Thus I haven’t applied for unemployment pay. Vocational rehabilitation says they are willing to fill out forms listing me as incapable of working at all. But I almost equate that to a death sentence.

I only receive 463 dollars a month for disability. And the only other aid i receive at present is $250 for food a month.

I was denied by SSI saying that I hadn’t proved I am incapable of working. I don’t want to quit vocational rehabilitation so I don’t want to prove I can’t work.

Non occupational disability evaluated me to be incapable of performing physically at my jobs. And all of my past work experience was physical.

But there is no way I can survive on 463 a month. Right now I am unhireable in work that i could possibly do. Although i really havent tested my limits. There is great fluctuation day to day and of i over do it then i start tail spinning downward. So I am trying to build my strength and tolerance while not exerting too much stress.

So where is the middle ground in funding. I just need some time to get on my feet. But as far as aide there is seemingly no place i can turn without perpetuating a lie.

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17 Answers

Darth_Algar's avatar

They deny pretty much everyone at least once. Appeal it.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Are you talking about SSI (Supplemental Security Income, aka welfare), SSID (Supplemental Security Income Distability), or SSD (Social Security Disability)?

Unbroken's avatar

SSI or maybe it was SSID.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

SSID is disability for those who do not have enough work credits with Social Security to qualify to get Social Security benefits. I am familiar with SSD. They turn down everyone the first time. Go now to an attorney who does Social Security work; go in time for him to do an appeal within the allotted time. That really is your best bet.

flip86's avatar

Get a lawyer. It is the only way to get it. They don’t get paid unless you win. It comes out of your SSI backpay(money you would have gotten had you been found eligible the first time).

Unbroken's avatar

I understand that ssi is supposed to fill the gap. I am not eligible for ssd because i paid federal tax instead of fica for the past five years.

There is no negotiating around that. And because i wasnt employed with the state much beyond that i dont recieve enough from the state disability plan to pay rent.

Which is why i applied for ssi/ssid. But in order for me to appeal ot seems like i have to prove myself incapable of working. I cant do that and be involved with voc rehab or work toward getting on my feet enough to work. Is there a loop hole or an alternate plan where i can just rely on aid for an interim while i work toward reemployment?

jca's avatar

Your dilemma and your questions are where you need the expertise of an attorney. He will take a chunk of your retro, if you get it, but it will be worth it. You won’t pay if you don’t win.

It seems not to make sense to be in voc rehab and then simultaneously saying you’re not able to work. I am not saying I doubt you, I’m saying these are the things that anybody you apply for funding with is going to inquire about.

Unbroken's avatar

i suppose you are right i just have done some reading that attorneys arent really interested in moving thingds along quickly because they get a percentage of the retro. but i suppose it would be better then nothing.

Darth_Algar's avatar

The attorney can’t move things along or speed them up no matter if he/she wants to or not. The Social Security administration sets the date of your hearing and that’s that.

Unbroken's avatar

that is helpful to know. thanks darth

MollyMcGuire's avatar

If you are capable of working you should not be applying for SSD or SSID.

Unbroken's avatar

I am not qualified to work any job i can physically manage hence vocational rehabilitation.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

You obviously can use a computer. Can you speak? I’m not talking about a dream job. Disability is for people who cannot work.

Unbroken's avatar

I really appreciate your desire to be helpful but if it were that easy i would have gone that route. Also i know what disability is for. I wont burden you with the details of my life but 5 out of 6 doctors are willing to say i am completely incapable of working. One of which is impartial doctor who reviewed my file for the state disability case. Beyond that i really don’t have to justify myself.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Disability isn’t simply a matter of being able to do something or not. It’s a matter of being able to do it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year or whatnot. It’s a matter of being able to do it enough to remain gainfully employed.

jca's avatar

@MollyMcGuire: Maybe she can only do it in short spurts. Not many jobs are going to hire someone who can only work a little bit at a time.

Unbroken's avatar

I have end stage liver failure caused by autoimmune hepatitis. Since liver is an essential part of digestion and processing blood. So that I have pernacious anemia, microscopic colitis, celiac disease, I also came close to becoming diabetic. For a year my blood sugar was around 70. I also have acsities better known as edema. This causes lack of appetite severe water weight gain in short periods of time when i become ill or stressed. Hard on my skeleton and skin and hard to clothe myself. I have a hard time digesting food. Headaches spaceiness due to lack of nutrients or fluid trapped in my head. I have a compromised immune system. I trouble sleeping sometimes due to pain other times as the nature of the disease or gastrointestinal distress. I have this thing where my muscles will clinch up and wont release that including my hands. Sometimes its as simple as an electrolyte imbalance due to diuretics. Other times it is much more complex. I lose muscle quickly and can get bruises just by sleeping one foot on top of another.

I have decided against a liver transplant. I found an experimental treatment but my already limited pain relief options are more limited because I agreed not to take them at all in any form. I hope this works but every three months I have to go out of state to be treate for two weeks. I lost/resigned my job on my first visit as I had already used FMLA for exploring the transplant issue and because my health was rapidly spiraling downward. I didn’t want to put them in the position of having to fire me. Last year every doctor gave me a year to live. I was barely hanging on anyway. I was a burden on my coworkers and it was too much for me.

The point is I plan on getting better and don’t want to be a burden to society friends or family. So I’m trying to do everything I can to speed my recovery as well as get on my feet financially. It is going to be hard at first finding something that I can do while I get the first few treatments under my belt. But I am determined. Voc rehab has experience in measuring what I can realistically do and matching that to a job. They also have said they were willing to sign something saying I am incapable of work. So sometimes I feel like I’m delusional. That I’m fighting against the tide. Other times I feel like a user and lazy and that if I tried harder if I was stronger if I was a better person I could work. So I’m a little sensitive on the subject. The truth is I’m not perfect. Someone else could probably handle this better then me. But I’m not. So I do the best I can and try to hold that as a comfort. A part of that is not letting others judgements influence me. So when confronted I was less then gracious.

I do understand @MollyMcGuire‘s position. We were meant to work. Not only is it good for society but it regulates schedule can give purpose and so on. With the economy we need more contributors then takers. It is a blow to my sense of worth and independence. By the time I saw this coming I didn’t have enough energy to handle my health work and investigating a back up plan. I did try. I have to say that though this has been humbling I have dear friends and family who have shown me just how great people are how kind and gracious. I hope i will be able to return that kindness.

I got a little sidetracked questioning whether this is too personal to post. Some of this some of ya’ll already know. Late night insomnia rants.

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