I Was Denied Disability...Again
The emotional tax
What some people may not realize is that applying and getting denied for disability can take a toll on you emotionally. It sure did for me, at least.
When you apply for disability, you give it your all. You have to spend a lot of time on the application. You have to get a doctor to fill out forms as well, it’s an entire process. Having something you’ve worked so hard on get denied is heartbreaking.
What they told me
The reason I’ve been denied twice for disability is “I don’t have a significant mental or physical disability.” I applied with ankylosing spondylitis, depression, and anxiety.
I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life. I’ve struggled with depression for 8 years, and AS for 3 years now. To have completely real and debilitating conditions, and be told that they aren’t significant enough to deserve financial help has hit me hard.
My reaction to getting denied disability
After applying, I wait for weeks and check the mail every day hoping that I get the letter and that I’m approved. When I finally do get the letter, I’m so excited I run inside and open it immediately.
Then, I read the sentence. The sentence that tells me once again that I didn’t get it. A wave of emotions washes over me. Sadness, anger, frustration, depression, defeat.
I wanted to give up
Hearing that the government doesn’t want to help my day to day life isn’t easy. I wanted to give up trying for disability. I wanted to throw in the towel and tell them that they won. If you know me, you know that doesn’t sound like me.
That’s when the anger and frustration set in. Of course, I wasn’t going to give up. The first step in appealing is writing a letter stating why you don’t agree with their decision. I wrote two pages. I wasn’t going to give in that easily.
The next steps
I sent in my letter, and now I wait on their second answer. I have hope, but I also know that the government wants to make you give up just so they don’t have to pay you.
I’ve heard from a few people that I may need a disability lawyer. If it comes to that, I’ll do it. I’ll do whatever it takes so that they don’t win this time. I know what I go through and I know that I deserve to be on disability.
If you’re applying for disability, describe your absolute worst day possible. Explain your pain and your struggle with doing daily tasks. Include any doctor’s notes or test results that can help you The more you include, the better.
My other suggestion is to not give up. Don’t let them win. You know yourself best and you know that you deserve this. Fight back and be strong! You’ve got this.
Other than back pain and fatigue, what is the most common symptom that AS patients experience?