Disability issues

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by rac21, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. rac21

    rac21 New Member

    Has anyone been successful on getting SS without the doctor advocating for you? My Rheum. told me to get a multi task job, which I did, 3 hours per day, 2x a week. I couldn't handle the pain, and the fact of getting up/dressed by a set time. I did it for 4 weeks and ended up with carpel tunnel. I have FM and RA, and the OT and PT have noted multiple impairments that impair my ability to work and in normal daily living (tying shoes, cooking, laundry). The Dr. does not seem to care that I cannot function. If I go for SS what will his role be? Should I find another doctor before applying? Should I tell him I am applying or wait till after?
  2. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    but my husband and I went to a FM conference in March and got some disability info. One of the top disability lawyers in the country was there. I can get you his website, which has lots of good info. I think I also have another website by another prominent disability lawyer (sorry, can't think of names today). I can get you their websites if you want. You have to be careful about how you proceed in getting disability so that something you do now doesn't come back to haunt you later. But I remember that any records from your physician are definitely important. I am sure it will be much more difficult applying for disability without it.

    Ellen Comstock
  3. JannyW

    JannyW New Member

    You will definitely need your doctor's support to get disability. My rheumy wouldn't fill out the forms the SSA advocate sent me, but apparently wrote a lovely letter to my attorney. My PCP and therapist have been great & have given the attorney whatever she needs. She tells me I have one of the strongest cases in favor of disability she currently has.

    If your rheumatologist isn't backing you, will your PCP? There are some forms that the doctors can complete that are pretty good; my attorney uses them herself. You should definitely contact SSA if you haven't already, and get the process rolling. And definitely let your doctors know.

    Jan ^v^
  4. rac21

    rac21 New Member

    I got them and he said I was having functional difficulties and wanted to do what was necessary to return to work, and he rec. PT (which I did). He notes the pain, and sometimes the fatigue and difficulty in sleeping. I guess they are mediocre notes. The OT/PT ones are good because they measured how far I could move, what caused pain redid them at the end, which showed no improvement, in fact worse in some areas. I have not seen the Dr.'s notes in response to the OT/PT info. he has not transcribed them yet. Maybe I should just go ahead and apply for SS and beg the GP for pain med, since the Rheum. is not giving me any.
  5. Carlacat

    Carlacat New Member

    when going for disability. I applied and I have other health problems also and I'm on my third stage waiting for judge hearing. But ya never know..some people have gotton it on first try..that is with docs support.
    Carlacat
  6. JannyW

    JannyW New Member

    >>>>Maybe I should just go ahead and apply for SS and beg the GP for pain med, since the Rheum. is not giving me any.<<<<

    How about looking for another rheumatologist? This one sounds like he doesn't know much about fibro, and you're going to need a knowledgeable doctor. Where are you located? I'm sure folks on this list can give you recommendations; you can also get in touch with the Arthritis Foundation in your area.

    Jan ^v^
  7. NutsInAlabama

    NutsInAlabama New Member

    It took me 3 yrs and all of my doctors with different specialties and a darn good attorney but I got it. Everything your doc writes is evidence of your disability. Social Security can send the papers directly to the doctor and all you can do is hope he fills them out to benefit you.
    This is where the attorney comes in but it is easier to let SSD deny you to get an attorney to advocate for you and he can only get a maximum of 25% or 4k whichever is greater of the ssd but it is well worth the frustration, anxiety and aggrivation you will go through!
    KEEP GOING and DO NOT GIVE UP!! :)
  8. JP

    JP New Member

    Hello Rac21.

    I applied for SSD about 6 weeks ago. I have not worked for 1 1/2 years and have been on State Disability. I did not hire an attorney. I just walked into the SS office, picked up paper work and made an appointment to file. I did this shortly after having a heart to heart chat with my doctor. I knew that I was unable to return to any type of work and I needed to have this discussion with my doctor to see if we were aligned. I guess on some level I wanted her to kick my butt, say you're fine, go to work!

    SSD has already received ample records and a very supportive letter from my doctor and my MFCC. I guess time will tell. I have multiple conditions and supportive labs and studies. I also have a graduate degree that may get in my way. How do you prove that you can't concentrate enough to remember why you left the room.

