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There is a reason that the ELEVEN MOST MISTRUSTED WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARE: "TRUST ME - I'M FROM THE GOVERNMENT - I'M HERE TO HELP YOU."
I am one of those people who waited FOREVER to get my disability claim approved by Social Security. I see television PSA's that if you can't work because of health, Social Security is there for you. What a steaming pile of crap! They do EVERYTHING they are able to deny your claim and send you away no matter WHAT your disability. At every turn, they are there to OBSTRUCT rather than to FACILITATE. I am a person with AIDS. Last time I checked, HIV/AIDS is NOT something that you can recover from. People do NOT sero-convert from HIV+ to HIV-. It is a scientific impossibility. Yet, disability examiners determined that I was not impaired (even though I could hardly walk up the STAIRS to their examining doctor's office. The long and short of it is that I finally DID win the case and the disability benefit - - but only after losing my house, car, and credit. HERE'S A HINT IF YOU ARE FILING A DISABILITY CLAIM: GET A LAWYER! All I got from Social Security was snottiness and attempts to intimidate me out of filing a claim or a reconsideration request. When I conscripted a lawyer, their tone changed ENORMOUSLY. I fought with them for ONE YEAR and got no where. But once the lawyer took over the whole thing was settled in less than 3 months. When I went to my local office to inform them that I had retained counsel, she launched into a very scripted-sounding diatribe about me not needing a lawyer, that it would make no difference, and that the lawyer would take a whole lot of money from me and do NOTHING to earn it. I think they (people who work for Social Security) are taught to say those things. Whatever you do, don't believe a word that Social Security tells you. When anyone (ESPECIALLY Social Security) tells you that you DON'T need a lawyer, run as fast as you can to find a good disability lawyer. The Social Security Administration has lost all credibility with me. To me, they are now just "So-So Security."