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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well on the suggestion of a psychiatrist about a month ago I've debated and finally started the process of applying for and collecting disability. I've been approved so far and I'm almost done with the whole process.

I'm already receiving income support, but my real reason for doing this in the first place is that now I've got drug coverage. I still live with my parents, rely on them completely, and the prescription costs were totally getting out of hand, I was feeling guilty every day about it.

Now it's a bit of weight off my shoulders, even moreso because now I have "rent" money that makes me feel less like a useless mooch. Well, I still feel like a useless mooch, it's still somebody's money, but the guilt of it all won't be weighing down on me so heavily for now. I'm also being given some extra cash for myself but it's not like somebody who's home 24/7 is a big spender anyways. It's a very modest amount but as someone who's never been able to work, it's actually quite a lot of money for me.

It's a bit frustrating though. One of the requirements for this whole thing is that it's a chronic disability that's expected to last for at least one more year, and to see that prognosis down on paper was a bit disheartening.

I thought going through like this would feel like I've given up, but I still really want to beat this and eventually go back and finish university. I still intend to be seeing my psychiatrist and social worker regularly, and I really hope they have the same intention too. These problems have been very frustrating for them as well, seeing no improvement whatsoever, month after month, so I think it'd be easy for them to just give up on me. The mental health system here is so in demand that it'd probably be easiest for them to start scheduling me for less frequent visits or stop seeing me altogether. It hasn't happened yet, but once I'm fully on this disability system I'm worried that's what will happen.

Anybody else have experience with social assistance/disability? Has this positively/negatively impacted someone's life? My biggest fear was that it would be harder to be employed in the future if I DO get better, but I was assured that I'm not required to disclose it. Has anybody had problems with that?

Sorry for the long post. This is a huge change in my life and has been overwhelming at points. I'd never have been able to get through the bureaucracy of it all without help from my social worker...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I still intend to be seeing my psychiatrist and social worker regularly, and I really hope they have the same intention too. These problems have been very frustrating for them as well, seeing no improvement whatsoever, month after month, so I think it'd be easy for them to just give up on me. The mental health system here is so in demand that it'd probably be easiest for them to start scheduling me for less frequent visits or stop seeing me altogether. It hasn't happened yet, but once I'm fully on this disability system I'm worried that's what will happen.
Well geez... talk about a prediction.

Yesterday my psychiatrist told me that she was going to have me see someone else instead because she "doesn't know what else she can do for me." I don't know if that's more a result of a lack of faith in her ability to treat me, or my ability to get better.

It's hard to stay hopeful though when one of the only people you've ever been honest with wants to hand you off to someone else...
 

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asdfa

what?!? u can collect disability while u live with ur parents?!! how do i go about doing this
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
what?!? u can collect disability while u live with ur parents?!! how do i go about doing this
I don't know. At the mental health clinic I go to see my psychiatrist at, I also see a social worker for therapy/life-coaching and she's helped me out with this stuff a lot. I imagine it'd be a lot harder for a 19 year old, but I don't really know anything about how it's done in Illinois or the USA for that matter.
 

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I've collected years of disability allowance because of my issues. And I lived with my parents too. It saved my life to put it simply.

You should feel major relief that you are lucky to get this helping hand. You have somewhere to live and money coming in, without having to do anything. It's great! But it's important to make sure that you start using this free time and energy to fight your problem. I didn't and now I'm in my 30's and still in pretty much the same situation as you are in your early 20's... Don't make the same mistake as me. Don't wallow and live in hope that you can overcome it sometime, somehow. Nothing will ever happen, unless you fight it head on and put all your effort in to it. You have to do exactly what you fear the most. Go out and talk to people and do social things, because doing that will neutralize the illness. The chances are, it won't be any easier tomorrow or next week or next year. It's always going to be very hard, so you may as well just do it now instead of wasting years of your life.

You don't have to jump in at the deep end of course, you can start by just going for a stroll one day. The next day go for a stroll and go in to a shop and buy a drink or something. The next day go in another shop and buy something and look the person in the eye and smile and say thank you, have a nice day. It doesn't matter if it's corny sounding. Keep building like that and you can beat it.

