SSDI & Diabetes: A Personal Story


Claiming Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be a difficult and complex process. This is the story of one person’s journey to approval, with True Help providing expert assistance along the way.

Freakish turn of events has good-natured business man adjusting to new lifestyle.

By: Julie Allsup

Santa Rosa, California-Picturesque beneath a canvas of sky-famed wineries meet sprawling vineyards and Victorian homes rest on Santa Rosa’s tree-lined streets. Redwoods are as abundant as the sunset’s golden glimmer on the bay in this city, which is saturated in rich, natural beauty.

The self-proclaimed “City Designed for Living” in the San Francisco Bay Area possesses an undeniable appeal, and that may be why 59-year-old David Hall has chosen to remain here.

Affable and good-natured, Mr. Hall celebrates 37 years of marriage with his wife this year. “I also ran my business for about 37 years,” he recalled. He said he thoroughly enjoyed his work as a window-covering installer, in which he relished opportunities to meet new people from different lifestyles.

“I met people every day,” he explained. “I got to know affluent people, middle-class people, all kinds of different people. I enjoyed seeing the different homes that I would work in. I also loved that it wasn’t a typical 9-5 job.”

At times, he would travel on business to Arizona and Idaho. His days were fulfilling, and his work and family life were rewarding. Life was good. What a difference, however, one day could make.

An insulin-dependent diabetic, Mr. Hall also struggled with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These conditions, however, had been manageable and never interfered with his ability to work. Instead, an unforeseen event was soon to change his life.

In September 2008, during a seemingly ordinary working day, Mr. Hall was walking his dog. One minute, everything was fine. Then, suddenly, in a freakish turn of events, he lost his footing and plunged head-first down a long flight of stairs.

“I never even touched a single step on the way down,” Mr. Hall said of his accident, which resulted in the complete crushing of his right shoulder. “I’ve been in the hospital eight times altogether, and I’ve had to have three operations,” he explained.

Burdened with new, distinct physical limitations, he faced the dilemma of how to handle his business.

“Right after the accident,” Mr. Hall recalled, “someone came forward and made me an offer to buy my company. He made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Instantly, I said, ‘OK, sold!'”

Leaving work was difficult because he truly loved his job and wasn’t ready to put his working days behind him. Additionally, his financial situation had taken a dive with the lack of income, and he soon realized that he needed assistance.

“Even if the amount I received was small, it would still be better than nothing,” Mr. Hall reasoned. Then, jokingly, he added, “Something is better than nothing.”

Unsure of how to proceed, Mr. Hall looked into the process of filing for California Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. “I considered doing it on my own,” he said. “But it was pretty daunting and scary.”

That’s when he turned to the Internet for options. During his online research, he discovered Allsup.

Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs nearly 700 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis.

“I contacted Allsup,” Mr. Hall explained, “and they insisted that they’d take care of everything for me. It was great. I didn’t have to do anything.”

In October 2008, only about one month after his accident, an Allsup representative stepped in to help guide Mr. Hall through the often grueling and lengthy SSDI application process. Warning him that the process could take quite some time, the representative also prepared Mr. Hall for a denial-the Social Security Administration denies two out of three initial SSDI applications.

“I knew it could take a while,” Mr. Hall continued. “But I needed the assistance, and I was confident in Allsup’s ability. They were so helpful. They always returned calls right away and kept me up-to-date about my case.”

In the meantime, Mr. Hall embarked on his mission to physically recover as Allsup took care of the rest. Then, to his surprise, just six months after he filed his initial application for benefits, he learned that his case had reached a favorable conclusion. This was an exceptionally quick decision, even by Allsup’s standards.

“I was really glad to get that note,” Mr. Hall recalled. “It was such a relief.”

Today, his recovery is gradual, but ongoing. He still hopes to do volunteer work some day soon. “I’m only 59,” he said, “and that’s pretty young to retire. I might not be able to do the work I did before, but I at least want to volunteer.”

The Californian praises Allsup and their customer service.

“I would recommend Allsup to a friend,” he said. “Even before I’d think of a concern during the process, Allsup was already there, taking care of it.”

He concluded, “It can be very confusing as to which road to take with the government, and it can be frustrating, as anyone who’s ever looked at a government form knows. But Allsup was great. You couldn’t find a greater group of people to work with.”