caret icon Back to all discussions

SSDI/SSI application process and waaaaaaaitnnnnng forever...

Hello everyone! I finally attempted to reconcile my emotions associated with "disability" with the reality of life with psoraitic arthritis. And started to prepare myself for the journey (at least in Amercia) to apply for disability benefits.
We do have great information/articles about the disability application process so I know to prepare for a wait. We also have another discussion started here: https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/forums/applying-disability
But I wanted to come back around to it and see if anyone has experiences or tips they would be willing to share with me...? From my basic research I'm prepared to be part of the 75-80% of people denied the first time around, but I'm trying to also remain hopeful. I taught for over 15 years and have even transitioned to part-time, which soon became unmanageable as well.
Anything I should know or be doing in the 3-6 month wait for an answer? I will certainly appreciate any positive vibes or prayers you could send my way (if that's your thing)!
Take care of yourself my little PsA family. -Leanne (Team Member)


  1. Hi sending you prayers and positive vibes that everything goes as smoothly as possible for you! Jill, Team Member

    1. I am a massage therapist, over 20 years now. I have had an Aflac disability policy for many years to cover me for such a time as this. My Rheumatologist will NOT agree to let me use this policy before going to an Occupational Therapist. I am 60 years old. I am sure I could maybe do a part time cashiers job, but I have this policy that will pay me when I can no longer do my job as a Massage Therapist. That time has come!! I am struggling to make ends meet and pay my insurance premium. Should I look for another Rheumatologist?

      1. Hi @susanjoines, thanks for joining the conversation. I am sure this must be a very challenging and frustrating time for you. Do you like your current rheumatologist? If so, would you be willing to see an OT so that you can continue your care with your rheumatologist and be able to use your disability policy? If you are not happy with the care your doctor is providing you, The National Psoriasis Foundation does have a list of medical providers that can be filtered by location. https://www.psoriasis.org/health-care-provider-directory/. I am not sure if you will run into the same situation with your disability policy, but hopefully this directory can give you some options to contact. I hope this is helpful. Jill, Team Member

      2. Hi . Many insurance companies have some pretty stiff criteria for approving disability claims. They will probably want proof that you tried OT before they will approve you. So you might want to give it a try. If OT doesn't help you return to massage therapy and your rheumatologist still refuses to support you, then in might be time to find someone new. Best wishes! - Lori (Team Member)

    2. I got diagnosed late have it for over 10 yrs..... and have joint damage and some fingers are deformed...the pain on my back and shoulders makes my life very difficult and I was denied on my appeal. I am appealing the judge's decision and my case has been assigned to another judge, I have an attorney now but is a long road. I am very tired of always being in pain and keep going until I can. walking is getting too difficult. I like reading about other people's journey I don't feel alone. Others feel exactly like me. I miss having conversations. but more I miss having friends. Good vives 4 you.

      1. Hi . I hope it helps to have a lawyer handling the case for you and that your disability claim is approved. Please know we are here for you whenever you need support or a place to vent. You have lots of people here who understand where you are coming from and you never know when a conversation with someone here might lead to friendship. Best wishes! - Lori (Team Member)

      2. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. Like you said, it does help to know that others experience the same things. It sometimes feels like we are always fighting something- our bodies, tests, insurance companies, and on it goes. I'm hopeful for you now that you have an attorney involved. I'm sure we can both agree that in a perfect world, it shouldn't have to come to that, but there you have it I guess. You will certainly be in my thoughts and I really hope you have some better days ahead for you. 😀 -Leanne

    3. I’m on my 4th attempt, and I’m using a law firm that doesn’t charge unless I get approved, and they only get 20% of the back pay, but it’s also caped at like $10k or something like that.


      After the first denial the lawyer requests a judge makes a ruling, after that denial the Lawyer resubmits it for a third denial and back to a judge for a 4th ruling. I think I’m still at this point or I’m on my 5th attempt.


      They think just because it hurts less to sit that a minimum wage entry level job as mail sorter is what’s best for my situation. However I can’t work an 8hr shift let alone use my hands more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time and no longer that 2 hrs for the day of I won’t be able to use my hands the next day.


      Just typing this message has taken 30 minutes and my hands are in terrible pain.


      Leanne I hope things work out for you.

      1. I was told the same thing when I filed for disability. They listed me being a coin sorter as a possible job. Mail sorter was another. I am sorry you are dealing with it all. I hope it works out for you. Vickie W., Team Member

      2. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me 😀 I really appreciate it. I think it really makes it difficult to quantify the express the depth of the fatigue and pain that we experience. Honestly, the fatigue in particular because everyone just seems to think we are "tired." I truly hope that you get the support you need and things seem to turn in your favor soon. If you feel comfortable, keep us updated on how it is going for you. You will be in my thoughts 😀 -Leanne (Team Member)

    or create an account to reply.