Disability benefits for aspergers?



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bradentonian
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01 Apr 2007, 1:37 pm

I'm new here. 53 year old male.

Never thought in terms of having aspergers until the last couple years (had never heard of aspergers). Just thought I was nuts. But as I think back and remember my life it seems more and more like aspergers.

Have a law degree (finished near bottom of my class because of emotional turmoil, ADD, and terrible short tem memory). Law school was pure hell for me. Then flunked the bar exam two times. Gave up and found an alternative legal professsion job editing law books.

I had that job for 25 years (was a complete loner and was isolated, but that was ok in that job), but quit 3 years ago because it was growing more complicated and I felt my own problems were worsening.

I'd thought I could live off my savings and supplement them with stock trading enough to last until social security kicked in, but that's a long way off. I'm not doing as well with stocks as I'd thought.

There are up and down phases as to my market performance and now I'm in a down phase and starting to worry.

I know there is no job I could do, even work at McDonalds, because of the terrible social skills, ADD, terrible memory.

It seems to my that with my 25 years of SS taxes, I should be qualified for SS disability benefits. I'm going to start looking into this this week. Tomorrow I'm calling to schedule an appointment with my neurologist to talk about it. But thought I'd first post here to see if anyone has any experience or advice with disability benefits for this condition.

Thanks in advance.



MsTriste
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01 Apr 2007, 1:44 pm

I applied for benefits based on 4 problems:
1. Severe shoulder injury of more than 2 years duration
2. AS
3. Major depression
4. GAD

And was denied on the basis that my treating doctors advised SSI that all conditions would improve, and, that even though my shoulder injury did in fact prevent me from doing my profession (nursing) I could "get other work". Those assholes.

I'm contesting it on the basis that:
1. Shoulder injury is NOT improving
2. AS is developmental disorder that will never improve
3. Depression and anxiety have not gotten better in 11 years so how can they say it will get better in the future?

I plan on contesting this till they finally cave. I also have paid in hundreds of thousand dollars into the system, and if the system is broken as regards AS, then it needs to be fixed and I will be a squeaky wheel.

I'd rather be labeled with a disability and be able to get the benefits I'm entitled to than not have a label and not have that safety net.



Kanga
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01 Apr 2007, 2:03 pm

Which country are you from? :)

Don't play your disability/disabilities down: complete the answers to the forms questions according to what happens on your worst days, including the maximum number of times you have difficulties and/or need help, regardless of whether it is available to you or not.

Citizens advice bureaux/social workers/autism charities tend to have lots of experience in assisting people with claims even if only to remind people of everything they may have difficulty with in comparision to those who are not disabled, which the perspective of friends and family can also assist with.

If your claim is refused, appeal: here in the UK I hear there is approximately a 50% chance of appeal success with disability living allowance, for example.



MsTriste
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01 Apr 2007, 2:05 pm

Isn't social security/aka SSI solely a US institution? Don't they have different names for it in other countries?



bradentonian
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01 Apr 2007, 2:10 pm

Kanga wrote:
Which country are you from? :)


The U.S.

[/quote]Don't play your disability/disabilities down: complete the answers to the forms questions according to what happens on your worst days, including the maximum number of times you have difficulties and/or need help, regardless of whether it is available to you or not.

Citizens advice bureaux/social workers/autism charities tend to have lots of experience in assisting people with claims even if only to remind people of everything they may have difficulty with in comparision to those who are not disabled, which the perspective of friends and family can also assist with.[/quote]

That's something I'm going to do this week as well - go to a social worker and also a social security specialist, in addition to my doctor -- who I'm going to talk about Aspergers with for the fitst timme in my life.

[/quote]If your claim is refused, appeal: here in the UK I hear there is approximately a 50% chance of appeal success with disability living allowance, for example.[/quote]



Postperson
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01 Apr 2007, 2:32 pm

I'm in Australia, but I've been on disability benefit since I was about 40. I get if for AS and back/RSI/exhaustion problems.

Basically, being undxed most of my life and trying to hold down work where i was bullied and ridiculed exhausted me. I was a wreck. I need to lead a low stress life and then i do ok, and disability pension allows me to do that. I tried to be self supporting for a long time (had no other choice without a dx, just thought i was 'unusual') but really, i was never accepted in the workforce. so, if that's the way they want it....