    I wish you the best.
    Take care...Jan
  9. NutsInAlabama

    NutsInAlabama New Member

    along with all the medical I also had some mental issues which I now know were related to FM and CFS. (depression, anxiety, panic attacks, I developed PTSD and couln not leave my home. It took my kids to take me to the dr and bring me home severe enough that I did not even talk on the phone. I went to my own psychiatrist and then the attorney also sent me to an independent one and SSD sent me to another to confirm. These evaluations are invaluable together because thay are so closely linked. Thus my screen name came to me

    I hope this helps :)

    NutsInAlabama
  10. tadpoles

    tadpoles New Member

    Where are You from? I live in Cullman, 50 miles N. of B'ham and 50 miles S. of Huntsville. Know any good DRS. my way? I also am seeing a PSY. but would like to find new DRS> mine just act like they are simply tired of me and my problems.
    Hope to hear from You,
    TADPOLES
  11. MemoryLane

    MemoryLane Member

    Your best bet is to stay with a specialist, NOT a primary care doctor - they are simply too busy craming patients in and they scrawl lousy notes in medical shorthand.

    Specialists on the other hand typically take very good notes and usually dictate a report on each visit. They are often called into court to testify as an expert witness, so they are more careful with documentation. A Neurologist I am told would be a good choice. Maybe you should change Rheumys - ask the PT to recommend one to you.

    You will have to have the doctor's documentation for SSDI, though they don't or won't always advocate for you. My doctor was the one who told me I had to quit my job and encouraged me to file, because I had more than enough to file. I reluctantly left my job, even though it was killing me I was making good money. The problem with my case was that I thought at $300 per hour, my doctor was keeping good records. To my disappointment, distress and disgust, I found out (too late) that was not the case and my initial application was turned down. He never received any special forms to fill out (not in our state), so the Disability Examiner (DE) only asked for copies of records - which were a mess.

    I finally asked him to write a kick-a** letter on my behalf because I had nothing else to send with my request for reconsideration otherwise. He made a half-effort and then charged me $150 for the darn thing.

    In cases like mine, you can see where an attorney would be a good thing to have, but I am too stubborn for that. I still think I should be able to do this on my own - We shall see - I just filed my recon request last Friday.

    Good luck to you - Keep us posted,
    Lane
  12. NutsInAlabama

    NutsInAlabama New Member

    Hey there I am in Mobile I do not know how far away that is from me lol
    Maybe we can chat there. I need all the help and info i can get I am new here 1 week

    Need a friend too


    tc Nuts

    [This Message was Edited on 06/16/2003]
  13. tadpoles

    tadpoles New Member

    Tadpoles here, I have an Aunt who lives in Foley,(Gulf Shores) it takes us about 5 hours to get there, it would be about the same to Mobile, 65 South all the way. I just found this site yesterday. How do you do with the weather down there? Does the storms coming in make you Flare Up? We are getting ready to move, long story, big home, need to go smaller, We wondered about the weather on the Coast and were considering Idaho or Arizona for the driness.
  14. DrP

    DrP New Member

    I am turning 50 on the 21st of this month and have had FM for over . I started going to school in Dec 95 right after I was 1st diagnosed. I lost a decent job (absences; sales, there is no compassion). I became angry and decided to attend school for a degree in clinical psy, thinking that I could always use my compassion and empathy even if my body limited my level of activity.

    Okay, so I was naive about the degree of pain and the effects on my cognitive process (I use to be a little smart). I have been plugging along only doing school (I know you all know how hard this has been and how much understanding I have received by traditional psychology professors when papers were late). I am in the process of completing my doctoral dissertation in clinical psychology, (I am finishing online so I do not have to deal with the campus or the school). But I have had to come to terms with the fact that I cannot hold down a full time job (tried last Sept, last less than 6 weeks). I doubt a part time job would work either. I am on meds everyday, to be able to function sometimes. My loving husband announced that he wants out (I am not the energetic girl I use to be). So I am "behind the 8 ball", no job or prospects for one, an advanced degree, 150k in student loans, and no possible way of being self sustaining, especially in California (does this "between a rock and a hard place" sound familiar?). Does anyone have insight into how hard SSA is going to laugh when I apply for permanent disability? Any suggestions from the veterns?
  15. Dara

    Dara New Member

    My advice is get rid of him. He obviously doesn't really understand how bad you are or he would have a different attitude about your working. My first Rheumatologist told me that I, and everyone, needs to continue working and remain a contributing member of society. Well, no kidding, wouldn't we all like to still be able to do that. So, I asked my PCP, who is great by the way, to refer me to a Fibromyalgia Clinic in the city where I live.

