How long did it take everyone to get disability?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by brendahayes47, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. brendahayes47

    brendahayes47 New Member

    I have just appealed mine and now I've got to wait another 12 to 15 months. This is awful,I am so broke I can't afford medication.I just trying to buy groceries.

    Thanks Brenda
  2. gmom605

    gmom605 New Member

    *** when you said you appealed it ,,,is it your first appeal or the 2nd? where you turn down the first time ? because i was turn down the first time and i won on my 2nd time around ,,, i haven`t gotten anything yet,, cause i was just approved in dec.
    so good luck,,,, gmom,,,
  3. 1sweetie

    1sweetie New Member

    I applied in August & have not had a decision. I am thankful that my husband has been able to provide & I am drawing LTD but they will stop that in June 2006 unless I can win a suite against them.
  4. darude

    darude New Member

    It took me two years and was backdated 20 months.
  5. LdyM

    LdyM New Member

    Hi Brenda, I'm sorry to say it took me 2 1/2 years and $5,000 for an attorney to finaly be approved with CFIDS.

    Best of luck to you, **LdyM
  6. bozey

    bozey New Member

    I filed in march of this year and should have my check any day now. I couldn't believe it was so quick, tho' still felt like forever.
  7. GBHope

    GBHope New Member

    It only took me about 5 or 6 months. Thank God. That was back in 1996.


    BLUEROSE7 New Member

    It took me 6 months...with out a lawyer..Thank God!!

    I was denied my inital claim, but won on my first appeal (reconsideration)!

    Good Luck & Dont give up!!

  9. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    I won on first try but I had a huge file and had a lot of tests run
  10. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I was one of the lucky ones. I got it in 4 months, on my first application, and without the assistance of an attorney. However, I have a ton of medical problems and mentioned all of them.

    Everyone's case is so different, that it is hard to compare.

    Have you written to your congressman to help you due to "hardship" reasons? I wrote a letter to my sister's politicians on her behalf.

    Here is a copy of it for your information:


    Sample of Ltr. Written to a Congressman f/Help in Obtaining SSDI 12/11/05 05:31 PM

    I have seen quite a few posts recently regarding wanting a sample letter to a congressman regarding their help in obtaining SSDI.

    So, I decided to post the copy of the letter which I wrote for my sister last year. Here it is:

    NOTE: She lived in Ohio, so I sent it to all of her congressmen, senators, and even the governor of Ohio. You will have to look up all the officials in your state.


    Date: _______________

    Congressman Rob Portman
    238 Cannon Building
    Washington, D.C. 20515

    Dear Congressman Portman:


    The issue I am writing to you about is not a political one, but a social one. I am from a large family and one of own is hurting and needs assistance. I don’t know how to help her, my sister—this is why I am writing for your assistance. All members of my family are life-long residents of ______ County, Ohio, and live in _________, except for me. When I married, I moved “across the river” to _________ County, Kentucky, but continued to work in southern Ohio at the _______________. I retired from ____ in July, 1999, after 30 years of service. My late father also retired from _________ after 35 years of service. My older brother is a psychologist and is currently the Psychology Director of the youth prison in _____________, OH. My younger brother has spent more than 20 (or 25) years as a prison guard at ____ in ___________. My point is that everyone in my family, including all of my adult children as well as adult nieces, nephews, and in-laws are hard-working upstanding individuals. My sister is, too, however, she is now disabled with so many health problems that she has been unable to work for quite some time.

    My sister’s name is ____________. Listed below are a few statistics about her:
    • Address:
    • Telephone:
    • Social Security No.:
    • Date of Birth:
    • Marital Status: Divorced. (Ex-husband lives in Kentucky; pays no child support; and is on SSI due to problems resulting from 50%+ of his body being burned in a fire when he was a teenager, as well as other problems).
    • Children: One adult daughter who is married and lives in _______, Ohio; one son who is 13 years old and lives at home and totally dependent upon her.
    • Work History: She has worked various administrative and clerical, banking, and accounting-type jobs.

