Being denied

  • Posted on: 27 July 2015
  • By: MeiLin

So many people commented on Social Security turning me down for disability that I need to say something.

I've been trying to get Social Security for 13 years, the length of time since I had my first heart attack(s). In the time since, I've had multiple heart attacks, a cardiac arrest and death, and now, a stroke. It's a rare condition called Prinzmetal's angina, or variant angina; I don't have blockages, or any of the normal signs of heart disease. In fact, literally nothing is wrong with me, except this strange angina (and the stroke). Few understand it, and I have no illusions anyone at the SSA is any different.

I've applied at least three times for SSDI, and I've been denied, every time. Only once have I turned to a lawyer for help, and I knew immediately that no help was forthcoming; he was useless, and as expected, the "appeal" failed.

It's been disheartening to be repeatedly denied. My friends and medical acquaintances alike are shocked. It makes me feel like I'm faking, when I know I am not. Neither John nor I knew how to get a lawyer who could really help me, but now, we do. We know someone who...well, s/he knows what to do, and who to talk with.

We have an appointment, and should know soon exactly what our chances are. I'll let you know.


Gudy's picture

Embodiment the thought that multiple heart attacks, a cardiac arrest and death followed up by a stroke could fail to qualify anyone for disability benefits. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you.


Sheila Guthrie's picture

Hey, MeiLin, just wanted to pop in and say "Hi" from kboards. Folks were wondering about you on a thread about Craig Hansen. It sucks about SSI. My sister has been trying for years, and she keeps getting turned down as well. She says all you can do is to keep trying.

Anyway, glad to see you're making progress. Keep up the fight, and know that you're in our thoughts over on the Writer's Cafe.

Raigne's picture


when it comes to invisible disabilities. My mother has been bipolar and had a brain injury, vascular issues, and fibromyalgia the the extent that it interfered with work for years before she had the knee replacement surgery, but they only reckoned her disabled status from the time of the knee replacement for the purposes of her settlement. The vascular issues are a new discovery. Basically, she should have died from the damage from her car accident but her body grew new blood vessels in places they normally aren't to make up for it.

The stipend she gets just barely covers her medical bills with my stepdad. She would not be able to pay for housing or feed herself with what is left over, and if she didn't have him, I doubt there would be any left over. We weren't sure she was going to be approved, but she had a primary care physician, orthopedic surgeon, neurologist, and psychiatrist who have had to learn to work extremely closely with each other for over a decade because they all prescribe medications (she takes a couple dozen pills a day) and treat issues that interact with each other to testify for her.

She brought me to the physical they have their physicians conduct so I could explain exactly why the bipolar prevents her from working. She is bipolar I with rapid cycling and until probably 7 or 8 years ago it was very poorly managed. She had on average about 5 or 6 full manic and probably 2 or 3 major depressive episodes a year (while on medication) from the time she was diagnosed when I was about 6 until I moved back in with her at 24. It is managed as well as it can be now. She hasn't had a full manic episode in a few years, and moderate hypomanic episodes have replaced them. And when I say full manic, I mean spending thousands of dollars on credit, picking fights (which turn physical, the target of which was often me as a child), drinking too much, rearranging all the furniture in the house in one day, intense paranoia. She could have been locked up for some of this stuff. And yet, if she hadn't had her knee replaced there's no doubt in my mind she would have been denied. You can even see it in the stipend amount. It's not intended to cover the cocktail of meds keeping her behavior under control.

I don't know if having your daughters speak on your behalf (what kinds of things you can't do, how long you haven't been able to do them) will matter. My mother thinks it helped her. Maybe ask your legal counsel about it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Raigne's picture


When I say she had them for years but they are a new discovery. She has had migraines that have had her so disoriented and nauseous that she has to stay in bed for a few days for, for years. They frequently occur without typical migraine pain, just a severe migraine aura. They had no idea what the cause was. The reworking of her circulatory system is probably the likely cause, and they didn't know about it until she had some tests done two years ago. I can't remember if they were the result of a heart murmur or something else. She's also at a high risk of stroke because of it, assuming she hasn't had any already (she probably has had mini ones), and she'd be difficult to operate on if she had a blockage or blood clot that needed to be removed.

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