Am I really disabled?? Need someone who's been where I am now

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by mrsjethro, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. mrsjethro

    mrsjethro New Member

    I've been having a really tough time lately, it seems that I can do something nearly all day long for one day and then I'll be down the next paying for whatever work or play I took part in. I had 2 well meaning friends suggest to me today that I should apply for disability. I lost my job about 3 months ago because I had missed so much work with this (being sick and doctor's appointments). Fortunately they fired me (never thought I'd use those words) and I've been able to draw unemployment, but that will run out in a couple more months. I feel so torn about what to do. I've worked my entire life and I feel so helpless right now. I know without a doubt that I could not hold a full time or even a part time job right now, but am I really disabled? What does that mean? Does this mean that I will never be able to work again? How difficult is it to get on disability? Will I even qualify? My mind is spinning wildly, and I suppose I would be emotional, except I feel so confused at the moment, I really don't know what emotion I'm supposed to be feeling. I'm in pain tonight because I went to the baptisms at the lake today....and it rained. I'm supposed to pour candles tomorrow and I'm already dreading it because I know that I will pay for it and it will put me down again Tuesday. I don't want my family to think that I've just given up. I am afraid that my husband will be disappointed in me. I'm scared. That's what I feel...fear (mixed with anxiety). I don't know what I'm supposed to do. Should I book an appointment with a rheumatologist, can my primary doctor's diagnosis qualify me? I really could use some feedback from someone who has been in my shoes right now, and I know there are a bunch of you here. What do I do now? Am I really disabled? I don't mean that to sound like it's a bad thing, because it's not like we voluntarily choose to have fm, mps and all of this pain. I just meant have I actually reached this point? Is there life after disability? Please don't take any of this as offensive or negative, I am just so confused right now. My mind is apparently not processing this. I keep hearing my friends tell me that I should sign up, and this is all that I could think about all day long. I'm really scared.....
  2. mrsjethro

    mrsjethro New Member

    I'm only 40 (this August). I've worked a desk job in insurance for 15 years and had to give that up. I can't take the stress, or sitting at a desk and/or computer for long periods of time. I also can't stand for long periods of time either. I had a lower lumbar fusion in 1989. I broke my back in a domestic situation. (Ugly, rather not go into that one). I have a combination of back pain from that and also from the fm, with severe muscle spasms that never relax and knots all through my back (mps). I am lucky and very thankful to be walking at all. Just one tiny fraction more and I could have been paralyzed. They tried to get me to sign up for it way back then, but I refused it because I believed that I would be able to work again, and did, and also knew that there were other people out there that needed it far worse than I did at the time. But now it's a whole different story. I guess I'm just freaking out a little bit. I'm sorry. I feel like I've just cried all over your shoulder. Thank you for replying. How difficult is the disability process and what do I do first?
  3. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    I still have times that me...myself.....feels as if I should kick myself in the backside and get on the ball. But darn, I can not. Sometimes I sleep long periods of time, I get sore throats, low grade fevers, headaches, diahrea and hurt, hurt, hurt, and more. My thinking is muddy.

    I would see a rheumy for your problems. Document everything.
    You can always get a trial period to try and work again that would not affect your disability.

    It can be hard to get. Your past problems sounds as if it will help you to get it. I know you do not want to quit. I did not either. Finally I had to, could not go on.

    Lots of info here on applying and record keeping for disability. Good Lick............Susan
  4. 1sweetie

    1sweetie New Member

    The answer for me was easy. If I was able to work I would be there. It was my career and my life for 32 years. I was devastated that I could no longer work. The question was answered by my body. I worked until I literally collapsed.

    I do not think anyone wants to be least, I hope not. It's just what we have to deal with and it's not fun.

  5. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    First, I'm sending you a big, gentle hug.

    There. A little better? I have more if you need them.

    Now, let's simplify this. I suggest you stop looking at labels and start seeing need instead. If you cannot work and you need the money you must do what you need to do to get disability. That's what you paid in for all those years. It will take some time, so begin now. If you have an amazing recovery, you can always go back to work.

    Right now I'd say you're the one who finds the idea offensive and negative - and I don't mean that offensively or negatively. lol

    It also sounds to me as if you're in denial, bigtime. Been there, done that. You're still trying to do all the things you did before you were sick and you simply can NOT. I understand your reluctance to admit to disability - and to being any different than you've always been but, face it, that's reality right now. Do what you have to do and know that You. Are. Not. Your. Illness.

    More hugs - take as needed,

  6. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    This is one of the difficult things about coming to terms with CFIDS/FM. Beginning to realize that we are unable to work at the level we once did. Thinking about being "disabled".

    Here's what I think. The process of getting SSD can take years. I applied in '02, was awarded in '04, started to receive benefits/Medicare in '05. The earlier you apply, the sooner you can get benefits.

