Social Security Disability Questions

da0867

PEB Forum Regular Member
Sup dudes,

So I don't know if any of you all remember me but it sure has been a long time since I posted on here. I started the whole MEB process because of PTSD back in April of 2009 and it was a long and enduring path out of the Infantry world and onto TDRL, but I'm out now. I was stationed at Fort Campbell, KY and have stayed in the area because I bought a house before the MEB process started, not knowing I would even get med-boarded. So as it stands, if I don't want to pay back that 8k First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit, I have to live here until 1/16/2012. No biggie though, I am starting up some I.T. courses here in town funded by VA VR&E soon. Anyway, I kept a time line of all of my experiences on the way out and posted it once it was all over when I hit "terminal" leave, but haven't been back on since.

As you might imagine, since officially being off the books I still cannot work. I applied for Social Security Disability a few days after my discharge date (25 January 2010). I got a packet in the mail from the Clarksville Social Security Office and stapled to the first set of forms for me to fill out was a paper that had a section highlighted saying something along the lines of:

"Be sure to include any relevant LES's and/or performance/counseling records in returning the attached forms."

I wasn't sure officially when they'd consider the onset date of my PTSD, so I went with when I was first having problems with it, shortly after the incident, of course. This just happened to date back to 9/2005. So naturally I thought, dang, well, I guess I'm going to have to get LES's back that far then. This could take a little bit but if it's what they need I guess it's what I'm going to have to do.

I was able to get records of these LES's, but it took quite awhile. While waiting for them to come in the mail, I knew it had been awhile since they originally sent me the packet, so I called the 800 number to confirm that I would actually need to provide these documents. I got some woman on the phone who confirmed for me, "yes, if that's what they said for you to do then do it." Probably about a week later, I got a disapproval letter in the mail, presumably because I had not provided them any information other than the online application that included a general overview of my problems ie- PTSD, bilateral hallux valgus, asthma, etc.

When I got this letter it of course stressed me out and I went and called the 800 number again and got a hold of someone who helped put things in perspective for me. He explained how, most importantly, if you don't give them the consent form to look up your records, they're not going to be able to keep your case going. Regardless of any of that other evidence, they needed that first. They sent me an appeal packet in the mail. I filled it out and hand delivered it to the Clarksville office. I waited my turn in line and then explained this situation to the clerk and then she brought her supervisor over and it's like he was waiting for me to show up there. He started to go off on me until he literally read over "PTSD" and said "oh yeah that's probably what you're gonna have a case with", then he stopped acting like such a dick. Needless to say I was kinda fumed. He said he would forward it to Nashville and I'd get a response from them soon.

I basically got the same papers from Nashville that I got in the beginning that I already filled out once, asking for me to again explain my work history and how my illness affects me. It's been about 10 days since I got that in the mail.

This is really becoming tedious and stressing me out more and more by the second. It's gotten to the point where, when I sit down and try to get something done with it, I am on the verge of having an anxiety attack. I guess what it comes down to is that it's difficult for me to explain how PTSD affects me and it's all of a sudden tough to come up with the words. And I started worrying... will they be the right words? I don't feel like I can work at all. I feel like if I get put in a work environment I'm going to crack underneath it. It's what happened in the Army and it's why I'm not in it anymore. I don't feel like anything has changed in that regard. But then what if I get denied? So, I feel pressured to put the right words and I am not sure how to explain how I feel.

The newest packet from the SSA lists the name and number of the SSA Disability Examiner and says to call if I have any questions. I did and he said that while it says they'd like it returned within 14 days, if I can get it done within 28, it would be ideal. I told him how I was having this sort of trouble with it and felt like I needed help and he said it's alright and this sort of thing is not uncommon and there's nothing wrong with seeking a lawyer to assist me with it.

I do have a "Notice of Disapproved Claim" from the SSA that dates 3/25/2010, so I figure that's means enough to take things to a lawyer. I appealed it myself though and I guess it's been re-established since they have sent me these new forms. This whole thing has gotten so confusing and obviously I feel like I'm up to my ears in it.

If anyone has any guidance they can swing my way as far as.., I would really really appreciate it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I appreciate any help anyone can offer.

- Robert
 

wtaylor

PEB Forum Regular Member
Robert, Stay strong Battle! I am at Ft. Campbell,WTU and the advice I would give is to seek out the AW2 reps and ask them for help with SSDI Filing or go to the local SSA Office, Robert you will also want too send any new Medical Documents to the SSA Examiner as soon as you get them so he or she can make an accurate determination on your claim.
Do not be late for any evaluations they send you too and do not reschedule them if you can help it, stay in touch with the examiner, I did atleast once every week or two just to make sure he had everything he needed from me and also to check the status of the claim, let the examiner know you care about what you are going through and that you are not sitting around the house expecting SSA to approve you're claim let them know you are willing to do as much of the leg work as possible to help them because they have an extremely heavy workload and anything you can do to speed it up will benefit you and them. Pray a lot because if you are like I am you need this for the Family and good luck Battle.
 

da0867

PEB Forum Regular Member
I appreciate your response.

I should've been, but never was assigned to WTU. My company commander actually tried to get me sent there, just to free up more space on their rolls, but this was literally like 2 months before I was done and gone on terminal leave, so it was pointless and of course did not work.

I have already run the med-board gauntlet so I am on my game when it comes to being on time for evaluations and things like that. Thing is, my main area of concern is PTSD, which by the SSA's definition is a condition whose symptoms cannot always be defined by contacting physicians. So that's why they sent me the questionnaire. I'm sure you read my post through and through but my main issue is getting myself to complete it and the anxiety that even that entails.

I wonder if AW2 reps on post would even be willing to assist me with this. I am already out of the Army and for the record, as stated above, was never attached to WTU. So that could be tricky. I think I may seek the help of an attorney, but I really am not sure. Thank for you for your input though and no matter what happens I will stay strong with it.
 
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