Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Gonna be a long, hard road ahead...

I have to get in touch with the V.A. pretty soon to see if I can get my medical records from Carswell and possibly Ft. Gordon. That's going to take awhile. I also need to get my records from Richardson Medical where I had my back surgery back in '87 (hopefully they still have them, at least on microfilm). My doctor is going to.schedule me for an MRI on my knees, hopefully soon.

My friend is going to handle the case on his own with some help from a contact in Social Security (which is why he needs my file). He's going to read it front to back, then the two of us will get together and go through it hoping to find something that will prove they made the initial denial back in 2006 based on inaccurate information. If we can get them to reopen and reexamine the case, that will be great. (It's completely at their discretion though... unfortunately, not even a judge can order them to do it.)

My friend is even willing to call Washington in hopes of finding a sympathetic ear to hear my case. I am going to owe him big time. I've already decided that if he actually pulls this off, I'm giving him 30% of my backpay, however much it is. (I think that's about how much I'd be paying a lawyer.) Not sure what I'll do if they refuse to take another look at the case. Probably take some of my savings and treat him to dinner, which is far too little thanks for all he's doing.

Thank you so much, Doug, and however it goes, you'll have my undying gratitude forever!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Talked to Social Security again...

... and again they said I can't get DAC under my original diagnoses. (They can't have me reevaluated based on those diagnoses... it's kinda like double jeopardy in a criminal case). BUT, my friend who's been helping me out thinks the rep we talked to may have given him a loophole.

See, I also suffer from severe depression, a complication of my disabilities. Wouldn't anyone be depressed if they couldn't work or get around well or do all the things you able-bodied folks can do?

Plus, from all the conversations I've had with them, it seems that they may have made their initial decision based on incorrect information, also. So that's another ace up my sleeve. It'll take a judge to determine that, though.

I just spoke to a representative from Coats and Todd (disability lawyers), and she promised that someone would get back to me in no more than a week to discuss whether they can help me. I hope they can.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sorry I haven't updated...

But there hasn't been much to report that I haven't posted on facebook. I have an appointment at 5:00 today to go see the apartment in Plano (Sequoia at Courtney Manor). Wish I could post a link here... from the description and pix on, it looks/sounds about perfect! It's 1bed/1 bath, but the bedroom is big, the living/dining area is huge, and it has a full kitchen! (It's 1,017 sq.ft.) There are two walk in closets, a fireplace, and a balcony or a deck (depending on whether you're upstairs or down... with my knees and back in the shape they're in, I prefer downstairs).

I was going to wait until I was sure I'd be getting my benefits to actually look at apartments, but I feel really good about getting them. (Those of you who know me may know or remember how resilient I am.) I have a couple of friends who are going to help me apply, and they'll help me appeal if necessary. I'm going to try to get a hold of as many of my medical records as I can. My current doctor has the x-rays I had taken a couple of weeks ago, and she can confirm my disability. (Not sure if she can tell from the x-rays how long ago my surgery was, though.)

I'm hoping it won't take long to get approved. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. I'll keep everyone updated...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

This wasn't supposed to happen...

I feel like the powers that love to fuck me over are laughing hysterically right now. I was supposed to file my claim today and even if I was denied, my lawyer was going to appeal. Come to find out, even if I do file, since I filed back in 2006 and was denied (apparently I wasn't "disabled enough" or some such shit), I'll just be denied again. I'm the one who lives with back and knee pain, not them! Why do they get to decide if I'm able to work or not?! Everyone I talk to KNOWS I'm disabled... they can literally hear it.

You know, I would actually love to work. But no one will hire me! I've tried to get a job, believe me. I have skills, I'm intelligent, and if there's something I don't know, I know how to open my mouth and fucking ASK. But people listen to how I talk, maybe see how I stand and walk, and I never get called back for an interview. Do you know how much that sucks? Not only that, it's damned hurtful. Okay, I'm slow (physically, at least), but I have a lot to offer an employer. Give me a fucking chance and I'll prove it.

There's so much I want to do, and $700+/month doesn't allow me (or anyone else) to do much. I'm saving as much as I can, but I'm only allowed to save $2,000. If I was on DAC, I could save a million dollars. $2,000 vs unlimited... what would any of you choose? You can do a hell of a lot more with unlimited funds than you can with $2,000. I could take a vacation every year if I wanted, go to Styx concerts, whatever.

I just want to be able to have a good... no, a better life than what I'm living now. Yeah, I'd still have to budget. I'd have to make choices... would I rather spend my money on A or B? But I'd be able to make better choices with more money. (Say, I could afford a hotel room AND get souvenirs at the Styx concert instead of choosing one over the other.)

And the housing thing. As long as I'm only on SSI, I'm pretty much stuck here where I am. I can't afford anything better. I can get on regular Section 8 (right now I'm in a special program for people with physical and/or mental disabilities, but 1. they're not taking applications right now, and 2. I want a place that's (sorta) my own (I'd still be paying rent to someone). I don't think I'm asking for too much, do you?

Well, I've gone on long enough. I needed to vent, and this is way too long for a Facebook status update. If you've made it this far, I thank you for reading! I do appreciate all who read my blog, whether you leave feedback or not.

And apologies for the profanity. Sometimes it just feels good to drop an f-bomb here and there... lol.

Monday, April 1, 2013

More eager than ever to be on DAC

I found the perfect apartment in La Grange Park, IL (a suburb of Chicago). 2 bedrooms from $800 and it's pet-friendly! The town has a population of a little over 13,000 people (almost twice the size of the town I lived in before moving to Dallas). I'll have to go up and see the place for myself before I make any decisions, of course, but as of right now it looks like I've found my new home.

I would like to go up there in December or January to get a taste of what the winters are like. I'm not ignoring the fact that I have arthritis in both knees, so I have to be mindful of that. I do plan on getting a Hoveround chair for when I'm not able to get around well. I also want to buy a cane/walking stick to use too.

Please, God, let me get these benefits!