I got sick in early 2006, filed by October 2006, went through all the rejections and paperwork. Somewhere in the second year I got a lawyer. I guess our Seattle office is incredibly backed up because they finally assigned me to a judge from Houston. I had a teleconference hearing in August that took 12 minutes. I wasn't asked one question about my health, only bureaucratic stuff like 'have you been in jail?'. My attorney was delighted, it was clear to her that I passed. I got a letter in October officially saying I was disabled. I started getting monthly payments in November. Today, finally, the back pay showed up. We'd called and asked why it took so long, as did the attorney, and no one at SSA had a clue why or when it would come. It took 3 years and 10 months. It took 5 months just to get the (considerable) back pay after I was approved. As so many of you know, I feel like it was a war. I could never have done it on my own. My wife handled the original paperwork and it made her crazy. This is NOT supplemental income, this is the disability for regular social security. I had worked over 40 years and paid into this with the promise that I'd be paid either at 66 (full retirement) or at disability. One great irony is that I turn 66 this month and last week I actually got a letter from SSA saying I am no longer on disability, but on regular retirement now. This letter came before they gave me my back pay. Jerks. Do they ever read their own letters? My attorney was Susan Andrews at Causey Law Firm in Seattle. I can't say enough about her. She did a super job, worked hard, she's smart and funny and sympathetic. She spent a lot of time researching and compiling records and writing a summary for the judge. I think it made a huge difference. My only regret is that I didn't call her sooner. My main issue was probably pain and the inability to sit. I have chronic pelvic pain of undiagnosed origin that started when I got the 'flu' in 2006. I came out of that flu with colitis, gluten sensitivity, chronic pain and chronic fatigue. I've had an easier time than many because I do have support, I have a long history of being energetic, athletic, and a hard worker, so no one really questioned that I was somehow faking it all. The difference was dramatic. And I think doctors are a lot more sympathetic to older people in pain. I've learned so much about how to handle this from this forum, I thank you all.