thought someone might know rules ( SSD)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by blkkat, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. blkkat

    blkkat New Member

    hi! ive read some of your posts here, so thought hey someone might know anything about the rules on if i could get SSD. ive never really worked much, i only think i have 39 (credits) is that what there called? and i think my husband makes to much to get on SSI so i think im up a river with out a paddle as they say!! plus im new here so i thought id say (HI!!!) this has been a VERY hard year for me! ive been so sick! my friends dont call much & when they do, they dont know what to say. my mom doesnt want to hear it! im sure alot of you go threw the same thing, right? so- well i do have a great husband of 13 years but its hard, & trying to raise 2 kids 17&12 good kids! i cant cook,clean,shop ect. i feel worthless around the house!! anyway i came across this site and you all sound wonderful!! SORRY I GUESS I NEEDED TO CRY ON A SHOLDER!! thanks! have a great night! HUGS!! blkkat
  2. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    welcome. Sorry I dont know much about the SSD, I'm from UK but I'm sure someone will see this and help you out.

    Friends and family, healthy people dont react to our illness very well but dont let them get you down, concentrate on the ones who support you.

    You're not worthless, you will have other things to contribute besides housework and cooking etc. You can be a good mum to your children by giving them advice, by listening, they still need your love and so does your husband.

    It's very hard at first, it took me a whole year to come to terms with losing my job, my life and that was in 97. But I am still a worthwhile member of my family and I have managed to hold onto a couple of very dear friends.

    Take care

    [This Message was Edited on 09/13/2005]
  3. orachel

    orachel New Member

    You're definitely in the right place for a shoulder to cry on or a bit of inspiration to prop you up. I've only been on boards for few days, but have already found more understanding and helpful advice here than in a month hunting around on the internet. I don't know a whole lot about SSD, except you can't start the process until you have a doc who says you are unable to work any job for at least one year (that's per a ssd attorney). I haven't started the process yet because I'm recently diagnosed and still trying to find good med combination, and am hoping I might be able to go back to work! I'm pretty darn confident ssd doesn't have anything to do with what your husband makes, though (hope not, or I'm cooked too!). That info is based on years of dealing with clients on SSD. I'd often see a wife earn upwards of 70K and a husband on SSD. Its not like welfare, I don't think.

    And yeah, it's really hard to find a support system when dealing with one of these awful diseases. Personally, my husband is still getting used to my limitations (so am I!) and I literally have no friends in the area since we moved here shortly before I got sick, and only socialized with people from work. Seems like workfriends are the first ones to go when you're not working every day! But you're here now, and you can always find an ear or someone going thru the same thing who doesn't think you're a wacko or a hypochondriac (I've had a lot of that attitude in the outside world)!
    Oh, you can always tell me by the long posts. Is it obvious that I talk a lot?! ;)
  4. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    I opened my claim simply by calling 1-800-772-1213.
    The opened it by phone and got the ball rolling.
    The attorney came in late in the game and got less money than he would have.
  5. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    After making the call on my own they sent me a whole bunch of paper work and release forms to sign to contact my doctors. It was relatively simple.
  6. blkkat

    blkkat New Member

    thank you every one! its nice to have someone to talk to that understands! hey nyrofan did you file a claim with SSD or SSI ? thats what i dont know if i even should try to file cause SSD is if i worked enough ive only got( 39 credits) i think i have to have 40, and i thought SSI is kinda like welfare? i geuss i should just call but boy i cant handle more stress! anyway thanks again, your all GREAT!!! HUGS blkkat
  7. busybeez

    busybeez New Member

    Hello blkkat. I'm brand new here too, but I saw your question and wanted to see what has already been posted. If you are talking about SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) the amount you receive - if and when you "win" your case - is based on how much money you've made and therefore also paid into the U. S. Social Security coffers during your lifetime. For instance, since I made about half what my husband has made in my lifetime, my monthly SSDI deposit is about half what his would be if he were to become disabled and receive SSDI at this time. The SSDI filing process lasted nearly three years for me. As soon as I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome, my doctor told me to begin the paperwork immediately. She knew the drill and she encouraged me to not give up. If you have a social security number you should receive a yearly statement from the government that lists your current benefits up to that date. If you are from outside the U.S. and have never worked here before I don't know the rules, and I don't know what to tell you, other than to call your local Social Security office and begin talking to them.

