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Disability--just how crazy do I have to be?

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I have taken the plunge and am applying for Social Security Disability, based not only on my craziness but of course on the fact that my back will never work the same again, even after $90,000 of surgery. I have been told that TWO diagnoses are better than one, and if you are close to actual retirement (I'm a year away) you are more likely to be eventually approved. In addition, I hear that if you have had the same type of job that you were trained for , for some years passed, and can no longer preform that job (sure can't be a nurse, thats what got me into this!) your chances are also increased.

So--I think the back is a given, you can SEE MRI's and X-rays. But how looney do I have to be for the BP to count as disabling? I mean, I sure cannot handle high-stress jobs, thats for sure--and I don't know of a nursing job that ISN"T high stress. But the ole SS Board cannot actually SEE a brain scan to tell just how incapable I am of working 40 hours a week as a nurse. I can only tell them what has happened the last few jobs I had, where I just fell apart, holed up in the ladies room, had anxiety attacks in the middle of a training session and got sent home, etc.

But is that enough? And how do I prove that??

Any of you roller-coaster riders out there ever appy for SS disability? Anyone actually ever get it? Any hints, suggestions, do's and don't's?? There are, as we all know, several ways any set of facts can be presented--and I want to be sure they get the point that I simply cannot work as a nurse, my only job for the last 18 years, ANY MORE.

And how important in all this is the info from my current pdoc, and/or past pdoc? Do I tell the pdocs I have applied? Do I ask them to say how nutso I am? What's the frequency, Kenneth?

china, sitting here with no back brace on, rebelling in a very small way.

P.S. Have gaine almost 8 lbs. since surgery, which is AWFUL--Feel like a huge slug.

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Sorry to hear it has come down to disability. I had hoped your surgery would have "fixed" your back. I know how painful backs can be. And with BP.....sheesh. It is true that after 50, it becomes easier to get SSDI. I am giving you Bryan's link with his info on Social Security.....http://www.crazymeds.us/ssdi.html....This is pinned under lawyers, guns, and money forum.

He is very knowledgeable. I have PMd him in the past. I am almost 2 years in. I have been denied and I am waiting on my appeals hearing. Now, don't panic. Some get accepted right away. My brother is BP and diabetic and he got accepted right away just on the BP. And I read in the Sunday paper yesterday that Social Security is revamping to speed up the process and also do away with the reconsideration period in the states that do have it.

Yes, tell your Pdoc and Tdoc you are applying. Their information is vital. Any hospitalizations, etc.

Here's a couple of websites, kind of give you an idea


This attorney gives you a good idea on what it takes to qualify with a mental illness.


I hope some of this helps and I'll be glad to answer any question you may have or find this answer if I don't know.

Please let me know how you are doing with all this. It can be very daunting.

Take care, Sondra

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Hey China,

In my line of work, I see clients on Social Security Disability/SSI regularly.

I hate to be contradictory, but I would say that 90% of my clients on SSI or RSDI are denied initially.

Seems like they ALL have to go through the appeals process in order to be approved, unless the impairment is extremely obvious. Sometimes I think this is deliberately used as a deterrent. Let's see how bad they REALLY want it. Saves money.

This site from SSA was really interesting. A lot of stuff I didn't know. I guess that's how crazy you have to be.

SSA Mental Disablity Requirements



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Hi China,

I dont know if im an enigma or what. but I got ssdi on the first try. and im just bp2. I was honest. I cant concentrate and i have phases of crying. and other stuff.

As part of the process, I did go to a pdoc ssdi refered me to. afterwards, I felt kind of wierd. because he said since I had a BA I shouldnt have any problems working. although I do have quite a bit of paranoia....and so far i dont think there is a drug to help me...but we all know the government is watching me. they will probably copy this post into my file.

(which then leads to my college story and how i wrecked my body while in attempt of said degree).

I dont know if my pdoc "trumped" the other. I LOVE my pdoc. but i liked him before the ssdi refered one.

Oh yeah - the whole SS process lasted about a year.

However, I used to work in the insurance field, doing the types of claims for your back (no fair hating me). so I know that back issues can have a significant value on your quality of life.

from what you have posted regarding your back - i would think it would be easy for the ssdi. but i suppose being a bit crazy helps. ;)

I wish you all the luck & speed in your ssdi claim.



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I started the process on line, but have really sort of given up--I cannot possibly wait 18 months-2 years while SS makes up its mind. We will be homeless. I have to figure out a way to go back to work, even part time, as soon as I possibly can (i.e., when I can drive)even if the doc has not "released me" It won't be the job I had before, or nursing of any kind--I cannot do that physically or mentally--but I have some leads on part-time jobs with some various motorcycle shops, etc. in the area to do sales of accessories, parts, etc. IF I can stand for extended periods.

