What are your burning questions about eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits? THIS HAS QUICKLY BECOME A HUGE AMOUNT OF QUESTIONS SO PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU POST YOUR QUESTION: 1) SHORT questions re eligibility are acceptable. 2) If you have questions about working while on SSDI, search “working while disabled” on SSA’s website. All the information you need is there. 3) If you want to know how much you will get, status of your pending claim, or when your claim will be decided- call SSA 800-772-1213 4) Same if you think someone is committing fraud 5) See my website to watch videos that will answer a lot of your questions: ssdiinsidersecrets.com 6) Don’t answer another Reddit user with a definitive general answer- please only share your personal experience. There is a lot of misinformation circulating about SSDI and everyone’s situation is unique.

Please be understanding as far as my responding to questions. I am disabled, run a business, and am full time caregiver for my husband. Going forward I won’t be able to answer DM’s due to the sheer number of questions.

Note: NEVER give out your Social Security number here! (This may seem obvious but trust me, I’ve seen people post their ssn on social media)

Comments: 746 • Responses: 111  • Date: 

ohmyitsamirage215 karma

Is it ever worth trying without a lawyer? Virtually every client I worked with in the benefits world took many applications and multiple years to get their SSDI and ultimately were most successful with legal representation. I always hated how hopeless it felt to suggest pursuing because my clients were very poor.

MrsFlameThrower277 karma

It absolutely can be done without an attorney at the early stages. In fact, attorneys really don’t do anything of substance until and unless the claim reaches the level of a Hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The main problem is lack of knowledge about the criteria, where the system breaks down, and your responsibilities for proving your claim. SSA has decided to push people into filing online because it saves the agency a ton of money. However, in my opinion, this is very disadvantageous to claimants. These benefits are complicated and people need assistance to navigate the process.

ohmyitsamirage60 karma

I agree that the technological barriers are a big problem. Disability + government forms can be a bad mix. It's possible I saw the clients at the first or second rejection stage, rather than the initial application.

It became a frustrating and somewhat misplaced burden on local ancillary nonprofits trying to figure out how to help disadvantaged/semi literate folks complete an application with little expert insight... being literate and somewhat savvy didn't cut it. I'm not trying to complain at you at all; but at the time, it felt like the lawyer was the only useful advocate while we kicked the clients around our network as they failed again. We also have a shortage of doctors who would complete SSDI paperwork and the wait times were insane. Lots of factors to make it a really hard process.

I appreciate the work you did and your AMA here.

MrsFlameThrower51 karma

Thank you. As much as I loved helping people at SSA, I was consistently frustrated at how difficult and challenging the system was and is.

DropNationalism9 karma


MrsFlameThrower11 karma

Lived there for 32 yrs. I feel you!

10MileHike35 karma

It absolutely can be done without an attorney at the early stages. In fact, attorneys really don’t do anything of substance until and unless the claim reaches the level of a Hearing in front of an administrative law judge.

Thanks for setting the record straight. I don't know how many times I have had to explain this on various subs here.

MrsFlameThrower5 karma

My pleasure!

KharnalBloodlust34 karma

My MIL was on her final appeal (and losing) with a law firm representing her when I took over her application. I started fresh and realized that she had 0 evidence to prove her claim. I got her in to see her doc, get the right tests with results that met the disability criteria, and she was approved for full benefits + back pay within a month of claim submission. I felt pretty good about helping improve her quality of life.

All this is to say, do you know if there are any jobs out there for people who want to help file claims, and if so, how would one get started? (I suspect there's very little money in it.)

MrsFlameThrower15 karma

It’s what I do. But currently only work with Veterans.

KharnalBloodlust11 karma

Is there a particular educational background one would need to enter your field? My dad was a disabled vet, so helping the veteran population has the potential for generating good job satisfaction for me. Also, thank you for what you do.

MrsFlameThrower6 karma

Tons and tons of training as a Claims Specialist, years of experience and research!

whiskeybacon101024 karma

So basically, with all of that said, you need a lawyer?

MrsFlameThrower91 karma

Not at the initial claim level. And not at the first level appeal (Reconsideration). If you get denied twice and have to go in front of a judge, that is where a good lawyer can come in very handy. At the early stages there really isn’t anything for a lawyer to do that you couldn’t do better yourself.

LynxAffectionate34007 karma

My aunt did your job for 25 years, and she said the exact same thing, that must of the time the lawyers aren’t necessary.

MrsFlameThrower5 karma

Smart lady! In fact sometimes they made the situation way worse. Especially true for big firms.

missancap-2 karma

Everybody gets denied twice, so yeah you basically need a layer. And it usually takes several years for this process to play out, btw. It’s not a great time for the people who currently can’t work and won’t be getting any income anytime soon, but I guess that’s what you get with the government.

MrsFlameThrower3 karma

No, that is a myth. There are no automatic medical denials. It’s just a process that most people don’t understand and it’s a flawed process.

justlikeinmydreams10 karma

I have legal experience but not in this field. I was approved first application, without a problem. I’m confused as to people who are obliviously disabled are being denied? I had a year long wait but other than that the process was simple for me. Was I just lucky?

MrsFlameThrower35 karma

Yes you were. People just don’t understand what they need to do. What they should claim, what they should choose as an onset date, What the criteria is, how they need to prove their claim, where the system breaks down, how to navigate consultative exams, how to fill out the additional forms, etc. It’s a LOT.

justlikeinmydreams17 karma

After years of paralegal stuff it was pretty straightforward for me. I’ve gotten a good bit of hate from other people that haven’t fared as well. I’ve offered to help with filling out forms but it’s hard not to cross the “I’m not a lawyer”. Just telling you where you have to sign and what supporting documents you need. Thanks for all you’re doing to help people. It’s hard enough being disabled without and shame and rejection.

MrsFlameThrower11 karma

I agree. I’m disabled myself and was on SSDI for a number of years.

Careful_crafted4 karma

Can you tell us about something that is a addition to ssdi, I can not recall the name but it's also a payment that h we lps with care/medical assistance. I want to apply for my daughter who is already on ssdi.

