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Sondrajms

New member
What is the name of your state? California
I want to file for disability ASAP and definitely need a lawyer to help me with this process. I’m a 51 year old woman who has been an elementary teacher for 23 years. I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and have been in treatment and on meds for years. I was always able to manage it until recently. I quit my job as a teacher on Dec. 7 2018 because of severe anxiety and panic attacks. I just was not able to function anymore at work and this started escalating about 4 years ago. I quit three jobs in the last four years. My mind is fuzzy and I have trouble doing things that used to be so easy for me. I also suffer from constant neck and back pain from degenerate disc disease. This was diagnosed about 6 years ago but I’ve not had specific treatment due to lack of insurance. I’m at the point where I’m pretty much unable to even leave the apartment due to severe anxiety. I find it very difficult to even even speak on the phone. My husband can no longer handle my issues and wants me out as it’s causing him great distress and I’m now a financial burden to him. I’ve been seeing a new psychiatrist consistently since October 2018 and have had therapy over the years, which I can no longer afford. I didn’t qualify for unemployment and am out of money and relying on my husband. My biggest reason for hesitating to file sooner is that I read that it can take several months or even years to see if you even qualify, and even if you do, several more months to receive payment. Is this true? How am I supposed to survive until then? I want to be able to work, have worked since I was 16, but cannot seem to force myself anymore. I would like to start this process next week NO MATTER WHAT. But I do want to know how long it may take and if there’s any temporary relief in the meantime. I have asked this question so many times and have never gotten an answer. I hope I can find someone to help me file ASAP and please answer those simple questions now if possible. Thank you.
 


LdiJ

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? California
I want to file for disability ASAP and definitely need a lawyer to help me with this process. I’m a 51 year old woman who has been an elementary teacher for 23 years. I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and have been in treatment and on meds for years. I was always able to manage it until recently. I quit my job as a teacher on Dec. 7 2018 because of severe anxiety and panic attacks. I just was not able to function anymore at work and this started escalating about 4 years ago. I quit three jobs in the last four years. My mind is fuzzy and I have trouble doing things that used to be so easy for me. I also suffer from constant neck and back pain from degenerate disc disease. This was diagnosed about 6 years ago but I’ve not had specific treatment due to lack of insurance. I’m at the point where I’m pretty much unable to even leave the apartment due to severe anxiety. I find it very difficult to even even speak on the phone. My husband can no longer handle my issues and wants me out as it’s causing him great distress and I’m now a financial burden to him. I’ve been seeing a new psychiatrist consistently since October 2018 and have had therapy over the years, which I can no longer afford. I didn’t qualify for unemployment and am out of money and relying on my husband. My biggest reason for hesitating to file sooner is that I read that it can take several months or even years to see if you even qualify, and even if you do, several more months to receive payment. Is this true? How am I supposed to survive until then? I want to be able to work, have worked since I was 16, but cannot seem to force myself anymore. I would like to start this process next week NO MATTER WHAT. But I do want to know how long it may take and if there’s any temporary relief in the meantime. I have asked this question so many times and have never gotten an answer. I hope I can find someone to help me file ASAP and please answer those simple questions now if possible. Thank you.
Unfortunately there is no system that provides any kind of temporary relief until disability kicks in...other than perhaps foods stamps or Medicaid.

You can and should ask the courts to order your husband to provide spousal support on either a temporary or permanent basis depending on how long you have been married.
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
My biggest reason for hesitating to file sooner is that I read that it can take several months or even years to see if you even qualify, and even if you do, several more months to receive payment. Is this true?
Unfortunately, yes. It was a big mistake not filing in December and it will be an even bigger mistake delaying any further. My sister has battled cancer for the last 3 years, got denied the first time, and took two more years for the appeal to finally award her retro-active benefits.

How am I supposed to survive until then?
Try Go Fund Me. Seriously. My sister got over $15000 in donations when her friends set it up for her.

I would like to start this process next week NO MATTER WHAT
Then do it. You can get the forms off the SSA website.

But I do want to know how long it may take
Just told you. It could take a couple of years if you get denied the first time around.

if there’s any temporary relief in the meantime.
Look into SSI:

 

quincy

Senior Member
Unfortunately there is no system that provides any kind of temporary relief until disability kicks in...other than perhaps foods stamps or Medicaid.

You can and should ask the courts to order your husband to provide spousal support on either a temporary or permanent basis depending on how long you have been married.
She is not divorced (or separated).
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
The state process is a much more simple process - the OP should look at the link that Neil shared.
 

commentator

Senior Member
Yes, definitely that is where to start. CA is one of the states that has some sort of state disability program. I would definitely take advantage of the state system if it's available to you, because as you said, unemployment insurance isn't an option for you, and it does take a while for social security disability. When I worked with unemployment we encountered many people who had assumed there'd be something for them if they were too disabled to work, and in my state, in many of the states, in fact, until you starve down to "welfare" level, there was NOT. It was, as I said, a very rude shock to many working people who'd done all the right things all their lives.

But yes, the forms for Social Security disability are a bit daunting. If I remember correctly, the first question was something like, list every job you have ever had and the dates you worked there. And the second question was a request that you list every treatment, and every doctor that you have seen for this condition that is causing you to file for disability and all the dates you've seen them. And when I'd call and ask about how to deal with someone who'd been paraplegic for over twenty years, with many multiple treatments and surgeries and doctors, they'd say, "Well you can attach extra paper!"

And I'd make a big assumption that what you've got is going to be a whole lot harder to define and diagnose and determine as a handicapping condition than cancer or paraplegia. Because frankly, anxiety and depression are not as easy to pin down and define as a broken leg, you know? I would say you are going to have a long hard road toward approval, but start sooner than later and I would seriously suggest an attorney. And preparing yourself for a long long wait. As for "I can no longer afford treatment" I suspect it will be imperative that you receive treatment in order to document that you have this condition, and that it hasn't suddenly just gotten better and THAT's the reason you haven't had treatment in a while.

If your husband is just kicking you to the curb, you need to discuss that issue with your attorney too. A divorce sounds like it might be in the offing, and who knows, might make your life more livable.
 
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quincy

Senior Member
The state process is a much more simple process - the OP should look at the link that Neil shared.
I agree that the link is helpful but the problem appears to be that Sandra does not feel able to do this on her own.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I agree that the link is helpful but the problem appears to be that Sandra does not feel able to do this on her own.
From everything Sandra posted, she was referring to the federal disability programs. The process in California doesn't take years and doesn't usually require an attorney.

EDIT: Also, California disability is a short-term solution. Perhaps Sandra's husband would help if he knew that funds were forthcoming sooner rather than later...
 

quincy

Senior Member
From everything Sandra posted, she was referring to the federal disability programs. The process in California doesn't take years and doesn't usually require an attorney.

EDIT: Also, California disability is a short-term solution. Perhaps Sandra's husband would help if he knew that funds were forthcoming sooner rather than later...
The process in California might seem easy for many (if not most) people and many (if not most) people would not need an attorney - I agree with you - but Sandra specifically said she needed help because she couldn't do it on her own. She has a "fuzzy mind."
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
The process in California might seem easy for many (if not most) people and many (if not most) people would not need an attorney - I agree with you - but Sandra specifically said she needed help because she couldn't do it on her own. She has a "fuzzy mind."
I believe that Sandra may not have even been aware of the state disability program. She should, at the very least, review it. It's an online process - she doesn't have to interact with anybody. Her psychiatrist will fill out the required medical form(s)s when the state sends them to him/her.

EDIT: I'm not saying that I disagree with you, rather, I just have a feeling Sandra hasn't even looked in to applying for disability through the state.
 

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