Reapply for disability

Music36

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My disability was approved for three years and will be ending soon. Will they notify me to reapply or do I need to call Social Security Administration?
 

Army Vet

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They will send you a notice via mail. Make sure your address is the same as when you were approved. If you moved since then you might never get it in time. They give you a month to send back the forms (10 pages long 😱🥴). You’ll get a CDR (continuing disability review). If you’re still disabled then you’ll fill this out and send it back. They’ll review it and decide whether you are or not. You have 10 days to reply once they give you their decision (via mail) if they said you no longer qualify. You can choose to continue receiving payments until you appeal, but if they agree that you are no longer disabled then you’ll have to pay it back.

I just did mine about a month ago. They say it takes a few months to make an initial decision on whether you’re still eligible. If they say no, then I can appeal which takes awhile as well. Then I’ll have to go before a judge and show them I’m still disabled via my attempts at getting better (ie medications, doctor visits, obeying doctors’ orders etc).

Since I didn’t have a lawyer with this response it wouldn’t surprise me if I get denied only to have to go back and get another one for the appeal 🙄 I’m trying to stay positive about it because I’ve read that most people continue to receive benefits since it’s (supposedly) the government that has to prove you’re healthy enough as opposed to your initial approval for getting benefits where it was your responsibility to prove to the government that you were disabled (ie this time you’re innocent until proven guilty of being disabled). They have to prove you’re healthy enough and that you are capable of doing a job. Also that you haven’t been attempting to get better (ie you haven’t seen the doctor for two years and you haven’t been taking your meds etc). By having checkups and whatnot makes it that much harder for them to say you haven’t been trying to get better.

Dunno if that helps, but that’s my experience so far.
 

Music36

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Thanks Army Vet. I figured they’ll notify me. I just wanted to make sure. My disability is approved through November so I would expect to get the letter and forms soon.

I assume you’re an army vet. My father is as well. He’s a Vietnam vet.
 

Music36

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Do they have you evaluated by their doctors like the first time you apply or do they just get your medical records of the past few years from your doctors?
 

Army Vet

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According to the form they sent me (and I’m sure it'll be the same; everyone gets it), they just ask about the last 12 months, but they are allowed to go back as far as they wish. What is your daily routine? What activities do you do? What meds are you on? What doctors are you seeing and how often?

Supposedly they'll contact your doctors and request your visits and doctors' notes.

As for being an army vet, but of course. I was in for 8 years and deployed once in 2005. My dad was in Nam as well. I got treated a little nicer than he did on his way back home. Thankfully people learned that troops just serve. It's politicians that put us there.
 

Music36

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So, they didn’t send you to their doctors the second time? The first time, they got all my medical records but also sent me to doctors they chose to evaluate me. So, I’m wondering if they’ll do the same thing this time. I have many health issues. Epilepsy is just one of them.

Yes, my father told me how he was treated when he returned. They would get spit at in the airport. Nowadays, soldiers are applauded as they should be. It was a different time and a different war, but soldiers never should be treated that way. Thank you for your service. I have cousins who have done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of them was a Marine for 25 years and is now retired from the military. The other one went to West Point and then led troops. He is now a Lt. Colonel.
 

Army Vet

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I appreciate the appreciation. Thank them for their service.

I didn't see one of "their" doctors, but I was seen by a VA doctor (the current doctor at the time). Being a government doctor it might have been a substitute. I don't know. I'm currently seeing another doctor who works at the VA (I moved). TBD if that will suffice or if they even approve my continuation of benefits. With it being the government nothing will surprise me (except getting approved 😏).

As for the second time (my recent continuation request), I haven't been told I need to as of yet. The first time I was outright denied. Got a lawyer and was denied again, but my attorney was able to appeal and get me before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The judge looked over the attempts of getting better (ie seeing doctors) yet still disabled (ie I wasn't just sitting there waiting for something to happen). I had seen doctors. Tried different medicine. Got a VNS. Meanwhile the symptoms hurt my ability to work (ie my meds make me drowsy; I become impaired before/during/after a seizure; bad memory; feeling bad after an episode etc). After I testified she ruled in my favor and I even got backpay 😄 But still, how ridiculous.
 

Music36

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Yes, it can be very difficult to get approved for disability. Hopefully, you get reapproved. Luckily, I got approved the first time I applied. I did it on my own without a lawyer. But, like I mentioned, I have many health problems. As for my epilepsy, I know from my own experience that med side effects can be just as debilitating (if not more) than a seizure. I have also been through epilepsy surgery. My left Hippocampus and Amygdala were removed in 2015 which made my memory problems worse. It also made my psychological issues (anxiety disorder and bipolar) worse. I also have chronic pain from an autoimmune disorder (Sjogren’s Syndrome) and fibromyalgia. I also have chronic back pain for other reasons as well. I also have IBS.
 
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