Why are you burned out?
This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.
I am completely burnt out on my quest for long-term disability.
I used a mentor who helped me fill out these matrices which listed my illnesses and symptoms and how they affected my ability to work and live. It took me a very long time, between doing laundry and paying bills and being sick.
I applied in October of 2009 and they denied me. One of their reasons was, “We know you can’t the job you are doing now, but we believe there is some other work you can do”. I worked at a desk job, how much easier on your body can it be? And what kind of work did they think I could do? Where were their suggestions? I didn’t feel that they even READ my application for them to say that to me!
In New Jersey they deny approximately 86% of people the first time.
Then I get a lawyer in late January. The next step is the Reconsideration process. Pages and pages of stuff they want you to fill out. It took me eight hours. I sent it to my lawyer who asked the Disability Office what my bar code is so that they might send them the information. The Law Office never gets my code and I am DENIED without Disability ever READING my paperwork! I want another Reconsideration, I say, but this is not possible, they don’t do that.
The next step is the hearing process where I go in front of a judge. It can take up to 18 months to get a hearing! They give me more paperwork. It takes me about eight hours to complete over a three month period of time. And now I am just waiting for my hearing.
Meanwhile I am only getting poorer and into more debt.
I have spent hundreds of dollars copying my medical files.
I have spent so much energy chasing my doctors telling them to please fill out their forms.
My friends and former co-workers have written letters.
Did I mention how extremely depressing it is to write in great detail about how sick you are? Sometimes I cried when I was filling out their forms.
Over this journey I have heard incredible stories. Like the one where they denied someone who needed a liver transplant. Or the one where they told a lawyer she was not qualified to be a lawyer any more but that she should be able to work in a laundromat.
I cannot imagine someone would fake being sick to try to get disability because this is the hardest job I have ever had to do.