I've done this in the past but I was really lazy, really half hearted, and really chicken about it... and then I stopped doing it and reverted back. Now I'm going to do it full on, and not give up. I hope you can too.
 
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My sister suggested the same thing for me. I really don't want to, but I think I have no other choice.

I'd feel bad just collecting money cause I "can't" work.

Plus, it will look like i have a real problem.
 

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As someone who has gone through the daunting process of applying for disability (in the US) let me tell you that I totally felt the same way. Not being able to earn a steady income can put a huge stress and burden on your psyche. (As if you need something else to trouble you). Depending on an individual's situation it can take a while to be approved. It took me over 18 months to finally get approved. Mostly because I didn't get the proper medical documentation at first so be sure to stay on top of getting records from your docs.

I know a lot of people don't feel particularly proud (myself included ) depending on disability but the program is there for people who aren't able to fully support themselves through work.

So if anyone is avoiding applying for help because they feel some kind of shame, well don't. It can really help take some of the financial burden off those in need.
 

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is it true, that when you apply for jobs in the future that the employers will be able to see that you've collected disability checks (and why?). i've considered applying for it, but i'm not sure if it will become some sort of red flag on my resume or if it would even be a factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
is it true, that when you apply for jobs in the future that the employers will be able to see that you've collected disability checks (and why?). i've considered applying for it, but i'm not sure if it will become some sort of red flag on my resume or if it would even be a factor.
I've been told that (here, anyways), employers do not have access to such information and you're not required to disclose it. Of course, I'm sure that changes depending on where in the world you live.
 

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Im not interested in receiving disabillity but I just have a question are you guys telling me that you receive or can receive disabillity for your SA?
 

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Well on the suggestion of a psychiatrist about a month ago I've debated and finally started the process of applying for and collecting disability. I've been approved so far and I'm almost done with the whole process.

I'm already receiving income support, but my real reason for doing this in the first place is that now I've got drug coverage. I still live with my parents, rely on them completely, and the prescription costs were totally getting out of hand, I was feeling guilty every day about it.

Now it's a bit of weight off my shoulders, even moreso because now I have "rent" money that makes me feel less like a useless mooch. Well, I still feel like a useless mooch, it's still somebody's money, but the guilt of it all won't be weighing down on me so heavily for now. I'm also being given some extra cash for myself but it's not like somebody who's home 24/7 is a big spender anyways. It's a very modest amount but as someone who's never been able to work, it's actually quite a lot of money for me.

It's a bit frustrating though. One of the requirements for this whole thing is that it's a chronic disability that's expected to last for at least one more year, and to see that prognosis down on paper was a bit disheartening.

I thought going through like this would feel like I've given up, but I still really want to beat this and eventually go back and finish university. I still intend to be seeing my psychiatrist and social worker regularly, and I really hope they have the same intention too. These problems have been very frustrating for them as well, seeing no improvement whatsoever, month after month, so I think it'd be easy for them to just give up on me. The mental health system here is so in demand that it'd probably be easiest for them to start scheduling me for less frequent visits or stop seeing me altogether. It hasn't happened yet, but once I'm fully on this disability system I'm worried that's what will happen.

Anybody else have experience with social assistance/disability? Has this positively/negatively impacted someone's life? My biggest fear was that it would be harder to be employed in the future if I DO get better, but I was assured that I'm not required to disclose it. Has anybody had problems with that?

