Continuing on from my post titled How My Past has Brought Me to The Present – as a Rehab Counselor! Part 4
I started working for the State of Iowa as a Clerk Typist III-IV at the Disability Determination Services Bureau (DDSB) in 1987. Disability Determination Services are state agencies funded by the United States Federal Government. Their purpose is to make disability findings for the Social Security Administration. Applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) file applications for disability benefits at local Social Security field offices. (Taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia…this was the most simple explanation I’ve located so far).
DDSB is located at 535 SW 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309-4535, 515-725-0700 To apply for disability, you can call to make an appointment or apply online. “Disability” is defined in different contexts using different methods for specific programs. This Social Security Administration website may help you – What We Mean By Disability.
At DDSB, I performed clerical/secretarial work for disability examiners (Hi Paul Kreger!) Examiners evaluate initial and reconsideration claims for disability benefits under the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs, determines eligibility according to Social Security regulations, policies and procedures.
I had a green IBM Selectric
My job involved typing up (yep with use of good old typewriters) and mailing out a variety of forms, memos and documents, correspondence and decisions to people who have applied for disability. I also transcribed reports from dictation (and some handwritten notes) using transcription machines.
I worked around several ladies (no males in our pool) and we transcribed every day!
Head set on, foot operating the transcription pedal, furiously typing away. Such cacophony! We always had to makes duplicates, and even triplicate forms….which means if you made a typo, the first page, upon hitting the correction key may get “fixed” but the carbon copies – oh my it took the fabulous smelling, wonderful whiteout!
Towards the lend of my days at DDSB we got – drum roll please, word processors. The mainframe of our computer took two entire office spaces!
I learned a lot about the ins/outs of applying for disability. It takes patience and perseverance (completeness and accuracy to your application as well) if your disability is not “cut and dry”…. and can be frustrating considering it can take a LONG time to know the status of your claim.
Don’t give up the process of applying for disability if you sincerely realize you cannot work anywhere. I have experience helping others successfully with their permanent and total disability claims.
Stay tuned for Part 6!
My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.