Applying for Social Security Disability with Cushing's syndrome

I came across a thread in a cushing's syndrome forum and the poster essentially said the following (paraphrased by me, of course): "I am having financial difficulty since my condition, cushing syndrome, prevents me from working. I am considering filing for disability with social security.

Now imagine the sound of screeching brakes or a phonograph needle being dragged across an old-fashioned record album.

I run across this sentiment all the time, in forums and in non-virtual life. And I always feel compelled to state the following---if you have a physical or mental impairment (or both) and your condition either A. prevents you from working or B. prevents you from working and earning substantial, gainful income, you need to file for disability.

And you need to do this immediately. Reason? The disability application and appeal process with social security is no cake walk. It takes a fair amount of paperwork and a LOT of time. Chances are, unless you are one of the lucky 30 thirty percent who will get approved for disability benefits on the first application, you will probably have to file a first appeal and then a second appeal (the first appeal is called a request for reconsideration and the second appeal is called a request for hearing). And both appeals together can easily consume two years or more of your time, making it very difficult for your survive financially.

So, if you think your condition disables you, don't just consider filing for disability benefits----contact your nearest social security office and advise them that you need to apply. They will at that point set up an appointment for you to be interviewed for a disability application.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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