Disability insurance

I had my aneurism in March of 2021 and was released from the hospital in June of 2021, my wife filed for disability on my behalf and the doctors were more than happy to fill out the paperwork for my disability clam, but in August of 2021 in was going to run out and when I asked again about applying for disability my doctors said that the surgery was a success and medically I was fine so they denied my disability. My body may look fine and I speak and walk fine but still have anxiety and vertigo and really don’t think I am ready to go back to work. I am not looking for full time disability but just for a few more months while I continue to heal. Has anyone else had issues similar to this?

@Ckdkrk123 my disability journey was very difficult. Someone at the hospital I was in had actually sent a letter saying I could return to work in 2 weeks, although I was still in NSICU🤪. It took 2 1/2 years for me to eventually get SSD. I went to their psychologist and he said I should be able to get it though I shouldn’t hold my hopes up for it. I was very lucky as I worked for the county and was able to get my State Employee’s disability right away. The HR people did all that paperwork as soon as they let me go. There was no way I could return to my job, I couldn’t even drive but the mile or so to get to the PT, ST and my ailing parents, much less do all the other things my job required. It was very difficult for me emotionally not to be able to work. Being able to drive that short distance disqualified me for the long term disability I had paid into for years.

My doctors had signed all paperwork, apparently it wasn’t my rupture that qualified me, it was my spinal issues. My spine is very bad. The PT who did my evaluation after my spinal surgery said I had barely made it and if I didn’t want to go to back to work so badly, she would’ve signed off for disability then…that was the year before I ruptured. My State had reached out to all the PTs I worked with, the Neurosurgeon who did my back surgery and didn’t know how I was walking, the Neurosurgeon who did all my brain surgeries, the Psychologist I went to for testing, etc. Our state had a 21 month waiting list after denial of disability to be heard by a judge. The kind ladies at the Social Security office told me to hire an attorney immediately but I didn’t listen to them for about six months. The attorney we did hire said it would be an added x amount of months because of the backlog so I called one of my Senator’s office and was awarded SSD two weeks later.

I remember when I lived in CA, they had a short term disability that’s different from SSD, I had to pay as part of the State tax, but I’m guessing that’s ran out? Do you have any type of disability through your employment? Perhaps you could qualify if you do, without the physician’s signature, I’m not sure.

A couple of things that may help you is to go to a therapist for the anxiety, and see either a Neurologist or ENT for the type of vertigo you’re experiencing. There are different types of vertigo caused by different things. Though you may still not be eligible for disability, they might can help your symptoms. Depending on your insurance, you may have to be referred to a specialist by your PCP.

Best of luck,

Everyone gets turned down the first time. I don’t know who your attorney is but I made the mistake of going with a regular attorney the first time. If you haven’t already been to an attorney who specializes in disability claims, find one. Talk to people you know who are on disability and ask them who their attorney is. Hope this helps. Hang in there.


@Lee_F its nice to see you posting! You’re absolutely correct in suggesting we stay with attorneys who specialize in disability. Here in the States, disability attorneys have a set amount they are allowed to charge up to a certain set amount, it differs for each State,

I have only known a couple of folks who were able to get disability on their first try. One was awarded disability within months of a minor concussion when she went to work for a friend and the friend wrote a letter to SS outlining issues. The person was told they could return to work by their doctor, for some reason the person quit and went to work for the friend…

SS doesn’t have a code for everything, NC didn’t for a SAH when I applied, so there was no specific criteria for them to check. As I understand it from my disability attorney, they used the criteria for ischemic stroke.

It may behoove @Ckdkrk123 to try to return to work and if it’s too much, to have the employer write a letter to SS.

Thanks again for posting and hope to read more of your experience!

Hello, I’m so glad your body is healed. I had an aneurysm rupture behind my right eye 7 years ago. I was in the ICU and they said I wouldn’t survive. I was very lucky. I had anxiety and went through physical therapy to walk. That took about 3 months to walk. I had debilitating anxiety to the point I couldn’t be alone or go into public. I went to counseling to work through it. I fought it, the aneurysm didn’t kill me for a reason and it wasn’t to sit in my house and feel sorry for myself. I made myself get back out there and I’m so glad i did!!

I never filed for disability, so I can’t say much about that. What I can say is the vertigo will pass and the anxiety will get better. For me, I was back to work in 3 months. It was a very tough road but it was what was best for me. I didn’t want this aneurysm to dictate how I was going to live. This is just a suggestion, if you’re ok physically and it’s more mental look into support groups or therapy. It’s taken years to get where I am mentally and I feel amazing. You may decide that you may not need disability. You may find that this is a time to reflect on what you want to do professionally.

