Disability for 20-something w/ no work history

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ashleyw83, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. ashleyw83

    ashleyw83 New Member

    I've had fibromyalgia since I was 14, and now I'm in my 20's. My parents basically support me completely financially at this point, because I'm not well enough to hold any kind of job.

    My question is can a person who hasn't had the chance to develop work history, since I got sick as a child, have any chance in getting some kind of disability? I don't even know where to start with the disability thing, but I figured I should at least find out if its an option for me.

    Thanks for any info you could give.
  2. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    If you don't have a work history, you are not eligible for SSDI (soc security disab); however, you may be able to get some SSI (supplemental security income). You apply for both the same place but one is based on money you have paid into while working (SSDI) and that's why you would not be eligible....the other is based on income, and since you have none and are disabled, you would qualify......that is of course if the govt determines that you are disabled (which unfortunately is not an easy process and often people with fibro do not get it even though as we know many are in fact very disabled by fibro)
  3. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    Under some circumstances people with no work history who become disabled as minors can qualify for ongoing SSDI disability on their parents account (usually higher benefits that way), but I'm not sure that can apply when your application is not made until you are in your 20's.
  4. ashleyw83

    ashleyw83 New Member

    Thanks for the info guys. I'll see if I can ask someone about that shootingstar. I didn't know that minors could apply under parents accounts. You'd think a person would get some credit for not asking the government for help unless it was really needed. Right now my parents are getting older, and the economy has hit them hard, and it's just not fair for them to have to support me. I've had documented illness (fibro and others) since I was 4, so maybe that would help my case, if I don't just claim fibromyalgia, since its such a misunderstood illness at this point.
  5. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    it is not actually the diagnosis that matters when making a claim, though there are some diagnoses that seem more difficult to get disability for

    while that may sound contradictory, it is not.....basically the determination of disability is made based on if you are able to work a certain amount and also on how limited the rest of your life is.....if they find that 9whatever the reason) you are truly unable to work, then by definition you are disabled...

    ..however, some diagnoses are so maligned (and Fibro and CFS are two of those) that many people just think we are lazy or whatever and do not want to work, and since there are no definitive diagnostic tests, in theory it would be easy to fake being sick

    please understand that I am NOT saying you are faking or that any of us are......I cannot imagine actually wanting to live this way for any reason and would give anything to be better and have a life again....I am just explaining what a lot of the uninformed tend to want to believe, and that makes it harder for many of us to get disability
  6. ashleyw83

    ashleyw83 New Member

    Do you know how they go about determining if you are able to work? Because basically I WANT to work and support myself or at the least help contribute to my family, but my symptoms for the past several years have been so unpredictable day-to-day and debilitating, that I honestly can't think of any job that I could do consistently.
  7. ilovepink4

    ilovepink4 Member

    I remember reading awhile ago that fibro isnt considered a disability on some list that determine if you can get disability and that if you claim one of your other illnesses as the main reason you are applying, it can make it easier.....the example given was Depression....if you have suffered from depression, with the fibro, you can get the covereage based on that because it is on their list of approved illnesses...

    this could be total hogwash now since that was awhile ago but, maybe you could check it out...

    i am thinking of applying and i am leaning toward getting someone to help me...an attorney or group that helps ppl get on disability...i know they get a bunch of your money though...i barely have enough work credits, though and i think i would get a ridiculous amount of money...like $200 a month....i stayed home to take care of our children for 24 years...this is what i get for it...6 yrs ago, i was able to be hired as a personal care attendant for our disabled daughter....i only "work" a total of 3 hours a day....i am in charge and on the clock during her rest time and for one hour before bedtime...but, i take care of her all night long and am not paid....she gets a certain amount of hours per day...i could work all of them if i wanted to but i can't do it....it is way to hard and she needs the socialization of her other pca's....they are friends for her....they have a good time together....i just was lucky to find a way to get some work credits....

    good luck with all of this...it is very confusing...Pink
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    They don't get paid until you get your disability. A good one can make the difference between winning and losing. It's important to understand that SSD isn't based on logic or illness. Unfortunately, it's a game and the better you learn to play, the better your chance of winning. It shouldn't be that way but it's the reality of going through the disability looking glass. Our inability to work should be enough and we shouldn't have to play these games but we do if we want disability benefits.

