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Wrongfully screwed out of disability, what are my options?


Super Bowl MVP
Apr 1, 2011
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Virginia Beach, VA
Military Branch
This may get a little long, since many details need to be included so you can grasp the full scope of my situation.

When I turned 15 in 1994, I immediately went to work for a friend of my father doing landscaping. For anyone who hasn't done it, it's one of the most physically demanding jobs around. From 1994-2005, we worked 7am-5pm or later every day but Sunday. Christmas and Thanksgiving were the only holidays we were off, and we received no health benefits of any kind. But work was steady, and the money was nice. So for 11 years, I worked physical labor for 50-60 hours every week. Obviously this takes a toll on a body.

From 2005-2007, we began working only Monday thru Friday, and got all holidays off. Still no benefits. In 2007, I was hired as a corrections officer by the state of Virginia. After less than 6 months on the job, my knees and back just couldn't take being on my feet 12 hours a day anymore. I could no longer physically do my job, so I had no choice but to quit. My doctor advised me that maybe a lot of time off to recover might do me some good, and I should be able to get back to work. He told me it would probably be about a 6 month process.

So here I am, nearly 3 years later, still unable to work. Since I quit working, I have been receiving Medicaid and food stamps to get by. Me, my wife, and our 2 children have had to move in with my father since he is able to help us out. My wife went to college for 4 years, got her degree third in her class, on multiple honor societies, etc. and can't find work. She has a BS in Political Science, and every job she qualifies for is hiring vets/military.

My doctor has been treating me for over 2 years now for many medical issues. I have been to physical therapy 4 seperate times for 12 sessions each time for my back and my knees. I have had multiple xrays and MRIs that show complete degeneration of the cartilage and tendon structure in my knees that gets worse as time goes on. I am on muscle relaxers, narcotic painkillers, anti anxiety medication and anti inflammatories for my conditions and have been for 2 years now. I have to wear a bulky brace on both knees any time I have to walk anywhere. I can't walk up or down stairs, I fall on occasion, and my knees swell up all the time. The orthopedic surgeon has informed me that my knees are in such bad shape, that I will need both replaced likely within 5-10 years.

This past January, my doctor urged me to apply for disability. Because I never missed a day of work in my life, and worked so many hours, I was more than qualified based on the credits/quarters you need to qualify. I am also qualified medically based on several conditions I have, according to the disability guidelines. Those conditions are: Hypertension, heart arrhythmia, Arthritis (in my neck, feet, spine and wrists), a herniated disk in my lower spine that has not been resolved through therapy and injections, GERD, diverticulitis, anxiety, insomnia, depression, chronic fatigue, and several bone/joint disorders in my knees and neck. These are all conditions I have been diagnosed with and am taking prescription medication for.

So, I applied. Based on what my doctor had told me, I figured it was just a formality and I would get approved no problem. Even my caseworker while talking to me pretty much said it was open and shut, but that the decision wasn't up to her.

So yesterday my wife goes to check the mail. I had a disability denial letter from Social Security. Needless to say, I was pissed off and confused. I can't physically work to provide for my family, now I have these assholes refusing to help, even though I meet every requirement. In the letter, it stated that the reason I was denied, is because based on my work experience, they believe I can obtain work as a salesman.

Back in 2004, for 3 months, I was a route salesman for Red Bull. 3 MONTHS. This hardly makes me qualified to be a salesman. I quit that job, because that is what caused me to herniate a disk in my back, and I could no longer meet the lifting requirements. Obviously, for anyone who knows, route sales is also a very physically demanding job. It also isn't really sales, it's a glorified stocker and delivery driver. Aside from that, is there any sales position (telemarketing doesn't count) that doesn't require you to be on your feet most of the time?

Now my question is this....are they just trying to **** with me because I'm young (I'm only 31)? Are they hoping by denying me that I will just go away and not appeal? I have already filed an appeal, but do I have a realistic shot at winning my appeal? I mean, if I don't qualify for disability, I'd hate to see the poor bastards that do. My other concern is that my caseworker told me that since I was originally unable to work in May of 2008, that if approved, they would have to pay me retroactively starting 6 months from that date. Maybe the amount of money involved is why I was denied.

So, what are my options, and do I have a real shot in hell of winning an appeal? If the appeal is denied, do I have other options that won't take a year to resolve it?

I apologize for making this so long, but I am extremely upset and pissed off, and now am even more mentally drained knowing I have absolutely no way of generating any income. I'm at a loss, and I don't know what to do.
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Just appeal it. It's the government, so it seems it's pretty standard procedure to deny just about everyone at first. You may have to get a few more doctors notes, but keep going back to the SS adminstration is my advice

Good luck with it all
Just appeal it. It's the government, so it seems it's pretty standard procedure to deny just about everyone at first. You may have to get a few more doctors notes, but keep going back to the SS adminstration is my advice

Good luck with it all
Thank you. That seems to be the consensus from what everyone's telling me.

I read that Virginia has a denial rate over 60% for first time applicants, qualified or not. It's total BS, but it is the government so I didn't expect anything less.

Regardless, I'm more than qualified, I put the work in, and I desperately need the help. If anything, I will be a thorn in their side until they pay me to go away if that's what it takes.
They deny the people that deserve it to give money to peoiple that dont deserve it

If you had been on welfare teh last 10 years and went to pick up a milk jug and injured your back youd be getting welfare disability right now

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