Sun Shines Through Clouds of Depression forCustomer Service RepObtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can b...
At first, Mrs. Benton disagreed.“I was crushed,” she said. “I said I was not disabled. I was perfectly fine. Then I finall...
“Allsup had stuck by my side and fought for me,” said Mrs. Benton, now 52. “I wasn’t rushedand got to know so many people ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Sun Shines Through Clouds of Depression for Customer Service Rep

913 views

Published on

Obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be a time-consuming and stressful experience. Two out of every three applicants initially are denied. Joy Benton was no exception. Unable to work after developing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), she decided to take action to secure her future. Joy shares her story here.

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
913
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Sun Shines Through Clouds of Depression for Customer Service Rep

  1. 1. Sun Shines Through Clouds of Depression forCustomer Service RepObtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be a time-consuming and stressfulexperience. Two out of every three applicants initially are denied. Joy Benton was no exception.Unable to work after developing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), she decided to takeaction to secure her future. Joy shares her story here.* This is a true story as told to Allsup Admitting She Was Disabled Was the Easy PartLas Vegas, Nevada—For more than 20 years, Joy Benton worked hard at and enjoyed customerservice. She received awards for her excellent performance.However, in her mid-40s, she developed a reaction to stress. She contracted shingles, which ledto postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common complication of herpes zoster, or shingles.PHN pain remains up to three months after shingle rashes heal.One occurrence of shingles and PHN is bad enough, but Mrs. Benton repeatedly went back towork, encountered more stress, and the shingles and PHN reappeared. Instead of steadyemployment, she went through four jobs in two and a half years.“If I’d start a high-pressure job, I’d get an anxiety attack that led to shingles,” the Las Vegasresident said. “I had to take time off from work. The sickness led to disciplinary actions, and I’dbe dismissed.”One employer gave her short-term disability to help her resolve her problems.“Then I got back to work doing technical support calls,” she said. “I was excellent attroubleshooting, but we were required to get problems solved and get off the phone in nine and ahalf minutes. That gave me anxiety. I’d break out into shingles again, and out the door I went.”Her last employer in June 2006 was a legal consulting firm. When she left there, Mrs. Bentonsought psychiatric help to deal with her depression “because I was such a failure,” she said. Herpsychiatrist suggested Mrs. Benton apply for Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.“She told me I had proved myself by trying and trying and trying,” Mrs. Benton said, “but nomatter when I’d work, I’d get anxiety attacks and shingles. She said I was basically disabled.”
  2. 2. At first, Mrs. Benton disagreed.“I was crushed,” she said. “I said I was not disabled. I was perfectly fine. Then I finally realizedthat I did have mental issues because of the anxiety-caused depression. So many thingscirculated through me constantly. I was in denial for a while. You never want to think you’rebroken.”When she decided to apply for SSDI benefits, she had a ready resource. Her husband had workedfor 28 years at the power company when he suffered a sudden respiratory attack. After almostdying from congestive heart failure and no longer able to work, his employer told him to workwith Allsup, which helped him get approved soon afterward.Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and workers’compensation services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Celebrating its 25thanniversary in 2009, Allsup employs more than 600 professionals who deliver specializedservices supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are asfinancially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St.Louis.“Allsup was just so incredible with my husband,” Mrs. Benton said. “They made it so easy for usthat when I decided to get disability for myself, I just called Allsup right away.”Unlike her husband’s case, however, Mrs. Benton’s path to approval was neither short nor swift.Her spouse’s case was an exception. Most SSDI claimants are denied up to two times, as wasMrs. Benton. At least, she said, Allsup had prepared her for setbacks.“They were really good about telling me I’d get denied at least once,” she said. “The first time Itook it really well. The second time I felt like I was falling into a black hole.“I sat down and cried over the phone for 20 to 30 minutes with one of the Allsup people,” shesaid. “She was so understanding and let me pour my heart out. She told me we weren’t donefighting. She really made me feel like I had someone in my corner. I had been in customerservice for 20 years, and I know good customer service. They were absolutely incredible.”After Mrs. Benton’s second denial, her cased moved to a hearing before an administrative lawjudge for which Allsup senior representative Paula Morgan took charge. She compiled Ms.Benton’s medical records and other supporting documents into a brief to submit to the court.“Paula was very professional and made me feel confident,” Ms. Benton said. “She said if we hada snowball’s chance, she was going to build the snowball.”The submission was so persuasive that, rather than hold a hearing, the judge awarded an on-the-record fully favorable decision for Mrs. Benton’s disability. Without knowing the outcome, shereceived a large envelope from Social Security in January 2009.“The letter was so thick that I was afraid it was more forms to fill out,” she said. “I read it andcalled Allsup. They said, ‘Yes, you’ve been approved.’ That was one of the best days I’ve had inthe last four years. I felt like the skies opened up and the sun was shining on me.
  3. 3. “Allsup had stuck by my side and fought for me,” said Mrs. Benton, now 52. “I wasn’t rushedand got to know so many people that it felt like they were my friends.”

×