MrsFlameThrower3 karma

I am unaware of SSA offering anything like this. Probably a State benefit

PerkyLurkey165 karma

How is it possible there’s fraud in the SSDI program when it’s so difficult to obtain benefits? I know of truly disabled people fighting for years to get in the program.

Is there a gap somewhere in the system we don’t know about?

MrsFlameThrower175 karma

As far as SSDI goes, I really didn’t see much fraud. Proof is required for disability so unless someone is getting doctors to make false statements, you really can’t fake it. Of course it is a little trickier when it comes to mental health as that is more subjective.

Hazzman206 karma

Nearly every conservative government of every welfare state in the entire history humankind has commissioned studies into welfare fraud and almost every single time a minority of people are committing fraud. It's simply an elite captured governing body being used to dismantle policy that helps the poor and the rich don't want to contribute to it.

MrsFlameThrower83 karma


anonymiz123-11 karma

I’ve definitely seen fraud in the mental health part. I wish I could say more without giving specifics.

MrsFlameThrower101 karma

Personally I think that someone that’s puts out the effort to commit fraud when they can make more money working probably has mental health issues. But I hear you.

anonymiz12324 karma

It was in the shelter. They had a lawyer in house but only certain women got to see him. Around that time a week a psych nurse from the mental hospital that has some kind of contract with the shelter moved in and she went around telling people what to say at a hearing for mental issues. Some of the women getting SSDI were sent there from other states, and I was a lot worse off than them. There was a lot of tittering. Looking back I think it was a fraud ring. Same lawyer, same judge, the shelter manager was weirdly favoring only these group of women. They went in and out of the hospital, which was written about in Salon magazine for its terrible practices, including getting shelters to “send them people” if their beds got low.

They did whatever they wanted. Stole, assaulted, nothing could get them kicked out. They all got good housing and fast and boasted about all the money they had. I lived there 12 years and was there bc of domestic violence and my abuser had to move me out finally.

MrsFlameThrower18 karma

Sounds like a hot mess

MissMonster76 karma

My brother has MS, was denied on his first application and is in his appeal stage. It's been almost 2 1/2 years from the start of this process, and he has been left without insurance and any source if income. I live 1200 miles away and can't offer much support other than researching topics for him online due to loss of his own vision and his mobility impairment makes it difficult for my parents (in their 70s) to get him out of the house.

Questions: Is working with an advocacy group more helpful for submitting applications and appeals for ssdi than heading to a local social security administration building (which is close to his residence)?

Is there anything I can do to help him that the advocates can't handle already?

MrsFlameThrower79 karma

If he’s in the middle of an appeal it’s not going to help him to go to his Social Security office. Currently the claim would be with disability determination services. They are the ones that will make the decision. He needs to know exactly what proof they have. They may not have what they need to have to find him disabled. He should have heard from his adjudicator at disability determination services. He can ask his adjudicator what evidence they have in his file. If something important is missing, he needs to supply it.

ymmotvomit2 karma

Would an attorney help?

MrsFlameThrower9 karma

Not until and unless the claim goes to a judge (2nd level appeal)

QuiGonJinn38 karma

I am being told that at 45, with CHF, and an EF of 10, Arthritis in my spine, and Addison disease I should qualify without issue. the EF alone should be enough. Do you have any experience in this area?

MrsFlameThrower59 karma

You need to be claiming any condition that impacts your ability to work. Whether or not you are approved has to do with the number of things like good medical evidence, understanding the criteria for SSDI, proving your claim, understanding where the system breaks down, etc.

Darth_Reavn37 karma

I am a disabled vet. Rated 80% with a 100% rating due to unemployability. What’s the best thing/s I can do to have the claim go in my favor?

I can’t work due to ptsd but they say I can live a “fulfilling” live as a store clerk. I’m on the appeal part of the process.

MrsFlameThrower54 karma

I work specifically with Veterans (son and husband are combat Vets). I’m going to suggest that you go take a look at the videos on my website: ssdiinsidersecrets.com They will give you insight into why denials happen for your type of claim. I’m guessing they expedited your claim?

P4_Brotagonist55 karma

Woah you are the person with that website!? You are the reason I managed to figure everything out and get my disability due to schizophrenia. You rock!

MrsFlameThrower34 karma

Thanks so much! That means a lot to me. It’s the joy of my life to help people on this topic.

1ijax20 karma

Im a Marine corps veteran, thank God for people like you and what you're doing we really appreciate it. Im definitely going to look into this more as I'm also TDIU and struggling

MrsFlameThrower11 karma

Oorah! Gave birth to one, married to one.

bdeeney0983 karma

Hi. I am rated 100% through the VA due to PTSD but I am not considered unemployable. I applied for SSDI a while back and was denied however I never appealed it. I'd guess that it was about 9+ months ago, perhaps a year. Am I able to still appeal it or would I have to put in a new claim? Also, if approved would I receive back pay from the date of my original claim? Thanks for everything!!

MrsFlameThrower4 karma

New claim as it is too late to appeal. I would need more info to assess retroactive benefits.

MrsFlameThrower5 karma

Are you in Jacksonville?

1ijax6 karma

California, about as far from Jacksonville as possible in the us but thank you lol

MrsFlameThrower4 karma

Asking because of your username, lol

Darth_Reavn10 karma

They did not. Next day after I got rated 100% via va, they denied my claim.

MrsFlameThrower16 karma

If they now know that you are rated IU, they will likely expedite you this time.

Darth_Reavn12 karma

Awesome, thanks for your advice. Could I pm you if I need your advice?

MrsFlameThrower12 karma


pyperschmidt28 karma

I work with many injured workers who have open claims with the Department of Labor and Industries and they receive both workers' compensation wage replacement benefits and SSDI. Some have recently received overpayment notices from the SSA that are assessed from several years ago. Why doesn't the SSA catch this overpayment sooner? I've seen up to $40,000 in an overpayment. It absolutely ruins people.

