Category Archives: SSDI

18 Things People Wish They Knew Before Applying for Disability Benefits

18 Things People Wish They Knew Before Applying for

Disability Benefits

I used and they are like lawyers only they are ex social security workers and know the ins and outs. They charge like lawyers and no fee if they don’t win you your benefits. They do everything for you and I was accepted first time and within 6 months. Luckily my fee was paid by my private disability insurance, they wanted me off their roles.

Tessa – advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work), new work is on this blog


Financial Woes

People have heard me mention my finances. As time goes on the situation gets worse. I get a small check from the government (SSDI) and have more bills than income. I have been using my credit cards almost to the max now.

I called my bankruptcy lawyer this morning and I will start the process. I also have to make a very tight budget. Times will be tough. Food will be the hardest since with the Diabetes I can’t just eat junk because it is cheap.

I knew this was coming just kept hoping for a miracle.


The wonders of a “tiny house”

Long before “tiny houses” became the thing, we had our own tiny house, a travel trailer (this is not the trailer we had, we had a pull along). It always amazed me how much we could fit inside that trailer along with our family of 5.

The older I get and the poorer I get (I am 61 years old and living on a very small Social Security Disability check with no savings), the more losing my current home (living with my father who is 85) scares me. “Tiny Houses” are a possibility, but even they can be costly. Much research and savings will have to take place in order to afford one and where to put it or where to buy one.

The size doesn’t bother me. I currently live in one room and borrow the bathroom and kitchen. I wish these had been around while I was still working and could possibly afford one. I do need something that is one floor though. Climbing stairs or ladders is not possibly for me at this point in my life.

If I lived in a warmer climate (NJ gets cold, very cold), I could look for a year round trailer to rent in a camping trailer park. Our travel trailer was great and had plenty of room and even more so if it was just me.

A “tiny house” is on my list of possibilities for a home in the very near future.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems (no longer canceling this blog, just not adding new work to it, sign up for for the new posts).

Anger at Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Pain

We feel betrayed by our bodies. Most of us have more than one disorder/pain going on. Even if we manage to get one to ease up, others appear.

We pretty much give up on fun. Physically we aren’t able to participate in sports or other physical activities. We have to say no at the last minute no matter how much we wish to participate in activities and that includes family activities. Our families don’t understand.

Some of us have to work still. I am on disability, but that limits my income to practically non-existent. Those that still work miss days and have a drop in income as well.

At one point I tried working a full time job and almost full time job just to keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach. I also tried to go to school at this time. Physically it made me very ill. I just couldn’t do it anymore and my bad finances became worse. There was no money for fun things even if I physically thought I could do them.

I no longer go to malls to just shop for the day with the kids (fully grown with kids of their own now).

Usually once a year we have a day trip to my sister’s shore house and spend time at the beach. The walk and getting in and out of a chair is nigh on impossible. I watch everyone else have fun. My body won’t let me do that. My family wants me there, but it is usually pure hell for the day and I have to spend days recuperating my strength. My father has driven the last couple of years since he started going now that Mom is gone. I can’t drive that far, the stress is too much also. Stress puts more strain on the Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain. Nothing has been said about this year yet. Not many weekends left.

There is also anger at the people who think we are lazy or faking and that includes family. We don’t look ill so strangers don’t believe it and sometimes even our own family doesn’t believe we are sick.

Invisible illnesses are not fun. Anger may be too weak of a term. I tend to rage about my deficiencies.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate For Mental And Invisible Illnesses

-Author Of Articles, Stories And Poems

Fibromyalgia and Disability

Question: Can I Get Disability With Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Yes, you can be approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome, as long as you meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria. The agency looks at whether an individual’s symptoms are severe enough to be disabling and reasonably prevent employment.

In order to qualify for SSDI, you must suffer from a permanent condition that prevents you from working. In other words, your disability must have lasted, or be expected to last, a minimum of twelve months and you must be unable to earn an income greater than $1,130 per month (prior to 2016, this standard allowable level of Substantial Gainful Activity was only $1,090 per month).

In addition, an individual must have earned sufficient work credits in order to qualify for SSDI. The normal requirement is a total of 40 credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the 10 years prior to the onset of disability. Usually, this means that a person must have a fairly consistent work history and have worked (and paid Social Security taxes) for a combined five of the ten years prior to becoming disabled.

However, being approved for SSDI benefits is not an easy process by any means, and most applications are rejected on the first attempt and some even on a second attempt. More people are approved during an appeals process that can take a considerable amount of time.

Or you can do as I did and have an agency do the work for you. I used Allsup and they did all the work and I got approved my first time and within 6 months time. They do charge a fee just like a lawyer would, but they are ex-workers from the Social Security Administration and know the ins and outs. No fee is charged if your case is denied.

Attorneys and Allsup will only receive 25% of the first payment or $6,000 depending on which one is lower. The payment will be sent directly from the Social Security Administration to the attorney and the balance will be sent to the claimant in the form of a check or direct deposit.

Allsup did not charge me a fee since the fee was paid by my private disability insurance. A lot of them will pay the fee just to get you off their records so they don’t have to pay.

If you don’t qualify for SSDI there is a benefit called SSI which is based on financial need. People who haven’t worked and acquired the necessary points for SSDI can apply for SSI although it is for people with low income and they include both partners in the income determination.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate For Mental And Invisible Illnesses

-Author Of Articles, Stories And Poems