Applying for diability

Can you still be employed and apply for SSD? I am still working, but it is really getting hard to get up and get through the day... some days I don't make it. I have filled out intermittent FMLA forms at work, but can't afford to keep taking upaid time off. I wanted to keep working but I don't know anymore if I will make it to retirement age. I've had PsA since age 17, now 47, and I'm tired. Just plain tired.

What happens if by some miracle you get approved, and then experience a remission? Do you lose benefits? Can you then get them back again if the remission ends?

I just want to feel good again. I have pretty much lost hope of that happening at this point. I would be happy if I could just keep my life together and maybe keep my house.

Thanks for any info.

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i don't know if you can get disability while still working but you damn sure should be able to with something like psa or ra or even severe p. I would think that once you got disability you should be able to keep it even if in remission because it is a chronic disease. I think lawyers that deal in these matters are or can be free of initial charge until approved for disability and i know that payments are retroactive from the time of your first application. Good luck

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I have been wondering the same thing. It seems that others I know of that have applied for disability have waited a long, long time to get through the process. I think the idea of talking to a lawyer sounds good.
It is so tiring to deal with this day after day.......I don't think people that don't have P have any idea how much of a burden it is.

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It will be hard to get any form of disability if you are still working. There is a limit to how much you can make if you continue to work while filing and it is very small. I just got approved for disability. I have P and PSA. It took over 7 months to get disability in my case. I have seen commercials for lawyers to handle disability cases, but they say to call them if you are declined disability. Be prepared for numerous medical exams and tests if you apply and be patient. Some people have probably gotten their disability sooner, but it took a long time for me and I think it is because so many people have run out of unemployment, are too young for social security and they are trying to get disability. Autoimmune disease is a permanent condition, but I have been told that every few years I will have to go through exams, etc., again to make sure there has been no improvement that would enable me to return to work. Fat chance of that happening. I'm still exhausted just from the diseases and not getting any sleep merely adds to the exhaustion. So, I know how you feel.
If you apply, make sure you don't miss any medical appointments and stay in touch with your case worker. Good luck to you!

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If payments are retroactive, they sure didn't give them to me from the time applied. Maybe that varies from State to State??

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I got SSDI disability within two months on the first try! Surprised me... I (and it states on the .gov site) had to NOT work for 6 months before I could qualify, and you have to prove that you will be disabled for at least a year. I have sever pustular psoriasis on my hands and feet. My work allowed me to work from home, but after a year of sitting with my legs propped up on a pillow, it messed my hip ligaments up. I filed Short term disability(STD) thru work July 2010, and was denied 3x and had to get a lawyer. The insurance co that pays the STD encouraged me to go ahead and apply for Long term disability(LTD) even though I had not gotten STD. Thankfully I listened because when my FLMA ran out, my work called and said I had to come back to work. Since I could not, they fired me. I could not draw unemployment because their 1 requirement is you look for a job and work if you get one. Well, that would negate my disability, and if I could work I would not have lost my job! If I had not applied for the LTD, I would not be able to after being fired! Still fighting for both STD/LTD, but feel confident that I will get it since I got the SSDI.

How did I get the SSDI? I filled out the forms online, printed the medical release page that you must take into the SS office. I called all my Dr.'s and got all my medical records. (In TX, if you are getting your records for disability then you do not have to PAY!) I photograph my hands and feet everyday and have since aug 2009 when I was told that the laser would clear me up quick. It just made it much worse (wonder if tech did not know what she was doing?). I carried all my records and photos, they checked to be sure all was there and sent it on to medical review. I never had to see a Dr., they never called my reference. I applied Jan 26 2011 and was approved Mar 28, 2011. They considered me disabled starting July 2010 (the day I stopped working), but only started payments from January forward. There is a 6 month elimination period. and they start the payment in the 6th month.

