Nov 6, 2013

A Blogger Writes About His Father's Experience With Social Security Disability

Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest 
     A blogger writes about his experience when helping his severely depressed father apply for Social Security disability benefits. He was surprised to find that "We could actually get people on the phone when we called, and when we arrived, we didn't have to wait long to be set up with a caseworker, who was respectful, and very businesslike about it." The blogger was pleasantly surprised to find that the disability claim was quickly approved. 
     I'm happy for this blogger. I wish prompt approval was the norm for people suffering from severe depression but it isn't. At any given time I almost always have a client who Social Security disability claim has been denied even though is undergoing or has undergone Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) for profound depression. (I don't think that the blogger's father had ECT). You thought that ECT went away after One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest? You are younger and have never heard of ECT or One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest? Trust me. In extreme cases, doctors hook up electrodes to a person's head and run electric current through their brain in a desperate attempt to alleviate their depression. Sounds gruesome but fifty years ago it was a common treatment for many types of mental illness. Today it's still used but only for extreme cases of depression that don't respond to other treatments. It's now done under anesthesia. It's hardly a cure-all. I don't think I have to tell readers that there are potential side effects. Wouldn't you think that individuals who consent to go through this sort of thing have to be desperate for relief?  Nevertheless, Social Security still denies their disability claims.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

why is the type of treatment relevant for the purposes of determining whether someone can perform work-related activities.

There is a good argument that people receiving ECT are actually more employable than people abusing xanax, seroquel, etc.

Anonymous said...

Treatment basically can be indicitive of the credibility of the claimant, and support for any medical source statement of treating physicians. An applicant with two prior back surgeries and one who takes morphine, would have more credibility to their pain than someone who has tried physical therapy and takes Ibuprofen 800.

Anonymous said...

If you actually read the article, the blogger's father was paid because he has seizures, NOT solely due to depression.

Seizures are paid by DDS all the time. Depression, not so much...

Anonymous said...

Charles, I seriously doubt that you have a client at any given time who has undergone or is undergoing ECT and has been denied. Why? First, because this isn't the 50s and medicine has by and large stopped this barbaric practice. But more importantly, I work in the area where you practice, and in my time here I can count on one hand the number of records with ECT in the treatment notes.

Make your points, but please, stop with the hyperbole.

Social Security News said...

ECT a thing of the past? Hardly.
http://www.firsthealth.org/Specialties%20&%20Services/Behavioral%20Services/inpatient.asp