MrsFlameThrower25 karma

Ugh, I agree. When someone files a claim, they are asked about WC benefits in order to try to avoid overpayments. But it’s a far from perfect system. They need to do better but they are incredibly short staffed and that’s only getting worse.

GrannyTurtle27 karma

Why is it so damn hard to get disability for fibromyalgia? I had to go to court and pay a lawyer 1/3 of the back pay.

MrsFlameThrower51 karma

It’s technically cuonot a recognized condition for SSDI. Has to be argued a certain way and it’s tough to do. That needs to change for sure.

thunder_road26 karma

Do you have any advice for someone in their early 30s applying for SSDI for adult autism and mental health issues?

What are some things to look for in a good SSDI lawyer?

MrsFlameThrower45 karma

It’s very important to have documentation of your conditions. Particularly of your limitations. SSDI is for people who are unable to engage in substantial work due to their disabling conditions for a minimum of a year. If that’s you, you should file. In my personal opinion, a lawyer is not necessary at the first stage or first appeal of a claim.

west_end_squirrel23 karma

How much part time income can I make without my benefits being affected?

I want to do what I can for myself but I am very worried about losing benefits and/or becoming homeless. Like many people, I am a check or two away from hunger or even homelessness.

MrsFlameThrower46 karma

If you are on SSDI (not SSI), go to the Social Security website and search the pamphlet called “working while disabled”. It will tell you everything you need to know about working while receiving SSDI. The dollar amounts change every year so make sure to take a look at it again in January. It’s actually a very fair and reasonable process to go back to work.

_roses__3 karma

For those who do go back to work, when a review or someone takes a look at there benefits, wouldn’t that put them at risk for losing benefits?

MrsFlameThrower7 karma

Not necessarily-it depends on the level of work. Also participation in the Ticket To Work Program. Go to Ssa.gov and search “working while disabled “. All the rules and info are there.

aaloolady22 karma


MrsFlameThrower42 karma

Yes it’s possible to get SSDI for mental health issues if those issues limit your ability to work enough. No you cannot get SSDI specifically for obesity, however obesity can be a contributing factor to other issues that you can get SSDI for.

Lance7762 karma

My Sister got SSDI for chronic depression/bipolar disorder. She was denied repeatedly, however her suicide was sufficient evidence at the appeal, so her son got a shitty consolation prize I guess. Its definitely not an easy process no navigate, especially for those already struggling with mental health issues.

MrsFlameThrower43 karma

I’m very sorry about your sister. My goal has been to help people get their benefits.

HauntedIcee22 karma

So I’ve had SSDI and recently they have wanted me to go through the whole process again to keep it. Why is this? My condition has not changed. Unless a medical breakthrough is discovered nothing about my life will change. Do they not know anything about the diseases/illnesses that they are supposed to be using to determine disability?

MrsFlameThrower25 karma

Reviews are done if they feel you might have improved. Some people do get better- even with serious illness.

HauntedIcee14 karma

Sorry it’s an emotional subject for me, I really do appreciate the reply though.

MrsFlameThrower16 karma

Trust me I get it. Hope you can get some solid support- it’s a tough position to be in. Keep getting treatment and documentation.

1fastz2821 karma

What are your opinions on companies like Allsup?

MrsFlameThrower50 karma

There may be helpful and knowledgeable individuals working for Allsup. However, most of these types of SSA representatives simply ask claimants the claim questions and file third-party online claims but don’t actually built a case with proof. Most claimants can do a better job themselves at the initial claim level and first level appeal. Hearings are a different story. That is the point where you need a good SSDI lawyer. And those are hard to find.

ejly16 karma

My husband switched to part time work during cancer treatments and eventually became unable to work after 6 months He applied for and qualified for SSDI on the first application due to the compassionate allowance program. It is a great program and I have encouraged many people to apply through cancer support group contacts I have.

One issue I have is I found out later that his benefits were substantially reduced as they looked at his income during his part time hours rather than his usual full time work. Is there anything we can do to have his benefits based on his previous full time earnings?

MrsFlameThrower16 karma

I suggest calling Social Security as that sounds very odd to me. Ask to speak to a technical expert for Title 2

chainlink13114 karma

How strict are these "automatic approval" conditions, for example:

5.06 Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)documented by endoscopy, biopsy, appropriate medically acceptable imaging, or operative findings with:
A. Obstruction of stenotic areas (not adhesions) in the small intestine or colon with proximal dilatation, confirmed by appropriate medically acceptable imaging or in surgery, requiring hospitalization for intestinal decompression or for surgery, and occurring on at least two occasions at least 60 days apart within a consecutive 6-month period.

The specifics of >60 days apart within a consecutive 6-month period part is so precise. What if it was 7-months?

MrsFlameThrower29 karma

IBS is not an automatic approval for SSDI. The criteria for disability is specific but you can also Google SSA’s grid method. If someone has more than one condition, the combined effects can render them disabled.

chainlink13118 karma

IBS is one thing...IBD is another. I'll take a look at the SSA grid method!

MrsFlameThrower24 karma

My mistake. I read your post quickly and thought it said IBS. Any condition has to be substantiated with proper proof. That is the main thing. If it’s limiting enough, and keeps you from working, then definitely it should be claimed.

secoccular13 karma

My brother has been on SSDI for 9 years. There have been a few CDRs during this time. He said the last time he contacted SSA they have him scheduled for a CE next year.

Is it the case that most of these consultative exams end up with some kind of denial? Will he be able to retain his benefit, and what does that journey look like?

I'm trying to help him out because his condition makes it difficult for him to deal with this. Any thoughts appreciated.

MrsFlameThrower12 karma

I would try to submit evidence to his adjudicator- SSA can give you contact info if you don’t have it. Typically CE’s happen because they either don’t have enough evidence, they have conflicting evidence, or they don’t have enough recent evidence. They may cancel the CE. Remember, you can appeal a CDR denial

XanaxWarriorPrincess13 karma

Is it true that having multiple illnesses makes it look fake?

MrsFlameThrower26 karma

Absolutely not. Many people- including myself- have multiple disabilities

Tracylpn12 karma

OK... Social Security overpayments?

