When I first got out of college and married, I worked for two years as a claims rep for Social Security. This was back in the early 70s.
SS Disability was really difficult to get. I would guess 90% of people who applied were turned down. After being denied one could file for a re-consideration. Practically no one ever got it on that.
I think you partially answered your own question, 1970’s vs the 2008 - present. A huge difference I’ve found. I’ve known several people who have managed to get on SSDI, and it usually takes more than one go around to do it but once they do in my neck of the woods which is very rural, getting on SS disability is considered the Brass ring on the Carousel of welfare. You are set for life!
And yes, it pisses me off to no end too.
Not certain when the rules got changed, but I do know that the private long-term disability insurance force their claimants onto SSDI as soon as they can.
However, I must state that there are MANY who are refused disability payments who truly deserve it.
I am one of those many who was initially rejected and then went thru 3 reapplications and then to the Administrative law judge before finally being granted the disability.
Not only was I rejected back in 1992 and filed a couple of appeals before realizing that I simply wasn't going to be approved. I reapplied again in December 2000 and it took me FIVE YEARS before I was finally approved by an Administrative Law Judge.
I had been suffering very much with back and knee injuries along with severe Cardiac arrhythmia's I incurred during my Army service. I had to have THREE major operations on my left knee which included having half of the Meniscus removed.
For my back, I had three CAT scans, one Myelogram which included a spinal tap to remove fluid from the spinal column follower by injection of a ‘contrast medium’ to highlight the open spaces in the spine. I had received three rounds of cortisone injected directly into the spine along with being on narcotic pain relievers and muscle relaxants. I was finally able to talk the hospital into giving me an MRI which finally showed where the problem was located.
During the mid 80’s and the 90’s I was hospitalized with severe chest pain and even diagnosed with heart attacks.
Xrays taken during stress testing clearly show an unnatural contraction pattern in the heart which indicated damage from the heart attacks.
During 1987 I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure on top of the diagnosed heart attacks.
During my working career, I regularly worked double shifts on Fridays and on 7 consecutive weeks I had to work triple shifts on Fridays just to keep up with the workload.
For most of 1991 and 1992 I was on full disability from the company I worked for. Early in 1992 I applied for both Social security disability and VA compensation for my disabilities and the pain I was in.
I was originally turned down by Social Security because I worked as a computer systems engineer, Systems specialist, and programmer and my injuries weren't considered severe enough to prevent me from working that job.
Social Security never considered that the positions I was working were regularly rated as one of the three most stressful jobs in America.
The VA rejected my claims for compensation for the knee and back even though they are clearly indicated in my service health care. They claimed that I was treated and the problems went away even though my service record shows at least four times I had to be treated during my three year enlistment for the back problems alone.
The VA gave me a service connected disability for the heart problems but they also rated it at zero percent due to me working a ‘desk job’ totally disregarding the actual job I worked.
During my appointment with the Administrative law Judge, he was very polite and considerate of my Army service which he thanked me for. By the time the meeting ended, both he and I were in tears and I knew that he realized the severity of my problems.
Based on some stories from my mother, I think you’ve nailed it. A lot of people seem to be getting on SSDI these days. She just can’t understand it.