    Other personal information:

    • She home schools her son so that he can stay at home and help take care of her since she can not afford to have a home health aide. She is wheelchair bound, but can drive (her son wheels her to the car and loads/unloads the wheelchair). Her son also assists with some of her “not-too-personal” grooming needs (putting on her shoes, etc.), does the grocery shopping (while she rides in a motorized cart if the store has one, if not then she waits in the car), gets the mail in, cuts the grass and weedeats, does light housework (such as dusting, vacuuming, taking out trash, etc.), helps with cooking, laundry, and goes with her to all of her doctor appointments (average of five per month). Her son is doing extremely well being home schooled—he received straight A’s on his last report card. His personality has improved with the additional responsibility, and has bonded with his mother.

    • She has had NO source of income except for $305/month from the Ohio Department of Welfare. From what I understand, her lifetime limit on welfare has expired, and this month (May, 2004) will be her LAST month to receive this money, unless some type of extension can be approved. Since she has been certified “State Disabled”, she has not been working for her welfare benefits and, starting in June 2004, may get $100/month for being “State disabled” along with a small amount of food stamps (if her welfare benefits cannot be extended). Even if this is the case, she can not pay her bills and raise her son on $100/month.

    • She is living in a house that was paid for by my parents (before our father passed away) and is driving an old vehicle that was purchased for her by my widowed mother who lives on a $423 monthly pension plus social security. The transmission went out in her vehicle recently and my mother had to pay the more than $1500+ repair bill. The “new” transmission went bad two months ago. The repair shop had given her a warranty on her original repairs; however, they have kept her vehicle for two months and not fixed it, towed it to another lot so it would be impounded, and my mother had to pay to have it picked up and towed to another shop to be repaired. This will cost another $1500.00. My sister is currently checking with legal aid regarding action against the first shop to try and recover the repair cost that should have been done under warranty.

    • While her vehicle has been in the shop, she has had to continually borrow my mother’s car to go to her doctor’s appointments, etc. But she has no money to get her vehicle fixed, nor compensate my mother for all of her inconvenience of being stranded without a car to do her shopping, banking, etc., let alone reimburse my mother for the original car repairs. She has received shut-off notices on some of her utilities.

    • My mother currently pays on a continuous basis my sister’s car insurance, house insurance, major house repairs, gives her son a weekly allowance, etc., as well as helping her out on an as-needed monthly basis, when she has a little bit of extra money. I have bought my sister and her son clothes, etc.

    • Just a thought between all of this info: What would my sister do if she didn’t have a home provided for her and had to pay rent or make a house payment? How is she supposed to be able to afford to replace her old broken-down car? How is she supposed to ever be able to afford to pay for her own house insurance, car insurance, and maintenance on the house and car? Now at the price of gasoline, how is she supposed to be able to afford to put gas in any car just to get to the grocery store and to her doctor’s appointments? What about shoes and clothes for her growing 13-year-old boy? Wouldn’t it be nice if she were to be able to save a couple dollars a month just in case she had an emergency and needed a few dollars?

    • My sister has previously applied for social security disability (SSDI) two times and has been denied. The first application was around 1999/2000. Then ……
    She was placed on medical leave for two years by her doctor (during 1999-2001) for four knee surgeries (two scopes to repair problems and then two total knee replacements) and was unable to work.

    • When she was released from all the knee surgeries on 4/2/02, she had to get a job where she could sit down all day. The only job that she could find where she did not have to climb stairs, nor stand up, was a telemarketer. While working that job, she never made more than $800/month. Her health was getting worse, and she was reprimanded many times for her many absences. Her COPD (lung disease—Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and asthma worsened by the continuous non-stop talking on phone calls. She was often sent home due to severe coughing spells.

    • She applied for SSDI again (the second try) around April 2002 and was denied on 7/16/02.

    • She was laid off from the telemarketer job in June 2003 due to excessive absenteeism for illness.

    • She has applied for SSDI the third time on 2/13/04. She has completed all of the required forms, and had an appointment with a social security psychologist on 4/21/04. (I don’t know what took so long for them to make this appointment. Also, she has never been scheduled to see one of their medical doctors yet—if that is a requirement.)

    • She has visited the __________ Rehabilitation Services regarding trying to do some type of work at home. They asked her WHY she was there and expressed to her that they did not think she was physically able to do any type of work. She told them she was there because she was DESPERATE, that she HAD to do something to earn to money in order for her to pay her bills, and to take care of her son.