    Good luck.

    Love, Mikie
  9. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Disability attorneys are worth every penny especially when you're young, as it is harder then - tho of course they vary as to how much they're worth (ie, how good they are). Legally they are entitled to collect a certain % of your settlement - do not agree to more than that.

    Bottom line is the different problems you're having, which need to be documented individually by your doctor(s)-- including the severity and constancy (inconstancy?) of your symptoms and what a typical worst day nee is like. And don't forget any problems with depression or anxiety etc, they count as well, a lot.

    My son has Chronic Lyme - what was really important was all of his doctors doing narrative reports every so often as to his progress or lack of progress and what remained, etc. in every area.

    Also, if one parent is disabled and on SSD (based on their work record) and a child becomes disabled who is not qualified for SSD on his own, that child will get SSD which is slightly better than SSI - about another $100/mo + MediCare, tho $95/mo is deducted for the MediCare premium. Your state may kick in the monthly premium for you, however.

    Some other tips:

    Please remember, very important, once you're 18+ you ARE considered an adult even if your parents are helping you out with loans. (I assume you intend to pay them back as you are able to, naturally). Initially SS may act as if you are not eligible to even apply for SSI since your parents are loaning you money to survive and get treatment.

    Hope that helps.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/22/2011]
  10. skeptik2

    skeptik2 Member

    Hi ashleyw83,

    I got a pro bono lawyer thru a Social Worker who saw my grdau
    and it has taken 1.75 years, and we have just had a hearing in
    front of an SSI judge. She is 23, and totally disabled by CFS.

    What you need is your doctor's opinion that you are totally
    disabled and unable to work. S/he can state that you are in pain
    24/7 and unable to lift, bend, concentrate, be consistent on a
    daily basis, even for part time work. If you have never worked,
    s/he can state that you are cognitively impaired and unable to
    follow sequential instructions, getting ''lost'' after step two of them,

    Substantial Gainful Employment is the standard. If you do work
    one day, and then require 24-48 hrs to recover and will miss work
    consistently because of the many symptoms of FM, you are
    disabled. Consistency is vital; how many dr visits you have, how
    often you have to see the dr., how often and how much medication
    you require, and the side effects of them are important, also.

    Call the United Way, ask them if they have any pro bono lawyers
    who will work you case for you. You are "eligible'' from the day
    you apply; you will get up to one year "back" pay once you are
    approved. You will probably be turned down twice and then an
    appointment set up with a judge's hearing. Answer every letter
    immediately, and set up a file to keep track of everything.

    Maybe get a diary or logbook and keep track of your daily
    appointments, tests, and results. (You may not be able to
    keep all your dr. appts because of your symptoms, and this
    is important to keep a record of, also.)

    Get copies of all medical records you can...build a case file
    of your own, and make sure your attorney has all the copies,

    If you have tried medications, and they did not help, start
    making a record of them.

    Visit your dr. regularly, and make sure all your symptoms are
    listed. Check the copies of past records to make sure they are
    accurate and if not, ask dr. if s/he will make a correction to the
    record. Every dr. visit, get a copy of the record before you leave
    the office, or they may make you pay for them at a later date.

    SSI attorneys get up to 25-30% of your "back" pay. You should
    call United Way or a Social Worker (if you have one, ask them), or
    call your drs office and ask them for a referral to one, and then
    ask them if they know any "pro bono" (free) lawyers who take
    SSI cases. That's what I got for my grdau, and she is very, very
    good at what she does.

    Depression and anxiety are also co-morbid with many chronic
    illnesses, and you can be given SSI based on them if they prevent
    you from being a reliable, consistent worker.

