Got second turn down from Social Security ....

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by BobinGermany, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    Hi,
    I am so depressed. I just received my 2nd denial letter from social security today. They listed all of my doctors names and all of the problems that I have EXCEPT FM! I had sent them doctors attests from my Fibro Doc, My Family Doc and my Therapist saying that there was no way that I could work.

    Have many people here had to go before the judge to get approved? Have many people that have gone before the judge still been denied?

    By the way I am an American just living in Germany. I worked all of my worktime in Virginia, around 32 years worth. So it's not like I am trying to get something that I am not entitled to.

    Can you please share your experiences with me? I feel so helpless about this right now.

    God Bless,
    Bob
  2. TKE

    TKE New Member

    >>MY ATTORNEY (GET ONE! They are mandated by federal law to only take 8.5% and it is worth it<<

    According to the law they can take 25% of your back pay, if you win your case, plus any expense they incurred making copies of your records.

    Not sure how you'd deal with a hearing living in Germany. It would probably be best if you hired a disability lawyer in the USA.

    Since we're not permitted to post websites here do a search for "disability secrets". The site has lots of good info.
  3. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    Thank you's to Spamula, Cheryl888881 and TKE for writing and giving me some hope. I really appreciate the help and the kind words. I guess I was just overwhealmed when I received the letter today. I will be contacting an attorney in the US for this. The letter says that I could possibly do it here but I would want the attorney with me at the court. Aside from a major flare I don't mind going to the US for the court date. I went there last October to see my Mom (she was passing away from Altzheimers) and it took me over a week to recover from the travel. It is just so frustrating to have to fight so hard to get some of the money back that I paid into the system for this very purpose. I pray daily for the others who are fighting this battle. I will keep you updated on how it goes....

    Thanks again and God Bless,
    Bob
  4. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    Thanks so much for the link. Looks like some good information here.
    God Bless,
    Bob
  5. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Don't worry! That's normal! I got turned down the standard 3 times, got a lawyer, had a hearing, and won! So don't worry, they're always going to turn down diseases like these.

    I waited just under 3 years for my hearing from when I filed.

    What's very important that my lawyer told me is to go through the list of symptoms that SS has in their definition of the disease. Write them down if you have to and take it to the doctor. Tell him to document all the symptoms that YOU have that are on that list and make sure he describes them in the same way that SS does. That is exactly what the SS people are going to look for when they request your medical records from that doc. They are looking for fibro symptoms that you have complained to the doctor about. Be very specific and make sure your doctor understands what he's supposed to do. My doctor was really cool about it and did everything I asked him to.

    Keep a daily journal, too. Talk about what you can't do and why. For example, I couldn't take a shower by myself because I couldn't stand up long enough to take a shower. And I had to have my husband bathe me and shampoo my hair because I was so weak I couldn't raise or use my arms. See what I mean? You have to describe the exact reason WHY you can't do something, don't just say you can't do it. I couldn't drive because I couldn't sit up straight and I couldn't use my arms. It may sound dumb and repetitive, but that's what they are looking for. And don't offer any extraneous information, answer only what they ask.

    My lawyer also helped me out with the judge, who she was very familiar with, and told me where to find all the info. Definitely do your homework, like you are right now, and stop worrying! As long as you have everything documented properly, you should be fine.

    good luck!

    karen

    actually, daily journal is probably a little bit unrealistic, at least weekly or monthly, though

    [This Message was Edited on 01/18/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/18/2007]
  6. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    Thank you for the information! I really appreciate it. I only have an official diagnosis of FM right now but I am working with my doctor now on a diagnosis for CFS. I fit almost all of the criteria to a T! Will be getting blood drawn for the tests, etc this coming week. May I ask... Did you get the SS from FM only but for CFS also? I read last night that SS doesn't have a FM criteria? Is this true?

    Also, I went for a MRI of my shoulders today and have a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder and very bad arthritis, bursitis, weak rotator cuff in my left one. So.. I will be having surgery soon, not totally sure when yet. Still need to go back to the ortho to decide on the date,etc. Would this help any in my SS case?

    Thanks again for the help!
    God Bless,
    Bob
  7. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I just looked on the SS website and I couldn't find any diagnostic criteria for fibro. In fact, the search thing didn't hardly pick up anything at all for fibro. I assumed it was there since it's a disease like cfs, which IS there. So you'll have to use fibro in conjuction with cfs. My filing was "I have cfs caused by hepatitis c". My whole thing was hep c, but I had to have a condition caused by it, which was cfs. I don't have fibro. They want reasons for everything at SS.

