Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by COOKIEMONSTER, Aug 20, 2003.



    How To Win Your Fibromyalgia Social Security Disability Case the First Time – Or On Appeal

    As a former Social Security disability examiner, I was always frustrated and saddened when a Fibromyalgia case came across by desk that lacked the important and critical information that would, if complete, help move those cases much faster through the system. In many cases the information would get the person allowed. Without it, the processing time was generally extended from 90 to 180 days or longer and the likelihood of denial was much greater.

    As a private pilot I have always made a point of using a checklist before I ventured out into unknown skies. I think the word or words are proactive and in control. These same principles are critical when filing for Social Security disability benefits.

    The reason most if not all Fibromyalgia cases are denied by Social Security disability determination examiners, Social Security doctors and Hearing and Appeals judges – is the lack of solid personal, medical/psychiatric and vocational evidence that will support an unquestionable allowance.

    How To Make It Happen – The Puzzle

    Most people that have been denied Social Security disability benefits in Fibromyalgia cases is because they have the false and dangerous assumption that their medical evidence alone will be strong enough to stand on its own merit to get them allowed. Unfortunately this thinking continues to put a lot of deserving people in harms way.

    Most all of the successful Social Security disability Fibromyalgia cases are allowed on strong personal, medical/psychiatric and vocational evidence. The personal, psychiatric and vocational evidence is the leverage that’s critical to getting you across the finish line a winner. Why?

    Typical with Fibromyalgia cases is the major depression caused by the severe and continuous pain and lack of sleep. The depression can and does some serious mental limitations with respect to completing normal daily activities like cleaning, shopping and cooking. More serious is the degree that social functioning is also severely affected with respect to your inability to get along and interact with others, as well as the social isolation resulting in the inability to keep a job because of the severe pain and depression.

    The final and most significant blow with respect to your inability to work and being allowed Social Security disability benefits is how your concentration; persistence and pace are severely affected as a result of your severe pain and depression. All are important in reference to your inability to sustain focused attention and concentration sufficiently long enough to permit the timely and appropriate completion of tasks commonly found in work settings. Having current personal and psychiatric evidence will go a long way to verify the fact that you are unable to do your past work or any other work without exception.

    In closing I can only hope that some of the information I have shared with you will make your journey to get the disability benefits you deserve less taxing.


    Michael Davidson
    The Summit Organization, Inc.

  2. Kay2

    Kay2 New Member

    This is great info for those getting started, on their long journey. I got this in the mail saturday. Notice of order of appeals council remanding case to ALJ. I was shocked You should see what all this Administrative Appeals Judge wrote. Now I have to wait to see were I go from here. The ALJ, will contact me and let me know what I have to do. Sure didn't take them long to review my case seeings I went to court in May and it usually takes months before hearing anything.
  3. jmaxjmax

    jmaxjmax New Member

    Perhaps this is why I got my ssdi on my first try. I had paperwork from my medical doctors and specialists, from my psychiatirst, and from disability from work. I guess with all that they had to say ok.
    :) Max
  4. Ipegasus

    Ipegasus New Member

    Thank you Cookiemonster,

    I am sure many will appreciate your kind wisdom. So many of us, especially those of us who had a productive life and others who depend on us for their needs, have a hard time being trully honest about our conditions. Mostly because there are those so cruel, they make your life seem so worthless, you question why keep going on. I built a good support system and was still told I would probably be denied because of my age and children. It was so hard to keep going and I gave up a few times, thinking it was hopeless. Finally, I got a lawyer, I wish I didn't need one but my father kept bugging me about it and I don't regret it.
    I will never forget my lawyer's face when we won our suit. I was terrified to speak up in court because of childhood experiences but after drinking a quart of water, I realized that only by telling the truth will I have a chance of winning my suit. I had a good steady work record and worked part-time even when forced to go on Welfare. I kept my work reviews to prove my condition was diminshing. I also started College on my own, to try and get back to work. It was so embarrassing but I knew I had to express how terrible my life had become.
    If I didn't finally win my case I wouldn't have been able to make it this far. The most important thing is being able to lessen the effect this has had on my children. My ex is an absent father and neglects the kids, rarely calls or sees them. I was able to help pay for them to visit him and now he pays for them to see him every summer. He hasn't changed much but he helps out more and the kids get to see thier cousins and grandparents. I just finished my AA but Rehab has said there is not enough money or time for me to finish my BA. This means I may never make enough to go off of SSDI but I still feel if I can contribute something to society then my life will not be a total loss. The biggest thing is my children are productive and working. We had gotten so poor, I just couldn't do much for them and that just made me sicker. I feared that they would lose all hope and go to drugs like my brother did. I still do volunteer work because I have felt nothing is free, we must all try to do whatever we can to make this a better place to be.
    I still worry about those people who are so sick they cannot afford to buy medication. I still have to buy over the counter drugs. I was told Medi-cal may pay for these but I went to one hearing with nothing accomplished and do not have the energy to deal with constant denials. I would not be of any use without these extra meds. like Guaifinsin. Medi-cal has been very good to me, I still get Zyrtec though I was told it wasn't going to be covered by Medi-cal anymore.
    My Judge was a dream come true, and my lawyer was disabled, I made him coach me before trial because I was so afraid I would just start talking and making no sense whatsoever. After the trial I cried so hard, the poor judge was trying to explain to me how benefits worked but all I could think of was running for the door before I started balling out loud. My lawyer was smiling so I thought that was a good sign, he laughed and told me I would get benefits in about two weeks. I still couldn't stop crying but I was so stressed. Thank goodness my boyfriend was there to drive me home!

    Well thank you again. We all hope for a cure but until doctors fund and govt. puts the money into early diagnosis and a cure or at least a good solid way to manage this illness, we will be forced to resort to SSI.

    Thanks for the advise,

  5. elizabethia

    elizabethia New Member

    sent in my papework to the alj on monday... of course i have an lawyer to handle the case.. anyways... i have every kind of doctor except a psychiatric.. although i'm being treated for depresion along with a bunch of other things... i have a cna come to my house 5 times a week for 3 hours a day to help me with my house work and with my personel care... is this possabley going to have some effect at all?? as always ... curisous elizabeth
  6. beeleaf

    beeleaf New Member

    Thanks for the info, but what is "personal evidence"?