    Having the benefits and Medicare is very helpful. It's not a lot of $, but it is something. It has enabled me to get medical care.

    You may or may not be disabled in the long run, only time will tell that. If you become able to work, or even able to work part-time, then great. If not, you will have some benefits to help you, and it will take some stress off of you.

    I suggest that you contact an attorney who specializes in SSD.

    The psychological part of deciding to file for SSD can be difficult. It's part of a process we go through of coming to terms with our lives, our health, our hopes and dreams, our identity, our future.

    For some excellent advice on how to win SSD, please see articles by Scott Davis. He's an attorney specializing in SSD.

    You can find a list of his articles at:
    google Scott Davis disability

    Some of his articles are right here at ProHealth, click on Library tab, then search.

    Here is a listing of the articles:

    Filing For Disability

    The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped. - Hubert H. Humphrey

    Listing of Impairments
    The Social Security Administration's Listing of Impairments. A section-by-section description of requirements for Social Security disability benefits for adults.

    Listings of Impairments. An overview.

    Winning Your Disability Case in Three Words: Frequency, Severity and Duration by Scott E. Davis, Esq. 8-30-03

    Completing Disability Forms: Five Critical Tips to Keep in Mind for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Patients by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Winning Your Disability Case with the Help of Co-Workers, Family Members and Friends by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    How To Talk with your Physician about Supporting your Disability Claim by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Winning Your Social Security Disability Claim: 15 Mistakes You Can Not Afford to Make! by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Five Crucial Steps to Winning your CFS Disability Case by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Disability Claim Killers - What you don't know could be fatal to your Fibromyalgia and CFS claim! by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Why it is Important to Address Psychological Issues in your Chronic Pain Disability Case by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Win Your Disability Case by Obtaining Your Personnel File From Work by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Do You Need A Disability Attorney? Important Points to Consider by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Persevere on disability claims by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Earn More and Still Qualify for Disability, say Recent SSA Rules by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Can Someone Please Tell Me How Social Security Defines “Disability?” by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    SSDI: When Should You Hire an Attorney? by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Why CFS/FM Sufferers Lose Their SSDI Claims by Janet Mizrahi

    Obtaining Disability Benefits: Can I Work after I Have Filed A Disability Claim? by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Obtaining Disability Benefits: Can I Work After I Have Filed a Disability Claim (Part II)? by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Obtaining Disability Benefits: How and When to Talk to Your Doctor by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Disability Benefits and Fibromyalgia: Getting Your Ducks Lined Up by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Obtaining Social Security Disability: Two Compelling Reasons To File Your Claim by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Obtaining Social Security Disability:Do I Qualify For Disability Benefits? by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Obtaining Social Security Disability: How to Begin the Process by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Your Disability Insurance Questions Answered! by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Obtaining Disability Benefits - David versus Goliath? by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Five Crucial Steps to Winning your CFS Disability Case by Scott E. Davis, Esq.

    Disability Benefits Primer.

    Social Security and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): information based on the new ruling.

    CFS & FMS: Obtaining Disability Benefits - David versus Goliath? by Disability Attorney Scott E. Davis.

    Social Security Disability FAQ's
    Frequently asked questions. This is a good place to start. Within minutes, all the questions I had been afraid to ask or felt confused about concerning Social Security Disability were answered. I was tremendously relieved~!

    Social Security Disability
    The Social Security Disability Home Page. Complete information on the Social Security Disability Program.

    Help with SSI Disability.

    Providing Medical Evidence to the Social Security Administration for People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a guide for Health Professionals. SSA Pub. 64-063ICN 953800.

    Social Security Disability Outline 2002/2003 by Douglas M. Smith, Attorney At Law.

    Social Security Advisory Service
    SSAS offers information about Social Security and its programs, but is not affiliated with the Social Security Administration (SSA) or any other agency. Key disability rulings, the latest SSA information, and the SSAS Newsletter make this a very informative site. Be sure to click the SSAS HotLinks button for an incredible listing of links to resources and information.

    Helping Fibromyalgia Patients Obtain Social Security Disability. By Joshua Potter, Esq.

    Social Security Information. Documentation of the Social Security Administration's adjudication of disability claims involving Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives
    An association of over 3,000 attorneys and paralegals who represent Social Security and Supplemental Security Income claimants. This is a valuable resource for people who need help or information about Social Security benefit programs and obtaining representation.

    Social Security Disability Law Practitioners. I do not endorse any of these but put them here to give you the option of contacting an attorney in your area.

    The Social Security Administration
    This is the Social Security Administration's own home page.

    Social Security Information. Documentation of the Social Security Administration's adjudication of disability claims involving Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    Filing for Disability.

    Good luck, hang in, you'll get through this one, too.