    Good Luck with everything and hang in there. I hope you feel better soon. Be assured, you are not alone in the world. I have lost "friends" too, but have found they weren't really my friend after all if they didn't want to listen. Be patient with your family, they will come around. My husband thought I was nuts for a while. As soon as he finally understood what was going on he calmed down and has been wonderful. Try finding some literature for them to read that will explain to them what you're going through. It might help.
  8. bapakay

    bapakay New Member

    hi blkkat,
    welcome to this neat board. i am sorry for you going through all of this mess we call fibro. you are not alone and many nights just getting on this board after a trying day helps!! yes, your friends sorry to say have other things to do and do not know how to handle a "sick friend" nor do they know what to say. if they only knew all we needed sometimes was a hug or an ear to hear us rant once in awhile. of course i have days where i don't want to talk to anyone and want to bury my head under the covers all day. i have had a terrible time with lingering depression. sometimes my friends call and i do not pick up so with me it is a two way street.
    Call that number and get started on your ssd. they will have all the answers for you. you might try to write down your questions so you will have everything in front of you as you know fibro plays havoc with short term memory!
    Again welcome to a special place! hope to hear from you again!
  9. stinker56

    stinker56 New Member

    Hi Blkkat,
    I too am new to this website but so far I have learned a whole lot to help me realize that I am no the only one feeling like I do. I too have had to quit my job (last December) and am considering applying for disability. I have worked since I was 16 and I am now 49 so I know I have enough quarters paid in. My question is, how long do you have to be off work before applying for benefits? Do you have to wait the full 12 months to start the process? I have a doctor appointment in the morning and I sure hope my doctor is in a helpful mood. I have had this fibro for years (probably since I was a kid with growing pains) but have just gotten in the last year to where I can't do much of anything. The pain along with eye problems is why I quit my job of ten years. I worked on a computer all day with small figures and it was really difficult for both my eyes and my mind (foggy).
    I was also wondering if Nyrofan had been off work for very long before calling the SS number.
    Has anyone else had problems watching TV with all the hurricane disaster on it? I can't watch for very long because I find myself crying my eyes out.
    As for my family and friends, my son is very careing but my husband seems to get irritated that I can't keep up like I used to and my friends ask how I am feeling but they aren't really listening if I bother to answer them. Is it this way with everyone else?
    Sorry this is so long but last night was a real bugger and I guess I needed to unload on someone. Thanks so much for listening and for careing.
  10. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I posted the following info on 11/09/04:


    This is a long read, but I think you will find that it is worth it! It is very informative and will be helpful if you are considering filing for Social Security Disability here in the U.S.

    It was published in this month's "Arthritis Today" magazine and therefore, most references to the disability being filed for is arthritis.

    The Disability Maze
    by Amy Brayfield

    Disability cases are won and lost on the strength of the application. We'll help you through the process, step-by-step.

    Shawn Sluder knew it wasn't going to be easy to give up her job. She'd been an executive assistant for almost 10 years and loved the busy pace and constant multi-tasking her work required. But Sluder, 38, who has lupus and fibromyalgia, found herself struggling more and more to get her job done. After six months of collapsing onto her couch at night, running through all her time off and more than one breakdown in the office bathroom, Sluder had to accept the fact she couldn't keep doing her job. She took her doctor's advice and filed for disability. Four months later, she was denied.

    "As frustrating and embarrassing as it is to have to file for disability, it's about 10 times worse to have your claim denied," says Sluder. Almost 24 months after her initial application, Sluder is still fighting her way through the Social Security Administration (SSA)'s appeals process.

    She isn't alone. Of the approximately 1.5 million Americans who file for disability benefits every year, 65 percent are denied on their first try. Even people who aren't rejected often feel confused and overwhelmed by the process, which seems arcane at best and tortuous at worst. For people like Sluder, the system can seem designed specifically to batter their already fragile emotions, making a difficult situation even worse.

