For Betsy2 and all others who have filled out SSI forms-help!!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by hes, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. hes

    hes New Member

    I am 32 and have CFS and Fibromyalgia and haven't been able to work for 2 years. I just received my green form to fill out for disability but I am stuck on the question "How do your illnesses, injuries or conditions limit your ability to work?" I don't even no where to begin to try to explain it!!!! I can't seem to organize my thoughts at all through the brain fog, pain and cognitive problems. How do you even begin to explain this illness?? Could you please tell me what any of you wrote down?

    Thank you for any suggestions or help...

    Heidi
  2. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    I filled out the forms for my SSDI last September, and have yet to hear another word,so possibly I am not the right person to answer you. I told them how I am affected. I don't sleep at night, and fall asleep with no warning during the daytime. I have chronic IBS, which makes me run to a bathroom on a moment's notice (or less). I am short tempered and irritible, get blinding headaches from flickering lights, and a sudden noise has me hanging from the ceiling by my claws. In addition, the medications that I must take daily in order to function at all leave me so drugged I am unable to function. Good luck and don't forget to make copies of everything that you send them. It will make your next stack of forms much easier to fill out.
    Kathryn
  3. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    Kathryn gave you good advice. I also have not heard anything yet, but I wrote things along the same line. I can only stand for a few minutes at a time, I need to rest frequently, I can only lift things that weigh no more than a gallon of milk, mentioned how my cognitive problems affect me, in detail.

    My attorney had me go for neuro/psych testing which basically said I was a mess cognitively. I wrote a draft and thought about it before finally putting it on the form. Of course that made it take longer. Don't worry about neatness, I wrote all around, in the margins, to get things in.

    Good luck!

    Barbara
  4. sheri

    sheri New Member

    Get a friend or family member who knows you well and have them give you their honest answers and help with filling out the forms. Its hard to be objective with ourselves and as you said , to even get thoughts organized is difficult.Then there is that old saying"two heads are better than one".:) Really, I think this will help, I have had to do that for a couple of family members. Blessings, sheri
  5. Betsy2

    Betsy2 New Member

    I was just completely honest. That must be on the original claim form which I didn't make copies of. However, I think that I mentioned my inability to sit for prelonged periods at my desk, walking (even short distances), not able to keyboard for very long, falling asleep at my desk, not able to think clearly due to fibrofog, etc. Everyone is different so I don't know what to tell you except to be completely honest. I filled out my initial claim form on my own but had a friend help me with the other questionaires I was sent. With my foggy mind I was apt to not communicate effectively so I was more secure asking someone to help me. Any misinterpetation of the facts can affect your decision so be careful how you word your answers. SS can twist statements in order to deny your claim so this is why I tell you this. Being honest and communicating effectively is what I believe is the key.
  6. contessa

    contessa New Member

    Take a pad of paper and list each of your job duties. (Skip several lines between duties) Then under each job duty list what symptom(s) prevents you from performing that job duty. Yes, the same symptom may keep you from performing several job duties, that's okay.

    If you are still working, get your job discription from Human Services Dept. I found out that mine was listed as a sedintary job (Supposedly all I did was sit all day) - they never took into consideration the amount of typing, telephone work, turning, bending, reaching, sitting, lighting, noise, environment (too hot/too cold) that made it impossible to work it. I had to counteract all of that on my own. The more bullets you have going in, the better chance you'll come out unharmed by the stress.

    This will give you an outline for filling out the pages. Remember, your symptom accuracy is important but form errors are expected. SSDI is looking for your imperfections - but they won't ignore why you cannot do something. Must be specific.

    Also make certain when your outline is completed that you present it to your treating doctor and ask them to be included in your patient notes. Then there is no reason why You, SSDI, and your doctor are seeing different paperwork. You will also need to find out in advance if your doctor is going to work with you or against you.

    Good luck - be prepared - and take time to enjoy the little things.
  7. hes

    hes New Member


    For the good suggestions--

    I'm going to print this out and get to work--

    Heidi
  8. missvickielynn

    missvickielynn New Member

    (Sorry........really BAAAAD corny, but I couldn't resist!)

    Your words are almost identical to mine were, when I was trying to work on my green form. (I now call it the Green Demon.)

    I first tried to apply for Disability last year, and I was so ill at that point that I COULD NOT fill out the form. I re-filed in August of this year, and got my green form the first week of September. It took me 60 DAYS to get it filled done, and I had to do it with attached sheets. I am too embarrassed to even admit how MANY attached sheets, but it was a lot! I tried desperately to get help with filling out the forms....not only because I cannot hand-write for more than a few minutes at a time without severe pain and numbness in my hand and fingers, but also because I have a terrible time "condensing" all the information. (If you have ever read my posts, you will know that I have a really hard time with being LOOOONNNNNGGGG-winded.)

    But I was not able to get any help with condensing my statements, or filling out the form, so I did it on the computer, and worked on it for no more than 30 minutes at a time, until I had it all down.......and then I worked on it some more to try to condense it without taking out the "meat".

    It is just a sad fact that the forms are completely inadequate to address out illnesses, for several reasons that I am sure you have discovered.

    Be sure to keep copies of EVERYTHING you send with your claim. You will get more forms to fill out, which will be a lot of repetition of things you have already answered on the Green Demon. So it is important that you be consistent in your answers.

    Also, beginning just after the first of this year, when I knew that I had to suck it up and re-file, I began the process of collecting all of my medical records that I didn't already have. I was diagnosed with CFS in 1988, FMS in 1993, Endometriosis in 1996, and mild Cervical Stenosis in May 2001. I sent in copies of all my medical records dating back to 2 years prior to my CFS diagnosis, including visits to Minor ER clinics and ENT Specialists for recurring sinus, ear and throat infections. The file I turned in to my Local SSA office with my Green Demon was nearly 2 inches thick.

    You have been given some very good advice by other posters. Several suggestions are ones I wish I had thought of when I was trying to condense my answers for the green form!

    I would not say that the way I did it (by attaching so many additional pages) was the right thing to do, but I did the best I could under the circumstances. I have now (I believe) completed the first stage of the process, having just this week gone to SSA's Doctor and Psycologist for "consultative exams". I feel pretty sure I will have the first decision right after the first of the year. I know what the odds are, but I still hope, pray, and visualize daily for a miracle approval!

    Good luck to you.......I understand completely how overwhelming it must seem to you!

    Vickie
  9. garyandkim

    garyandkim New Member

    Can you not concintrate. Do you forget what you are doing. Can you not sit or stand to long (put in Mins) Are you late to work, leaving early, taking many sick days. ( of course this is all for when you were working. Can you bath and dress yourself with out help or doing it in stages.Putting the laundry in the washer but, not being able to dry it till the next day or how ever. that type of thing. We even wrote how marital relations were not possible due to pain. How about unrefreshed sleep. Falling asleep in meetings or where ever at work. How about shopping. Do you need help, can you lift bend sit stand etc for only short periods of time and no matter you are in pain and can't concintrate and all that you feel . Have someone else fill out your forms, don't make it look like it's done by a pro. Don't type it. Get every test done and reports and send them in. Make sure you see your doc every 3 months at the least after you get it. The doc told us to write the worst day senereo. For the CFS we sent in the Sleep study showing non restorative sleep and that the Alphia (awake) waves were intruding on the Delta (sleep) waves. You have been given a lot of great info from all above.

    Good luck and take care, Kim and Gary

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