MrsFlameThrower22 karma

This is a general reply as I don’t know your specific situation. You have the right to ask for a waiver at any point but that doesn’t mean it will be granted. You also have a certain amount of time to appeal the decision. You have the right to a full explanation of the overpayment. And you also have the right to negotiate a repayment plan.



My niece has mid level functioning autism and she can’t seem to get approved for SSI no matter how many times we apply. Someone really needs to give her an in person interview. How do I get that to happen for her?

MrsFlameThrower12 karma

Call your local office and insist!

Hashtaglibertarian9 karma

I have a daughter who is autistic and intellectually disabled. She is only 4. She will likely not be able to work due to the severity of her cognitive delay.

We have set up an ABLE account for her. However - is it possible to qualify for SSDI at such a young age? If we can get her money we want to put all of it into her ABLE account so she has it when we’re no longer here.

Im a nurse, I see people like her in the ER all the time. They are in terrible care homes, there’s abuse, sexual assault, etc. Im trying to financially prepare her for success in the future, every pay I throw money at her account. Im so scared of what will happen to her when we die and she has nobody to advocate for her or her safety.

MrsFlameThrower10 karma

I’m not up to date on ABLE accounts but I seem to recall they have a limit. I’d suggest speaking to an attorney whose area of practice includes special needs trusts if you think she will qualify for SSI at some point. Also get legal guardianship before she turns 18 (if she’s incapable of managing her own affairs at that point). No SSDI unless she works. But, possible SSI or even disabled adult child benefits if and when you or her father either retire, get SSDI, or pass away.

FeistyCanoe9 karma

Thank you for your help!

Background: I’m on MetLife LTD. They are asking me to apply for SSDI. I expect to utilize the two years I’ve been given, as it doesn’t seem that I’ll recover in the next six months. I’ve been on LTD since April.


Is there anything I should be concerned about with applying in relation to my benefits from MetLife?

They would like me to use IBI. Is there any concern with using a 3rd party hired by MetLife?

Any particular concerns with IBI?

MrsFlameThrower12 karma

I recommend not using a service but instead having an interview in person with Social Security. As far as your MetLife is concerned, I suspect that they not only require you to file for SSDI if it looks like you are going to be out of work for at least a year, but that you may have to pay back your MetLife benefits if you get SSDI. But check with MetLife on that.

FeistyCanoe2 karma

Why the recommendation about not using the services? I ask because it, of course, would be a lot easier to have the help. Is it a quality issue? (And thank you again!)

MrsFlameThrower5 karma

Those services are simply going to ask you the same question that you can either get online or have a Social Security claims specialist interview you. I recommend an interview in person. The services that you are referencing do not do all of the rest of the things that you need to be doing once you file your claim. Putting your medical evidence together, submitting that, filling out additional forms, possibly attending consultative exams, etc. etc. They are typically just involved in filing the claim and that is only the beginning.

That_One_Girrrl8 karma

If a parent is on SSDI and they apply for their child to receive benefits under them, how is it determined how much your child will get? (I know it’s like up to such a percent of the parents SSDI total but like what specifically determines how much your child gets?)

MrsFlameThrower10 karma

It is determined by your benefit and your work history, taxes paid in to the system. Usually, but not always, it is 50% of your benefits split amongst the children. But the best way to know for sure is to call Social Security and ask them because they can pull up your record.

umeronuno8 karma

Can i keep you on speed dial? I work with adults with Developmental Disabilities, and having someone with insight could really come in handy now and then

MrsFlameThrower41 karma

I am getting a lot of response to my post here and to be honest, I am disabled, running a business, and I am full-time caregiver for my husband. So, I will answer questions as I am able- but I can’t be on speed dial.

dancemom18457 karma

So my loved one has to be out of work a year before they can apply?

MrsFlameThrower28 karma

No, they could literally file the day after they stop working. They just have to reasonably expect to be out of work for a minimum of a year.

museum_geek6 karma

How come the US has determined almost all disabled people should be poor?

MrsFlameThrower10 karma

Not all disabled people are poor. If you mean why are the benefits not higher, I’m with you on that. We could use a good overhaul of the SSA system!


So way it was explained to me growing up. Adhd is a learning disability. Is it considered a disability in SS?

Can your whole claim be denied if one other item is considered not a disability? Like a tumor in the back doctors refuse to operate on that causes physical pain. Since it can technically be taken out just doctors haven't done it. Would that get the claim denied?

Is congestive heart failure or a heart surgery combination that causes a person to only work small hours considered SS disability?

Is it best to file a claim for things unrelated to each other individually?

Sorry for soo much. Have children and my self with adhd and autism diagnoses. My mother has heart troubles. I have been denied twice and haven't been given a real answer as to why. It usually says your claims been denied. No your this wasn't eligible or that.

MrsFlameThrower14 karma

Some of your questions require complex answers and I’m not sure I can go into all of that here but I’ll do my best. First there are a lot of reasons that claims get denied even when someone would meet the criteria for disability. Often evidence does not make it into The file for example. ADHD alone is difficult to get disability for an adult. Much easier for a child. For children the criteria is educational and social but for adults it has to do with work. Certainly if autism is severe enough in either a child or an adult, it can qualify you for SSDI. Generally speaking, it’s important to claim any and all conditions that impact your ability to work. You would make them all part of one claim. There is no requirement to have surgery as surgery is risky. If someone decided not to have surgery, that would not mean they would get denied for that. Unfortunately the denial letters that SSA sends out are very vague and boiler plate. You can get detailed information about your denial by contacting Social Security and filling out a release of information form. I suggest going to your local office and requesting your complete disability determination explanation. Just be advised that if you are not inside of your appeal period, they can charge you for this information.

lilrexy6 karma

I got a couple questions

  1. I'm currently on probation for 2 years. I'm a convicted felon for DUI.. it's about to be a year since i last worked. Can I still apply?

