Some Qustions about Social Security Disability

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by DeborahLynn, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    Question... 03/11/07 05:04 PM

    I'm sorry - I am new to this type of communication. I wanted to ask a question or two.

    I have had four years of symptoms, going from dr to dr, and was recently diagnosed with FM/CFS. I initially applied for disability last June, after not being able to work for 9 months. I contacted a lawyer at that time, but he said there's not much he can do for me until I am denied twice. He said I wouldn't need him until I am scheduled for a hearing - when that happens, I am to contact him again.

    But here I read a few of you who have received disability with a lawyer on the first application... I was told nobody gets disability on the first application. I was also told by my rheumatologist that for the last two years, none of his fibro patients who have applied for disability have gotten it; they've all been denied. He said the same is true for all of his rheumatoid arthritis patients. He made it seem near impossible. Even the disability examiner I talked with on the phone was surprised when I told her that a couple of people I know were on disability due to FM/CFS; she sounded surprised and told me, "Really? I've never heard of anyone getting disability for FM/CFS."

    It was quite upsetting to me, but I kept plugging away with all the reems of paperwork and all the hoops you have to jump through. Right now I am at the waiting stage between the "Request for Reconsideration." I've almost "gone to begging", because I am in such extreme pain and so very very weak, and I need help. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.
  2. Susan07

    Susan07 New Member

    Many people on here have used a lawyer from the beginning and won.

    I did not use a lawyer and was approved the first time. I have fibromyalgia, arthralgia and fatigue. I have been denied by my long term disability insurance - ugghhh! Still appealing that one.

    There is info on this site (tab at top of page on right side) regarding disability you'll want to read.

    On your SS application be sure to give as much info as you can. Also be very specific about how your condition affected your job responsibilities. (Ex. my job required typing and my hands would cramp after typing for 10 minutes, etc.)

    Take care
  3. jmq

    jmq New Member

    So you can apply for ssdi even if you are turned down by your own Long Term Disablity co.? I am just starting to consider this path and it is sooo scary. Can you tell me the steps you took and how long it took?

    thanks
    jmq
  4. JLH

    JLH New Member

    When you apply for SSDI, you put down every problem and symptom that you have, whether it relates to a "disease" or not. When you add up all of your problems, they can be so much that you are not able to work. That is what you have to convince Soc. Sec. of--that you are not able to work a normal 8-hr-a-day job.

    I listed all of my problems (see my bio) and I received SSDI on my first application--in about 4 months. I know this is unusual, too! I did not consult an attorney either.

    Before you fill out your next paper, or talk to anyone, due tons of research on the internet about Soc.Sec., applying for it, etc. I read everything that I could get my hands on!

    Good luck!
    jlh
  5. Susan07

    Susan07 New Member

    For the SSD I completed the online app and hand delivered to the SS office. Huge undertaking! I included copies of doc's statements with diagnosis.

    Because I had an illness noone believed/understood I had kept records for years. It made the process much easier having doctors names/addresses, dates, etc.

    During the process the Disability & Rehabilitative Services also sent a form which I completed and mailed before the due date.

    Both forms were quite daunting since it is so much info. Because I was so tired I would spend about an hour a day filling out all the information.

    From other peoples advice on this board I made sure to detail what physical movements I made at work and how each were affected by my illness.

    I left work in August and received approval in January. Disability payments are affective for February and first payment is last week of March.

    I thought since I had long term disability at work I wouldn't need to file for SSD but the ins. company said I had to.

    Hope this helps.
  6. rosemarie

    rosemarie Member

    I applied for disabitlity and did every thing I was asked to do. I filled out the forms. I wrote about all the pain I was in not just from the fibro and Mps but all of it.

    That inclues end stage osteoarthritis in both knees, osteoarthritis in left wrist , { shattered left wrist and radius still have lots of pain} facet syndrome, DDD, DDjoint diesase, spianal stenosis, buldging discs L4-L5 ** L5-S1, siacitia, let aches. I really listed all the pain symptoms I have and then I went to my pain doctor and asked him if he would fill out a form letter discussing my conditions.

    I had written this form that had listed all the conditions I have and how they affect me, such as pain , can't lift, can't walk more than 200 ft. and if they were keeping me from working.

    I called the SSDI office and asked where my case was at. I made sure that I had all tests done that I had been asked to do and on the exact day the appointment was made by them. I always made my self avaliable to them and made sure that they had all my medical records and letters from doctors.

    I can't tell you why I got it on my first try but I did. I filed just over 2 years ago but I had not filled out all papers so in Feb a year ago I had to refile all my papers and over night them.
    I did this and didn't hear from them for months.When I did it was to tell me that I had a appointment with their doctor in a town that was a 40 minute drive from my house and it was to be on Memorial weekend. I had plans for that weekend but I went in anyway.

    Just make sure that you file every thing and make sure that you have your doctor write you a letter discribeing how your condition affects you making sure that the doctor includes your ability to work or not. Go to all appointments when your scheduled to go.