It is hard to go without any money, trust me I have been there more than once, and was not sure I was going to be able to keep my house. I STILL go in the hole every month, but when I get the STD/LTD I think (?) I can make it :)

I would STRONGLY suggest you get a lawyer to apply for the first time. My aunt did and got it quick also. I had enough proof and am already having to pay a lawyer (he dose not do SSDI, only STD/LTD). They can only charge a one time fee of 6% up a max payment of $6,000 for SSDI. It is worth it to go ahead and pay if you can get on it faster, but you still have to wait the 6 months.

One thing to note: If you go to the social security gov website, they have a list of things that truly qualify for disability and I am sure that PsA is on that list. And... YOU MUST have a Dr. supporting you. Hope this helps!

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So, in order to even apply for SSD, I would have to stop working for 5 months, then apply and wait for a decision? How do I pay my bills during that period?

I went to the SSA disability site and read through the requirements medically speaking and believe I could qualify for disability, but I have no savings that would support me for 6-12 months of not working and going through the process. There is no short or long term disability available at my job either. I am single, live alone, and still have one child in college. I don't want to lose my house if I can possibly avoid that, and I still have a car payment to make.

Thanks for the help.

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I guess it probably does vary from State to State. I live in GA and the day after I quit work, I filled out the online application. It is a lengthy process and you have to list doctors, medications, etc. Even with that, I was required to have blood work, x-rays and exams by 2 physicians - SS made the appointments and they paid for them, plus I got travel vouchers for each trip. In this State, they apparently have their own physicians and even though I had records from my own physicians and hospitalization, I was still required to go to their doctors.
It is a difficult situation to try and figure out some way to survive while you are waiting for a decision and perhaps getting a lawyer is the best route if it will get you a quicker decision, but I don't think you will get anything before the 6 months is up. Check with your local SS office and see if you can earn any money at all while you are waiting for a decision should you decide to apply. I filled out the online application and got a phone call from our local SS office for an interview and was told how much money I could make while waiting for a decision if I continued to work. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to even buy groceries!
Good luck though. Hope you can get some help.

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Hi ho
Rough situation but you can do it
A remission is just that - it isn't a cure jst your disease taking a break. So dont worry about that. The reason SSD is so hard to get now is because everyone and their sister has applied. Am not sure if you are aware but almost 2/3 the people coming into this country got put on SSA for a year or two
YOu have to really work well with your drs - go to the social worker associated with your dr. Get all the forms and bring them to the dr and sit with them while they do a preliminary filling out...the rest hey have to do with their staff. If you are on good terms with your dr see if they wil not write a letter stating you need to stop working NOW. For alittle spice- go to as many drs as you can for anything - let them see you have to see drs.
Then - the piece de resistance - hse your job state that ou can no longer physically do the work
For about 6 weeks you wil be doing a lot of running around but then things will come together. But the SSA office will take their time if they do not see a need and as long as you can work there is no real need. This is why you have to have your dr state you cannot go back to work and therefore putting your life in danger since you have no incomei
Dramatic? of course but they wi not responsd any other way unless their boss or some official is on their back - OH and go to your district or area council man and ask them to help you

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Good ideas, thanks. Also, I think I am going to buy a short term disability policy, hopefully I can afford it. It won't cover anything related to pre-existing conditions for 12 months, but if I can tough out the twelve months, then if I have to stop working, at least I'd have something coming in while the SSD process is ongoing.

You say see lots of doctors... gosh, I have seen so many in the past year.... first for a heart workup for possible silent heart attack, then a hysterectomy, a brain scan to rule out tumors causing my migraines, x-rays and MRI's of hip, SI joints and lumbar spine, 16 weeks of PT that did no good at all, I see my PCP regularly for my diabetes, I see my rheum regularly for PsA follow up, my PCP has referred me to a neurologist to deal with the bulges and tears in my lumbar spine, ultrasounds and nuclear scans on my thyroid and an ENT to follow up on those issues, and waiting on a fine needle biopsy there, a breast specialist due to suspicious cysts on my first mammogram... All of this since August 2010. I am getting sick of doctors, truth be told. But it will all help in the long run, and I have copies of all the scans and records.

