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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    21

    Default How to Get Disabilty Benefits

    My question involves a person located in the state of: Nebraska

    I'm a disabled vet. I have severe agoraphobia and am effectively housebound. Though, I can go places, but I can only step through the door of my own house if somebody is there. Otherwise I absolutely cannot make myself go outside; not even one step. Even when outside, that ability is very limited. I can only be outside for small periods of time in any 48 hour period. Every moment I'm outside is distressing to the point where I just can't handle too much of it. If I'm pushed to go outside too much one day, I won't be able to make myself leave the house no matter who's there with me.

    In my opinion it's unreasonable to expect that I could do a job like people keep wanting me to do. I'm sure I would happily do that if I could, but it's hard for me to even imagine that right now. It's just too difficult. Also, what I suppose is the PTSD component of it makes me afraid of loud noises and random people showing up; especially behind me. Also I have panic disorder, so I can have panic attacks too. So my point is, even if I could get to my job,(and I'd have to be driven and probably escorted into the building every time, there and back.) I would be a complete mess anyways.

    Right now I volunteer at an elementary school, for various reasons. I'm able to do pretty well there since I feel plenty safe and it's inside. So I can handle that 8 hour day but it takes everything I have and I could not do it more than once a week. So yes, I can do a little bit, but not enough to where it's worth thinking about getting me a part time job. Besides, the only reason I can do that is because it's on a volunteer basis and nothing is expected of me. So if I'm getting paid to do a good job, I would certainly be a mess. My anxiety and stress levels would be through the roof the whole time and I would be having debilitating panic attacks.

    So as you can see, my problem is far from black and white. It would be a lot easier if I were housebound; but I'm not going to lie about my condition. I think it's bad enough as it actually is. So far I have applied and been denied disability benefits from both the VA and social security. Also both of the appeals are currently being (very slowly) processed by them. Or at least they are sent and so they should be getting looked at.

    It's been about 2 years for the VA disability one, give or take a month max. The social security one was faster to get back to me, and I appealed it soon after it got denied. I still haven't heard anything from either of them. I filed my appeal for the VA benefits about 7 months ago in early August of last year, 2016. I was told by the support center guy that put it together for me that it would take about 120 days. It's been almost double that amount of time and I still have not heard anything from them. I called the VA service center guy last week and am still waiting for a call back from him to see what is going on with the VA. I might have to call him back yet again if he doesn't respond in a while. I don't know what to do with social security though. There's no service center for them, it's just online. I guess I could call them too but I guess I just can't help the feeling that it won't matter.

    Anyways, what's the advice? Do you think I need a disability lawyer? Do you think I'm definitely disabled enough to get benefits in the first place? Of course I've never run into this situation before in my life, so advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,005

    Default Re: How to Get Disabilty Benefits

    Do you have a service connected disability rating? If not, then you are not officially a "disabled vet."

    One important thing you haven't mentioned.

    Have you been regularly treated and medicated by a psychiatrist (MD) for the past few years?

    If not, then my guess is that you won't qualify for either VA or SS disability.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: How to Get Disabilty Benefits

    I don't think I have a service connected disability rating and if I don't, I don't know how to get that. Also yeah I realize I am not officially disabled, but at the rate this is going, I never will be anyways!

    Yes I have absolutely been treated almost nonstop for years, with various psychoactive medications. Also maybe notably, I'm on the same medication that they put me on in the Army when I was beginning to fall apart.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    in alto mare
    Posts
    1,123

    Default Re: How to Get Disabilty Benefits

    Sounds like you could benefit from behavioral therapy in addition to meds. Have you talked to your doctor about that?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: How to Get Disabilty Benefits

    Yes we talked about that and he decided it wouldn't work for me. Chances are I'm going to be in the long-haul with this one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,005

    Default Re: How to Get Disabilty Benefits

    If you get denied again, I suggest you get a disability attorney.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: How to Get Disabilty Benefits

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    If you get denied again, I suggest you get a disability attorney.
    Ok thanks for the advice. Should I really wait long enough to get denied? Also the disability attorney only gets money if we win, right? And then I have to pay him or her with the money I get? Not that it's unreasonable, but is it something generally worth doing?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    in alto mare
    Posts
    1,123

    Default Re: How to Get Disabilty Benefits

    Quote Quoting Jackson9001
    View Post
    Ok thanks for the advice. Should I really wait long enough to get denied? Also the disability attorney only gets money if we win, right? And then I have to pay him or her with the money I get? Not that it's unreasonable, but is it something generally worth doing?
    Why not call a few? Many of them advertise. Or call your state Bar Association for recommendations. Consultation should be free.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: How to Get Disabilty Benefits

    Quote Quoting geek
    View Post
    Why not call a few? Many of them advertise. Or call your state Bar Association for recommendations. Consultation should be free.
    In your experience, would it make the process go faster? Is that even possible?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: How to Get Disabilty Benefits

    Many people recommend only getting an attorney involved once you've been denied; many attorneys won't touch a case until it's been denied, actually.

    Attorneys typically can't shave off much (if any) time, unfortunately.

    Re the payment terms: Their fees are capped by law, and they typically get paid before you do once you're finally approved.

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