Chronic Pain due to multiple injuries

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MissPain
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/29/2012 2:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
 
I suffer from DJD and OA of left knee due to acl meniscus surgery in 1997 (onset date), OA right knee, herniated disc lower lumbar of spine, tarsal tunnel, plantar fasiitis, neuropathy (radiculitis) which makes my heels burn very badly (not diabetic) , sciatica (paralyzed sciatic nerve) as well as high blood pressure. Meds I take are Ibuprophen, Atenolol, apply lidocaine to sensitive/sore scars (sore over 17 yrs.) Just prescribed gabapentin 12-26-2012. Also scheduled for EMG for hands and feet next month on 22.
 
My question is: what are my chances of getting SSDI? I've worked well over the years needed to qualify, just wondering if my injuries are qualify-able. Any advice will be appreciated. Just reapplied for SSDI in Dec. 2012, had to resubmit application today along with medical records detailing each injury due to adjudicator saying he never received the faxed paper work from Dec. 7, so I sent info via certified mail. Haven't worked since March of 2012.
 
Thanks,
 
MissPain
 
 

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1749
   Posted 12/29/2012 5:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to Healing Well. I'm sorry, but your question is virtually impossible to answer with the information given.

We are a group of Chronic Pain patients.....from literally everywhere. We have members from all over the world. Although many of us are now on Social Security Disability and the topic does come up on occasion, each case is VERY unique.

Most of us would prefer to be working again, were we able. Not all of us still want the day to day working grind, but I think a large majority would rather work forever than live as most of us do......trying to find some measure of pain control to make it through each day.

I don't mean to put you off, so please feel free to join us on our path, but please understand we are not lawyers or doctors (or anything else for that matter) and cannot give "specific" advice. It is all from the heart and the school of hard knocks so to speak.

((Some of us may know a great deal about any one or more subjects, it's just that we don't put ourselves out ther like that with our careers....or what they once were)))......which is yet another personal opinion.

Again, welcome to the Chronic Pain part of HealingWell.
Failed TLIF, Pituatary Disorder, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery, Failed Nissen, GERD, Anxiety, TMJ, Migraines, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia, Bilateral CTS, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendonitis,a host of other diagnoses, & a REALLY screwed up back from the top to the bottom!!!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11182
   Posted 12/29/2012 11:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi MissPain and welcome to the chronic pain forum. I can relate to your knee issues as I have had multiple surgeries on one knee and finally drew the line i the sand and said no more. I have had surgery once on what I call my good knee, but the bottom line is the next surgery will be replacements for both knees.

I noticed in one of your other posts you said you had filed twice before for SSD, what happened on those claims? Did you ever go before one of the judges for a hearing or what? You also said you have an atty helping you with your current claim. What does he say your odds are on getting approved.The main thing is your drs have to be behind you and you need good medical evidence to support disability. They do look at your age and education to see if you can be retrained into another field of work. It can take anywhere from one year or longer to get a hearing on a claim, it depends on the backlog of cases.

I see that you just started on generic Neurotin, give it some time to see if it helps, its one of those meds that you have to get the dose right to get the benefit from it. Narcotics have little effect on nerve pain so maybe this new medication will help, if not there are several other nerve meds out there. I wish I could give you better info on the SSD but its just not possible, no one ever knows what they will do. When I worked we handled SS claims for our clients that we represented, and you know there were cases we thought would move right on through and be approved in the beginning, boy we could not have been more wrong, they were denied but approved after the hearing. I read an article about a month ago and it was about people getting denied SSD and the percentage of people not pursuing their claims after the denial is so high. Of course SS knows that a lot of people will not pursue their claims too.

I do hope everything works out in your favor. Take care....Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

Jim1969
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 12/29/2012 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Disability has nothing to do with how long you have worked. It is about qualifying.

You can go to the Social Security Web site and look up conditions that qualify for disability. You can even complete the initial application online if you want.

Even if you have one or more conditions that qualify that does not mean you will automatically be granted SSDI once all the paperwork is filed. It is no joke that about 98% of people who file are turned down the first time. Also most disability lawyers will not take a case on the initial file. They typically tell people to file the claim and then come see them when they get their denial letter. The final thing I can tell you is that it is not uncommon for the entire process to take 2 or more years.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

MissPain
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/29/2012 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the response Jim1969 and straydog. I will attempt to address both of your replies in this note.
The very first time I applied for SSDI was in 2003 and I was denied soon after. I didn't apply again until this year 2012. I am a disabled Veteran, 80% since 2010, but was 50% in 2005. Due to left knee surgery that I received while in army. Was medically discharged due to severity of knee. The firm I have seems fine, but so far I haven't been given any real information to say that I will win my case, but because they took on my case I am hopeful. Since I applied in 2003, I am assuming that application won't count, and many of the ailments I had back then were upgraded. For instance, I was first initially diagnosed with low back strain, now med records state "Herniated Disc once diagnosed as low back pain". I do have a herniated disc and when my back goes out it is so very painful and takes several days before I can walk again. I know I'm digressing, so I will move on. I had a second surgery on my left knee in 2009 to trim the ACL because it was causing my knee to lock. It is now 2012 almost 2013 and I still have episodes of knee locking, my right knee has done it twice but shows no ACL tear.
 
