Originally Posted by Molydeus
I have not posted here in a number of years, although I do visit almost daily to read. Posting causes great anxiety.
I do know something of this topic, so I thought I'd share.
I am on SSDI for anxiety/depression, and I was approved the first time.
I started seeking help for my anxiety after losing my job of almost 2 years. I had a temp job working at a help desk, doing email inquiries only. I had made it very clear that I am uncomfortable on the phone. After almost 2 years as a temp I was offered a full time position on the help desk answering phones, I declined so they ended my assignment.
I got in at a local clinic that has a sliding income scale, I had no income so it cost me nothing to go there. I started seeing a nurse practitioner and eventually started taking .5mg Klonopin 3x per day, 300mg Effexor XR 1x per day, and 30mb Abilify 1x per day. A few weeks later I started seeing a therapist, I saw her weekly for about a year. During this time I had regular med appointments during which my meds were adjusted many times (I now take 200mg Zoloft, 200mg Lamictal, 30mg Abilify). It was suggested that I apply for Medicaid and SSDI during this period of time on several occasions, but I did not want to.
I eventually agreed to apply for both, I had very little money left from working and I simply cannot live with other people so moving back with my parents was unacceptable to me. After applying I waited about three months, I was then scheduled to see a doctor that the Social Security people had chosen for a second opinion.
I saw the doctor they told me to, another two months passed and they called my nurse practitioner for some reason. My therapist told me that was very odd, they hardly ever do that. After another month had passed I received a letter saying I was approved and I would receive my check next month. A few months later I received a retroactive check that was from the date that they determined I had become disabled up until they approved me. It was a several thousand dollars which I quickly spent by paying off my credit cards that I had been using in order to remain independent as long as possible.
Long story short, I agree with some of the previous posters who said they want you to have some kind of medical history. Meaning that I believe you must seek some kind of help before applying. I know that it is very hard to do so, I simply sat and shook every session for the first few weeks at least when I started. My advice is to make a list of things you want to talk about it, hand it to your therapist and let them ask questions. It's the only way that it is possible, even now, for me to do the whole therapy thing.
I worry about posting this because some may become depressed because of the number of things you have to do in order to get SSDI. However I am posting because I hope that others will see some kind of light for the future, knowing that it is possible to get Social Security on the first try in 6 months or less. I believe I was approved in 5 months and received my first check on the 6th month after I applied.
I apologize for the long winded post and will now go back in to hiding for a few more years.
I know this is late and everything but - thanks for writing! I think your post is definitely helpful in giving people some hope about undergoing this process.
The circumstances surrounding your "layoff" from your job sounds rather brutal. From all that I've heard, it seems that compaines can be brutally insensitive to people suffering from mental/nervous disorders - even if these people are great workers when they are allowed to be in their "comfort zone". Perhaps the SSDI board took the facts surrounding your "layoff" into consideration as they were reviewing your case.
I have been a little "out of touch" with the whole SSI/SSDI issue for months...but it seems as though SSDI is harder to get, one of the reasons being that it often involes a larger "payout". So the fact that you got it so quickly is awesome.
As for my own SSI adventures - I haven't actually made a move to apply yet, because I've been "sidetracked" and absorbed with another issue involving my health. For me, having sufficient funds is definitely the exception rather than the rule...but "by chance" I happened to get some money to pay for some medical tests that I've wanted to have done. I'm now waiting for the results. If the results of these tests prove that I actually have some suspected medical issues - then that will probably go a long way in explaining why I've been disabled to such a severe extent. What if I'm able to work "simply" by treating these conditions? I don't know...maybe my logic is off. Maybe I should just go ahead and get this process started!! The "what if I become able to work" thing has already held me back so much in regard to applying for disability. I had this thought in 2002, for crying out loud. It is now 2007!
I've lost so many years with this vague "What if I become able to work?" albatross around my neck.
With my mom expressing a reluctance/unwillingness to pay for my "alternative" medical treatment - maybe I should just get this ball rolling, again. Who knows how long it will take (if at all) before I feel better?