Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How to get on disability

I don't know this because I am on disability, but because I have tried to get on it and failed....twice.  I am wondering if some members of my family and friends know just what it takes to get a disability pension.  I think that there are a few that really have no idea what it takes to even be eligible to even apply....that all I would have to do is write my name, address and answer some questions on some form that says "Government of British Columbia" in the top left hand corner, mail it in to some office, then a week later I get a check, and every month after that, until I find something better to do with myself than wait for my monthly $906.  That is so NOT how it works.  Getting a disability pension is actually a process that can take up to a year or more.  That year consists of applying, waiting, being denied, appealing, than some more waiting.  The steps go something like this:
1. Apply for and get on income assistance.
To get on income assistance, you must be broke. As in, so broke you can't rub two dimes together.  You also can't be in any type of postsecondary program.  As far as the clerks and whoever else is concerned, this is rule number one; college students and anyone in any kind of educational program can NOT be on income assistance.  The same rule applies to those who happen to have some money squirreled away somewhere, even if it would be gone in just a few months or even weeks.  Even if it would be gone in the amount of time it takes for them to process your application (about six weeks), you're still not eligible.  To be eligible for the $610 that those on income assistance get, you have to be minus dollars, with no income.  If you apply for disability and you're not on income assistance, you get your application back, saying that it couldn't be processed, because you're not on their radar.
2. Apply for disability
The first step in doing this is going to your doctor and getting him/her to fill out a form.  The two times I did it, it was painful.  Anyone listening in on that interview would think that I'm just trying to find a way to easy street, because there is nothing physically wrong with me.  All of my issues are mental; my anxiety and my Asperger's.  After that, you have to have countless meetings with a social worker, to make the application as targeted as possible.  This could take weeks, or even months to do.
So there you go.  The long process of getting on provincial disability, at least as far as I know.  There could very well be more to the process (I think that there might be) but this is as far as I have gotten.

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