My Disability Retirement (8 years before approval)

by Mark

I used to be a self managed worker. I was an electrician and a good one at that.

This all changed one day when a drunken idiot smashed my face in. He had no motivation to do so and I spent $20,000 and a 2 week stay at a hospital.

When I was allowed to leave I found that I could not stand on ladders without getting dizzy and falling. I would even experience symptoms if I turned around too quickly. This ended my career and I filed for disability.

Even though it seemed like an easy task I was declined and had to begin entering the appeal process. It was long, unpleasant, and difficult. I doubt it was really even worth it in the long run. I probably could have made beter use of my time learning more about computers or some other less physically demanding career path.

8 years later, when my appeals where finally accepted, I was awarded permanent disability and all the back payments.

I only consider myself lucky in that I became disabled at the age of 50 and did not have long to wait before I reached retirement age. The worst part of the experience was, without a doubt, dealing with bureaucracy after bureaucracy in order to get money that I would have gladly worked for if I could.

I look back on the whole experience and can only offer one piece of advice; get your stuff strait the first time so that you don’t spend 8 years fixing little mistakes. But, in the end, I am glad that I went through this.

I feel that it imparted a lot of knowledge about the workings of the bureaucratic system to me. I can now teach it to my grandchildren and hope that they don’t make the same mistakes.

Wendy: My two cents here... What on earth did you live on for 8 years? I assume retirement savings? That's a lot of savings to compensate for total lack of income, not just supplement a pension or Social Security.

To Anyone Else Reading This: Please meet with an Attorney! Not just any attorney - but an attorney with a disability specialty. There is a huge difference. When an attorney specializes in a specific area of law, they do the same types of cases over and over. They know how medical reports should read and know which doctors/organizations they want to use for an IME (Independent Medical Evaluation). They attend conferences and learn more about disability law. They know the Judges and court staff.

Most attorneys will give you a free consultation. Many will accept your case with no payments until the case is won -- they know after speaking to you whether they will have a huge probability of success in winning your disability case.

Comments for My Disability Retirement (8 years before approval)

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by: Diana

At age 46 while working full time and beginning classes soon at our local college, I was suddenly in a wheelchair.

I was single and self-supporting. My paychecks ended abruptly and I was facing homelessness and starvation.

Friends of my family heard of my fate and took me in while I regrouped. How grateful I was!

It took more than two years for my Social Security Checks to begin to arrive. My disability was clear cut so there were not many questions to complete and an attorney was not necessary.

Two doctors agreed that I had rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. No way out of this!

Some years later, I have my own apartment and manage with some basic help. I became a successful artist (painter) and taught art part-time. I LOVED it!

In addition to my art I am currently writing my first book and close to the finish. I also like being online with many friends worldwide. I wish you the very best future possible, and it IS possible!


Disability Retirement
by: Antoinette.

You have been very brave Mark. If you would live in Canada it would have been a little easier.
I was in an nasty accident some years ago and the Workmans Comp. looked after almost all my needs for a long time. What are you doing now? I think some retraining would be great. Computer work is always available sometimes even from your own home.Now I am retired, but am doing 2 volunteer jobs, it is so important to stay busy and as active as possible. All the best Antoinette.

by: Retd. Prof. Mr. Durgesh Kumar Srivastava, New Delhi, India

A man was visiting his relatives in a different city when he was hit by a motorcycle and felled. He became unconscious. That city had only basic medical facilities and he was brought to New Delhi after 3 or 4 days and admitted to a good hospital. The doctors found that his unconsciousness was in fact a state of coma. After treatment, including surgery, he did not come out of the coma and was put on medication for a few weeks and then sent home.

He was a teacher and entitled to medical leave with half pay convertible to leave with full pay, earned leave with full pay and casual leave with full pay. The total leave entitlement enabled his full salary to be paid to his family for about 2 years, where after he was entitled to almost unlimited leave but without salary. The family used to submit leave application to the employer along with the doctor's certificate where upon his leave without salary was extended from time to time. Such leave extensions meant that he continued to be on the employees' rolls. He was entitled to return to work when his coma ended and he regained normal health. On re-joining, he would have to submit a Fitness Certificate from a doctor and his employment would re-start from that date.

I inquired about his condition from a common friend who informed me that there was no change in his condition even after about 4 years since the date of his accident. The family was looking after him and waiting for him to come out of the coma. I conveyed my advice through the common friend. My advice was - "Consult a worldly wise man who knew all the rules and regulations of service and related matters." I suggested to them the name of a college Principal I knew who, I said, will be able to give them the best advice.

The college Principal advised the wife of the comatose man to submit an application for his voluntary retirement from service on medical grounds. His application for voluntary retirement was accepted at once and payment of retirement pension began on the same date. The wife also received full and final payments of her husband's
provident fund, retirement gratuity and lump-sum amount as commutation of part of his pension .

Now the family was no longer without income. The pension was about 50% of his last pay drawn + Dearness Relief. In addition there was full reimbursement for his and his wife's medical expenses. After remaining in coma for another year or so, he died. Now the widow was entitled to family pension (payable for life or till remarriage) along with full reimbursement of her medical expenses.

The sound advice from a knowledgeable practical man saved the family from a lot of financial hard- ship and anxiety.
New Delhi, 11 March, 2012

so sorry
by: Brenda

Sorry to hear about problem, Life has a way of throwing dirt at us, and there is a turn around, and gladly life gets a little better. Poor you, if you were lazy and a fit man, the social would not have bothered, they would have just given the money to these lazy people, who just dont want to work. Have you settled things out now, I do hope so, and have a lovely future and a lucky one. You are still very young. Best wishes brendax

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