Well, onward, I guess. Hopefully this flare will end soon (it's been ongoing for over 6 months now) and I won't need any of this. But at least I think I have a plan now. Thanks to all.

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Help! what is SSDI disability, SSD, SSA can't follow the discussion because not sure what the acroynms mean SMILE.

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SSDI - social security disability insurance - this is the type of disability you may qualify for if you have worked enough "creditable quarters." Under this type of disability, your potential income amount is based on your past income amounts and how long you have been employed and paid into the system.

SSD - Social Security Disability, usually refers to the type listed above.

SSA - Social Secuirty Administration

SSI - Social Security Income - this is the type of disability you may qualify for if you have NOT worked enough "creditable quarters." Under this type of disability, your potential income amount is limited to a state by state limit - very low. My daughter receives this type of disability for a mental illness and only receives about $600 a month to live on.

STD - short term disability

LTD - long term disability

Hope these help you.

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I know what you mean. I am single also and worry everyday about being able to keep my house! I had to go 8 months with no income and finally got the SSDI, but it still does not cover everything. I have cut as much as I can cut. I don't even have a cell phone, but hoping to get my STD/LTD within a few months. Hoping nothing drastic happens between now and then because I am hanging by a thread mentally and financially!

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Hi all,
First off, SSI is program that stands for Supplemental Security Income and if you meet the means test (meaning you are poor enough even with Social Security Disabilty Income, then you can apply and get the Supplemental.

I would add to the discussion that how quickly you get SSDI depends on how backed up your state is with SSDI claims of all kinds. In the state of Maryland it is a horrendous backlog. You have to have stopped working for 6 mos. Do you have any long term disabilty insurance from your job? If so, you apply to them also. Their requirements for disability approval are different from the Social Security Administration.

Another point, has your Rheumatologist agreed to sign the papers for you stating that your are disabled for short term disability and then long term disability (permanent, meaning more than 12 mos. and your illness is not expected to be cured to the point that you can work again or it's a disability that results in death).

Yes, doctor appointments are important to show a trail that is related to what you are applying for disability (which can be multiple illnesses as long as those doctors will fill out their portion of the forms). For example, I have a Rheumatologist and a Sleep Neurologist who fill out different parts of my papers (initialy and then subsequent papers when they check to see if you are still disabled).

What counts with a lawyer is if that lawyer UNDERSTANDS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU AND HOW IT APPLIES TO THE BLUE BOOK ( which is the Disability Code book that the Social Security Admin. uses to define disabling illnesses and the extent to which you must meet their criteria for that illness).

Again, it depends on your local SS office. Some SS employees will approve you and others in different states will only approve you if you are dying which means that you have to go through the appeals process. This is nuts but my sister who has a brain disorder which impairs her ability to understand incoming sounds and spoken speech (it's all jumbled up in her brain) got turned down (and she had a lawyer who was recommended by her long term disability company, UNUM). She had expert medical testimony from her Speech doctor and from her rheumatologist because she has severe Fibromyalgia and severe Sjogren's Disorder. Well, the assigned lawyer didn't understand what was wrong with her and kept filing appeals and finally it went to an administrative judge in Delaware (we live in Maryland) who NEVER approves an appeal. In all fairness, she approves 30%. She thought my sister needed hearing aids (even though the testimony made it clear that this was NOT a HEARING PROBLEM. So now her claim goes to a different lawyer who can argue it in front of the Circuit Court.

