I DID IT! I WON MY SSD HEARING!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by blondieangel, Sep 24, 2002.

  1. blondieangel

    blondieangel New Member

    I can't believe it's ME writing this - There's hope for all of us! I won my SSD Hearing yesterday! This was my second appeal. Last denial was Oct. 2001, so it will be 2 years since I applied when I receive my back pay. I live in Southern CA.

    The following contains snippets of an email I sent out to relatives who wrote affidavits and/or prayed for me:

    What a day yesterday! Thank you again to those who wrote affidavits and said prayers for us - although it turns out I may not have needed the affidavits as much as anticipated after all! ; - )


    My Hearing was scheduled for 10:30. We had to be there at 9:00 to meet with our attorney, whom we'd never met because he lives in Arizona.

    I got up at 7:00, took my pain med's and we left at 8:15.

    We met w/ attorney Scott Davis, and I was a wreak. So scared, alternating between crying and getting angry.I did not want to be there, did not want to do what I had to do. Alot of fear of the unknown - how would the judge react? Stonefaced? Unsympathetic? My experiences in the past few years w/ the car accident Depo's and Hearings, Workers Comp Case and State Disability Appeal (not to mention evaluations by unsympathetic medical personnel) had all been extremely negative, quite upsetting and emotionally draining on Chris and I. My darling husband, throughout the entire ordeal, was wonderful - soothing me, giving me courage and words of inspiration, holding my hand, rubbing my back, etc.

    At 10:00 we were ready. The waiting room was small with no windows and the florescent lighting really bright. I'm on a second pain med now, which I normally take 2 hours after the other, basically alternating pain med's every 2 hours. I didn't want to take my 2nd pain med so that I'd be in physical pain before the judge. The chairs were all really hard, my back pain was escalating and I was exhausted. All I wanted was to lie down. By 10:45 we were still waiting and I was becoming delirious w/ pain. I was leaning on Chris, could not get comfortable and almost lied down on the floor! That, and a couple trips to the bathroom where I burst into tears, was taking it's toll. I finally took my medication.

    We went in ( our attorney had Chris wait in the Waiting Room - feels it's best not to have his client appear before the judge w/ the supportive husband) I listened to them talk about me in the third person, and Scott did use Sharon's testimony to reference my childhood and capabilities growing up. And then I answered questions. It felt like forever, as I stood and sat, could not get comfortable, and at the end broke into a sweat. The judge starting naming off FM symptoms, like "you are really stiff in the morning, right?" I didn't get grilled about 'what do you do all day', or, 'what keeps you from working'? I was surprised at the line of questions and how abruptly it ended.

    At the conclusion, he said, "You'll have my decision in about 2-3 weeks". Then he said to Scott, "of course I'm going to approve her, she obviously has Fibromyalgia", and then "you know, there's no code for that, kinda, wink, wink...and went into a long story about an attorney friend who had a severe case of FM for 5 years after losing his practice, divorce, and went to rehab twice to try to get off of pain med's! I was in shock! He was so nice, and the woman next to him (not sure her title, she was not the stenographer) had commented on my poor condition while we were in the waiting room, and had looks of sympathy and been nodding her head throughout my testimony as if to say, "I've seen this before". So Scott starts telling the judge (who was from San Diego) about the 2-day FM conference he had been at over the weekend, and how FM is starting to be recognized as a genetic disease, and about new medical evidence which proves a patient has FM, even if they are symptom free, by taking a spinal tap and checking for substance P. So they go on talking, and I'm dying to run out and tell Chris we finally won, so I asked permission to leave the room. - Chris was alone in the waiting room with the guard so I go and tell him the good news and then we start talking w/ the guard, and it turned out the guard's wife has FM after falling down a flight of stairs! He felt free to talk openly because the reception area was empty - and the woman behind the window wasn't watching him! He said he felt so bad watching me and wanted to tell me "go ahead - lie down on the floor!" earlier. He said it's so hard keeping quiet cause everyone who comes in there is in pain! Then he goes on to tell us he used to work for SSD and remembers when he first saw the word Fibromyalgia - what's THAT!, and that there was 'no code', and how everyone was sent to psychiatrists, etc. Now HIS wife is fighting the system for her SSD, and all the people down at the office all know him! So, he and Chris are relating stories about their wives and FM, and I felt so bad for her, so I gave the guard some great Websites and book authors on FM they knew nothing about. It was a regular FM Convention in there!