    Okay, so on the SS thing, which is here, BTW:

    http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/rulings/di/01/SSR99-02-di-01.html

    it says you have cfs if you have the concurrence of 4 or more of the following symptoms, all of which must have persisted or recurred during 6 or more consecutive months of illness and must not have pre-dated the fatigue:

    And then it lists them all. So you need a diagnosis, BUT don't forget, the doctor also has to list all the individual symptoms you have and how long you have had them. The doctor may not understand this, he may think that a diagnosis by him is good enough and that this is an insult to his intelligence to have to list the symptoms. But that's how SS works, you have to document stuff the way they want and that's what they want.

    And the MRI will help, anything that shows you being messed up is going to help. And if you do see a doctor who says there's nothing wrong with you (doubtful), then you just don't submit his name to SS.

    And even after you've been diagnosed and everything, keep going to the doctor every few months to renew your complaints and get more documentation of symptoms. Even after you win, you will still have to prove at different times that you are still disabled; it's not a one-time deal.

    And like TKE said, check out disabilitysecrets.com. It says in there that a case that involves only fibro is not good, you have to have another condition involved, such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease, so talk to your doctor. Tell him what you're doing, he may already know about disability.

    Here's the fibro page on that site:

    http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/social_security_disability_fibromyalgia.html

    Some of the things you are supposed to do is to rule out other things the cause cfs like Lyme disease, mono, epstein barr, adrenal fatigue, etc. You just have to count on the doctor to tell you what things you should rule out: just other treatable things that could also cause cfs.

    Okay, now you just have to read a whole bunch and keep asking questions. Most people are not prepared, they think just because they are disabled, that it will prove itself. But that's not true, you have to do it a certain way. You'll be able to figure it out, this "secrets" site has alot of good info.

    good luck, bob!

    karen
  8. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    I really appreciate the imformation. I am off now to do some work on this monster!

    God Bless,
    Bob
  9. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    Thank you very much for offering advice on the SS thing. I am a nut about keeping copies. I have copies of all the files I have on the computer and paper files of the same stuff on the shelves! :)

    When I applied for SS back in 2002 I sent them all doctors records from around 1975. But... When I first applied I didn't have the FM diagnosis that I do now. I also have several other conditions that I have since added. I hope to be confirmed as having CFS very soon. My doc will start the lab work next week.

    Thanks again for your help!
    God Bless,
    Bob
  10. enjoysue

    enjoysue New Member

    "May I ask... Did you get the SS from FM only but for CFS also? I read last night that SS doesn't have a FM criteria? Is this true?"

    If I remember rightly.......the cfs criteria had just been added to the disability list with social security a few months before my SSD was successful on the first try. I always attributed my winning so easily on that but I'm probably wrong.

    I strong component that probably helped my case is my brain fog. A lot of the times I am just not with it at all. Even though one hates to add it, if the fibro affects you at all in that way or depression wise it's good to get that in writing. I will have to ask my sister who works for SS what would actually help a case. I never did ask her to help me with mine at the time.

    I can honestly say that I don't have clinical depression but if I were made to work again it would come back in full force. I need to sit when I need to sit or lie down when I need to and every move I make is agony. Good Luck!!!!!!!!

  11. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    Hi,

    Thanks for writing. The first 2 times I filed were for FM with degenerative disc disease, severe depression, panic attacks, etc. After reading the replies and doing some reasearch I see that SS doesn't have FM on the list. I am working with my doctor on a CFS diagnosis this week. I have almost ALL of the symptoms. I want to do some bloodwork first and rule out some things. I think if I do get a CFS diagnosis I will be ok.

    God Bless,
    Bob
  12. wannaretire

    wannaretire New Member

    I never applied a third time I just downgraded to living in poverty though I've worked since I was 15. I was told I should be able to work, so I found PT work. I catch hell for being late when my heart muscle isn't pumping strongly enough. just rec'd that diagnosis after an echocardiagram, but the specialists all say I need to get my hashi's under control cause they can't treat me until then even though my CRP indicates inflammation. The cardiologist said I'd feel moree like a wet dishrag if she'd treated my heart weakness, so I should just suck it up for a few mths. From the late 70's to '07 I've sucked it up. I was told by an attorney recently I'd need to have been unemployed for a number of months before they could take my case.
    You all seem to know how to do this, please tell me how to survive without any income for months. I was flat on my back for nearly 3mths back in the late '90's because I could drive for fear I'd pass out on the beltway enroute to work I lost my apt & everything but my 85 OLDS which I bought w/401k money when walking became a chore. Then a drunken retired cop hit me headon & totalled it. I'm still in debt simply because of crippling panic attacks not to mention the fibro/brain fog. My family didn't even believe me cause I had always been the strong one that rescued everyone else. HELP ME PLEASE??
  13. winsomme

    winsomme New Member

    living in Germany, i don't know how you would do this, but i have been told having a lawyer argue your case can be a big help.