As someone else has said, it's important to respond to questions on the forms as you are at your WORST days, not when your doing ok.



Kanga
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01 Apr 2007, 6:41 pm

aylissa wrote:
Isn't social security/aka SSI solely a US institution? Don't they have different names for it in other countries?


The UK equivalent is now the Department for Work and Pensions but employment and welfare issues are still referred to generally as "social security" here :)



Space
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02 Apr 2007, 3:25 pm

I used to know a guy who was/is on permanent disability (he was eventually diagnosed with AS, last I heard). He was pretty crazy though. He just collected hot wheels cars and smoked a lot of pot, hanging out in his basement suite 24/7 with the TV on. ...Anyways, if you have been diagnosed with AS, the process of getting on welfare should be easier. Get a social worker, who can look at your case, tell them how messed up your life is right now and they will probably get you on right away (at least that's how it works in Canada).



the-over-analyzed
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02 Apr 2007, 7:56 pm

I wonder if it would be easier if, instead of claiming Aspergers, you obtain a diagnosis for an unspecified autisic spectrum disorder, or maybe tourettes, or maybe high to mid functioning autism?



bradentonian
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03 Apr 2007, 1:18 pm

the-over-analyzed wrote:
I wonder if it would be easier if, instead of claiming Aspergers, you obtain a diagnosis for an unspecified autisic spectrum disorder, or maybe tourettes, or maybe high to mid functioning autism?


Actually, as I look at it more and think about it more, I think my problem is in fact a general autistic disorder, and not specifically Aspergers. I think this mainly because, in adddition to horrible social abilities all my life, my short term memory and attention span have always been terrible as well. I feel like I have ADD, in addition to (or as a symptom of) a functional autistic problem.

These problems are worsening with age.

Are these symptoms of Aspergers?

(I've set up an appointment with a professional to talk about these issues in a few weeks, but right now am just currious and find any info interesting.)



Lessian
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25 Aug 2007, 4:38 am

In Queensland Australia, the Centrelink (social security) definition of a disability is that:
the condition must be preventing you from working or looking for work for a period of 18 months or more.
thats all well and good for things like cerebral palsy, extreme schizophrenia etc, but what about more subtle things like AS? with my work history, I cant handle the idea of going for crappy casual jobs every few months, and I am not capable of gaining and keeping a more permanant job. where does this leave me? up the creek.
The government here does not accept that there is anything other than black and white, and to hell with anyone who lives in a state of grey fuzziness.


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howzat
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28 Aug 2007, 8:46 am

I claim disability livin allowance (DLA) at a middle rate only 4 personal care as my mum cares 4 me so she does most of the housework which im not capable of doin.



Pandora
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28 Aug 2007, 8:51 am

Lessian wrote:
In Queensland Australia, the Centrelink (social security) definition of a disability is that:
the condition must be preventing you from working or looking for work for a period of 18 months or more.
thats all well and good for things like cerebral palsy, extreme schizophrenia etc, but what about more subtle things like AS? with my work history, I cant handle the idea of going for crappy casual jobs every few months, and I am not capable of gaining and keeping a more permanant job. where does this leave me? up the creek.
The government here does not accept that there is anything other than black and white, and to hell with anyone who lives in a state of grey fuzziness.
It also makes it very difficult when you cope at different levels on different days. An Aspie friend said he's very much like that and I've found it to be true too. I also live in QLD Australia.


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AutisticOne
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28 Aug 2007, 8:51 am

Most people are turned down for SSI the first time they apply, unless they have a serious physical injury. 2nd time might work though.


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Lessian
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29 Aug 2007, 6:06 am

[quote="wiggerbeater"]Most people are turned down for SSI the first time they apply, unless they have a serious physical injury. 2nd time might work though.[/quote]

It does not matter to the Aus government how many times you apply, there are so many rules and regulations that the centrelink staff might as well have to get permission to scratch their itchies. Even the few good people who work there are forced to switch off and stop being human for 8 hours a day.
Stupid government... *grumble*


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