    Everybody, don't give up! FYI: I also had a letter re: my disabilities and a questionaire filled out by my doctor. I had my list of med's, 3 years worth of medical records and my newest prescriptions for a cane and wheelchair. Also attempts at a pain clinic and 3 at Physical Therapy. Also they brought up all of the tragic things that had happened to me prior to FM onset, and notorized affidavits by relatives describing the change in me since my car accident.




  2. blondieangel

    blondieangel New Member

    I can't believe it's ME writing this - There's hope for all of us! I won my SSD Hearing yesterday! This was my second appeal. Last denial was Oct. 2001, so it will be 2 years since I applied when I receive my back pay. I live in Southern CA.

    The following contains snippets of an email I sent out to relatives who wrote affidavits and/or prayed for me:

    What a day yesterday! Thank you again to those who wrote affidavits and said prayers for us - although it turns out I may not have needed the affidavits as much as anticipated after all! ; - )


    My Hearing was scheduled for 10:30. We had to be there at 9:00 to meet with our attorney, whom we'd never met because he lives in Arizona.

    I got up at 7:00, took my pain med's and we left at 8:15.

    We met w/ attorney Scott Davis, and I was a wreak. So scared, alternating between crying and getting angry.I did not want to be there, did not want to do what I had to do. Alot of fear of the unknown - how would the judge react? Stonefaced? Unsympathetic? My experiences in the past few years w/ the car accident Depo's and Hearings, Workers Comp Case and State Disability Appeal (not to mention evaluations by unsympathetic medical personnel) had all been extremely negative, quite upsetting and emotionally draining on Chris and I. My darling husband, throughout the entire ordeal, was wonderful - soothing me, giving me courage and words of inspiration, holding my hand, rubbing my back, etc.

    At 10:00 we were ready. The waiting room was small with no windows and the florescent lighting really bright. I'm on a second pain med now, which I normally take 2 hours after the other, basically alternating pain med's every 2 hours. I didn't want to take my 2nd pain med so that I'd be in physical pain before the judge. The chairs were all really hard, my back pain was escalating and I was exhausted. All I wanted was to lie down. By 10:45 we were still waiting and I was becoming delirious w/ pain. I was leaning on Chris, could not get comfortable and almost lied down on the floor! That, and a couple trips to the bathroom where I burst into tears, was taking it's toll. I finally took my medication.

    We went in ( our attorney had Chris wait in the Waiting Room - feels it's best not to have his client appear before the judge w/ the supportive husband) I listened to them talk about me in the third person, and Scott did use Sharon's testimony to reference my childhood and capabilities growing up. And then I answered questions. It felt like forever, as I stood and sat, could not get comfortable, and at the end broke into a sweat. The judge starting naming off FM symptoms, like "you are really stiff in the morning, right?" I didn't get grilled about 'what do you do all day', or, 'what keeps you from working'? I was surprised at the line of questions and how abruptly it ended.

