Disability & Work ???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by soozbee, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. soozbee

    soozbee New Member

    I'm having a hard time keeping to my work schedule and even though they've been kind enough to adjust it for me - I just can't make it to work on my bad days and sometimes I have several weeks of bad days!

    I was wondering how many people here are on disability and how much of a problem have you had getting it. On the other hand, how many people here go to work and suffer in silence, because no one ever believes you're not feeling well?
  2. keke466

    keke466 New Member

    You can learn alot here about disability. I have. Yep I go to work every night and suffer in silence. I've tried to explain to certain coworkers but they just don't get it. We look ok therefore we are. I've gone to work so many times barely able to hold my head up and drag my legs around and they still don't appreciate that you actually came in. I'm gonna start cutting back myself.

    Take care,Keke
  3. bubblesgirl

    bubblesgirl New Member

    Hi Soozbee

    I know what you mean, I work full time in a demanding job and sometimes wonder how I cope. Just at the moment I am ready to leave, because I am struggling to keep going. The sad thing is I love my job and the comradeship of my fellow workers. Mostly they are supportive, but they can't keep evaluating how I am feeling and I wouldn't want them to. Sometimes my bosses are empathic, but there are times when I feel they would rather I leave ( or is it me wishing I would leave). I do get paranoid about it.

    I have come to the conclusion that I keep my head down and do what I can and wait for the day when I am asked to meet with the management, until then I will struggle on. I don't think I would get through an interview now and would probably need to meet with GP and ask for a medical to state unfit for work.

    We can still be useful so long as we are not pushed over the edge. I try not to be a martyr to fibro, but it's a constant inner battle with myself to keep on fighting it.

    Take care and do what is right for you, we only have one life, who knows what's round the corner.Start each day as a new one and try not to think about the pain of yesterday
    because you will need the energy for today.
  4. Juleast37

    Juleast37 New Member

    It is nice to see that I am not the only one that suffers with this problem. I've cut my work hours back sooo far and still can't get myself to work 4 days a week. I also drive 80 miles round trip. Sometimes I can't even imagine doing this when I wake up in the morning. I am on my 2nd day of missing work this week and its only Tuesday! I am just so fatigued and sore today! The weather has changed though so that might have alot to do with it. Sometimes I can't get over the guilt though. My work has been OK with it (so far) but its my husband that really bothers me. Every day he like "So, you gonna make it to work today? You know we need the money so bad, you have to go!" And when I don't, I feel really alone and guilty. I keep trying but feel like I am losing the battle. Then I think, well maybe I am depressed and that's why I am so tired. But I know better. I really feel alone. Like no one understands, especially me family. And then I feel like a 2 yr old w/ my husband.

    As for disability, I've heard its a real pain in the butt! When I asked my MD about it, he said no (in front of my husband) because its is too hard to get "undisabled" at a later date. HUH? I thought. What is he talking about? I need help and NOW! So, I too suffer in silence and try to do my best but always feel guilty. Feels like a vicious cycle to me. But I feel like I have no choice.

    Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone.

    [This Message was Edited on 10/25/2005]
  5. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    I suffered in silence for many years before I finally had to stop working. Initially, I decreased my hours from 35 per week to 25 per week, hoping I could stay on in some capacity, but after a year of continued suffering even the reduced hours proved to be too much for me.

    Now a word of warning: my disability pension was based on (the reduced) 25-hour week (as per the last year I worked), rather than the 35-hour week that I carried for the previous 20+ years. In hindsight, I wish I would have gone off work when I first became unable, instead of pushing myself to the point of collapse and jeopardizing my pension income.

    I hope someone else can learn from my mistake and consider carefully before deciding to decrease your work hours in response to illness. By avoiding (or putting off) the inevitable retirement due to disabiltiy (I believe retirement was inevitable in my case) you may just be signing yourself up for a whole other level of poverty.

    God bless,
    Anne Theresa
  6. Inishfree

    Inishfree New Member

    Hi Soozbee

    I am 60 Years old. I had two Jobs in the same field since 1968. I worked without any problems except for Endometriosis. After that operation (1974) I never felt refressed after sleep. My energy (and enthusiasm) waned. My commute could be from 40 miles each way to 120 miles each way ( I floated for a large travel corp). I had all I could do to stay awake at the wheel and was always stooped over when I got out of the car. After all these years working I could barley cope any more I got frequent colds,viruses and nasal herpes infections. I gained 40 pounds and my Rheumatologist put me on antidepressents. Who wouldn't be depressed. I spiralled down to part time then I changed jobs, lost jobs, quit jobs in the past ten years.
    I applied for SS in one state and two years later I moved to another state because I couldn't afford to live and I scaled down financially with no income. Now in the new state I am told I have to wait another year for a hearing.
    I though SS was based on the entire time you worked and not the last year.
    Sorry to be so long winded.
    My prayers are with all in this Chat Room.