Both of my claims were denied, the one from 2003 and the one in 2012. That's when I sought help through a firm. I haven't asked my doctors for any particular help. I just keep detailed medical records of all my ailments, doctors notes and even my c-file from military. I did look in SSA's blue book listing for adults - part a, and yes, almost everything I have is listed.
 
Jim1969, I hate to hear that you have two! herniated discs. I can't imagine having more than one I have and it makes me miserable. Diabetes runs rampant in my family, but I've dodged the bullet so far and I hope I never get  the disease.
 
Susie, I appreciate your response and hope I've addressed your questions. I haven't been told any odds of getting approved from the firm I chose, but communication is good, and from what I can tell, they are waiting for me to get a letter (award or denial) from SSA then go from there. Its one of those firms that don't get paid unless you are approved. So hopefully things will go my way. Also waiting for decision from VA on 100% decision.
 
MissPain

MissPain
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/29/2012 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks RetiredMom,

I too would gladly choose working over my pain any day and I have worked all of my life until this year. I will keep your considerate response in mind for future posts.

rocckyd
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 12/29/2012 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I hope this works out for you. I was lucky enough to be approved within a matter of months. Don't know why it happened for me and not for others. Sometimes I feel it's like a giant game of chance.

I did keep tons of medical records. I had a 3in binder and an additional box of records. I think my record keeping and the support of numerous drs is what did the trick. But, also, I think there was a fair amount of luck involved. I definitely don't think it's fair.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out. Stick around, you'll get a lot of support from the board:)
Single mom to my little man (9yrs old)
36yrs old. JRA since a kid. Chronic Uveitis, pleurisy, pericarditis, intersticial lung disease, sjorgrens syndrome, Cushing's Syndrome, gastroparisis
Bilateral TMJ replacements due to bone fusion, port-a-cath, NJ tube

Jim1969
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 12/29/2012 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Since you have filed and was denied before I suggest speaking to an experienced local attorney and see if they will go ahead and review and accept your claim without you having to file again and waiting to be denied again.

If they won't then file yourself and as soon as you get a denial letter then go see an attorney and don't just give up. I think the reason most are denied is that the government hopes that most applicants will just give up and only those with legit claims will go to the trouble of finding an attorney to fight the denial. If you do have a valid claim then the SSDI lawyer should/will take your case on a collect only if you win basis so it won't cost you any out of pocket money. If you win then the lawyer will collect a percentage of the back pay that you are owed for his payment and there is a limit in place by law how much that can be.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

nvrthesame98
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 4299
   Posted 12/29/2012 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HW Misspain. I think it goes without saying that none of us would have chose trying to live on ssdi over earnings. I sure know I wouldnt have!
 
If you look at my signature you will see we have alot of the same things going on and I filed for SSD in 99 was awarded in 2001 after being denied 2s got a lawyer,had my Drs aware and in my corner,filed for a hardship hearing thru my state Senators office and finally won at ALJ hearing. Was a long and tedious road for my family and myself.
 
All I can add to what others have told you is to make sure your Drs are aware your filing and are in your corner. Even though you keep great records they still ask for your treating Drs to fill out forms and rate your level of disability. The better they do on their part the better the whole process goes.
 
Also the length of time waiting for a hearing varies from state to state and some states say 2 yrs to hearing no matter what. Some have shorter waiting times.
 
either way good luck to you and again welcome to healing well.
" The best thing to hold onto in life is
each other"

Disabled since 1998 on SSD
DX: lft knee TKR. 6 rt knee surgeries for meniscus repair. Pars defect L-5 ,ddd at L3-4 S1. disc collapse at L-3 with nerve impingement. legally deaf,copd,rt shoulder repair 06. Memory deficit post encephalitis/migraines
MEDS: methadone,xanax,lyrica,zantac,maxide,K+,lasix,prempro

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3256
   Posted 12/29/2012 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Misspain and I to would also like to welcome you to Healing Well Chronic Pain Forum, I have been thru the SSD process and was rejected the first time, and actually went before a judge twice before finally getting approved. I would strongly suggest that you hire an attorney one that specializes in SSD claims. It itsn't uncommon to be rejected on the first application, persistences and good documentaion will eventually win out. I know that being retired military and the different jobs I had while in the military made it more difficult for me to get approved for SSD, as they tried to say I was qualified to do other types of jobs, even though I was not able to do them. A good attorney is a real Godsend in getting through this process. So I do wish you well, with this, and I do hope that you get it approved.  I am in just the early stages of trying to get my VA disability increased to 100% I am currently rated at 60% but the Doctor at the VA has told me that I should definitely be rated at a 100% due to changes in my condition.
 