    At the conclusion, he said, "You'll have my decision in about 2-3 weeks". Then he said to Scott, "of course I'm going to approve her, she obviously has Fibromyalgia", and then "you know, there's no code for that, kinda, wink, wink...and went into a long story about an attorney friend who had a severe case of FM for 5 years after losing his practice, divorce, and went to rehab twice to try to get off of pain med's! I was in shock! He was so nice, and the woman next to him (not sure her title, she was not the stenographer) had commented on my poor condition while we were in the waiting room, and had looks of sympathy and been nodding her head throughout my testimony as if to say, "I've seen this before". So Scott starts telling the judge (who was from San Diego) about the 2-day FM conference he had been at over the weekend, and how FM is starting to be recognized as a genetic disease, and about new medical evidence which proves a patient has FM, even if they are symptom free, by taking a spinal tap and checking for substance P. So they go on talking, and I'm dying to run out and tell Chris we finally won, so I asked permission to leave the room. - Chris was alone in the waiting room with the guard so I go and tell him the good news and then we start talking w/ the guard, and it turned out the guard's wife has FM after falling down a flight of stairs! He felt free to talk openly because the reception area was empty - and the woman behind the window wasn't watching him! He said he felt so bad watching me and wanted to tell me "go ahead - lie down on the floor!" earlier. He said it's so hard keeping quiet cause everyone who comes in there is in pain! Then he goes on to tell us he used to work for SSD and remembers when he first saw the word Fibromyalgia - what's THAT!, and that there was 'no code', and how everyone was sent to psychiatrists, etc. Now HIS wife is fighting the system for her SSD, and all the people down at the office all know him! So, he and Chris are relating stories about their wives and FM, and I felt so bad for her, so I gave the guard some great Websites and book authors on FM they knew nothing about. It was a regular FM Convention in there!

    Everybody, don't give up! FYI: I also had a letter re: my disabilities and a questionaire filled out by my doctor. I had my list of med's, 3 years worth of medical records and my newest prescriptions for a cane and wheelchair. Also attempts at a pain clinic and 3 at Physical Therapy. Also they brought up all of the tragic things that had happened to me prior to FM onset, and notorized affidavits by relatives describing the change in me since my car accident.




  3. dojomo

    dojomo New Member

    Congratulations...... and what a cool story , I Can see the angels working in your life..........I like GOOD NEWS like this......thanks for sharing....DJ
  4. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Glad to hear you finally won, I am sure your post will encourage others who are still fighting the good fight!


    Shalom, Shirl
  5. SaraD

    SaraD New Member

    It is so awesome to hear your great news. Thank God for another testimony of people believing us! My original application was in May of 2001, hearing was August 2nd 2002 and waiting now very impatiently. I posted this morning because I called SS and they can't tell me anything at all. I know I must hear something by christmas I hope???
    Awesome for you, I know you must have a world of weight lifted off your shoulders. Great job not giving up!!!
    Sarad
  6. tired42long

    tired42long New Member

    I'm so happy for you....it is such a load off I bet. I am just beginning and hear i have a long road ahead. You enjoy your "sucess" even though this whole thing shouldn't be a "win" or a lose---it is not a game. Smiles!!!
  7. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    But the advice will be needed one day and I am SO very happy for you!!! I know you'll feel so much better without the stress you've been enduring!
    Bless you!
    Kady
  8. PMangels

    PMangels New Member

    I'm glad to hear some are starting to realize this is a "real" illness. And so devestating to some of us. Feels like every ounce of dignity has been taken away from us. Thanks for sharing your win. Hurray!!!!!!!! Way to go.

    Arlene
  9. cpalance

    cpalance New Member

    I am so happy for you, maybe now I will have the courage to file. I hear such bad things I often wonder whether I am up to the challenge. You give me hope.
    Thank you,
    Cindy
  10. KYRock

    KYRock New Member

    I'm so happy for you. This gives me a little hope for
    myself. I filed in March 2001. I had an awful judge
    and he denied me. My lawyer has appealed again and I have also filed a second claim. I've already went to have a physcological eva. for the 2nd claim already. Please just everyone pray for me too. It's so hard.
  11. garyandkim

    garyandkim New Member

    sure is great news. Gary was one of the lucky ones that got it after 6 months and sometimes he feels a bit guilty. This makes the day. Now, for that down time and releif. The bills will be paid.

    Thanks for sharing, Kim and Gary
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'm still waiting for them to set my hearing date. They have til the end of the year to do it. I live in FL. I think the bigger the state, the longer you wait.