I don't mean to be negative but I will say that sometimes it's a crap shoot depending on where you live. But, as long as you get your doctors to fill out the papers, have you medical records that show a pattern that you have been seeking treatment for your condition and it will not go away and you show how it impacts your ADLs. ADLs are Activities of Daily Living. Show everything you can think of. Say it hurts to blow dry your hair because you can't raise you arm. You can't preform any duties of your job and give the reasons of how PsA and P impact that and how it would impact ANY job. For example maybe the P is near a joint and it affects your tendons so that you can't move your elbow or your fingers. In other words be as specific as possible to show consistency and length of time. Talk about the medicines you take and if they work, talk about the side effects and how that impacts your ability to work (makes you sleepy etc.).

Sorry this is so long but I was one of the fortunate ones who years ago got SSDI on the first try and had long term disabilty insurance from MetLife. It was MetLife that drove me crazy with all of their forms constantly.

If you don't fill out the form online for SSDI and you fill it out on paper and it has to be mailed, make sure you send it certified, return receipt because the the state SSA office will say they didn't receive it.

Hope some of this helps and good luck to you and please don't lose hope. I know the feeling of being tired and worn out trying to make things work and then facing the task of filing for disability and being scared trying to figure out how you're going to live. Gayle

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you can work part time while applying for can not make1,000 or more while going through the disability process.substantial gainful activity(1,000) which is earning more than than a certain amount to qualify for can go on social security website to find out answers about working and applying for disability.I have worked with individuals who qualified for disability and worked.They kept their earnings less than 1,000 monthly.I really do not understand how a person suppose to live without months of income.I heard that individuals have lost their homes and everything waiting for social security to approve them.The system has to change no one wants to be ill,and wait for disability check monthly,but it happens.Social security has to make some needed changes. A person should have their basic needs met like food,clothing and shelter while applying for disability.

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Superlative information including the link! Thanks.

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Hi momo2, Definitely check you're state's gov dis. web site. Most of the autoimmune diseases qualify. I have multiple back issues. In MA My back issues qualify, and the arthritis. Every case is different, I have a friend who applied for dis. a month and a half ago, I'm not sure if he applied for SSI, or SSDI first. He got denied from one, and ended up qualifying for the other. They said he can get up to 18mth retroactive payment. His first payment will go out at the beginning of Aug., that's if the gov. comes to an agreement. He had worked with someone from the dis. office, they said he would get denied first and qualify for the other. Get all of the dr. reports mri, xrays, steroid shots, meds, ect. together, notes from dr. and make an appt. w/ someone in the dis. office. Let them know you're financial situation. I wish you the best of luck.

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Hi mes78613, Have you ever heard of safelink ? I believes it's a gov. thing? It provides people with cell phones, and minutes-free, yes free., I believe, being on disability is one of the qualifications. I'm also a single parent w/ 2 boys in college, I have cut back everything I could. I have wanted to apply for dis. I ended up getting laid off from work in feb. and am collecting. I kind of read the unempl. regulations. Last mth. I pulled out the info , I can't apply for dis. if on unempl. I thought i"d feel better not working, I do, but have the days where it's horrible.

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Believe it or not, I make too much on SSDI to qualify, and I have to wait 2 years to get medicare. I was fired in Nov. because works short term disability denied me and I could not draw unemployment because It would negate the disability. I just found out this week that my work reversed the short term decision! Woo hoo! Still fighting for long term, and will be surprised if they deny me. They are finally sending me to get "independent medical reviews" which I have been begging for this last year.

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Aflac turned me down for Long Term Disability, wouldn't even consider me for is. Isn't that some form of discrimination? I waited out the year with a 7yr old and lived off of $600.00 a month and the kindness of my roommate only to be denied. I have Psoriatic Arthritis, Psorisis, Diabetes, Neuropothy, Depression, and High Blood Pressure.

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I am just very fortunate to have a understanding employer. They put up with me being late every day, at least 30 min. That takes a toll on you emotionally. I hate that feeling. They also put up with days off. I still feel terrible when it happens. Makes the illnesses even worse. Brings many tears....... We are all in such a state at times. Can't help but wonder why....I know there are people worse off, but still, makes you wonder how you were chosen for such bliss....

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