For Social Security Disability A Good Book Helps
It is so easy for someone with a mental illness
Linda Naomi Baron Katz
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My experience with Social Security has been a rough one. In the beginning, my family and I did not want to consider it because we thought it would be easy for me to get a job. However, this was not the case. The first time I went to the Social Security office I had to wait a long time for the clerk to even give me an application. The long lines were terrible and overcrowded.
After I finished with the application, I sent it to Social Security and within weeks received an answer. It stated that although I have difficulty in stressful situations, based on my age and education I could perform a job with simple tasks. What Social Security does not comprehend is that there is a need for accommodations in order to get a job and keep it, depending on the severity of a person's mental illness. There is no consideration for how stressful job interviews are, why disclosure is so difficult, and how hard it is to maintain a job with today's technology.
After the first rejection, I filed another application form for reconsideration. This time Social Security recognized that I have Bipolar Disorder, which has given me difficulty concentrating and relating to people, and they still felt that I could work doing simple tasks. How could they say this to me when they know I have a serious mental illness? How can a person work when there are issues, problems, stigma and discrimination that the mentally ill are facing?
I thought my battle with Social Security was a lost cause until I was advised to see a lawyer. The first thing I had to do was to fill out a request for a hearing, so a judge could decide my case. When I saw the judge, he could see how nervous I was, and at the hearing the judge agreed that I should get my Social Security Disability benefits.
This system has no way to deal with the difficulty and individuality of those who suffer from a disability. To make matters worse, this struggle happens every time Social Security reviews your case and could damage a person's mental health even more.
Fortunately, there is now a book addresses this very issue:Bipolar's Guide to Winning Social Security Disability . Although it is a specifically geared toward people with Bipolar Disorder it can be applied to other mental illnesses as well. It is an excellent book and I wish they had such a book in my time, it would have made things a whole lot easier.
For those of you who have Bipolar Disorder or any other mental illness, I strongly recommend that you buy this book, especially if you are applying for Disability. Do not worry how much this book will cost, it is for your benefit. If you have not found a job yet, this will help you get some income for yourself and be more productive and independent in your life.
My name is Linda Baron Katz and I have Bipolar Disorder and as you see from my experience with Social Security, it is not an easy process, so buy the book and it will tell you everything you need to know about getting Social Security and the incentives that you need to know once you have your benefits. To visit my blog go to: http://bipolardisorder-march21.blogspot.com/2008/02/getting-social-security-disability.html
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