    "There have definitely been times when I feel like the SSA thinks I'm just trying to get a free ride," says Sluder.
    There's no magic spell to make applying for disability benefits suddenly easy, but you can reduce your frustration - and maybe even increase your chances of getting a fast approval - by understanding the process before you apply, says Bob Keck, an attorney with the national disability advocacy firm Allsup Inc.

    Alphabet Soup

    Scanning your disability application may bring on a headache as you try to make sense of the myriad forms with their alphabet soup of options. Is the Disability Report the same as the Symptom Questionnaire? What remarks go in section 9? And does the SSA really think you can finish this paperwork in the half-hour estimated completion time named on the application?

    The answer to that last question, at least, is no, says R.M. Bottger, a former Social Security disability specialist. "We used to joke that anybody who could actually fill out that disability report in half an hour automatically didn't qualify for disability," says Bottger.

    The application can be intimidating, but it's important, says Keck, who encourages his clients to focus most of their energy on the Disability Report. "The SSA uses the information in your application to evaluate your case at every stage of the process. Even on appeal, they'll compare the testimony you give on appeal to that first application."

    For someone with arthritis, the application can be even more important, says Bottger, because of the variation in arthritis symptoms. "Every case is different, but you have a pretty good upfront understanding of what limitations a person in a wheelchair has. Arthritis is different -- there's no 'basic' effect of arthritis. The burden is on the applicant to show that his arthritis is disabling."
    This may be why the application for disability is such a dichotomy: on one hand, a just-the-facts, fill-in-the-blanks form; on the other, a personal and infinitely variable story of the effects of arthritis on your life.

    It's important to keep both aspects in mind when you're filling out your application, says Keck.
    The emotional component is often most difficult. Most people with arthritis focus on staying positive, but working on your disability application means focusing on the things you can't do. Be too stoic or Pollyanna-ish, and your case manager won't have all the information she needs to evaluate your case.

    "I think that's where I went wrong," Sluder says. "I spent so much time trying to figure out how to keep doing things that I didn't want to say I couldn't do something."
    People like Sluder who've adapted their routines because of arthritis may no longer even notice the accommodations they've had to make. Keck recommends inviting a friend to watch you do a few household chores. "Seeing how your arthritis affects one task, it's easier for you to see the accommodations you make in other tasks, too," he says.

    It can be emotionally taxing to spend a lot of time dwelling on your limitations. Try not to work on your application for more than a few hours at a time -- it's OK if it takes you a week or so to complete it - and keep in mind the reason you're going through the process at all is to get the support you need to live a better, healthier life.

    Inside the Application

    Bottger and Keck agree that the part of your application that deserves the most attention is the Disability Report, a 16-page, nine-section form in which you describe your arthritis (or other illnesses), its symptoms and effects on your work."

    When I denied an application, it was because it lacked compelling medical or vocational evidence. The disability report is where you can give that information," says Bottger.

    The secret to success is simply knowing what information your SSA representative is really looking for in each section, says Keck. We asked our experts to take us through the Disability Report, section by section, to help you make the most of your application.

    Section 1 -- Information About the Disabled Person

    Why they're asking: The SSA needs this basic information -- your address, Social Security number, etc. -- to contact you and request case information. The SSA also uses it to see if you qualify for special programs based on your age or weight.

    What you should know: This section asks you to provide a personal, or non-work, reference familiar with your condition. Think carefully about who you choose, says Keck. The best choice is someone who's seen the impact of arthritis (or your other illnesses) on your life and who is close enough to share your struggles with. It's OK to pick a family member. Give the person you choose a heads-up that the SSA may contact her about your case, says Keck.

    Section 2 -- Your Illness, Injuries or Conditions and How They Affect You

    Why they're asking: The SSA needs to understand two things to evaluate your case: what your condition is, and how it affects your ability to work. This section connects the two.

    What you should know: Both Keck and Bottger recommend answering this important section last.

