Hibiscus Applies for Disability While in School

Robin Mead

I was in school while applying for disability, but this did not cause any problems for me.

I was able to live off the student loans until my disability was approved. I was surprised to get loans when I was only part-time. The loans were not a lot, but they were enough.

My lawyer said school would not be an issue because I had disability accommodations in place and I went to school very part-time.

My school has a counselor that handles students with disabilities and she emails the professors on the first day of each semester to let them know that we can request accommodations due to illness. I filled out a form with the school’s Disability Office and I sent in medical records to support my claim that I needed the accommodations.

My school is online and they provided me with double the time that is usually scheduled to do tests or assignments that are monitored. They also allowed me to email my teachers for extensions on assignments that I could not finish on time, for example if I’m too sick or undergoing treatment.

I submitted documentation to Social Security about my disability accommodations. I had an initial letter signed by my school’s Office of Disabilities and it confirmed my accommodations, plus an additional letter at the start of each semester.

School did not come up at my hearing and had no effect on my case. Working, on the other hand, did have an impact. I made a short attempt to go back to work for a month. Even though I was part-time and working a very restricted schedule, the judge did not consider me disabled until after the working stopped. This pushed back my disability date so I lost some of my backpay.

I am still in school now, but had to take a semester off because the stress of school was making my symptoms worse.

Learn More

Poppy was also in school while applying, but she handled things a different way. Poppy Applies for Disability While in School

If you were in school in the past and would like to know your options for student loans: How to Escape Student Loans

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