    I had to quit the best job I've ever had in Nov. of 2001. I filed for SSD in February of 2002. I had medical records, some in my favor and some not. I also went to the Vocational Rehabilitation Department, every State has one. They assess your working capabilities and if they can help you they will. If not, as in my case, they wrote a letter to SSD saying they were closing my file because it was very apparent I could not work at a job that required a regular schedule. Employer's have the right to expect you to be able to show up for work, within reason. Some sick time is expected, but not when you can't make it to work five days in a row, etc. Anyway, I had my doctor fill out a form called a Functional Capacity Assessment form. It describes how many hours a day can you sit, stand, walk,bend, squat, crawl, etc. I was told it the hours per day total up to more than four or five, SS will say that you are capable of working 8 hours a day.

    Have you checked to see if there is a fibromyalgia clinic or Rheumatology Clinic in your area? I go to a Fibromyalgia Clinic at a medical university and they are great. They are great advocates for FM, and without their support and the support of my PCP I probably wouldn't have gotten it.

    It only took me from the time I filed until the time I received my decision from the ALJ, 15 months. I got turned down the first two times, which is almost automatic, then requested it be reviewed by an ALJ. My attorney wrote a letter asking that my case be reviewed by the ALJ without a hearing. He said sometimes they will, sometimes they won't. Well, in my case they did and I received a favorable decision. He started my disability with the first day I was unable to work.

    I don't know if any of this helps or not, but hope it does. Also, there is a website about disability issues that really had some great information on it that helped. I did a lot of my own research and put a lot of my on going symptoms in writing to my doctors.

    Dara
  16. rac21

    rac21 New Member

    I got the records and they are not great, though the pt/ot say I have multiple impairments and need help with activities of daily living. Is that the same as a functional capacity eval? Our DVR offers them but not by a M.D. I want to go to the GP and tell him the Rheum. has not done me any good, what do I do now. But without the support of the Rhuem. what am I to do, though he documents the problems not how they affect my life. He observes that if my joints move (with pain) that I have normal range, which the PT/OT disagree on. I think the failed work attempt in March should be in my favor.
  17. DrP

    DrP New Member

    Thank you for your reponse on my question about SSDI. I appreciate you taking the time and care to provide me with information I need to establish a life with a little less anxiety.

    TY
    DrP
  18. 1fibrowife

    1fibrowife New Member

    HEY MY HUSBAND (FM) AND I HAVE A CABINET SHOP IN MISSISSIPPI. NEXT TIME YOU GO TO FOLEY LOOK FOR THE GAIL PITTMAN STORE. WE BUILT THE CABINETS FOR HER STORE THERE. WE ALSO BUILD HER SERVING TRAYS, MIRROR FRAMES, TABLES AND BENCHES.
    I HAVE FILED DISABILITY FOR HUBBY IN APRIL. NO LAWYER, DECIDED TO TRY BY MYSELF THE 1ST TIME. I DID A LOT OF RESEARCH HERE AND AT SSA.GOV WEBSITE. LOOK AT THE DISABILITY TAB HERE.
    I SENT THE RHEUMY AND PSY FORMS FOR INSURANCE PURPOSES. THE RHEUMY'S DIAGONOSIS IS DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS CERVICAL SPINE, FIBRO AND INFLAMATORY POLYARTHRITIS. TOTALLY DISABLED SINCE 1-15-01 THRU CONTINUING. THE PSY WROTE MAJOR DEPRESSION, RECURRENT CHRONIC PAIN SYNDRONE, MULTIPLE PHYSICAL ILLINESSES - PERMANENT DISABILITY.SOOOOO I AM HOPEFUL THAT HE WILL GET THE SSD THE 1ST TIME.
    GOOD LUCK TO YOU!
    KAREN