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I had trouble getting a handicap parking placard. I was denied disability for carotid stenosis and wet macular degeneration after an endarectomy and I read my appeal denial while I was in ICU after my aneurysm surgery and stoke. Reason … I didn’t attend my appeals hearing. The hearing was the day I had the aneurysm. My appeal to that was denied because no new information was given to change the decision. It sounds a lot like stupid but those dumb neurosurgeons couldn’t hold off my surgery until I got back from my disability hearing. If I were an alcoholic or if I was addicted to street drugs I would be in like Flint but a ruptured aneurysm I am going to have to have another angiogram for because they think I MAY have calcification inside the stent and the only way to find out is to let them go back in to see why I have moments of dizziness and have lost my balance. I really don’t care anymore. I saw my pulmonologist for the last time today. My friend (?) asked what did I expect him to do. Find out why I can’t talk and breath at the same time or walk and breath at the same time to start with? Asking too much? I have no cardio issues, so they say it must be a pulmonary issue. My pulmonologist’s stethoscope says my lungs sound good. End of story, he doesn’t see any reason for any follow up for a year. My PCP listens to my lungs with a stethoscope so I really don’t think there’s anything that I need a pulmonologist for. I am rapidly cutting a whole lot of this foolishness real fast. This is my “new normal” and according to the disability judge, I am perfectly normal.

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Individuals with addictions don’t automatically get SSD anymore, that changed years ago with laws passed on the Federal level. Though it was true for a very long time. I learned about that right after my rupture, it was the talk of my colleagues!

All the best,

Your body needs time to heal and rest as much as possible. I tried going to work but that was a painful mistake. Some people can return to work after a few weeks but some take years to recover. I tried going back to work too soon and that was a huge mistake. Ended up with dangerous blood pressure levels and several trips to ER. It’ Anxiety can be very serious and must not be taken lightly. Anxiety meds helped, & going to therapy is a must, it doesn’t make anxiety go away but helps. Don’t give up and file again & again. My wife had to do all that for me because I was in no condition to file the paperwork & do research. The disability process can be frustrating but don’t give up. Check with your state also, there are other options you just have to do research. Eat a healthy diet, plenty of fluids, & REST as much as possible. Wishing you the best!

New to this site, and trying to find the “magic” to get my wife disability after she suffered double brain aneurysm September 18th 2010.
Over the years we have attempted multiple times to submit application, and were denied every time with excuses - she did not have enough work credits - I made too much money - been too long since she worked so no case.
She survived a 5% chance of making it through, and wobbly walked out of the hospital to go home October 30th 2010. She has short term memory issues, wobbly walk, headaches, does not drive, work, cook, clean, carry her own plate for meals, laundry, finances…she does none of these anymore, as it is safer if she does not!
She actually drove twice post aneurysm, came home the last time, and handed me the keys. She can’t judge speed/distance to drive, forgot where she parked, could not figure out how to get home. Thirty minute store run turned into over 2 hrs.
So, any “magic” left out there to look into, as she has not been able to work, and her PP’s over the years have written the letters, but always an excuse not related to the letters were given for the denials. She is 59 now, I will be 62, and looking into early SS myself. But I need to maintain insurance for her meds and Dr visits.
Anyone in a similar boat?

Sorry to hear about your wife, I feel very lucky to be in the position I am that even though the first for months were tough I am doing well these days. I am going to be following this thread and hopefully someone out there can give you some good advise. I was on disability for 6 months after my hospital stay but it seemed like a fight to get my doctors to increase my disability time. I wish you and your wife all the best. Chris

Thanks Chris :slight_smile:

Welcome! Navigating SSD/SSDI is not for the weak of heart. It can be really confusing when we know someone needs it and is denied, repeatedly. First question - have you spoken to an attorney who specializes in disability? If so, what did they say? From my understanding they will only take cases they believe they can win. I remember when the attorney we hired met with us. The first time he spent about five minutes talking to us after we had completed all their forms and said he’d get back. The second much longer meeting was when he said he agreed to take the case and he believed he could win, but we would have to speak to the Judge in Raleigh, which is across the State from where we reside. He also told me not to wear my sunglasses as it would better show the Judge part of my issues. Poor man was really looking forward to taking the case to court. In the end, he believed I was awarded SSDI because of my lumbar diagnosis/surgery and not the SAH.

There are similar requirements for both types, besides the claims and appeal processes there are disability, educational level and age in most States. Every State is allowed to run their own Disability Department so there may be variances. Best for everyone to know what their State wants in terms of requirements.

SSDI is dependent on how many work credits a person has compiled. This basically relates to the amount you can receive for the amount you gave in taxes. When someone doesn’t have enough time paying into taxes, they then look at the criteria for SSD. In NC it was a little less than half of what I was making on my monthly salary. My work history spanned almost 40 years, so I met that criteria. They only look back so far. NC also has the educational level and age requirement. When I ruptured I had already been working in a field for a couple of decades I went to university for the degree. The attorney said if I hadn’t had that degree and had kept working in a factory, it would have been much easier for me to get disability. Because of the college degree, he basically said I was more marketable. Didn’t matter that I couldn’t drive at that time and we live in a semi rural area!

SSD is a different ball game. It is a needs based program for those who wouldn’t qualify for SSDI. This can include those who haven’t enough work history, haven’t started working and children. The person with the disability has to show a need for the benefit. This is also when they turn to the household income. It’s basically the government wanting to know if there is really a need. The amount paid to the recipient is extremely low and it has a cap. I think it was about a third of what I was able to get in SSDI. Usually individuals who qualify for SSD, can also receive other government assistance such as an EBT card. Minors can qualify for benefits through what their parent has earned and paid into.