I',m just in a total quandry--I KNOW that my BP could be well-supported by previous bosses who KNEW I had MI, and knew and saw how it afected my work. And I KNOW I will have some limitartions physically, even tho the back pain is gone--there are just things I can never do again.

But--we have to eat, and pay rent, and stuff--my husband is home sick today, after a long discussion if we could afford for him to take a day off. We have NO savings, no reservres, no nothing. So how can I possibly not work for a year while SS makes up its fucking mind if I am crazy/disabled enough to get the money I will get next June anyway?? (I will be 62 then, and can start drawing my Social Security Retirement)

This whole system sux so bad--

china, in deep frustration

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If you need further advice you may want to post in the Law, Money, and Employment -- Send Lawyers Guns and Money forum.

I was denied twice and am at the - hearing in front of the judge - level. My lawyer thinks I have a good case with BD and depression stuff only. However I was completely shocked when he told me that the wait time for seeing a judge is 1 1/2 to 2 years. It took three months at each level before being denied. I thought it would be another three months to see a judge. So it could take a total of 2 1/2 years for me and there's no guarantee they'll accept my claim.

Sorry to hear about your situation. I've been following it. I hope 62 comes fast.

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Your back sounds way worse than mine, I think my MDD was icing on the cake. It was a slam dunk it 5 mos. All my tdoc did was supported me with a letter that said until my chronic pain stopped my recurrent MDD was unlikely to. And since I was in a career office job, I couldn't be retrained as I can't sit, stand or lay for any length of time without severe pain. And that you are closer to retirement age that doesn't hurt either. Get busy if you haven't already! I did mine on line. All the med professionals name address and phone. SSA collects the records.

Good luck!


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Hiya China-

My best friend has terrible Chrone's (spelling?) that requires surgeries, as well as Asperger's. He's never had a job in his life due to his conditions, except some small free lance work under the table. He's 30. It took him over 2 years to get his SSDI.

My mom is a total nutjob. She's unipolar manic. She also has MS, Lupus, and a host of other weird health conditions. They've denied her twice and now she has to go to the judge.

She's been living on charity from family and organizations for 2 years. That's a long time. Lucky for her, she owns her house. Unlucky for her, I just smashed up her car in a wreck that wasn't my fault.

So, you never know. It is a real game. I don't think they have any consistency or pattern. It is hit or miss I think. You need a game plan on how to hold yourself over until you get your answer. Some states give stipends to people seeking SSDI, along with food stamps. This is better than nothing. You could supplement with part-time or under the table work.

I'm with you 110%. I was denied in my first round (I'm not crazy enough and I'm only 27 and have a BA- going for my MA)


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I've made the decision to give up--even tho I also have Crohn's, which I am being treated for by a gastroentroenterologist. I have all the requirements-three times over---but I simply cannot live without an income for a year or so while the government fucks around with stuff.

I am free of pain in my back, but will have some very major restrictions on my activities, due to the amount of surgery and number of procedures that had to be done.(Thjat is, if I actually go back to the doctor in 2 weeks--I plan to be working by then, so what ever restrictions he has for me, too bad--)

But how do I pay even my little 10% of the $90,000 (that is NOT an exaduration, folks) with no job and no income? Declare bankruptcy? Can't afford the lawyer.

So, as so many before me, the government wins and I set out to find a job, even before the doc clears me, because I just cannot adfford to go another month with one income in our family. I just reached the breaking point today, took off the brace and thrrew it across the room then stomped on it. I cannot be an invalid for even another week.. Husband and I finally had a huge fight-ostensibly about my son, but realy all our frustration and worry and concern and anger about the whole situation finally surfaced, and it was a slam=-bang of a yelling, angry, ugly fight.

I am depressed, heavily medicated with stuff I don't need to take (bad sign) and have to find a way out of this hole, NOW. Otherwise, I do not know what will happend to me or what I am capable of.

china, who gives up and risks the whole ballgame, because we like to eat and pay rent. Its over.

But thanks for all your advice and good links, etc. I am sure they will help someone. Just not me.

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i just wanted to let you know im sorry for all the brick walls youve run into. i wish it would be easier for you. hang in there and good luck with whatever you decide to do!

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Hi China,

I know you are probably sick of hearing from me.

As for bankruptcy - I know and had an attorney that took payments who was located in florida. Although the price of bankruptcy has gone up thanks to our president in nov 2005 and his stupid new rules that apparently dont apply to many.

I know of one....and im sure there are plenty of bankruptcy attorneys on your side of the penisula that will take payments. thats the only way they can get money from the people who need to get bankrupt.

I do hope that something wonderful happens for you soon!!!



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