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Topic Disability Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By hansbl2 On 2011.01.08 14:58
How do you go about getting disability with Parkinsons. Can you do it alone or do you need an attorney?

By Emma On 2011.01.08 15:59
If you are talking about Social Security Disability you can do it either way. I did the application for my husband and it was approved on the first try. It took about three months to get approved. I know that at least one other person on this board, karolinakitty, also did the application herself and was successful. Be sure that you apply for the right program. You want to apply for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) not SSI (Supplemental Security Income). You can get the application forms at your local Social Security office. If you do not feel confident in your ability to do it yourself hire an attorney. If you are denied on the first try it can take up to three years for an appeal. If you won on appeal it would be retroactive to the date you first applied, but three years is a long time to wait to have money coming in. Most attorneys do not charge you anything unless they are successful and then they are limited by law in how much they can charge. Look in the phone book under Attorneys and find one whose ad says they do Social Security Disability applications. I felt confident doing it myself because in my former job I dealt with Social Security all the time and I was familiar with how they work and what they wanted. If I didn't have that background I probably would have hired an attorney to improve my chances of winning.

Good luck whichever way you go!

By LOHENGR1N On 2011.01.08 23:57
hansbl2, Hi and welcome to the forum. It depends a lot on the age of the person applying, young onset is tougher to prove disability. I think the guide lines become laxer at 50 years of age (not sure but I think it's 50) before that you might have a fight on your hands. Also some of the definitions may have changed in the past few years. I know when I applied I went through the steps consideration, reconsideration and hearing before administrative law judge and ended up denied at all three levels. It took another trip through the process before the administrative law judge found for me. It seems back then Parkinson's Disease was considered a disease of the elderly and there were no guidelines to use to determinate what was disabling about it. Being a disease of the elderly people were at or past retirement age before contracting it so why bother to study it's effects seems to have been the systems stand on the matter. Sorry I can't be more help. Again welcome to the forum. Good question perhaps someone else can help more. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By karolinakitty On 2011.01.09 09:32

Like LO we went through the process, My guy was 51 when we started and it takes time especially here in SC.

First step you can take is filling out the form on-line. If you are computer savvy it's easy as pie. BUT:
you have to use the right language i found out. We did it, first time denied. second time denied, so it was to go before a judge the third time. We had to hire a lawyer for that process, they take out a % and you don't need to pay up front..... Our lawyer didn't do a thing. Due to some screw up with our paperwork and run around from our states determination office, they never sent me any papers on his denials and why... The attorney was able to get them for us. When i reviewed them i found some problems, wrote some letters, and got his disability. We never made it to the judicial review. All the attorney did was get the paperwork i should have received anyway.
It can be a frustrating process OR you can get it right away. I think it depends on your state and how they do things. here is a list of things to gather before you start the application:

Name, address and phone number of someone we can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your claim.

Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
NOTE: You may want to refer to any Medical Records you have.

Names of medicines you are taking and who prescribed them.
NOTE: You may want to have your medicine bottles available.

Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who sent you for them.

Types of jobs and dates you worked for your last 5 jobs.

Information about any insurance or workers' compensation claims you filed, such as claim number and name, address and phone number of insurance company.

Here is a link to what's called the blue book. It is the determinations process guidelines for considering certain diseases or issues.

Make sure your doc list these issues as written in the blue book:
11.06 Parkinsonian syndrome with the following signs: Significant rigidity, bradykinesia, or tremor in two extremities, which, singly or in combination, result in sustained disturbance of gross and dexterous movements, or gait and station.

From the way i understood things, attorney's don't take clients until they have been denied the two times. At least around here that is the case.

If anybody notices.... it says in the guidelines you have to have tremors in two extremities and there is no mention of any cognitive issues. they classify the cognitive issues apart from the PD and that's where we ran into our issues.
My guy doesn't have extremely obvious tremors. He had more cognitive issues even though his other physical issues were obvious.
All together it took about a year and a half to get this all done. I know when i was having issues and wrote about it here, some said they got it within three months. Like I said, it depends on your state. I had a friend that moved to SC here from Ohio, she has fibromyalgia and essential tremors, not PD, was on disability, but when she moved here, she had to get re-determined, they denied her and she had to start all over.

If you need any help or have any questions, email me and i'll answer as best I can.....

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