Sorry for the long post. This is a huge change in my life and has been overwhelming at points. I'd never have been able to get through the bureaucracy of it all without help from my social worker...
I'm in Ontario, been receiving support from the Ontario Disability Support Program for over 3 years now. It saved my life. I was 22, living off my parents, sleeping all day, up all night...and they finally suggested to me that if I wasn't going to be able to work due to my personal issues, that I should get on social assistance. You are lucky they're allowing you to stay home and pay your parents rent. Have you ever not lived at home? I was told that I could only live at my parents and pay them the rent if I had already lived away from home for a certain amount of time. So, I had to move in with my grandmother for a few months, then I found my own place.
Other than the stigma of taking from society without giving anything back, it's not so bad.
Count your blessings that you live where you live, though. Getting social assistance is much much easier where we live than in some places, especially our neighbors to the south.
Oh, and these programs, while giving you money, also offer many programs to assist you in getting back on your feet. You can even get a job, earn up to $160.00 and still keep your full check. If you earn more than that, whatever total you earn in a month, I think 50% you can keep and the other 50% is deducted off your next monthly check.
If you have anymore questions, I'll be happy to answer them.
The most important thing you can do is not give up trying to get better though, because it is very easy to give up when you are able to pay rent, bills, food, entertainment....all while not working or dealing with society and reality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Im not interested in receiving disabillity but I just have a question are you guys telling me that you receive or can receive disabillity for your SA?
Yes. For me it's not just SA though, and the diagnosis alone isn't enough to receive it. There has to actually be a fair bit of reason to believe that the social anxiety (or whatever it is) is "disabling" and prevents you from working.

I'm in Ontario, been receiving support from the Ontario Disability Support Program for over 3 years now. It saved my life. I was 22, living off my parents, sleeping all day, up all night...and they finally suggested to me that if I wasn't going to be able to work due to my personal issues, that I should get on social assistance. You are lucky they're allowing you to stay home and pay your parents rent. Have you ever not lived at home? I was told that I could only live at my parents and pay them the rent if I had already lived away from home for a certain amount of time. So, I had to move in with my grandmother for a few months, then I found my own place.
Other than the stigma of taking from society without giving anything back, it's not so bad.
Count your blessings that you live where you live, though. Getting social assistance is much much easier where we live than in some places, especially our neighbors to the south.
Oh, and these programs, while giving you money, also offer many programs to assist you in getting back on your feet. You can even get a job, earn up to $160.00 and still keep your full check. If you earn more than that, whatever total you earn in a month, I think 50% you can keep and the other 50% is deducted off your next monthly check.
If you have anymore questions, I'll be happy to answer them.
The most important thing you can do is not give up trying to get better though, because it is very easy to give up when you are able to pay rent, bills, food, entertainment....all while not working or dealing with society and reality.
Yeah, I've lived for two years on two different university campuses, so I had lived away from home enough to qualify as an "independent" adult.

It's definitely not a situation I want to get comfortable with though, I REALLY would like to go back and finish school. I'm really not a happy person just sitting around doing nothing all day. I used to sleep during the day and be up all night too, but the isolation that creates I think just made me worse, so I use sleep meds to make sure I've got a reasonable sleep schedule. Even still though, the boredom and frustration just keeps eating away at me so I think over time I'm only going to be less comfortable staying at home with my parents relying on ODSP. It's DEFINITELY not going to be a good thing for the self-esteem in the long-term, so I think resolving yourself to relying on ODSP for the rest of your is probably just going to make your problems worse.

One of the most interesting things about ODSP is that if I do eventually become a full-time student again, all my income during that time is 100% exempt. I don't know if I'll be taking much advantage of that though, going from my current inability to even finish a semester, to being a successful full-time student WITH part-time employment might be biting off a bit more than I can chew.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
yea, I mean if I can get money for this.......:clap
It's not like you can just live with your parents and save up the money you're getting though.

Right now I'm not fully done the process and I'm not allowed having over $500 in assets over a monthly period. Once I fully get on the disability (not sure how long that will take but my doctor should have given my medical records and her opinion on the matter to them by now), that asset limit will be raised, but the point is for them to provide you with money to cover living expenses and at some point you're pretty much forced to spend it.

So I'm paying my parents rent right now with most of my money (more than is actually allocated for "shelter"), and I don't know if it's strictly ALLOWED, but they are mostly setting it aside so that if/when I go back to school they will cover at least that amount in tuition for me.

But don't get me wrong, that is all a bonus, and I don't really think you should be looking as your problem as a chance to profit. I only did it on the suggestion of a psychiatrist after about 2 years of being treated with no improvement. And even then, I was looking for an affordable drug plan, but as the government drug plan is based on the entire household income and I also have siblings living here who work, the household makes way too much money for me to get on that drug plan.

