The Stress of Dealing with SSI
Last updated: March 2022
The sheer relief of a 3-year fight to get SSI was a day I won't forget. It took over 3 years of fighting and an attorney to prove I was sick enough that I couldn't work. The embarrassment I felt having to get up in front of a Judge with tears rolling down my face in front of witnesses to plead my case was so stressful. I thought how is this even possible that a person who feels like I do would have to go through this, but here I was going through it and the day I found out I was approved was utter relief! (Approved for Fibromyalgia and back issues, because I didn't have a diagnosis of MS yet). Luckily for me, the Judge had a best friend who had Fibromyalgia and took pity on me…yay, lucky me (sarcasm).
Just when I thought it was good to go
I thought that day my fight was over until a letter shows up 2 years after my SSI was approved wanting to know if I am well enough to work now. By now I had been diagnosed with MS and later with PPMS... The Department SSI seems to think, that as if by some miracle, you wake up one morning and your MS is cured, your back pain no longer exists, your Fibro just disappeared and you are doing backflips on your lawn, soaking up the sun with a mai tai in your hand.
Gearing up for another battle
I'm not sure what their thought process is, but all of the stresses of my fight with my LTD insurance (that’s an entirely different story) came rushing back. The panic attacks set in, the pain shot off the charts. I was afraid to go anywhere or do anything and I cried the entire time I was answering their 2-page questionnaire. I mean it’s the SS administration right? Wouldn’t they know if I had worked during the year? Yes, that is one of their many questions on the 2-page questionnaire.
Waiting, wainting, and more waiting
I sat on pins and needles (no pun intended for those of us who literally have pins and needles) for over a month before hearing back that my disability will continue. The pure elation of that letter sent my mind (and wishing my body could), in fact, do backflips! I thought well that's it, I'm ok, I can relax knowing that I will be ok not being able to work.
These diseases don't disappear
Fast forward 5 years and I just received another letter. Apparently, they do not understand that these diseases and/or other health issues just don't disappear in the middle of the night. I'm not sure their logic behind these letters to people who are embarrassed enough to have to be on disability, deal with the loneliness of not working and not having a social life, losing most of your friends, having to explain to people and yourself at times that you are not ok.
The stress and embarrassment of having to practically beg and prove you are still too sick to work are to me, the definition of insanity!
I wanted to be working
You see, I lost a great job in real estate, the market turned a couple of years after I was unable to work. Houses were selling faster than they could build them. I was at home collecting my $1200 barely making it while missing out on hundreds of THOUSANDS of dollars a year! Yes, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars by ALL accounts of my realtor friends that I do still keep in touch with. Thinking about THAT is an altogether different type of stress that I just can’t let my mind go to.
What are they thinking?
I’m not sure their reasoning for sending people with such a disease, along with other health issues, that none have a cure for, a letter requesting information on how many times you’ve been to the hospital, to the doctors, if you worked, can you work, prove to us you can’t type of letter! Whatever reason they have, I will have to sit here until I hear back to know if I will be able to survive a little while longer while dealing with panic attacks until I hear back from them.
Here is wishing all of you who go through this ordeal a gentle day, we have enough to deal with in our lives.
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