Disability Appeals/Hearing Process, Frustrated

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sunnyslumber, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. sunnyslumber

    sunnyslumber New Member

    Hey All,

    So here's an experience that's probably common to a few people here. I'm too sick to get a job since I can barely stand without getting dizzy and barely sit up straight for more than an hour but somehow my local disability office thinks that's not good enough. My symptoms are all the usual CFS/ME symptoms with crushing fatigue and brain fog. I am starting to wonder, considering that it seemed to me I was almost the "textbook case" of someone who ought to get disability whether it is due to having an illness like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that might get laughed at by whatever health-care professionals do the evaluating process...

    What do you guys think? Similar experience(s)?

    I can barely microwave a bag of popcorn without having to rest for a long time afterwards but supposedly I can still work?! So what do you think, is the disability process biased against us with CFS, or is it some other issue? Like maybe I messed up on some part of my application?

    Sorry guys I am just really peeved by this! It feels like I would have to pretty much die to qualify for any disability benefits at this rate (and of course if that happens it becomes a moot point).

    Additionally are there people here who know howlong the appeals process generally takes here in California (or how long it took in your state)? They said they are sending me a packet and once I turn that in I get a hearing scheduled at some time which the operator implied will be rather far into the future (few monthes at the nearest or much longer).

    By the way, how many of you have had to get to this stage when you had to appeal for a hearing? Any advice?

    Sorry but it just feels, like how much more disabled could I be? Brain-dead? It's so frustrating.

  2. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    ... the posts here are great information! I don't think I can add anything to it except I prayed a lot about it, and submitted the whole thing to God.

    I pray you will have a favorable ruling soon!

  3. sunnyslumber

    sunnyslumber New Member

    Thanks everyone for the good advice/encouragement. I will try to bone up on my knowledge of this stuff even more, thanks for the website links Caledonia. Thanks for sharing your experiences and advice Caledonia and AussieWoman.

    And also of course I'll take as much more prayer and advice as I can get (much appreciation DL!) . Hopefully that doesn't sound greedy =) but those are two things that you can probably never get enough of!
  4. deb_46

    deb_46 New Member

    that's the best advice besides prayer that I can give you. They want you to do just what you are doing which is get frustrated so that you might possibly give up the fight and then they will have won and screwed another person over. It took me 3 1/2 years to get mine and I had to file a second claim to get that because the judge denied me. Hang in and stay tough and keep the prayers going up.

  5. granmaw09

    granmaw09 Member

    Hi, I applied for SSDI also, of course was denied. I called an attorney to help. The reason too I was denied because I was still able to function for myself, to care for myself on a daily basis.
    I cannot walk for too long of a time before I need to sit, the "tired thing" you know. There are so many other issues too with me. I am so used to working and would like to be right now but I am not able to! It is so frustrating for me!! My poor husband has to work 2 jobs for us to make ends meet and that's been tough! I had a knee replacement 1 1/2 yrs. ago. Ever since then, my symptoms of Fibro have increased. I worked with Fibro for years but the symptoms were not anything like they are now! I have worked for over 36 yrs! I am not one to sit on my butt for very long! I feel the restricted movement that I had to not do because of being laid up with a replacement, increased my symptoms, it was a trauma to my system!
    Anyway I am now playing the waiting game for an answer from the attorney whether I am approved. It so irratating that we all know people that are collecting SSDI and shouldn't be!!!
  6. sunnyslumber

    sunnyslumber New Member

    Hey maybe we should make a "pointers for disability application" thread mods? (as the disability sub-forum is so slow-moving) Also I'd love to hear what more I can do for my hearing upcoming later this year so would appreciate any additional advise/encouragement.

    You know the saying about as soon as something is "idiot-proof" they invent a "better idiot." There are so many times I have been stuck feeling like the "better idiot" in this process and of course in plenty of others!

    That said it really feels (to me at least) like us CFSers or FMers are held to a ridiculously high standard just because there is no diagnostic test and the name sounds like you missed out on a morning cup of coffee.

    Thanks all who contributed/will contribute to this thread!

  7. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    Sunnyslumber -

    It's not bad enough that we have this illness, and then to try to PROVE it to people - just because are limbs aren't hanging off our bodies, or because we look so "normal," makes it even worse.

    My husband has Cushing's Syndrome. Cushing's is another one of those illnesses that takes forever to get diagnosed. I actually had to ask his endocrinlogist to check for Cushings after they just said he was t'oo fat, lose some weight and, oh yeah.....by the way you have diabetes. Take these pills and we'll see you in 3 months."

    Anyway, he waited quite a while to file for SSI benefits because we kept thinking he'd get better any day. When it was obvious that wasn't going to happen, he filed. Oh my gawd......I thnk the place is run by naked rats and hairless dogs! The state-mandated "physical exam" and "psychological exam" were a joke. A gerbil could have done a better job!

    Of course he was denied. And we had sent them copies of paperwork from 8 different doctors. So, as you know, the next step was seeing a lawyer. We knew of a great guys who has helped us through this process. When he told us that it would probably be 18-24 months before there would be a hearing I almost wet my pants.

    Well, our 18 months have passed and the hearing is tomorrow. The attorney said he has a pretty good feeling about this because the judge that will be hearing the case is very fair. If it is not approved, I'm not sure what we will do, as I am also currently on short term disability from my job for lower back and leg pain. New York State short term disability is a joke. I'm getting pretty scared about our future.

    I suppose I haven't helped matters any by posting all of this useless information. I think my point (when I first started typing this) is.......don't give up. And don't be afraid to ask for help. And, if you haven't done this already....start gathering all of your medical records from whatever doctors you go to. It will show "them" that you are serious about this.

    Good luck.
  8. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member


    After I posted the above message, I was getting ready to sign off when I decided to check out some of the archived stuff on the site. Lo and behold, I came across this little tid-bit. You may have already seen it, but thought I'd post the link for you, just in case you haven't seen it yet. Happy reading!

  9. Clay2

    Clay2 New Member

    I'd never have survived the process without my attorney. I picked a small local firm who had a variety of attorneys, including one who specializes in disability.