Help SSDI Appointment to sign up today 1:30 PM any suggestions

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jakeg, May 24, 2006.

  1. jakeg

    jakeg New Member

    I'm going to the SS office today to sign up for SSDI today. Any suggestions as to how to get the person taking the info to believe that I'm eligible and due the benefits that I have paid into for my entire work life since I was 16 years of age.

    I will be taking a copy of all med records and other documents needed with me. Also my wife will be taking me there as I will not be able to drive there.

    I am also thinking about not taking any of my pain meds to day.

    Jake
  2. downtowngal

    downtowngal New Member

    First, stay home and take care of your pain meds. Only you (and your wife) will know or care how much pain you have.

    Keep in mind every step of the SSDI process is noted.

    Remember, you need to prove that you are unable to do ANY work, and unable to sit or stand for hours,etc. If you go to SSA, you will be sitting and standing for a long time.

    There are several things I learned throughout the long approval process – (took 3 applications because 2 were "lost" and 3 years)

    Re: Application Process

    1. If you already have an appt. for an interview, call and cancel and request a phone interview. The date you first contact SSA is your protected filing date. Find out the address of your local office. Write a brief note thanking them for taking your application over the phone and confirming the date of the phone interview. Send this Certified Mail, return receipt requested and put the Certified form number on the top of your letter. This will documents your protected filing date.

    3. If you have not yet called to apply for SSDI, CALL today and request a phone interview because you are too ill to come to the office. You don't have to explain why to this rep. (pain, standing, sitting, nausea, lights, bad air, running to the bathroom, anxiety, confusion, etc - we know all the reasons). The rep will asked you questions and set up a date/time for a phone interview. You can find out the the questions you will be asked in advance on the SSA website.

    3. The application starts with the phone interview. SSA should send you a form asking you to sign that has all your phone interview answers. This packet should include the full application, work history, etc. It may include the function report, pain form, headache form, etc or you may get these later but before the medical exam.

    4. Use as much paper as you want - do not limit yourself to the forms - type up double spaced.

    5. Make copies of everything you send and send by certified mail or have someone other than yourself bring it to the rep. handling your file - make a list of every item in the package and have the rep. sign they received it (although it will probably be misplaced anyway - as mine was 3 times).

    6. Document how you need help with ADLs - look on the SSA website to learn how the state disability analysts reviews the applications and function reports. Make sure the function report is done before the IME (“independent” medical exam).

    7. Keep a pain (and/or headache and/or sleep diary - you will be asked if you keep one at some point in the process.

    8. Make copies of all your prescriptions, new test results, and/or bills and send these to SSA, certified mail every month to your claims rep. Then he/she has to locate the file.

    9. The IME - Do not drive yourself to any appointment. Always have someone take you and make sure SSA knows someone had to take you. SSA will provide car service to the IME if you ask. If you have 2 appts., such as orthopedist and psych.- tell them you can only do one appt. a day, as it is too tiring. You will probably have to wait at the doctor’s office. There were cameras all over the office when I went. If you have to get up, walk around, go to the bathroom, etc – do what you need to do be comfortable. No one will know or care that you’re in more pain because you are sitting there. Remember, who is going to hire/retain an employee who has to get up all the time, go to the bathroom all the time, falls asleep at their desk, etc.? If you are asked a question you don’t understand or need more time to process, tell them – if they speak too low, tell them.

    10. When your file is lost a few times, write to your Senator or Congressman, but not both. Write in your letter that you have certified mail receipts. Their office will make an official inquiry and may help.


    TIPS:

    1.Show how you need help with ADLs (activities of daily living). Get help even if you have to pay someone or get your doctor to approve a home health aide (covered by Medicaid

    2.Document, document, document (records have a way of getting lost, e.g. "we are unable to locate your file".

    3.Always get the name and ID # of the rep you speak to, their supervisor's name. and always note the date and time of contact.

    4.Do not neglect your medical care – if you don’t have insurance and need to see doctors, tell your local social service dept. you applied for SSDI. Apply for Medicaid if you think you are eligible. Apply for a drug company’s assistance program for free meds.

    5.You know what you can and cannot do now that you did before – tell SSA.

    6.Take care of yourself.


    Be well,
    Downtown Gal








  3. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    Wishing you luck and saying a prayer!

