Social Security Disability Benefits and being scared shitless
A couple days ago, I came across another blog written by a woman named Lisa. Her post was simply excellent (here's it is if you'd like to read it: A tough disability question).
Here's one part of Lisa's post that stuck in my mind (this was not her talking about her condition but rather her citing a possible scenario to illustrate a point):
"I'm scared shitless that if I try to work in any way and it doesn't work out, I will lose my income, my health insurance, and the drugs and therapy that I am now taking for my back that even allow me to get through the day and occasionally make this meal for you."
This is exactly how many disabled individuals who have been able to get their benefits approved feel. Should these same individuals try to "suck it up" and make that courageus attempt to go back to work after they've been approved for social security disability or ssi? Well, if I were advising a friend or relative (advice to a friend or relative is where you cut through all the bs and say what you really feel), I would have to say, in most cases, no.
Why do I say this? Because over the course of several years I have talked to many individuals who :
1. Were approved for disability benefits.
2. Decided to try working again because they thought their condition had improved sufficiently enough.
3. Managed to stay at the job for several months.
4. After several months, found that their condition had "caught up" with them (easy enough to believe---A. mental conditions can exacerbate and remiss and can substantially worsen in a competitive work environment versus being at home, B. physical conditions that you "thought" you had adjusted to can suddenly remind you of how much they can limit you and how much pain they can inflict if you beg them to).
5. Tried to get back on social security disability or ssi and found that they couldn't or were surprised to find that they had to start all over again.
Regarding #5, many of those same individuals are absolutely stunned to find that the disability system now moves CONSIDERABLY slower than it did just a few years ago.
So, if I were to advise a friend or relative, I would say "No way, jose. Don't take the chance. Not unless you have some way to support yourself for 1-3 years while you try to get back on disability after the job thing doesn't work out the way you had hoped."
Now, for those who are confident that they can now sustain regular ongoing employment, do what you feel you must. Just remember, though, you may be taking a huge risk and you may end up putting yourself in a terrible situation (the "no income" kind). So...just consider your options carefully.
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