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Thread: Work vs Social Security Disability

  1. #1
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
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    Work vs Social Security Disability

    I'm talking to my office about going back to work (I'm an accountant). However, I wonder if I should apply for SS Disability instead. I worry about my bowel and bladder care at work and also being too tired to work (after reading another thread on this site). Initially I will only work a few hours a day (until I no longer have to wear the TLSO) so the amount of my pay will be minimal (I work for a nonprofit and my pay was low when working full time); much lower than disability would be. I would appreciate opinions on:

    - I had a T-12 burst but function like an L3 Asia C (I can walk with a walker for a few hundred feet). Would I qualify for SS Disability - my MD has cleared me to return to work? In other words, do I even have a choice about work vs disability?

    - How tired are others with my level of injury who work full time?

    Thanks.

    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Walker, Oct 2003

  2. #2
    Originally posted by MikeC:

    I'm talking to my office about going back to work (I'm an accountant). However, I wonder if I should apply for SS Disability instead. I worry about my bowel and bladder care at work and also being too tired to work (after reading another thread on this site). Initially I will only work a few hours a day (until I no longer have to wear the TLSO) so the amount of my pay will be minimal (I work for a nonprofit and my pay was low when working full time); much lower than disability would be. I would appreciate opinions on:

    - I had a T-12 burst but function like an L3 Asia C (I can walk with a walker for a few hundred feet). Would I qualify for SS Disability - my MD has cleared me to return to work? In other words, do I even have a choice about work vs disability?

    - How tired are others with my level of injury who work full time?

    Thanks.

    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Walker, Oct 2003
    if your able to work and your doc cleared u to do so you should work

  3. #3
    Go back to work with your existing employer or find a new job; you're not that old. Don't think about your doctor "clearing you for work", consider it a prescription. Going back to work will only give you a better quality of life. I can't relate to work - I'm finishing my college degree - but stop making excuses. Working will be different, and some things will be more difficult in the beginning, but you'll figure them out - as I have with going back to school.

    Good Luck!

    -Lewis

  4. #4
    I would be looking for the highest paying job I could find. Life with an sci is expensive. Working for a non-profit may be a luxury you can no longer afford. Be prepared to conserve your energy, using a wheelchair may be necessary.

    C5/6 incomplete, injured Aug. 2000

  5. #5
    Originally posted by Betheny:

    I would be looking for the highest paying job I could find. Life with an sci is expensive. Working for a non-profit may be a luxury you can no longer afford. Be prepared to conserve your energy, using a wheelchair may be necessary.

    C5/6 incomplete, injured Aug. 2000
    beth has a good point, great health ins is very important for sci

  6. #6
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Wow, you are thinking of getting back to work pretty soon, I could not imagine working with a TLSO. Anyhoo, here is the scoop. Apply for SSDI now. The payments start either 6 months from application or from injury, I cant remember which, check the SS website. You can work while receiving SSDI at the same time. This is what is known as a 'trial work period' which lasts one year. So, you will make whatever you will make at the job, and receive full SSDI payments as well with no adjustments for other earned income. Once you have been working for a year, payments stop. In addition, once you have become 'certified' as disabled by SS, you will stay that way for 7 years, so if you find you cant work, you can go back on SSDI. Spinal cord injury is classified as a disablity automatically, no hanky panky like for other ailments where SS excersizes caution in making determinations of disablity.

  7. #7
    There is a program called 'Ticked to Work' through SSD. I think it allows you to work without you having to lose all of your disability benefits. There's a link to it. I'll look and try to post the link in here.

    We are all faced with a series of great opportunities... Brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

  8. #8
    Mike c
    I would do the math and check how much you would receive form ssdi, its your deductions from your paycheck that you have paid into for many years , so depending on your years working and how much you made and contributed, you may see that its just not worthwhile to return to work. there is a thing called quality of life, and your not getting any younger.
    and as I see from your profile you already have retired from the military.
    with your injuries the 8 hours workday and commuting at your age may aggravate your injury,
    and , traveling to work is expensive, and it puts wear and tear on your body, may aggravate your condition,

    it may wear you out, the added requirements could be expensive as far as medication too, if it aggravates your condition. its a much different thing from the younger ones who need to start a career, or need to move on with their life's, make a income,
    I am trying to work for about 1 more year , and than will make a decision on whether to through in the towel and retire since I can no longer work . I returned to work was back doing ok for over a year, but than they assigned me work that was well outside my medical restrictions and caused new problems and aggravated my existing medical problems. I have been out for another 4 months since my recent injury .
    you could apply for SSDI now and in 6 months you may have found that had to already stop working , so the papaer work will already be started and in the system.

  9. #9
    Guest
    Ditto metronyguy's post. You've got to make your body the best it can be. Sure, give work a chance if you want, but have it set up, so that if you find you can't work without killing yourself, your SSDI wheels will already be rolling. Your health comes first.

    I don't want to discourage you. If your body can handle it..wonderful..more power to you! I also know from watching my husband that a long day at a desk, a long commute, not enough sleep because of the first two, can wreck a man's health. And he's only 32/33. Some with SCI are in better shape than others, so it's easy to say..."get a job". My hubby, like you, wants to work, and he's sticking it out as long as he can. But, it's getting hard. If he has to go back to SSDI, so be it. Like I have always told him...I'd rather have you poor, than not have you at all!...and sometimes, depending on your circumstances, SSDI is the most cost-effective way. Good luck to you!

    Carol

  10. #10
    I'm a C-7 and started back to work last Nov. I work for a Construction Company I work for before I was hurt. I work as a Job Super making sure things get order and Sub-contractor so up and do their work when they are suppose to. Lot's of phone calls and paperwork goes with this job. I don't write good so I type all my stuff on the computer or record are Architect meeting. VCR is paying my Boss my wages for training me on the job for 6 month. Maybe next fall I will start college for Cad-drawing programs for Blue prints. Both my Boss and VCR are pushing me to do that. I know every injury is different but what I wouldn't give to be a para and have the use of my hands. It's time to Cowboy the fxxk up guys!LOL Joking people I know I'm lucky to have the support and help I do! This life sucks and the jobs we did before are impossible to do now but there is jobs and people out there who will let us work. The pay might not be as good as before but its better then nothing. My first check made me sick compared to what I used to make. VCR made it clear to my Boss after on job training and them paying him that they expected him to raise my wages. He said he could see it raising 50% after 6 month talking with my VCR consoler yesterday. My Boss is very understands about if I need a day off or need to do something else. IF you'll be up front about what you needs are and what could happen before you start they will understand. I drive 50 miles round trip a day and work from 5-7 hrs a day. The only reason I don't work 8 hrs a day is because my aide will only come at 7:30 am. I've made a lot of new friends since started working again.

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