I have an idea and I think it could work. A few weeks ago, I posted about my frustration with trying to get my SSD approved and the fact that I "look" normal and can speak eloquently. Many of you commented that you have a similar problem. In fact, so similarl that I could have written some of your comments myself.
Would any of you be willing to write a letter to SSD about your own issues with peoples' perceptions, and send the letters to me? I don't want to impose on anyone but if this works, it's something we could each do for one another when the need arises. Let me know what you think. If it's a "go" I will post a mailing address for sending the letters. (May have them go straight to my attorney.) Who knows - letter writing campaigns have accomplished lots of things in history.
I'm not sure how effective this letter writing campaign will be. I'm afraid that writing SSD letters for their lack of response is just going to get another lack of response. The SSD frustration that we've all dealt with (which is to be expected) can only be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. I was turned down twice, until two years an SSD attorney took my case. No money out of my pocket. He was paid through the SSD back pay. I got a check for $47,000 and he was paid a percentage of this. I wouldn't waste your time on writing letters, unless they are to help you track down an SSD attorney.
I already have an attorney, and my case is in the appeal process. My thought is not to just write a bunch of letters straight to SSD, but rather to be able to carry them into my hearing. My lawyer has said they haven't approved me because they think I'm faking, and I want to be able to show this is a common problem among us suffering with a TBI.
I can write eloquently because I can proofread, but even that does not help me every time, because sometimes an inappropriate word choice seems "normal" to me when I proofread. However, I found an online grammar checker that helps identify inappropriate word choices. My speech is all over the place. Some days my speech is normal. Some days it is so slurred I cannot make myself understood. Even though I have extreme narcolepsy and cataplexy, with occasional difficulty speaking, I have appeared normal when interviewed, possibly because the adrenaline caused by the interview wakes me up enough to briefly perform normally. I never know from one day to the next whether I will have two productive hours, or six, but I rarely have more than two consecutive productive hours on any given day. I have gone without any form of income for over a year since a car hit my bicycle while I was bicycling for exercise. The income I have received has been in form of unreliable gifts from friends and family. I was turned down for food stamps. When I failed to meet a deadline to provide information, my Indiana Health Insurance was revoked with a one-year penalty for failure to respond in a timely manner: a requirement I was incapable of meeting because of my brain injury. A judge later overturned the one-year penalty, but that has not helped me get any other form of assistance. Having been turned down three times for social security disability, and finding that other assistance programs base their acceptance on social security acceptance, I have been without assistance this entire time. I don't see how anyone with a legitimate problem could possibly get approved, because a prerequisite for acceptance appears to be the ability to complete forms that I cannot complete on a schedule I cannot keep.
It seems obvious to me that only cheaters could possibly get through the system.
The system is difficult BECAUSE there are so many people out there cheating it, NOT the other way around. As most people know, Getting SSI or SSDI is a long process; you ALWAYS get turned down the first two times, many the third, and it is not until the fourth that chances improve greatly. ~~~ It is MUCH better than it used to be. Having a TBI, as we all know, is the epitome of complex, so it goes w/o saying that we DEPEND on others much much more. Family, friends, Loved ones. If this thread proves one thing at all, it is that we MUST help and look out for each other. MUST!