Anyway I am glad you found us here at Healing Well and I do hope you become an active member of our Chronic Pain family.
 
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
I retired from the USAF, in Sept, 1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg , I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD, herniated Disk at T12, L3/4; C3/4 Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF Mar 1985; Ulcerative colitis; Chronic Pain; Complex Sleep Apnea; and host of other things! I am White Beard with a White Beard!

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11182
   Posted 12/30/2012 4:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi again Misspain, I think you and Jim69 were probably posting at the same time and he had not seen your post where you explained about filing for SS twice, lol. Sometimes that happens here. I am sure you know that it is too late to go back and reopen an old claim such as when you filed in 2003.

You really should let your drs know that you have filed for SSD. Yes, SSD will write your drs for copies of your medical records but who ever is your main treating physician can be helpful. If your drs do not say you are unable to work there is a good chance SS will send you to one of their drs for an evaluation to determine this and the extent of your disability.

I am very glad to that you have an atty that is handling your claim on a contingency agreement. I know some people that have paid attys up front to handle their claim and to me that is just a waste of good money that most of us cannot afford to let go of. There are too many out there that take the cases and get paid out of the back pay.Those guys will only take cases they think have a good chance of getting the benefits awarded at the hearing. Just be as patient as you ca,I am sure it will all work out for you in the end.

Take care.....Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

LivingColor
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 12/30/2012 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
In my particular case, I'm not on disability for my physical symptoms, but for the mental aspects. The depression and the memory lapses they are calling TIA's are what qualified me. I didn't hire a lawyer, but I was denied the first time, and refiled myself. I was approved the second time, when I was looking for lawyers.

So make sure you list every diagnosis you have, even if you have a tendency to get hangnails.

And don't count on getting back pay. I was out of work 15 months before I got my first check, and got zip for that. But at the time, I was afraid to rock the boat and lose what I had just gained that I just swallowed it and went forward.

I am not a lawyer. Your mileage may vary.
Short version; Early onset osteoarthritis (dx age 30), scoliosis, lumbar spondylolisthesis, sciatica, hip dysplasia, bipolar disorder, migraines, macular degeneration, TIA's (they think), chronic insomnia, investigating a genetic collagen syndrome + more
--
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference

MissPain
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/30/2012 5:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for responding to my posts. I do appreciate them and will sit tight and see what happens. I do have forms from the law firm that's handling my case that is to be given to doctors. I will turn them to be filled out next week. I've been seeing so many different doctors since the onset of the many other ailments that I am now experiencing and was trying to wait until after my EMG test scheduled for the 22 of January. VA doctors (well the ones I see in the women's clinic) seem to be a bit indifferent to my injuries and felt that my injuries didn't warrant me quitting my job. But, I was finally sent to podiatry, musculoskeletal, and spine clinics who, with great expediency diagnosed a host of problems. So, maybe I should give a form to each of the doctors I've seen in each department and hopefully they'll take the time to fill them out. I am in an okay position at the moment since I do have a "tiny" income, but my husband works, so, I am not in dire straits. I/we do miss my paycheck though. Did any of you have a plan of action on turning in forms to be filled out?

I wish you all well and hope for relief in all our pains. I didn't realize all the different ailments one could have until I began reading many of the posts posted here. And, thanks for all responses to my posts.

MissPain,

nvrthesame98
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 4299
   Posted 12/30/2012 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Your welcome Miss Pain and I would do just that! Every Dr that has seen me and if you need more forms ask for them.
 
Watch the deadlines they give you for returning every paper they send you for many times folks get denied simply because they didnt get them back by the timelines.
 
You still may get sent Drs that SS refers you to and dont miss those appts for sure either. Dont be anxious over them since the 2 they sent me 2 ended up being my best asset. Dont think they plan that just the opposite but both deemed me disabled by their standards as well as the employment specialist they had in the hearing.
 
Kinda p.o,d me since they jacked me around almost 2 years when their own specialists agreed with my Drs. Oh well I got all the backpay they allowed,dont know why they dont give it,and since I had already met the 2 yr criteria for medicare it went into effect immediately,  so It was all good.
 
Wishing you luck and hope you stick around.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 11182
   Posted 12/30/2012 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
MissPain by all means have the drs fill out and return them to SS. Keep a log of when you gave the drs the forms and keep after them to fill them out & return them to SS. In fact, you may want to make some copies of the blank forms in case one of the drs say they cannot find the form you gave them.

Good luck.....Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

MissPain
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 12/31/2012 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you. I will do as you suggest and drop them off today.

Have a Prosperous New Year!
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