Gorotsuki Tenshi (aekiy) wrote,
Gorotsuki Tenshi
aekiy

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Disability Determination

Today was the first of two disability evaluations, one with an internist and the other with a psychologist.  It was fairly quick and painless, and I got there and back OK, but it was a little bit disappointing how light the evaluation was.  The doctor just asked me a few questions and poked around a bit.  It's always awkward being felt up by some guy you don't know, but he was gentle and professional.  It did take him several minutes to actually find a heartbeat on me, but eventually he did (I assume).

In any case, he only had specific instructions from Disability Determination Services to follow.  He seemed to want to do a more thorough exam, but said, "That's all they want me to do."  So the disappointment is not with the doctor but with DDS and their very limited range of items for the evaluation.  It strikes me this may be part of why people are initially denied and why they need to appeal twice, finally appearing before a judge, before they eventually get approved for Disability Income.  The criteria seem to ask and say, "Can the subject stand and answer questions? Then they're not disabled."  I could be wrong, but I'm suspicious.

We'll see how the psychological evaluation goes.  I suspect it will be similarly cursory and that the criteria for evaluation are designed to deny your claim unless you're terminally ill.  That way they don't really have to care about you for the first six to ten months while you apply, go through the evaluation process, get denied, appeal, and get denied again, and then a judge will make the final decision, at which point a quarter of your back pay will be sent directly to your lawyer.  If that's the case, then I won't likely see any of that money until sometime next year, or at least not until November, and it will be substantially less than it could be otherwise.

On the other hand, there's always a chance I'm entirely wrong, and I'll get 100 percent of my disability back pay by October.  Either way, there's a chance I'll be approved for Supplemental Security income and/or Medicare, so I may still be able to survive until I can get Disability Income, though not well.  SSI would be approximately half what I get from unemployment, which will be expiring in three weeks, but if I can get some sort of medical care in the meantime, I will at least have some sense of hope.

In the meantime, I've been up since 4:00 a.m., and it's time to die the death of sleep if I can manage.  I'm pretty sure it's my turn to do grocery shopping this week, but better to do so while relatively sober, not drunk on sleep deprivation.
Tags: disability, health
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