Applying for Disability

I had a long and exhausting day yesterday. No, it wasn't a day traipsing around in the hot sun on lots of errands carrying heavy bags. It was a day entirely at home, but no less exhausting.

I've got a bunch of different health issues. And I've been planning on applying for disability because of them for a while, since they really affect my ability to function and also cost me a lot of money as well. For the past year or so, I've been going from doctor appointment to doctor appointment, specialist to specialist, test to test, trying to figure out what is going on with my body and hopefully try to help it as well. And while I was there, I also got paperwork from the doctors with my medical issues so I can submit them for my disability claim. Some of the doctors I knew wouldn't be able to do anything for me, but just having them write what my issues are giving me more records to put in my disability claim, making it more likely for me to be approved.

The list of doctors/medical professionals I've been to since starting this process are:
  • Endocrinologist
  • Orthopedist (ok 2)
  • Spinal surgeon
  • Spinal orthopedist
  • Rheumatologist (3 of them)
  • Hematologist
  • Gastro (2 of them)
  • Pain clinic doctor
  • Physical therapist (3 of them)
  • Neurologist (2 of them)
  • ENT
  • Gynecologist
  • Urologist
  • Urogynecologist
  • Psychiatrist (and 2 therapists, but I don't know if that counts)
  • Occupational doctor
The tests I've done include a whole bunch of different blood tests and urine tests and stool tests in addition to:
  • EEG
  • EMG
  • Echocardiogram
  • Ultrasounds of my bladder, abdomen, and thyroid
  • Sleep study
  • CTs of my brain, upper spine, lower spine, and sacrum.
  • MRI of my brain and my pelvis
  • Sigmoidoscopy
I am so, so, so glad to live in a country with socialized medicine, because other than the psychiatrist, therapists, and physical therapist, this has all been paid for by my insurance, with very negligible financial contributions from me. Copays are at maximum 10-15 dollars, but only for some out of network specialists and tests.

If you can imagine, I have a lot of paperwork.

I'm usually totally unorganized, but because I knew how important this paperwork is, I've been keeping everything in a file folder.

I'd tried going through my files before to sort out everything and scanning all my documents, but when it came time to fill out the forms online, I filled out 5 pages of forms in a language that isn't my mother tongue, so that was challenging, and then it came time to upload my files and I realized that the way I scanned it all didn't work, since it needed to be separated by type of medical issue, type of doctor, etc... and my eyes started hurting and my brain was spinning.

I gave up. It was too much for then. 

About a month or more passed, in which I was quite busy and/or overwhelmed. And then yesterday I had absolutely nothing scheduled, nothing super pressing for work, no appointments out of the house, no errands to run, so I said I would be attempting to submit my claim again. 

I filled out the form online, until I got to the part where it asks you to upload your medical documents, so that I could see how it should be categorized. Then once I saw it, I sorted out my documents, this time by diagnosis, then scanned them individually, saving each one with the diagnosis and name of the doctor, so it was easy to sort. (A lot more work than it sounds, because I had to send it via whatsapp then email it to myself etc...) Then I tried to upload it.

But this had taken so long- much longer than I expected, so when I tried uploading it, the page had timed out, so I needed to fill out the form again.

Did I mention these forms are all not in my mother tongue, so it is harder for me to do... and I also don't have a keyboard of the local language on my laptop so I have to touch type the local language (which I am far from perfect at)? 

And then I uploaded each of the documents to the form... and I went to submit it, and it refused to confirm that it loaded. It didn't work.

I then repeated the same exact thing two more times.

Yes, I filled out the form 4 times at this point. Didn't work.

I gave up. Not going to waste any more of my time.

I decided to print the forms and all my paperwork (no way would I use the originals) and bring them in person to drop them off today.

And so I did.

Now the waiting period begins. Will they or won't they approve? If they don't approve my application with my so many debilitating diagnoses, I feel bad for people with fewer but are also suffering a lot. 

I will probably be called in for a committee meeting soon (within the next few months) where they'll grill me for a bunch of things, and then they may send me to their own doctors.... and then they'll make a decision. I hear so many people are automatically rejected the first time and then they need to appeal, often taking a lawyer. But lawyers here take a large cut of the disability, which is why I don't want to start with that route.

So anyhow, that's what made yesterday exhausting. Both emotionally and physically draining. But hopefully it'll pay off?

I do have to say that, luckily, the rules for disability in my country are not nearly as inhumane as the rules in the US. 

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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