    The key here, says Keck, is to break down your job, task by task, to explaining how your condition limits your ability to do it. Say you're a customer service representative, and part of your job is filing order records. To do this, you must label folders; kneel, reach, bend and stoop to file; occasionally carry 10- to 15-pound boxes of file folders to restock your supply; etc. Break down each task into its specific components, then explain how arthritis (or your other illnesses) makes each one a challenge: kneeling, reaching, bending and stooping are painful because, for example, osteoarthritis (OA) in your hips and knees makes bending at the knees and waist difficult. Do this for every task.

    Section 3 -- Information About Your Work

    Why they're asking: Knowing what tasks your job regularly requires helps the SSA decide how your arthritis (or other illnesses) affects your ability to do that job.

    What you should know: Remember your job title doesn't necessarily reflect your actual responsibilities, says Keck. One insurance customer service representative may do little more than field incoming calls; another might stock office supplies, visit claim sites and do the office filing. Explain the specific responsibilities of your position. Keep in mind, too, that the more specialized your position, the more likely it is your representative might believe you can continue working -- in another position, says Bottger. If your job is highly specialized, highlight its more universal facets, such as sitting, standing, walking, carrying, bending, and so on.

    Section 4 -- Information About Your Medical Records

    Why they're asking: You can provide copies of your medical records, but the SSA requests its own copies from your doctors, using the information in this section.

    What you should know: Make sure all the information is correct so your application doesn't get delayed, says Bottger. He also recommends writing in each doctor's specialty on the space beside his name, even though the application doesn't ask for it.

    Section 5 -- Medications

    Why they're asking: Before granting disability, the SSA confirms you've tried medical intervention.

    What you should know: List your current meds, plus all medications you've tried, whether they worked or not, says Keck.

    Section 6 -- Tests

    Why they're asking: The SSA looks for a test to confirm your diagnosis - for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it's usually a blood test; for OA, an X-ray.

    What you should know: If you have a form of arthritis, such a fibromyalgia, that doesn't have an accepted diagnostic test, make sure your medical records include tests to support your condition's symptoms, says Bottger. The presence of several symptoms that aren't debilitating on their own can be considered debilitating when they co-exist.

    Section 7 -- Educational/Training Information

    Why they're asking: Understanding your education and professional experience helps the SSA determine other jobs you might be able to do.

    What you should know: This section is important for borderline applications, says Bottger. The more specialized your experience, the less likely it is that the SSA will recommend you try another form of employment before reapplying.

    Section 8 -- Vocational Rehabilitation, Employment or Other Support Services Information

    Why they're asking: The SSA considers what steps you've tried to continue working.

    What you should know: The younger you are, the harder it is to prove you can't work at any job, says Bottger. People younger than 55 must show that they can't work even at a mostly sedentary job. Participating in a vocational rehab program can show the SSA how your limitations really do impair your ability to work at any job. And -- of course -- there's always the chance that a rehab program might be able to help you find a job you can actually do.

    Section 9 -- Remarks

    Why they're asking: As big as the application is, you might run out of room on some sections. Section 9 lets you continue information from other sections.

    What you should know: Many people find they need more space to list their medications and on-the-job challenges than the form provides, and it's better to continue in section nine than to leave out important information.

    The Aftermath

    Most disability applications are determined within five months. If your claim is denied, you may start the process over by appealing for reconsideration. If it's accepted, you may wonder, "What's next?"

    Filing for disability can be so time-consuming and emotionally draining that you don't have time to deal with the implications of not working. In a society where people define themselves by their careers and many view "disability" and "laziness" as synonyms, it's hard to cope with the personal and social pressures of being unemployed. No wonder 40 percent of people report feeling depressed after being awarded disability benefits.

    Sheryl Cohen-Alexander, 48, who applied for disability in 1990, wasn't prepared for the sadness she felt when her application was accepted. "It finally hit me what being on disability really meant."

    Cohen-Alexander didn't want to sit around feeling sorry for herself. Cohen-Alexander has the right idea, says Keck, who asks his clients to plan for their lives post-disability and to stay active during the application process. "It can consume you if you let it," says Keck. "So don't let it."

    Are You Ready for Disability?

    Ask yourself these questions before you decide to file:

    ? Are you working? You must have been unable to work for at least a year or show that you won't be able to work for at least a year before applying for disability. If you earn more than $810 each month, even if you can't work full-time, you're not eligible for benefits.

