Disibility for Chronic Conditions - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-01-2010, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I have two serious chronic conditions, one I am absolutely sure would qualify me as disabled. But I haven't worked since I started having children, save for one short lived part time job.

Would I still qualify? I'm in California if it makes a difference.
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#2 of 4 Old 06-01-2010, 04:49 AM
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There is SSDI, which is for folks who have paid into Social Security through employment, and SSI, which is for folks like me who haven't worked much. I worked sporadically for a total of about 24 months (over 9 years) and didn't have enough SS credits to get SSDI. It will depend on how much you worked before your kids came along. Apply ASAP because it usually takes awhile to be approved. Be prepared to be denied at least once--in which case you can get an attorney to help who will only get paid when your case is approved. Being denied and the process taking at least a year is very typical. Not trying to scare you away, just being honest! Hope it goes smoothly for you!

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#3 of 4 Old 06-01-2010, 10:14 AM
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You'll want to check into state disability as well as federal -- there are often two programs. They will figure out for you if you've worked enough for SSDI, otherwise you'll be applying for SSI.

You'll want to start NOW keeping a chart of everything you do daily related to the conditions and how much time it takes. Just start writing it down now every night, and by the time you get your application together you'll have lots of good info for them. Make sure you include on your chart everything you can't do because of the conditions in detail. You should also do a summary chart of how you've been affected in the past, over your life, before you started keeping the daily chart. Get copies of your medical records; don't rely on them to get the copies. Organize your medical records and present them in a way that explains them, as the records themselves may not do that.

There should be a listing of your condition in their protocol book -- I think it is available online. The condition itself will not qualify you most of the time; you have to provide detailed explanation about how the condition prevents you from working. It is hard to qualify for SSI/DI -- 70% of folks are denied on their first application. I say that not to discourage you, but to normalize the process for you. It's normal to be denied, and normal to appeal.

Good luck!

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#4 of 4 Old 06-02-2010, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I checked the book and my condition is not listed; but I'm not surprised. It's pretty rare (1 in 100,000 for the general population and 20 in 100,000 for overweight women of childbearing age). Most people have never even heard of it. It's Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (Pseudotumor Cerebri).

Essentially, it's when spinal fluid is not properly absorbed, so there is too much in the areas that surround the brain, putting pressure on the brain and optic nerves. It's extremely painful and can even lead to blindness in severe cases that are left untreated. Many patients have vision loss. My visual acuity is down significantly, there's no guarantee that it will improve either (though it probably will).

Anyway, my husband has a friend at work who is a medical professional and has experience with disability cases. He said he is pretty much sure that I'd be approved with this condition. It's just a matter of applying. I was just curious if I would even qualify since I definitely haven't really worked in the past 5 years; but I did work for most of my teen years and my early 20s.

I have other health issues too, but the IIH is the most pressing. At this point we need the money to cover the medical costs which are starting to pile up. We have good insurance, but the co pays alone. Every ER visit is $50 and at this point, I am going 2-4 times a month because of the pain. Unfortunately, I have Kaiser and past 5pm or before 8am it's ER or nothing.
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