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Disability For Bipolar Patients


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My life has been absolutely miserable in the past few months, and I have considered applying for disability benefits. I am not sure if I qualify for assistance, but my symptoms have been pretty hard-core lately.

Is anybody on disability for bipolar that can give me some info on the subject that can describe the symptoms they had that made them eligible?

Im not just some lazy bum who wants to collect free money and sit around on my ass. I just want to pay the bills until my pdoc and I get things sorted out. This may take a while.

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Is hospitalization a requirement for approval?

Well...no. The only "qualification" is that you unable to do any productive type of work. All your answers are *really* downstairs in the Disability Board, but...real qucik-like.

--If your symptoms are recent, they'll likely not; what they look for is a general history. Unlike missing legs, bp symptoms often improve when medicated. Convincing a panel of docs they'll still be around for more than 12 months would be a feat.

--"Feeling miserable" doesn't quite cut it. I feel miserable all the damn time, BUT I still hold down a job. Without a better, deeper understanding, no one can help.

--Have you asked your doc if HE thinks you're disabled? I had one ready to fill out paperwork for me, and I was insisting that I could work! (Haha, I was right too!)

Really you'll find out more down on the Disability Board, and find more help too.

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here's how i won my disability. i know there are other threads out there, and other people (like cns) who have a better understanding of what the panel of doctors is looking for. however, this was basically my application-

i've been DXed as BP1 for 21 years and i'm 28. there is not going to be an end. we change my meds pretty much every month, whether it is an increase or decrease in something i'm already on, a change of meds altogether, or some other med overhaul.

my symptoms "break through" my meds usuallly at least once a month and i have high manias and low depressions, and all of the in between states, at least every few months (the severe states, not the less severe but noticeable ones).

i've been hospitalized 5 times in the last 2 years. i could have gone more but my pdoc and i have an emergency plan in place that if i feel the need to go to the hospital, we go through the emergency plan first, and that usually stops the emergency, at least it has a high success rate. my cycles tend to be on the shorter side and if i can make it 24 hours, then i have better control and can make it longer.

my dad commited suicide and there is a very, very strong history of bp in my family. i also found my dad dead and this added to my ptsd.

i have ptsd and add as well

i cannot hold jobs for longer than 3 months, despite a BA and having worked at impressive places (for no longer than 3 months), cannot hold jobs

cannot stop hallucinating when in heavy depressions or high manias

**********

so, that is my "crazy" resume and why the panel of pdocs put me on SSDI. also, my meds give me worse side effects sometimes than dealing with the craziness itself.

i just emphasized that i've been crazy forever, will be crazy forever, and have horrible symptoms. i obviously cannot work even though i've had at least 20 jobs in the last 5 or so years.

my dad's death killed me. i'm usually a walking zombie. ask me about it and i'll have flashbacks so real, i'm there again and stone cold. sometimes i find myself talking about it half to heal myself and as a service to others.

every one of my pdocs, from the ones in the hospitals to the ones i've seen privately, have urged me to go for SSDI and have pushed me to apply.

my newest pdoc finally convinced me that it was futile to keep trying to work when it is obvious that at least for now i need this healing space, so we applied and won within 6 months.

**********

i'd say that if you have a history of longer than a year and you are literally unable to make any contributions to the work force that you apply. you won't get taken seriously unless you prove, beyond any doubt, that you are fully disabled.

i want to work so bad. i keep telling myself that it is possible, when i know in my heart that the cycle would continue. right now i work 12 hours a week at a very low key job and this is about all i can handle. my docs have approved school on a part time basis through the bureau of vocational rehab. i'm going to be a web designer. i've worked in IT for 6 years.

work as long as you can. it gives you a real sense of accomplishment and pride. in our society, we are really judged by ourselves and by others according to what we do. now don't let this stop you if you are fully disabled, however work as long as possible. if you need to drop to part time, you are still making more than you'll make on SSDI. on SSDI, you make your disability plus have the ability to earn an additional $640/month working part time at some job. i earn about half that. i bring home roughly $1,200 in SSDI and my job. this is hardly enough for my rent and other bills and food. you don't want to live hand to mouth like this. it is stressful in and of itself to not know where your next meal is coming from. a lot of people get more than i do in SSDI, however a lot of people get a lot less. i'm fortunate to get $906. my best friend (asperger's) gets about $650. he has to live at home with his parents and is 30 years old. i may have to live at home wtih my mom if things get any worse. i'm trying to pay student loans and all of this at the same time.

you do NOT want to worry about where your next meal is coming from, or if you can pay your rent, or if your electricity is going to get turned off. you'll have these worries and more making the crappy income they give you on disability.

give it a real thought. you'll live in poverty. if you are disabled beyond the point of being able to work, then the poverty just goes along wtih it and you deal with it. i'm lucky enough to have grandparents who help me a lot. still, it is embarrassing to ask for money as a grown woman and i hate doing it. if you have to live in poverty you will, but working is a better alternative if you can. i'd love to make 38k a year like i did before i went on SSDI. i'm a single woman with no children. i had money to do anything i wanted. now i don't know if i can buy food. see, the sacrfices are huge. think hard about it.

and if you decide you must, then good luck. i just wrote out my application in my own handwriting one night, without using any guides, and sent it in teh way it was. i was approved obviously. i don't know if there are special "secrets", because if there are, i broke all the rules.

power to the people,

loon

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Is hospitalization a requirement for approval?

Well...no. The only "qualification" is that you unable to do any productive type of work. All your answers are *really* downstairs in the Disability Board, but...real qucik-like.

disabled? I had one ready to fill out paperwork for me, and I was insisting that I could work! (Haha, I was right too!)

Really you'll find out more down on the Disability Board, and find more help too.

Which is the disability board?

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