Got Disability First Try in Short Period of Time

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by catgal, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Greetings Everyone~~I have belonged to this Board for many years, but haven't been here in quite some time due to illness and so many things happening.

    I finally had to quit my job of 18 years that I loved last May/04 because of FM/CFS and several other medical conditions. I hung on two years longer than I should have because I am my sole financial provider, needed the paycheck, and loved my job. However, my health became so bad I was in the hospital more than I was at work. Then in July/04 I had a mild stroke. In August/04 had a Major stroke which left me with additional health problems.

    Finally, I applied for disability in October/04. I did it all on my own. In December/04, I had a moderate stroke. All 3 strokes hit the same part of the brain. Those last two years I worked took a serious toll on me, and in retrospect--I should asked my boss to give me a medical termination sooner for I was truly too ill to work, and those last two years of working have had far-reaching, serious consequences. But, I was afraid to leave my job as I didn't know how I would survive financially. By working those two extra years, I did myself alot of damage. So, I hope others in the same boat will heed my message.

    After I got all my physicians/specialists letters/medical termination, disability application filled out, and sent in to SSA in October/04--they called and did a 4 1/2 hour interview with me. I was so sick that day, and my asthma was really bad I could hardly breathe or talk. But the gal who did the interview was very nice and rephrased my answers on the interview sheet she was doing so it would be the kind of language SSA looks for. After that telephone interview in November/04, I didn't hear a word from SSA until January/05, and then every month from January/05 to May05, they sent me to one of their different, specialized doctors. Five in all. I had to have a mental health exam, a memory exam, an eye exam, a field-vision eye exam, and the last was an orthopedist. (Besides FM/CFS, I had severe degenerative disc disease, classfied life-threatening asthma, 3 kinds of arthritis--and after the Major stroke in July/04, I had extreme memory loss, vision loss with extreme light sensitivity, poor balance, confusion, and horendous headaches along with some other problems caused by the stroke.) SSA did not seem to focus on anything but my mental health state (depression), the memory and vision loss from the Major stroke, and the degenerative disc disease. My asthma problems were already well documented since I was a child so they didn't bother with that, nor did they bother with the FM/CFS. However, the orthopedist they sent me to noted it.

    In June/05, I received my disability award letter, and they gave me a full 100% disability. Their 4-page letter said they considered me disabled as of June/04 (the last month I worked was May/04). You have to be unable to work for 6 consecutive months before being "considered" for disability or any retro monies, so after my 6 consecutive months of not working and going through all my documentation--they classfied me as "disabled" in December/04. However, in order to determine what PERCENT of disability I had (because they can give you anywhere from 10% to 100%)they started sending me to all those exams starting in January/05. And it was the reports from the doctors of those 5 exams that put me at 100% disability. I received a retro check from December/04 to May/05. They had also noted that since my boss gave me a medical termination, I was elgible for unemployment. But, I never filed for it even though I desperately needed the money because if you do--that means you must be employable, and if you're looking for a job as a condition of unemployment--then you must be fit to work.

    So, for those of you seeking disabiity--SSA looks at everything. They even talk to your neighbors to see if you're out doing yard work, lifting stuff, and seemingly to be "Able" to do things.

    Sorry this is so long, but I'm trying to be of help for those applying for disability. When I went to my mental health exam--the first thing he said to me was, "Life hasn't been too good to you...", and I busted out crying. I cried through the whole ordeal. I flunked the memory test something awful because the stroke wiped out my memory. On the eye exam and field vision exam they noted problems with my eyes. And the orthopedist examined me from head to toe; saw all the bruises I had from falling down due to poor balance/vision/back problems, sent me to get his own quick x-rays; noted my FM/CFS as he poked and prodded, and told me there should be no reason why I should be turned down.

    I hope this "novel" helps someone who is applying for SSA. Even if you get turned down the first time--appeal within the alloted time, and hang in there till you get it.

    Blessings to you all, Carol...
    [This Message was Edited on 08/05/2005]
  2. poodlemommy

    poodlemommy New Member

    good for you.I won my CPP battle on my own. I then had to hire a lawyer a year ago to fight for my work disability benefits. I won a cash out 2 weeks ago. So Im all finished fighting too. I will be able to finish paying my house off and put some money in the bank. I was toying with getting a part time job just to put some extra money in my pocket and then decided I dont want to ruin my health any further. Like you I worked longer than I should have. I was with my company for 27 years. It was hard to stop working not only for financial reasons but for self esteem and independance too. Any how its been a good decision and now that Ive won my hard fought battles which took a total of 3 1/2 years , I can now enjoy the rest of my life. I also had to make a choice to end my marriage 6 months ago which was also a very difficult choice but again one that has benefited my health. My stress levels have gone down so much that I actually feel better than I have in 5 years. I actually feel like I could work but I dont dare upset the cart. I want to keep feeling good so Im going to relax. I also started taking bio identical hormones a year ago and what a difference that has made. I feel 20 years younger and lost weight and look 10 years younger than my age. So things are looking up. Im glad you posted and warned people of the risk of working too long. ITs very true. Im glad you won and hope that things improve for you.
    hugs, poodlemum
  3. catgal

    catgal New Member

    So glad things are going well for you, and thanks for the tip about the bio-whatever. Tell me more. Does it interfere with narcotic medications and where did you get it. Is it a tablet of what? Happy for you, Carol...
  4. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Congratulations! I am so happy that you won your SSDI without much trouble.

    However, I am sad that you have so many medical problems.

    I also received my SSDI on my first application, without a lawyer or assistance from anyone.

    Take care,
    jlh (Janet)
  5. poodlemommy

    poodlemommy New Member

    hi catgal. If you read some of my other posts you will see the info on the hormones. I use cream form for the progesterone and testoerone and a capsule for the Dhea. Any how dont want to annoy everyone by repeating myself so go into some of the other posts and all the info is there.
    good luck
    poodlemumy
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'm very happy for you.

    Love, Mikie