Daily Archives: November 30, 2011

Social Security Insecurity

I’ve been getting a little bit of… forceful encouragement from a couple of my family members to apply for Social Security Disability Income, or SSDI as it is more commonly referred to.

This has been a pretty tough year, and the six-ish months I spent on state disability was a real eye opener.

Nobody wants to be on disability (though there are the apparent small number of folks who take advantage of the system so that they don’t have to work), and there is a terrifying question out there for people who are faced with this possibility:

what am I going to do with my time?

When I had a full time job it felt like I worked far more than I did anything else. I had no time to do anything I wanted to do. I was consistently overwhelmed and had frequent meltdowns. This spring I was faced with the opposite problem, and even severely depressed I found myself concerned that I had too much time on my hands.

I was really hoping that when the depression abated I would feel well enough to be able to work, if not full time then at least a few days a week. Right now I am feeling better than I have in the last calendar year (if not longer) and working two days a week is all I can seem to muster.

Applying for SSDI is serious business, and it can take years for it to be awarded to you because of the nature of the application process. Success stories I’ve heard usually involve lawyers, a very serious suicide attempt, or both.

The push I’m getting from my family is because the system is retroactive, meaning if I apply now and get denied, sometime down the road if I am approved I will be awarded benefits from the date that I originally applied.

I understand the concept, but the burden of taking on this process (and what it ultimately means, that I am 26 years old and cannot work full time -which I admit is true, but has been difficult to cope with) and having the elements of my various disorders scrutinized only to receive my initial rejection and knowing full well that I will have to keep applying, well frankly it is considerably unappealing.

I spoke with a professional that helps out cases like mine out of charity, she basically laughed at me (because of my age) and then wouldn’t return my phone calls.

The whole situation is a little disheartening, but at this juncture I can’t exactly expect miracles to happen. Science has no cure for bipolar disorder, and the months of intensive prayer by various congregations on my behalf have been just as effective. Which means not at all. If I’m lacking in miracles on either end of the spectrum, I guess I’d better just buckle down and start working on a realistic future for myself.