  7. kirschbaum26

    kirschbaum26 New Member

    Dear MrsJethro:

    Does Tennesee have state disability insurance? I live in CA and we have a good program here. We even have PAID FMLA program. If your state does have disability insurance you might be able to get that much quicker than SSDI. State disability is based on your income, the more you make, the more you contribute, the more you get each month. It is usally only good for 1 year, and during that time, is when people who are permanently disabled, or who will be disabled for more than 12 months, apply for SSDI.

    Even if you were fired from your last job, and you are collecting unemployment, you can apply. I am not sure, but I believe that you CANNOT get both unemployment and state disability, but the state disability may start when the unemployment runs out.

    Just thought I would let you know how it works here in CA. My state disability insurance is called SDI on my paycheck.

    Good luck.

  8. mrsjethro

    mrsjethro New Member

    I asked my husband how he would feel about it if I tried to get disability. His reaction was much less than favorable. He first told me he felt like I was just giving up and that I thought that I would not ever be any better. Ouch!! That hurt. That was pretty much what I was expecting though, and I'm relatively certain that my family will react the same way. Then he told me to go ahead and do some research on it. His biggest fear, I think, is how to pay my medical bills. He said that he thought once you qualified for disability that you would lose any private insurance that you have and wouldn't be able to get any private insurance of any kind. I'm on COBRA right now and he thinks that they will drop me like a hot rock. It's not so much that I'm afraid of facing it myself. I've had these thoughts for quite a while now. Several months before losing my job, I began to face what kind of shape I was in physically. We just thought that once I got rid of all the stress that I would get a lot better, and I haven't. Of course it's only been 3 months, but I'm still down more than up, physically and it's not looking like there's going to be any miracles in this next 3 months while the unemployment runs its course. Emotionally, I feel like I'm doing pretty good, actually. I don't feel depressed or sad. Just scared. I looked up state disability and TN doesn't have it. Ironically enough, I got my Social Security statement in the mail this afternoon telling me how much it would pay per month if I "became disabled today" (funny they should phrase it that way) but that's actually how it has always been written. What do you do about medical bills? Do you have or can you get any kind of insurance at all? He also says that if I sign up now that no one will ever hire me again (if or when I do get better) once they do a background check and find out that I was disabled at any time for any reason. Also what I meant when I said that I didn't want anyone to take it offensively or negatively, was not that I see it as being that way, but I was very afraid that my husband (he did) and family will judge me this way, like it is a bad thing. I feel like I'm entitled to it, because I have worked hard all of my life and I've paid for it. But to be totally honest, I am having a difficult time accepting that I may be like this from now on. I chose to believe (hope, pray) that I CAN get better, but I sure don't need all of the stress of worrying how I'm going to pay my bills in the meantime, especially with additional medical bills piling up. I know that I am disabled, but I don't want my family labeling me and thinking that I'm just giving up on everything and throwing in the towel. I simply can no longer work enough to hold down a job like I once did and can't be dependable enough for part-time employment either. I never know what the next hour is going to bring, much less the next day. I'm going to do a lot of research tonight and see what I can find. In the meantime, do any of you know what happens with the insurance thing? Do you lose all health insurance benefits immediately, and is there not something that goes along with the disability to pay medical expenses? Is there a waiting period if there is something available? Will anyone ever hire me again if or when I do get better, or have I sealed my fate by admitting that I can't work right now? Thank you all so much for your help and support. I expected a few answers, but you really amazed me with all of the wonderful, helpful and supportive replies. I did cry a bit while reading this. It's so awesome to feel like I am understood and accepted, disability and all!!!
    ((((((Love and hugs to all of you))))))
  9. rmc20021

    rmc20021 New Member

    I do understand what you're going through. I fought my emotions exactly as you are now. I can't work cause I'm disabled. I'm not disabled cause I can still function...or at least so you think,until the time comes. I don't know how many times I've thought 'ok, I'm feeling pretty good, I should be able to go back to work.'

    Then the next day comes and I can't even force myself to open my eyes much less get out of bed.

    Sometimes your friends and family understand, at least you think they do...then, they don't.

    They'll say things about how they know you can't work or hold a job...then when things get rough, it's totally opposite. "OH, you should be able to find a PART-TIME job"
    What they seem to forget though is that even with part time jobs you have to be able to show up...not just on the days you feel better, but every day you're scheduled to show up.

    You can't just pick and choose which days or what times to feel better because those are the times you're scheduled to work.

    As for insurance. I had to wait 26 months to be approved for social security so I was eligible for medicare immediately. Thank goodness for that.

    I know there are days when we feel better and then we feel guilty if we think about accepting money without working for it, but I also know that there is no way I can hold a job.

    With a job comes more responisibility, more stress, more expectations and our bodies and minds just cannot accept that.

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