    Congrats!!

    Love, Mikie
  13. LindaD.

    LindaD. New Member

    I applied for disability in February of 2002. I was denied in June, 2002. Down in my heart, I felt something wrong, especially because I had left 4 messages in the space of a month and the local office never would return any of my calls, so I called the main # with SS - and a kindly lady talk with me - and sent me the appeal forms. I filled them out and sent them back.
    I was still having doubts about everything so I contacted my Senator's office and told them of the situation. They contacted SS; and in turn, SS said they would be happy to work with the Senator's office in working my case in a timely and effective manner.
    In the meantime, I got still yet another pack to fill out, one that was filled out and witnessed with the original pack. The letter said that they needed the information, which leads me to suspect that parts of my file was misplaced, lost, or thrown away at the local office. I have no way of knowing, but just the fact that I have had to fill it out twice was enough for me.
    Now, I am awaiting the appeal.
    I am so happy for you - and for the others that are awaiting their reward, although that is not the type of work I want to use, it seems like that.
    I'm not so sure the amount of time you wait depends on the size of the state of not. I think they allow you to get so behind on your bills, etc., and in my instance, if I don't hear from them soon, my husband and I will have to stop taking some of our medicine just to be able to survive.
    Even though we live with our youngest daughter and her family and get along well together, we still have to pay her for the extra electricity, water, gas, food, and so forth. David and I can't go out - not even for a drive on a Sunday afternoon. We have to save our money to put gas in the auto's for him to take to work, and me to go back and forth to the town closest we live to the doc's office, or have testing done.
    But, I don't give up easily - never have and never will! And I encourage all of you who are timid and scared to go ahead and apply - and fight with all your might. Like you, I spent over 20 years taking care of others in the profession of nursing - now I need to be taken care of, it is hard on me - and I have paid into a system that is having a hard time seeing my problem for what it really is - or misplacing or losing my file - just don't care??? And during all this time, I was informed my monthly disability went up $100.00 from what it was when I applied in Feb., if I qualify, and I think I do.
    So, again, hats off and congratulations for a job well done.
    May your angels continue to lift you to newer heights than ever before and watch over you and yours.
    LindaD.
  14. blondieangel

    blondieangel New Member

    Since the car accident we sold tools, our furniture, then our ski boat and then our house! So I know how hard it is to wait and wonder. Christmas? Annivesary gift! What's THAT!

    I wanted to ad, for those of you appearing before a judge, my attorney recommended going in dressed as I am at home. No make-up, jewelery, etc. Since I had been so sick all summer (and of course we did not have $$$ (or me, energy), to vacation), I was quite pale, but had used self-tanner at times. When I knew my Hearing date, I stayed out of the sun and used no tanner, so I was pale as could be. I have lost 10-30 lbs. so I brought a photo of Chris and I before the accident. My attorney commented on not only the drastic change in my appearance, but my husbands also. I went straight out of bed, no shower, did not do a thing to my hair, in sweats and a loose shirt, and brought a sweat jacket because I knew the air conditioning would bother me. No bra or underpants because it increases my pain level so much, so I go without as much as possible. Also wore very comfortable Nike sandles which help keep my back pain from flaring. No socks, no fingernail or toenail polish. Quite frankly, I looked like a hospital patient and felt like one too! I was quite out of place in the fancy highrise tower w/ everyone in suits,dresses, etc.

    Go this way to EVERY appointment - do not dress up. I wore make-up to the psych evual and she wrote it in the notes. Also, it's best to have someone drive you, although for me, I had driven to every other appt. alone because my husband's always working and we had just moved when I had my car accident so I had no one to take me. The psych evual noted that I drove there also. She wrote that'd I'd have trouble concentrating and getting along w/ people, which my attorney pointed out to the judge, but I was denied after the psych evual(one year ago)because at the end she wrote I'd be better in one year with proper treatment!If you are depressed admit it. Don't sugarcoat anything, which is human nature! If you feel exhausted and are in pain, look it and say it.