    also getting a letter from your DR specifically saying that this condition has left you disabled and unable to work.....or something along those lines..

    i have yet to apply so i do not have first hand info.

    maybe it's worth another shot.

    thanks
    bill
  14. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    I know what you mean about being confused. I am just starting all of this so I don't really know much yet. You would probally get better results on getting some help if you start a new post with a title such as "Need Help with Social Security" or something like that. The people here are super and I am sure that someone with the knowedge that you need will be glad to help you.
    God Bless and I am praying for you....
    Bob
  15. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    Hi and thanks again,

    I will get an attorney and fight this in the US. The letter that I got from SS said something about doing it here but I will feel alot better doing it in the states. I don't mind to travel except for the pain it causes. I have 3 attests from 3 different docs saying that I cannot work. So.... I will have another one this week and am working on getting the CFS diagonsis soon. I fit all of the symptoms. I just need to have the doc run some blood work to rule out other things and then I am sure he will give me the diagnosis.

    God Bless,
    Bob
  16. wannaretire

    wannaretire New Member

    Thanks Bob,

    You're my first and only reply. I Hope your 3rd try works. I find myself doubting my illness cause I have worked so many, many years sucking it up, as my cardiologist suggested. Beaten down is how I feel. I have hope but right now I am downgrading my expenses to prepare for FMLA - my boss has accused me of abuse of sick leave because I used 3 sick days this month. I still have 70 hours from last years 80 hrs but that doesn't matter. I was suspended for tardiness last year because I decided better I reserve sick live for a flare. Now she wants to fire me. I GIVE UP. I will try to get one of these Dr's to complete my FMLA so that I can gain some strength to fight back. Thanks for the advice & your support.
    All the best,
    Wannaretire
  17. cinbad25

    cinbad25 New Member

    I also got turned down twice....it went before the judge and my representive from Allsup went before the judge ( I did not have to be present) and they approved it. It all took a little over a year.....I would highly recommend Allsup.....its on the internet...sorry, don't have their 800 number handy, but they do have their own website. Hang in there though, they are hoping that you do give up!!!
  18. jackrorabbit

    jackrorabbit New Member

    They deny about 70% first time because about 50% of the people give up at that point and second time its about 95% denial. Get a lawyer and apply for the hearing. Then your odds get much better. There are caps for the lawyer by law, I think its 25% of your back owings to a max of like 6k or there about. Im in the third stage now. Should be about a year before the judge hearing. Good luck.
  19. suzette1954

    suzette1954 New Member

    My case went to the judge and I believe it was the severe depression I have with the fibro that won it for me. I would never try to go for SSD without help. I was blessed to work for city govt before I had to go on pension disability with them and they have a co. that works as an advocate for us. My advocate was wonderful and kept telling me we would win. It took 2 yrs and the day she called to tell me we had a favorable decision from the judge, I couldnt stop crying and got down on my knees and thanked the Lord for not forsaking me.

    I think if you dont have help, you should get it. Best of luck, Suzette
  20. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    Hi all,

    I want to thank you 3 for your help.

    Cinbad25... I will look for Allsup as soon as I am finished saying thank you to you all.

    Jackrorabbit... I will be contacting an attorney next week. I have to see my ortho doc tomorrow to schedule surgery for my shoulders. I hope to get that done soon as possible as I have had a ton of pain from both of them. I have a torn rotator cuff in the right one and arthritis, bursitis, bone spurs, etc in the left. (Geesh, where does it ever end?)

    Suzette1954... (First I like your on-line name...:) I also claimed severe depression on my application. Still got turned down. But so far I was only diagnosed with fibro which is not on their list. But hopefully in the next few weeks I will have the CFS diagnosis as well. I just want some bloodwork first to rule out other things.

    Isn't is sad when we have to work so hard (especially at a time when it is hard to even sit up) to get the benefits that we each worked hard for and paid into the system? It almost makes me feel like I am asking for a hand-out from a stranger. But I will not quit. Fortunately my wife makes very good money and if I need to I will appeal this thing all the way to the Supreme Court. I have only been married to my wife for 5 years and she has had to "pay my way" through all of the 5 years. I feel like I need to put something back into the relationship. If it wasn't for that I would just stop trying to get the social security and let someone else have it.

    Thanks again for all of the help and I wish everyone a great and a painless day as possible. I will keep you all updated on my progress.

    God Bless,
    Bob