    ? Does your arthritis (or other illnesses) make it impossible for you to do basic job tasks? Your arthritis (or other illnesses) must be severe enough to limit your ability to perform the basic tasks that most jobs require, such as standing, reaching, sitting, carrying and walking.

    ? Do your limitations keep you from doing your specific job? If you can continue to do your job, even if you're in pain while you're doing it, you're not eligible for disability benefits.

    ? Are there any other jobs you can do? Just because your arthritis (or other illnesses) keeps you from continuing work as, say, a construction foreman, does not automatically mean you can't do a more sedentary job. The SSA will consider your work history, age, education and physical limitations to determine what other work you can perform.

    ? Does your diagnosis match the Social Security Administration (SSA)'s medical listing? The SSA's Blue Book lists the criteria for disability for all medical conditions. For rheumatoid arthritis (RA), for example, the Blue Book says applicants must show persistent pain, swelling and limited joint mobility to qualify.

    The Appeals Cycle

    Only about 35 percent of applicants are APPROVED for disability benefits on their first try. If you're denied, you enter another maze: the appeals process. If your initial application is DENIED, you can file for reconsideration.


    Reconsideration is basically just resubmitting your application, but you should take the opportunity to make sure you're being as specific as possible on the sections describing your condition and limitations. Your claim can be APPROVED or DENIED. If it's denied, you can appeal.

    Administrative Judge Law Hearing

    At this local hearing, you can give testimony in person. The judge can APPROVE, Deny or REMAND your case back to reconsideration. If it's denied, you can appeal.

    Appeals Council

    You must appear before the Appeals Council in person. They can APPROVE, Deny or REMAND your case back to the Administrative JUDGE. If the council denies your claim, you can appeal.

    Federal District Court

    As a last resort, you can appeal outside the SSA's jurisdiction in Federal District Court. This is your final appeal -- if your claim is denied here, you have no more appeal options.

    ****End of Article****



    Additional Info for Applying for SSDI from another old post 08/03/05 09:16 PM

    The following additional info is from another old post - not mine, but from Lisa:



    Hi all.

    I came across this website that offers tips on how to better ones chances of winning SS Disability. Also at the end is a list of FAQs - for answers you'll need to check out the website.

    Hope it helps.


    Social Security Disability cases based on Fibromyalgia alone are generally difficult to win, and are always easier to win if other impairments are involved.

    But having said that, it should be be noted that the outlook for such cases is starting to improve because more information is coming to light about the nature and causes of this illness.

    Regardless, however, of whether a claimant is applying for disability based solely on Fibromyalgia, or alleges several impairments, a case involving Fibromyalgia can be strengthened by understanding how Social Security Disability Examiners consider medical evidence. This was covered to some extent in the article preceding this one, but on this page the tips will be more specific.

    Tip 1 regarding Social Security Disability Fibromyalgia Cases

    If you allege Fibromyalgia when you apply for disability, make sure you have a diagnosis of this in your medical records. It's happened more than once that a doctor has mentioned to a patient that they "might have fibromyalgia" without actually diagnosing this condition in their medical chart.

    Tip 2 regarding Social Security Disability Fibromyalgia Cases

    If your primary doctor (i.e. family doctor or internist) diagnoses you with Fibromyalgia, try your very best to be referred to a specialist, such as an orthopedist or a rheumatologist (or a pain or chronic fatigue specialist), who can give you the same diagnosis. As we said earlier on the previous page, because so many doctors hand out the fibromyalgia label when they can't otherwise diagnose a patient's complaints, the value of this diagnosis is somewhat diluted. It can be significantly strengthened, however, and taken more seriously, if the same conclusion is reached by a physician who specializes in bone or tissue disorders, or disorders that involve complaints of pain and fatigue.

    Tip 3 regarding Social Security Disability Fibromyalgia Cases

    Although it may be impossible to do, try to avoid being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia by a mental health professional. Why? Because the simple truth is this: in the same way that family doctors mislabel their patients and overuse the Fibromyalgia diagnosis, so do psychiatrists. This is a regular occurrence, in fact, for patients who are being treated for depression.

