A couple of days ago I received in the mail something that was not totally unexpected but nevertheless frustrating. I know I will offend some people with this post, especially given the current economic situation. If you are I apologize in advance.
My claim for disability benefits has been denied for the third time. The letter states that I am not disabled as defined in the Social Security act.. Disability is defined as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments that can be expected to result in death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not more than 12 months.
In 2010 I had to leave a job that I held for seven years. During that time I went through a couple of surgeries and injuries that required me to be out of work for weeks at a time. I always returned to work as soon as it was physically possible. This was true for my entire working career from the age of 14 up till September of 2010. I have never shirked from working. I even worked full-time while attending nursing school when I was 28. 10 years later, a slip in the shower resulting in a fractured disk ended my nursing career. By the time the disability department in the state in which we were living had decided I should go into a retraining program I had already found another job. While working as a nurse’s aide and a nurse I have been kicked punched, bitten as well as endured several back injuries. This in addition to arthritic knees and circulatory problems, both of which have worsened over the years. I now walk with a cane or walker depending on how long I will be on my feet. Many nights I would come home from work exhausted and in pain and in tears, Tylenol did not help the pain, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories upset my stomach, a condition made even worse by a stressful job. Any other pain killers prescribed to me rendered me unable to perform the duties of my job, so I had to make do with what I could handle.
I don’t tell you this to brag, but to prove my point. I’m, not looking to be another sponger. I just cannot physically work any more. I can no longer stand on my feet for extended lengths of time, nor can I sit for extended lengths of time. My condition won’t even allow me to work in an office setting The pain is bad enough at times I have trouble concentrating.
Back in July I had a hearing in front of the office of disability adjudication and review with the administrative law judge. After the hearing my lawyer was not positive about the outcome but being the optimist I didn’t want to think about that. Now that 12 page denial notice is sorely trying that optimism.
Yes, I realize that Social Security is in trouble. Yes, I realize there are people who are bilking the system and I refuse to believe I’m the only one with a condition that should be positively considered instead of a flat out denial. And so many are ruining it for those in true need. This year I will be 58. I know that is not old. I tell you this just so you know how long I have been paying into the system. A system I could access either when I was retired or if for some reason I am no longer able to work. It’s extremely frustrating to have to jump through hoops to actually gain this access.
I will now get off my soapbox. After I speak with my lawyer we can decide what the next step would be. Thank you for letting me vent and I will keep you posted on my battle.