    Her list of medical problems/symptoms include:
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). She has portable oxygen attached to her wheelchair to use during the day. (She also sleeps with oxygen and a CPAP breathing machine.)
    • Coughing. Severe coughing attacks that occur all day long as well as all during the night due to COPD. Easily triggered by others’ colognes, strong smells, smoke, dust (when heating and A/C vents kick on), etc.
    • Asthma. Uses a nebulizer breathing machine for treatments.
    • Shortness of Breath. Major problem due to asthma compounded by her weight.
    • Chest Pains . Due to constant severe coughing attacks.
    • Arthritis (all over body). This causes pain, stiffness, and inflammation, as described below.
    • Severe Pain. Affected areas are neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and fingers, lower back, hips, legs, knees, ankles, and feet. Pain is excruciating and incapacitating.
    • Joint Pain and Stiffness. Joints are affected by arthritis, which causes great stiffness and soreness in addition to the pain.
    • Muscle Pain. This burning, gnawing, aching, fibromyalgia-type pain affects every muscle in her body.
    • Sleep Apnea and Inability to Sleep. She has trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Trouble breathing while lying in bed. Pain wakes her up when she does finally fall asleep and must toss and turn to find a position not painful. Coughing spell awaken her and keep her awake. Hard to stay awake and concentrate the following day due to not enough quality sleep. She has sleep apnea (stops breathing periodically when asleep) and sleeps with a CPAP breathing machine and oxygen.
    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fatigue, and Weakness. Overwhelming and debilitating fatigue and weakness due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (CFS is defined as fatigue that is persistent, relapsing or debilitating; does not improve with bed rest; and reduces or impairs average daily activity level by more than 50 percent. CFS may also include short-term memory problems, multi-joint pain, headaches, sleep disorders, post-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours, bowel disorders, and more.)
    • Inability of Walk and Stand. Uses a wheelchair 90% of the time. Can only walk a few steps at a time and can not stand more than 5 minutes at a time due to back problems (on top of the arthritis and knee and foot problems—she recently had surgery on both feet to replace the joints in most of the toes.)
    • Cognitive Dysfunction. Inability to concentrate. Trouble with short-term and long-term memory. Head feels so fuzzy all of the time that she cannot drive many times—she states that her brain feels as fatigued as her body.
    • Depression.
    • Anxiety.
    • Urinary Incontinence. Daily spasms and irritability causing urinary urgency and extreme incontinence.
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Constant diarrhea and constipation.
    • Headaches. Experiences chronic tension and “sick” headaches, which includes vomiting.
    • TMJ in Jaw. Pain in jaws as well as cramps, dizziness, and pain in the TMJ joint.
    • Circulatory Sensitivity to Temperature and Moisture. Hands, arms, feet, legs, and face tingle and become numb, like in Raynauds Syndrome and Neuropathy.
    • Hearing Loss.
    • Morbid Obesity.
    • Acid Reflux. Constant heartburn, stomach burning, and nausea due to GERD.
    • She takes a “ton” of medication for all of the above problems. In addition to sleeping with oxygen, she has a portable oxygen tank on her wheelchair to enable her to breathe better during the day.
    • Her medications include: Singulair, Ambien, Astelin, Ipratoprium Bromide Inhalation Solution, Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution, Advair Diskus, Albuterol Sulfate Inhaler, Atrovent Inhaler, Neurotin, Zanaflex, Pamelor, Fioricet, Lortab, Nexium, Paxil, Darvocet, Lasix, Diovan, Ultram, Xanax, Lidoderm Lidocaine Patches, and Bactroban ointment.
    • Her surgical history includes: (1) hammertoe and arthroplasty of the second, fourth, and fifth toes on the left foot on 1/7/04; (2) hammertoe and tenotomy of second toe on right foot on 11/19/03; (3) right heel neuroma; (4) heart catheterization on 11/11/03; (5) LESI—lumbar epidural spinal injections for pain block in 9/03, 10/03, and March 04; (6) four surgeries to left knee and one total knee replacement on left leg – 1999 and 2000; (7) total knee replacement on right leg in 2001; (8) pelvic area abscess removal; (9) lung exploratory; (10) appendectomy; (11) kidney stone removals; (12) bladder tucks, three times; (13) hysterectomy; (14) tonsillectomy; (15) ten teeth surgically removed in 2003; and (16) benign tumor removed on left side of neck.

