Disability Disappointment

Okay bleh this is going to be a venting post because I'm feeling almost sick to my stomach and I think it might help to put it down on paper. Or the electronic version of that. Drew got a letter in the mail a few weeks ago saying he was approved to receive disability benefits. Fantastic. Wonderful. We have been waiting for like 3 whole years for this to happen. The letter said he would start receiving checks in the mail starting within the next month. It didn’t say how much he was awarded for back pay or even how much the monthly amount would be. Whatever.

A few days or a week or whatever later, he got a check and it was a substantial amount and it was actually more than he was expecting, but it didn’t say whether it was a payment from the back pay or if it was the monthly allowance check. There was no letter or any information about it really other than what was on the check itself.

I checked the mail today and he had two separate letters from social security or whatever it is. I brought them in so Drew could open them and read them. the first one was thin and had two pieces of paper in it and it was talking about the lawyers fee and what he would be paid from the awarded back pay (which is fine we already knew that’s how he would get paid and all that) but Drew expected to get much more back pay than that and the explanation of how it was calculated was complicated and sort of pulled numbers out of the air and didn’t make much sense.

The second packet included a booklet of things you need to know about receiving supplemental security income and like ten pages explaining the specifics of receiving SSI and what amounts and a bunch of other information. It also said that he qualified for SSI but not for SSDI (social security disability insurance) which is what he applied for in the first place. I don’t get why they have to be so confusing in their explanations. It’s nearly impossible trying to figure out what they are saying in the roundabout wording they use. It’s not even that they are using unnecessarily big words or something it’s just that you have to like, read between the lines to understand what they’re saying.

He was told during his hearing that there was no work that he could do because of his disabilities and everything was sounding good and he got the “fully favorable” decision saying that he was disabled and now apparently he’s not disabled enough to receive disability? It’s just all so confusing and frustrating.

Keep in mind, this is not about me or us, this is about him. I'm not frustrated or mad about it because I want money, I want him to get a livable amount of money because he is disabled and can’t work. He should be able to receive enough money to be able to pay rent and buy food. But the amount he is being given almost isn’t even worth receiving at all. I've read those papers like six times now and I still largely can’t make sense of it. The way they calculated the income seems to pull numbers out of nowhere, he’s disabled but not disabled enough to qualify for SSDI, he’s “expected to improve”, which, fucking how? There’s literally nothing that can be done. He’s done every potentially helpful surgery from nerve ablation to getting a pain pump implanted to try to improve his situation and nothing has helped enough to make him able to work or even get out of bed for more than an hour at a time for that matter. There’s a mountain of medical evidence and doctor recommendations claiming and proving his disability. Do they expect him to magically grow a new spine? It’s frustrating that because he’s young they decide that he will be able to improve. It’s frustrating that because he’s young, he’s not disabled enough.

I don’t know. I feel like I'm not even conveying my disappointment/frustration/confusion/etc. well enough. I'm not explaining well enough to make you feel how I feel. Just take my word for it; it’s upsetting. I'm upset.

He was supposed to be able to pay rent and eat and afford medical bills without having to rely on his parents and keep them in debt for the rest of his life (and its possible to do so with the right assistance) but instead he’s going to have to appeal the decision a second time to try and get what he should have gotten the first time.

It’s just a hassle and a problem that we both expected would be over by now but I guess we were just in the eye of the storm for a little while.




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