So the psychiatrist suggested I apply for disability, which is actually better drug coverage... there is NO co-pay for covered drugs, which is amazing, and the pharmacist's dispensing fee is waived most of the time, depending on the drug (psychiatric drugs are essentially FREE). But the prescription costs were getting out of hand, my parents are retiring, and they weren't really able to afford it so much, so I had to do something. I really didn't expect to be going down this path. The bureaucracy of it all has been a little overwhelming and stressful for me, but everybody I've worked with in the process has been helpful and they are just amazing people. I would have expected some of these people to be stuck up from working with "losers" and "mooches" all day (I initiated the whole thing through the welfare system on the advice of everybody I talked to) but the job, from what I've seen, seems to attract really caring people.

Aside from the drug coverage, I get some dental coverage, which is good, because, particularly in the past, I never really took care of myself and my teeth have suffered because of poor oral hygiene. I've become really scared of losing teeth lately though so that's probably one of the only areas of my life that's seen improvement, and brushing/flossing/mouthwash has become the ONLY part of a daily routine that I've ever had.

Eye exams are also covered too (every 24 months), thankfully, plus I get some money towards prescription glasses, which again, is good, because I've got astigmatism. Mild enough that 95% of the time I don't even need the glasses, but night driving and in certain other instances it's really important.

Yeah the income support is an awesome bonus (probably the best, for most people), but I was actually thinking of turning it down at first. Eventually I reasoned that refusing income support might lead the workers to think I don't have an actual disability or something, so I'm just going with the flow of it instead. What's also been surprising is that the workers I've dealt with have all made an effort to see that I get as MUCH money as possible.

Understand though that, while SA is probably my most pervasive problem, I have 5-6 "official" diagnoses and I really am incapable of holding down a steady job. It's sad, but as a 23 year old, I can't even live independently for a few MONTHS without becoming non-functional and failing to take care of my OWN basic needs, let alone any externalities. I'm not looking at this as easy money (I'd rather be mentally healthy and working hard for my money), and I look forward to the day where I no longer need it.

To those who really CAN function on their own to some degree and view disability as some sort of potential windfall, I'd strongly caution against it. As pokeherpro pointed out, it can be a huge disincentive to treating and beating SA. For this reason I'm giving nearly all of the money I receive to my parents, keeping myself enough (~$100/month) to buy a videogame or two each month, maybe some books, or perhaps some sort of gadget every couple of months. Something I can occupy myself with, because the ennui of doing nothing all day every day really starts to make me feel like I'm losing it. Like I said, I'm not a huge spender anyways.
 

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Honestly, you're worrying about nothing. Once you're accepted, they'll give you money immediately, based on what you did. I get the max, which is $1020/month, but that's cause I rent and it's $500/month. I get only $445 for shelter so the extra $55 comes out of my basic needs allowance.
What you'll get depends on what you filled in on the application. If you checked "room and board", you'll get less than what someone who was renting would get.
Prescriptions cost $2.00 each and you get dental.
You'll definitely have enough to do some things you enjoy. Under basic needs, don't forget that entertainment counts, so..spend some on yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you checked "room and board", you'll get less than what someone who was renting would get.
Prescriptions cost $2.00 each and you get dental.
Yeah at first I put room and board and then the case coordinator broke down what I'd get with that, or renting and said, "I'm not going to tell you what to put, but you see which number is bigger, right?" :D

I actually picked up a prescription for $0 just the other day with my new drug benefit card/paper thing. Is it $2 for prescriptions that don't qualify for having the dispensing fee waived?

The one thing I'm really unclear about is dental. Is it true that you need to get in touch with them to refer you to a dentist. Can't remember where I read that, but it didn't seem like you could just go to whichever dentist you want.
 

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I would definitely try and get some sort of allowance for my SA if I didn't live with my mum, because if I got it with her knowledge, she'd never let me hear the end of it. She'd just see it as my ticket to get out of everything. I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that my dad exaggerates health problems so he can get a whole bunch of payments and not work.
 

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I got on disability for my depression and the rest. i dont get very much though
 
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