  2. I have Chronic Depression and a physical disability Arm is shorty then the other like a "T-rex arm" i was born with the disability. I don't like to go out because of it i get anxiety around people.. I'm currently on medication for my depression been on medication for about 6 months.

What are my best chances or next steps I have to take to get approved?

MrsFlameThrower5 karma

1) Yes 2) That’s a very long and complex answer. I cannot answer it here. Please watch the videos on my website. They should help.

kittiesmom134 karma

My hubby has been on SSDI parts A &B for years now with a Blue Cross supplement as well as a Blue Cross drug plan. We kept it this way because he had preexisting conditions and we didn’t want him to lose his drug coverage. Now that preexisting conditions aren’t a thing, would Medicare part D be a better choice for him and could he get on it? We pay about $55 a month for his drug plan and they don’t cover that much at all.

MrsFlameThrower3 karma

Best thing to do is to call Medicare and discuss the various plans with them. Or, you can speak with your pharmacist as they are usually knowledgeable about which plans would cover his drugs

quasarj4 karma

I have End Stage Renal Disease and am on dialysis. I have been lead to believe (by the social workers at my dialysis clinic) that SSDI is always approved for ESRD patients. Is this true?

My Medicare was easily approved.

MrsFlameThrower8 karma

In my personal experience at SSA, yes. But I suppose there may be someone who is capable of working who has ESRD. If that were the case, then they would be denied if the work was significant enough.

Gooch_McTaint4 karma

Is it worth trying to get benefits for my 5 year old son with autism/ADHD? Cognitively he is more on the level of a 2-3 year old and is not independent in virtually any aspect. Any assistance that could go toward some additional therapies would be amazing.

MrsFlameThrower7 karma

They will look at your income and resources. If those are extremely low, he might qualify for SSI. The only way to know is to talk to SSA.

NaviMagic3 karma

Can you be on SSDI and have retirement benefits at the same time?

Does the doctor telling you that "you have 9 to 10 markers for disability" mean that you should be approved?

MrsFlameThrower9 karma

If you are talking about Social Security disability and Social Security retirement benefits, then the answer is no. It’s either one or the other. You can file for both at the same time but you will only end up with one. You could file for retirement if you are old enough, file for disability also, receive retirement and then if your disability is approved you would change over to that. That’s just an example. It sounds like your doctor is telling you that you may qualify for SSDI benefits. Unless your doctor is intimately familiar with the criteria, the totality of your medical evidence, and the Social Security system itself, they have no way of knowing for sure whether or not you will be approved. If you can’t work due to disability, it sounds like you should try to file.

Spacecowboy_tg3 karma

Why does it disability process take so long, and from your point off view, is there a way to improve the system to make it more efficient? Also I heard everybody is denied the first time. Are they just WAITING for people to die so they don’t have to help? Navigating this process over the past 3-4 years has been a nightmare.

MrsFlameThrower5 karma

It doesn’t have to take so long. It’s possible to get approved on the first try if you know exactly what to do, you meet the conditions and you get a conscientious adjudicator. I’m sorry your experience has been so rough.

gargoylegiirl3 karma

My dad has been pressuring me to get SSDI ever since my diagnosis of a serious medical condition in 2017 (age 20) and recently has been pressuring me about food stamps as well. I’m currently in college and work part time. We’re upper middle class and there’s no way we would get approved. Thing is, i don’t want to get social security or food stamps, at least not at this point in my life. My disease is progressive, but it will take a few decades before I’m actually unable to work because of it. I also want to work. I am in school to hopefully become a researcher, and I would just shrivel up and die inside if I were to willingly give that up. I also don’t want to take limited resources from people who actually do need it. Is there any official way I can tell him “this is absolutely impossible to do” from the perspective of someone on the other side? because “i don’t want this” and “the stress is actually taking a toll on my physical and mental health” has gotten nowhere.

MrsFlameThrower6 karma

Yes. It IS better to work (if you can) and right now you are young. If you can continue to work and pay Social Security taxes, there will actually be some decent SSDI benefits to collect if you some day reach the point where you can’t work. Your thinking on this is solid. Tell him it’s harder to get when your young (it is) and tell him you need to build your benefits up. He’s likely simply worried about you.

BradGunnerSGT3 karma

My wife has a condition that is covered by SSDI, but it is a disease that can take years to diagnose. In her case, she had to stop working because she would pass out or get out of breath doing even the simplest of tasks. She spent several years going from specialist to specialist. She finally got a diagnosis about a year after the period expired that the SSA gives you between your last job and getting a official diagnosis.

She’s working with a law firm that specializes in SSDI claims, but what is the likelihood of actually getting a waiver?

MrsFlameThrower5 karma

No waiver necessary if she became disabled before losing her “insured status”. The key is choosing a correct onset date. If this is an initial claim, the attorney won’t do anything of substance. I recommend filing in person as many disabilities are visible. Not online.

chaosgoblyn3 karma

I have a question about the difference between SGA and investment income on SSDI. Specifically real estate. Someone can own a property and rent it out and even perform basic maintenance tasks themselves (as I understand it) and it is considered investment income and not SGA. However providing more services, EG, running an airbnb, would cause it to become more like a job and therefore count as SGA. But if you were renting it to a management company who actually operated the airbnb, would it still be SGA or still just investment income since you are doing no extra work? What about listing cars for rent on an app such as Turo and doing basic maintenance on them? I have more questions about investment/business, but this is the biggest. If you know of any resources for someone who needs to know where these exact lines get drawn, please point me in the right direction. Thank you for giving us your time and valuable expertise.

MrsFlameThrower3 karma

It really depends on how it’s treated on your taxes. Best to speak to an accountant or tax prep attorney.

Bundabar3 karma


MrsFlameThrower3 karma

If you become unable to work, you will be able to file a claim for SSDI. It is possible to receive both VA disability compensation and SSDI. I specialize in helping Veteran’s get their SSDI. Take a look at the videos on my website. SSDI is not a percentage. You either are or you aren’t disabled

anonymiz1233 karma

I know it’s always said you can’t be working and apply for SSDI, but I’ve also read that there are conditions that can be made worse “quickly” by working.