    Take care,
  7. LakeErie

    LakeErie New Member

    SSDI is sometimes not for the weak of heart. You have to follow up and have good medical documentation. If you do not have your doctor's support think about changing.

    Going part time will count against you in determining your final award, previous wages are averaged. So the longer you have less earnings, the lower the average.

    SSDI is a Federal program but the wait period it totally dependent upon the backlog of cases in your area. It can be months to years. If you switch states you should be fit in the the new state where you would be if you were in the new state all along.

    Also SSDI is for your disability, it does not look at your financial position. Many have lost a lot waiting. I spent most of my retirement and even downsize my house to get through.

    Every year before your birthday you get a statement from
    Social Security. On the form it tells you what you would get is you become disabled.

    Some people get approved right away, I wasn't that lucky. I did hire an attorney. His fee was set by SSDI, 25% with a max of 5,300 of any award I get. One of the best services they do is collection of records and presentation to the court.

    SSDI is retro. It's a nice surprise.

  8. poodlemommy

    poodlemommy New Member

    I had to sue for my disability. I worked for the same company 27 years. I paid into my plan every week. I applied for government disability and was approved yet my work plan still denied. So I sued and won a good buy out. So the best advice I can give is be ready to fight, have good medical support, a good lawyer and dont give up the fight.
    hugs, poodlemum
  9. bmwides

    bmwides New Member

    I have tried working on and off several times. Since I had my daughter 18 mo ago I have been severely sick. I didn't know what was going on. I had no insurance therefore I thought I wouldn't find a doc to help me. But I recently got to a neaurologist which determined I have Fibro Myalgia. This is so painful. My legs just stay cramped and at times they burn so much that I feel like the skin is melting off. Does anyone else feel this? My legs feel like a dead persons. My muscles are hard as a rock and all you feel is skin. My mother has this as well. I also have endometriosis, ovarian cysts, Siatica in my left hip, BAD Scoliosis, TMJ, and Mylfacial pain. I am ONLY 21 years old. My mother has many of these health issues as well. I think I am inheriting this crap from her. She didn't get the fibro till she was 40. She complains all the time of her leg pain and I have told to be happy that she had an extra 20 years. I probably will not be able to have another child due to my pain. I cannot walk in the mornings and most of the time all day. It has been sooooo severe the last few weeks. I wish there was a cure. I need to work. I try so hard. I push myself. I have a daughter to raise and I can't even get to work. I feel so alone in this. Too bad money don't grow on trees.
    My mother worked in a factory for 23 years then after many years of reputious work she found herself unable to work. She worked so hard physically. She filed for disablilty afterward. She waited a year (you have to be unemployed for one year without income) she was denied 3 times. Then went in front of the judge and won. Still to this day they are making her go to different doctors trying to take her money. Even if we get our disability there is no one saying we get to keep it. We have to be on our toes all the time and fight them till the day we die. It sucks too.
    I just thought I would tell you the bit of info that I have got about the disablity thing. Thanks for you time.
  10. poodlemommy

    poodlemommy New Member

    hi Jen: When I sued for my work disability I went for a buy out as opposed to them reinstating a monthly income. It meant less money but no more hassles from the insurance. I will no longer have to deal with their doctors and surviellance people. So if you do go this route a buy out is the best way to go. It even allows for you to work if at some point you feel well enough to try. They cant come back and take the money back , its done. The government disability Im on is very good. They leave you alone. They just ask once in a while for a letter from my doctor and she is very co operative. So once the battle is over its not hard. The worst part is trying to support yourself while doing battle. The good thing is the lawyer doesnt take any money up front. He waits for the settlement and then takes his amount. My lawyer was very fair and really worked hard for me.
    hugs, poodlemum
  11. cgaspard100

    cgaspard100 New Member

    My experience fighting for SSDI has not been good. I've noticed some people here have talked about their employer-sponsored disability program versus the federal Social Security Disability program, which are completely different from each other.

    At first I started using intermittant FMLA, which I highly recommend doing to protect yourself until you decide if you need to completely quit or not. Check with your HR department to make sure you meet all of the qualifications though.

    My company, even though I was using FMLA, made my life at work a living nightmare, to say the least. When I complained to HR about how they were treating me, it just got worse. I ended up quitting my job as a result. I tried to work a part-time job thereafter, but I was just too sick to hang in there.

