Heres the story. My Rhuematologist will not help me with SSI because he will not testify that I am completely unable to work. He will, however, submit that while I am capable of working (to a certain physical extent,ie: lift no more than 10 pounds, sit/stand for long periods..) he doubts that I will be able to do this consistently and to keep to a regular work schedule. Because he said that, my Employment Case Worker at Welfare gave me a work Exemption, but she doesnt know how long shell be able to do that because, in the end, thats not up to her, its up to the Medical Unit at Social Services. But she can, at the very least, give me the exemption while we wait for the determination to come down from there. Until the Med Unit at Social Services makes their determination, I have to live on the Saftey Net program. If they decide to give me an exemption, theyll put me back on TANF, but if they say I can work, then I have to work at least 30 hours a week and will get only partial assitance under Safety Net. In New York State, TANF(Temporary Assitance to Needy Familis) is just like regular old welfare as we all know it. You get very little money, just enough to live on, MAYBE. Safety Net is the program for people who either have no children, or have reached their 60 month TANF limit. Safety Net is differnt from TANF in the sense that you get enough cash assitance to purchase household needs like TP, Shampoo, and an allotment towards a phone bill. However, your gas, electric and rent are paid by voucher directly to the payee, and you, as the Safety Net recipient, have to pay Social Services back all that money that was paid out on your behalf or sent to you in cash. You pay this back after you have left the welfare system. The amount you pay is in monthly payments of 10% of the total monies paid to you or for you while on Safety Net. If you havent left the welfare system and are still on Safety Net 1 year after having been placed on the program, you pay Social Services back by recoupment. They take 10% of your total case budget out of your monthly "cash to recipient" payment. The one you get to buy the things you need at home. Basically, if you were poor before, your so poor now that you cant even afford the OR on the end, and your just PO. Anyways, the Rhuemy says he has had several patients with Fibro or CFS that he has said, "NO, He/She cannot work" so that they can get SSI or SSD, but found that when their dream job came along, and their medical records were requested, his declaration of NO, they cannot work, cost them that job. He says, if he states that YES, this person can work, but with limitations, whether mild or or extreme, that person is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides for certain employment obligations and modifications to keep that person earning a living, without fear of losing their job because they needed more than the employer wanted to provide, like time off. I appreciate his theory because I am hoping to get an Investigator position with New York State. And they do want my medical records, and if it says, NO I cannot work, they will not, legally, cannot hire me. They may still decide not to hire me based on the limitations that he has set, but they certainly wont if he says NO. And if they do hire me anyways, despite the limitations, they cant fire me Under the ADA laws. My Rhuemy is aware that with SSD and SSI, you can work (to a certain extent) and still recieve disability benefits, but it would be on me, have nothing to do with the doctor and his recommendations, and it would be basically AMA, Against Medical Advice. So, I call up my insurance provider to get the names of the other Rhuemies that participate with my insurance, which is Buffalo Community Health Plus Med. I call up these 4 doctors, yes, thats right, grand total of 4. The first, no longer works at that office, no idea where to find him. The next, Participates in Buffalo Community Health but not Buffalo Community Health Plus Med, because they do not accept Medicaid. The next "doesnt believe in SSI" and the last one, Doesnt know enough about Fibromyalgia to help me. So, Im stuck with this ONE Doctor, who understands that I need SSI, but wont help with SSI because he doesnt want to be the cause of my missing out on something. So, Now what? I called a Disability Attorney and spoke with a Paralegal, I believe, who said, If my doctor is not willing to cooperate with the application process, and I cannot find one who will, there is nothing I can do. Im hoping this paralegal is wrong and that you may know something she didnt. I realize that this whole messege may be a little difficult to follow, so Ill be happy to clarify anything for anyone. But, if anyone knows anything about what I can do about this situation, please let me know. Winter is coming, and I have no money to buy my kids their winter coats.