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Ramblings - Trying to help a friend

Posted Thursday, March 27, 2008, at 1:37 PM

We have a friend in the Bell Buckle area who approached me to help them this morning and I am at a loss for what to do. Can you believe that?

This person has not been able to work for years because of health issues, inability to drive and relies on occasional odd jobs to make extra money. They are able to get food stamps, but otherwise denied any help from Social Security, because they say they can work.

Having known the person for over 16 years, I can attest to the fact that they are probably not going to be offered a job locally and since they can not drive, they can not reliably take a job anywhere else.

They were just denied disability income and have 60 days to appeal the decision, but is not sure where to turn. Is there anyone out there who deals with this type of situation and could offer advice?

Please contact me at Steve@mybedfordcounty.com to discuss in more detail.


Comments
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It's my understanding that normally disability is denied the first time even in the worst cases, they def. need to appeal ASAP. They need as much support from their Dr.s as they can get and start writing letters to our State Representatives as well. If and when they are approved they should get back pay from the original application date.

-- Posted by Disgusted on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 2:03 PM

Everyone is denied the first time. They need to find a good lawyer, who will not need to be paid right away but will take a cut of the "back pay" disgusted refers to, and appeal quickly!

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 2:23 PM

there best chance at this point is to go to an attorney who hanldles disability cases. they say not to do this until you have been turned down once but most everybody is turned down the first time. attorneys who deal with this regularly know the ropes and can help them wade through the piles of paperwork required and make sure physicians submit their records. sometimes physicians are very slow in getting these records sent and often cases are processed without all of the information. good luck and do not give up, that is what they are hoping for.

-- Posted by breezy on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 2:28 PM

Yeah, many lawyers that deal with disability claims will work and not get paid until your case is resolved. It is one of those situations where its best to get a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of disability laws and the people who enforce it. Trying to do it on your own is near impossible because of all the red tape.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 2:31 PM

That's a tough situation but just because they can not find work or drive does not automatically qualify them for disability. If his health issues are something that prevents him from ever working again then he could apply for Disability if it is something that he may be able to work again but not a full time job he could get partial disability.

Disgusted is right though nobody ever gets disability the first time they apply unless they are terminal. Sometimes it is best if they go ahead and get a disability lawyer and that speeds the process up quite a bit. Most of these lawyers will take their fee from the first check they receive which will be a lump sum check backdated from the time they 1st applied.

There are a couple of programs that help families with children through DHS like Families First but without children there isn't much help for others, which I find really sad.

They need to go talk to South Central Human Resources which is beside Shelbyville Power they may be of some help to them with their utilities.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 2:38 PM

Thanks for the responses. The overwhelming advice is to get a lawyer, soi the next obvious question is, who?

They said a free one is offered but I would bet they are overloaded and not as motivated as one who gets a commission. Your thoughts?

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 3:31 PM

A lawyer who specializes in disability claims. I'm sure the yellow pages are filled with them.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 3:45 PM

When Tom Nance was alive he handled alot of disability cases and was very good. I believe there are still attorneys practicing in the same group he was in and that would be the first place I would contact.

-- Posted by breezy on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 3:46 PM

I would contact Ken Burgers office in Murfreesboro and speak with David Goud (615) 893-8933 hes very reasonable and would probably take it.

-- Posted by Disgusted on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 3:49 PM

Thanks for everyone's help. I will pass it along and hope for the best.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 4:21 PM

Tell him to put in an application at Tysons. Oh I forgot... he speaks English. My bad.

-- Posted by seedsower on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 2:11 PM

The person should get their Doctor(s) to write a letter concerning the health issues and inability to work and send it in with the disability appeal.

-- Posted by daisy mae on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 2:37 PM

If this person gets a lawyer who knows their stuff, the lawyer will communicate with the physicians. There are actually forms that SSA has that a lawyer can send to the physician to fill out. If your friend is not interested in going all the way to Murfreesboro, we had a great Disability attorney here in Shelbyville. His name is Forest Durard. He will even talk to you the first time for free.

-- Posted by SoldierMom on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 4:11 PM

I had a friend who made an appointment with their congressman, Bart Gordon and he helped them get to the right people. This is a big problem in this country. Everyone assumes that because you aren't working, you are capable of it. My sister was very ill with systemic lupus and ended up in a wheel chair and they turned her down. She didn't fight it and now they tell her she waited too long since she was last able to work. Can't win for losing, huh?

-- Posted by leChat on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 7:48 PM

Lots of good advice here.

I wish them the best of luck.

In the meantime,maybe they could put a little pressure on the powers that be.

"Am I demanding money? Noooo! I want directions to these jobs you know I can do.

Will I need some of your vocational training? How about your adaptive aids?

Who's going to help me drive or direct me to alternative transportation?

I'll even do volunteer work to demonstrate my skills and work ethic while I'm waiting.

But I need some assistance if I'm going to be able to use what ability I have to support myself.

Help me to perform as you say I can or help me adapt to my limits."

(That is what we pay taxes for.)

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sun, Mar 30, 2008, at 8:29 AM

It drives me crazy when I see the welfare system abused and then when you have a legitimate need, they get denied. What a crazy, mixed up system. From what I am told about the "good old days" we had it worked out better years ago. Neighbors knew each other and took care of neighbors.

Probably was a different reality than I think but it sure makes sense and is a lot simpler.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Mar 30, 2008, at 4:35 PM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.