    I hope all of my experiences will help you win your case!
  15. jackiec

    jackiec New Member

    This really does give hope to those of us caught in the web of SSD applications and appeals. Thanks for sharing your story. Hope this eases some of the stresses you've been through!

    Hugs, Jackie C
  16. nje

    nje New Member

    I`M GLADYOU WON. I DON`T KNOW THE STATE YOU LIVE IN,BUT I LIVE IN SOUTH CAROLINA,I HAVE A VERY GOOD LAWYER NAMED GEORGE THOMOSON ,AND HE`S REALLY FIGHTING FOR ME,I WAS TURNED DOWN 1 TIME BY APPLYING MYSELF,BUT HE`S REALLY FIGHTING FOR ME,I`M WAITING NOW FOR THE HEARING DATE, I HAVE THE SUPPORT OF ALL MY DOCTORS,WHO HAS TALKED TO ALL OF THEM,HIMSELF,GONE TO THEIR OFFICESAND HE SAYS I HAVE AN EXCELLENT CHANCE OF WINNING,I DON`T KNOW WHAT STATE YOU LIVE IN BUT IN S.C.;SS ARE ONLY FAST WHEN ITS PAY DAY, AND THE END OF A WORKING DAY. MY LAWYER TOLD ME THAT, ITS TRUE THOUGH. I DON`T KNOW ABOUT SOME OF YOU HAVING SEVERAL HEARINGS,BUT IN S.C. YOU KNOW ABOUT A YEAR AFTER YOU FIRST APPLIED WHETHER YOU`VE WON OR NOT,BUT I`M GLAD FOR YOU BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO BE BEHIND ON BILLS,STRESSED OUT AND IN PAIN. ENJOY YOUR BENEFITS,BECAUSE IF YOU ARE ANYTHING LIKE I AM, YOU SURELY DESERVE THEM AND IT SOUNDS AS IF YOU ARE EXACTLY LIKE ME. NJE
  17. blondieangel

    blondieangel New Member

    Thank you NJE. I'm in So. Cal. It took me 18 months. It took one year after the 2nd denial to appear before the judge. Your attorney sounds fantastic! Mine was in another state!

    Now that this is bumped, I hope more will read my tips on winning....
  18. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    What you went through is par for the course. When you are turned down, they make you fill out everything again for the appeal hearing. You may have more forms to fill out before you are through. You may also have to be seen by a doc of their choice. The exam, like the forms, are designed to wear you down and discourage you. Geez, a person would have to be dead to fail the physicals.

    Just hang in there and get an atty. It greatly enhances your likelyhood of succeeding.

    Love, Mikie
  19. SweetOceanBlue77

    SweetOceanBlue77 New Member

    Blondie I'm so happy for you. Beleive me I have heard many stories from other women who've had hearings & like you were nervous, anxious, etc. Thank God the Jugde could see & was understanding, and most of all knowledgable of fibro.
    Your post truly bought tears too my eyes, tears of JOY...
    I too was in a car accident 2x hit from the rear in 1994, so I understand the pain, and symptoms. It will be nice to further chat with you via email/phone too. Take care & look forward to hearing from you again.

    Sincerely,
    Michelle K.
    SweetOceanBlue77@aol.com
  20. PaulMark

    PaulMark New Member

    Congatulations truly blondie ang. I guess the l good thing i can say of my 4 yrs wtih dr. cheney and i don't mean that the way it sounds he's trying its not his fault i'm severe cfids and later with the fibro, IS he knows how to get disability, my parents had to put up 2,000 for testing up front i went to NC and went thru 5 hrs. of cognitive testing due to nature of job as city manager, and then phys. testing wtih cheney i got SSD and ky. retirement disabl. lst try, no way i can work i'm barley able to function period with cfids,

    so i'm very happy you have it now, i wish youo the best,

    in christ Paul Mark in KY