This post may contain affiliate links. This means I will earn a commission if you use my link to buy the product I am promoting at no extra cost to you.
Long story short when I was denied 2 appeals I had to appeal to a disability judge. Fortunately, the law firm I went through knows the judges the client will get. I had to get up before the rooster crows since I had to catch the Subway to get downtown. I left early in case we got lost (which we did). Luckily we got lost in the area where the building is. I mean we didn’t go too far in a different direction AWAY from the building
I will give you a break down incase someoone reading this is about to have their hearing.
I met with the lawyer before my hearing so she can ask me some questions. Also, so she can tell me about the hearing. It’s important to meet early enough to do so.
I did have to clear up why I wasn’t following up with a doctor and that was due to an insurance error in one place and at another place, the therapist was not locking in the system when I attended my sessions.
Chances are if you have gaps in seeing your doctor get ready to explain. It’s best to be honest rather than lie.
I also mentioned I was not given the right therapist when my old one left. I mentioned the company never found a replacement and never bothered to let me know. She basically asked the questions that she will ask me in front of the judge.
I had my records from my school since the social workers made note of my difficulties in school. The lawyer called out the notes from my schools and the judge thought that I’d have a problem with a job right off the bat. The lawyer also had the notes from my current doctor and the old one. After that, the judge asks me some questions like how my disability will limit my workability. I mentioned my sensitivity to feedback, my tendency to wanna harm myself if I get yelled at and mentioned the incident with the band director when I was in the 11th grade. I mentioned I struggled in classes with no support for instance if there was no teacher aid. I always went with the aid to a different room to take my tests for classes with the aid. I explained that I have some support since grade school but my accommodations were different.
I explained I can only manage driving short distances and gave an example due to anxiety. I explained my public transportation fear and mentioned the bus, the train will be crowded. When I took the subway, it was packed.
I also gave an example when an unexpected change sent me into a meltdown and how teachers made note of my behavior. To an outsider, it may be seen as acting out. A 50 y/o can have a meltdown. Meltdowns don’t stop because you’re 15,16 etc. This was my explanation that my meltdowns were seen as acting up to the NT students/teacher.
Then after that, the vocational expert was on the line. The judge gave a scenario is there a job with X setting. The judge explained something like is there a job with step-by-step instructions, minimal interaction, little to no crowds, etc. The vocational person said there were no jobs within the judge’s description and the vocational person said from her professional perspective there are no such jobs like that. The judge decided I am disabled and he approved me. That is just how they rule whether or not you qualify.
He will send his final call in the mail. When I get it I will call the law firm back and they’ll tell me what to do. I think having my school records is what helped. That sorry excuse of a doctor (which I will talk about later) claimed they will not look at ‘old’ records. The lawyer even said it’s old but it has proof of how I will struggle at a job with things socials works and teachers made note of. If I didn’t have my notes from school it would not have been that easy. The school couldn’t kick me out for those issues but an employer can read it wrong and I get fired. A job is no different than a school with the exception of a few factors. My mom had a gut feeling that she should send my records. I think my records and having a judge aware of my issues helped. Now I can buy my own stuff and helped with food, bills and perhaps investing in hosting for my blog and YouTube gear.
I will get the cheap stuff first and save up for the expensive stuff later.
So I think what helped me was
- School records. Since they came from social workers
- Dr notes.
- Good lawyer. That’s important that they can explain your issues
- Judge aware of my disorders.
- Good law firm
It doesn’t stop there, however.
I am going to take this chance to build my blog. Invest in web hosting so I can have a ‘.com’ domain. I saw a blog post where a man with autism started his own coffee shop after no one would hire him. He probably saved his disability checks to do so. I want to be a Freelance writer and having a dot com domain is what I need.
Update with the tiny amount I get from my crypto blog I can afford Namecheap for hosting and a domain so now you will see a different interface. I use wordpress.org now.
I’ll have more features like monetization, a donation button, etc.
I will use this as support. My mom says they allow you to work part-time. I’d have to blog part-time I guess.
Also, I can upgrade my equipment for YouTube so I can also have that for my business.
Disability benefits are not handouts. We want to work but our limitations make it hard for us. I think we are better off starting our own business but need the support to do so. If you can’t work how can you get money to start a business? Which is why these benefits help. Working from home is the only way a disabled person can survive if something happens to SS. Not only that but if they live alone.
If you are capable of working or finding a job and just don’t want to work, I can see it. If you want to work but your limitations get in the way, no shame in needing assistance until you can get on track. I will have autism, mental illness for life.
My doc did mention a job program when I saw him back in October. I don’t remember the exact time. I will reason with him that I feel so much relief working from home. It’s just hard finding legit companies because there are so many scams. Since my judgment is not the best sometimes. Interviews make me so anxious. If I want to be a freelance writer, I can show the person samples of my writing via e-mail. No nerve-wracking interviews, my own pace, my own flow.
I wrote this when I got back from the courthouse. I didn’t expect them to have a statement so soon. When my mom had to appeal to a judge she had to wait a month for a verdict(or longer). My blog posts are planned ahead of time so keep that in mind. I do this to help take the load off. I also preplan my YouTube videos as well.
DON’T think I am going to just do nothing now that I am getting benefits. As I said, I will use this to invest in my blog to become a Freelance writer. To pay for web-hosting. Equipment for YouTube. Maybe my doc can help me find some work from home jobs. Sorta like going to school online. I go back to see him in March. I will make updates accordingly. Remember by posts are preplanned. Whatever happens, it will be a minute before you see it. I wrote this in January and it went live in February. I plan content ahead of time because it makes things easier in the end.