"They did however, require me to meet with a Dr to check for cognitive problems."
I went through that testing, too! I was in severe pain on that day, and the memory things really get me. It's like I can do 2 steps in my head, but add a third and my mind goes completely blank! I have difficulty repeating a telephone number back. I have about a thousand "notepad" files on my computer, because I cannot remember sh*t! I ran computer networks and could remember everything and learn new software all the time, but if my computer effs up now I will get easily frustrated! They try to trick you and test you - the psychologist's office was on the second floor, and I could not climb the steps outside, I had to search for an elevator! He took note of that, believe me!
I worked full time for 10 years after I got better the first time. Then I got endometriosis and had surgeries and was in such severe pelvic pain i could no longer work at all. I had long-term disability through my work, which was really lucky for me, because it took me EIGHT YEARS to get SS disability!! I had a private lawyer the first time, and the SS panel just ignored what their own rheumatologist said after examining me!! They made me go through hell, but I did finally prevail.
After the first time, my disability insurer, which had changed hands already, hired ALLSUP, and they were fantastic! I would not recommend a private disability lawyer ever after that. At my hearing the female judge re-instated my disability for all the EIGHT YEARS I had been denied!!
I was so happy - but if I had not had my work disability during those eight years I would have beeen destitute! I will have it until age 65, and they still also put money into my retirement plan. I never knew I would get fibromyalgia at age 31, and become permanently disabled at age 42. Those ten years I did work were incredibly important!
It does not seem right that if you are too sick to have worked for a long time, you are not eligible. I would think you would be more eligible, as you were unable to work! Call up some of the big companies like ALLSUP and check it out before you give up on it. It's quite a learning curve having to figure all this out, especially when you are sick as a dog!
Young people should be PRESSED to start their retirement plans early, and make sure they have long-term disability before something happens to them to make them ineligible for it! I was lucky, because I worked for a non-profit that had really excellent benefits - much better than corporate companies who are always trying to squeeze the last dime out of everything. Benefits can matter more than your paycheck! I could probably have made better money working somewhere else, but since I already had fibro I did not want a job which was too stressful, or had to work overtime. I could work nine hours a day before I crashed, but that limit was set in stone for me. I also kept my condition a secret, and when I did have problems blamed it on my bad back - which was true, just not the whole truth! I always had people around to lift things for me. I had difficulty even carrying a 7-pound laptop up stairs - I worked in a historical brownstone in DC, that had no elevator!
If i had to exist on JUST SS, and did not have my work disability to supplement it, it would be very difficult for me to live by myself. You can't have a decent lifestyle anymore on just one income. I am very careful, because I never know what could happen. I have been living in a hotel, which is crappy, but if I had to be in the hospital or something, I would be able to reduce my rent to a minimal storage fee. You can't do that living in an apartment! I also did not have to buy furniture, which would get expensive if I decideed to move. It's also convenient to have ONE BILL for everything, and not have to worry about changing utility bills, so it's practical. Unfortunately, many smokers have occupied this room before me, and that smoke NEVER goes away. They would have to tear out the rug for it to have any effect at all! I would REALLY like to have my own bed again - that is my DREAM!
I lived in the same apartment for 15 years, and it was way too expensive to move, and pay for storage. I had to let it all go, 20 years of furniture and belongings. But I can't dwell on that. I'm glad that I am feeling better after being so sick last year. Really that's all that matters to me at this point.
Well, I guess I really went off on a tangent - please forgive me!