The WAITING ROOM => Emotional/Spiritual help and encouragement => Topic started by: surgtech1956 on May 03, 2007, 05:41:22 PM

Title: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: surgtech1956 on May 03, 2007, 05:41:22 PM
For a background here - I fell onto my right knee May 2006.  I've been on work restrictions.  Diagnosis - incomplete patella fracture, dashboard injury - patella femoral joint contusion.  I had a knee scope in January - still off work.  I still have the pain in my knee - with walking, sitting too long, standing, kneeling, waking me up at night with pain.  I just saw my OS on April 30th - she wants to see me July 3rd - still off work.  I guess I have some arthritic changes now. She prescribed Celebrex and Glucosomaine.  Talked about some other pain meds than Vicodin.  Also has talked about Faulkerson's Procedure or Patella Femoral Joint Replacement - possible down the road.  I think when I go back in July she wants to start Hyalgan Injections.  I respect and trust her judgment/skills - I've worked side by side her for 5 years - so thats not an issue.  I do have an attorney  thats monitoring my case. This is workers compensation - which thats a whole issue all its own.  I've been collecting workers compensation benefits.  When I spoke with my attorney, he suggested that I apply for Social Security Disability to get the ball rolling, since it can take awhile - by the way I just turned 51.  I guess what depressing me is thinking about this disability issue.  Up until my fall last year, I was doing my job(Surgical Technologist), had the work friendships, use to doing the job for 12 years, then bamb my world is turned upside down.  Anyone else have to go on disability because of your injury??  Hope do you deal with everything??  Thanks for letting me vent. 
Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: jathib on May 03, 2007, 07:40:00 PM
You'd be better off trying to find some work that allows you to sit. Since you're in the medical field it shouldn't be that hard to be retrained. I trashed my knee 34 years ago but thankfully I was promoted a few months ago so I don't have to do a lot of physical stuff anymore. I was getting close to not being able to handle my old job. I had a partial replacement right after my promotion so now I surely couldn't do my old job. Being disabled is not something I could handle. If I were you I'd start thinking about what I could do and look into retraining. Better to focus on what you *can* do rather than what you cannot. It takes most people a couple of years at least to get social security disability, and during that time you're not allowed to work.
Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: Sandy_F on May 04, 2007, 01:50:19 PM
Social Security Disability is for someone who cannot work at all.  With a knee injury, doing some things is impossible and very painful but not everythng.  Moving to a sedentary job may be what you need to do.  I had a similar problem.  I have had both my knees replaced.  Neither turned out as we planned.  Both are painful and give me problems.  That along with other medical issues have caused changes in my work life.  I have had to move to a sedentary job too.  Its not of my choosing but its a necessity. 
Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: brattkids on May 05, 2007, 12:34:14 AM
My husband had a problem and was injured at work. His was a workmans comp case also and his doctor had put him off work for over 9 months. He is a road patrol officer and the doctor told him that he can no longer do that job safely (his knee is so bad he could fall if he tried to run)  so he applied for disablility and was turned down because as SSI put it he could be "retrained" for a job that he could either sit at or partially sit at. So he now sits at a desk at work and takes reports from there. He was at least lucky enough his place of employment let him do that.

Best of luck to you if you do apply!!!!


p.s. he was also told that if he could not return at all to his place of employment that the state would pay for him to go back to school to be educated in something else. This may be an option for you too.
Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: DeborahinNC on May 05, 2007, 03:33:48 PM
Hi Surgtech,

I too may be facing having to leave the career that I really love.  It will not be an easy decision but I know that I can find something else to do.  Perhaps you can teach others to do what you once did.  It is a way to keep working, keep in your field and continue to help others do a good job in that field.  If you need the disability I hope it will be there for you but be ready for a fight.  I have had friends who were truly in need (not saying that you are not) and have been fighting for years to get on the disability rolls. 

I have been up and down with my knee for two years.  The frustration levels are high but after the initial depression of possibly having to quit being a paramedic I have come to the conclusion that there is much I can still do in this field.  Currently I am back at work but luckily for me I am not on an ambulance the whole time but on a supervisor vehicle.  I'll make it for a while longer, at least until we decide if replacement is sooner rather than later.  I fully understand the feelings that you are having.

I hope that whatever you decide to do it goes smoothly and without much stress.

Let me know how your doing.

