Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SSDI

I have not talked a lot about Social Security Disability Insurance.  It is the insurance that every working American pays into just in case they become disabled.  It is not a welfare program like Social Security Insurance, it is a program I have paid into and now that I am disabled I would be getting my money.

Before I was sick I worked for 23 years and I spent most of that time at three jobs.  I like working, even when I do not like my job I like working.  I miss working.  If I take a step back I miss working more than anything else I can no longer do.  I have talked about it before and my opinion has not changed, a lot of my self definition revolved around work.

I have been out of work for a little over a year now and I do not think I have filled the hole in my self definition left by the absence of  work.  I have been floating and drifting around without the direction that work provided.  The sea of chronic illness is where I have been floating and drifting and that sea is rough.

There are a lot of tertiary things I miss about work.  The social interactions that take place at work were a lot more fun that I realized at the time.  The absence of these interactions made me realize how truly entertaining and rewarding they really were.  I do have one co worker that does make the trek to the sick room and of course there is Facebook, the in person visits are fantastic but Facebook is a poor substitute for in person interactions.

I have just realized that I have not actually talked about what being approved for SSDI means.  I think I am having a hard time coming to terms with the implications of what being approved means.  I have also just realized that I have not talked about what was to be the whole point of this post, I have been approved for SSDI.  Many people spend years trying to get disability and why they are waiting they end up losing their homes and not getting appropriate medical care.

I occasionally frequent an online support group funded by the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research that is hosted by Inspire.  I communicate with people that have sarcoidosis from all around the world it does help me realize how lucky I am.  First I have access to some great medical care, it is a rare disease with little known about it but at least some of my doctors are willing to read about the new developments and treatments for sarcoidosis.  A lot of the people I talk to from other parts of the United States, I am in Utah, tell me horror stories about the ignorance of some doctors and because of that ignorance the horrible medical care they receive.  The lesson from these interactions is that I am lucky to receive, for the most part, quality medical care.

The second aspect of my luck so to speak is that I have been approved for SSDI in such a short time.  I was approved in a little over six months.  A lot of people I speak with online spend years trying to get approved.  A lot time the issue is they do not have health insurance so they can not afford to see a doctor to generate a paper trail that shows they are disabled.  I am fortunate to be covered under my wife's medical insurance and I guess I am fortunate that I have been so sick there has been a large paper trail to satisfy Social Security that I am disabled.

I objectively I know that I am fortunate or lucky or however you would like to look at it that I have been approved by SSDI so quickly.  The fact that I can not work feels more real today now that I have been approved and that does make me sad.