Disability: a Right or a Privilege?

Having applied for disability through both a workplace insurance and social security has given me a new insight and concern. I began with applying for long-term disability through my workplace at the recommendation of our COO. After filling out the application and gathering all of the required documents, it took several months to find out I was denied. I’ve been told this is typical and I need to obtain a lawyer to appeal because I only have one chance at an appeal.

With the loss of my job we have had our income cut almost in half, thus there have been some major spending changes but thankfully we have been able to create a budget to live within. For example I’ve gone without a car for a while and now have a small car that I hope will continue running for a couple of years, we canceled our cable, and do not go out much at all to name just a few changes that we’ve made.

Going through the process of creating and living within our new budget makes me wonder what people do when they don’t have a spouse or partner with a good job? What if they cannot live within their new budget? What do people do? I asked my therapist this question and she told me that many of these people end up homeless and in shelters. Does this make sense to anyone? Why does the disability process take so long and then typically end up in a denial anyway? All along the way I’ve been told that I wouldn’t have a problem getting disability, but here I am waiting for my attorney to put together an appeal. There has to be something that we can do to improve this process. People should not end up homeless because it takes so long to get approved for disability.

I am still waiting to hear about my social security disability. I was examined by a social security appointed neurologist two weeks ago, so I am not expecting to hear anything too soon. People tell me that it is typical to be denied “the first time” from social security also, and that I will need to appeal this also. I’m telling you that attorneys who specialize in disability have to be in high demand. It is pretty much guaranteed that one will need to get an attorney to appeal the denial in order to receive disability. The cost is very high and attorneys only take cases that they believe will be successful. All I can say it is unbelievable that people need to go through all of this in order to get what they have already paid for! Again I think about those who cannot afford to wait this long and then they have to obtain and pay a lawyer?

Does anyone know how to help? Have you had any experience with this process?  I am just…beyond words.


8 thoughts on “Disability: a Right or a Privilege?

  1. Nikki Brandt

    Hi Lori. I have had experience with this because of my husband. We had an advocate help us with the paperwork and thankfully he was approved the first time because if his heart. I will tell you that you cannot own anything above and beyond what you need to live – no second car, home, property, savings – otherwise you will not be approved. We cashed in his retirement to buy a home because we were homeless. We went without insurance for 2 years also-you do not get insurance for 2 years when you need it the most, and when you do it doesn’t cover anything. If you want you can message me on Facebook – not sure what I can help with 🙂


  2. Anne

    I used to see this a lot with my clients. It seems that nerve related pain disorders are especially difficult to get approved. I’ve worked with the families who were denied and could not afford to hire a lawyer and ended up homeless as a single parent with young children. It’s heartbreaking and it makes my blood boil. I wish I knew an effective way to change the system because I would be eager to fight for those families.


  3. Angie Fisher Bildson

    We have been going through this for years. Even went to trial. It’s an awful experience and nobody understands until they experience it themselves. We pay into it our whole working lives just to be denied when you really need it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Norma Buckler Hays

    This seems so unfair and I fear it may only get worse before it gets better. I know there are some who “cheat” the system but there must be a way of verifying need without just blanket denying everyone. I”m so sorry you are going through this Lori. I have also heard that the Social Security disability almost always gets denied the first time. It is such a catch 22……….your income has dropped dramatically but you have to pay an attorney to get what you should be entitled to. Wish I had some good advice but all I can do is hope and pray they can get this sorted out soon. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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