She qualified...NO doubt about it...But I sure wish I knew the "ins and outs" of what it would mean, to have and KEEP disability. Which is why...TAdaaaaa, I am writing this blog post!
Things to know BEFORE you apply for disability
The first thing you should realize when you are applying for disability for yourself or your child is the amount of time it takes to #1 Fill out the applications, #2 Get your decision back from the state.
---It takes A LOT of time to fill the application out (if you are doing it correctly, that is) An insider tip from a friend of mine who works in the determination dpt at the Social Security Office, in another state tells me that EVERY SINGLE LINE in the application MUST be filled out, even if the question does not apply to you (or your child) Putting "Not Applicable" in the blank spaces is better than leaving it blank.
---CONTACT NUMBERS for Doctors that you or your child have seen SPECIFICALLY related to your conditions is a MUST! Make sure the numbers/addresses are CURRENT contact numbers!
It took me a total of about 3 hours to complete the process (that is 3 hours of FOCUSED time)--Which seems daunting, but ended up being very worth it...Submitting a complete and accurate application will increase your chances for a "fast" approval.
This is NOT a process you want to rush through...If you have ANY medical records that pertain directly to the condition that is disabling you, make copies, and send them in with your application.
After you finish and send in your application...The wait can be really hard to deal with. It took our family 3 months, before we heard ANYTHING from the Social Security Office. (Which, from the many people I have spoken with is considered pretty good!)
Expect a LOT of questions, after the ball starts rolling. When we finally got our call, I had to explain--in detail--what Neurofibromatosis was (even though, in my application, I went into great detail about this condition)
I was asked almost every question that was on the application...And had to explain how the complications I listed, impaired my daughter's ability to live a normal life.
***Be patient with this process***
It's very easy to become frustrated when trying to explain your situation to someone who doesn't get it....The person on the other end of the call is just trying to do their job...
Being patient and thorough will make things go a lot smoother.
After the first call, it took another 2 months before we heard anything...This felt like a lifetime!
You may think that "nothing" is happening during this wait time...But rest assured, A LOT is happening! This is when Social Security is checking all of the medical information and contacting the doctors. You may receive a few phone calls during this time...Or you may be asked to go back to the doctor for further testing.
For my daughter....She received a full Neuro-Psych evaluation during this time.