Saturday, May 2, 2009

No Surprise - Gotta Complete More Government Forms for Social Security!

I received the mail that I'd been told to expect - it was two questionnaires for me to fill out. One asked for detail about any pain I was experiencing; the other asked for detailed responses about my condition and its impact on my daily activities. My husband was also asked to complete a questionnaire, which addressed his observations about my illness and its impact on day-to-day life, activities, etc.

More multi-paged forms requesting details. Ugh. Given how long it took me to complete the online forms, I thought surely that volume of data would be sufficient. It's frustrating and a challenge to spell out the details these days, given my (lack of) memory.

During this time, I decided to be proactive about making sure Social Security reps received the records they needed from my doctor and the hospitals I had stayed in (my transplant center and the local hospital where, in May 2006, I had my gallbladder removed and received the news about needing a liver transplant). I faxed a request to my local doctor's office, then made personal phone calls to records departments at both hospitals to ensure they had received the request and were responding. Cynic that I am, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that all had been received and records were being mailed. Yeah!

Actually, I was the last one to complete and submit forms. When I discovered that everything else had been submitted, I expedited completion of my questionnaires and faxed them in. I was told that the person/physician who reviews applications and substantiation materials would be able to make a determination within 24 hours of receiving all documents (imagine! the government making a 24-hour turnaround!), so I was highly motivated.

The documents were faxed April 24; I was again told to wait for a letter. Two days ago, unable to hover over the mailbox any longer, I called to check about how things were progressing and learned that my file had been sent to a quality control-type department where files are reviewed to be certain they are accurate. Arrrgghhhhhh! So close, so close...

I've been told to look for mail in May, so once again I wait.

Social Security Disability Benefits and Liver Transplant Patients: An Update on My Application

Holy smokes! It's been a month since my last post and there is much to tell. I'll start with my disability application - I've learned a lot.

Even before the mail arrived, I received a call one morning from a Social Security respresentative telling me that she had received my file the previous day and that because of my illness/condition (liver transplant), review of my file was being expedited. Huh? Awesome!