    Wanting to learn to work is important, but if your FM-related
    cognitive and/or learning problems would prevent that, tell it
    to your dr. and make sure it is put in your record.

    Your dr's opinion carries great weight, and the more opinions
    you have, the better. If you don't have a therapist, try to get
    one, and express all those frustrations about wanting to be
    able to work and know you can't because the symptoms are
    relentless. Get it all documented, according to what's true for

    Hope this helps some. Now, a word of caution: this is a very
    stressful process, frustrating to say the least, because you are
    not treated as an individual until the final hearing if it goes that
    far. Know this in advance, get prepared for it, and know that
    you can do it if you are very organized. Keep a good calendar
    and meet all deadlines.

    I wish you good luck in winning your SSI case.


    p.s. Soc. Sec. number is 800-772-1213. Be prepared when
    you call, with as much history as you know and have already
    in the record. They will send you to a ''flunky'' dr. for a SSI exam;
    they are notoriously awful, giving you five minutes and a poor
    exam. Be assertive with that dr., asking them to please record
    all your complaints in detail.
  11. ashleyw83

    ashleyw83 New Member

    Thanks so much to those of you who have replied and given such insight into this process. I haven't had any experience with it, so I don't know anything to expect, so all these tips and experiences are infinitely helpful. I've gone back and forth over whether I want to attempt a claim for disability over the years, if I'm 'sick enough', if I'll improve at some point, etc. but it's just gotten to the point where I really don't see a ton of hope for a substantial change in the foreseeable future, and I truly feel terrible for having to rely on my parents for everything at this age. I just would love to get even a small payment a month if I qualify, to give to my parents so I don't feel like such a financial burden.

    Can I ask, what is a typical disability monthly payment? How do they determine that? I know for the Social Security it's based on what you were earning, and what you've paid into the system, but I assume this is slightly different.

    I definitely think a lawyer or someone who knows about the ins and outs of this process would be critical. I don't see how I would have the mental or physical energy to educate myself on the whole process plus fight the fight to get approved. Is the percentage of money they get later, if they are pro-bono while they are working on the case, an indefinite amount of time they will draw a percentage of your disability check, or is it for a set period?
  12. victoria

    victoria New Member

    SSI is the lowest payment and it is the same wherever you live, it is about $582/mo - plus MedicAid with no premiums, which gives you doctors for free and extremely small co-pays for RX'd meds.

    Some states like California used to give SSI and some SSD disabled people some money to supplement that income if it was below a certain amount, since it costs more to live in certain states, but with the current economic strain I'm not sure if CA or any state does that anymore.

    It's not much money, very hard to live on it and pay rent plus other necessitites. You're lucky to be able to pay rent to your parents, which is totally allowable by the way.

    The reason I'm stressing this is because when I first made the claim for my son, they tried to act like we were giving him gifts in order to take care of him financially, which would disqualify him then. I actually asked, "what are we supposed to do, abandon him and have him live under a bridge and not let him have access to necessary health care?" Especially since our state would not give him MedicAid anyway. The SS person on the phone backed off then, but still made it seem difficult.

    The truth is, it is not difficult and you can be living with whomever. You just have to put up with SS initial BS because when you do get to court, it will almost always be different- especially with an attorney present.

    typically, you will get turned down after initially calling or going to a SS office for an interview (I recommend phone interview initially; I then went in person as my son's advocate to the local office because we'd stopped the application as he wanted to try to work but couldn't; and then restarted it);

    6 months after the first denial, you get an automatic "recon" (reconsideration) where you don't appear at all - likely you will be turned down again, and you will receive a letter from SS telling you this. This is when most people get an att'y as there isn't much for them to do prior to the recon denial. The attorney will file the appeal for you to get a court date in front of a judge.

    It took my son 2.5 years to get his hearing, which is a pretty typical waiting time in most parts of the country. I haven't heard that it's changed recently either.

    That's a great idea to see if you can get a pro bono lawyer - I've never been aware of any in our area... sure wish we could have.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/23/2011]

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