    I decided to apply for SSDI in January 2004. 70% of disability claims are denied, and so was mine.... 3 months later. I filed an appeal, and it took Social Security a FULL YEAR to process my appeal, which they denied. I hired an attorney this spring 2005 to represent me at the ALJ hearing. The current wait to see the judge is 18+ months in my state. Then I have to wait possibly several months to receive a decision on the case; the judge doesn't tell you his decision in court. THEN, it takes Social Security a long time to process the approval and figure out how much money you get and how much goes to the attorney.

    So, I recommend this highly..... Make SURE that you are ready for the fight. It usually takes years. Fibromyalgia cases can be very difficult to win. It will help your case if you have another qualifying condition such as depression or something else to add to the Fibromyalgia claim. In my personal case, I also have Lupus, Depression, Arthritis, Degenerative Disk Disease, unoperatable multiple Disk Herniations in my Thoracic Spine, and a few other things. I have substantial medical documentation and unsuccessful treatment for each of those things.

    Make sure that you will have a way to support yourself through the worst case scenario. It took my aunt 5 years to get into court, another full year to receive the judge's decision, and she's almost a full year into waiting for her retroactive check, and YES... she has an attorney who has been helping her.

    In my case, I was the breadwinner of the family, and we have lost just about everything during the past couple of years. It's caused tremendous stress on my marriage as well.

    If you do this, make sure your medical records are in order and that you have some great physicians standing behind you. Their opinion doesn't count for much, but their documentation skills do.

    Best of luck as you make your decision. I know that it's a difficult choice to make.


    [This Message was Edited on 11/04/2005]
  12. loops1988

    loops1988 New Member

    I am in UK, maybe it is because i am under 18 and living with parents but i was told my my doctor to leave work and apply for incapacity benifit - which i did and only recieve £30.00 a week ($53.25) which is hardly worth it. I was then told by my doctor to apply for disability living allowence which i have done, It has been 8 weeks since i applied and in that time i have had OP's round (ocupational theripsts) who said i needed a walk in shower so the bath will have to be ripped out, and the doctor from the department from work and pensions. This doctor was extremely rude and tested my reflexes on one of my worst knees with out any warning i couldnt stop crying after it really hurt i actually sware at her lol.
    I rang the department up yesturday to see if i have been accepted and they should be getting back to me within the week so i will keep you updated.
    still i will not probably qualify first time round as apperently it is extremly strict and tight there. However i will not give up untill i have no fight left. I hope to start my carrer (as i had to leave my first job after 6 months) as soon as i get a bit better. It is not only the doctors that dont believe you though - i have had so many arguments with my Father because of this, he just cant seem to understand why his little girl cant make something of her life just as yet (theres no telling him that i should get better) and sometimes i get the feeling he dosnt believe me at all. My boyfriend never doubts me but he seems to just sigh when i say im in pain today bu8t dosnt give me back rubs when i ask for them and dosnt offer to help me in and out the bath (i fall all the time when i feel really bad) I think the bottom line is:

    people disbelieve you - you feel down because of that - you then feel worse in pain because you feel down - and it goes round and round like that.

    anyway ive said my peice will inform you about the departments disuccion as soon as i know

    p.s sorry about spelling my hands shake like mad when i am typing now (i got 4 A's in I.C.T at school, so i used to be really fast and accurate at one stage lol) i can spell but i find it hard to get it right with my hands when i type and cant go back and change every wrong word.

  13. cgaspard100

    cgaspard100 New Member

    I forgot to add something important in my previous post, when considering whether or not to file disability.

    In order to be approved for disability, you have to be unable to perform any job of any kind. In other words, Social Security may agree that you can't perform your current job, but they are very good at suggesting other jobs you can do. I just wanted you to be aware of this because it's the hardest thing to overcome in the disability program. I've heard some horrendous stories where people were actually told they could do something like be a toll booth operator. Yet they didn't live in a state with toll roads. LOL It's amazing what they can come up with, all for the sake of not giving you the money you paid into.
  14. loops1988

    loops1988 New Member

    Hi, I thought it was best to write back to tell you that i was acceptible for Disability living allowence - i get middle rate care and higher rate mobility. This only took 9 weeks to be disided and my payments were back dated to the date applied which was useful.

    hope all goes well for you all.

  15. kaiasmom

    kaiasmom New Member

    I too suffer through 8 hour days at work, along with a 45 minute commute each way. Then I have two kids under 10 to come home & care for. I honestly don't know how I do it...necessity I guess. I've read the horror stories about disability on this board. I can't afford the battle, as I am the primary breadwinner in our family. Someday, I suppose I won't have a choice, if things continue downhill as they have been.

    Well, good luck. Know that you are not alone, although it may be little comfort at this point.

    Take care,

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