I work FT but am always on the edge of a breakdown, either mental or physical. The meds given me for 30 years of depression/anxiety/bipolar left my body broken. I now have a fib and diabetes with neuropathy. I don’t want to stop working but fear two weeks at home with a physical breakdown would lead me to more dark thoughts. I should have gotten SSDI at 17 but my therapist said “you might be disabled now but nobody knows the future”. I had severe, severe PTSD from abuse both at home and at school. I have had PTSD since after living in a homeless shelter 12 years. My family financially supports me and the knowledge I’m a week from losing everything keeps me on edge. Coukd I get SSDI?

MrsFlameThrower13 karma

Certainly your conditions might qualify you. By definition, Social Security disability means that you are unable to engage in substantial work. In 2022, substantial work is defined as being unable to earn $1350 a month gross wages due to your disabling conditions. It is extremely common for people with mental health issues to try to work and then it becomes overwhelming. They stop, they feel better, they go back to work, and become overwhelmed again. I saw this a lot at SSA. I’m going to suggest that it’s time for you to take care of yourself and file for these benefits. I recommend you get an appointment to actually go into Social Security and have them help you file your claim

radkatze3 karma

I am trying to get MINE disability for my mother. She currently receives benefits but is evaluated yearly, not every 5-7 years. Any advice? Also, do the two different kinds of disability have a name?

MrsFlameThrower9 karma

MINE (Medical Improvement Not Expected) designation is assigned upon a finding of disability. It is typically for things like Down’s Syndrome, Severe Autism and other conditions that are clearly never going to improve.

radkatze2 karma

Yes, I know that. She has a severe debilitating illness that is never going to improve and likely result in death.

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

They may or may not decide that she is an MINE case

radkatze2 karma

I understand. I was moreso asking how to start this process. How do I approach the officials and start the process? We have all the documentation they could ever need, I just don't know where to begin.

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

For starters I would have her file in person, not online. As far as the rest of the process, it depends on the individual and it’s way too much information to go into here. In addition, that’s exactly what I do with my business. But file in person. That’s important

WWonderNoodle672 karma

Would it be alright to send a DM? I really appreciate this post and have a question about my own application but would prefer not sharing it so publicly. Thank you!

MrsFlameThrower4 karma

Unfortunately I am unable to respond to DM’s due to the overwhelming response to this Reddit

cpacheco10182 karma

I have two disabled children do they qualify for any benefits even though I make over $130k?

MrsFlameThrower9 karma

Not now because your income is too high. Revisit filing for SSI for them when they are 18- your income/resources won’t count then

Shakespurious2 karma

Would you say that the Medical Experts and Consultative Examiners at SSA are unbiased? Does the system provide any incentive to give an opinion against claimants, e.g. are they less likely to get another contract if they side with claimants?

MrsFlameThrower6 karma

Not unbiased (my opinion) and also typically not the best doctors anyway. Sometimes super old retired doctors also.

kojac662 karma


MrsFlameThrower3 karma


Jaso1n12 karma

My gfs father has been trying to get on ssi for over 2 years now. He was hit by a car and has permanent damage to his right foot, right leg. Unrelated to the accident he also has had heart failure and is now in and out of the hospital for numerous health reasons. He can’t stand for long periods of time and sitting is also challenging for him. He was initially denied because he is “able to have a job working sitting in a chair”. He lawyered up and had his court date in February of this year. He received a notice saying his case was sent to the local social security office in our town for review. He was all told it would take 9 weeks from that notice to come to a decision, it’s been 11.

  1. Because his case was moved to the local office, does that mean anything at all?

2 if he is denied a second time, what options does he have? I am the sole provider for him, and 2 other people in the household. Can I do anything?

Edit, this is in Florida.

MrsFlameThrower3 karma

1) Follow up with SSA. It could be just hanging out and not “processed”. 2) If denied by a judge he has 65 days from judge’s denial letter to appeal. Or, possibly file a new claim if he still had “insured status” on the day after the denial letter.

Tinawebmom1 karma

I am currently on ssdi. I live in California so did the 12 months worth of temporary state disability. At the 6 month mark of temporary I applied for ssdi.

I went and saw the doctor.

And then I was approved. Less than 5 months total time.

I've read on here people fighting for years to get ssdi (and they truly qualify!)

What could possibly cause it to be so tough for them?

I am so glad I had zero idea that people have to spend years fighting to get ssdi. I don't think my anxiety could have survived the five lousy months!

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

Honestly, you got lucky

Tinawebmom2 karma

I feel glad for me but super sad for the others. Wow.

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

That’s why I do what I do

Tinawebmom1 karma

I help people set things up to make it easier. Ie doctors appointments, proper documents etcetera while I'm disabled. I just am never sure we're doing everything to keep it from requiring an attorney to go before a judge.

Of course I helped my ex. I knew he had everything to qualify. he hadn't worked in years I needed the financial help!

The judge denied him.

During our divorce later that same year (he had been planning this divorce for awhile it turns out) my attorney informed me that the reason the judge asked me 3 different times about divorce was because my ex had told him we were going to divorce soon. I would have owed him alimony for the rest of his life!

So. Sometimes judges are pretty amazing people.

Any tips to help people I talk to? I always advise at least a doctor appointment per month, journal of health issues, have someone outside the home who knows what you can and cannot do, don't lie but do not make things seem better when they really aren't(a lot of people do this)

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

Have them file in person, not online. Claims Specialists are required to document a host of observations and this becomes part of the claim.

That49er1 karma

If my epilepsy, and cholinergic urticaria are continuously impacting my employment status would I qualify?

MrsFlameThrower5 karma

If you become unable to engage in substantial work and have a sufficient work history, then yes, you can file.

[deleted]1 karma


MrsFlameThrower1 karma

I cannot explain the difference because I have no expertise in IRA matters

grownupslifesucks1 karma

An old employer did not pay nor withheld Social Security tax for a handful of years I worked for them. When I noticed, after months of chasing them they fixed the past three years (after I paid my share to them), but they claim there's nothing they can do for years that go farther back than that because the IRS statute of limitations doesn't allow fixing those years. Is that true and I should just give up? Or should I try with an attorney at this point?

