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What are your thoughts on SSDI with RA?

Well I have numerous health issues and now looks like I have rheumatoid arthritis. I’m 49 and have worked since I was quite young even with stomach, hearing, sleep, and back issues but gotta tell you I think RA has me beat.

So I’m not sure how long I can keep working with the pain and especially the fatigue and was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on SSDI (I know I won’t quality for SSD). Their experiences, what it finally took to take the step and quit the job you love to apply, how you coped with the loss, etc. Any thoughts pro or con of moving forward with applying would be most welcome.

  1. That is a lot of questions in tow paragraphs. So I will try to answer the questions.

    I was granted SSDI several years ago and have been on the program since that time. I am not certain how SSD is different than SSDI.

    What it finally took to apply? Well that may have been the hardest part. My wife and doctor stepped in and said I had come to an end of my work career. I knew in my heart it was the right decision but it was most difficult.

    In my case it was a three step process. First I had to decide to I would do it, then I had to tell my employer, then I apply for my company disability program and finally as a condition of being granted disability by my company I was required to apply for social security disability.

    How did I cope with the loss? Not well. I was literally lost for the longest time. I did not know what to do. So i did something I wanted to do. I went to school.

    I wanted to be a doctor of something so I enrolled in a program for a Ed.D. it was online and I took my time working at it. Six years later I graduated.

    Then I felt just as bad. So I started writing about diabetes, AS and RA. That is where I am today. I advocate for and write about all three issues. I do not make much money, a little, just enough to augment my retirement, disability income and my wife's retirement income.

    Do we make as much as when I was working? Not even close. Am I alive? Well yes. Have i ever used the additional education? No not at all. Am I happier? Most days.

    Do I miss working? Absolutely. Would I do it again? I would. It was difficult but yes i would do it.

    Let me know if I can answer other questions.

    rick - moderator

    1. Hi blakepoe. On top of the excellent information from Rick, I want to share with you the search results on the topic from our archive, as we have a number of articles on the various aspects of the SSDI process: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/?s=social+security.

      Concerning the RA, have you had success with any of the treatments? There are now a number of effective options and this article gives an overview: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/treatment/drugs-and-prescription-medications-for-ra/. Of course, your doctor may have already gone over these with you. Wishing you the best and hope you get some relief. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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