The only “trick” I’m aware of is what a colleague did about the time I was laying in the NSICU trying to stay alive. She had been jogging apparently with a group, tripped and fell resulting in a minor concussion. She went to work for a friend who wrote a letter saying she couldn’t work due to memory issues, etc. She was able to receive SSDI within two months of her tumble.

Yep, my wife had multiple (4) lower and (3) cervical spine surgeries (in CO) years before her aneurysm in 2010 (AZ), doctors filled out paperwork and advised to file for disability then as well, and my income was pitiful at the time.Went to multiple personal injury attorneys with same results, nothing!
Said she could do a sit down job so could still work!

Same with aneurysm, all disability attorneys, which agreed with SSD findings so no case…UGH!

Not a bad thing I guess that we are doing what we need to do on our own, as the government coffers are already overspent, but she feels so bad not able to assist with regular household income. This would be her only way to contribute, and for years it has evaded all efforts to get accepted. I guess we do not play the game correctly or something :confused:

Sunny, I guess I’m assuming your wife ruptured, is that correct? BH tells me all the time I contribute to the home. I can no longer cook unsupervised, but I can do all the prep and have it ready to go in small bowls. Things just take a bit of time for me. I think it would be nice if we could access Vocational Rehab so we could be retrained in something. Then if we no longer have the ability, Voc Rehab would let SSA know, seems to be backwards the way it is now. We have to be awarded disability and then we can go to Voc Rehab. The government has no answer to how we are supposed to get retrained when we can no longer drive, do house chores or the myriad of things we need memory for. There’s something very wrong with the system in my opinion.

It can really take a toll on our self esteem if we can’t work and want to. We have a friend that can no longer work because of his brain. They’ve never figured it out but have him on a lot of meds so he does t fall and can do some simple things. On good days, he has a couple of hobbies that he can do. He’s joined a group of other folks and when they get enough of their crafty things completed, they sell them at a craft fair. My oldest cousin supplemented their income with quilting. We have another friend that makes quilts out of peoples favorite t-shirts. Maybe there’s something she loves to do that she can sell.

Yes she ruptured, and made it with quick medical care.

As her balance is not good, she does not stand very long, and the cooking for the past 11+ years now has just settled into “easier” if I do it. We do not typically use a lot of dishes for our meals, only 1 or 2 items so cleanup is easier, so nothing gained to have her do small stuff for prep.

As for crafting etc, she never was one for household stuff like that, so most of her days are on computer games, which she never tires of playing. She was all about yard work, super house cleaning, laundry, cooking, camper set up for weekends, etc, but balance and memory issues have been lost now :frowning:

We have a few family get togethers for camping or pool parties throughout the year (she does not usually swim as it is tiring), and we do not have “friends” outside of that. We live a very much home life, her on computer, and I do have my Jeep wrenching, which she does go for a rare ride.

Thank you for the suggestions, and all good ones, just not her forte.

Yes the whole Voc Rehab stuff is all backwards, and things are very wrong on that front.

Again, thoughts to consider to try and get her moving perhaps towards some other skill sets :slight_smile:

Thanks for the clarification! There’s a big difference between having an aneurysm and one that has ruptured in how to effects our brain. When I started chopping and measuring things in the beginning I would get some things wrong and forget others. But we found a system that works.

I believe if you start a new topic on asking for suggestions to help with balance and memory issues, you will be able to find out how many different ideas there are from those of us who have them and have overcome them. There’s so many on different topics it would be nice for members to get to see the ideas all in one place!

Affects of her aneurysm are not what I am looking for help with, as that is the easy part.

Looking for help with the “system”, and how she can show she deserves to collect her disability or SS, due to medical issues that keep her from being able to work and have an income.

As I have our only income since her aneurysm in 2010, and not always the best, she so much wishes she could contribute to the household. I encourage her and let her know she does her part that she is able, but income is what she is trying to figure out…as her contribution.

If this forum is not where I need to be, please direct me elsewhere.


Sunny, the only thing I know is to hire a disability attorney. The attorney may have some ideas that no one has thought of, I wonder if she’s allowed to use your income, I just don’t know.

Just give members some time to respond on how they acquired disability long after the rupture or any other disability. You also might want to try Quora and see what ideas people come up with…

You had mentioned she has some balance issues, memory issues, etc which is why I suggested starting another topic, I meant no offense. But with those issues many members can help be supportive.

My concern is she may have to get some type of job to show she cannot work. It’s a friggin two edge sword isn’t it? I know for me the ability to bring in some type of income makes me feel like I contribute. But since I don’t see the check, I have to be reminded. I’m wondering if she could take the disability transportation to a part time job maybe through a temp service and they could write a letter to SS saying why she cannot work. I was allowed to use that form of transportation before I was awarded disability.

I’m talking to BH who reminded me I have a cousin who does medical transcribing in her home on her computer. She’s been doing it for years. It seems she doesn’t have to memorize anything, just look up the codes, again all on the computer! Ben’s Friends also has a Caregiver’s Support Group. https://caregiversupportcommunity.org/ They may be able to help you figure out this conundrum!