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Any SSDI tips?


djeaton
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I abruptly came down with POTS in March of last year, but this is my first post here. I have my first phone interview with SSDI in two weeks. As I transition from short-term disability to long-term, my insurance company is forcing me to apply for SSDI. Just a hunch, but if SSDI turns me down, that is an excuse for LTD to do the same. If SSDI approves my claim, LTD will deduct that amount from my benefits. I get it in the rear either way...one of the few places I don't already have symptoms. :-) I'd love some tips from those of you that have jumped through the SSDI hoops as to what I should avoid and what I should emphasize. Thanks.

Daniel

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Hi, Daniel. The SSDI process can be a long, tedious one. First and foremost make sure you have ALL your medical records so you don't have to wait for your doctors to send them to social security. Answer all questions completely and honestly. You may want to do a search on this topic as we discuss it often and had a member get it on her first shot this week. So, we have lots of help gor you here if you need it- good luck!

Carmen

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Hi Daniel, good luck with your journey into SSDI. I was just approved this week. I agree completely about getting copies of all of your medical records together. Also, be sure to keep copies of everything that you send to both SSDI and your LTD. Before you have your phone interview, I would make a detailed list of your symptoms with specific examples of why those symptoms make you unable to work and lead a normal life. I tend to be very forgetful and having a list in front of me helps out, it will also come in handy when you are filling out some of the other forms they will send you. Good luck to you, I'm available via email and will try to help as much as I can.

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The more info the better (welcome by the way) The more symptoms and problems, the better, write down all of them including depression , everything, even things not associated with your pots, all your symptoms.

Fill out all forms as thoroughly as possible, even though they are so redundant. And when you see the psych, which we all have to, just be honest! I got it on my first try. I am lucky, but i think my symptoms were broken down as opposed to a diagnoses of pots. Although I will never know.

There are many threads on here about this, go in to archives and you will find a wealth of info..morgan

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Hi Daniel, good luck with your journey into SSDI. I was just approved this week. I agree completely about getting copies of all of your medical records together. Also, be sure to keep copies of everything that you send to both SSDI and your LTD.

I have four or five inches of medical documentation. It took about four moths of testing before anyone settled on POTS and then I spent two weeks at Vanderbilt as one of Dr Robertson's research patients. How much should I send to SSDI? I don't want to send tests that I tested normal for or so much informaiton that the "good stuff" gets lost.

Danie

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Include all of your medical records because at some point if they request them from the Dr's there will be a discrepancy and then they will accuse you of hiding something.

Write all of your Dr's and request copies of your complete medical file. Tell them you are in the process of filing for disability and give them 2-3 week deadline. I faxed a letter to all of my Dr's and also mailed the hard copy for the request of my records. If you can offer to pick them up that may also help speed things up.

Write down the specifics of what you can and can't do.

When you get your records, make a copy, number each page, then make a copy or two of the numbered pages. Keep your originals in one place, keep your original numbered pages for your records, then send one set to social security and send one set to your LTD carrier.

One word of caution, most LTD policies have a clause about not paying more than a year or two for "mental impairment" so if it's your medical condition that is keeping you from working then don't stress the depression or anxiety. If you feel you need to include it in your application for Soc Security then CLEARLY state that depression and anxiety came AFTER your physical health started failing (if that is the case).

Do you know if your LTD policy falls under ERISA law? Is it an employer benefit or a policy you bought and paid for independently?

Also, when you mail a copy of your records send a cover letter stating EXACTLY what you are mailing them. For Example, Dr. Smith pages 1-60 covering dates of service from January 1, 2005 thru December 31, 2005.

Anything you mail either to Soc Sec or your LTD company send certified, return receipt requested.

I would also recommend looking at the Soc Sec website under the conditions they look for. You need good documentation from your Dr's. Since POTS, NCS are not on Soc Sec list you may need to stress terms Soc Sec will understand (such as Tachycardia, arrythmia). This can be difficult because many cardiologists don't consider the type of tachycardia we have to be a true arrythmia in the medical sense however, arrythmia as Soc Sec defines it does fit (the two worlds define it differently and you may need to point this out to your Dr).

The other thing that was recommended to me since there are so few Dr.s who treat these disorders who know what they are doing is to include a copy of the Dr's credentials. You can either request the Dr's CV or for example, go to Vanderbilt website, pull up whichever Dr you saw, Print his info and then click on Pub Med articles and print the list of the titles shown. Your goal here is to document your file to show that the Dr's you have seen are experts in their field (vs. the ones Soc Sec and/or your LTD carrier will have reviewing your file).

Hope this helps some!

Good luck and I'm sorry you have reason to have to find this site but am confident you will find lots of support and encouragement here!

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hi daniel -

others have already given you good info re: SSDI but i just wanted to add a few things and mostly say welcome. re: your LTD company's requirement to apply it does not necessarily mean that they're looking for a reason to deny you. that doesn't mean that an approval isn't an added validation but it's not the initial motive. essentially by adding the "you must apply for SSDI" clause to a LTD policy the premiums paid along the way for employees &/or employers (depending on who paid them) is MUCH less. b/c - like you pointed out - any SS payment is deducted from your LTD payments if you do get SSDI it means the LTD company has to pay less.

FYI, i know my LTD carrier actually pays for an attorney if you do get denied the first time. hopefully you won't need one at all but it may be something to make yourself aware of.

i would also suggest getting a copy of your actual LTD policy. it's probably pretty lengthy and chances are you have to get it from your employer/HR dept rather than the LTD company themselves. but...it may explain things to you in some more detail re: the differences between qualifying for SSDI & LTD. obviously all policies are different but many LTD policies are written such that in order to qualify for disability you must not be able to work at your prior job, at least for some period of time (2 yrs is common). SSDI's qualifying standards are much stricter. obviously there's a lot more to it than that but that's one of the key differences for many people and plays into why a denial from SSDI by no means allows your LTD carrier to automatically write you off.

good luck,

B) melissa

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