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Gender Identity and SSI/Disability?

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Gender Identity and SSI/Disability?

Postby Forgottenpast » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:28 am

I've been living and working as a female for over 20 years now, however, many of the transsexuals I've known over the years were on SSI, or Social Security Disability. I must admit I've always been curious how they managed to receive benefits as I didn't think being transgendered is actually a disability. What their disability may have been otherwise they never really said.

As for myself, I once tried getting on SSI (Supplemental Security Income) nearly 10 years ago for my battle with severe depression and anxiety; social phobias and essential tremors (some of which is caused by physical ailments, I believe), but was denied twice. I guess my real fear and concern is I'll end up alone and homeless (I've known a few transsexuals who were) when my folks pass on. I also feel I'll continue to slip into deeper suicidal despair as the years go on. I've just always been somewhat curious how so many transsexuals managed to receive disability benefits fairly easily to deal with their emotional or physical pain and sorrow. I didn't want to seem rude or out-of-line by asking them such personal questions directly, but I've had several who told me they were approved on their first try.

I would love to hear from others and their experiences regarding dealing with Social Security and disability benefits (and I know that the rules and guidelines used can vary from state to state, which may explain why I was denied).
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Re: Gender Identity and SSI/Disability?

Postby Chucky » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:37 pm

Hi,

I imagine that those other people you have mentioned are receiving benefits for other reasons. Typically, benefits are given when a person struggles to cope with the day-to-day stresses that life throws at them. I have never heard of people receiving any benefits just for having gender identity disorder (GID). So, it must be that their GID causes them depression, and this is their 'ticket' to getting benefits.

What do you hope to do in the future? I have spoken to a few people on this forum over the years, and I still speak to one who is in the process of changing sex to female. You are male by birth, I gather?

Kevin
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Re: Gender Identity and SSI/Disability?

Postby HenryHall » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:33 pm

ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act rules.

Under ADA, Gender Identity Disorder is expressly acknowledged to be a disability and expressly called out that it is a disability. Moreover it is a disability that is expressly excluded from benefits. See Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 511, codified at 42 U.S.C. 12211(b)(1). http://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm

SSI benefits for SEVERE depression is possible. But NOT if the depression is connected to any of transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders; compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania; psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.

Thus, if you want to get SSI it is necessary to ensure that the Feds do not find out about your GID if you have it.

It is often said that most criminals in prison are there because they convicted themselves out of their own mouths. Every thing you don't say to a mental health professional is something that cannot be used against you in a context of SSI.
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Re: Gender Identity and SSI/Disability?

Postby Forgottenpast » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:02 pm

Thank you for the valuable information, Henry. Something that I forgot about in my original post was one transsexual did tell me that she - as well as many other transsexuals in her transgender support group - used the same Social Security Disability attorney to receive benefits. She never said what their disabilities (allegedly) were. A gay friend of mine suggested that most likely they were qualifying for the so-called "crazy checks." By pretending to be mentally ill in front of a judge or Social Security worker while being coached by their attorney. I feel this was highly unlikely, though, because they were all over 40 and surely they would have had a history of being involuntarily committed to an institution, different therapists records, that would have left a paper trail if they were in deed suffering from a mental illness. It seems unlikely that they would confess all of a sudden they are now schizophrenic or have grand delusions at age 40, but not before. To me that would have been the tip off that they aren't entirely telling the truth.
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Re: Gender Identity and SSI/Disability?

Postby magickpsy » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:11 pm

You have to understand the system first. Here it is in a nutshell:
A.You can only be approved for disability payments if you have a track record with government approved psychiatrist.
B. 90% of the time you will get denied at least 2 times. That is "protocol". Even people with cancer receive denials the first 2 times.
C. You do not need an attorney to appeal and finally get through.
D. It will take approx. 2 years from the first time you go see a doc to getting either approved or your first denial.

As already has been stated, you cannot get disability for being transgendered, but you can get it for severe depression (Major Depression). Here is a list of common reasons trans people often suffer from Major Depression:

1. Lack of job opportunities ; discrimination
2. Financial demise ; lack of funds for surgeries, medical, food, clothing shelter
3. Past childhood abuse (if you're a suvivor of childhood abuse and you're still suffering, you definitely can qualify)
4. Safety issues; if you're experiencing bashings, mobbings, confrontations, altercations due to being trans, you may very well be suffering depression and/or PTSD. Being afraid for your safety and/or life on a constant basis can take it's toll.
5. Relationship problems - GID can and often does interfere with relationships, and lack of loving and supporting people in life can definitely lead to trauma and severe depression.

So if you feel that you could be entitled, get ready to work on this for the next 2 to 3 years.
Step 1: Get a psychiatrist appointment. It's a good idea to see at least 2 diff ones.
Step 2: Refrain from mentioning anything about your transgenderism.
Step 3: Follow through on the prescribed course of action. The psychiatrist may have you go to counseling and therapy, try to listen to the counseling, and work at helping yourself. If you are prescribed drugs, research them carefully first, and decide wether or not to take them. Many can be addicting like Xanax, and that will be one more problem on top of many others you'll have to deal with so dont just shove all kinds of pills into yourself because someone in a white lab coat with the title MD says so.
Step 4: After your first 4 or 5 appointments, begin to fill out the social security disability forms online.
Step 5: Keep going to all your appointments.

The main thing is that there is a qualified psychiatrist stating that you have Major Depression and that it is interfering with your ability to work. If you truly feel that this is your case then I think the above information can help you.
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Re: Gender Identity and SSI/Disability?

Postby Nanashi » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:14 pm

How are you currently doing, forgottenpast?

* My mistake, wrong name.

-Nanashi-
Hold these thoughts of you close and never forget
In the darkness nothing is clear
Far away, yet in my heart you're near
Let each scar vanish...and believe...forever
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Re: Gender Identity and SSI/Disability?

Postby Forgottenpast » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:32 am

Thank you both "Nanashi" and, 'specially, "magickpsy" for your comments. I took note of everything you said. Years ago when I applied for SSI I was seeing a mental health therapist, then Social Security sent me to a state-appointed psychiatrist as well (who turned out to be very rude/intolerant). Though at this point I think I have even more physical ailments - high blood pressure, sluggish thyroid - than mental issues that I had then, lol.

Yes, what is so frightening is even those who have cancer have been denied for disability benefits. I former employer of mine who was HIV, then was diagnosed with stomach cancer applied for disability (he didn't have health insurance), but he never did get it (I'm not sure how many times he was denied) and he eventually died. Very sad.

I was given Xanax, but they stopped (my new doctor I got said it was legalized 'crack' so I don't get that any longer), then Limbotril, now Buspirone for anxiety. I still feel my high blood pressure meds (Atenolol) have worked the best for anxiety over all the others. The depression is something else. yawn! The estradiol and spironolactone I take may add to some of the mental stuff as well....(as well as physical).

I will certainly heed your advice the next time I apply for disability. I'm still working at the moment and things are going okay so far, but I still get the usual aches/pains from work (the sometimes night 'charlie horse' pain is the worse)...and on and on it goes. lol
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Re: Gender Identity and SSI/Disability?

Postby magickpsy » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:55 pm

Great to hear things are still ok for you. As for anyone else reading this who feels they may need to get on SSI or Disability the main thing to remember is that it will take at least 2 to 3 years of paper work, filling out forms, going to docs, etc. Also, you can count on at least 3 rejections. You do not need a disability attorney if you simply follow the protocol.
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