    Tona
  4. justlooking

    justlooking New Member

    sometimes it is a long and stressful process and each person and case is different.
    Its hard to compare one persons experience with the SSA to anothers. Every time I see someones story about their experience with the SSA its different and I personally believe thats because with each case there are different people involved, from your Drs to the SSA Drs, to SSA employees, lawyers, etc.
    One person can win with no documentation for a bad pinky toe and the next person has a terminal illness and fights for years to be denied or approved after their death. It's ridiculous and exhausting to try to figure it all out.

    Anyway, I went in person to my intial interview. I sat at a desk with an SSA employee who asked me questions, mostly relating to my former employment, but a little about my illnesses. He took copies of my personal documents and then gave me a packet of papers to take home and fill out.

    I did get denied twice and had to go before an ALJ, where I did receive a fully favorable bench decision. I went to the SSA branch again to fill out the paperwork for my kids benefits. So my point is that you can win your case even if you do go into the SSA office. Heck if you look bad enough it may be in your favor.

    Anyway, just my experience but you should go with whatever your gut instinct is on this.

    Just wanted to share my experience and offer you some support!
    Sincerely
    JL
  5. jakeg

    jakeg New Member

    I will let you know how I think it went when I get back from the SS office.

    Jake
  6. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    I think that that to get it first try,you must have documentation.I went in and got it first try.I brought my husband to help when I forgot something.

    If you can't carry a pan to the sink,write it down.I kept a notepad by me for weeks ,when I couldn't do something I wrote it down.

    I had my husband write all this up on the application and I signed it.That is permissible.I'm just giving you my experience.I applied on straight fibro(2 mildly compressed discs or so the doctors say)and got it.Linda
  7. BlueSky555

    BlueSky555 New Member

    I am going thru the process myself and applied last year. I applied the first time, then went back to work and tried to work again, was laid off, so they say, got another job for 6 months to find that I just couldnt do anymore work at all. I was MUCH worse at that point. So I had to re-apply which I know this wasn't good but I know we ALL prefer to work but just comes to a point that we just can't do it anymore.

    I haven't heard anything yet but my advice is do NOT give up like I did because when I applied, they didn't ask for anymore information and sent me a denial letter, don't remember when. I'm not sure they even looked into my case again due to giving up the first time but suppose I'll never know. When I did reconsideration, SSD send me the "daily function form" for me to complete and return AND some "medical release forms".....go figure.

    ALL of the information here will help you tremendously. You did the right thing by coming here first; MUCH better chance.

    Good Luck Jake!

    BlueSky555
  8. jakeg

    jakeg New Member

    and the gentleman that I spoke to was nice and very helpful. My wife drove me there and was right there with me to answer the questions that I couldn't, good old fog and memory lapse.

    I couldn't sit still the whole time we were there and to wards the end I asked him if he minded if I stood up for awhile which I did, my back was killing me and was up and down like a jack in the box.

    We gave him a copy of all of my medical records and also took all of the information for my daughters, which he was happy to see.

    He told me I should be hearing from them in about 4 months and that they may send forms to me for the daily stuff or they may not depending if med records are sufficient or not.

    He also had alot of info about me on his desk that my lawyer had sent to him. He said that he normally doesn't have paper work from a lawyer before the applicant was there to file.

    So it seems as though things went pretty well, but I guess time will tell.

    Jake
    [This Message was Edited on 05/25/2006]
  9. justlooking

    justlooking New Member

    I've never heard of the SSA NOT having you fill out 3 million forms before. Maybe your documentation is so good you won't need to do that part, that would be wonderful for you. I have to say the paperwork was a large part of the pain in the neck (literally) applying for SSA. It seemed never ending at times.

    Well I hope it goes well for you!! The ball is now rolling, now its just a waiting game, so hang in there.
    Sincerely
    JL
  10. sisland

    sisland New Member

    sounds as though you have a great chance at getting your ssdi approved! the more prepared you are the better your chances! the one important paper that helped mine go through was the daily living activites form ! my Dr. helped me fill it out and that was a big plus according to my lawyer!...........................................................if you are familiar with the Devin starlynal Fm books "FM the survival Manual" and "The FM Advocate" she has these forms in the book that you can take out and copy or just take them in to the dr's office ! goodluck to you!..............................sisland