Disability Dialogue-- Waiting, Questions, Financial Complications

Submitted by Shane on

In keeping with our latest blog posts, we interviewed a woman about her experience with the Social Security Disability application process. It is our hope that these interviews will provide you with realistic expectations, improve your experience, and potentially prepare you to submit your own application for disability benefits.

To read the other posts in this series, click here. If you’d like to share your experience with us, leave a comment in the comment section below and we will be in contact with you. As always, any information provided by these claimants is based on their own personal opinions and experiences.

Disability Dialogue

Today we will be speaking with a woman who spent a year and a half applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Ultimately, she was approved after her appeal hearing. This applicant’s experience is one that many people can relate to—lengthy processing times, endless questions, and financial complications. Fortunately, her application process certainly served as a learning experience because she was able to offer some really great advice.

Here’s what she had to say:

  1. What was your overall experience like applying for benefits?

    Overall, it seemed like it took forever. The questions were never ending. I started the application on-line on July 5, 2009 but my Protective Filing Date was July 31st of 2009. So if I remember correctly the 31st was the day I actually submitted the application on-line as complete.

  2. What were the biggest challenges you faced throughout the process?

    The biggest challenges: I remember it taking me way too long to file—partly because of my disabilities. I had a very hard time even filing. My disability started in 2003 but I did not want to tell myself I was disabled and could not work. And my husband had been through the process and we had been waiting a total of 4 years for his. Our family struggled horribly.

  3. What advice do you have for those who are thinking about filing for disability?
    • Be prepared to not have an income for years.
    • Have money saved up if possible.
    • Have a back-up plan should you be forced to get work, be homeless, or have to rely on relatives.
    • If you file for disability on your own, make sure you read everything. I found several errors on the SSA’s part.
    • Personally collect all your records and review them. I had been diagnosed with something that the doctor never told me about

What was your application experience like? Let us know in the comment section below!

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