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Claiming disability

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by raincloud, Oct 7, 2009.

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  1. raincloud

    raincloud Well-Known Member

    Sorry if this is the wrong category, I wasn't really sure where to put this thread.

    I am seeking advice for claiming disability. I'm applying, but I feel like I just don't know what I'm doing. I'm scared that I will be rejected, and honestly, it's the only thing that will save me right now.

    I don't have any family. I don't have any income. I can't get a job and I gave up looking. I will be homeless very soon. I have chronic illnesses, but I don't really have a solid diagnosis. It's a very confusing, long story. Anyway, I've finally snapped. It took a lot for me to get to this place, but now I'm here and I just need a break or I'm going to die.

    I am very guarded around mental health professionals, so I don't think that even the ones I've seen would realize how bad things are. I admitted to being suicidal, but I refused to talk about it. I haven't seen any therapists long term -- while I was in grad school I saw a couple of interns at the campus mental health clinic. I was too poor to see the regular campus therapist or psychiatrist. Anyway, they were interns and aren't there anymore and I don't know how to contact them. I've also had a few very stressful events in my life since I've last seen them (a friend died, I'm getting evicted, several job rejections, I got denied unemployment because of an arbitrary technicality, I stopped taking my meds cold turkey, probably more that I'm forgetting).

    My endocrinologist is on leave, and even if he weren't, I don't think he knows how bad things are, either. I almost never see him, again because I'm too poor to have access to medical care. I see him once a year, and often less than that.

    Will they bother to track these people down? What if my old therapist says I'm okay? I don't know what to do and this is utterly nerve-wracking. I'm worried about all this "evidence" I have to provide. I have trouble convincing doctors that I'm sick, and the ones that admit that I AM sick always tell me that they're sorry but they just don't know what it is. I probably have lupus, but I haven't received an official diagnosis. I definitely have thyroid disease, but that's not enough for disability (I don't think). I am at the point where I just can't work anymore. I just can't. I can't afford doctors and I'm not sure I'd trust any doctor they'd send me to. I've had so many bad experiences with doctors. Any advice is appreciated.
  2. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    When applying for disability you will sign releases for them to get all the records. They are looking for a paper trail. Do go to mental health now and don't hold back anything. A paper trail combined with current treatment is crucial when applying. If you can't afford services, you'll have to go to a county mental health facility.

    With a solid paper trail and current treatment it took 5 months for my disability to be approved.

    If you get denied, appeal and stay in treatment at mental health. This is critical especially if you become homeless.

  3. raincloud

    raincloud Well-Known Member

    I don't think the county offers free medical services. Is that normal? When I was asking around for assistance, no one mentioned doing that. I need FREE because I literally have nothing. :(
  4. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    Depending on the state you are in, I think they have to have free services for those who need it. I recommend applying for medi-cal. You can apply for food stamps too. When they ask you why you are not working, tell them you are disabled, severely depressed and have suicidal thoughts. Tell this to mental health as well.

    When I went back to county mental health this time, I didn't have medi-cal and very little income and they charged me $36 for a year of services and said I could make monthly payments and could I make a $5 payment at that time. I was so relieved.
  5. raincloud

    raincloud Well-Known Member

    Okay. I looked up medi-cal and it's only in California. Does it have a more "official" name that they might use in other states? The closest thing I can see here is through our Department of Health and Social Services, but I'm not eligible for anything because I don't have children. I've been trying to find assistance for years to no avail. I tried applying for food stamps but they wanted me to go back to my former employer and make them fill out this big form about why I need food stamps and when I worked and how long I worked, etc. Since I had a huge breakdown and walked off the job, I just couldn't get myself to go back. Also, I don't see why they should have to know I'm on food stamps. I'm trying to get into a women's shelter, and they also wanted info about my most recent employer for a reference. I mean, really, like I want my former employer to know I'm trying to move into a transitional shelter.

