I'm fairly new have a few questions

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Gumbo, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Gumbo

    Gumbo New Member

    I've been reading for about a year, off & on, and have just started posting. I'm still confused about a lot. You all seem to know so much.

    I suppose I'll stick with disability questions for now since I'm in dire straights financially.

    I haven't worked full time for about 4 yrs. Haven't worked part-time since Oct.(& that was very part-time, cash paid.) I have CFS/FM, & restless legs.

    I called Disability office & requested my statement. Two weeks later, they sent me a form (to request my statement.) Mailed that in last week in July. Do I wait for that or go ahead & file?

    I've had many test & Dr.s before Diag., so my medical file has to be thick. My neurologist & P.C. charge apprx. $1. per page. Neither will tell me how many pages are there. Don't know if I can afford to get copies to take with me when applying. How much time would that save me? Also, do I need records from every Dr. that I've seen over the yrs? Or do I just need their names & addresses?

    On last visits, I told both Drs I thought it was time to try to get disability. Answers were the same: Well...you can TRY, but it's very hard. Both said they have patients worse off than me that couldn't get it, but it doesn't hurt to try. Mind you, they know I can't work.

    What should be my next step? Sorry this is so long. Would greatly appreciate feedback.

  2. landra

    landra New Member

    OK, to start - have you read the Social Security thread at the top of the page - in the colored part? If not, do that.

    Often doctor's offices charge SSA for records - but not as much if you ask for your own copies. DO NOT TELL THEM IT IS FOR SSA. Just put in a request. Probably only a year of records is necessary. Be sure to get lab tests, etc. also. It may mean requesting those records from the labs themselves.

    Have you talked to others in your area about other doctors that may be more supportive?? Yes, it takes a long time. But there are ways to increase your chances - and supportive doctors are one of the ways! My psychiatrist used to do assessments for SSA - so his support will carry a lot of weight! I expect to get approved on depression rather than CFS - because it is a "listed impairment."

    I choose to let an attorney handle it all. They have questionaires they send to doctors. My doctor had me sit there while she filled it in!

    I get copies of the records myself, then the attorney gets copies from those to copy for SSA. That way if SSA says they never got the records, we have copies ready immediately to send them. (I used to work in a psychiatric setting and I cannot tell you how many time SSA would send a "2nd request" when we had already sent the records!! And I think they only paid for one set we sent!! - Could be why the cost at your doctors' is so high if they know the records are for SSA!)

    Hope this helps.
  3. Crispangel66

    Crispangel66 New Member

    I agree with the other poster. It is alot of paper work and

    takes alot of time but it is worth it if you are approved.

    No matter how terrible you feel it doesn't matter to the

    ssa. But don't give up after the first time like I did, I

    thought maybe I didn't deserve to get it.

    Good Luck Crispangel
  4. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    You don't need to get a statement from SS before applying.

    You should call them right away to make an appointment to apply because it can take a month to get an appointment.

    You don't need to have your doctor's records when you initially apply, but you will need their names, addresses etc. I think SS is supposed to request the records directly, but as someone said above, they are notorious for "losing" records or saying they never received them. So it would be good to get your own copies to be able to provide to SS when they "lose" the ones they requested. You don't need to get all the copies right away, if money is an issue, but it would probably be good to get started on it so you end up wtih a full set.

    Make copies of everything you send to SS - they even "lost" some records I dropped off in person and had a copy stamped to prove I dropped them off.

    The application was simple as I recall. Don't be put off by your doctors telling you that SSDI is difficult to get. It can be, but it is worth pursuing. I was denied the first time around (as almost everyone is) and then won on appeal. I don't know what I'd be living on without it.

    Just take one thing at a time and try not to stress about it. It can be done --

    Take care --

  5. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Well, a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. I just read Marti Zavala's post under Social Security Information at the top of the main page and she says that it is important to get a statement from SS before applying as you won't be able to do this once you put in an application. And the reason for getting the statement is to make sure all your earnings are counted in figuring your benefits.

    So forget what I said above about not needing a statement before you apply.

  6. Gumbo

    Gumbo New Member

    I was getting so confused due to so much information on Soc Sec. & the brain problem. I realized that I needed to just focus on the 1st few steps.

    I appreciate all of the information so much. I called to make an apptm with Soc Sec. & am waiting for an apptm. date. I also called for the release forms so I can request 1 yr. of records coppied.

    And, I got my S.S. statement in the mail yesterday.

    I'm trying to decide whether to get an attny. I think I might.

    Again, thanks
  7. landra

    landra New Member

    And my attorney suggested I NOT keep the in-person appt. The reason is that the clerk CAN write observations - alert, cooperative, no problems remembering information and providing it, dressed appropriately, etc - and that becomes part of your record!!

    So the attorney's assistant filed FOR me while I was in the office! I have helped others start the process - but was felled myself before she got information she needed to finish. Just goggle to Social Security - there is some kind of lead to filing for disability.

    Getting records yourself:
    Jam 338 suggested you NOT get the records yourself since SSA will request them. But the rest of the post details places the records got lost or did not get forwarded. That is exactly why I get my own records, then the attorney makes a copy before making another copy for SSA. Then if SSA says they don't have them, my attorney can quickly provide a copy! It speeds up the process - which is long enough as it is!!
  8. mjwarchol

    mjwarchol New Member

    I used Allsup to file my claim. I won at my appeal. If you use them, there is no charge unless they win your case. They will get the records for you, you won't have to do that and you won't have to pay for them then.

    Getting a supportive doctor is important. My doctor wrote a 5 page letter on my behalf, and it is what won the case at my hearing.

    Another recommendation, get the book "nolo's Guide to Social Security Benefits". You can find it at Amazon. It is worth every penny, and will be your bible throughout the process.

    Good luck.

    M J
  9. Gumbo

    Gumbo New Member

    From what I've been reading, most Dr.s don't understand what they should report on in their letters to Soc. Sec. Dis. I'm just wondering if the RFC form can also hurt as well as help. (Maybe you are feeling strong the one day that your Dr. fills out the form.)

    Also, is it best to call your congressman as soon as you file?

    I think I"d like to go with an advocate, anyone know a good one?

    Thank you all again. If & when I have the experience behind me & can offer help to someone else, I will certainly do so.