    It should not be surprising to anyone, of course, that a person who experiences continuous pain and/or fatigue might also have to deal with depression as a result. Nevertheless, a Fibromyalgia diagnosis by a mental health practioner is usually interpreted by a Disability Examiner to mean this: that the disability claimant's symptoms and complaints are psychosomatic in nature. In other words, all in their head.

    Therefore, again, for the fibromyalgia sufferer who is trying to win disability benefits, it is always sound advice to seek a supporting diagnosis from a specialist.

    However, this becomes doubly more important for the claimant who is also receiving mental health treatment.

    Tip 4 regarding Social Security Disability Fibromyalgia Cases

    Find out what's in your medical records. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. All Social Security Disability cases are decided chiefly on the basis of a claimant's records. This is true at the intial application level, reconsideration level, and at the Administrative Law Judge hearing level where a claimant is generally represented by an attorney, or non-attorney disabilty representative.

    Applying for disability without knowing what your records state about your condition is unwise, to say the least. And many claimants have been surprised to find that the doctor who claimed to support their case did not indicate the same level of support in his or her treatment notes.

    By getting copies of your medical records before you apply, you can get a rough idea of how your case looks and decide if you need to switch to a different physician, one who is more capable concerning your treatment and more willing to support your disability case.

    Quick Links to Questions & Answers on

    For Social Security Disability, when is a person considered disabled?
    When should I apply for Social Security Disability
    How do I apply for Disability benefits through Social Security?
    After I apply, how is my Social Security Disability case decided?
    What kind of medical evidence is used to evaluate my Social Security case?
    How long will it take to get a decision on my Disability claim?
    If my Social Security Disability case is denied, what do I do?
    How do I appeal a Social Security denial for disability?
    How long does a Social Security appeal usually take?
    Will I have to file more than one claim for Disability?
    How do I survive financially while waiting on my case?
    Is there anyone who can assist me financially while I wait on my Disability appeal?
    Can I work and earn money while waiting on my Social Security case?
    Do I need a representative for my Social Security Disability case?
    How can a representative help me on my Disability case?
    How much does a disability representative charge for a Social Security case?
    What can I do on my own to help my Social Security Disability case?
    What is SSI and how is it different from Social Security Disability?
    If my Social Security case is won, what exactly do I get?
    How will I know if I have won my claim for Disability benefits?
    If I win my Disability case, how long will it take to get the money?
    If I am eligible for a back payment, will I get it all at one time?
    If my Disability case is won, how long will I receive disability benefits?
    If a judge denies my Social Securitycase, what do I do?
    How to - improve your chances for Social Security Disability
    How to - get updates on a Social Security claim for disability
    How to - get doctors to assist on your Social Security claim
    How to - react if your Social Security Disability case is denied
    How to - request the first appeal for a Social Security claim for Disability
    How to - plan ahead financially for a Disability claim with social security
    How to - update creditors regarding a Disability case
    How to - file a request for a Social Security Disability hearing
    How to - get updates on a Social Security Disability case
    How to - get a Social Security hearing scheduled faster
    How to - present before a judge at a Disability hearing

  11. DellaMae

    DellaMae New Member


    I have been having some problems too. I have filed 3 claims and have been denied everytime. I only found out the real truth of their denying me, recently. I have had the politicians to help me as well as anyone else I can think of.

    They sent some information to me concerning the rules of Social Security Diasability.

    I have posted them in here. Please feel free to review them and go the site to read more. Social Security Disability Information Sent to ME: and the same Contd.

    Hope you get your claim started, and get accepted. Good Luck!!

  12. helpeachother

    helpeachother New Member

    BUMP Welcome bikkat and good luck with SSD.

    My advice: Whatever you do, do not give up with them, and make sure you give them way more than they ask for in terms of answering questions, and doctors info. When you describe your symptoms, there is nothing wrong with describing your worst day and telling them (if true) that the symptoms and any abilities remainig are unpredictable.

  13. blkkat

    blkkat New Member

    wow! i'm sitting here with tears in my eyes, (really) i didnt think so my people would care enough to take the time to post to me. ive been so lonely this last year! there tears of (JOY ) thankyou all from my heart LOL! blkkat

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