  6. raincloud

    raincloud Well-Known Member

    Also (and please tell me if this is ridiculous) I have a reason for not being direct with mental health professionals. I'm terrified that if I'm honest I'll be dragged to a mental institution right away. Is that irrational? When I was 15, my parents took me to a psychiatrist. I really wanted help and I was honest and the next thing I knew they locked me in a room completely terrified while they told my parents every word I said during the session. My parents were also basically the SOURCE of my depression, so my reaction was sheer terror. During this experience they also talked about how they weren't going to let me leave and I was to be hospitalized. It was the scariest thing that's ever happened to me, and I've always been reluctant to say certain things to therapists ever since. All they did was make it worse, and they taught me how to hide depressive symptoms. I'm so good at it that most people have no idea I'm depressed at all. My parents aren't in the picture at all, but I'm afraid that if I call the crisis clinic they'll send cops to my door or if I go to a psychiatrist I'll be hospitalized against my will and I just can't deal with that.
  7. Datura

    Datura Well-Known Member

    You can only be committed to an institution if you're a danger to yourself or others. Even then, they'll strongly urge you to go under your own will. So basically, you'd still have to go, but you'd call the shots as far as your treatment is concerned so long as YOU are admitting yourself. If you were to be committed, the hospital can keep you for x number of days (it depends on where you live). Going voluntarily allows you to avoid that, and you have more of a hand in your treatment.
  8. raincloud

    raincloud Well-Known Member

    I guess I'm not sure how they define "danger." I'm in danger, sure. That's why I'm nervous about honesty. I have an "escape plan" and I could be dead in a couple of days, but I have loose ends to tie up. Getting disability, even in the short-term, is my last glimmer of hope. If I'm denied disability, then that's it. I can't survive while I reapply. Even disability won't give me that much hope, if any at all. But it's all I've got.
  9. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    If you end up homeless, go to a shelter and latch onto any services they have or can refer you to. Sometimes, homelessness is the key factor in getting disability.

  10. wastedmylife

    wastedmylife Well-Known Member

    I don't know what is wrong with you but I might relate

    when you say "endroconologist" does that mean you have a problem with your hormones

    that is my problem, I have this severe testosterone problem and became about 1/4 of the guy I used to be and now there is no point in living

    I also tried to get on disability but dumb ass doctors just wanted to shove me with medication, and they pretty much said I cant get on disability unless I agree to take the drugs

    I also thought I was going to be homeless but went back to my old job of being a ticket broker and have made a pretty decent amount of money in the last 6 months but I know I cant do this forever and I have no long term plans
  11. Stormhand

    Stormhand Well-Known Member

    My advice, get a good lawyer, find one that will not charge unless you win, it took me a very long time to get mine cause the doctors could not figure out why I have my seizures, so for my last hearing we had to go for the psychological affects my seizures have on me.
    It can get very frustrating, going through all the paper work, getting the doctor record copies.
    Just have as much medical proof as possible.
  12. raincloud

    raincloud Well-Known Member

    I'm not entirely sure what's wrong with me, but here's a short version of my symptoms:
    bizarre weight fluctuations
    I'm mostly bald (since age 10)
    I have chronic ringing in both ears (started at age 12)
    Dizzy spells
    Swollen joints and eyes
    Swollen, puffy face
    Chronic pain in joints
    Random horrible skin conditions
    low iron stores that don't change even on extremely high doses of prescription iron
    high insulin regardless of diet
    hot flashes that last for hours (started at age 28)
    severe depression quite literally as long as I can remember.
    frequent respiratory infections/wheezing/rattling lungs
    extreme fatigue (I can sleep 20 hours in a day)
    brain fog (I can't even watch movies because I can't focus on anything that long. I often forget what I'm doing one minute to the next)

    I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting. I don't have a diagnosis that explains all of this. I think it's Cushing's syndrome, but I got tested for that back in 2003 and the test was negative.

    Question: What kind of a lawyer should I be looking for? I'm applying for state welfare, but I don't think I'll get it. The long-term homeless shelters are full, too, and I'm really freaking out.
  13. Stormhand

    Stormhand Well-Known Member

    Best I can say to do is find a doctro, one that will help you and listen to you, and build up as much records as possible.
    Find a lawyer that specializes in Social security cases, look for one with a good reputation that does not lose , also make sure he will not charge you unless you with, he/she will take 1/3 of your back pay winnings as payment.
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