Marsha (not her real name) is just one year away from retirement—she is 64 years old. She planned on working for at least another two years, but had to resign this year. "My hands and wrists absolutely quit on me so I went to a doctor because I was afraid of losing my good job, which I loved," she says. Her doctor determined that Marsha had carpal tunnel syndrome.
"I had to quit work because I knew I couldn't do the month end and all the reports that went with it," she explains. "My job consisted of writing, typing, stapling paper, etc., all of which I could no longer do. After I saw the doctor I knew that my hands wouldn't get any better and surgery was not an option; the waiting list was too long and carpal tunnel surgery wasn't even guaranteed to work. And most importantly I couldn't afford it nor would my boss let me have time off work. I went online for help, found a local attorney here in Tulsa and ended up settling a claim with Workers Compensation.
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Marsha regrets not getting an experienced attorney's advice; she believes that her chances of appealing the SSDI claim are nil. "The attorney I spoke with said I can't appeal my social security disability claim because I filed for SSI first. What do I know about social security laws? Absolutely nothing, and it is so complicated. To make matters worse, I have also been denied health insurance benefits. The bare minimum is available if you are on SSI.
"Now I have a glimmer of hope that I'm not too late to hire an attorney; to help me with the appeals process. I don't even know if my time has expired for appealing their decision…"