Minnesota Man Finds Solution to Loss of Income
Obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be a time-consuming and stressful experience. Two out of every three applicants initially are denied. Parkinson’s disease ended the career of emergency medical technician Bruce Zingler. After taking work that required manual labor, eventually those jobs also became impossible for Mr. Zingler to continue when back and neck pain rendered him unable to work. Read how Allsup helped him to see a brighter financial future for his family.
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When a degenerative disease derailed a Minnesota man’s working life, he sought the help of Allsup to earn disability benefits. Without Allsup, he said …
‘I Don’t Know What We Would Have Done’
Winnebago, Minnesota─In a city whose name is synonymous with the open road, Bruce Zingler stayed put.
Mr. Zingler, now 51, and his wife raised three children in this quiet village of 1,500, located 90 minutes outside of Minneapolis. Two of their children are adults and on their own. “The other one’s in college,” he added with pride. Knowing his children are taken care of eases his worries. Not long ago, he wondered what he’d do just to keep a roof over their heads.
During his six years as an emergency medical technician, Mr. Zingler’s hands began to swell. When tremors followed, his doctor diagnosed Parkinson’s disease. Brought on by decreased levels of dopamine, a natural brain stimulant, Parkinson’s is progressive and degenerative. Besides tremors, major symptoms include stiffness, loss of balance and reduced coordination.
“When the tremors got bad, my managers didn’t want me out on EMT calls,” Mr. Zingler said. He continued as a medical technician but out of the field, and began a second job as an operator at a dry ice plant.
He enjoyed the work, despite its physical demands. “We worked with a corn-processing plant that produces ethanol,” he said. “We’d press carbon dioxide into snow and make blocks. A lot of meatpackers also used this process. We had big tubs available and they put their meat in these tubs with our dry ice.”
It was hard, physical work that eventually became too difficult for him to perform. He finally left the production line for a cleanup maintenance position. He still struggled, his pain unrelenting. “When I started having problems with cervical degeneration in my back and neck, I was no longer able to do any manual labor,” Mr. Zingler explained. By May 2010, he was no longer able to work.
Knowing he needed financial aid, Mr. Zingler searched the Internet for help. He saw an advertisement from Allsup.
Allsup is a national provider of Social Security disability representation, veterans disability appeal and Medicare plan selection services. Allsup has successfully secured Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for more than 200,000 deserving customers and obtained nearly $18 billion in SSDI payments and Medicare benefits.
SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a disability—injury, illness or condition—that is expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible.
He called Allsup. “We talked many times to get my whole story,” Mr. Zingler pointed out. “When they had my history and all my medical records together, they submitted my request to Social Security. I was denied.”
Allsup reassured Mr. Zingler it isn’t uncommon for the SSA to deny initial claims and the first disability appeal. Denied again, Allsup prepared his application for a court hearing. Meanwhile, he and his wife, whom he said also suffers from degenerated discs and various body pains, applied together for aid from county human services. The aid carried them through the 16-month wait that followed.
Neurosurgeons had implanted a rechargeable battery in Mr. Zingler’s brain, through which they send electrical charges to simulate dopamine. “Periodically, they put a probe deep in my brain, hook it up to the battery pack, and send voltage that mimics dopamine,” he said.
“I was maxed out on pills,” Mr. Zingler said. “With the surgery I was able to cut back.”
The Zinglers moved to a 12-unit apartment building and paid reduced rent in exchange for Mr. Zingler providing caretaker duties. “State human services found the apartment,” he said. “Fortunately, there are a lot of programs available to people with disabilities, especially those with Parkinson’s.”
Twenty-five months after he first applied for SSDI, Allsup informed him of a June 2012 court date. The company did their legwork—his case was solid. Mr. Zingler received his first benefit check a few weeks later.
“My wife and I both take a lot of pills, and we go to the doctor quite often,” he said. “The SSDI payments help.” With the brain stimulation, he’s been able to cut back his prescriptions but knows this is temporary.
“Parkinson’s is degenerative,” Mr. Zingler said. “Eventually, I will have to go back to my full strength of medications. Without Allsup, I don’t know what I would have done.”
Who is Allsup? Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 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.
For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.