    As you can see from the list of her ailments above, Congressman Portman, my sister is sick and unable to work. She is 45 years old and has worked all of her life, until her health started failing her a few years ago.

    She is desperate. SHE NEEDS HELP NOW!!!!

    Her welfare benefits are about to be exhausted! She has to have money to live, to pay her bills, and to take care of her son. My widowed mother has drained her savings in helping her pay her bills and is no longer able to help her - PLEASE HELP! She is sick, truly disabled, and is deserving of social security disability benefits.


    If she is approved by SSDI, will she be able to keep her food stamps and Medicaid – since she would not be eligible for Medicare under she has been on SSDI for two years? As sick as she is, and as many doctors that she must see on a continuing basis, she desperately needs the Medicaid and can not afford to pay for private insurance.

    Assuming that her SSDI is approved, is there any way for her to keep receiving any type of welfare benefits until she begins receiving her SSDI check?

    My sister, ________, is depressed. I am her sister trying to help her. My mother and I, as well as the rest of our family members, pray for her daily. We do not know where else to turn. Please help us with this problem. I am sending a copy of this letter to her former Congressman, Ted Strickland, since he is also from _____ County, as well as the Ohio Senators and Governor. Maybe they, too, will see the importance of the Social Security Administration expediting their claims and what a bind a lot of former hard-working Ohioians end up in when they are legitimately not able to work due to their health. All of my sister’s current doctors support her.

    I apologize for the length of this letter, but I felt it was important for you to know all of the information you could about my sister’s case in order that you may help her.

    I know this is not a political cause, but please help _________ as another Ohio citizen, PLEASE!


    Janet _____________

    Congressman Rob Portman
    District Office:
    175 E. Main Street
    Batavia, OH 45103

    Congressman Ted Strickland
    Local Office
    11692 Gallia Pike
    Wheelersburg, OH 45694

    Senator Mike DeWine
    Regional Office
    200 Putman Street, Room 524
    Marietta, OH 45750

    Senator George Voinovich
    Southeast District Office
    417 Second Avenue
    Gallipolis, OH 45631

    Governor Bob Taft
    77 S. High St., 30th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215



    After all of the people who I sent copies of this letter to, I received a reply from all of them.

    They contacted my sister directly and asked her to sign a release for them to get some info on her and to "talk" about her - the release had to do with the Privacy Laws, etc.

    Within a couple months, the Soc. Sec. Adm. contacted her and said that her claim was approved!

    Be sure to state in your letter everything that you wrote in your post ... about living off your credit cards .... which you won't be able to pay back by the time you get your SSDI , with such high interest rates!!! etc., etc.,

    Good luck. Hope my info helped.

    Holiday Hugs,
  11. brendahayes47

    brendahayes47 New Member

    Hi everybody,this was my first appeal and I hope it will be the last.I will write a letter to my congressman. I told my lawyer that I couldn't afford to buy my medicines and she sent me a form that I list all of them and send 5.oo processing fee for each one and I should get them free.I am going to post this information too. For anybody needing help with their medication the website is and
    [This Message was Edited on 12/31/2005]
  12. zerped

    zerped New Member

    What I was told definitely turned out to be true. They said that the first batch of paperwork is just that; almost no one gets approved when they "apply." After the initial period, one can ask for reconsideration (Step #2), and the majority get turned down on this request. Step #3 is the Request for Hearing with a judge. I began the paperwork Jan. 2003, got my initial "No" Sept. and was refused for reconsideration Nov. 2003. I applied for a hearing with a judge Jan. 2004. I received a letter April of 2005 (14 months!!) announcing that I would get a hearing and expect a letter soon. I finally found out the date of my hearing Dec. 24th.

    I don't know about your area, but in Oregon I went to the state vocational rehab dept. and found out there is a TON of programs that I qualified for: assistance with utilities, food stamps, child care assistance...a lot of stuff I didn't know about.

  13. roseylisa

    roseylisa New Member

    I'm on my third appeal and have gotton a lawyer, he says 18months to 2years for a hearing! I'm in WA state, MAKES ME FURIOUS! They just want you to give up! I'm lucky that I have health insurance thru hubbys work. But money is tight!
  14. DFL

    DFL New Member

    I just got my 3rd yesterday , first two on my own last with an attorney, so I'm waiting on monday to call my att. to see what he says!!!!
  15. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I was lucky. I was turned down the first time, filed an appeal, and won. I got the decision about 6 months after I filed the appeal. It took about a year altogether from when I first filed.

