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JPEsq
JPEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5104
Experience:  Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
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For a disability lawyer - hang in there, Ill simplify as much

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For a disability lawyer - hang in there, I'll simplify as much as possible but it's a tangled web: I was married for 22 years --happily, I thought -- to a man who, though an attorney by education, eventually became my writing partner. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis long before we were married and was always up front about this, though neither of us knew, or could kow, the course my RA would take. Over the years my RA worsened tremendously. At various times I could not get out of bed, had to use a wheel chair or a cane, had very limited mobility and energy. I take and have been taken many toxic drugs for RA for more than 3 decades. Ins spite of this, because I had an assistant and the help/partnerhsip of my hsbnd, I was able to have a successful career as a writer. My husband had presented himslf as man of ethics, morals, who very much valued fidelity and vowed that he was as faithful as I was. I found out a iittle more than two yrs ago that he had been cheating on me throughout our more than two decade narriage, with dozens or perhaps even hundreds od different anonymous women he would hook up with fron an online adult website. None of this single-shot hook ups had an emotional component or even a name. Then at this same online site he met a woman with an ever nore out-there sexual history than his own. Suffice to say they fell in whatever they call "love", broke up her marriage (2 little kids) and mine (one teen son). Ever since i learned the truth about my husband, my health went replidly down hill. Stress is about the worst thing one can do to an autoimmune disease. RA is a degenerative condition with no cure at best, XXXXX XXXXX had it a loooong time. I got sicker and sicker -- heavily contributing to this was/is my husband's reprehensible attitude, his ongoing lies, and hispaying me not one red cent, though we have been in medition all this time. It finally became clear to me that the "mediation" was simply his way of pretending to be working toward a divorce but not actually getting one. Why? He is with his girlfriend, and, since we are not divorced, there is no court to enforce him paying me anything. I have not been able to write for to two years, except for the smallest thing here or there. I am in tremendous physical pain most of the time. I am under the regulr care of a rheumatologist and have been all along. Recently, with new and trly debilitating pain, I was diagnosed as having r=fibromialgia in addition to RA. So now I have two autoimmune diseases simultaneously. I've been put on five new meds in addition to the meds I was already taking. Many days I dnt have enough energy to get out of bed. I have the option of taking vicodin to function, but I cannot write on vicodin. When I said I was "successful" I mean that with my husband as my writing partnr we earned anywhere from $80,000 - $700,000 a year as writers. My son is living with me. My overhead is very high as I ust have live in help. I ca't grocery shop, run errands, etc. If I fall, I cannor get up. Since my husban hasn't paid me anything and I don't have the money it would take to force a long and ugly divorce (he would have the option of representing himself, I would not), I feel that my only coice may be to apply for disability. How does one qualify? How long does it take? How much is one paid if they do qualify? And -- the additional fly in this ointment... In our partner "divisiion of labor" stuff that every coupe has, my husband was reasonsible for preparing our paperork for our accountant every year, then paying the taxs once our accountant prepared them. He did this in 2007, 08, and 09 as he had evry other year. Only I found out in 2010 that he ONLY PRETENDED TO PAY THESE TAXES ADND IN FACT NEVER PAID THEM AT ALL. Why? You'd hae to be deeper into his psyche than ne t know he answer, becaue I don't know the answer. This corrolates with the year he began his "affair", for whatever that is worth. When I found out i 2010 froj our show bix accountant, my husband shook, cried and threw up. He siad he did not know why he had only "prtended to pay." For two of those years we earned close to $700,000. a year on a TV show. I imagine that with interest the tax bill now tops a million dollars. We have flown under the radar of the IRS because we earned this under a corporation that no longer exists. I immediately hired tax attorney who told me I would most likely be able to get out of most or all of this tax burden as I truly did not know, and was duped, I am now chronically ill and can't count on an ability to ear a living (I can't even sit t my desk for more then 15 minutes) and I have no income. My husband is currently employed at a crap job (on purpose, to claim "poverty") earns $35,000. If I apply for disability won't i have to turn in non-existent tax returns? Do i qualify? I am broke and desperate.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JPEsq replied 2 years ago.

Eligibility for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is determined by a combination of factors including your age, education, work history and your impairments.

 

For a younger individual (under 50) you would have to show that you were able to perform "less than sedentary work" and that you are unable to perform your past relevant work (all work where you earned $1000 per month for the lat 15 years).

 

Rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia can both be considered "severe impairments" for SSDI purposes. Whether you are disabled depends on the severity of your impairments. SSA will look at your medical records from around the date you say you became disabled. Based on what you have described, I certainly think you would qualify based on your RA.

 

Here is the specific law that relates to inflammatory arthritis, the listing details what you would need to show to win based solely on RA: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/14.00-Immune-Adult.htm#14_09

 

You may also qualify under the Lupus listing, or other Immune Disorder listings: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/14.00-Immune-Adult.htm

 

Fibromyalgia is not an immune disorder for SS purposes. It is typically treated by a rheumatologist, and in order to show you "have" fibromyalgia, you need to show a history of at least 11/18 trigger points, the American College of Rheumatology criteria for a positive Fibromyalgia diagnosis.

 

As for what you would get, that varies depending on how much you have paid in. For some people it is only a few hundred dollar per month. For others it is a few thousand. $1500 to $2000 is probably average, but it is based on an incomprehensible algorithm... so I can't tell you what you will get monthly. You get a notice in the mail every year telling you your disability amount.

 

As for how long it takes, that depends upon what stage your benefits are granted. If you initial application is granted (about 25% are granted) you will be receiving benefits in a few months. If you have to go to a hearing, it can take as long as 2 years. While you wait for your hearing, you cannot earn over $1000 per month. If and when you win your case, you will get back pay for those months.

 

The final issue is your taxes. The government may withhold your benefits to pay your tax bill. So you will need to continue sorting that out.

 

JPEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5104
Experience: Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
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