Disability Denied!

Today I got notified that my Social Security Disability appeal was denied. To say that I’m in a panic would be an understatement.  To say that I’m baffled, completely unsettled, terrified, and feeling a quite desperate would be equal understatements.  Having been unable to work for two-plus years, multiple hospitalizations, forty-plus ECT treatments, leaves me just wondering what the fuck!!!! It takes to qualify for Disability.  Certainly, in my eyes, I am disabled and cannot work.  The written decision states that I am “able” to work part-time at an unskilled job.  Um, really?  What exactly is that?  Holding a Slow Down sign in traffic?  I just. Don’t. Get.  It.  Part of me thinks maybe I should have continued with the ECT, or been hospitalized MORE, as hard as I’ve tried not to be, just to display how disabling my Bipolar is.  There are no prizes for trying to function, no matter how little.

Since it’s clear that I have to figure out a way to go back to work, here are some of my ideas for what I can do:

  1. Circus clown. This is a kinda “why the fuck not?” choice. I like makeup and I like loose-fitting clothes. I guess I can tolerate the big shoes and the honking nose. I have no problem piling into a car with a bunch of other dumb motherfuckers. I can ride a bike, blow up balloons, and fart on command. This one seems like a no-brainer. However, if that doesn’t work out for some reason, there’s always….
  2. Lawyer. For someone who has trouble getting along with people and could argue with a fire hydrant, this is a natural. Most of this job is just arguing and presenting an opposing point of view. Glaring obstacles: No law degree, “fuck you” is not a valid defense or argument, and judges don’t generally consider pajamas as appropriate apparel for counsel. Dammit! I thought I had that one nailed down. Ok I need to refine it but it’s still a possibility. Let’s be optimistic and look at other options:
  3. Judge. I am naturally judgmental which one would assume a judge is. I also would not mind wearing a black robe, as I could wear anything I wanted under it, i.e. the aforementioned pajamas, or the same outfit every day for a week (yes I DO do that, what the fuck? I never get dirty). I don’t mind sitting high up and surveying my surroundings, like sitting on a small mountain. I enjoy blurting out “Order in the court!” or “You are out of order, sir!” in my daily dealings with people. I would like to have my utterances respected, or even better, to cause people to pee their pants just a little when I speak. On the off-chance that this occupation doesn’t work out, I present my fourth and final option:
  4. Therapist. As I often say, I have an honorary PhD from all of the therapy I’ve done over the years. I know how it works. I can sit there silently gazing at someone with the best of them. I’ve mastered the phrases “How does that make you feel?” , “That must be tough”, and “Oh my God! My Dad is a total dick too!”. Some of my less orthodox methods that might be questionable are the phrases “What in the FUCK is WRONG with you???” or my sometimes lack of a poker face, resulting on an open-mouthed look of horror on my face. Horrifying your therapist (or knowing that you did so) might interrupt the therapeutic process. I don’t know, but over the years I have been amazed that I have never been able to elicit the horror-face. Maybe it’s a class they take, The Poker Face. I haven’t mastered it.

Friends, if you have any ideas as to how I might support myself, please, let me know. There may come a time when I have to write this fantastical blog from the homeless shelter, but I’d like to avoid that.  I’ve heard that homeless shelter wifi sucks.

38 thoughts on “Disability Denied!

  1. That sucks. I’m hoping I don’t get denied from SSI with the same reasoning, part time, unskilled jobs. It’s funny because only thing I can think of is something like being a greeter at Walmart, which is a pretty demeaning job since I have a college degree.

    • Me too!! I have a Bachelors in Computer Science and worked in the field for over 25 years and was making a lot of money. Do they really think I should go be a housekeeper??? I can’t wrap my head around that.

  2. You could try some freelance computer stuff from home on upwork.com. That’s where I do my hiring, and when I find someone good I basically keep them on an open hourly contract.

  3. That blows, and how are you supposed to support yourself on such a job anyway?! I suggest freelance writing. Some jobs pay great, others not so much, but they’re easy to find. You’re a good writer and you have experience with WordPress, which is what many sites use, so bonus. Good luck.