    It seems to be a crapshoot, who wins easily, who doesn't. I have no idea why I won the appeal, I didn't have a lot of medical records, I didn't have an attorney, but my doctor did add a diagnosis of PTSD on appeal (from childhood abuse). That may have done the trick.

    I hope it goes well for you --

  16. tonysmom

    tonysmom New Member

    Hi everyone.

    My son (now 19) got his disability on the first try. We didn't have a lawyer. It almost didn't happen.

    We got a call from Social Security wanting him to get psychological testing. I asked the worker why he was repeating the testing we'd already had done. She was surprised because she had NONE of the medical documentation from the numerous specialists my son had seen since he first became ill (cardiologist, rheumatologists, sleep study, neuropsychologist, neurologist...etc.) The intake worker never included the names and contact information of the physicians my son had seen and all Social Security had was the recommendation of his current primary care physician.

    I kept copies of every medical test, report and evaluation of my son, because it had been necessary when he was in school. The worker allowed me to send copies of all that I had. Soon after they received the information, he was found eligible.

    Be vigilant about your case. If you don't have copies of your records at this point, start requesting a copy after each medical visit. That way, it usually doesn't cost anything. Buy a huge notebook and keep the important information there.

    This is also helpful when you go to the emergency room or a new physician. It gives you some back up if you run into an uninformed doctor.

    Take care and good luck!

    Anthony's mom a.k.a. Shanon
  17. Roseblossom

    Roseblossom Member

    Get your state social services assistance - food stamps and medical assistance.

    This will help keep you afloat until you get your social security disability.

    Best wishes,

  18. fibrotina1

    fibrotina1 New Member

    I was fortune enough to know someone who had already gone through the process and they sent me to their lawyer who really knew what he would need in order to win a case. I too was denied the first time and was approved the second time. It took me 2 years because I had a doctor who didn't seem to think this was important and he took his time providing my records.

    Really check into your social services for help while you wait... don't be embarassed to go... there is so much help out there for you and you can get emergency food stamps and cash. We are all here for you and support you!! I hope your case is approved soon!!

  19. LostHearts

    LostHearts New Member

    It took almost 2 years for me to get disability. My first application was denied. I retained a lawyer and he helped me fill out the forms. I also got my Congressional Representative's office involved. The wonderful assistant he had would contact SSD every week to find out what was going on. My lawyer told me that SSD LOST my file for 8 months!

    My first denial came even after one of their doctors phoned my primary and had an argument over the phone with him, believe it or not. My doc told him in the 10 years I have been his patient, he has never seen anyone in such pain. And still the $%^& denied me...

    We were down to just about $8.00 when I checked an ATM and suddenly the balance was over $8000, so I knew that finally my case was approved and they deposited the back pay owed. But too late. We were so broke--living on crackers and the occasional pasta dish and going without some meds--the first thing hubby and I did was go food shopping. I was so hungry on the way home I was eating ice cream with my fingers!

    By disability dragging its heels, we were taken in by predatory lenders in what was supposed to be a refi but ended up draining us of all equity and then some. If we were not so emotionally upset with all this we probably would never have signed those papers. The kicker is that one month later, my back pay came through and we wouldn't have needed the loan.

    That loan eventually sent us into bankruptcy and the loss of our home. Besides the crooked lenders, I blame SSD for our financial woes and loss of home, never mind the emotional damage.

    I WISH I COULD SUE THE GOVERNMENT FOR ALL THE MISERY IT CAUSED! Sorry, I had to yell. I was approved in 1998 and have had one full review and one partial one since then. There is no excuse for what happened to me and to the others on this board. Just had to write; it does help to get it out.

    Good luck to everybody still trying to get the benefits they deserve. Funny how the government has all this money to fight a foreign war but doesn't care if its own citizens starve!
  20. damz68

    damz68 New Member

    can we talk about how badly our country(government only) treats it's poor and sick! I dont know if it will help but I am now changing to Democrat and I will never go back. We need change badly.

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