    I was lucky and I asked the rep when he called me on Feb 14th that I had been told that NO ONE EVER GETS DDSI on their first try. HE said " Yes they do more often than you know about. So keep trying and I did this on my own with out a lawyer.

    Good luck
    HUGS,
    Rosemarie
  7. boho

    boho New Member

    KEEP TRYING AND DONT GIVE UP,I HAD TO GET A LAWYER AFTER TRIES BUT WON AFTER ONLY YR OF TRYING.GOOD LUCK
  8. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    I appreciate all your help! I certainly will use the knowledge you all have passed on to me. It gives me a sense of relief to know what steps I need to take, insead of floundering around in the dark. Thanks again!

    Debbie
  9. suzette1954

    suzette1954 New Member

    me. I was blessed to get pension disability from my old job and I had an advocate from them to help me through all of the process of SSD. I was approved when it went before the judge. That took 2 yrs to get there. I think they gave it to me for the depression but I dont care why, Im just glad I got approved. there are those here who have been trying for yrs and yrs and still not approved.

    I would always tell anyone to get help and not try to go it alone. I fight pain and fatigue every minute of everyday and I couldnt have dealt with all of the mounds of paperwork.

    You need to get all of your ducks in a row. Have a caring PCP and a knowledgable rheumy and keep every scrap of paperwork and phone numbers of anyone you talk to. I went to walmart and bought an accordian bright red file folder and kept every thing in it. I still do. I wrote the person's name and phone # on the outside of anyone I spoke too so I can grab my folder and call anyone I needed.

    Good luck. It can be very trying and again, please try to find someone to help you. Go up to the search box and type in SSD or SSDI and you will find soooo much helpful stuff to get you through it.

    Suzette
  10. suzette1954

    suzette1954 New Member

    me. I was blessed to get pension disability from my old job and I had an advocate from them to help me through all of the process of SSD. I was approved when it went before the judge. That took 2 yrs to get there. I think they gave it to me for the depression but I dont care why, Im just glad I got approved. there are those here who have been trying for yrs and yrs and still not approved.

    I would always tell anyone to get help and not try to go it alone. I fight pain and fatigue every minute of everyday and I couldnt have dealt with all of the mounds of paperwork.

    You need to get all of your ducks in a row. Have a caring PCP and a knowledgable rheumy and keep every scrap of paperwork and phone numbers of anyone you talk to. I went to walmart and bought an accordian bright red file folder and kept every thing in it. I still do. I wrote the person's name and phone # on the outside of anyone I spoke too so I can grab my folder and call anyone I needed.

    Good luck. It can be very trying and again, please try to find someone to help you. Go up to the search box and type in SSD or SSDI and you will find soooo much helpful stuff to get you through it.

    Suzette
  11. obrnlc

    obrnlc New Member

    hi deborahlynn,
    welcome to the board, great source of info and support. I'm sorry you have to go through this, it sure is a long uphill road!
    RE: LTD-- Keep appealing, and DO NOT let your appeal dates run out! NEVER talk to those evil swine on the phone, all correspondense in writing, with the explanation that your CFS and fibro impair your concentration and ability to remember. Tape record, after informing them, also, as they are certainly recording you and will misconstrue and twist every word that comes out of your mouth!
    Often rheum. aren't real supportive on this, but now that the CDC has come out with CRITERIA and justified the illness of CFS as being real, more docs and ins. co are going to have to acknowledge it. LOSE the non supportive rheumy, get a specialist such as a pain man. doc, or infect. disease--interview til you find one that knows and cares and treats this illness, you need their supportive statements for dis. of all types. search old posts on here and you will learn alot!

    RE: SSDI--the key is not WHAT you have, but how it affects your ability to work. ALSO-**IMPORTANT**--new SSA laws went into effect in august of 06, so after a denial, there might not be a second chance anymore, you need a skilled attorney to help you from the beginning, although you can find alot of ways to help yourself from this post and links on it. There is an internet radio program by a SSD attorney (ssdradio.com--i think,try a google search if not) that is a Gold mine of info, and you can ask him a question if nec. by email. The attorney is going to get the same 25% or $5300 whether he helps you from square one or the end of the line (alj hearing) so get your money's worth.

    Not totally sure the impact on the new SSA law, the way I read it, the days of 2,3,4,5 appeals are over. you can read about it on the ss web site (ssa.gov)

    Please feel free to ask me anything, if i know it, I will try to help, but have been thru alot with all this dis. stuff (working 40hrs wk was a cakewalk compared to this). if you search up at the top of this page, you can find TONS of info--just remember, if you can find it, so can any Dis. INS. SPY, and they are out there. For that reason, be careful of using a name that is too identifying, etc. as i'm sure the spies (many of us have been videotaped by LTD's) spend alot of time gathering info here too.
    Good Luck, and welcome to the board--L