  4. In order to work a traditional job, you have to be stable and people like us, who have Bipolar disorder are often far from that! It’s terrible that you were denied! Just because you can’t see an illness doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

    I agree with other comments. I love the way you wrote this post – finding the humor in something so devastating. Writing is flexible and a great outlet, now…if you can just turn it into a source of income…

    • I appreciate you and your comments!! Yes it’s easy to minimize the illness when I’m not bleeding from the ears. Maybe if I had a video of me being shocked they’d be a little more accommodating, eh? Jesus Mary and Joseph, not sure what it takes… I’d like to write for money and appreciate the encouragement on that front. Could I do it? I don’t know….

  5. ohmygod this is awful news. I’m not in America so not sure, is there any way you could appeal the decision? I vote for the judge in pyjamas job. Otherwise there’s always porn. I dunno, *coughs uncomfortably* are you good on your back?? Jokes aside, I’ll try come up with a few suggestions. I’m really sorry this is happening to you

    • HAHA I used to ALWAYS fantasize when I got desperate that I could be a prostitute to bring in the big bucks!! Not so much at 49…I am forced to live in reality, dammit!! This was my appeal, but I think I can appeal the appeal. I have to talk to my attorney today. Thanks for your kind thoughts ❤

  6. I’m sorry :\ That has to be hard. I had clients who had their disability denied and had to get a lawyer and later got approved. How many times have you applied for disability? I would definitely try the lawyer route!

    • This is my second time applying for disability, the first time was over ten years ago and then I went back into the workforce and slogged through for a few more years. I do have a lawyer and I hope I can appeal the appeal. Thanks for your encouraging words 😀

  7. Hey honey, a belated “fuck, I’m sorry” and yes, appeal it!!! After working for 25 years I applied and was denied. Three years later I applied again and got it. Hoping with all my heart that you get it!!! Xoxo

    • Thanks for the “fuck!” and dammit I hope this somehow turns out because I can’t see myself surviving in the workforce again. I really cant!! I may have to try, but I’m scared as hell.

  8. I didn’t read through the notes. I am assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that you are in the U.S. If so this is what I know:

    You asked what’s it take to be determined as disability. The answer is 4 things:

    1. Tenacity
    2. Perseverance
    3. Determination
    4. Time

    On average it takes people with a mental disability 6-8 denials before getting approved.

    Never give up. Keep appealing. I know you are already living in a frightening position. And I agree, the multiple hospitalizations alone should get you approved more rapidly than others.

    Oh, and a heads up, if you do take a job and manage to hold on to it, that will put you back to square one because you’d have just proven you can indeed work. I’d suggest trying to get on unemployment, use their resources to look for work but not with the goal of actually getting work… don’t make your resume perfect. Don’t do well at the interviews…. I wasn’t able to jump through their circles and maintain their requirements for very long so I only got a couple of checks. But I am grateful for those I did get. Are you already on medicaid and food stamps? DSHS usually has advocates to help get the assignment of disabled accomplished more quickly. Basically, it’s like having a free disability attorney speaking on your behalf. Good luck.

    Oh, and while I’m here:

    I want to invite you to check out our brand new community blog Letters to the Mind where creatives and family members living with the impact of mental illness can write to their illness and post in an attempt to further our own personal growth as well as teach the world around us that we are not as different as they think. Education is the key to ending stigma!

    We are always looking for contributors to submit written or artistic expressions of what living with their disease looks like. Sufferers or family members, bloggers or non-bloggers. Every story matters in the fight to end stigma. Please help me to spread the word about this opportunity, and I invite you and your readers to join in our efforts to create a world with #NoMoreStigma.

    Link to Contribution page.

    ☀ Memee

      • I don’t think that with your documentation it should take that many. You’re at 2 denials? The game is that they only want to give to the least number of people as possible. They try to deny everyone they possibly can through the first two attempts. After that most people give up thinking it is hopeless. Which is unfair because we who really need it are in fact discouraged to the point of lifelong homelessness or suicide. It’s a horrible practice but it’s how they do it.

  9. I bet a lot of people commit suicide after a few denials, they feel like they are out of options. I know when I got the denial I had a whole day of panic and suicidal ideation, I just wanted to quit. It only lasted that day and now I’m back to feeling like I can fight, but still scared and stressed. It is a truly shitty system.

  10. It is a truly shitty system that operates on no rhyme or reason. I would say a circus carny is slightly less dangerous than a rodeo clown (which at one point as I child I wanted to be) and still offers the lure of travel.

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