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

I suggest speaking to a tax accountant or tax attorney.

BrothelWaffles1 karma


MrsFlameThrower1 karma

They may think you can do sedentary work. If you can earn at least $1350/month gross wages (this year’s threshold), by definition they can’t find you disabled.

FrickinLunasee1 karma

How the heck do I navigate the work credits update? I was, and still am, a disabled care giver. I've been doing this for about 10 years without knowing what I was doing could give me work credits. How do I update them? What sort of proof do I really need? One of the people I cared for has passed, as has her husband. He was the one who hired me and our set up was basically I was working for him and he housed me etc. I think they call it employment in kind, or something along those lines. I do have bank statements showing direct deposits he made to me for years for household expenses that were required of me to handle. With him being deceased, does that negate those credits since he can't say he employed me? His sister's are still living and knew our set up and would vouch for me. I'm just...lost. Am I totally off base here? How should I continue? Also, for the past 4+ years I have been my mother's care giver. Almost 10 years care giving!

MrsFlameThrower1 karma

SSDI is based on the Social Security taxes you paid into the Social Security system. That’s how work credits are earned. So, you would need to pay Social Security taxes on your earnings by filing tax returns to receive work credits. I’d recommend speaking to an accountant.

okhi2u1 karma

Is there a particular meaning to if SSDI is doing a review and they send me for an exam with one of their providers (talking about the exam part and not the review part)? Would better records from my medical providers stop this from happening (the exam)?

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

Quite possibly yes. If they have enough good, recent evidence, they usually don’t send you for CE’s

PM-ME-BIRDS1 karma

My Fiancé has been hit by two cars in his lifetime, has bouts of back pain, pinched nerves, hip pain and other related impairments long after his initial injuries. He's in too much pain to stand for long periods of time so can only work part-time, and has been out of work for over a year. However he hasn't been to a Doctor about his chronic pain due to not having health insurance. If he went to a Doctor to get assessed would he be a good candidate for attempting to file a SSDI claim?

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

From the sounds of it, yes. Try to get him to doctors-at least for an evaluation. Mental Eval as well. People without sufficient records can be sent to doctors for evaluation as part of the claim process but that’s not ideal- they aren’t on your side.

tilvalhal911 karma

Why does it take so long? My mother took two years after three denials, despite multiple doctors telling SSA that she needs to be disabled.

My step father is going through it right now and we don’t know what to do. He’s been told his body is basically to broken to work; he’s a diesel mechanic. He applied for SSDI and got denied and is trying to get his SSR approved because they don’t have any money coming in. He’s been In and out of the hospital for the past 5 months now I’m severe pain with life changing diagnosis’.

MrsFlameThrower1 karma

I’m going to suggest that you take a look at the videos on my website to better understand why so many people get denied. ssdiinsidersecrets.com It happens a lot that the people who should be approved don’t get approved.

itsmariboro1 karma

I've lived abroad for 7 yrs and haven't worked for most of it. Couldnt come back to the states bc of medical costs and my partner isn't a US citizen.

I'm planning on coming home for a while to help my mom out bc my father passed, and to give my partner a break from being a care giver.

Am I qualified for any govt assistance? I paid taxes from age 14-30 ending in 2016 when I became disabled.

Ps you are a wonderful person doing what you do. I was a caregiver to my dad and worked full-time+ which is how I ended up disabled myself. Hope you take time to take care of urself and take breaks. You are a warrior.

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

I would need more information to answer your question definitively. However, generally speaking if you became disabled in 2016 and stopped working as a result, and have not worked since then, you could file a claim for SSDI. You would not be currently insured for benefits but that’s OK because you were when you became disabled. When I say insured I’m not talking about health insurance -I’m talking about insured for disability at SSA

IP19611 karma

I have been on SSDI for some years now. My understanding is that it will convert to SSI automatically at full retirement (67 for me) and I don’t really have to do anything to make that happen (except not die of course). Is this correct?

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

Correct- in the sense that you don’t have to do anything and except it’s not SSI (that’s the federal welfare disability program). It’s regular retirement benefits.

KevSmileTime1 karma

If you are on SSDI and then reach retirement age, exactly what age does that happen? Also, will my SSI be less than my SSDI?

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

When you reach full retirement age (check the chart on ssa.gov to see when that is), you will receive a letter from Social Security stating that you are now simply “retired “. No change in your check (except for cost of living increases of course).

DeviodEar1 karma

If I get married will I lose my SSDI?

MrsFlameThrower1 karma

Not SSDI. But if you get SSI, then you might.

DeviodEar1 karma

Thank you. This may be stupid, but how do I know which one I have? SSDI or ssi? I'm unable to work due to severe mental health and deafness

MrsFlameThrower1 karma

Call SSA and ask

MrRGG1 karma

Is it possible for an adult child (30s) with severe medically treated depression/anxiety, who still lives with parents, to qualify for SSDI?

MrsFlameThrower1 karma

It definitely is -if they are unable to work and that is expected to last for a minimum of a year.

illimitable11 karma

Why does SSDI have such a high rejection level for initial claims?

MrsFlameThrower5 karma

The simple answer to that is that Social Security does not do a good job of explaining to claimants what they need to do beyond filing their claim. In addition to that they pushed everyone to file online. Typically a lot of information goes missing from online claims. This is the type of thing that is complex, very individual, and necessitates expert help. This system breaks down in various places and if you don’t know where that is, you are at a disadvantage. It’s very frustrating.

illimitable11 karma

I worked for the VA disability folks. While the VA disability system suffered from the same errors by claimants, and complexity, it sure wasn't 90% rejection. What's also amazing to me is that many people prevail at the SSDI first review or appeal.

I don't know what can be done to make these systems easier, but it sure would save work for everyone.

MrsFlameThrower1 karma

This is exactly what I do in my business.

viidreal1 karma

I knew someone who was on ss benefits and still working under his wife's SSN which sounds illegal. They are both deceased but could this be a problem for their children who inherited it?