Take care,

Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: mccreamark on May 10, 2007, 01:50:08 PM
 Iam in a similar position,I was a house painter and can't walk with ruptured patella tendons on both knees neither have healed properly . I got the forms for disability  last week and can,t bring myself to fill them out I feel if I send the form I am giving up a calling myself disabled i don,t really think i am  disabled. i actualy feel like i,m lying to the goverment. I keep trying to think of something I can do from home to earn money, I hate the idea of having someone else tell me what i can and can,t do . I want to be self sufficient.
i ireland it is very hard to find a job if you are disabled in any way and most workplaces have no allowences for disabled people. i  can,t walk far or use stairs.
I keep hoping I'll get better before I have to do this
Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: kc1124 on May 11, 2007, 03:42:01 AM
I can sympathize with you.  My PM&R doctor called me yesterday to see how I was feeling, and he mentioned that at my next appt. we need to start talking about me not working anymore.  Now, I need to work for the income.  Luckily, I am on my husband's insurance.  I am an admin. asst. at an elementary school, but the work is hard.  I am not just sitting at a desk all day - I cover for the nurse when she is in class; I run lunches, forgotten homework, messages to the classrooms all day; I repair the copy machine when it goes down; plus I do my job when I can fit it in.  Well, you get the idea.

Anyway, I think this is the type of job someone with knee problems can do, but it is killing me.  I do not qualify for state disability because in my state, state workers do not pay into the system.  I had to purchase disability insurance on my own, and guess what the put riders on - you got it - both my knees.  So I am screwed there.  The only thing left is SS Disability which I do not even know if I qualify for. 

Then comes the problem without my income, trying to live just on my husband's.  How do we pay the rent, gas, electric, phone, etc.  How do we pay for private school tuition for our kids?  How do we do anything.  It is a very scary situation. 

I usually like seeing my PM&R but am dreading the June appt. 

Please keep sharing and let me know what you find out and how you are coping.  I will do the same.

Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: mccreamark on May 14, 2007, 06:05:32 PM
Hi KC .
I,m in the same position .My daughter is in private school too. I still can,t walk or even stand for long on crutches after a year.I can almost work but the pain and the danger of a re-rupture is too much for me. I,m not sure what to do I haven,t sent in the form yet but I may have to. I,m trying all sorts of things to bring in money but so far have only spent money.
I have a workshop in my backyard from my old painting business and I,m going to try to make some bee-hives for a friend.My wife took over the painting business but can only do the small jobs and it ,s not enough to keep things going.My ideas get more kooky as I get more desperate.
Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: lovemybones on June 02, 2007, 05:44:01 PM
Hi surgtech,
I broke the femoral condyle in my right knee in Dec '05.  It healed but out of alignment and caused a noticeable valgus deformity, crooked leg.  And I also couldn't bend it beyond 35 degrees.  I was on state disability for a year, but then filed for Social Security Disability which I'm in now.  I'm an Exec Recruiter by profession and travel 50% of the time, including airport travel.  I wouldn't have been able to swing this recovering from my leg injuries (I also broke other bones two months prior in a motorcycle accident).  Anyway, I went through different emotions with the application process.  I'm 44 and have been working since I was 15 years old, very independent and resourceful.  However, I changed my attitude with the disability as you know what we've been paying into this system for years and it is insurance. You use it when you cannot work or cannot find sedentary employment.   I was approved and will receive it until such time that I can return to work.  I did my research and made sure I kept in touch with the individual who was handling my case; you really do have to keep up on them and I would always call to ensure they received the required paperwork that usually had a deadline.  More than once, it was not received or lost.

It can take 4 months to 2 years to process your application, so it's better to file as early as possible.  It helps tremendously to actually go into your local office vs applying on-line and also gather ALL of your medical records in advance and submit them with your application.  This is the piece that generally slows down the proces -- the gov't having to secure your medical records.  Hospitals are slow in providing them for whatever reason.  I did not submit mine with my application and eventually got tired of waiting; gathered up all of the documents and faxed them.  My application was approved a month later.

So yes it sucks, this whole ordeal sucks!  But at least I have financial peace of mind and I can focus completely on my recovery.  I'm having more knee surgery at the end of this month with another substantial recovery period.  It is my six operation in less than 1 1/2 years.  Had I been working, this would been hard to negotiate.

Here's some information you might find helpful:

Best wishes!


Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: kc1124 on June 03, 2007, 03:19:18 AM
Hi Mark,

How have you been?  Sorry I have not responded to your post, but I have been feeling really down lately and it has taken me a while to get out of my funk.

I see my PM&R doc on Tuesday and the disability discussion is going to come up.  I don't know what to do. 

Things aren't getting any better.  About 2 mos. ago I feel at work on both knees.  Now the right is really acting up and I have to go for an X-ray and MRI Monday night.  I need that knee for everything because the left can do nothing. 

Thanks for listening.  Hope all is well.

Talk to you soon,


P.S. - I know about the financial thing.  My husband is working his Mon-Fri full time job plus a part-time job  Saturday and Sunday, 10 hours each day.  I am working full-time plus have the kids all week and weekend.  It's so hard.  How would we manage with me not working?

Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: stgiles16 on June 10, 2007, 05:50:55 AM
hi surg, i was originally injured in 2001. i finally filed for my SSD in 2005. unfortunately, i developed other health problems besides the orthopedic ones. I too worked my entire life and it was a difficult decision to even file for SSD but i had no other option. I did not file for years because I kept thinking that this next surgery was going to be the one that 'fixed' me and that i could return to work. i have tried two times to return to work but it is impossible. My OS and GP have both stated that I am permanently disabled but I have been turned down twice already by social security. i am supposed to go before a judge to fight for it sometime in the next few months.  We went from being a fairly well off family to a family that barely makes it from pay check to paycheck. My husband was laid off a year after my accident and his income has never returned to it's former level. I have a son in college (not on fulll scholarship) and a daughter in highschool so I totally understand the financial aspect of filing. THe emotional one is a hard one to get over.  Before I filed for SSD, I would make sure that there is not another job that you are qualified to do (sedentary) because social security is really tough on that one.  Social security even admitted in my last denial that I am physically totally disabled BUT they said that I can think and talk so there has to be a job out there somewhere for me. too bad that they did not consider the amount of pain medication that I take when they were talking about my 'thinking' abilities.
good luck
Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: mccreamark on June 16, 2007, 10:32:11 AM
 I couldn,t do it  I had all the papers  laid out but couldn,t  mail it .Also I had heard a lot about if you can do any job  at all they wont get disability.So I figured as  we have our own painting business we will have to try to focus on jobs with no stairs or elevators and I,ll do what I can and my wife can do the rest. Since My first post my knee has improved greatly,all of a sudden my physio paid off my knee started to bend and I went from 65 deg to 105 in 2 months after a year at 60 deg,( Ifeel like Eddie murphy in trading places "it,s a miracle Ican walk" well almost) I am able to go to work with my wife and help . I  have braces on both knees and mostly roll walls and ceilings  I am using the  (Moses technique) using the roller pole as a staff(crutch).I can also paint the top half of a door .
I  think that in my case I when the doctors said that i would never bend my leg past 60 degrees I was really down and felt disabled  and all my family and friends kept telling me to file for disability.
But i think that they didn,t know what they were talkIng about (doctors and family)and pretty much had written me off. Now I feelthat it was just a very long recovery (and still is) and I am not really disabled just a very long injury.
gee I hope I,m right.

Anyway good luck and I hope your health improves.
Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: uufan on June 16, 2007, 04:57:34 PM
My situation different, becouse I am just 3 month post injury.  OS told me that I will not be able to walk independently, and will be able to get at most 50% use of my leg back.  But when I asked him for paper work for SSI, and to get car adapted he will not give it me. 
Title: Re: depressed - filing for disability???? anyone have to go on disability??
Post by: Rondyliz on September 01, 2020, 05:51:59 PM
Hi, I hope you got the help you wanted and I'm sorry I'm having to reply to a post that is more than a decade old but I wanted to expand on something that someone already mentioned and hopefully this will help someone else that may find themselves in your position.

Social security disability income can help support you whiles you undergo treatment for your injury. You have to apply early because the process can take a long time to get approved. You may wait for years to get approved but there are ways you can speed up the process. You can consult the Blue Book from social security authority to see if you qualify for disability benefits. But basically, you qualify if your injury prevents you from earning an income above a certain threshold.

I will love to go into detail but you can get more information by calling or visiting your local social security office. ( has a list of social security offices for every state so visit the site and use the search function to find the closest social security office to you. You'll find all the contact information you need on there.