MrsFlameThrower1 karma

I doubt it

GeniusEE1 karma

Can the divorcee taking care of an adult disabled child of an SSDI recipient get benefits? At what age if so?

Her local SS office disavows any knowledge of such a benefit.

MrsFlameThrower1 karma

If I understand you correctly: A divorced couple has a disabled adult child. The father gets SSDI. Mother is caring for the adult child. Can mother get benefits for caring for said child? First if adult child was established as disabled prior to age 22 by SSA, child gets benefits on father’s record. Those benefits should be paid to mom (because she has custody) if child is incapable of managing the benefits. However, those are the child’s benefits- not mom’s.

Rinpoo1 karma

Will you lose SSDI and Medicaid/Medicare if you get married? I know this affects SSI severely.

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

Absolutely not.

slithrey1 karma

Hello! I have been thinking a lot about applying for disability. I have been diagnosed with bipolar I and antisocial personality disorder. If I work more than an easy, part time job, I will become extremely depressed. This leads to me quitting jobs on impulse with no other job lined up, suicide attempts, drug use. I am worried that since I have a mental disorder rather than a physical disability that it may be harder to get. My dad who I have never met lives completely off of government assistance because of mental disorders. How would I go about this, as it seems like a very daunting process to me?

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

It sounds like you should file. There is a lot more to having a good claim than I can go into here on Reddit. It is possible to get SSDI for mental issues alone. It can be harder but if you have solid documentation, significant limitations, it’s doable.

slithrey1 karma

Alright thanks, I’ll go for it. You mention being a caregiver. It seems that people are caregivers and spouses a lot of the time. Do these people start as spouses only, or there is somewhere you can go to get assigned a caregiver and then they become your spouse? Cuz I feel like I am codependent, but relationships are difficult for me.

MrsFlameThrower1 karma

My husband is a disabled Vietnam Veteran. I’m his official Caregiver through the VA. Because I love him!

Taractis1 karma

How hard is it actually to get SS for mental issues that aren't learning disabilities? I was turned down, and I'm pretty sure it's because I play a lot of complicated tabletop games.

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

It depends on how severe they are and how limited you are. I don’t see how playing tabletop games would translate to being able to work…

blinddivine1 karma

TTG sessions can last for hours. I'm guessing ssi sees that you can sit and essentially "work" for several hours in a group of people.

MrsFlameThrower1 karma

Yes, that could be it

mongo_man1 karma

Had a family member retire too early, gambled their pension away and were 62. Filed for social security on a disability (took two attempts) and started receiving more than he would have gotten monthly at 65. And continued at a higher level after 65.

What is keeping people from doing the same (besides principles) thing to juice their social security earnings?

MrsFlameThrower5 karma

I’m not sure what you mean by juicing your Social Security earnings. Most people can make more money working than they can collecting SSDI benefits. Yes, SSDI pays out at what is essentially someone’s full retirement age rate. That’s just the way it works. But I don’t think that translates into what you are talking about. Maybe I misunderstood your question.

SpiralBreeze0 karma

I’m thinking of moving to Ireland with my SSDI, how difficult is the process?

MrsFlameThrower2 karma

Check with SSA. I believe we have a reciprocal agreement with Ireland but I’m not certain. They can tell you.

doorrat0 karma

So I've been disabled for more than 15 years and am close to 40y/o now. I did all the applications and appeals the first time around and short version got nothing partially due to an ex messing up my notice to appear in court.

I haven't applied again since and have now been told it likely isn't worth it now anyway cause I've waited too long. Is there any truth to that?

MrsFlameThrower1 karma

I don’t have enough information to answer that question. Were you actually denied by a judge? If so what is the date of denial? If you no longer have “insured status“ at Social Security as of the day after the judge’s denial decision, then you can’t file a new claim. But, if you’ve never been denied by a judge OR you had insured status on the day after the judge‘s decision, you can file a new claim.

doorrat1 karma

Apologies, I was trying to keep it as brief as possible.

Regarding the court date, the short version is that I no-showed after an ex hid my notice from me. Asked my lawyer about it and was told, in essence, not to worry about it. Possibly because we had a lot on our plates with other stuff right at that moment. Why he hadn't heard is another issue I never got a good answer to. "These things happen sometimes," in essence. That was just about 10 years ago.

I expected to get some kind of notification regarding a default judgment against me (if that's the right term?) or something similar (the issues with the ex were fixed immediately so I don't think she'd have be able to interfere again) but never heard a word from the court, SS office, nobody. My lawyer told me that my best course of action under the circumstances was to begin the application again.

I think part of the problem is that I'm working with incomplete info here and have no idea where to even check if my name shows up in court records or the like. Though, for what it's worth, my name only showed up for a unrelated civil matter when I searched court records for the county online. The whole thing is a messy rabbit hole to fall down; you can see why I was aiming for brevity at first!

But, if you’ve never been denied by a judge OR you had insured status on the day after the judge‘s decision, you can file a new claim.

Going from this, I can at least say that I've never received or found any indication of denial by a judge and that seems like a positive sign! I don't recall the term "insured status" (is that new in the last ~decade?) but can at least say I've never received any benefit of any type from Social Security, only state benefits like e.g. Medicaid.

It's also possible that I've mixed up where sometimes you qualify for retroactive payments from your date of disability but I've possibly waited too long for that. Might that make sense? Or even possibly still on the table? I've obviously gotten lots of conflicting info.

Either way, thanks for your reply! I really would like to express my thanks when I'm able sometime because this is sincerely helpful and I'd kind of given up hope with this; is there a charity/cause to which I could donate in your name or the like in the future?

MrsFlameThrower3 karma

This is free info but I appreciate your offer. I do have a business walking people through the process from A-Z but currently am only taking on Veteran clients. That being said, call SSA and find out if a judge denied you. If yes, what is the date of the denial letter. Ask for your “date last insured for disability”. Then come back to me with all that and I’ll tell you if you can file a new claim or not.